Our Breeding Philosophy - Craffenheim Rottweilers

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Here at Craffenheim Rottweilers, our breeding philosophy is a holistic one:

Craffenheim puppies use the words of Ziggy Marley and say,
“I was born by myself but carry the spirit and blood of my father, mother and my ancestors. So I am really never alone. My identity is through that line.”

We do not breed ‘fashion’ Rottweilers for public demand and we do not re-invent the “wheel” in order to create extreme heads, weak temperament and out of standard Rottweilers. We breed “old school” ADRK; and are committed to improving the breed in Africa by showcasing a TOTAL ROTTWEILER from the oldest, most proven and tested lines in Germany. If it is an out of standard extreme head, low temperament Rottweiler you want, we are not the breeders for you. If you want docked tails, we are NOT for you either and we will probably give you a rude lecture.

We base our breeding on the proven and legendary art from the masters of the oldest and finest lines in Germany. We use and build on the finest lines in the world in terms of conformation, temperament, health, longevity, fertility and the PROVEN testing thereof in titles, eza Koerungs, and intense studying of pedigrees before deciding on combinations.

We believe and we know that there is NO such thing as a “best” male – what there is: is a best male for a specific female. By simply using as a sire a male that is “liked/popular”, you are ignoring the fact that this male might NOT complement the female you want to breed, best. For this reason we don’t care about fashion. We have imported our own sires from the finest kennels in Germany to ensure that we are able to select a perfect sire that compliments each one of our beautiful brood bitches. (By complement, we mean: genetically, desirable and IN STANDARD traits, temperament true to the Rottweiler, able to correct any shortcomings the bitch may have and more) Selecting a sire that simply wins in a show ring and expecting replica puppies from any brood bitch is NOT BREEDING. It is wishful thinking and foolish fashion following. We consider ourselves breeders, not wishful thinkers or fashion designers catering to current ‘fashion’ within the breed.

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We have no desire to alter a breed that has already been altered to the point of unrecognizable dogs (in some extreme instances). We would like to preserve the characteristics in temperament and appearance that the breed was blessed with by centuries old genetics. Fashion will never dictate our breeding, but a deep love of the True Rottweiler always will.

We also believe strongly in keeping our breeding pool diverse in order to avoid extreme/unhealthy and harmful ‘overbreeding’ of certain dogs and lines (along with some of the scientifically proven medical issues this can bring – and sadly, all in the name of “beauty”).  We do line breed but only when the specific dogs and lines have been proven, researched and tested via the information we have available on Dog base, friends/fellow breeders overseas and other platforms. Reckless breeding combinations are a cardinal sin against our breed.

We believe females are the dominant force in any breeding, and provide the majority of the traits; whilst the male (when he is the correct choice as a sire) provides the additional magic that adds to what the female already carries. (A well selected sire improves on something the female and her line might lack – i.e bone and substance or he injects something special like temperament and excellent HD and ED scores from his own line).  Our females deserve the very best and most suitable sires, which is the driving force in the import of exceptional males from proven lines. Simply using the same combinations of male and females over and over again is not breeding: it is manufacturing. It also leads to the breeding in of serious faults (or medical issues) that are often impossible to correct.

Breeding is 80 percent research and personal knowledge of certain lines and an open mind to FAULTS which each and every line does have (contrary to what many “breeders” claim – each and every dog has a fault somewhere, and the perfect litter has to date NOT BEEN BRED, anywhere in the world) If a kennel is blind to faults, these faults cannot be corrected and a similar scenario is present when a kennel is blind to a limited gene pool they are breeding from.

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We will continue to focus on strong and proven genetics from the finest lines in Germany, whilst striving for a total Rottweiler that is in perfect balance: health, temperament, beauty.

FACT FROM FICTION IN BREEDING:

1.There is no such thing as a “show” dog. TRUE. The Rottweiler is a working breed that “CAN” show (not vice versa) There are pups in every litter who in terms of conformation could be considered as likely to develop into adults that do well in a show ring – but there is no guarantee, EVER. Human genetics work exactly the same – a pretty toddler might not turn into Miss World. ANY breeder that guarantees a top show puppy at 8 weeks old might find themselves looking foolish if nature steps in. There are certain traits one can look for, and as a breeder I have my own requirements when selecting a pick but there is technically, no such thing, as a “SHOW PUPPY or DOG”. There is only, a ROTTWEILER – one that conforms to the ADRK set breed standard in conformation and temperament.

2.Two beautiful V rated Rottweilers will automatically produce a beautiful litter. FALSE. Genotype calls the shots, not phenotype; which is why we sometimes confidently select certain sires and dams that are SG(Very Good) rated and not V (excellent) – as throwing away the magical benefits some of these magnificent dogs have, simply because a judge prefers a mastiff to a Rottweiler is HARMFUL to the breed. Anyone that insists that only 2 show ring Champions can produce show ring champions, is ill informed. Many of the finest Rottweilers in the world are SG rated, and we select their lines in a heartbeat over many of the “lower drive – weak temperament” beauty lines. Any dog that is SG (Very good) and has an IPO 3 is already better than a V1 dog that can go no further than IPO 1 due to a weak temperament. Our opinion on this is FIRM.

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3.The show ring is the ideal place to look for parents of puppies. FALSE. What many judges like and point is often out of standard, incorrect and simply because a dog can stack for food does not make him/her a good producer. Breeders’ time is better spent reading more, watching the German scene and researching everything than standing in show rings.

4.If a dog gets 500 likes on Facebook it must be a good dog. FALSE.

5.All breeders are wealthy and make money out of their dogs. FALSE. Most ethical breeders are permanently in debt and will invest any additional monies into improving their kennel and the bloodlines of dogs in it.

6.All breeders want to win the show ring only. FALSE. For many the actual breeding is the driving force and passion behind their commitment. Breeding healthy, correct and complete Rottweilers is the ultimate reward, and placing these dogs with special families the bonus joy. The show ring is pretty low on the list for many breeders.

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7.Every litter is PERFECT. FALSE. Any ethical breeder freely admits and is open to any faults, average litters and a problem in a line that might be identified. Those that refuse to see ‘any’ wrong with what they breed, are what we call “Kennel Blind” breeders. It is only by openly acknowledging that not all breeding from ones kennel is perfect; that one can truly breed responsibly. Perfection in breeding and faultless breeding does not exist. At Craffenheim, we admit to this openly.

Breeding is: 100% passion, 100% attention to detail, 100% pure love for the true and total Rottweiler, 100% dedication to the art of breeding, 100% acknowledgement that your dogs are not perfect and that you will make mistakes, 100% Bankruptcy, 100% non-existent social life, 100% sacrificing whatever is needed for the dogs, 10000000000000% commitment to loving and caring for every special dog in the breeding program, appreciating their greatness and always showering them with respect and gratitude.

Most of all breeding is LIFE. And it carries with it, a responsibility that is huge.

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