could I be prouder?

June 10, 2024

The answer is no, absolutely not!

This past weekend, Mia, Gelly von Tighe Haus (Kew x Irck) earned her IGP 1 at the Scarborough Select Club under Judge Raino Flüegge. This was the handler's first Schutzhund title and I know how hard it is to earn this title as someone who has titled multiple dogs - it's not easy!! She had very nice scores 95-84-80 and it was a bit of a last minute decision.

Congratulations to Mia & Patti! I'm so proud of you both. I feel like it is a good representation of my dogs when a brand new handler can title their dog at a young age (Mia is 3.5).

Look at me taking the credit LOL

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protection training

June 4, 2024

We (OWDC) had a protection seminar a few weeks ago and our very favourite photographer captured some nice shots of Fredi for me to use for her upcoming breeding announcement.

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Polka-Dot Chihuahuas

May 29, 2024

Yup, I'm crazy!

Check out my other upcoming litter - Love this little dog!

New Website

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going to finally breed again!

May 3, 2024

It was a hard decision to I train/trial Fredi this summer and try for her IGP 2 and 3 in the fall or do I breed her? I am not ready for another dog but waiting to breed her is not wise for a first litter. She will be 4 (can't believe it!) in June and not wanting a winter litter, my choice is to breed her this summer or next. I've decided to breed her this summer.

So now she is blowing her coat which means her heat is just around the corner.

I will also be breeding Dot as the stud dog I want for her in also in PA - why make two trips!!

Not that anything will work out - it never does!

Photos of the chosen stud dog (for Fredi...not Dot! LOL) - Ori vom Warkonhaus

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he's going to be a stud dog

March 27, 2024

I see posts and get asked all the time about stud dogs. People (pet owners) have an idea that their new pup will one day be a stud dog. "I want to use him for a stud dog or I want to stud him out" is what they will say. I'm not exactly sure why they think this particular dog has what it takes...but basically they think that since they love it, it will be a stud dog because everyone else will too!

It's the same as the people who want to breed their females. And no doubt, the "stud" dog owners meet up with the "I want to breed my female" owners and this is how BYB are made.

What is a stud dog? Any dog that sired a litter.

I just read a website that says "Once you have all the relevant documentation ready and a clean bill of health from your vet - you are ready to start running a stud service operation!" - seriously?? "Stud Dog Operation" - who writes this stuff??!!

Unless you are involved in a breed specific venue (for GSDs that would be SchH, Herding, Conformation, Obedience etc...) - NO ONE WANTS TO USE YOUR DOG AS A STUD DOG! Why would we? Relevant documentation and your vet saying "yup, he's healthy" is far from enough for you to be offering stud services! (and yes, I actually get calls from people owning males they want me to use). Not sure if they are after the stud fee or just want their dog to breed....

Wouldn't even consider your male unless he has the following:
- SV Hips/Elbows/Spine
- DM test
- Brucellosis negative
- Title (beyond a BH)
- Bonus for a breed survey & Pennhip

photos of my much missed stud dog

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conformation & mentoring

March 18, 2024

Read a FB post over the weekend about how breeders who do not sit ringside at conformation shows and learn from more experienced breeders are just back-yard-breeders.... My hackles went up immediately but I did not add my opinion (hard, I know!). I did add a laughing emoji to the post and then the author (and group owner) BANNED laughing emojis - which I REALLY wanted to add another laughing emoji to but....

I am the first to admit that I do not like, enjoy or find any value in conformation showing. I have been to many...far too many. I have organized, participated, shown my dogs, sat ringside, sat with the judge, been a steward etc... and I have never found ANY benefit from any of it. Conformation showing is technically supposed to be judging your dog to the standard....or better yet, how the judge of the day interprets the standard. It is a subjective competition where, if judging your dog to the standard was all it was about, would have your dog and only your dog in the ring while the judge gave you a critique. Reality is your dog is being judged against other dogs and hence the competition...and where there is competition there is cheating, back-stabbing, bad-mouthing and politics.

My dogs would be practically laughed out of a CKC ring. They are bred to work. They are bred to be healthy and long-lived. They are bred for temperament. They are bred to be biddable. They are bred for a lot of things, but they are NOT bred for the show-ring.

I do show my dogs in conformation - it is a requirement for a breed-survey. My G rated dog Fredi was told she would have received an SG by the judge who did her survey. So how is she a G one day and an SG on another? Her conformation never changed.....

