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Candy & Hannah Janke | Sleepy Creek Kennel

Candy & Hannah Janke, Breeders of Sleepy Creek Kennel


Interview with Candy & Hannah Janke, Breeders of Sleepy Creek Kennel

Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?

Hannah Janke: We live in New London, Wisconsin. We have been in Papillons for 18 years and German Shorthaired Pointers for 30 years. We’ve been breeding Papillons for 16 years.


What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?

Hannah Janke: Our kennel name is Sleepy Creek Kennel. We currently keep seven dogs between my mother, Candy, and myself.

Hannah Janke
Hannah Janke – Sleepy Creek Kennel


Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?

Hannah Janke: MACH 5 GCH Sleepy Creek’s Smooth Cruzin RN MXB2 PAD MJS2 PJD MXF T2B3 has been super successful in the Agility arena, competing and placing at the Primer Cup and the AKC Agility Championships for multiple years. He was also BOW and Best Bred-By at the 2015 Papillon National.


Which have been my most influential sires and dams?

“Sailor,” our foundation sire, GCH Ashlor’s Smooth Sailing UD RE AXJ AX CGC, was instrumental in getting our program started. He was not only a multiple Group winner and placer but also an exceptional companion dog, which he passed on to his get.

“Chloe,” our foundation dam, CH Sandel’s Duchess of Monarch UD RE AX AXJ, produced not only beautiful puppies but also puppies that are sound-minded, confident, and healthy.

Another influential sire, thanks to Dorthey Kralik, was CH Kra-Li-Mar Remember When. He brought in great Papillon qualities from a long-established and successful breeding program.


Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?

Hannah Janke: We are a home-based breeder. We believe our dogs should be raised with us as well as the other adult dogs in the house to help bring out those great, confident, outgoing personalities that are essential to the Papillon breed. Puppies are taught from an early age, by not only us but also by the adults in the home. We do a lot of free-shaping techniques to help make a well-rounded and willing puppy so that they can be successful not only in their new home but also in the ring, whether it be for Performance or Conformation.


What is my “process” for selecting Show Puppies? Performance Puppies?

Hannah Janke: First and foremost, we look at temperament, structure, balance, and movement when critiquing our puppies. Dogs need to have all of these to be successful in not only Conformation shows but also in Performance events. If a dog isn’t structurally sound it will not hold up in the performance world. Longevity is important and it starts with structure. At eight weeks old we do a total critique of each puppy to evaluate where they would best be suited. Puppies then go to their new homes between 12-14 weeks, already started on leash breaking, and potty and crate training.


How important are Breed Specialties to me? How important are Group Shows?

Hannah Janke: We feel both Breed Specialties and Group Shows are important because they usually have judges that are well educated in our breed. Judges are more apt to be looking at the “whole picture” of the dogs versus just the “generics” of the Breed Standard.


What are my priorities when it comes to breeding? What are the drawbacks?

Hannah Janke: Our priorities are to produce well-balanced, beautiful, healthy, and intelligent Papillons. We are very selective when it comes to placing our puppies as we put our hearts and souls into each litter. Our understanding as dog trainers pushes us to have well-socialized and open-minded puppies that excel in their new homes.


How would I define “conditioning” as it relates to my breed? How important is coat care?

Hannah Janke: Papillons are a very active breed that requires both physical and mental stimulation. Our own personal dogs have large fenced yards to run in every day as well as individual training time where we work on show training skills as well as Obedience and Agility training. This helps with not only keeping them muscled but also gives their minds what they need.

We believe dogs need to be dogs, running in the mud, brush, and grass. While this means more work for us to keep up their coats, it is well worth it. Coat care differs depending on gender. Females are typically a little easier to keep up than males. Genetics plays a big part when it comes to the Papillon coat. Being a newer program (16 years), getting that perfect silky coat with big ear fringe is sometimes a struggle—but that is what a breeder does; finding what works without losing everything else you have spent years developing.

Hannah Janke
Candy Janke – Sleepy Creek Kennel


Are there any health-related concerns in my breed? Any special nutritional needs?

Hannah Janke: Papillons are generally a healthy breed. PRA and NAD have come to light in recent years with the DNA testing, which has been great! Another is patella issues as with most Toy Breeds. Selectively breeding dogs for soundness is key for this. Well-balanced nutrition is very important with any dog. Over the years, we have found a mixture of kibble and raw foods works the best, at least for our dogs.


Do I think my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?

Hannah Janke: Papillons are a very well-represented breed. From coast to coast we have knowledgeable people working on keeping our breed healthy and preserving what we have.


Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?

Hannah Janke: Papillons can be great family dogs. The biggest issue, as with many Toy Breeds, is they are fragile, so families with very small children are not always the best-suited. They are very active, so they like to tag along on trips, hiking, camping, etc. As with everything, each dog has its own personality, so there are also some that prefer to just hang out on the couch.


What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?

Hannah Janke: The biggest misconception is that they are lap dogs. While some are willing to sit on your lap, that doesn’t mean they want to sit there for very long. As I have said before, most Papillons are active. They need things to keep them entertained or they will find a way to do it themselves. They are extremely intelligent! If you take a look at the top Performance Dogs, you will always find a Papillon in the top rankings.


If I could share a comment or two with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them?

Hannah Janke: When looking at the Papillon, look at the entire dog, not just their headpieces. A beautiful headpiece isn’t useful if it’s attached to a body that has bad legs. Balance is important.


Do I have any words of wisdom to pass along to newer breeders?

Hannah Janke: Decide what your long-term breeding goal is, then wait for the right dog to start your program with. Don’t just take the first one that comes along. We waited almost eight years before we got our girl Chloe.

As a new person, get to know the breeders and be present. Ask questions and show dedication. I am more willing to work with someone who shows they are serious without even having the dog yet than with someone who just bounces around, waiting for someone to sell them a dog.


For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Toy Dog?

Hannah Janke: In Obedience, I have had many times with dumbbell work when one of the dogs would go and get the dumbbell if it bounced out of the ring, by just simply going through the fence and coming right back in. In Conformation, I have a little girl who just loves to jump on the judge’s chair in the ring while waiting for her ribbon—with a smug look on her face. Cracks people up every time.