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Bruja y Gorda de Castro-Castalia
Chris y Xerxes de Castro-Castalia
My breeding philosophy is quite simple:
SIRE OF QUALITY + DAM OF QUALITY = PUPPIES OF QUALITY
Fortunately enough I am not rich but reasonably well off, for which I do not need to use my dogs to get an extra income. And thus, I breed only when I am sure to have the time to spare in their care and education, usually once a year and when I want to keep a puppy for myself, one that will fit in my upcoming breeding projects. More than anything else I worry about my Bullmastiffs’ well-being and health and what is most important to me is that they are my friends and companions, my family, never an income source.
With this in mind, my dogs are treated with respect and love, receive huge doses of TLC (tender love care) and live under my roof and not excluded from the family or the house. In fact we share armchairs and even the beds, we watch TV together and there is always a big squared head lying over my knee as I write this!
When it comes to planning a breeding, there are many factors that I bear in mind, such as who the direct relatives (dam and sire, grand parents, brothers and sisters, progeny if any) are and who the indirect relatives may be (uncles and aunts, cousins, half brothers and sisters, etc.). I then go a bit further to analyse the genetic pool that each and all carry, possible deviations according to the standard, possible faults in phenotype and genotype, possible known diseases or suspected that the bloodlines may be carrying, since the knowledge of all this and the good use one makes of such information will determine the success of a mating and ensure the quality of the resulting litter.
Zen de Castro-Castalia
I am indeed very much of the opinion that in responsible well done breeding, there is no place for luck; what really matters is what is behind the sire and the dam, what is in the pedigree and the bloodlines involved. And when the job is properly done, the resulting litters are homogeneous, taking homogeneity for quality in every aspect (health, nature and looks).
On the other hand I truly believe that my females are no laying or brooding hens and thus none will produce her first litter before she is anything like 22-24 months, when she will have reached her physical and mental maturity; they will not breed more than once a year or every year and half and they will not breed any more than 2-3 litters or any further than 6 years of age. Afterwards they are neutered and become the happy foster-grannies of any upcoming puppies.
Yuppie de Castro-Castalia
I personally watch and monitor the natural mating, the pregnancy, the whelping, the milking, the weaning and the raising of the puppies and keep the litters with me until they are well over 14 weeks of age, to ensure a proper and extensive socialization within the litter itself, with the mom and the littermates and also with the rest of youngsters, adults and seniors in the household. This means putting a lot of time and effort into the rearing of the puppies and explains why I do it only when I am sure to have the necessary time to spend around them.
I also keep and enforce a quarantine-confinement or isolation period, from the time the female is confirmed to be pregnant by means of a u-scan performed around day 23rd after the first mating, until the puppies are approximately 8 weeks old and have been duly pre-vaccinated. One thing is for sure and I am very proud of it, and that is that from the time the puppies are born until they leave the house, there are no losses caused accidentally, unwillingly or for any other cause such as an infectious disease. And this is something not many breeders can show-off about, particularly around here!
Primera salida al sol de la camada Q de Castro-Castalia
Keeping all the above in mind and doing things as best as I possibly can is what probably explains that there are no first class, second or third class puppies around here; the litters are typical and homogeneous and the puppies well-natured, sound and healthy.
Chris y las camadas R y S de Castro-Castalia
Several years ago I wrote the only book in Spanish devoted to the Breeding and Rearing of Puppies, which is called GUIA PRÁCTICA DE LA CRIANZA CANINA, based upon my first hand experience; this book has been and still is recommended in most of the Spanish Veterinary Schools and has been a reference for many novel and expert breeders not just in Spain but also in other Spanish speaking countries. If you happen to be fluent in our language, you may want to read it. Other than being a source of information it gives you a perfect idea of what my aims are as a breeder and owner. You may also like to read the series of articles I periodically publish with the digital magazine WWW.TODOPERROS.COM through the Internet, under the general title “El Arte de Criar con responsabilidad”.
(Original text written by Christina of Lima-Netto and Federico Baudin specifically for this web page and protected with Copyright. Not even whole can be reproduced not partially by any way, without Castro-Castalia's express assent in writing)