In the heart of Federal Way, Washington, nestled amidst the lush Pacific Northwest landscape, we find Raoul Normandia, the dedicated guardian of Shadowline Kennels. The kennel’s name is a testament to the strength, mystery, and undeniable allure of the breeds that Raoul has chosen to champion - XL Pitbulls, XL Bullies, Pocket Bullies, and French Bulldogs.
Raoul’s journey into the world of these breeds is as intriguing as it is inspiring. As a child, he harbored a fear of dogs, particularly those like Boonie, a tan and white pitbull male with a massive head, muscular body, and high energy. But life had a different plan. A chocolate Pitbull named Lilikoi, despite her intimidating looks, was the one who unlocked the doors to Raoul’s heart and kindled a love for Pitbulls and bullies that still burns brightly.
At Shadowline Kennels, health is paramount. Using Wisdom Panel, Raoul genetically tests his dogs, ensuring that the lineage they carry is robust and free from hereditary ailments. This meticulous approach to health lays a solid foundation for the breed, a testament to Raoul’s commitment to breeding healthy dogs.
Socialization is a crucial part of life at Shadowline Kennels. From the moment the pups are born, they're introduced to a world buzzing with diverse interactions. The kennel's adult dogs and younger family members frequent the puppies' space, getting them accustomed to various sounds, movements, and energy levels. Raoul believes in introducing the pups to adult dogs around the 6th week, providing them a chance to learn from their older peers.
Raoul’s love for specific bloodlines is evident as he enthusiastically mentions old school Razors, King Lion, Disciple, Chevy, Ellis dogs, and Fireline Pits. The amalgamation of size, genetic muscularity, and distinctive traits these bloodlines offer are what Raoul finds truly captivating.
Confronting misconceptions about the bully breed is a task Raoul undertakes with utmost dedication. He addresses potential concerns of buyers by showing them the adult dogs and emphasizing that a dog's temperament is majorly influenced by how it's raised. He firmly believes that any dog, irrespective of its breed, can exhibit aggressive behaviors if not properly nurtured.
For Raoul, a responsible breeder is someone who relentlessly strives to improve the breed. This is a person who doesn’t resort to random, unplanned breeding, but rather invests time in researching the dogs they're using, performs genetic tests, and meticulously plans ahead.
Raoul’s dogs thrive on a diet of high-quality kibble. If feasible, he recommends raw feeding, supplemented with a tailor-made meal plan. Nutri-source and Taste of the Wild are his go-to brands when it comes to dog food. He feeds his dogs twice daily and ensures they stay fit through regular walks and playful fetch games in what he affectionately calls “The Pit,” a large grassy lot near his home.
The process of purchasing a pup from Shadowline Kennels is precise and thorough, ensuring the pups find their rightful homes. Raoul encourages prospective buyers to visit the kennel, interact with the pups, and understand that their decision should be based on more than just looks. After all, the pups will be their companions for the next 15 years.
Shadowline Kennels offer unwavering support and advice to new owners. Raoul acknowledges that every situation is unique and requires different solutions. In the unfortunate event of a puppy not meshing well with their new home, Raoul has a 72-hour return policy and a comprehensive rehoming plan.
Raoul’s future plans include showing his dogs, an exciting prospect that he hopes to realize soon. His advice to upcoming breeders resonates with wisdom and experience - don't take shortcuts and trust your vet. His insights into the bully game are equally valuable. He believes that reputation and longevity are key to success in the industry and that passion is the driving force behind any successful venture.
Among the figures he admires in the bully game is Kat from Bossy Kennels, a woman who has produced amazing dogs, prioritizes their well-being, and runs a stellar business. One of Raoul’s primary goals for 2023 is to delve deeper into the world of bodybuilding, applying the discipline and nutritional insights from this sphere to his own life.
In a decade from now, Raoul envisions the bully breed community embracing innovation while preserving the breed's distinctive look and striving to eradicate genetic issues. What sets Shadowline Kennels apart from the competition is the familial bond Raoul shares with his dogs. Each one is cared for like a beloved child, and their well-being is always top priority.
Outside his kennel, Raoul's interest in bodybuilding offers a refreshing change. He believes the discipline it demands can make anyone a healthier individual. Raoul also has a deep admiration for Bully Girl Magazine, which kept him connected with the bully world during a stint in prison in 2020. The magazine not only updated him on breed developments but also facilitated networking with others in the industry.
So this is the world of Raoul Normandia and Shadowline Kennels - a world rooted in passion, perseverance, and a profound love for the bully breeds. To learn more about Shadownline Kennels, subscribe to Bully Girl Magazine and download the Bully Girl Mobile app, available in the Apple and Google Play stores.