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About the Breeder



This is a series of pages where I go into detail about my opinions on the American Bulldog as a working breed. Please take the time to read each page to fully understand how I see and do things here and the type of dogs we aim to produce at Ferocia Kennels. Ferocia Kennels is located in Southern Oregon. 

My name is Jennifer Marshall, and I am Ferocia Kennels. What does Ferocia mean, and what does it stand for? Ferocia is Latin, translation of which can be used to mean/infer: Courage, Fierceness/Ferocity, Arrogance/Boldness, and High Spirit. These are things I find to be important and noteworthy traits within the American Bulldog. American Bulldogs should be courageous, bold, spirited, and fierce when called for. 


I have been involved in the breed since 2005, when I got my first AB named Cajun. I bred my first litter in 2015 after many years of research into canine genetics and breeding, under the mentorship of a very experienced breeder, handler, and trainer of many working and companion breeds. She taught me a lot about genetics of temperament, working ability, and also a majority of what I do when raising litters. The program I learned from her is nearly identical to the well known Puppy Culture program. I follow Puppy Culture protocols for raising litters but always give credit to my mentor who taught me years before Puppy Culture hit the market.


I have been training dogs since 1996, professionally from 2004-2018. My primary focus was on behavior modification during my 14 years owning a training business helping countless owners and their dogs overcome severe, often debilitating behavioral issues. Competitive training caught my interest in 2005 when I got my first American Bulldog, but unfortunately where I lived the breed was not welcome at dog training clubs. When I moved back to my home state of Oregon, I found a club in California training Mondioring and I got hooked. 


From 2007 to 2017 I trained my dogs for mondioring. In 2011 I got the first leg of MR1 on my boy Cuda, placing 2nd of 8 dogs our very first time on the trial field. The following year I trialed him again at the 2012 USMRA National Championships and obtained the second leg of the MR1 and again taking 2nd place and Top Non Malinois award. We trialed for the first time at MR2 at the 2013 USMRA Nationals, placing 2nd and Cuda was also awarded Decoy's Choice and Best Escort MR2. He is the ONLY American Bulldog to ever be on the podium at the National level in Mondioring.


I served on the Board of Directors as Director At Large for USMRA for the 2015-2016 term. Unfortunately, FCI has begun to take notice of non FCI breeds/dogs competing in the sport and at the end of 2021 American Bulldogs and all non FCI breeds/dogs will be ineligible for full competition. For this reason I began looking for a different sport to train and title my dogs in.


I am currently a Senior Judge and am serving on the Board of Directors as an Officer for the United States American Bulldog Club (USABC)  ( )

All of these years of experience training and handling so many different dogs and breeds has given me an edge in understanding behavior compared to the average dog breeder, and has molded my program and my selection criteria. From training so many dogs for so many things, I have a greater understanding of the finer details of temperament and the traits that are important for a dog to be stable and trainable.


With this formal introduction complete, continue reading for information more specific to temperament and what I breed for in my program. For formality sake, and because it feels egotistical to type "I" "me" and "my" so many times, from here on out will be used "we" and "our." 



Here at Ferocia Kennels, we strongly focus on dogs that are not only powerful but also intelligent and clear headed! Trainability and intelligence are extremely important to us! Our goal is to produce dogs that excel in the primary protection sports of French Ring, IGP/IPO, American Schutzhund, and PSA, while also being suitable as personal protection dogs. Strong nerve, very high level of confidence, high drive, athletic dogs that are easy to motivate and can take pressure from the handler to achieve control under extreme distraction and stimulation.


But, what about pet dogs for families or non protection sport activities?


Don't worry, while we prefer "a lot of dog" for competition and working ability, most puppies are suitable to be active companions for people/families that have experience with large guardian breed dogs or handlers looking to do different activities with their dog. With great emphasis on training and early structure (for which we are ALWAYS available and willing to help with!) these dogs can be amazing companions.

Dogs we produce will vary a bit in social behavior from neutral/aloof to social, and medium to high threshold for defense/suspicion. We do not tolerate dog aggression, handler aggression, high levels of sharpness, or extreme anti social behavior in our dogs. Lacking dog aggression does not mean that these dogs are "dog friendly" - these are not dogs you take to a dog park for a frolic with strange dogs. We do breed to maintain the guarding instinct/territorial aggression and animal aggression that is part of this breeds history and original purpose.

