KENNEL INTERVIEW | SUZETTE TURNER | EMPIRE KING BULLIES

SUZETTE TURNER IS PAVING THE WAY FOR THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN BULLY BREED DOWN UNDER

STATE YOUR NAME, KENNEL NAME & WHERE YOU’RE LOCATED

Hello my name is Suzette Turner from The Empire King Bullies I’m am located in Sydney Australia.

TELL US ABOUT THE NAME OF YOUR KENNEL AND WHAT IT REPRESENTS

I decided to call my kennels The Empire King Bulliez for two reasons. First, I intend on building an empire in this industry that will leave a legacy for my family. My kennels are run wholly by women in my family.

We run our kennels professionally and with a woman’s touch that makes all the difference. In a mans world (like the bully community, which is predominantly male) this can be challenging at times, however sometimes the Kings really are the women.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE YEAR & WHAT WAS GOING ON WHEN YOU GOT INVOLVED WITH THE BREED?

I have been in the dog industry for as long as I can remember. I grew up in the country and owned several different breeds and animals from dingos to working cattle dogs. From there I moved to the city where I became involved in personal protection dogs. I have been fortunate enough to have been able to train and breed some of the top security dogs in the country. To this day, this is still very much a passion of mine.

In the late 90’s I bought my first pit bull and completely fell in love with the breed. This eventually led to breeding and showing American Staffordshire Terriers. I love both breeds but I was after a more muscled and impressive looking dog which led to my search and eventually purchasing my first American bully in 2014.

DID YOU HAVE A MENTOR OR GUIDANCE WHEN YOU 1ST STARTED?

I’d have to say that the people I nearly drove mad with questions were Dan and Helen Nguyen from Genetix line. I really looked up to their knowledge and ideas on the future of the American Bully in Australia. I bought my first Australian born Pocket Bullies from them after importing XL bullies, and to this day they continue to be amazingly supportive.

Another mentor I couldn’t go without mentioning would have to be Ty Lumley. His knowledge on this breed is is second to none. Another one of my go to mentors that has helped me with advice on many levels would have to be Ron “Papa pit” Ramos. Ron is a true gentleman and a scholar, and if I can eventually learn half of this man’s knowledge on the breed I will be very happy.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE DOGS?” (TOP 5)

Top 5 dogs?

God, there are so many that I love and like any dog person (especially those of us who have been bit by the bully bug) I spend a lot of my free time surfing the net and looking at dogs. The quality of the dogs that regularly pop up is just mind blowing. It would very difficult for me to narrow it down to just five.

There are so many incredible dogs out there and the quality and consistency is only getting better. But I will say that the bullies with extreme builds and muscle always seem to catch my eye.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION OR MAIN GOAL AS A BREEDER?

My vision is to help make the ABKC the most sought after registry in Australia and to have a platform for all American bully owners to be able to go out and show their dogs. My dream is to create a family environment that people of all ages can be involved with. I want to put the fun and family back into the bully community in Australia. And of course, to breed kick arse bullies!

WHAT DO YOU HAVE PLANNED AT YOUR KENNEL OVER THE NEXT YEAR?

I’m hoping to import some semen soon from Dave Wilson. He has some Demon Boy blood that I’m very interested in, which I belive would compliment some of my pocket bitches and would also be great to help thicken them up. I have some amazing GrCh Rocko pups on the ground now with more semen stored.

We also have some exciting Studs coming in from the UK for our XL’s. We have a huge mixture of different blood in my kennels from Mye-Stro, Buckeye, Big Boy, El Niño, Red Bear, Miagi, Dax, King Kaos, and Eminent’s Boss.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR UP AND COMING STUD/NEW ADDITION/IMPORTS OR PRODUCED PUPS OR BREEDINGS YOU’VE DONE THAT YOU’RE PROUD OF?

First I’m proud to have the amazing opportunity to be the Australian ABKC Representative. The people of Australia are so passionate about their dogs. They truly are a great community and the passion and loyalty can be both amazing and also a bit overwhelming at times. I’m also very proud of my youngest son Brandon Turner in starting his very own kennel- Iron King Bullies Australia. He specialises in XL’s and his passion for the breed makes me grateful that I have someone to hand down my knowledge down to.

I am also very proud my daughter in law Bel! Bel is also a representative for ABKC. Can’t forget my best friend Niki that lives with us and plays important role here and is doing an excellent job in the show ring. My daughter Kelly, my sons CJ and Tim and last but certainly not least, Rose the matriarch. All play very important parts and without them, there would be no empire.

THERE HAS BEEN A BIT OF A MELTDOWN RECENTLY IN AUSTRALIA OVER DNA TESTING, DO YOU FEEL THAT THE HYSTERIA SURROUNDING DNA TESTING IS JUSTIFIED OR DO YOU THINK IT STEMS FROM A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF HOW TO INTERPRET DNA TEST RESULTS?

My thoughts Are that we do need genetic testing to know what we have in our lines to know how to work with them and to assist us when in breeding/linebreeding.

“Realize that there is loads of support out there for anyone that is new or interested in learning more about this incredible breed. I’d like to see more unity in our community.”

