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A Bit of Background

How We Got Started

My love for dogs and dog shows and breeding started when I was a child. We had a Rough Coated Collie, named Snow White.  My parents got her on a lease. She lived and was loved by our family and was returned to her breeder to have puppies when the time was right and returned home when she was done raising her litter. My parents also raised Golden Retrievers. We had several beautiful litters of puppies with Ginger and Sammy.

Every year I could hardly wait to see the dog show come to the Cypress Community College in Southern California. I loved watching all the beautifully groomed dogs in all shapes and sizes.

As an adult my first dog was a Jack Russell Terrier in 1998. Funny story and how I acquired Ace. I was engaged to be married and my soon to be husband, returned his wedding band that I had bought him and brought home a little Jack Russell puppy, named Ace. Since that time, we have had 10 Jack Russells/Parson Russells rule our house. 

In 2001 I wanted to start showing. I found a beautiful Boxer Bitch named Encore Anomar Touche. She was shown for 18 months and gained a few points toward her Championship when we made a big life choice to move to Kansas from Idaho. Shortly after our move I discovered I was pregnant, and my dog show dreams took a back seat to raise my family. 

After an 18-year hiatus and seven children, I felt it was time to fulfill my childhood dreams. I purchased Highland Downs Hazy Shade of Wynter, (a Parson Russell from Rita Ford of Highland Downs). Wynter is major pointed but in the end enjoyed being home and is the trusty side kick to my 8-year-old daughter, Ellie. I then acquired Jonas,

GCHS CH What A Man Gotta Do @SFR. Jonas blew my mind. He took the bred at the National Championship show in 2021 and was the number one Parson Russell for 51 of the 54 weeks in 2021. Jonas continued to stay in the top 5 through 2022.  He was expertly handled and loved from the tender age of eight weeks by Elizabeth Melzer. He came home for the first time to live November 2022. Lupin, GCH CH Highland Downs Raised By Wolves @ SFR and Soren, CH Highland Downs Hotter Than Whiskey Fire @ SFR, both have litters sired by Jonas currently. 

 Around the time I started showing Wynter I wanted to go back to my dog show roots and I acquired a flashy brindle Boxer bitch from Jeannie Salmon of Upstream Boxers. Upstream's Late Night Devil @ SFR, Sly as she is fondly called never made it to the show ring due to her ears not standing properly but we have high hopes for her in the whelping box this year! 

Life is funny sometimes. I never in a million years would have picked a Chow Chow, but connecting with another breeder and dog show enthusiast through a mutual friend I found my spirit animal!  Janet Burke took a gamble and allowed Winnie, GCHB CH Cross B's Got Em Saying Wow @ SFR to come home with me as a 16-week-old puppy.  Winnie went BOS at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2022.  I then acquired Kiefer, GCH CH Cross B's Keeper of the Plains @ SFR, who is currently being handled and promoted by Elizabeth Melzer. 

One day my husband, Shane come to me and said "find me a Rottweiler". So I contacted Elizabeth and told her the great news, "We have another dog to show, Shane wants a Rottweiler!" Liz knew of litter out of MBIS BISS GCHP Can/CH Cammcastle's The One and Only General of Valor, THD, CGC and put me in contact with Suzan Guynn. Junior, GCG CH Cammcastle's Kansas War Games of Valor @ SFR came into our hearts, Thanksgiving Day 2020. He easily got his GCH and CH and is home building his muscles. Odette, CH Cammcastle's Odette Take It to the Heart @ SFR came around Thanksgiving 2021 and was a Champion before her first birthday! Both Junior and Odette were handled by Elizabeth Melzer.

If it is not apparent yet, Elizabeth Melzer is a big part of my dog showing dream. She is my eyes, ears and feet when it comes to this dog show adventure. She is also the person that introduced me to the adorable Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka. They are additively cute and cuddly. Steele, Showboat's Etched in Steele @ SFR, CM7 and Anna, Showboat Up Rising @ SFR, CM 5 (CM is Certificate of Merit). Like is said with are additive...We welcomed, Showboat Bliss Top Shelf Whiskey McCallan, Callan for the family and are waying for a beautiful little girl late with summer. The Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka are not a fully recognized breed yet so they can't get a Championship title but earning CM's helps the Bolonki gain fully breed recognition. Thank you, Deborah Huntington of Showboat Kennels for these adorable Bolonka babies.

