Jan Anderson didn’t catch the name of the man on the other end of the phone. He asked all the usual questions about her British Labradors, and explained that a friend recommended her superior-bred dogs. A few clues emerged throughout the conversation – he lived near D.C., his wife’s name was Lynne – but it wasn’t until after Jan politely informed the caller there was a long waiting list to purchase a puppy that she realized who it was. The Vice President of the United States.
You know you’ve arrived as a self-owned and operated dog breeder in Wisconsin when Dick Cheney calls your cell to order a puppy. Such is life for Jan and Dennis Anderson. Far removed from the bustle of White House politics, the couple owns 14-acres of land tucked along the St. Croix River valley, just down the road from the Boy Scout camp. And from the old farm come some of the best-mannered dogs in the hunting world.
Hence a phone order from the Vice President. “I was on vacation in the Black Hills, riding horses with limited cell phone access when I got the call,” Jan recalls. “When he asked how soon he could get a dog, I just said, ‘Well, we’ll have to see.’ Then I realized who it was, and all of a sudden I’m off my horse, saluting the phone.”
Who knew breeding hunting dogs would connect you with such powerful people? The Anderson tale is an anomaly, of course, due in large part to each person’s unusual obsession with superior dog breeding and incredible attention to detail. The genetics of the dog must be flawless. The health history, impeccable.
What else does it take to grow an operation like this with your husband – an operation that produces an average of 80 puppies per year with people waiting half a year for a chance to buy?
In Jan’s opinion, the key to an excellent dog is:
1) Health: The dog must be 100 percent free of any genetic defects, 100 percent guaranteed.
2) Temperament: The dog should be extremely biddable and easily trainable.
3) Instinct: Keen instinct in the field for a variety of hunting.
4) Intelligence: Sometimes you wonder if these dogs are smarter than you.
For more information on Jan and Dennis Anderson’s dog breeding and extensive dog training tips, visit www.britishlabradors.com.