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Laura Jane Stewart and her son, Noah Hines, are the owners of Three Oaks Farmdogs in Raleigh, North Carolina. They bought their first Danish-Swedish Farm Dog in December of 2017 and have raised two litters. Danish-Swedish Farmdogs are a rare breed and, though they are new to it, Laura Jane and Noah have had a great start.


AKC: How did you get started in breeding dogs?

Laura Jane: My cousin, Aimee Kincaid, has been an AKC Obedience and Rally judge for many years. She fell in love with the Danish-Swedish Farmdogs that she saw on her travels, judging across the country and tracked down Deb Norman, who sold her a puppy in 2017. As luck would have it, Deb’s farm is not that far from us, and Aimee learned that she had an extra pup for sale in a litter. She made it possible for me to purchase Tinsel (Quicksilver’s Extra Tinsel and Gilt). I have a background in animal breeding and minor in breed conservation from my prior career in the zoo business. Deb was looking for a potential owner who was interested in breeding because this is a rare breed. At the time I purchased Tinsel, there were fewer than 175 DSFs in the US.

At first Noah wasn’t planning on helping, but the thought of playing with a pack of Farmdog pups was just too good to pass up. He found the work to be worth the fun and learning.

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

Laura Jane: Even though they are small and outgoing, Danish-Swedish Farmdogs are still a working breed. They are the smallest working breed and were admitted to the Miscellaneous class in 2021. They need to work, and they need to train. They are smart, incredibly friendly and outgoing and need regular walks and exercise. It never gets old watching our two Farmdogs race to greet people.


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

Laura Jane: What are your goals for your pup? How will you keep your dog busy? What type of training will you pursue (I insist on positive reinforcement only)? Tell me about your home set up: do you have a yard, dog yard, dog park, etc.? Will you purchase pet insurance? Are you planning to breed your pet? Will you stay in touch with me on a regular basis (at least once a year for an adult dog)? Do you understand that if you decide that you no longer want this pet, that it must come back to me? Noah and I agree that finding good owners is a big job.


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

Laura Jane: I give preference to owners with prior experience with performance dogs. Farmdogs love to work and train. These dogs are so well rounded, it really doesn’t matter which sport. I encourage all my performance owners to show in conformation while their pups are too young to compete in the more athletic sports. This is for the pup’s benefit: they learn manners and are exposed to crowds and noise before their athletic competitions. It’s also good for breed recognition. I want more people to recognize and appreciate Danish-Swedish Farmdogs.

However, I am happy to send them home with families because they are such loving and happy dogs. I encourage my family owners to at least train their pups through their CGC (Canine Good Citizen) and Urban Good Citizen if they live in a city. Farmdogs have a lot of energy; most people that come looking for one are interested in a dog for sport. If potential buyers understand the attention and exercise needs, they are great family dogs.

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

Laura Jane: Your breeding plan starts long before your bitch goes into heat. Start talking to your breeder about your plans when you purchase your puppy. They may already have an idea which studs are out there and available to make a good breeding. As rare as our Farmdogs are in the US, once again, I was very lucky because my breeder knew of an appropriate stud in North Carolina! We visited his owners well before the breeding, so we had a plan in place once she went into heat.

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. I had two wonderful breeders to help me: Aimee Kincaid and Deb Norman. We were blessed to develop true friendships with these breeders, and with Stuart and Bob Richens (owners of the sire of our DSF litters). I used to own a veterinary hospital and I knew a lot about raising puppies. But raising performance animals takes breeding to another level. We also use a sensory diet through their entire time with us, from infancy all the way until they leave us. We perform ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation) with our puppies and feel that it makes a difference as they grow older, improving confidence and their reactions to new experiences and stimuli.

Remember you are in this for the long haul, not just the eight weeks you have the puppies! We keep track of all our pups for life and will take back any puppy at any time in its life; this is part of the Danish-Swedish Farm Dog Club’s code of ethics.


AKC: Do your dogs participate in AKC sports?

Laura Jane: I have had some big setbacks medically the past couple of years. Noah participates in Agility and Barn Hunt. I am not quite able. But eventually I plan to start back, first with Conformation, which is less challenging for me physically. Then we will start on the more athletic sports.


AKC: What do you like best about breeding dogs?

Laura Jane: Puppy Love! I am mesmerized by the puppies, and I love to see them change day by day. They are so helpless when they are born and when they leave us you know who they are! Noah loves seeing how their personalities start to become unique as they get older. No two of them are the same.

We also enjoy the friendships made with our puppy buyers. When I travel, I look to see which pups will be in the area! We work hard to keep up with our pups.


AKC: Do you have a favorite breeding story?

Laura Jane: There was a pup in our first litter we called Bob. Without a doubt he was our favorite. Every week we would say, “We are keeping Bob!” Then I would say, “But, I have a buyer for Bob!” We went back and forth. Well, we made the difficult decision to sell Bob. His new owner, Lisa Nelson Firing, trained him and at 6 months of age he won Best in Miscellaneous in Cincinnati! I couldn’t have been prouder. Lisa will take Bob (now Scout) much farther than I ever could in the AKC world. I am so proud of them both!