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Breeder Spotlight: Jennifer Cook

Breeder Spotlight: Jennifer Cook Weighs in on Matchmaker

July 28, 2020

More and more breeders are enhancing their breeding programs with Matchmaker, our advanced, custom tool that makes it easy to assess potential mates. Available for 46 breeds, Matchmaker makes it possible to quickly evaluate and predict the inherited disease variants, genetic COI, and prospective litter traits between two intact dogs of the same breed in the Embark database. For many, it’s a game changer. But don’t take it from us: Jennifer Cook, longtime Olde English Bulldog breeder and owner of Smashabulls, weighs in on the tool.

 “I want perfectly healthy puppies.”

It’s all about love of the breed. I want to be able to give somebody a perfectly healthy, perfectly sound bulldog puppy that they are going to be able to love for 13-15 years. (That’s a big deal because bulldogs are like 2-year-old toddlers that never grow up!) 

My puppies go home microchipped and my name is on the microchip even with their new owner. I want to make sure that my dogs never end up in a shelter. Embark helps us, because when you breed correctly, you’re less likely to have those kinds of problems.

“I am using Matchmaker with one of my girls.” 

I already know my boys’ lines. I know the chocolate merle tri—16 generations back! I’ve known my lilac Merle Tri for 17 generations back. Everything from color to genetics. But I looked at Matchmaker with one of my girls because I am going to be looking for an outside stud.

[Like me], there are a lot of breeders out there who have a wonderful dog with a great temperament—but they may not have a male on hand that complements their female (or vice versa). So then they have to go out and find a mate to meet what they’re looking for in a puppy.

Breeder Spotlight: Jennifer Cook

“The tool was so easy to use.”

With Matchmaker, you don’t have to guess: it puts the best with the best. And it was so easy to use—I liked the information layout and features provided—it wasn’t hard to understand.

Matchmaker allowed me to not only see the genetics of the other dogs, but to see what they could produce together—without having to contact a breeder, or go through all those steps.

“It helped with puppy buyers, too.”

With Embark, I can genetically verify that [my Embarked puppies] are generational Oldies back three to four generations. That helps when you have puppy buyers, too, that are across the country, and you can literally send a copy of the dogs’ genetics to them— from canine health testing to personal traits to color panel.

“I would 100% recommend Matchmaker to breeders.” 

Not everybody has [the right] male or female on standby. Matchmaker made [finding the right mate] a lot easier. I would 100% recommend Matchmaker to breeders.

Have you used Matchmaker to help optimize your breeding program? Tell us about your experience, so we can continue to refine and expand our tool and help you make more informed  breeding decisions. Our team is currently working on adding additional functionality to our tool; we’ll notify the breed communities as Matchmaker becomes available for even more breeds. To learn more about Matchmaker, click here.