About Gayle

Gayle WatkinsHi! I’m Gayle Watkins, the breeder behind Gaylan’s Golden Retrievers, an American kennel raising multi-purpose, working golden retrievers. I’ve worn many hats in my life but breeding dogs has long been my passion.

This is my personal blog and it’s focus is what I call transformational dog breeding. My philosophy is that if you are going to breed dogs well, you seek to apply science, art and experience to raise stable, healthy puppies.  Everything else is just gravy!

I write on how science, experience and nuance can help us raise better puppies.  In doing so, I will share my personal journey over the last three decades as I’ve developed unique training, breeding, puppy rearing methods.  I will share the experiences of other folks who I think are doing great things breeding dogs.  I am pretty opinionated so I’ll also share my thoughts on what Master Breeders do regarding their puppies, dogs, buyers, owners and fellow breeders and dog lovers.

My goal is to provide creative, relevant, useful content that you can put to work in your own breedings.  If you are a dog breeder or lover, this blog is for you.

I typically post once a week.  You can subscribe via RSS or email to be sure you don’t miss a post.  I want this to be a conversation about dog breeding so appreciate your comments.

My Biography

Let’s see, what else do you need to know about me? I was born in San Francisco, CA many moons ago. I was the middle child and only daughter of an Army family so traveled the world starting at 3 months of age.

I wanted to be a vet or horse breeder from the age of 4 on so went to college to become a vet.  However, when I graduated from Gettysburg College, I no money for graduate school so joined the Army to save money for vet school. I married my terrific and ever-patient husband, Andy Chmar, and ended up staying in the Army for 22 years, trying my hand at many things other than animals–teaching, leading, graduate schooling, soldiering, and more.

I earned the rank of Colonel and served as an Ordnance officer running logistics facilities before ending up as a tenured faculty member at the United States Military Academy where I ran the Leadership and Management academic program.  During my career I was lucky enough to get to go to school a lot, earning an MBA from Harvard University, an MA from the Naval War College, and a Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University.

I wrote and spoke a bit while in the military, including producing the ground-breaking book, The Future of the Army Profession.  If you enjoy methodology, you might want to check out “Time Dependence in Micro Social Interaction: An Elaboration of Information Exchange Theory and Initial Empirical Test” (Sociological Focus, May 2007) an article I wrote with some graduate school friends.

Gayle and Una

Gayle and Can. CH. Gaylan’s Hole in One MH MX MXJ WCX OD VCX CCA

However, my love for animals and passion for working with them persisted throughout my Army career. I bred and showed dogs no matter where we were stationed–California, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Germany, Rhode Island and more.  I bred, trained and showed dogs in all kinds of events in the US, Canada and Europe, including conformation, obedience, agility, tracking, retriever field trials and hunt tests. I also trained and handled a Search and Rescue dog and many therapy dogs.

When I retired from the Army, I decided to focus my efforts on learning more about how to raise fabulous puppies–confident, athletic, healthy and smart. I am loving this next phase of my life and am glad to finally be focusing fully on the thing I’ve loved since I was a young child!

My Contact Information

You can contact me through my website or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.


This is my personal blog. The opinions in it are my own and do not represent those of anyone else. I make no representations as to the accuracy, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog. As such, I will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use. Breeding, raising and training dogs are inherently risky ventures. Make your own decisions on how you will handle your own dogs with the best information you have available to you.

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