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Julie Lux | Deluxe Beagles

Julie Lux

Interview with Julie Lux, Breeder of Deluxe Beagles

Breeder Interview:  By Allan Reznik


Where did you grow up?

Julie Lux: Kansas City, Missouri.

Do you come from a doggie family? If not, how did your interest in breeding and showing purebred dogs begin?

Julie Lux: My parents were not doggie at all. I did not have a dog growing up. I joke that my mother barely allowed my father and me in the house for fear of getting it dirty, so no dogs. Ironically, when Ron and I got our first house and then two black Labradors, my mother loved them and called them her “granddogs.”

The closest I had to a dog as a kid was my Aunt Julia’s Boston Terrier, Junior. He was the world’s most patient dog and I loved him. I still have a framed picture of Junior on my dresser.

Ron and I do not have children and we were looking for something we could do with our dogs. We had a pet Dalmatian that we took to Obedience class. A number of people in our class also competed, so we went to the dog shows to watch them. While at shows, we wandered over to the Dal ring, we met breeders, one thing led to another, and we got Gucci, CH Deluxe High Fashion Dots. We finished Gucci in three months with three majors, and we were hooked!

Beagles came along when I decided I wanted to judge someday and knew I didn’t want to breed Dals because of the big litters—Gucci was one of ten. I gave Ron two Breed Standards, for the Beagle and the Boston. Since he was already showing American Foxhounds by then, when he read “miniature Foxhound” he held up the Beagle Standard and said, “Let’s get these!” Words he has lived to regret. (Not really.)

Julie Lux
Gucci and his handler

Who were your mentors in the sport? Please comment on their influence.

Julie Lux: I have been very fortunate to have benefited from the expertise of many people. Kay Phillips and the Millers were wonderful mentors in American Foxhounds. Peggy and John Shaw in Beagles were kind enough to share their significant knowledge, especially when we started breeding. A number of judges were also very generous with their guidance and helped me improve my breeding program over the years.

When it comes to showing Beagles, I owe a big thanks to Phyllis Wright and her special style of tough love. Phyllis always tells it like it is and I’ve learned so much from her—and I’m still learning. I’d say I still learn something at each dog show, and I am very grateful to everyone who is kind enough to take the time to stop and help me continue to grow and improve. I hope I’ve been helpful to a few people along the way, too.

The Deluxe Beagles are widely known, highly successful and well respected. What breeding philosophies do you adhere to?

Julie Lux: Thank you for those kind comments. While pedigrees are important and I do review and study them, I tend to breed more with my eyes. What does this dog have that I want to incorporate into my breeding program? How do this bitch and this dog complement one another? I don’t believe you can “fix” a problem with breeding, but you can strive to preserve and enhance positive qualities. I also believe in health testing as prescribed by the National Beagle Club.

How many dogs do you typically house? Tell us about your current facilities and how the dogs are maintained.

Julie Lux: I will answer that question with my husband’s stock answer: “Too many!” We have been very fortunate that most of our Beagles have been very long-lived, so there are always a few geriatrics around. Right now, Basil, GCHS Vinla’s Right Recipe For Deluxe, is the senior dog at 15-plus years of age, and the Drew/Tami (GCHG Deluxe Return On Investment x CH Swan Lake Woodstone Special Time) puppies are the “babies” that just turned two in December.

Julie Lux

We have a big room off our kitchen where everyone has a crate to sleep and eat in, except for Basil and Tami who are in the TV room. Then there is the bed dog of the day—and let me tell you, they know when it’s their turn! We have two areas for running and playing, a smaller yard that is fully fenced with a 6-foot privacy fence, and a huge backyard that we just expanded and replaced with new 6-foot black chain link. We live on 10 acres, which is especially good around feeding time when the decibel level at my house increases significantly. Fortunately, it only lasts until everyone has their food dish.

Julie Lux

Please comment positively on the present condition of your breed, and what trends might bear watching.

Julie Lux: I am encouraged by the overall quality of Beagles I’ve seen in recent years. Because it was something I had to work to improve in my own program, I prize a long length of rib cage and a short loin. The “General Appearance” section of the Beagle Standard reads, “A miniature Foxhound, solid and big for his inches, with the wear-and-tear look of the hound that can last in the chase and follow his quarry to the death.” Anyone who has watched me judge can see this is important to me.

The sport has changed greatly since you first began. What are your thoughts on the current state of the fancy, and the declining number of breeders? How do we encourage newcomers to join us and remain in the sport?

Julie Lux: I believe life tends to be cyclical and there will always be people who value the purpose-bred dog. As clubs that put on shows, whether all-breed or breed-specific, we need to continue to support the Bred-by-Exhibitor classes. I’m not sure there is a more satisfying accomplishment in dogs than finishing one you’ve bred, and doing it from the Bred-by class. I’m very happy that AKC recognizes this achievement with a medallion. As breeders, it is very satisfying to mentor a person you help to start out in a breed—often, with one of your own puppies—and see them realize success. While not all mentoring situations turn out well, I think most people are grateful for the guidance from experienced breeders who share their knowledge. I know I am.

I also hope that the new popular sports like Barn Hunt and Scent Work will result in new people getting into showing, and maybe even breeding. Think of all the people who started by going to an Obedience Trial, and eventually ended up in the Conformation ring, and ultimately, the whelping box. It is our responsibility as the “veterans” of the sport to be welcoming and encouraging to these new people.

Julie Lux
Drew and Julie

Where do you see your breeding program in the next decade or two?

Julie Lux: I’ll be grateful to still be doing this for “the next decade or two!” I have an idea for one more breeding. It remains to be seen if I have the energy to do it!

Finally, tell us a little about Julie outside of dogs… your occupation, your hobbies.

As I always say, I work to support my habit, which, of course, is dogs. However, I genuinely enjoy my work in pharmaceutical public relations. It gives me the opportunity to use my mind, be creative, and work with a wonderful group of people at Jeff Winton Associates. As with the dogs, I continue to learn new things every day. I hosted a morning talk show in Kansas City “back in the day,” and working in pharmaceutical PR continues to give me the opportunity to meet interesting people, which I love.

Does shopping count as a hobby? (Big Smile.) I love to read and, like finding an outstanding new dog when judging, finding a fabulous new book continues to be exciting. Ron and I also enjoy live theater productions and college basketball. Rock Chalk Jayhawks!

Julie Lux