58 -Be the Expert That John Q. Public Needs: Michelle Santana and Foxfire Dobermans

Be the Expert That John Q Public Needs Michelle Santana and Foxfire Dobermans

Be the Expert That John Q. Public Needs

Michelle Santana – Foxfire Dobermans

35 years in Dobermans, inherited the love of the breed from her mother, Michelle Santana is dedicated to the future of her favorite breed.

While Michelle tried a brief stint in Collies, she returned committed to her mother’s breeding program, and describes Doberman as:

Labor Intensive, Destructive, Strong… and intent on following you into the bathroom

Michelle and her Foxfire Dobermans have been honored with the AKC Working Group Breeder of the Year Award and a Dogs in Review “Winkie” for Breeder of the Year.

Mentor – Bill Shelton

Bill Shelton is considered by Michelle to be a strong influence and mentor for her as an owner-handler, breeder, and exhibitor. She mirrored his handling style and listened as he spoke of purposefully bred dogs or breeding for the preservation of consistent and reliable traits, types, and temperaments.

Doberman’s Historical Tradition

Dobermans are a silhouette with cropped ears, docked tail, strength, and angles that cause pause to an intruder. Historically a personal protection dog, the upright ear and short tail made it difficult for a perpetrator to grab or defend against the Doberman.

Mentor a Junior, Mentor your Buyers, Mentor a Breeder


Juniors are the key to the sport and Michelle encourages experience Breeders to support them. Give them a GREAT DOG to compete with, teach them how to BREED, pay for a junior to compete in the bigger competitions.


Be a Mentor to your puppy buyers. Let them know that you are available and the FIRST resource. Encourage them to compete in dog sports, have fun in barn hunt or even consider showing.

Breeders of the Future

Mentor a future breeder. Take it upon yourself to teach one or two people so the knowledge is passed down. Breeding is hard work. We need others willing to carry our breeds forward.

John Q. Public Needs YOU!

OMG! Yes. Mentors in the breeds need to be the educated voice in the public Facebook groups, so answers to questions don’t come from the people who don’t.

Teach the public. Be the VOICE that they hear.

Shout Out to John Engstrom – You Asked!

Listener John Engstrom wrote and asked for a Michelle Santana interview – and Pure Dog Talk listened!


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  1. Michelle Santana on 04/26/2017 at 7:55 AM

    Thank You #PureDogTalk for the honor of the interview!!

    Although I had total butterflies ??? I’m glad I participated!!

  2. Susan Emde on 04/26/2017 at 9:15 AM

    Education is CRUCIAL. Mentoring is desperately needed. Honesty between breeders -transparency-and working together to assist the breed instead of secrecy and breeding to the Popular sire for the ribbons and ego is what is needed today. I’ve been in this breed for 35 years and remember Michelle and Janrics zerline V Davanti (sic?). She had tremendous success and a mom to always back her up- I’ve watched her over the years and sincerely happy for her success today. She has a well oiled machine behind her and many learn from her today. BUT WE NEED TO EDUCATE JQP on so much more.

  3. Gail Chavez Zella on 04/26/2017 at 9:41 AM

    Michele, you have come a long way and I applaud your success in breeding and support of the wonderful Doberman. The one shown here is an exquisite sample of the breed.

  4. Pati Grossman on 04/26/2017 at 11:40 AM

    Michelle Santana is truly passionate and dedicated to her breeding program. She loves her dogs and is always there to help her puppy people. She is never too busy to stop and talk to a stranger who has questions about the breed. Michelle and her dogs are great advocates of the Doberman breed.

  5. Patiricia Crespo on 05/07/2017 at 8:45 AM

    Michelle Santana its a pleasure to hear you talking here , I love your dedication and love for the doberman breed. I have one girl and show for the past 20 years not doberman AST but I do love my doberman girl and one day I will acquire a nice bitch from you . Congrats on all your breeding program and your success you are truly someone to follow and have as a mentor

  6. Donna Irvine on 07/31/2017 at 11:58 AM

    Michelle, wonderful to hear you continuing to share your knowledge of the doberman breed with all that are involved in the sport of dogs. Not only have you brought us a level of dog through your breeding program to strive to, but also and example of giving back and mentoring those involved in pure bred dogs. Your juniors support is one to be proud of
    and an inspiration to others.

  7. Misty Steinhauer on 10/29/2017 at 5:40 PM

    If you want to talk about a breeder with consistency….Michelle is it. The first pup we obtained in the mid 80’s is basically the same dog I am owned by as of two years ago. I am Foxfire forever as I know exactly what is coming. Temperament, beauty and my best friend.

  8. Kathleen Daniel on 03/02/2019 at 9:40 AM

    Michelle, thank you for loving my breed and breeding in the best way for its future. I have had Dobermans for 37 years and they are the best of the best. They really do steal your heart and certainly control your life. Would not have any other breed and please continue doing what you do.

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