Interview with Hound Group Breeder Jill Bregy – Wildisle Reg. Irish Wolfhounds
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Jill Bregy: I live in Weston, Connecticut, and bought my first Irish Wolfhound in 1966. She became the seventh IW to receive a CDX. That became the start of my interest in obedience work. I ran obedience classes for many years as well as handling classes.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Jill Bregy: My kennel name is Wildisle, reg., and it is registered with the AKC.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Jill Bregy: Noteworthy winners are Ch. Wildisle Warlock, winner of 13 Specialties and 4x winner of the IWCA. There are a number of other good dogs as well, such as Ch. Wildisle Lionheart, Ch. Wildisle Stargazer, and Star Wars.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Jill Bregy: My second Wolfhound was Ch. Fleetwind Clidna of Wildisle who was bred to Ch. Edgecliff Piper of Cu to produce Ch. Wildisle Wizard of Id, who in turn sired Ch. Wildisle Warlock—a multiple Specialty winner. I would say, “Warlock” was a very influential sire along with his sire, “Wizard.” In addition, Ch. Mistimourne Wildisle Mirage, also line-bred from close lines to these dogs, produced Warlock.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Jill Bregy: My puppies are whelped in my kitchen and live in the house until they are older. I have a great barn facility with indoor/outdoor runs, but puppies are best when they have close contact with the owner. Also, the senior dogs live in the house, and the other dogs are rotated in and out of the house during the day. No kennel dogs here!
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Jill Bregy: As to selecting puppies, looking at them from birth onwards gives you a good perspective of what they will be. Structure and gait do not change!
How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation?
Jill Bregy: This is a breed that is hand-stripped—you continue to pull out the older coat as a new coat comes in. This develops the best coat.
Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?
Jill Bregy: I think the breed is presented well in the ring. Handling and grooming have improved over the years.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Jill Bregy: As to health, heart issues have been a problem; however, most responsible breeders are doing heart testing. Eye testing is important too, also hip and elbow x-rays.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Jill Bregy: I believe the breed to be in good condition, with more responsible breeders.
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Jill Bregy: The breed is a great family dog. Generally, they are very easy to live with and they love being with you. Your yard must be fenced so that they can go in and out from the house.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Jill Bregy: As to “preservation” breeders, we can always have more. Only breed when you need to continue with your line—not to sell puppies. Education by the clubs is key to developing good breeders. Responsible placement of puppies, with restrictions on breeding, is vital along with co-ownerships.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Hound?
Jill Bregy: You’ve asked for an amusing thing, and that would be me being in the side yard, having left Warlock in the fenced yard area, and then having him appear next to me after he observed me open the gate. For this, he had to use a combination of his nose (to move the lock) and his lower jaw (to lift the latch). Scary… but luckily, he just trotted over to me and stood there looking very pleased with himself!