Interview with Crissy Brown-Stone, Breeder of Brownstone Miniature Bull Terriers
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Crissy Brown-Stone: My husband, Steve, and I live near Nashville, Tennessee. My husband got his first dog in 1999, which was a Miniature Bull Terrier named “Joxer.” I have been around dogs my entire life; field Beagles and working Border Collies. We have been breeding Miniature Bull Terriers for over 10 years.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Crissy Brown-Stone: Our kennel name is Brownstone—not very creative, but absolutely perfect. We have several retired dogs now that I lovingly refer to as “futons.” In addition, we have a few young dogs that will be starting their show careers.
Which breeders have provided the greatest influence on my decision to breed dogs?
Crissy Brown-Stone: First and foremost, Deb Guerrero of Cambria Miniature Bull Terriers has been behind me from “day one,” pushing me to learn and understand, and be better. Becky Poole of Rocky Top Bull Terriers and Franne Berez of Action Bull Terriers are two who unknowingly helped shape how I view dogs. Their dogs were always so prevalent at shows I attended early on, and that helped to sculpt the shape of dog that I see in my mind.
I truly wouldn’t be where I am today without the guidance of Bull Terrier breeder-judge Rosalind Clamper. We met and instantly became family. She helped import our foundation bitch, “Avi,” and has been co-breeder on every litter since. Roz is no longer with us, but I know she’s still guiding me in my decisions.
Can I talk a bit about my foundation dogs? How have they influenced my breeding program?
Crissy Brown-Stone: We imported a bitch from Australia from Shadbraye Kennels, and we are ever grateful to Bradley and Shaye Ralph for sending us Shadbraye Dare to Dazzle. Avi absolutely detested the show ring, but she made up in heaps in the whelping box.
She was bred to two different males, Ch. Omega’s Angelo Dundee and Ch. Manowar By Warbonnet; both litters produced numerous champions, specialty winners, and a Best in Show winner. Avi is a four-time Brood Bitch of the Year winner from the Miniature Bull Terrier Club of America.
What about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Crissy Brown-Stone: While some can whelp naturally, in my experience, a Mini Bull would rather keep her legs crossed than go into labor. All of my litters are elective c-section and every single Brownstone puppy was born into the hands of two different vets, Dr. Jean Lavalley and Doc. (Yes, just Doc.)
We run a tight schedule in the nursery, aka the guest bedroom, checking that calcium levels don’t drop and keeping everyone clustered in the laundry basket, with myself sleeping in the room with them. We rotate feedings and sleep schedules. Mom is not allowed free access to the litter.
Do I have a “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Crissy Brown-Stone: I have a habit of picking my puppy at birth. I’ve never faltered, and I’ve never been “wrong.” I look for that nice egg-shaped head, and ear set, when they’re still wet. However, deciding on who goes where is usually done between 6-8 weeks old.
How do I choose the homes for my puppies? Is puppy placement important to me as a breeder?
Crissy Brown-Stone: I strive to place puppies in the best environment to make them shine. Not all dogs need to shine in a show ring; sometimes shining is being with someone who’s lonely or with someone who loves to compete in obedience, and sometimes it’s to shine under the lights at Westminster. Placing puppies into homes where they will be respected as family members and treated as cherished friends is what my whole goal is as a breeder.
Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?
Crissy Brown-Stone: The old saying, “A Dog in a Clown Suit,” is as true today as it was years ago. Mini Bulls are clowns and they’re silly, and they test your every nerve. And I’m quite certain they aren’t happy until you’re fully embarrassed. However, a loose lead stack with a Mini that’s “on” is a sight to treasure.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Crissy Brown-Stone: Hearts are always something to watch out for in our breed. Mitral valve dysplasia, murmurs, and regurgitation are things that can happen in the breed. Testing for kidneys is also imperative. Thankfully, we now have DNA markers for PLL, LAD, and most recently, LP. Just like any breed, some suffer from protein allergies.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Crissy Brown-Stone: The breed has improved stylistically in the last ten years. Overall pictures of the dogs have improved. However, when trying to miniaturize anything, you run the risk of short upper arms, broken toplines, and choppy movement.
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Crissy Brown-Stone: I personally feel that homes with older children are better-suited because Minis don’t realize their own strength. Families that are active, like to go on hikes, will want to play fetch in the yard for long periods of time, and people who want a busy companion—these are the homes for a Mini Bull. Yes, they do like to cuddle and sit with “mom,” but they have energy and need to use it. Otherwise, they will eat your furniture.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Crissy Brown-Stone: Absolutely, we have numerous breeders who have been breeding for 20-plus years and, thankfully, they would answer any question from any person. In addition, we have young breeders entering who want to learn and then utilize the teachings to better their own breeding programs.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with my breed?
Crissy Brown-Stone: I was showing a young Mini Bull for a friend, and the dog was absolutely horrible on the table, trying to fold himself inside out. I looked at the judge and said, “You might as well come on, this is as good as it’s gonna get.” He won the major that day.
Are you looking for a Miniature Bull Terrier puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder? Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home a Miniature Bull Terrier dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
Miniature Bull Terrier Dog Breed Magazine
Read and learn more about the mischievous Miniature Bull Terrier dog breed with articles and information in our Miniature Bull Terrier Dog Breed Magazine.
Miniature Bull Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight