Traci Mitchell is an AKC Breeder of Merit Bronze, who breeds Black and Tan Coonhounds and an occasional Smooth Fox Terrier. The name Carlin is Irish Gaelic, meaning Little Champion in honor of her first Smooth Fox Terrier.
She splits her time between southern California and southwest Iowa. She has lived in California all her life but purchased a ranch in Iowa four years ago.
AKC: How did you get started in breeding dogs?
Traci: I am a second-generation dog fancier; my mother had Basset Hounds and Black and Tan Coonhounds. My daughter (third-generation) grew up competing in junior showmanship and in the conformation ring, and now my grandchildren are starting to show in Pee Wee events.
AKC: What is the most important thing to know about Black and Tan Coonhounds?
Traci: Black and Tan Coonhounds are great family dogs; they love to lie on the couch. Health testing is very important, no matter where you get your puppy.
AKC: What is your favorite question to ask of potential puppy buyers?
Traci: What made you decide on the Black and Tan coonhound breed?
AKC: What are the main qualities you look for in potential owners?
Traci: Loving people that will give a puppy a great lifelong home.
AKC: What is the best advice you would give to novice breeders?
Traci: Do not breed for breeding’s sake. Have a plan and a vision of what you want to achieve. Breeding quality over quantity is best for any breeding program. Never let profit be your main goal.
AKC: Do your dogs participate in AKC sports?
Traci: My dogs participate in Conformation, Companion Events and Performance Events. They have earned lots of championships, Scent Work titles, FastCAT titles, and more.
AKC: What do you like best about breeding dogs?
Traci: The excitement of the next generation of beautiful dogs and their potential of being excellent family pets, show dogs and performance dogs.
AKC: Do you have a favorite breeding story?
Traci: Not really, but I am proud of McFly, a dog I co-bred. He won Best of Breed from the Veterans class (he is 8 ½ years old) at the 2022 American Black & Tan Coonhound Club National Specialty, as well as the Stud Dog class with two of his sons. During COVID, I introduced him to Scent Work, Barn Hunt, and FastCAT. He earned six titles that combined with his conformation championships earned him a place in the AB&TCC Versatility Hall of Fame. He is just the second dog in breed history to achieve this honor.