Interview with Kelly & Kendra Hayes, Breeders of Arcane Kennel
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? What is your breed? What is your kennel name? Do you have a website? How long have you been in dogs? How long have you been breeding dogs? Who are some of your best-known dogs?
We are two sisters, Kendra Hayes and Kelly Hayes, who reside in Florida. We are second-generation, breeder/owner-handlers, our mother having bred BIS/BISS-winning Chow Chows since 1983. We entered the ring as soon as we could walk and competed in Junior Showmanship once we were old enough. Growing up, we assisted and mentored under breeders of various breeds until we chose our own.
Kendra: I have been involved in Border Collies since 2008 and breeding under the Arcane prefix since 2014. My website is www.arcanebc.com.
As a Breeder, can you share your thoughts on your breed today? Is breed type strong? Are there things to be concerned about? Are there any health-related issues? Have you worked with breeders overseas? Are pet homes typically available for your breed?
Kendra: I think, overall, our breed type is pretty good, though there is always room for improvement. If I were to name a concern, it would be high head and tail carriage. To me, movement is paramount to the Border Collie. An efficient, grounded mover can work without hindrance or injury. Style can vary, but in my opinion, nothing should ever be excessive, especially if it hinders the dog’s athleticism or movement. I had the pleasure of working with a breeder in Italy. I imported semen from one of her gorgeous boys and had a wonderful and very successful litter which included my boy “Arthas.” He took Winners Dog and Best of Winners at the 2022 BCSA National Specialty from the Bred-By Class, and his dam also took Best Brood Bitch. Yes, pet homes are available. However, I prefer active homes that will exercise the dogs’ intelligent minds.
Kelly: I find the consistency in Buhunds to be good. Of course, different breeders have different styles, but I’d say, as a whole, breed type is pretty solid. I do believe we can improve our rears. The Buhund should be moderately angled. If we lose our bend of stifle, we risk injury to ligaments. Buhunds are an overall healthy breed with few breed-specific health issues. It is not uncommon for them to live 14-plus years.
Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to work with a breeder in the UK for our recent litter. She allowed me the use of her handsome boy who has won BOB at Crufts three times and made the cut in the Pastoral Group in 2022. Being a rare breed, homes are not always readily available. The breed is very intelligent and the dogs’ love for life and smile is infectious. Although they are a lot of fun to train, they are not for everyone.
As an Exhibitor, can you comment on recent entries in your breed? Are majors available in your area? Does your breed often participate in Companion and Performance events? How can newcomers in your breed be encouraged to join the sport of dogs?
Kendra: In Florida, we generally have good entries, and majors are not that hard to come by. Of course, this can and does fluctuate. Border Collies are a versatile breed that tends to excel and be well-represented in companion and performance events. I believe by keeping the atmosphere friendly, open, and helpful, we can encourage newcomers to actively participate and stay within the sport. I think that our Border Collie community in Florida is very welcoming and encouraging.
Kelly: Buhunds are a rare breed, so entries are sometimes a struggle. There are no entries in the Southeast, but exhibitors in other regions have been able to build majors occasionally. Buhunds do very well in companion and performance events. They are athletic and very intelligent. They do best when they are engaged daily both mentally and physically. I require all of my puppies to be enrolled in puppy classes. Buhunds are so much fun to train that the classes often trigger a love for the sport of purebred dogs.
What are the biggest challenges facing the dog show community as a whole and how can we address them? And finally, what are some of the positive changes you’ve seen in your breed and in the dog show community as a whole over the past decade?
We believe that in the past decade there has been a greater emphasis on health testing. We have many more tools available to us and feel that the community, as a whole, has embraced this. The advancement, improvement, and availability of health testing allows us to do the best that we can to produce a healthier family of dogs.