Interview with Douglas Huffman, Breeder of Broughcastl Pugs, by Allan Reznik.
Where did you grow up?
Douglas Huffman: I was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Then we moved to North Carolina. When I was a freshman in high school we moved to St. Louis, Missouri. I have been here ever since. I come from a long line of farmers. My great-grandfather, Amiel Heuer, moved from Hanover, Germany in the mid-1800s to Cape Girardeau, where he bought two sections of timberland to clear. He became the patriarch of a farming dynasty that continued through the years to 2020.
The original farm produced vegetable crops, fruit trees and kept enough livestock that it was completely self-sufficient. Of course, the farm needed horses for transportation as well as to work the fields. Amiel Heuer and his wife had two sons who worked some of the farm and one of them was, of course, my grandfather, August Heuer. August was a hardworking German farmer who also ran a grist mill and a threshing ring for wheat. His brother took a different route to success by becoming a bootlegger during prohibition. As the Heuer family grew and multiplied, many support businesses sprang up in and around Cape Girardeau. I spent my summers from early childhood through age 13 living on the farm.
Do you come from a doggy family? If not, how did the interest in breeding and showing purebred dogs begin?
Douglas Huffman: I didn’t come from a doggy family. Both sides of my family were farmers. They bred and raised farm animals. That was the basis of animal husbandry in my life. My godmother in Pugs, Mrs. Rolla Blaylock, started my interest in showing and breeding purebred dogs.
Who were your mentors in the sport? Please elaborate on their influence.
Douglas Huffman: My first Pug came from Mabel Blaylock. She had bred the top-winning Pug of all time in the late 1950s, Ch. Blaylock’s Mar Ma Duke.
As a teen, I started showing with Jane Fahey. Jane lived in Lees Summit, Missouri. I went to shows with her until she passed away. Her influence on type and quality taught me well. Jane was a prominent breeder and trainer of Pugs as well as Saddlebred horses. She schooled me on the
importance of type and quality in breeding. Her technique and presentation in the show ring were impeccable and a big influence on my career. One of Jane Fahey’s claims to fame was leading the Inaugural Parade for President Eisenhower on one of her Saddlebred horses.
Joan Alexander’s knowledge of structure was a basis for me to choose the right dogs. Joan gave me a more thorough knowledge of structure as form to function.
Professional handler Jack Funk taught me about show ring preparation and grooming. Jack was dedicated to excellent show ring preparation. I use what I learned from him to this day.
I learned from all the great handlers of the time—Jane Forsyth, Clint Harris, Edna Voyles, Emelyn Mangels—by watching and asking questions.
The Broughcastl Pugs are widely known, highly successful and well respected. What breeding philosophies do you adhere to?
I only breed from sound, health-tested individuals. I have been successful with linebreeding and outcrossing to families that are strong in traits that my breeding has lacked.
How many dogs do you currently house? Tell us about your facilities and how the dogs are maintained.
Douglas Huffman: I have five adults and seven puppies. All are born and raised in my kitchen. All my dogs have house and sofa time. I have two acres with five paddocks for them to exercise in. The adults all sleep and eat separately in the lower level of my house.
Who were/are some of your most significant Pugs, both in the whelping box and in the show ring?
That list includes:
- Ch. Bonjor Clark Kent, 8 BIS, 1 National Specialty (Show Producer)
- Ch. Broughcastl Barrister (Producer)
- Ch. Broughcastl Blaque Bombaway, 1 BIS (Show Producer)
- Ch. Broughcastl Blaque Blush, 12 BIS (Show)
- Ch. Broughcastl Bugatti, 30 BIS (Show)
- Ch. Blaque Canasta (Producer)
- Ch. Tupelo Showboat Tu China Tu, 42 BIS, National Specialty Winner (Show Producer)
- Ch. Broughcastl Barbarella (Producer)
- Ch. Fantasia Broughcastl Party Man (Producer)
- Ch. Sandcastl Simplistic, 18 BIS (Show)
- Ch. Sandcastl Sarpendon (Producer)
Each of the above dogs/bitches added good soundness and health to their offspring, or they would not have been included in my breeding program.
Please comment positively on your breed’s present condition and what trends might bear watching.
Douglas Huffman: Type has greatly improved. Sound rear movement is a concern of mine and bears watching. I have been called the “Keeper of the Face.” So many breeders forgive head faults. Not me.
The sport has changed greatly since you first began participating. What are your thoughts on the state of the fancy and the declining number of breeders? How do we encourage newcomers to join us and remain in the sport?
The amount of work it takes to raise dogs properly can be overwhelming to new breeders. Sharing information and experiences would better prepare them. The interest is there. Good mentoring is the key.
Where do you see your breeding program in the next decade or two?
Douglas Huffman: I hope to continue breeding sound, healthy, typey Pugs. Then pass my knowledge along to people I trust to carry on.
Finally, tell us a little about Doug outside of dogs…your profession, your hobbies.
Douglas Huffman: I was a Marketing major and Piano Performance minor in college.
My profession is Cosmetology and Makeup.
My Hobbies are the piano, showing American Saddlebred Horses, Hackney Ponies and, of course, dogs.
Are you looking for a Pug 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 Pug 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.
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