We created Avidog and Avidog-Zink Ventures because we too are dog breeders, owners, competitors, trainers, veterinarians, and researchers…and we have been for forty years. We’ve walked in your shoes…
…we know what it is like to sit in the whelping box at 3 in the morning waiting for puppies to come.
…we’ve tried to get that special bitch pregnant and recover the fertility of a fabulous male.
…we’ve helped struggling puppies survive and cried over those we’ve lost.
…we’ve raised, housebroken socialized, trained hundreds of puppies and helped thousands of other owners do the same with their pups.
…we know what’s its like to breed your first litter and your fiftieth, to raise your first puppy or your tenth.
We have many, many years, dogs and litters under our belts. We have read thousands of research studies that inform how we should breed dogs and raise puppies. So based on that combination of science and experience, today, we do what we teach and we teach what we do.
If you are like most dog breeders and puppy owners, you are busy with lots going on in your life. That doesn’t mean you can’t raise great dogs but it does mean you need a plan and ways to stay on target for four months, six months, a year.
Like great surgeons and pilots, breeding dogs and raising puppies lends itself to plans and checklists. Avidog programs provides you with all the tools you need to get and stay organized while you do a great job with your puppies.
We keep you on track even when you are busy!
Using Leading-Edge Techniques
Dog people need to use science but they don’t have to know it. Our programs are based on sound scientific research, which we break down and apply step by step to dog breeding and puppy raising. You can read and learn the science if you want but you don’t have to do raise great puppies!
We simplify the hard stuff!
Dog people thrive in a community of supportive people who support their efforts and share their values. Our community comes from around the world and many backgrounds, breeds, sports and work but all are committed to make each dog that best it can be through good breeding and raising methods. Our connections are many, including in person during our seminars, on Facebook, through email, and on live video calls.
We connect you to a supportive, committed community that shares your goals!
A Program for Breeders and a Program for Puppy Owners
Through our Breeder College programs, we provide busy dog breeders the science-based breeding and puppy-raising methods and programs they need to confidently raise healthy, stable, resilient dogs and meet their breeding goals.
Through our Puppy College programs, we provide overwhelmed puppy owners with a step-by-step socialization and training program they can use to raise happy, healthy, stable dogs.
Gayle Watkins, Ph.D., MBA, COL (US Army Retired)
My passion for dogs began when I was only 23 and a hard-hearted horse dealer refused to sell me a beautiful Thoroughbred mare.
As we sadly drove home empty handed, my soon-to-be husband suggested we consider getting a golden retriever instead of a horse. Thus began Gaylan’s Golden Retrievers and my 39-year journey as a breeder, competitor, search and rescue handler, and more.
During these decades, I have produced, owned and/or shown over 130 American and Canadian conformation, obedience, agility, tracking and rally champions, as well as Master Hunter and Qualified All-Age field trial goldens. The American Kennel Club honored my success in 2016 by selecting me as the AKC Rally Breeder of the Year and again in 2017 as the AKC Agility Breeder of the year. In addition to breeding, I have given back to dogs as a board member of the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University, a founding member of Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue, working with local shelters, teaching companion dog obedience throughout the US, and by starting Canine Health Events Inc, a 501(c)(3) charity that funds canine health research.
Dog breeding was my passion but the Army was my career. During my 22 years as a soldier, I was stationed around the world, introducing me to many different dog breeders, activities and philosophies. I served as a maintenance officer and then joined the faculty at West Point, teaching and eventually running the Leadership and Management programs. Along the way, I earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology, an MBA from Harvard University, a Masters in National Security, and a PhD in Sociology from Stanford University. My education and experience, prepared me to think about dog breeding and puppy rearing in new ways.
My focus has always been to apply science to puppy rearing and training to produce healthy, stable, talented dogs. I bring my varied backgrounds as an Army officer, scientist, researcher, business owner and consultant to this goal.
Gayle’s Honors and Awards
- co-founder Avidog International
- 2017 AKC Agility Breeder of the Year (All-breed)
- 2016 AKC Rally Breeder of the Year All-breed)
- Breeder of the only two-time AKC National Agility Champion
- 130 Champions, Master Hunters and Qualified All-Age
- AKC Breeder of Merit
Chris Zink DVM PhD DACVP DACVSMR CCRT CVSMT CVA*
We joined forces with Dr Chris Zink to investigate breeding-stock conditioning, puppy structure and exercise. If you don’t already know her, Chris is one of the leading consultants on canine sports medicine who presents Coaching the Canine Athlete seminars worldwide and designs individualized rehabilitation and conditioning programs for canine athletes. She is the award-winning author of the books Peak Performance: Coaching the Canine Athlete, Dog Health and Nutrition for Dummies, and The Agility Advantage. She co-authored the book, Jumping From A to Z: Teach Your Dog to Soar and the DVD, Building the Canine Athlete. She co-edited the first ever book on canine rehab and sports medicine, Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, which was published by the veterinary textbook publisher Wiley-Blackwell. Dr. Zink was instrumental in establishing the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation as the newest specialty in veterinary medicine. She presents seminars worldwide.
Chris has put over 85 titles in Agility, Obedience, Conformation, Tracking, Hunt Tests, and Rally on dogs from the Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier and Herding groups. She is currently competing with her Golden Retriever, Hobby (bred by the Avidog team), in all of the above dog sports. Her Norwich Terrier, Vespa, obtained her MACH as well as obedience and rally titles and now travels to events as Chris’s demo dog.
Chris’s Honors and Awards
- Dog Writers Association of America – Best Book on Health 2013 for Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Woman Veterinarian of the Year – 2009
- Dog Writers Association of America – Best Publication of the Year 2008 for The Agility Advantage
Lise Pratt and Marcy Burke
Twin sisters, Lise Pratt and Marcy Burke co-founded Avidog International with Gayle in 2013. In 2018, they left AI and started Avidog Essentials to focus on providing good quality supplements and puppy-rearing products for dog owners and breeders.
AVIDOG’S VISION STATEMENT
Avidog is the world’s preeminent dog breeder education institution providing cutting-edge science tempered with real-life breeding experience through in-person and on-line programs, courses and products.
- Everything we do, teach and sell is science based, experience tested
- We teach what we do, we sell what we use
- We love all dogs, we teach all dog breeders
- You don’t have to be a geek to learn with us
- We can only succeed if we are a team that works together well
- Be kind, stay focused
- We are committed to continuing education, for dog breeders, owners and us
- We work hard but make time to play with our dogs