Interview with Hound Group Breeder Lynne Lozano – Iron Gate Hounds
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Lynne Lozano: I currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia. (Well, the suburbs; Powder Springs, to be exact.) I’ve been breeding for 22 years and showing for 25 years. I’ve been in dogs my whole life; essentially 45 years.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Lynne Lozano: My kennel name is Iron Gate. I currently have 10 Scottish Deerhounds on the property, but co-own others that aren’t here full-time.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Lynne Lozano: I have the 2018 BISS Scottish Deerhound and the 2018 BOB winner at Westminster, GCHB Erpingham Benvolio, aka “Ben” (an import from England). His children, GCHG Iron Gate Battle of Stirling Bridge and GCHS Iron Gate Battle of Roslin, made recorded Westminster history by being the first invited littermates to sweep BOB and BOS. “Stirling” is also the first-ever GCH GOLD male in the history of the AKC. They are Group-winning and placing, and “Roslin” is the No. 2 Lifetime NOHS Scottish Deerhound with over 12 OH BIS.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Lynne Lozano: Without a doubt, GCHB Eringham Benvolio is my most influential sire. Ben’s children and grandchildren are setting records, and he brings back a strong traditional stamp to the breed.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Lynne Lozano: That’s an easy one. Our facility is our home. We are fortune to be in a substantial home on land with two additional outbuildings. All of our dogs live in the house with the family and share their home with many other species as well. All of our puppies are whelped here in our office (or at the vet’s if a c-section is called for). We have two additional staff who come in during the first 10 days after they are born. Deerhounds are so tiny in comparison to their dams that they can NEVER be left alone, even for a moment, during those crucial days. We work and sleep in shifts, and I’m quite fortunate to have a retired NICU nurse who is here around the clock with us during those early days.
I have been a trainer for many years. I apprenticed under a former Marine and police officer. As such, we employ the Super Puppy routine which is a battery of vestibular/desensitization exercises that start on day one and continue until they leave here at 12 weeks. They are raised in the house with LOTS of other animals (cats, reptiles, pigs, birds, etc.) and kids, and they spend a lot of time with the older dogs in the house. They learn how to ride in a car, walk on a lead, and become a respectful pack member.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Lynne Lozano: After these many years, I certainly have a formula. I have an evaluation sheet with a scoring system that I use during every puppy party, where other breeders are invited to attend (and many actually attend “virtually”) as we stack and evaluate them. I do this at 8 weeks without fail, as I’ve found that this is my most promising age for foresight. Given the rarity of my breed and the LONG process to maturation, I rarely exclude any puppy from being show-worthy at this time. However, I do rank those that I believe have the most promise, much of which comes down to temperament and presence.
How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation?
Lynne Lozano: I start my puppies in the 4-6 Month Puppy ring ASAP. I believe that early exposure and consistency at shows is what sets the dog up for greater success in the future. Many Deerhound owners wait for the dogs to grow and mature, but I feel like this makes the introduction to the sights and sounds of the show world very overwhelming and stressful. I want my puppies to arrive at a show and know that they are gonna be spoiled with pets and treats and love every minute of it. Other than some light grooming and learning how to behave in the ring and in the stack, Deerhounds tend to be eager to please.
Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?
Lynne Lozano: Scottish Deerhounds have normally been mostly owner-handled, but there has been a move toward professional handlers as of late. As our breed is a rare one and is usually picked up by judges as “the Balance of the Hound Group,” familiar faces tend to lend weight to the dogs they are handling.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Lynne Lozano: Scottish Deerhounds are healthier than many of their “cousins,” but DCM and osteosarcoma are still insidious in the breed. Nutritionally, they need a good balance of fat and protein when growing but tend to be easy keepers as adults. NO GRAIN-FREE foods, as DCM is a concern.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Lynne Lozano: Our breed continues to lose ground. A lack of breeders and the difficulty getting Deerhounds bred, as well as bringing in new people, all contribute.
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Lynne Lozano: They are incredible family dogs; they are well-suited for ALL ages. Many Deerhound owners are in their 90s, and I have several in homes with toddlers as well.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Lynne Lozano: Unfortunately, there are only a handful of breeders on the planet, and some have moved away from the Standard and are breeding a different-looking Deerhound with little coat and a much sharper head.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Hound?
Lynne Lozano: I could fill several pages with Hound antics, but one that stands out happened several years ago when my boy was Winners Dog and we were in the back of the field where 30-plus Specials were packed in. The judge was picking BOB and he points back in my general direction. I immediately look behind me and all around me, never dreaming he was pointing at me. Well, the dog knew we had won and was jumping up and down behind me, super excited, when I finally realized we had, in fact, just won the breed from the classes. The whole scene was actually captured on video, so it remains fresh after all these years.
Hound Group Breeder Lynne Lozano – Iron Gate Hounds