AKC Breeders of Merit Brenda and Neil Brody have been involved with Afghan Hounds for more than 46 years — since before they were married. In fact, they met because of Brenda’s pet Afghan Hound Disraeli. In 1970, she was walking him on East 65th Street in New York City, and Neil was walking with a friend in the opposite direction. When they passed each other, Neil commented on Disraeli, and “young and naïve” Brenda responded.
Today, they are still actively breeding and showing Afghan Hounds in The Woodlands, Texas. Moving out of New York City and always living with Afghan Hounds were Brenda’s two conditions for marriage. Neil never imagined it would go to the extent it has and neither has ever regretted their decision.
Neil and Brenda have been involved in several clubs, but mainly the Afghan Hound Club of America where Brenda served as president, vice president, recording secretary, board member, and national specialty show chairman.
AKC: How did you get started in breeding dogs?
Brenda: Because Disraeli, our first Afghan Hound had hip dysplasia, we knew that we wanted to breed as healthy a dog as possible. In the 1970s we bought our first “show–quality” Afghan Hounds from the long–time breeder of Akaba Afghan Hounds, who helped us get started. In fact, all our dogs go back to that first Akaba male and Akaba female, who was our first conformation champion and produced our first home–bred champion. Over the years we’ve learned that when you do something long enough, you get to experience everything: the good and the bad.
AKC: What is the most important thing to know about Afghan Hounds?
Brenda: There are several things about Afghan Hounds that one must know. They are clowns; they love to run; their hair requires maintenance; they can be trained as they are not stupid; they are wonderful to live with; and it’s hard to have just one. They love their families, but they also maintain an air of arrogance and aloofness to strangers. Their owners need to be disciplined because of these dogs’ need for exercise and grooming. Since they are such a beautiful breed they attract people, some of whom want an ornament, which they are not. They are beautiful, functioning athletes.
Afghan Hounds are hunters who see game at a distance and want to catch it. Consequently, they love to run and are fast. That instinct never leaves them. And they also grow hair, lots of hair, which must be maintained. In addition, Afghan Hounds have a very independent nature; they love to do what they want to do when they want to do it.
AKC: How has AKC Marketplace helped you find puppy buyers?
Brenda: The AKC Marketplace has brought us inquiries from people who want healthy dogs to add to their family and recognize this is the most comprehensive place to find this type of breeder. We always stay in touch with people who get our dogs and will always throughout the life of the dog take it back should the situation arise for any reason. These inquiries give us the opportunity to help those who might know nothing about Afghan Hounds get a glimpse of what life is like with them.
AKC: What is your favorite question to ask of potential puppy buyers?
Brenda: There cannot be just one question. Several questions include:
- What has your experience previously been with Afghan Hounds?
- Do you want a dog that always will come when you call it?
- Do you have a fenced yard?
- Are you willing to spend time grooming or taking the dog for grooming?
- Do you care if the dog just sits and looks at you but doesn’t stay by your side?
AKC: What are the main qualities you look for in potential owners?
Brenda: We seek people who appreciate the beauty and athleticism of an Afghan Hound but also realize that they are living creatures that need to become members of the family. We encourage new Afghan Hound owners to step into the show, Rally, or agility rings – or lure coursing field – for the bonus of what it adds. These further levels of activity give so much satisfaction.
AKC: What is the best advice you would give to novice breeders?
Brenda: We always encourage novices to be honest with their dogs, to really see and evaluate them and determine whether they should reproduce. The newer owner/breeders will learn much by attending and participating at local all-breed and breed specific clubs plus meeting and learning from the older more established breeder/owners. And if they participate in the different events they will further meet more people who share a common interest and knowledge.
If their answer is yes to breeding, the next hurdle is the health testing for hips, eyes, and thyroid. We have added heart testing for our own dogs although the parent club just requests the first three. Then follows the finding of a complementary mate that is also health tested clear.
Afghan Hounds are a relatively healthy breed, but hip dysplasia comes from multiple recessive genes, and it can rear its ugly head even with generations of clear offspring. And you can never tell unless hip x-rays are done; great movement is no guarantee.
Always be ready to be surprised.
AKC: Do your dogs participate in AKC sports?
Brenda: Yes, we currently participate in conformation dog show events and always encourage our puppy owners to compete in events. Lure coursing simulates the hunt, and it is great to see them doing what they were bred for.
We have been active in several areas of competition with our dogs, including lure coursing and obedience trials. But the most time has been spent in the conformation ring where we have bred group winners, specialty winners, and many champions.
AKC: What do you like best about breeding dogs?
Brenda: We do not breed often. When we want to continue to the next generation, we start the process of determining which to breed. Health testing is always done at two years of age even if our dogs are not being bred as we always want to make sure of what is occurring and because you cannot tell about hips without x-rays. Testing is required at age two for certification. Our dogs are never bred until after they are two and have attained their conformation title.
AKC: Do you have a favorite breeding story?
Brenda: There are too many stories. My favorite thing about breeding is that when we sell a puppy, we usually gain a friend. We have maintained relationships with people all over the USA and Europe that started when they purchased puppies from us and have continued to well past the life of their puppy. I always look forward to finding out who will be next. It is quite fascinating to discover all the many people who also develop and share a love of Afghan Hounds.
Check out Brenda’s AKC Marketplace page here to learn more about her puppies.