 

Wow that was a mouth full!

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Guiding Philosophy

How We Do Things

SouthFork Ranch believes that six elements should be considered in every breeding in order to preserve what the ideal means to us. 

 

We like to compare our breeding philosophy to that of the *Monster Cookie: complex and full of varying ingredients, textures, and profiles that all work together to make something lovely.

Health. Like any specific breed of dog, our dogs are not without health problems. It is impossible to guarantee that any dog will be without health issues; the best we can do is to be honest about what anomalies are lurking within our pedigrees and bloodlines, and make breeding decisions to keep them at bay. To that end, SouthFork Ranch dogs are thoroughly assessed for health, and the data we collect contributes to every planned breeding decision. We believe so much in the general/overall health of our dogs that every single puppy comes with a health warranty and lifetime breeder support.

Temperament. A dog’s temperament is the aspect of his personality that is innate. It also determines how an individual dog responds to the world, and it is predominantly driven by genetics. This is why careful selection of dogs with proper and compatible temperaments is key to a successful breeding. It is critical for each dog’s temperament to be assessed and understood in order for it to be placed in the right home and given proper training and socialization for his temperament type to make him the best dog he can be.

Character. Unlike temperament, a dog’s character is developed by training, socialization, lifestyle and individual experiences. If temperament is the structure of a bicycle, character is the color, bells, and whistles.

Livability. Livability is a function of both temperament and character. For us, the best SouthFork Ranch dogs are those who are easy to live with; they’re content, patient with children, don’t bark excessively, sleep all night (don’t stir until we do), never potty in the house, take to crate training easily, don’t get carsick, and adapt well to new people and environments.

Structure. The AKC Breed Standard (the blueprint for the individual breeds) has a lot to say about what a dog should look like. It should go without saying that every single SouthFork Ranch dog meets the majority of the written standard. [It’s impossible for one single dog to meet 100% of the breed standard.] Our measure of success for adhering to the breed standard lies in the accolades we’ve been given by licensed judges through the sport of showing dogs.

Ability. SouthFork Ranch breeding program is preserving each breeds natural abilities and their original purpose, form and function.  

Let’s go back to the cookie analogy. There are folks out there who don’t believe in putting nuts in their cookies. Others will argue that a Monster Cookie without nuts is an abomination.

So who’s right?

It actually doesn’t matter. 

Supporting a breeder’s philosophy works the same way. Decide what’s important for you, and find a breeder who has the same values. The puppy you ultimately bring home is a vote of support for your breeder’s philosophy, ethics, and values.

As for us, we prefer cold milk with our cookies!

SouthFork Ranch Monster cookies are loaded with crunchy peanut butter, roasted nuts, chewy oats, colorful m&ms, and gooey chocolate chips! They bake up super thick, with chewy edges and incredibly soft centers. A must try for all of my fellow cookie monsters out there!

RECIPE

1 cup (227 grams ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 and 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 large egg yolk, at room temperarure

2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup quick oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cups M&M candies

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup roasted pecans, roughly chopped

 

Instructions

 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

  • Add in the peanut butter and vanilla and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

  • Next add in both sugars and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes.

  • Add in the eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn mixer off.

  • Add in the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk the ingredients together lightly before turning the mixer back on low and mixing in the dry ingredients until just combined. Be sure not to over mix here.

  • Turn mixer off and use a spatula to fold in the M&Ms, chocolate chips, and pecans. 

  • Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes, or up to 2 days. 

 

When ready to bake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Scoop two tablespoon sized mounds of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, leaving a few inches between each cookies for spreading. Gently press down on each cookie ball, slightly flattening the ball. This will help them spread evenly in the oven. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with some extra oats, if desired. 

  • Bake one tray at a time, for 12 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the centers have set. If any edges spread out while baking, use a spatula and gently press them back in as soon as you remove the cookies from the oven. 

  • Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

* adapted from Barrett Weimaraners: the kitchen sink chili:

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