In 1982, I acquired my first Rottweiler, Michener’s Michael CD, Certified Police Service Dog (“Mick”) and established Nighthawk Rottweilers. While Mick met all of my hopes and expectations, his hips unfortunately did not, and I was introduced to the harsh realities of the breed.
I neutered Mick and proceeded to purchase 7-week old CH Einmin Lanneret v Rottdan CD, AD, Therapy Dog TDI, Police Service Dog Mountain View Police Department, MRC Honor Roll (“Hawk”). This dog, Hawk, later became the basis for the kennel name “Nighthawk Rottweilers.”
Two years later, I purchased my two foundation bitches CH Pandemonium’s Knockout ARC Producer of Merit and Can CH Char-win’s Cassandra TT, ARC Silver Dam, MRC Honor Roll, from Valerie Cade of Pandemonium Rottweilers, a person I respect and admire greatly. With these two bitches and Hawk, I have been able to go on and produce what has eventually become one of the top producing conformation and working breeding programs on the West Coast.
To date, Nighthawk Rottweilers has only bred a limited number of litters, most of the litters have been co-breedings with other people, and we have been blessed with enormous success. In conformation, Nighthawk Rottweilers has produced or our stud dogs have produced winners at the Westminster Kennel Club, Eukanuba Classic Invitational, IFR, American Rottweiler Club Nationals and Regionals, Colonial Rottweiler Club, Golden State Rottweiler Club, Associated Rottweiler Fanciers of Northern California, Hoosier Rottweiler Club, Kansas City Rottweiler Club, Seminole Rottweiler Club, and Multiple Best in Sweepstakes/Best Opposite in Sweepstakes winners. We have produced over 85 Champions, including Best in Show as well as several Number 1 dogs and bitches in the US.
Nighthawk has also been fortunate in the German arena as well, producing United States Rottweiler Club National and Regional Siegers/Siegerins as well as Youth Sieger/Siegerin and Best Puppies. We have also produced many Most Beautiful In Show winners, USRC Selects as well as producing winners at the Regional and National level in American Rottweiler Verein.
Lastly, and equally important, Nighthawk has also produced several working dogs up to and including the Schutzhund 3 level, Obedience, Rally, Agility, Dock Diving, Barn Hunt, FASTCAT, Herding as well as working Police Bomb Detection Dog. We have had several High Scoring Dogs in Schutzhund as well as AKC Obedience, Rally and Agility.
In 2007, I purchased my first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, BIS/USA/AM/CAN CH Mayfield’s Betsy George aka Betsy, from our dear friend and Cavalier mentor Marilyn Mayfield of Mayfield Cavaliers. To date, we have produced six litters, three of which were co bred, producing several Grand Champions, several winners at specialties, and numerous Agility, Trick Dog and Canine Good Citizen titled dogs. We currently share our home with our Cavaliers as well as our Rottweilers.
My philosophy on dog breeding is embodied in the term “INTEGRITY”. I believe that while a dog may not have any disqualifying fault and has a hip number, this alone does not mean that it is breeding quality. We must breed the total dog, which is type, temperament, and structure.
I feel that we should not only strive to be successful with our dogs in the conformation ring, but to be equally successful with our dogs in the working arena whether it be Schutzhund, obedience, herding, tracking, agility, or therapy – or any other working activity!
Furthermore, it is important to always be a gracious loser as well as gracious winner. I try to live by this philosophy and I will not tolerate unethical behavior for myself or for anyone with whom I associate.
Hopefully, all breeders will be honest enough to share our shortcomings with one another in order to become more successful breeders. Dishonesty and lack of integrity seem to be rampant in our breed and it will ultimately lead to its demise if people won’t be forthright about the issues before us.
I am currently a member of the following clubs: American Rottweiler Club, Medallion Rottweiler Club, Colonial Rottweiler Club, and Western Rottweiler Owners. I have been members of the following clubs: Pacific Coast Rottweiler Club – President, Associated Rottweiler Fanciers of Northern California – Past Director, United States Rottweiler Club – Breed Warden and Apprentice Judge Applicant and The Rottweiler Health Foundation – President and past Director, The American Rottweiler Verein, United Schutzhund Club of America and the Los Angeles Rottweiler Club
I am also a member of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club-USA as well as Cavalier King Charles Club of America.
Currently my #1 priority is my family, which includes my husband, Brent Braun, and my beautiful and loving daughter Mary Ann Brooks Mitchell. Brent and I enjoy the dogs together and Brent and I are currently competing in Agility together.
Mary Ann loves the dogs, but to her, they are all her pets, and she is currently at college with the goal of becoming a veterinary surgeon. At present, Brent, Mary Ann and I live in Santa Clarita, California, about 45 minutes from Downtown Los Angeles. We have a lovely home on two acres with lots of room for the dogs to run.