Mentoring is important - to a point. I know what I like, I know what I want and having someone else in the breed telling me how that dog's stifle is too long or that dog's back is too short is not that important to me.

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March 7, 2024

I swear I have written a post about this before but I can't find it. What is the expression...a bit of knowledge is dangerous??

I'm on a GSD message board and someone was looking for a puppy. The requirements were pretty good - although there were some red flags (you want a dog for "high level competition" and you're asking on a message board?? and they mentioned colour...) Anyway, I replied (and I NEVER recommend myself! - I must not have had my coffee?) but said that I don't have a warranty (they called it a guarantee - and I corrected them that no one can guarantee a puppy, they warranty them) or contract but I stand behind my dogs.

Well.... I was then labelled an unethical, disreputable breeder! I mean what kind of breeder doesn't offer a warranty and contract? They obviously KNEW this was how EVERY ethical breeder operates! I had copied the why I don't have a contract part of my website - no where does it say I don't stand behind my dogs! But the innuendoes and rude comments kept coming. I left the conversation after the original poster said they knew many "top level' breeders who had contracts and warranties so I told them to buy one of their dogs! After one too many insinuation, I reported the thread. The original poster then deleted all her posts and left the board. That, right there, tells me everything I need to know and I am incredibly fortunate that I didn't sell her a puppy!

Like I mention in my explanation of why I don't have a contract is that I do everything I can to ensure you buy the best I have to offer. Fredi has SV, PennHip & OFA orthos....what more can I do? Most breeders do ONE certification. You want a puppy from parents with ONE certification rather than 3 because they will offer you a warranty?? Give your head a shake! Contracts are written to protect the breeder not the buyer. And if a puppy does not pass their certifications, why is it assumed to be the breeder's fault? I'm not there to see if you've let the dog do things I don't agree with (too much exercise, stairs, jumping, bad footing etc...). To be clear - NONE of my dogs have ever failed their orthos (not all have been x-rayed, but those that have, have passed). If your dog developes something when they are 8, do you want your money back?

Just like my last post about taking responsibility, I take responsibility - but dogs are living creatures and buyers have a responsibility too. My breeding practices are what I believe. If you think otherwise, you don't have to buy from me - but think it through and don't get stuck on "only ethical breeders have contracts/warranties" - dog's are not televisions.

(photo of Fredi & Kew)

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take responsibility

March 6, 2024

I was reading a FB complaint about a Malinois breeder and it really made me see red. When you buy a dog from a breeder and then less than a year later splash all over social media that people need to BEWARE because said breeder doesn't do enough health testing, what does that say about YOU?? I'm not saying inadequate health testing is ok, but YOU bought the puppy from this breeder and it would have taken very little time to research what testing is necessary for the breed. What is YOUR excuse? Someone didn't warn you?? I see people warning buyers all the time and they mostly disregard the warnings because they've already made up their minds. I saw a lot of issues that were NOT the breeders fault. When you take your puppy to 3 different vets and none of them have ever heard of the issue your dog has (and it didn't sound genetic) - how is that the fault of the breeder?

I also saw the state of the dog when it was returned to the breeder and the buyer should be ashamed of themselves. You can't say your vet agreed that the quality and quantity of food you are feeding is good when your dog looks like a holocaust victim!

I don't know the breeder (or buyer) but I find this type of bashing ridiculous. I didn't read the sympathy comments for the buyer because I just can't stand people who take no responsibility for their dogs and try to blame everything on the dog's breeder.

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no time for crap

February 20, 2024

Someone joined my GSD Facebook group on the weekend and then promptly went to my kennel page and commented on a graphic of Edith's upcoming litter that is being bred by Warkonhaus in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately I didn't keep a copy of the comment but it was something about the methods of training used on the breeding dogs would manifest themselves in the temperament of the puppies because 'genetic trauma' was a real thing. I have never looked into genetic trauma so I have no opinion, but what I do know is that when I asked this person what they knew of these dogs, they said that in "every photo of Edith she looks stressed and my group was full of aversive training methods". Right there I blocked them from both my page and the GSD group. First, there are no photos of Edith anywhere on my page as the last time I saw her she was 8 weeks old and the FB group has no training videos or discussions as most of it is pet related.

I have no issue debating anyone about anything dog related and will willingly admit when I don't know something. But when you tell me a dog looks stressed in a headshot and comment on training methods you haven't seen.... I have no time for that crap!