A RECENT ARTICLE IN THE NATURE JOURNAL CALLED THE BUSINESS OF CONSUMER MARKETED CANINE GENETIC TESTING AN “UNTAMED WILDERNESS” OF WEAK SCIENCE, UNVALIDATED OUTCOMES AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.

“One concern is that tests can show genetic mutations that are linked to disease in some breeds but have unknown effects in the breed being tested. It also may be unclear how often dogs with the mutation ultimately are affected. That means tests, in themselves, can’t necessarily tell pet owners how much they should worry. Or even tell breeders whether a dog shouldn’t reproduce.
Some fear that DNA test results could keep animals from passing on otherwise good genes because of an ambiguous possibility of disease.

False-positive results released by direct-to-consumer genetic tests highlight the importance of clinical confirmation

See: Dog DNA Tests Must Be Reigned In

Read: False-positive results released by direct-to-consumer genetic tests around 40%.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THIS?

The huge drama in Australia was over a young dog that supposedly was going blind and the owners of the dog had posted information that it was affected to make people aware of this problem. There then was a live video done by the breeder who advised a lot of imports/semen that have contributed to our gene pool carry the same thing and every one should test their dogs. Australia went into a spin immediately.

WE HAVE ATTEMPTED TO LOCATE A SINGLE CASE OF AN AMERICAN BULLY GOING BLIND OR DEAF AS A DIRECT RESULT OF GENETIC DISEASE, BUT SO FAR WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO. EVERY LEAD THAT WE HAVE TRACKED DOWN UP TO THIS POINT HAS BEEN HEARSAY, WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE CAUSE OF THE DRAMA IN SEVERAL OF THE AUSTRALIAN BOARDS ONLINE?

“I think it was a knee-jerk reaction that happened and it even caused breeding to halt for a moment while many sought professional advice. Bad advice began to spread like wildfire and the DNA debate was on every page and became a huge drama within the community even drawing lines between breeders. We need to learn more about every disease in our bullies’ panels to improve the quality of life and future of the breed here in Australia. But much of the hysteria is caused by bad advice from backyard breeders in some of the Facebook groups.”

AS A MAGAZINE FOR THE BREED - WE RECOMMEND DNA TESTING, WE PUBLISHED THE INITIAL ARTICLE “DNA IS MIA IN AUSTRALIA.” BUT, WE DID NOT ENCOURAGE IT FOR UNEDUCATED BREEDERS AND SELF APPOINTED EXPERTS WITH NO EXPERIENCE WITH THE BREED TO TAKE AND USE THIS INFORMATION TO INSTILL FEAR IN AUSTRALIAN BULLY OWNERS ONLINE.

“The Issue stems from a lack of understanding of how to interpret DNA results combined with mass produced tests that “should be used in a limited way until we get a lot more information,” — Co-author and vet Dr. Lisa Moses.
“The problem with mass-market dog DNA tests, some experts say, is that they often identify gene mutations that have been linked to disease only in certain breeds. For instance, if research has shown that a mutation is associated with cancer in golden retrievers, that doesn’t necessarily mean the same mutation will cause cancer in a Boston terrier — but the mutation still shows up on the terrier’s report.
So its owner might then rush to a veterinarian, who, given the recent nature of the science, may not have a solid understanding of what the report really means.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS?

Every bully owner in Australia needs to be properly educated by a professional geneticist and we also need to learn more about every disease on our bully’s panel. We also need to know how it will effect our dogs, so we can improve the life of our dogs and future of the breed here in Australia. But much of the advice from backyard breeders in several of the Facebook groups is causing much of the hysteria.

WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO OR ADMIRE IN THE BULLY GAME, AND WHY?

I have amazing admiration for Dave Wilson. It wasn’t until becoming a Rep for the ABKC and heading it down here in Australia that I realized the huge amount of pressure he’s under from those around the world. He has an amazing team of judges and reps and one of the most hard working partners in Deana.

Dave has a huge responsibility, and sometimes when he is on the phone reassuring me or giving me a boost for hours and I am just one person, in one corner of the world. The ABKC is, in my opinion the best registry in the world bar none, and I am proud and feel both honored and privileged to be considered a part of the family.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT OF 2019 SO FAR?

The most memorable moments of this year would have to be finding our efforts down here being recognized in the papers, magazines and on TV. We are making a difference, and it’s been all positive. I also was very excited and proud to have produced the first GrCh Rocko litter here in Australia.

OUTSIDE OF DOGS, WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES/INTERESTS?

Outside of dogs? Lol what’s that!? No, I’m kidding of course… our life is our dogs, but outside of that would be our amazing family and the friends who make up my network. We all live and breathe dogs and we get together every Friday night for a BBQ or catch up and talk dogs. We have a huge network of friends that I am proud to call my family.

WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOUR DOGS, CONTACT YOU FOR HANDLING SERVICES AND KEEP UP WITH YOU ONLINE?

You can find me on FB Suzette Lee Turner, Game changer Bullies, The Empire King Bullies, and Follow us on Instagram @the_empire_king_bulliez

I’d like to thank the Australian ABKC Bully family! You guys are amazing, your support and passion is what keeps us all together and as one.
The loyalty is always felt, and remember whenever you see #onefamily that’s for you, we’re all one big bully family.

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