Gayle Watkins PhD

Gayle Watkins

Gayle Watkins PhD

As a longtime Golden Retriever owner, I had known of Gayle Watkins, PhD (Colonel, Retired) long before I met her. Gayle’s kennel name, Gaylan’s, appeared again and again in the names of some of the top agility, obedience, tracking, and rally competitors that were celebrated in our national breed magazine, the Golden Retriever News to which I had subscribed for years.

When it came time for me to get my next Golden Retriever, I knew that she would be one of the breeders I most wanted to interview. Upon inquiring, I was pretty impressed at the comprehensive application form she sent me, and even more impressed when she actually called my references. In my experience, references are rarely contacted in person, even for high-level career positions.

During my “vetting” process for a breeder, she recommended that even healthy dogs be given probiotics. When I, as a veterinarian who thought I knew stuff, asked her why anyone would do that, she sent me several published references demonstrating improved immune responses in puppies given probiotics. Here was a breeder who not only produced talented, healthy Goldens, but also read and incorporated the advice of the scientific literature! I was sold!

During the 8 years that I have shared my life with my most amazing Gaylan’s Golden Retriever, Hobby, I have gotten to know Gayle very well. I have learned that not only is she highly educated, with a PhD from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard, but she also applies that knowledge every day as she strives to fulfill her lifetime goal of helping the people produce healthy, stable, long-lived puppies that will bring years of delight to their people. She is honest, forthright, and works hard to make that goal a reality. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of everything dog, and she is incredibly generous in sharing that knowledge with others.

About 4 years ago, Gayle and I met to decide whether we might combine her expertise in breeding with my interest in health and fitness to develop a conditioning program that would improve the success of breeding stock, and Fit To Be Tied™ and then Fit For Life™ were born. Together we have helped those programs mature through their puppyhood, teens, and into young adulthood. During that time, my appreciation of Gayle as an individual truly dedicated to improving the health and longevity of these incredible canine creatures that share our lives and our love remains unshaken and has only strengthened.

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