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February 14, 2024

On January 26th Emmy turned 14! A couple of years ago I started celebrating her half birthdays because I honestly didn't think she'd live this long. Not that she isn't in good shape, but because I've lost 4 GSDs at around 10 or 11 years. Emmy, as might be obvious, is my favourite dog. She has impressed me from the moment I picked her up at the airport, and over her 14 years has given me everything. She produced 19 puppies, has more titles than any other German Shepherd dog in Canada (that I know of) and has been an incredible pet.

So what do you do for a dog like that? You build her a charcuterie board, have a party and have her produce a couple of pieces of art.

Already planning her 14 and a half!

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we're number 4....or number 1 or number 76!

January 23, 2024

Fredi finished the year as the #4 GSD in Canada (CKC Obedience), or the #1 GSD in Ontario .... or the 76th all breed.

It's all good!

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all done for the year

November 21, 2023

Fredi earned her AKC CDX in Syracuse this past weekend and that will conclude our trialling for awhile! In the past 8 weeks she has completed her IGP1, her breed survey (KKL), her CKC CD and her CKC CDX (with a high in trial!) and now her AKC CDX! We both need a rest.

My goal for next year is her IGP2 and maybe IGP3 but I'm not sure a shot at CKC or AKC Utility will be in the cards as it is very difficult and you need to be close to perfect before stepping in the ring (see Emmy LOL). We will be training for it though and she is already doing her signals, scent articles and moving stand for exam - so we have a start.

With all this competitive obedience trialling, I think my ring nerves are going up instead of down so I will be looking into how to reduce my stress!

All in all, I'm very happy with Fredi's training, her wonderful temperament and her ability to take it all in stride.

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no, it's not the same!

November 8, 2023

Just reading a post from someone looking to buy a puppy (but they keep calling it adoption) from a breeder who doesn't certify hips/elbows. The breeder is telling them that doing preliminary OFA at 12 month is the same as doing SV at 12 months.

I'll just leave this isn't!

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October 6, 2023

It has been a very busy couple of weeks for Fredi and I - First, we trialed for our IGP1 and did great! Fredi earned High in Trial, High Protection and High Obedience.

To be fair - there were not many competitors - but, I was very happy with all phases.

Protection was flawless after a mishap at the blind that cost us 15 points (not included in the video). Obedience is a phase where you know going in what the problems are, but sometimes they surprise you. Her tracking was great. Happy when all our hard work pays off!

Protection Video

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CD and almost a CDX

October 6, 2023

Last weekend (yes, the very next weekend after doing our IGP1) I entered Fredi in Hamilton for her CD and if we were successful I had planned to move her up and try to get her CDX. These are the first two of 3 CKC obedience titles.

After a bumpy start (she moved on her stand for exam.....she NEVER moves on her stand for exam!), she earned the next 3 legs (you need 3 under 2 different judges) to pass her Companion Dog title. So the next day we had moved up to Open (CDX - Companion Dog Excellent). She earned her first and second leg of that level but missed the third because of mistakes on MY part.

I was very happy with her both in and out of the ring!

She earned a well deserved rest.... but because we need that last leg, she is now entered in the Lindsay trials and Syracuse Trials (AKC equivalent) in November.

CDX Run Video

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wait a minute...

August 24, 2023

Yesterday I received an email that Fredi had qualified to enter the AKC "Obedience Classic" in Florida. I started looking to see how she 'made the cut'... "Congratulations, your dog has met the eligibility requirements to enter the 10th AKC Obedience Classic, December 16-17, 2023."

What I found was nothing. I could find a lot about "eligibility" but nothing about how she qualified.

Turns out she got her CD title and that's it.

Almost thought she was special for a minute (she is, but you know what I mean)

Still nice to be asked to go I guess?

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OWDC Dock Diving Day

August 8, 2023

OWDC's second or 3rd...maybe 4th annual dock diving day at The Dog Ranch was last Thursday. This year I didn't bring Emmy as she would love to go, but it's a bit much for her I think. Kew got to come out as screaming is an acceptable noise level! Fredi does not have the dock gene and just runs, stops and then jumps!

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another half birthday!

July 28, 2023

This past Wednesday Emmy turned 13 and a half. I am so blessed to still have her around - and not only is she still around, she's doing great!

We spent the day at her favourite place on the Ottawa river where she played in the water without resting most of the time. A year ago I really didn't think she'd be around this summer - not because she wasn't healthy, but because most GSDs don't make it to this age.

