Dog Articles

Dog Articles

Our extensive Pro Club article library features topics important to dog breeders
and enthusiasts alike. This includes rich information in subjects ranging from dog
nutrition to breed-specific health and hereditary concerns, as well as best practices
in breeding, kennel management, conditioning, and more.

Dog Articles


Hello, My name is Annie Balotti and I am the Purina Event Center Area Manager.  I have the great pleasure to work at Nestle Purina’s state of the art facility dedicated to the world of dogs.  We host several All-Breed dog shows, numerous National Specialties and various other ever expanding dog events. 

Scott Smith, Managing Director of the Professional Engagement Team, has worked for Purina since 1999. In his current job, Scott meets show and sporting enthusiasts from across the country. He particularly enjoys attending agility and other dog sports at the PurinaEventCenter in Gray Summit, Mo., which is part of his team.      

After earning her journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Melissa Miller spent 12 years working as a reporter, photographer and editor at various newspapers before coming to Purina in 2013. As Senior Communications Specialist of Pet Influential Communications, Melissa’s articles, photography and videography can be found in Today’s Breeder magazine, the Purina® Pro Club®website and the Purina® Pro Club® Update newsletters.

Kayla Miller became part of the Purina team in 2012 after receiving her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. As Communications Specialist of Pet Influential Communications, Kayla writes features for Today’s Breeder magazine, produces posts for the Purina® Pro Plan® for Professionals Facebook page and develops digital content for the Purina® Pro Club website.

As Brand Director of the Breeder Enthusiast Marketing Team, Gianna DeiSanti is responsible for leading marketing strategy and communications to breeders and enthusiasts. Gianna graduated from Saint Louis University with a master’s degree in business administration before beginning at Purina in 2000. “I’ve learned that breeders’ and enthusiasts’ passion, expertise and dedication to their respective sports go far beyond that of a typical dog owner. For them, it’s not a hobby. It’s a way of life,” Gianna says.

Barb Fawver, Purina Manager of Pet Influential Communications, is the editor of Today’s Breeder magazine and the Purina Pro Club Update newsletters. Since she began working for Purina in 1997, Barb has focused on communications for breeders and enthusiasts, developing coverage of kennel management, breeding, genetics, breeder profiles, canine and feline health, and training and performance.

Patricia Thompson, Connemara DreamsPatricia Thompson, Connemara DreamsPatricia Thompson, Connemara DreamsAs soon as she saw an Animal Planet show about Irish Red and White Setters, Patricia Thompson of Grimesland, N.C., was hooked. Thompson began co-breeding with Judith Taylor, also of Grimesland, N.C., their foundation bitch, Autumnwood Sea Mist, and participating in conformation shows with her first Irish Red and White Setter, Taylor’s Connemara Lucky Penny.

Pro Plan Performance truly is what fuels my champions. Whether in the last few minutes of a championship trial or at the end of a long day on the prairies of Montana, when my dogs reach deep into their tanks for that finishing cast, they don't come up empty handed! Another big bonus, kennel cleanup is a breeze. Less mess, more birds! What more could you ask for?

The Purina Pro Club site is a great help as well. Lending the nutritional knowledge that helps give my guys their winning edge!

6 years ago we imported our first Berger Picard from France. The Picard is a rare French herding breed; rough coated, hardy, and up for any challenge you can offer it. Since then, we have imported a girl from Canada, and have shown all across the country in both UKC and AKC, where the breed is in miscellaneous. Our Gr.CH foundation dog has 5 champions and counting, and our Gr. CH foundation bitch has multiple best in Group and Best in Open show wins, as well as titling in Rally, Lure coursing, and herding.

I remember when I was young dad worked second shift and got home around 10 pm and a guy he worked with would bring his dogs to work with him so they could go hunting after work. I would always ask to go and the answer was I would get to go when I was older. I was around 10 when I finally got to go with my dad and uncle. I remember a big Walker dog named Bubba and a little Bluetick female named Midge. We turned them loose in a cornfield bottom and they ran the track up a steep hill and treed on top.

A Beagle lover at heart, Mary Cummings of Stone Meadow Kennel in Johnson City, N.Y., also adores German Shepherd Dogs, Australian Shepherds and Whippets. Cummings, a self-taught purebred enthusiast, began showing her German Shepherd Dog, V-Aiko Von Fuerstenberg, CD, SCH I, in conformation and obedience while she was still in high school.

It was love at first sight for Lisa Snyder of Richlands, N.C., who fell for the distinctive look and sound of Bluetick Coonhounds. Now breeding under the Bawlin’ Blues prefix, Snyder says she and her husband, Zealy Lewis Jr., chose the name since Blueticks are known for their bawl mouth. “Blues also is a play on both the breed and the music, and with the exception of one, all our hounds are named after blues songs,” she says.