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Glenn, from Glennvine Rottweilers, answers our dog breeding questions!

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Published on
Sunday 19 April 2015
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
Glenn Holmes from Glennvine Rottweilers
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Glenn Holmes, the happy founder of Glennvine Rottweilers, is dedicated to breeding Rottweiler puppies with exceptionally healthy bloodlines and outstanding temperaments.

Glenn loves dogs so much that he even took several rescue dogs and is even currently working on a charity project, helping homeless people’s dogs to live better lives with their owners.

Glenn Holmes and a puppy rottweiler
Glenn Holmes, breeder and founder of Glennvine Rottweilers

Who are you Glenn, and what do you do?

Hi, my name is Glenn Holmes and I am the founder of Glennvine Rottweilers, which is based in Bristol in the South West of England.

We produce one litter of beautiful pedigree Rottweiler puppies every Spring.

What made you want to be a dog breeder in the first place?

My family has always been interested and involved in breeding pedigree dogs. I grew up in Melbourne, Australia surrounded by Dobermans, which are my family’s preferred breed.

I moved to the United Kingdom over twenty years ago, but waited until I settled in Bristol before starting Glennvine Rottweilers.

I decided to start Glennvine Rottweilers after acquiring a handsome King German Rottweiler called Sumo, who was bred in Northern Ireland. He was, and still is, the largest Rottweiler I have ever seen. He has the most amazing pedigree; filled with Irish and Northern Irish champions, and I felt that it was a necessity to find the right bitch to carry on his line. Sumo is above the average breed standards, at 29 inches to shoulder, and has a head like a bear with the softest temperament you could wish for, unless guarding is required!

Do you consider breeding as a hobby, a business or both?

I would definitely consider breeding as both a hobby and a business; my dogs earn their keep but at the end of the day they are my family, my pets and my friends before anything else. I love to have a house full of dogs and puppies and make sure that all our puppies and raised Rottweilers go to loving families and owners.

Is it your only source of income or do you have another job?

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I have other businesses and investments at the moment, which also take up my time, but I hope to have all my time concentrated on breeding, grooming, boarding and training dogs in the next five years.

I am in the process of setting up a charity aimed at helping dogs of the homeless, and currently offer free help and training for dogs with behavioral/socialisation problems.

I am also about to start a ‘meet and greet’ service for people with dog-related issues, offering them the opportunity to overcome their fear of canines through meeting gentle dogs in a calm, relaxed environment.

Why Rottweilers over any other breed?

My first two dogs in the United Kingdom were a fantastic Doberman/Rottweiler cross called Milo and a beautiful petite Rottweiler bitch called Lilly.

They were both rescues from a shelter in Northern Ireland and were very badly treated before being re-homed, and as I had grown up with Dobermans, I decided to take them on as they had been rescued together.

Lilly loved a cuddle and Milo was more affectionate than your average Doberman, which I put down to the cross-breeding, and when I acquired Sumo everything just seemed to fall into place. It’s great to have a large breed that craves affection that you can still wrestle on the floor with.

Cute rottweiler in a field!
How is such a beautiful dog a threat to anybody?

Rottweilers do scare some people off, is it easy to be a breed such a controversial breed?

Yes and no. I spend as much time as possible walking my five dogs in and around Bristol to try and change the opinions and perceptions that many people have of this much-misunderstood breed.

I have invested a lot of time and energy to make sure that they are well trained both individually and as a pack and are sociable when out with other people and dogs.

I believe there is no such thing as a problem breed, however there is no shortage of problem owners!

What are the biggest misconceptions other owners and breeders may have about Rotties?

Every large breed has had a stigma attached to it over the years. At the moment in the UK it’s Staffordshire Bull Terrier and in the US it’s Pit Bull Terriers and as responsible breeders we all need to get our dogs out into the public and re-assure people that the breed is not the problem.

Any medical conditions affecting Rottweilers that you would like other breeders and owners to be more attentive about?

Be mindful of hip problems and cancer, which have both become prolific in the breed as a consequence of over breeding.

What kind of exercise does a Rottweiler needs to stay in shape and mentally satisfied?

We usually do a 90 minute walk first thing in the morning, which is partial playing and partial training before coming home for breakfast.

The dogs are then left treat bones, puzzle balls and toys to keep them amused. They usually spend about six hours together before I get home and let them in, then we go out for an evening walk.

Rottweiler walking
Rotties love their morning walk!

What type of owners are you recommending Rotts to?

People who are looking for a large, loving and loyal family pet, who have experience of owning a dog and the responsibility that comes with it.

What improvements do you want to bring to the breed with your breeding programme?

I love the traditional type although I do breed both ‘new’ and ‘old’ types. New type Rottweilers seem to be more generic and I find are used for more security/personal protection work as they have the weight, look and drag needed for this line. I am passionate about breeding well-balanced, loyal and loving Rottweilers who are fit and healthy and enjoy life to the full.

As Rottweilers are traditionally herding/guarding dogs, I love to see them run and work the way they were meant to and hope to get my youngest Mia to Crufts level in agility and competition obedience over the next few years.

How many dogs did you start with and how did you choose them?

I started with two rescue dogs and ended up with five. I lost Lilly (one of my first two rescue dogs) two years ago, so decided to keep my pick of a litter, Mia, to do show and competition work with. She is the most amazing pup I have ever had; intelligent and quick to learn, with a desire to please.