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she's no dummy

June 7, 2023

Here are some photos of Fredi's performance as the "dummy" dog in OWDC's Spring Trial.

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so busy!

May 31, 2023

It has been a very busy spring! We have had a couple of protection workshops, a test day and last weekend our club held a trial. Even though I was not trialling, Fredi was the 'dummy' dog for the IGP obedience entry so we had to get our sh*t together for that!

I was happy with her performance but it's not as stressful as it is to be actually competing to although it's great practice, it doesn't completely replicate trial conditions.

Here are a few photos of Fredi working with Guillaume Beaurent from Belgium.

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better the breed?

April 14, 2023

I was reading a thread on a FB breeding group last night about someone looking for a stud dog. She needed one for the next day as her female was ready and the dog she was going to use fell through. I know the feeling. I had only a few days to find the sire of my first litter because the chosen sire (who ended up fathering my C and D litters) fell through at the last minute.

What was interesting is that the female to be bred has no titles and has a dysplastic elbow. Supposedly the dog trains with a police dept but is not in a K9 unit. The poster believes that the dog is fantastic and should be bred and the failing elbow could have been caused by an injury when the dog was 8 months old.

THIS is a perfect example of how not to breed. I don't know her dog, I've never even seen a video of it working but when I help people purchase a puppy there are 3 things I tell them to look for - 1. The puppy will be registered (CKC, AKC etc..) 2. The sire and damn have certified hips (OFA, SV, PennHip) 3. The sire and damn have certified elbows (OFA, SV). Those THREE things are nonnegotiable.

Other reasons this request was ridiculous is that she wasn't going to pay a stud fee - you were going to take a puppy out of the breeding in exchange. So, to use your ortho certified male, you were going to be stuck with a puppy whose mother was dysplastic (genetic or environmental?.... after people looked at the pedigree further it would seem genetic). And if the breeding didn't take? Well that had already happened twice before and the dog was already 4 so you might get nothing for your trouble!

Lastly and most importantly, her defence of all of this was that she was 'bettering the breed'. I hear this phrase a lot and think about it when I breed. I look at my dogs and consider their many faults (none of which are failing orthos!) and look for a stud dog that will help improve them without taking away what it is I like and want to keep. "Most breeders start out with less-than-perfect dogs" - do they?? I've had less than perfect dogs.... Tighe, Indie, Rideau, Mercury....None of them where ever bred. What they taught me is "there are a lot of less-than-perfect dogs" - they should be neutered! Emmy is not perfect, Kew is not perfect and Fredi is not perfect. But without passing orthos (and in my belief, titles) they would never have been bred - period.

One other thing that I find bewildering (and I've seen it before) is that the puppies would be sold on non-breeding contracts that would not be lifted until they passed hip/elbow certifications....

To better the breed you do not start with something that needs that much bettering!

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finally trialling!

April 11, 2023

After two false starts, Fredi finally made it to a competitive obedience trial last weekend in Syracuse NY.

I was so proud of my girl! She represented my breeding program -solid, focused and unfazed! Like her grandmother Emmy, Fredi took it all in stride. She had never been in that sort of atmosphere with so many people and dogs, but still she performed well and received many compliments.

Her obedience was almost perfect. For that I have to thank my friend and coach Ann Hazlett. Fredi's heeling was not great in her BH so we worked hard this past winter to improve and it paid off. Her scores of 196.5, 197.5 (I accidentally didn't check her front legs before leaving her for the stand for exam and she moved a foot costing us 2 points!), and 199 proved that she knows her stuff. Her spare leg of 187 showed not all judges like our style of heeling LOL.

We also competed in Rally Obedience as in the US there is only one obedience trial per day so there's lots of time to enter a second trial. Her scores in Rally (having NEVER done a course before the trial) were 100, 100, 100, 99.

Fredi ended up with 7 First Place finishes, two new titles and a very proud Breeder, Handler, Owner & Trainer!

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all the things we do

March 27, 2023

Emmy continues her healthy active senior years - We started Adequan injections last week, we are continuing with water treadmill once a week, acupuncture, physiotherapy (laser and myofascial release therapy), canine conditioning, hydrotherapy, chiropractic sessions and a host of supplements (Omega Alpha Hyaluronic acid, SinewPet and Myos).

Sounds like a lot, and maybe it is, but keeping her in the best shape I can for however long she has left is all I can do for her.

