Growing up in Michigan, Cindy followed her grandmother around whelping and caring for several different kinds of babies – puppies, kittens, peeps, and various other farm animals. The retired nurse studied canine genetics at Michigan State University and says she inherited her love for breeding and training from her family.
Hartman now lives in South Carolina. She has been breeding Aahroo Basset Fauve de Bretagnes since 2001, when she went to France and brought back her first pair of Fauve puppies.
AKC: How did you get started in breeding dogs?
Cindy: In 2001, I visited France with the intent of bringing French hounds to the United States. After a month of visiting kennels and following dogs in the field, I knew the Basset Fauve de Bretagne was the breed for me. I was aided in the selection of a pair of Basset Fauve puppies by the president of the French Fauve club. I’ve returned to France numerous times and had the privilege of shadowing judges at the World Dog Show and several international breeding expositions.
AKC: What is the most important thing to know about the Basset Fauve de Bretagne?
Cindy: Fauves are happy, healthy, versatile little scent hounds. They are also wicked smart and very clever. A fun fact – when a Fauve scents on a rabbit, they make the sound “Aahroooo!” This is what inspired me to name my kennel Aahroo Kennel.
AKC: What is your favorite question to ask of potential puppy buyers?
Cindy: What do you plan on doing with your puppy?
AKC: What are the main qualities you look for in potential owners?
Cindy: First and foremost, I look for families who will bring their puppies into their homes not as dogs but as additional family members. I’m looking for people who are going to integrate the puppy into every aspect of their lifestyle, service as well as pleasure. I have placed puppies into homes where they have been trained for medical alert, search and rescue, working blood trailing, and service dogs.
AKC: What is the best advice you would give to novice breeders?
Cindy: Find a mentor. Your mentor should be knowledgeable and honest about your breed – willing to tell you the good, bad, and the ugly about this breed.
AKC: Do your dogs participate in AKC sports?
Cindy: Yes. Fauves enjoy all dog sport activities, including conformation, obedience/rally, agility, barn hunt, scent work, tracking, and tricks.
AKC: What do you like best about breeding dogs?
Cindy: Watching puppies grow and develop, then evaluating each one so that when placed into a forever home, it’s a good match for the family as well as the dog.
AKC: Do you have a favorite breeding story?
Cindy: Talking with my son and him saying, “I don’t want to hear about dog sex anymore!”