EDGERTON, Wis. - After winning more than 100 best in show awards, a local dog has added eight more accomplishments to her list: puppies!
Rumor, a 5-year-old German shepherd, lives in Edgerton with her owner and handler, Kent Boyles. She retired after taking the top prize at the 141st annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in February. Not long after that, Boyles bred her with two different dogs that are also well-known in the dog show circuit.
Rumor had eight puppies at the end of August. There are four boys and four girls.
“We felt really fortunate that she conceived, and she’s been a great mother, too,” Boyles said. “So we’re thinking, ‘Wow, everything fell into place really well.’”
Boyles said he was unsure how likely it was for Rumor to have puppies because he waited longer than normal to breed her. She’ll turn 6 in November, and Boyles said dogs are usually bred around 2 or 3 years old.
“Your possibilities go down the older they get,” he said.
Both mom and the puppies are doing well, and Boyles said he’s working on weaning the pups. As they get older, Boyles said, he’ll be evaluating the puppies to see which might make good show dogs.
“We hope there’s a couple of them that wind up being able to carry things forward,” he said. “We’re really happy so far with how they look. It takes time to sort them out.”
Boyles said he plans to raise the puppies for a while at Kenlyn German Shepherds and then will decide what to do with them. He said people have already contacted him about buying the puppies, but he said he hasn’t made commitments to anyone.
“Eventually, we’ll find real good homes for them, and we’ll try to have them carrying on in the breeding program,” Boyles said. “They’ll sort themselves out, and we’ll find the appropriate places for them.”
Boyles said it’s likely that Rumor’s litter will be a dual-sired litter, which means it’s bred by two dogs instead of one. Boyles bred Rumor with a German shepherd named Milo from Washington, D.C., that he has used to breed before. Boyles said Milo was imported from Germany and came from one of the best bloodlines of German shepherds.
The second dog Boyles bred Rumor with was a dog he owns -- one of Milo’s sons, named Peabo.
“We’ll DNA test the puppies, and we’ll find out who the sire is,” Boyles said. “So that’s just another thing that makes it a little more exciting.”
When looking for a mate for Rumor, Boyles said he wanted a dog that was strong, mentally sound and a healthy representative of the breed.
“You’re always trying to strengthen up the genetics and just get as healthy and strong and smart a dog as you can when you’re talking German shepherd,” he said.
Boyles said he’ll evaluate the puppies and see how Rumor is doing before deciding whether to breed her again.
Even though she’s done with dog shows, Boyles said Rumor will still be making appearances and doing therapy work at children’s hospitals around the country.
Boyles is still busy with show dogs, though. Both Peabo and Rumor’s half-brother Tony look promising. Boyles said Peabo won 15 groups over the summer, and Tony was undefeated at shows over the summer. He said he plans to take Tony to the 2017 American Kennel Club National Championship in Orlando in December.
Anyone who would like to be connected to dog organizations or needs help with training can contact Kenlyn German Shepherds.