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more water

March 17, 2023

This week Emmy started doing a weekly underwater treadmill session at Carleton Veterinary Services. This is just another "keep her healthy and active" in her senior years activity she can do (especially in the winter).

I don't think she enjoyed it like she enjoys her swims!

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to the point

February 28, 2023

Yesterday Emmy had her first acupuncture treatment with Pamela Corey DVM. She actually came out to the marina and treated Emmy so I didn't even have to bring her anywhere. I was thoroughly impressed with the whole thing.

I know nothing about acupuncture so I learned a lot and Emmy was incredible well behaved (great down stay!) for the treatment.

We will do another next week and go from there.

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keeping her healthy

February 23, 2023

Emmy being a senior (when did that happen?) is constantly on my mind. How to do the very best I can for her and how to make sure she is as comfortable as possible. I know she would like treats all day, but that isn't going to help her so I am trying to cut back on her dinner to make sure there are a lot of treats.

This week I took her to see a different vet for a change. We did blood/urine analysis, exam and discussed what might benefit her.

Lab report came back excellent and hopefully I will start her on some acupuncture and water treadmill soon.

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bad luck or blessing?

February 7, 2023

This past weekend I had entered Fredi in 6 AKC trials in Syracuse, NY. A week and a half before the trials she went into heat. It wasn't completely unexpected but I was hoping my dates might be off a bit.

The AKC will be issuing us a refund but I was terribly disappointed to be missing ANOTHER weekend of trialing. Then Thursday I came down with the flu and was pretty much couch/bed ridden all weekend! So in the end it was a good thing we didn't go!

This morning I found a big 4 club event going on at the Syracuse Fairgrounds at the end of March! I have trialed there with both Rideau and with Emmy so I'm (again) really looking forward to this.... what could possibly go wrong??

Photos of Fredi's new Yeti!

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lucky 13

January 27, 2023

My beautiful Emmy turned 13 yesterday! We had a small party.

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another new website

January 9, 2023

I created a website for our club Ottawa Working Dog Club

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dog gifts

December 29, 2022

what do you get the dog that has everything? Another new bed!

I've been trying to buy Emmy the best orthopaedic bed I can find but it's hard to buy one online. A friend suggested a Yeti so I splurged and got her one. I think she really likes it!

And for the spoiled chihuahua, she got a new 'car' crate that matches the other dogs.

Fredi and Kew didn't get big gifts, they didn't seem to care!

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change of plans

December 9, 2022

Well, we were to be off to Sudbury yesterday but as I was packing the car I heard a dog coughing. I thought it was Emmy and I was worried about leaving her if she wasn't well. Turns out it was Fredi! No official vet diagnosis, but pretty sure it's kennel cough. Where did she get it? No idea! It is highly contagious.

So now it's honey, nosodes, cough syrup and rest. Keeping a close eye on Emmy because, as with most illnesses, it's hardest on the seniors.

My goal is now an AKC trial in February.

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first trial jitters

December 5, 2022

This coming weekend will be Fredi's first time in a CKC obedience ring and boy am I stressing! She can do all the exercises no problem but it's a different atmosphere and I hope she is ok with it. Hope I'm ok with's been a long time!

Seven years ago this same weekend I took Emmy to the same venue where she earned her CKC OTCh. I was so overwhelmed I cried! It was a hard title to get and I now know that the dog needs to be pretty solid to enter for that level. Fredi is only doing her CD, but there are off leash group sit/down stays and as I mentioned a totally different atmosphere. We haven't even done a fun-match!

On a happy note, Fredi is doing well with her scent discrimination (preparing for that OTCh one day!), her go-outs and we started glove holding this weekend.

One step in our journey!

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i love this dog

November 7, 2022

After seeing the photos I took of Emmy, I asked my friend Sarah to take some. She always captures Emmy the way I see her.

Saturday was an unseasonably warm day so I brought Emmy to the club. She got to play her favourite game of monkey in the middle and ran some blinds better than her grand-daughter Fredi!

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fall photos

October 25, 2022

tried to take some fall photos of Fredi, Emmy & Dot (I can only fit 3 dogs in my car so Kew didn't get to per usual LOL)

I'm not even going to post the ones I took of Fredi because she looks like she has no neck!

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a different helper

October 13, 2022

This past weekend Fredi was invited to a workshop with Belgian helper Guillaume Beaurent hosted by Oneida Working Dog Club near London.

