State your name, your kennel, and where your kennel is located.
My name is Mackenzie Santos, one of the owners of Kaizen Bullies, currently located in Southern Indiana.
What type of dogs do you breed, and what inspired you to get involved with that particular breed?
I breed American Bullies, mainly sticking with pockets and clean exotics. Our program initially started off with classics and tall pockets, but as time has gone on we found ourselves favoring the smaller, more compact build.
Not only are they more aesthetically appealing to the eye, but they are also more widely accepted. This is due to the fact they lean more towards Bulldog features and away from the American Pit Bull Terrier features. The size of the American Bully also makes them ideal for any household and/or apartment.
What is your favorite bloodline?
There are so many bloodlines that I love, but if I had to pick, it would most definitely be Razor’s Edge.
In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a responsible dog breeder?
A responsible dog breeder’s main focus should always be the betterment of the breed. They should be striving to improve not only the dogs, but their entire program. In addition to breeding healthy, functional dogs, a breeder should always make sure their dogs are going to a good home. There should be a strict screening process, such as an application, interviews, reference checks, contracts, etc.
What type of diet do you keep your dogs on throughout the year?
Our dogs rotate between lamb and salmon based food, along with supplements such as fish or coconut oil.
How many times a day do you feed your dogs?
Our dogs are fed twice daily, sometimes three times if they’ve had active days and burned a lot of calories.
How do you keep your dogs in shape throughout the year?
Thankfully we have been blessed with a large fenced in yard, so the bulls stay in shape by playing outside. We also take them on walks downtown, and at multiple different parks.
Walk us through the process of purchasing a pup from Kaizen Bullies from start to finish.
Our purchase process begins with an application that requires multiple references, including their current veterinarian. After speaking with the references and veterinarian, we will then conduct an interview either in person or via phone. Assuming everything goes well, we then proceed with the contracts. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required, and the new owner then has the choice to make payments or pay in full at pickup. If the puppy has to be shipped, we personally deliver them.
Do you currently show any of your dogs?
Yes, we have a few of our dogs being shown currently, and two studs that are in the middle of being trained for the show ring.
What advice does Kaizen Bullies have for any upcoming breeders?
Stay focused, stick to your plan, and don't let others negatively influence your program. If there are multiple owners of your kennel, make sure you all have the same goals and ambitions.
What do you think is the most difficult thing for people in the bully game to overcome?
I think a lot of people focus more on the "hype" of a popular dog in the bully world than actually looking for a stud that compliments their female. They want the clout of breeding to a big name stud or working with a certain kennel.
How do you think they can overcome this thing?
Research bloodlines and pedigrees. Make sure you look for studs that have strong points where your female is lacking. Acknowledge the flaws of your bully and work to correct them.
Who do you look up to in the bully game, and why?
I have, and will always look up to Nikki Holcomb. Nikki is a great breeder that I have become friends with over the past few years. Nikki always breeds quality bullys and she pushes her dogs to their full potential. She focuses on health testing, and even has the first temperament tested American Bully.
Tell us about one of Kaizen Bullies main goals for the year 2020.
As 2020 comes to an end, my main goal is getting more of our dogs into the show ring. As for the next coming year, our goal is building a full kennel facility.
Describe how you would want things, in the bully breed Community, to be 10 years from now.
Ideally, I would want more health tested and temperament tested American Bullies. I want the ignorance that currently exists towards the breed to be non-existent, and for them to be accepted anywhere and by everyone.
What separates Kaizen Bullies from the competition?
Kaizen Bullies is owned and operated by veterans. We are very family oriented and have a big network inside and outside the bully community. Our kennel doesn't solely focus on breeding. We also focus on educating others about the breed. "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
What other hobbies or interests do you take part in?
I am currently working towards getting my veterinarian technician degree. In my spare time, I enjoy playing video games, macrame, and drawing.
What do you think of Bully Girl Magazine?
I have always loved Bully Girl Magazine, and am super honored to be able to do another interview. I think it's a great resource for new and experienced breeders.