Marianne and John Brett
live right on the borders of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and
Nottinghamshire, in lovely rural surroundings.
Marianne was born in Sweden but moved to England in 1988,
John has always lived in Yorkshire.
We have both kept and bred animals for most of our lives,
of a large variety ranging
from worms to dogs and sheep. Marianne is a past show
judge of hamsters, fancy rats and mice and pet cats.
We used to breed and show
the Blondbella Persian and Exotic cats for 25 years but
retired from breeding cats in 2014.
We bred the Goldmali Malinois from 2005 to 2020 and have now had our last litter.
There may be some Papillon pups in the future, but we are getting older so have to be sensible.
(Okay, we have both aged,
gone grey and "grown bigger" since these photos.)
We breed for TEMPERAMENT,
HEALTH and BREED TYPE in equal measures.
A dog has to be healthy, have the correct temperament AND still be able to look like its breed.
In Malinois we have for the past few years been mixing showlines and working lines to get the best of both worlds -we believe
there should not need to be a split between show type and working type, a good dog should have it all. It's a work in progress, but we do our best.
Marianne was a Kennel Club
Assured Breeder between 2011 and April 2021 and we passed our inspection by the KC
in May 2015 and in May 2018.
The resignation was simply because of no longer breeding.
We both have (adult)
children that all are animal mad, and Marianne has a
grandson born to daughter Melanie and her husband Kallum
in February 2015, and a granddaughter born in August
2017. Another grandchild is due November 2021!
Most of our family have helped out at shows, with Melanie handling regularly in the showring until she became a mother (handling both our breeds), Benjamin is still handling occasionally (both breeds), and
both Melanie and Benjamin have taken part in training classes and passed the different levels of the Kennel Club's Good Citizen Dog Scheme
awards, with an assortment of Papillons.
(Handling at Crufts as
Marianne writes the breed
notes for Malinois in OUR DOGS.
Marianne has in the past worked as a veterinary nurse, dog groomer and kennel maid, and is the author of
several books on pet care,
most now likely out of print.
*GULDHAMSTERN (Swedish), ICA 1986. (As Marianne Bornhult)
(As Marianne Mays:)
*THE PROPER CARE OF HAMSTERS, TFH 1993
*PET OWNER'S GUIDE TO RABBITS, Ringpress 1995
*YOUR FIRST GUINEA PIG, TFH/Kingdom 1995
*YOUR FIRST PUPPY, TFH/Kingdom 1995
*YOUR FIRST KITTEN , TFH/Kingdom 1995
(The "Your First" books now known as "HOW TO CARE FOR..")
*PERSIAN CATS, Kingdom 1996
*MOGGIES, A BOOK ON NON-PEDIGREE CATS, Kingdom 1997
*EXOTIC SHORTHAIR CATS, Kingdom 1998
*WORLD OF CATS, Gramercy 1999
*FACTFINDER GUIDE TO CATS, Grange 1999
*THE DOG IN YOUR FAMILY, Kingdom 1999
*YOUR FIRST DWARF HAMSTER,
Marianne does have
several mental health problems that make life
complicated, being unable to make or receive phonecalls,
go outside on her own,
be alone at home for more than short periods at time etc,
so she is now classified as disabled, with John being her carer.
Thankfully, Marianne finds dog people the easiest to feel relaxed with -and of course animals!
Fen the Malinois, an Assistance Dog,
Lottie the world's loveliest little Parti Poodle, Polly the happiest little mismarked Papillon you will ever meet, and Prince the elderly Persian cat are never far from her side.
Our animals are first and foremost family members.
The dogs mainly live
indoors although the stud dogs (Malinois only) have to
live in kennels for practical reasons. Most have a spayed bitch
Puppies are ALWAYS reared indoors as part of the family and are never kenneled. They get used to all household noises, cats, adult dogs, children and adults.
The indoor cats have a
safely enclosed run to go out in. (Cheetah the rescue
cat certainly makes the most of it! Especially during
The cats are not allowed
outside otherwise -it is too dangerous.
The majority of the dogs do
or have at
some point attended training classes.
In total Marianne has
passed, with a lot of different dogs, 55 different
Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog tests, ranging from Bronze
to Gold, since the first Bronze with Rufus the Cavalier
Melanie and Benjamin have passed 11 GC tests, making the family total 66 as of March 2018.
Dandy, Ripley and Arnie (all now gone) competed and were placed in obedience although at low levels.
Marianne doesn't particularly
enjoy handling the dogs at shows so John does most of the
handling (realising his dream of running through the arch
into the big ring at Crufts in 2010