What is animal aggression, and why is it important for us/our dogs? Our dogs have purpose in our daily lives.  Part of their job includes keeping unwanted pest/vermin animals off the property and away from the home and any livestock. Rats, snakes, weasels, mice, moles, voles, ground squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, etc. Being natural pest eliminators means we do not need to use any dangerous poisons or chemicals to keep pest animals away from the garden, barn, shed, woodpile, and livestock. It does NOT mean the dogs are unstable or untrustworthy with other animals in a general sense. Like with most things, it just requires training and acclimation for the dogs to understand their job in this way. Our dogs live/have lived with pet rats, ferrets, cats, reptiles, birds etc.

What is territorial aggression/guarding instinct and what does that mean for pet dogs?


Territorial aggression is the dog's willingness to defend, with aggression, whatever it considers to be it's territory from any unknown/unwanted human or animal. This is most commonly seen at the dog's home/yard/property but also in the vehicle and it can be anywhere the dog is taken frequently that it considers part of it's territory such as a park, campground, etc. Most dogs of most breeds will show some form of territorial behavior, most commonly seen as barking. A strong guardian breed dog with territorial aggression is not accepting of strangers or acquaintances making sudden, unexpected, or unsupervised appearance where the dog considers to be its territory. They will have a strong natural alert behavior to bark and physically prevent entry of the unknown person by blocking gates, doors, windows etc. They should not automatically bite, but provocation to bite includes forceful entry onto the property, teasing and taunting of the dog at a boundary, grabbing or trying the handle the dog when it is alerting, aggressive behavior towards the dog or owner(s) etc. 


Despite popular belief, dogs cannot tell an evil person from a good one. They cannot identify that a person is a friend or relative of their owners. They do not know that the meter reader, mail man, cable guy, the neighbor's cousin, or your long lost Uncle Larry are allowed to be on your property unless you supervise the situation and train the dog. It is the OWNERS responsibility to ensure the safety of visitors and also the dog. Even if your dog has met someone at the home or in the neighborhood or public places previously and has been accepting of that person in that situation, does NOT mean that your dog will be accepting of the same person coming onto your property/into your home when you are not present or supervising. This is an IMPORTANT and VALUABLE trait! Many crimes are committed by people you already know, or that have been to your home previously. The Plumber you had at the house to fix a problem can be accepted by the dog in the moment when the owner is present, but that same Plumber coming in the window at 1am is no longer welcome! Training and proper management is key. Lassie and Rin Tin Tin are fictional characters played by professionally trained animal actors and not accurate representatives of true canine behavior. 

Other Common Bulldog Traits

A bulldog is supposed to be a very physical breed that lacks body awareness and has a high pain tolerance. These dogs are best described as "smashy" or "crashy" as a bulldog tends to go through things, not around them. This can be annoying to people that are not used to this type of dog. They are very physical and lack body awareness, so they will lean on you and bump into you, step on your feet, etc. These are not signs of disrespect from your dog, these are not things you can punish out of them. Training is important! But these traits are not about "manners" or "being polite." ABs are not a polite or careful breed.

With that said ... These dogs are not monsters, they are not Cujo looking to rip people apart. They are not hyper aggressive and should not be anti social. These dogs can make amazing family companions, but they do have certain traits that make training very important in their new homes. These dogs MUST have rules and boundaries! Not to say an owner must be overly harsh and absolutely not abusive, but balanced training methods are best for the most clear and effective training. 


These dogs are entertaining and silly, almost clownish in their antics during play. These dogs want to be involved in everything you do. They are higher energy and must have their energy needs met, but have a good off switch when not chasing a ball or hiking etc. These are dogs that are up for anything at any time and will nap on the couch in between adventures. Trainable, intelligent, biddable, and happy. With proper structure, rules, and training they make excellent active companions.


Great care is taken to ensure that puppies are placed in homes that are suitable to each family. More social and less intense temperaments are selected for pet homes. Training advice and support is available for the life of the dog, local families or any willing to make the trip back to Southern Oregon receive FREE training lessons from us for the LIFE of the dog. All puppies go home with a big care package that includes pages of basic training and handling information.

Please continue to the next page for further information. 




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