I now have my Doberman/Rottweiler cross Milo, my Stud Sumo, my traditional Rottweiler bitch Maxi, my new type Rottweiler bitch Tyler and my bitch pup from Maxi and Sumo, Mia.

I chose Tyler from an internet sight at 14 months as she was the new shape I was looking for and I found Maxi at a show kennel at 9 months old, who is a gorgeous girl but wouldn’t show.

Did you start with puppies or adult Rotts?

I have always started with young adult/adult dogs as it gives you more of an idea of the type required for breeding.

How do you differentiate your Rottweilers from the other breeders out there promising quality dogs, too?

Our breeding dog and bitches at Glennvine Rottweilers are exceptional; with great pedigree, heath, size, markings and colour, and this ensures that every pup in our litters has all of their parent’s qualities.

Our puppies are also microchipped and fully vaccinated and do not leave us until they are a minimum of fourteen weeks old. This gives us the chance to start lead and basic command training, socialisation around other dogs and new environments and finish their toilet training. Our puppies grow up and spend time in a pack, which also teaches them pack order and manners, so that by the time they reach their new home they are respectful of their position in their new family.

Do you do anything special, on a daily or weekly basis, to give extra care to your dogs?

I spend time each day grooming them half way through their morning walk and try to get them out swimming three times a week in the Spring and Summer. Apart from that just the usual I suppose? Love, fun, time and exercise!

Puppy Rottweiler
I know, now you want one….

How do you control your expenses while breeding your dogs?

We’re fortunate that we don’t tend to have to worry too much about expenses, as breeding isn’t our sole source of income. Our breeding covers the costs of looking after our own pack, on a yearly basis.

How many litters per year are you having on average?

We usually have one litter each Spring/Summer but have decided to take this year off as we are looking to purchase a new property with extra land to cope with our ever growing business, pack and lifestyle.

What diet are your big pooches following?

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They have kibble as their main base food twice per day and then we add 120 grams of oily fish to their evening meal three times per week, 100 grams of pulled pork twice a week and either boiled chicken or wholegrain rice and vegetables for the other days.

They also eat all our raw vegetable peelings and have smoked pork shoulder bones on a daily basis.

What would you tell to those who say dog breeding should cease or become ultra-regulated as there are too many dogs in rescue/rehoming centres?

Unfortunately there will always be dogs in shelters and I believe that restricting Kennel Club registered breeders will not make a difference.

The Kennel Club have strict polices and regulations in place to ensure responsible breeding for pedigree dogs. I do, however, think that puppy mills/farms need to be identified and closed as they are not regulated and designer breeds need to be closely monitored.

I think it would help if all puppies (pedigree or not) were purchased with a birth certificate to show when and where they were bred. If this was in place and the public only purchased puppies from reputable breeders whose pups have a birth certificate, we could stop puppy farming and the cruelty associated with the poor conditions of over breeding.

Many shelters warn about breeding toward an extreme, such as an over-muscular Rottweiler, as it increases the risk of medical conditions – do you agree?

I think over breeding to obtain type in any species tends to be detrimental.

How did you find your first clients, through ads or otherwise?

We used Pets4Homes and Dogs & Puppies when we started. Both are free websites and are a successful advertising tool.

We have a professionally-designed and written website, which is kept up to date and includes photos of our pack and previous litters, as well as information on us and the breed. It performs well online and is optimised to ensure that potential owners can find it easily and quickly.

We also placed our litters on the Kennel Club website as we are registered and have found this to be beneficial but not as popular with families looking for pets.

What are your efforts put into in order to build a great reputation (besides the dogs)?

We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and a lasting relationship with Glennvine Rottweiler puppy owners.

I always keep in contact with my new puppy parents and receive updates and pictures from most. When a family takes one of my pups they become part of the extended Glennvine family and we’re always delighted to hear from new owners and have updates on how their pup is getting on.

Rottweiler lounging
Makes me want to lounge too…

Are you active on online communities and/or message boards?

We are active on social media, mainly Facebook and Twitter, and find that this works well in raising awareness of Glennvine Rottweilers and the breed.

How important is it for a breeder to have an online presence nowadays?

An online presence is extremely important; a well designed and written website that is easy to find and navigate, combined with a strong presence on social media and digital advertising are essential.

Are you more promoting your affix or rather the dog breed itself?

I love the breed, my pack and every gorgeous litter of pups that we have, therefore it’s a combination of both. After fourteen weeks of training and attachment it is always hard to let them go but they only go to the best homes and the best people.

My job in the grand scheme of things is to put perfect Rottweilers in perfect homes, nothing more and nothing less!

If you had to start afresh with another breed, which one would it be?

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Possibly Huskies or Malamutes. I love the snow and hope to retire there one day, and either of these breeds would thrive in that environment.

What has been your most memorable sale and client?

All our sales are memorable and all of our client’s details are kept confidential, but let’s just say that we ship our pups world wide and some of them have very desirable homes and owners!

Any advice you would give to newcomers in this industry, who perhaps would like to breed Rottweilers?

Buy young adult bitches between nine and sixteen months old as it gives you more of an idea of their coat, color, size and markings. Take time to get to know the breed and your own dogs before you start breeding, so that the dogs and pups receive the best and most appropriate care and you can give new owners helpful and relevant advice when they choose their pup.

Always check their pedigree to make sure there is no breeding too close to ancestry and always look for parents with low hip scores and no history of cancer.

Be prepared to invest time, money, and love and never breed for quick and easy money because it’s never easy!!!

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