We worked on some specific exercises like "heir/fuss", side-transport, escape bites and guarding. Great work and great new ways to teach these to the dog.

Never come on the field like a tourist! 😆

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on our way!

September 27, 2022

This past Saturday, Fredi passed her BH. We have obviously trained past just her BH, but the BH is the start of the journey.

I was able to trial with 4 other club members also doing their BH's (we all passed!) and I was paired with my favourite photographer and good friend Sarah. We have been training together for over a dozen years! It's nice to share these things with friends.

Fredi did well, she needs work on her heeling and I made a big mistake on her long down that I've made before with Emmy. Hopefully I have learned my lesson?

Sunday she passed her FPr1 that I did just for "fun" - to support the club with an entry and to practice tracking in a trial atmosphere. Her corners need work but I was happy with her overall performance. After the track we did her 20km AD (with Sarah riding the bike). She will need her AD for an eventual breed survey.

Photos are Fredi, Sarah and her dog Ayk and the trial champion Munich

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great training

September 20, 2022

Spent 3 days working protection with Dominic Scarberry at OWDC. We have worked with Dominic twice before and love how we can progress yet not overlook the fundamentals.

As our club doesn't have a certified helper, protection training is sporadic and can feel as if you will never progress with the limited training we do. This weekend Fredi worked on almost every element of the IGP 1 routine. We didn't "master" them, but we are now working without a harness and sometimes without a leash. Sending Fredi into the blind etc..

Feels good!

Feels like we will get there!

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not today

September 12, 2022

Way, way back when I had my first litter (Sept 2014) I took some of the money and had PRP injections done in Emmy's lower back (it had been bothering her for a year. Long story short, we never worked on conditioning our dogs back then and constant hitting the sleeve takes it toll) and in her elbows. Her elbows x-rayed clear but at 5 were starting to show signs of arthritis according to the orthopaedic vet.

I did her elbows again after the second litter because again, the vet said it would be a good idea.

She developed a growth on her right elbow and had had it for years. It never seemed to bother her. I asked my vet to remove it when she was put under at 9 to be spayed, but she didn't want to keep her under any longer than necessary. I noticed in the last year that it was getting larger. Lately, it looked like it was bursting at the seems - but still didn't seem to bother her.

Wednesday night the growth started to bleed. I remember thinking that I knew one day it was going to do something, but I had no idea it would haemorrhage. I got the bleeding stopped and wrapped it. My vet came by and did a much better job and we discussed removing it the next week. Well 24 hours later it ruptured again and this time I couldn't stop the bleeding. My vet came by again (yes, I have the best vet!) and wrapped it and said it would have to come off tomorrow.

Vets are busy, clinics are backed up, but she fit the surgery in for me. I knew that it could very well be Emmy's last night with me but she was uncomfortable and I could do nothing but look at her and cry. Losing my dog like this was not how I pictured things. At 12.5+, surgery is very hard on a dog and I knew the odds were not in my favour.

I said my goodbyes as they took her away, went home and cried more. Then I got the call that she was awake.

The healing will not be easy as it's an elbow and it moves - but she is still with me (driving me nuts because she has no desire to just rest) and hopefully we will have a few more years together!

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dock diving

August 10, 2022

Ottawa Working Dog Club had a dock diving day yesterday. Ten dogs got to try out the dock diving pool at The Dog Ranch in North Gower.

I brought Kew out for the last one we had in 2020 and she has been off the dock at the marina many times but I forgot how good she was at this!

She has to be good at something LOL

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twelve and a half

August 2, 2022

Last Tuesday was Emmy's 12 and a half birthday. We celebrated BIG for this one! As her actual birthday is at the end of January, there isn't much I can do with her in a deep freeze so we pulled out all the stops for this one. I hope to have many more half birthdays with her, but I am realistic so every day counts.

We started the celebrations having a custom bed for the porch made for her, then with a photoshoot with Erika Anderson last Sunday (photos aren't available yet) and lastly we took her to her favourite beach on the Ottawa River for the day.

I love this dog!

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July 18, 2022

Spending a lot of time just sitting in the backyard watching my dogs lately. Mostly watching Fredi and Dot frolic. There is nothing cuter to me then watching two mismatched size dogs play. When Emmy had her first litter, I used to sit outside every morning watching Rico play with the puppies. It was the end of October / beginning of November and I would take my camera out and watch how incredibly gentle he was with the whole litter. I thought that he must love puppies but he didn't play with any of my litters after that.

