Interview with Mary Schroeder and Iva Oran, Breeders of Fleetfire and Noveheart French Bulldogs
Where do we live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Mary Schroeder lives in Littleton, Colorado, and Iva Oran lives in Broomfield, Colorado. Mary has been a breeder for over 50 years and Iva has been a breeder for 13 years. Mary is a breeder of Merit, AKC Judge and Mentor. I am thankful to Mary for being my mentor and co-owner.
What is our kennel name? How many dogs do we currently keep?
Iva Oran: Fleetfire and Noveheart are our kennel names. Back in the 1990s, Mary had her kennel name, MARIANETTE Frenchies, a beautiful line that shouldn’t be forgotten. We have eight dogs. (Three are our oldies.)
Which show dogs from the past have been our noteworthy winners?
Throughout the years there have been some great show dogs, including:
- CH Amron Absolut Tin Man,
- CH Tsinling’s Naughty by Nature, CH Fleetfire Wizard of Ahhs,
- CH Fleetfire Tank Merry Mischief,
- CH Novaheart One in a Million Clara,
- CH Starlit Mesa Flaco Heart,
- CH Novaheart Fab Bombshell Hedy Bertha,
- GCHB Fleetfire Novaheart Loki Of Mischief (currently being shown by Alvin Lee Jr and Shari Lee).
Which have been our most influential sires and dams?
Fleetfire Iron Man goes back to some very influential French Bulldog lines that helped shape the breed: Cox’s, Sonlit, Jaguar’s, Jimmy Lee’s, Twin Lake, and Bandog. Fleetfire Iron Man was studded very limited.
Ch. Amron Absolut Tin Man, father of Fleetfire Wizard of Ahhs, who went back to great dogs of the past: Cox’s, Jaguars, Citadel. and Adam’s.
CH Starlit Mesa Falco Heart comes from a line-bred pedigree that goes back to Smokey Valley, Twin Lakes, and Daystar. He is the sire of “Clara.”
GCHB Fleetfire Novaheart Loki of Mischief is a breeding out of Iron Man and Clara Heart. “Loki” has many great traits of the French Bulldog; roach topline, square head, cobby, bat ears, and beautiful silhouette, and he has the correct four-track gait with reach and drive. Loki has produced three beautiful pups.
CH Novaheart One in Million was an outstanding bitch and made herself known in the show ring. Clara is the mother of Loki. Novaheart Garden of Eden is the mother of Clara. Even though “Eden” didn’t like to show, she was a great producer and passed all her health testing.
CH Novaheart Fab Bombshell Hedy Bertha has many great traits of the French Bulldog; roach topline, cobby, bat ears, and beautiful silhouette, and she has the correct four-track gait with reach and drive.
“Hedy” has produced three beautiful pups with Loki. Manilee Raisin Can Flarepath was Mary’s first bitch. This was a moment when Mary was able to reach out to Hercel & Doris Cox and breed “Raisin” to CH Cox’s Goodtime Charlie Brown.
Can we talk a bit about our facilities? Where are our puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Iva Oran: French Bulldogs do have to be whelped by C-section, so timing is crucial for the date of delivery. Our vet works closely with us. Our pups are raised at home in a whelping box lined with vet fleece, heating pad, and lots of care and love. Our French Bulldog moms have been amazing with caring for their pups. We put a lot of time and care into making sure our French Bulldogs are fed well, socialized, up to date with vaccines, and microchipped.
What is our “process” for selecting show puppies? Performance puppies?
Iva Oran: Mary and I hold onto our pups for 16 weeks—even six months. We look for bone, substance, topline, square head, square front, cobby, movement, and a showy personality. When we need help choosing a show prospect, we can rely on some good friends/breeders who have been in the breed for a while; Sheree Leger with ByDezyne French Bulldogs, Kim Thomas from Concord, Carolea Hawkins from Sonlit, Sandy Fox with Fox Cayon’s, and Cretia Ridderikhoff with Mon Ange.
At what age do we place puppies in show homes? In Performance homes?
Iva Oran: We wait until about 16 weeks to place our puppies. If there are show prospects, we co-own and watch to see how the pups turn out.
Does our breed require any special preparation for competing in Conformance or Performance Events?
Iva Oran: Preparation includes learning the Breed Standard, and going to Conformation classes.
Do we compete in Performance Events? If not, do these competitive arenas interest us?
Iva Oran: No, we do not compete in Performance events. The French Bulldog is a Non-Sporting breed, and can be quite lazy.
In our opinion, is our breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Iva Oran: The French Bulldog can have some health issues, so by finding a good breeder you can have a dog in good condition. With the popularity growing with French Bulldogs, it’s not difficult to find a reputable and responsible breeder. It’s staying away from the fad-color breeders.
Are there any health-related concerns within our breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Iva Oran: French Bulldogs can be prone to having spine, hip, and breathing issues. We have not had any French Bulldogs that have had special food needs.
Is our breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own our breed?
Iva Oran: French Bulldogs were bred to be companion dogs. They are amazing family dogs, indeed.
The best candidates? Interesting question. Everyone! French Bulldogs are a loveable-goofy dog. You just fall in love with the French Bulldog breed.
Is our breed a good choice as a Performance competitor? If so, in which events?
Iva Oran: Probably not, but you never know.
What is the biggest misconception about our breed? What is our breed’s best-kept secret?
Iva Oran: People say that French Bulldogs can’t hike. If you know your French Bulldog’s limits, some can hike. The best-kept secret is that with French Bulldogs, you can’t have just one.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing we’ve ever experienced with a Non-Sporting Dog?
Iva Oran: Oh gosh, I would say how goofy the French Bulldog can be. In the ring, it’s amusing just watching the sweet-goofy expressions.
If we could share one suggestion with judges of our breed, what would we like to say to them about our breed?
Iva Oran: Look at the overall structure of the French Bulldog. Don’t just focus on the head. Look for movement, topline, bone, and substance. It’s about finding a balanced dog that meets the Breed Standard.
Are you looking for a French Bulldog 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 French Bulldog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
French Bulldog Breed Magazine
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