Information and helpful tips to support our dedicated Breeder Custodians.
GDB's Breeding Department staff with their pet dogs, pictured from left to right: Heather Power, Jenna Bullis, Erica Loukides, Meghan Fraser, and Carol Simmons.
Jenna Bullis – Breeding Manager
Originally from Fremont, CA, Jenna graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in psychology with an emphasis in animal behavior. She joined GDB in 1997 and spent her first 14 years as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor training dogs and clients.
Jenna manages the breeding colony and works with other service schools around the world by sharing and exchanging breeding stock and genetic material; she also frequently consults with other service dog programs on breeding and early socialization topics. In this capacity she represents GDB at international seminars and conferences.
Jenna has been active as a breeder and competitor in AKC events since the early 90s. She handles her own Portugues Water Dogs in the conformation ring and regularly trains and titles in Agility, Obedience, Rally and Water Work. When not training dogs, Jenna enjoys photography, tennis, and adventure/international travel with her husband.
Carol Simmons – Breeding Colony Supervisor
Carol’s relationship with GDB began in 1979 when her sister raised a puppy, leading Carol to raise 15 puppies and become breeder custodian to three breeder dogs. Carol began working at GDB in 1995, first in the Puppy Raising Department before joining the Breeding team. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s she participated in AKC conformation and obedience competitions, first with her Siberian Husky and then her Rottweilers. As Breeding Colony Supervisor Carol works closely with Meghan Fraser helping potential custodians through the application process, placing dogs, assisting custodians throughout the dogs’ breeding career, and overseeing monthly eye exams. Carol also serves as back-up in the breeding lab and for Jenna when needed. Carol currently lives in Petaluma with her teenage son and black Lab career-change, Jess, and enjoys reading, cooking, camping, and traveling.
Meghan Fraser – Breeding Stock Coordinator
Meghan was born and raised in Marin County, but spent 17 years living and working in Los Angeles as an animal trainer for the film and television industry. She returned to the Bay Area in 2014 with her husband and young daughter to be closer to family and to become part of the GDB community. As Breeding Stock Coordinator, Meghan deals directly with our breeding stock dogs and breeder custodians from placement through retirement. Working closely with Carol Simmons, her duties include handling custodian interviews and home visits, teaching the Dog Management Class, placing new breeder dogs, coordinating and assisting custodians throughout the dog’s career, organizing breeder sitters and conducting exit interviews for the breeder’s final retirement and adoption. Meghan currently lives in Petaluma with her husband, daughter Retired breeder Virtue and Boston Terrier, Loki. They enjoy walking downtown, going on bike rides, camping and road trips to Southern California and Baja.
Erica Loukides – Breeding Program Coordinator
Riane Wilkie – Reproductive Specialist
Riane is a transplant from the Midwest. Growing up she lived in Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin, then moved to North Carolina for college. After graduating in 2019, her job search brought her to GDB to join the Canine Welfare Neonatal department caring for newborn pups and their parents. While the pups are captivating, she fell in love with our breeder dogs and took the opportunity in 2022 to work more closely with our dog moms and dads by shifting part-time into the breeding department as a reproductive specialist. Working very closely with her partner and fellow CWN, Maria, she spends much of her time in the breeding lab monitoring our ladies in season for ovulation timing, doing artificial inseminations, or collecting semen for freeze, ship, or insemination. She still gets plenty of puppy time with the Neonatal department as well! When Riane is not at GDB she spends her time reading, hiking, going to the gym, and watching TV with her boyfriend and their cat, Eros.
Maria Melendez-Martinez – Reproductive Specialist
Maria was born and raised on the Peninsula but has spent time living all over the Bay Area. Besides going to Dominican University, she had never been to San Rafael, so finding a career at GDB was truly happenstance. She began in 2018 as a technician in the Neonatal department with no experience besides her love for her own dogs. She now is part-time in the Neonatal department and part-time in the breeding department sharing the role as Reproductive Specialist. With her partner, Riane, they keep track of the broods that are in season using ovulation timing methods. She also helps collect, analyze, and ship semen in collaboration with other guide dog schools. Often, she will gather DNA from the breeding colony and puppies to better understand the genetics in our dogs. Outside of work, Maria loves to read and take walks in Golden Gate Park in the hopes that she can try a new restaurant in the area. If given the chance to dance and get dressed up, she’s there!
Training Videos from GDB’s Puppy Raising Department
Click here to view all training videos currently used by our puppy raisers. Keep in mind that many of these videos demonstrate newer protocols that the breeder dog you care for may or may not have learned in his/her puppy raising home. The videos we most recommend for breeders are: Puppy Body Handling (part 1 &2), Nail Trimming, Food Induced Recall (part 1 & 2), Loose Leash Walking, Gentle Leader, Ground Tether, and Greeting Manners. Happy Training!
Foxtail or Field Guards are breathable mesh hoods worn over a dog’s head to protect their face from foxtails. GDB permits breeders to use these guards to help prevent foxtails or scavenging behaviors. They are sold at most pet stores as well as these vendors:
If the brood you care for is having trouble jumping in or out of your vehicle during her pregnancy, please contact a member of the Breeding Department to ask about borrowing a set of folding pet steps! We have a set on hand that we are happy to loan out to our custodians as needed.