Lauren Gonzalez, the owner of Graveyard Bullies kennel in Fort Worth, Texas, breeds XL American bullies. She has always had a love for dogs and was inspired by the evolving bully breed as she grew up. She places a strong emphasis on the health and well-being of her breeding dogs, performing tests such as DNA testing, hip scoring, elbow grading, and wellness checks. Lauren also focuses on socialization and training for her puppies to prepare them for their new homes.
In terms of bloodlines, Lauren doesn't have a specific favorite, but instead respects kennels that strive to improve the breed and uphold the standards of the XL class. As a responsible breeder, she prioritizes the needs of her dogs and ensures that they receive the highest quality of care. She also carefully considers the placement of her puppies in suitable homes.
Lauren feeds her dogs a diet of kibble, raw food with vegetables, and supplements as needed. She recommends Victor dog food and sometimes switches flavors to meet the specific needs of her dogs. Younger pups are fed twice a day, while adult dogs are fed once a day. To keep her dogs in shape, they exercise in a large backyard and go on walks in the evenings.
When it comes to purchasing a pup from her kennel, Lauren has a thorough process in place. She uses a checklist to ensure that the puppy is going to a suitable environment and meets the needs of the customer. There are also thorough contracts and applications before any pups are placed in their forever homes. Lauren treats her dogs like family and wants to ensure they receive the same high quality of care even after they leave her possession. She offers health guarantees and support for her puppies after they go to their new homes.
In addition to breeding, Lauren is also interested in showing her dogs and is currently training her pups for this purpose. She plans to participate in many shows in 2023. As advice for upcoming breeders, Lauren recommends not following the hype, focusing on quality, and doing plenty of research. She also advises being open-minded, coachable, and asking lots of questions, as well as avoiding being "kennel blind."
Lauren recognizes that "kennel blindness" is a difficult thing for many people in the bully game to overcome. To overcome this, she suggests being honest with oneself and others, and staying true to the established standards of the breed in order to maintain consistency. She looks up to honest breeders who value the breed and strive to perfect its appearance, but doesn't have any specific role models.
One of Lauren's main goals for 2023 is to produce top-quality bullies that meet the standards of the XL class, not only for her own kennel but for others as well. In the next 10 years, she hopes to see a more consistent appearance among XL bullies and increased participation in shows and networking events within the community. Lauren differentiates her kennel by investing heavily in her foundation stock and working to create unique bloodlines with the correct structure and appearance. In her free time, she enjoys riding horses in addition to breeding and raising her bullies. Lauren is a fan of Bully Girl Magazine and appreciates the representation and empowerment of women within the bully community.