State your name, your kennel, and where your kennel is located.
My name is Jenna Lewis, founder of Grand Teton Bullies. You can find us in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
What type of dogs do you breed, and what inspired you to get involved with that particular breed?
We breed XL American Bullies. I have been a dog lover my whole life and have been partial to bull breeds since I was a child. I grew up in a house with German Shepards (my mom trains them for search and rescue). Also, I have spent countless hours volunteering at my local animal shelter as a child, which is when I fell in love with bully breeds.
Not only is a well bred XL Bully absolutely beautiful, but their personalities are second to none, in my book. The loyalty, eagerness to please, affection and overall temperament as a family dog is remarkable. As a female, I feel safe with my dogs. I do many independent activities, knowing that even their appearance alone keeps me relatively safe.
What is your favorite bloodline?
Let me preface this answer before everybody chimes in with, “that’s not a bloodline!”. I understand Bossy is not an actual bloodline, but we all know and recognize Bossy Kennel dogs. I followed them for years in awe of their productions, and still feel they produce some of the best looking, most well rounded dogs.
My foundation male has Bossy on both sides of his pedigree. At only ten months of age, he is turning into the ideal building block for our future. I plan to continue incorporating dogs from their kennel.
In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a responsible dog breeder?
Motive comes to mind first. If the goal is not to better the breed and provide a happy life with outstanding care for your dogs, then you should not be breeding. Also, purposeful breedings, not just throwing two dogs together to make puppies and money.
Responsible dog breeders buy and breed dogs thoughtfully, with a clear goal in mind. Strict vetting of potential buyers and health testing are also important factors.
What type of diet do you keep your dogs on throughout the year?
My dogs all eat Purina Pro Plan.
How many times a day do you feed your dogs?
We feed our dogs twice daily.
How do you keep your dogs in shape throughout the year?
Being active outdoors is huge at our house! We are very fortunate to live in an area with an abundance of beautiful places to go explore and exercise. In the warmer weather we hike in the mountains as much as possible. The dogs also get daily walks.
In the winter, the snow provides a workout. My 4 year old loves having the dogs pull her around on her sled through the snow. We also plan to start snowshoeing and cross country skiing to stay in shape this winter. A well exercised dog is a much more fulfilled and therefore better behaved dog, I firmly believe.
Walk us through the process of purchasing a pup from your kennel from start to finish.
After spending the last couple years working toward building a program I feel good about, 2021 will hopefully bring our first puppies! So I can only speak on my plans and hopes. Deposits will be accepted once a litter is born, and buyers will be able to choose their puppy using the “pick” system.
I will take time to get to know potential buyers not only to ensure they will be loving homes, but also to help matchup puppies correctly with their new homes (pet, show, breeding, etc). Every puppy will be sold with a contract in place to protect both parties, as well as the puppy, and keep everyone on the same page. We will offer shipping so that the pups can find their perfect home, regardless of location.
At 8 weeks of age, they may leave to be with their new family, and at that point I hope to continue a friendship with the new owners and receive updates as they grow. I also want to always keep the door of communication open. We would take a puppy or dog from our program back any time for any reason, if it were needed.
Do you currently show any of your dogs?
I do not...yet! We are excited to be going to our first show this month. We very much look forward to learning more and becoming more involved in showing.
What advice do you have for any upcoming breeders?
As an upcoming breeder myself, I say be patient. Don’t settle for anything less than what you want, or let others negativity influence you. Also be prepared for losses, because they will happen! I have learned a lot of hard lessons getting started.
With dogs you cannot plan or count on much, so be ready to roll with it. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst I guess would be sound advice here.
What do you think is the most difficult thing for people in the bully game to overcome?
There is a lot of greed and unprofessionalism. Breeders breed unhealthy (whether that be physically or mentally) dogs, only seeing dollar signs, and it affects the whole breed. There is also an extreme amount of divisiveness amongst bully breeders.
How do you think they can overcome this thing?
First of all, supply and demand. If those buying puppies hold their breeders to higher standards and refuse to purchase puppies from unethical or subpar, backyard breeders, the number of them would start to decrease. The breeders who are in it for the dogs and to better the breed should stick together and support one another.
Who do you look up to in the bully game, and why?
There are a lot of breeders I look up to for different reasons, some bigger names, some small. I mentioned Bossy already, and they are probably my most admired for their productions, quality of care and keeping it professional.
I also have respect for Coup De Grace and Leash Candy Bullies, who both produce phenomenal dogs and are nothing short of amazing to work with. There are definitely others, but these to name a few.
Tell us about one of your main goals for the year 2021.
Grand Teton Bullies productions time! After years of working and taking some tough losses, we are finally ready to get some GTB productions out into the world! I am beyond excited to see our first puppies, both in house and with outside females using our stud.
Describe how you would want things, in the bully breed Community, to be 10 years from now.
I would hope the bully community would be more cohesive and professional. There is a great deal of disagreement on many aspects of the breed, likely because of the newness of it. It would be great for it all to come together more, and for continued emphasis to be put on breeding for health and temperament.
What separates your kennel from the competition?
One thing I would like to strive to do is show these dogs in real life, as our family companions. I see many kennels take 1 or 2 good angled, quality pictures of their dogs and then those are all you ever see of the dog. Those 1-2 recycled photos used over and over.
Our dogs are a huge part of our life. Taking them out and taking what I think are pretty badass pictures and videos of them out exploring is one of my favorite things to do. I also want to build relationships with those that also love and breed these dogs as well, as well as those that are curious to learn more about them.
What other hobbies or interests do you take part in?
As mentioned, I enjoy being outdoors and enjoying the landscape around where I live. Hiking, fishing, floating the river, amateur dog photography and most of all hanging with my awesome little girl.
What do you think of Bully Girl Magazine?
I think Bully Girl Magazine is great. Bully Girl builds up the bully community, and helps put a spotlight on all the amazing ladies out here doing big things with these big bulls! It’s fun to see more and more ladies getting into breeding bullies. It’s definitely not just for the boys anymore!