How it all began

scan-Bonda-19851000.jpgWe got our first Irish Wolfhound bitch, Bonda, in June 1981. She embodied everything that attracted us to this breed: calm, relaxed, mellow, patient, friendly and absolutely loved kids- a true 'gentle giant'.

At dog shows I met other, more experienced breeders and started picking their brains to learn as much as I could about Irish Wolfhounds. They were more than happy to answer my questions, which was incredibly helpful, as there wasn't a great deal of books out in German about the breed yet.
After a few years I really wanted to start breeding too.
In December 1984 we bought a bitch, "vom Welzerberg", Ascan-Scan.jpgEasy, and in May 1986 another one, this time "von der Oelmuehle", called Quael. They were going to form the basis for my breeding.
My first litter was born in October 1987, and Ascan became the father of my breeding program, 'of Lough Ree'.

My kennel name was inspired by a lake in Ireland.

Scan-20130119-19 (Jago).jpgI strive to breed typical, strong willed Irish Wolfhounds. They should be, as the nickname suggests, gentle giants, friendly to people as well as animals. With the size they are, being aggressive would be the downfall of the breed. Equally they should not be anxious or fearful. I always say a bomb should be able to go off next to them without them even batting an eyelid. My main priority, however, is health and longevity. What's the point of breeding the "most beautiful" dogs if they don't live past the age of 6? As of 01/07/1999, the heart test is mandatory according to the DWZRV. I started doing them voluntarily in the summer of '97. Even if my dogs are not actively involved in breeding anymore, I will still make sure that they get checked on a regular basis. No honest breeder can give a guarantee on the lifespan of one of their dogs, as genetics are still not researched enough and sometimes nature goes ways which are unpredictable. However, I can honestly say that I do everything in my power, with the help of the science that is available to us, to breed the healthiest and long-living dogs that I possibly can. I hope that I can achieve this with the help of Ascan, who lived until the ripe old age of 11 1/2, and was never ill until he died.

His daughters:

chira.jpg queen.jpg electra.jpg
Chira (14.10.89-16.12.00)
Dam: Akira
Bredder: Minke
Owner: Fam. Surmann,  Naples/Italy
Queen vom Seelord (23.6.91-12.05.01)
Dam: Carol vom Zigeunertimpen
Breeder: A. Fahrenbach
Owner: H. Minke
Electra (2.1.92-7.11.01)
Dam: Baronesse of Lough Ree
Breeder + Owner: H. Minke

All his puppies grew old, too.

Additionally a bitch should only have 2 litters her entire life. In all these years I've only ever made three exceptions, and let bitches be mated three times, however only after a thorough check up and the go-ahead of my vet. The bitches in these cases only ever had few puppies in each litter as well.
After my bitches are done breeding they can enjoy their retirement lying on the couch, which they love most anyway. I don't give up my old dogs.