Fredi is great with Dot and besides the odd "oops" moment, they get along so well. Emmy is extremely tolerant with Dot but doesn't want to play with her. Kew has been the most difficult. She really doesn't want anything to do with her at all. But I know she won't hurt her.

My Facebook and Instagram pages will be flooded with photos of Dot playing with Fredi - and hopefully the odd photo of Kew and Emmy warming up to the little one!

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on request

July 12, 2022

Just saw an ad for puppies..."Parents tested and clear for hips elbows and thyroid ( certificates available on request)"

Is it just me?? (and no, it's not the missing comma 😃 )

There are no registered names so why does a puppy buyer have to request the clearances?? If registered names were provided, they would be searchable in the OFA Database. Why can't you add a link or redacted documents to your post to PROVE certification? I think most puppy buyers don't know what to request and then wouldn't understand the documents anyway.

Someone asked for info and the answer (as it usually is) says "PM Sent". Another comment asked for the kennel name - no answer.

Maybe it's just me

Photos of Fredi & Kew in portrait mode. Makes them look like they only have heads!

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another website

July 5, 2022

Wanted to share my latest website creation. I post often about taking Emmy for her senior swim hydrotherapy session at Maple Hill Canine Centre and after becoming friends with the owner Kathy, I asked if I could do up a new site for her business.

I'm not a professional, I do my own website and I've made a couple of others for events.

Maple Hill Canine Centre is now live (I also did the logo, some rack and business cards too).

Check them out - family run boarding facility with a pool and canine conditioning and massage.

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big dogs and the small dog

July 4, 2022

Beautiful long weekend to take advantage of having the dogs out together. I am very fortunate (lucky?) to be able to have 3 generations of females that co-exist without rotation or crates. Adding a chihuahua to the mix - and a female at that - might prove to have been a bad idea, but for now it's working just fine.

We started with Fredi as I knew she'd be the most accepting but also the most boisterous. It pretty much went as expected. Fredi was very curious and learned quick that she needed to be careful. Emmy and Kew are less accepting but they have both had puppies so I think they are more cautious.

Emmy and Dot go out each morning together to potty and then back inside so Emmy can make sure Dot finishes every bit of her breakfast. We did this for over a week with no issues. We would also let Dot and Fredi play together for about 15-20 minutes every night.

This weekend Dot spent more time with Kew (who couldn't have cared less about her) and time with all 3 girls together.

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she can swim!

June 27, 2022

Yesterday was Dot's first time in the pool at The Maple Hill Canine Centre and she did great!

We put her in the pool with Emmy for a bit just to see how she would do. She swam and relaxed with Kathy - no panicking, no stress and no trauma.

And since she can't touch the bottom, she used Emmy as a platform - Emmy didn't seem to mind!

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just a working dawg

June 14, 2022

I showed Fredi at the 2022 Ontario Regional Show this past weekend. The reason for dog shows is to make sure we are breeding dogs that meet the standard. Being on the working side of the breed I think it is important to show my dog because we shouldn't be breeding hideous dog regardless if they can work. But this reasoning doesn't cross over to the show side of the breed.

As per every show I've ever seen, ALL the working line dogs were put to the back of the line and ALL were given a rating of G (except those in the working class who all had breed surveys).

Fredi was no exception. Although she "beat" the other two working dogs in her age group, she was still just a working dog.

Fredi now has a rating of G, placement 1 and this is enough for her survey one day. I may show her again, but I don't have time to ring train her so there isn't much point.

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there's no place like home

June 6, 2022

It might sound like an impulse buy, but I've been waiting for her for almost 2 years!

She is a long-haired Chihuahua from Happy Valley kennels in Pennsylvania. I met one of their dogs back in 2018 when I had Kew in Ohio to do her breed survey. I decided to expand my pack (that was probably an impulse decision!) when Fredi was a puppy after watching how well the breeder's dogs got on with her German Shepherds (she is also a GSD breeder). A couple of other friends of mine have these dogs and can't say enough wonderful things about them.

A BIG thank you to Kathy & Gertie Seabrook from Maple Hill Canine Centre for making the trek down to PA to pick her up (and spoil her rotten!).

Introducing Happy Valley's There's No Place Like Home - call name Dorothy (or Dot for short).

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no time for this sh*t

May 24, 2022

Had a call on the weekend from someone looking for help to breed their German Shepherd Dog to a King Shepherd. Before they could even get into the issues, I stopped them and told them I wasn't going to help them breed mutts.

