Hello there! We are Rebecca Cao and Dan DeWoskin of Songbird Siberians. We are located in Ridgefield, Connecticut, one hour from New York City. Rebecca is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan and Dan is from Poway, California. They met in Ann Arbor after Rebecca had graduated from the University of Michigan and Dan was finishing up his PhD. Dan followed Rebecca out to Connecticut when she moved out there to attend law school at Yale. Shortly after, they got married in a small ceremony and brought home a puppy instead of going on a honeymoon. Their first Siberian turned their lives upside down and, ever since, all their life decisions have been based on their dogs’ happiness. They recently moved to a new 8-acre property, where the dogs have full run of two beautiful fenced-in yards. Dan and Rebecca have the luxury of working from home and spending all day with Siberians at their feet.
Rebecca was obsessed with horses (to put it mildly) for most of her life and hopes to own a horse in the future, when they have more land. This passion for horses led her to discover horse racing and breeding. She spent hours studying horse conformation and memorizing pedigrees, which has provided her an excellent foundation with which to develop an eye for dogs. Her experience training and showing horses has also translated to dogs, though they are very different animals.
Rebecca and Dan hope to educate others about the sports of dog showing and mushing, as well as the merits of responsible breeding. They firmly believe that there is a space for both rescues and responsible breeders. They are hugely passionate about the Siberian breed and preserving their original function as sled dogs. They are also passionate about welcoming new people into showing and breeding, since the US needs more reputable breeders. If you are interested in co-owning a show dog, feel free to reach out and/or indicate your interest in a puppy application.
A message from Rebecca & Dan
All of our dogs live in the house with us and spend very little time being crated. They are first and foremost members of our family. We take excellent care of them, giving them the best we can afford in every way. We have a full-time kennel manager that spends time with the dogs during the day while we are at work. She is one of the few people in the world we trust with our dogs! She also takes (excellent) care of the pack at home when we are traveling for shows. Every night, all of our dogs get their teeth brushed and receive a dental chew. Every other year, or as needed, they get dental cleanings. Our puppies are raised in puppy pens in our house, and our litters are whelped in a spare bedroom. Since we breed so rarely, both of us take time off work to spend as much time with the litter as we can (Dan for a week and Rebecca for the full two months). Rebecca takes full advantage of the time she has with the puppies, giving them full run of the house starting around 4-5 weeks and supervising/house-training them for most of the day.
All puppies that we keep go to puppy classes for socialization from 8 to 16 weeks. They also go swimming for the first time in a dog pool during this time. At night, the dogs are crated in a large room with lots of windows, where a humidifier/dehumidifier and air purifier is running all the time. The room is also climate-controlled, but we never have to use the heat! We use Ruffland and Impact crates with our dogs at home. For exercise, the dogs have two fully fenced yards (each a half acre) with large oak trees for shade. During summer months, we use a slatmill dog treadmill indoors to exercise the pups. During fall and winter months, we will hike, bikejor, skijor, and sled with our dogs.
We strive to finish our dogs’ AKC championships prior to breeding them, except in the case of especially slow-maturing dogs. All of our dogs must pass health clearances (hips and eyes) prior to breeding. Our girls are bred once or twice while they are young, and then they live out the rest of their lives as our beloved pets and members of our racing team. We keep our breeding program very small so that we do not have to rehome dogs upon retirement. If the perfect home came along, though, we would be willing to rehome many of our adults. Feel free to inquire about adopting any of our retired adult dogs or any of our show dogs upon retirement.