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Jolanta Schubert is at the beginning of her breeding journey. She has, however, been preparing and learning for years by interfacing with many breeders, completing vet tech training, becoming a dog trainer, and learning puppy raising skills. In 2022, Schubert, a resident of Lake Barrington, IL, became the first person in North America to naturally breed and whelp a litter of seven Bohemian Shepherds. This year, she welcomed a second litter of six puppies. Jolanta has worked tirelessly to have this breed started along the path of full recognition in the United States.

AKC: How did you get started in breeding dogs?

Jolanta: After losing our prior dog to an enlarged heart, I spent two years searching for healthy, intelligent dogs with unique traits. When I discovered this wonderful breed from the Czech Republic, I sent out more than a hundred emails to find a well-respected Czech breeder. In 2017, my husband and I brought two females back in the airplane cabin with us to the United States. I instantly fell in love with their temperament, agility  and athletic abilities. That is when my passion for bringing these brilliant dogs to North America started.


AKC: What is the most important thing to know about your breed?

Jolanta: Bohemian Shepherds are incredibly loving and loyal dogs with exceptional trainability, which makes them ideal as companions as well as working and service animals. Their inquisitive and positive attitude make them an absolute pleasure to train for even novice owners. They are, however, a working breed that requires daily routine and close contact with humans.

AKC: What is your favorite question to ask of potential puppy buyers?

Jolanta: The most important question I ask potential puppy buyers is what purpose they are looking to acquire the dog for. I choose buyers who understand that these dogs need to stay mentally and physically stimulated in order to live happy, healthy lives, whether as a family pet or a work/service animal.

AKC: What are the main qualities you look for in potential owners?

Jolanta: The main qualities I’m looking for in potential owners is willingness to dedicate quality resources to the well-being of their new companion – that includes diet, exercise, organized sporting events, veterinary care and perhaps most importantly, significant time and attention. Another aspect that’s really important to me is new owners staying in touch with me so not only I know how each puppy is growing up but so I can also offer training advice and answer any questions that might arise.

AKC: What is the best advice you would give to novice breeders?

Jolanta: The main advice I can give is do extensive research about the breed as well as the entire breeding, whelping and weaning processes so you can be well prepared. At the same time, do know that no amount of education will teach you more than actually experiencing the miracle of raising puppies firsthand. Do not be afraid and remember that nature knows best!

Be sure to have necessary medical equipment, resources, and emergency phone numbers on hand. You will need to actively control temperature, lighting, sound and make the whelping process comfortable. Be prepared to stay up 24 hours, sleep near the puppies the first few weeks, wake up every two hours to take care of the mother/puppies, and work 17-hour days. Plan for the expansion from a small whelping box to a larger pen and then to a larger fenced yard protected from predators as the puppies quickly mature. Proper high-quality nutrition is a top priority for the parents and puppies to achieve 100% survival.


AKC: Do your dogs participate in AKC sports? 

Jolanta: All my adult dogs participate in AKC sports – CAT, Fast CAT, scent work, agility, tracking and obedience. We all have a blast each time we go, whether we are learning or competing!

AKC: What do you like best about breeding dogs?

Jolanta: The aspect that amazes me the most and I find most fulfilling is getting to experience puppies’ transformation from the fragile little nuggets they are the day of birth to curious fluffy balls of joy ready to explore the world by the time they are ready to unite with their new families.


AKC: Do you have a favorite breeding story?

Jolanta: Nothing can replace the true joy and exhilaration of the first whimper from the first puppy from the first litter. I’m super grateful that most owners of the puppies from our first litter are active on the Facebook group I’ve created so we get to share and enjoy pictures of the dogs, celebrating birthdays and other big milestones together!