I was then called rude, defensive and offensive (not sure how I was both of the last ones LOL). So I replied that I wasn't any of those things and hung up (ok, maybe it's rude to hang up on someone but seriously?) You call a reputable (I hope I am) breeder and ask for free advice on how to breed mutts (and they tried to say they had a purebred dog so I pointed out that maybe they did, but the other dog sure wasn't!) and expect me to what?? I didn't let them suck me into their world, I didn't waste their time letting them explain the whole situation (because I basically don't care!) and told them.....oh wait....what they didn't want to hear!

If you want free advice on how to breed mutts there are two options, ask on FB (that will be interesting because you will either get advice you don't want to hear, or advice from people who have no business giving you advice!) or go to your vet...oh, wait, that will cost you money!

DO NOT call a reputable breeder you don't know and ask them!

Photo of Emmy trying to convince Jamie she too likes ice cream bars.

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April 29, 2022

On Tuesday of this week Fredi went for her eye check up (she got something in it a year ago) and to have her eyes certified through the OFA's CAER (Companion Animal Eye Registration) program.

The good news is that the damage from whatever she did is almost completely healed. The bad news is that she has something called Corneal Dystrophy.

I haven't learned everything about this yet, but from what I have read so far it is hereditary (Fredi's mother, grandmother and grandfather have all been checked in the past and none had it so I assume it might have come from her father's side?). According to the ophthalmologist it isn't affecting her sight and won't unless it gets worse (and this is the part I'm looking into now). I also have a friend who's dog had this back in 1998 and never passed it on to any of her offspring.

As a breeder, I want my dogs to be absolutely perfect health wise - but no dog is and the more you look for something wrong, the more likely you will find something. So although this isn't the best outcome, I will not remove Fredi from the breeding pool because of it. I will however remain completely transparent.

Fredi's CAER OFA Results

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7th birthday

April 14, 2022

7 years ago today Emmy had her second litter. I had back to back litters because I found the first litter went by so fast that I felt like I missed it. It was all so new and I was trialing Rico and didn't have the time to put into them like I wanted. So 7 months later I repeated the litter.

I think the B Litter was the litter I photographed the most. By the time they were ready to go outside, the weather was great and I took so many photos of them.

Happy 7th Birthday to Benny, Sloan, Branson, Brew, Bella & Brooklyn!

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she's my favourite

April 13, 2022

Every day is a blessing to me when Emmy opens her eyes and is healthy. Every night is a blessing to me when Emmy climbs on the couch or begs for a treat.

She is my favourite and I tell her that every day.

One day she won't be around and all I will have left are photos and memories.

There can never be enough of either.

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isn't it simple?

April 7, 2022

Again my rant stems from my FB group where I am trying my very best to help people find a responsible breeder. Every time a breeder is recommended, I check to see they are doing the very minimum with their breeding dogs. Minimum, in my opinion, is registering their puppies with the CKC (AKC, SV...whichever FCI recognized registry) and screening their breeding dogs for hip and elbow dysplasia. My personal standards are much higher - I think there is so more to breeding than these two things, but I drew the line (low as it is!) and think most decent breeders are doing these things.

Well, turns out they are or they aren't....hard to tell because they "say" they are - but after some digging (as I mentioned in "Liar Liar Pants on Fire" they might not be). So unfortunately I have a full time job and dogs to look after and train so I don't have all the time in the world to figure out which breeders are and which are not. I also believe that buyers shouldn't have to figure it out either. It should be transparent.

So according to one "breeder" - I'm nuts. His argument wasn't very clear mostly because he didn't have any issue with breeders providing proof he just kept ranting on about working ability (which is above the line and I total agree with but that's another discussion) and thinks I am excluding great breeders who "don't provided stupid links" (or something like that). Everyone goes on about education on the part of puppy buyers - why not educate breeders? I think they've forgotten how difficult it is for the average puppy buyer to weed through websites and understand what everything means.

Then again, his website doesn't provide proof.

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litter plans

March 30, 2022

We have no current litter plans.

That means I haven't even started to think about breeding Fredi. She will be 22 months on April 10th - she is now fully health tested (just need to do her eyes at the end of April (and I am worried because she got something in her eye a year ago so she may not pass!) but she isn't titled and I will not breed her until she has met that requirement.

I plan to show her at the Ontario Regionals in June and then do her BH-VT in September but I do not think we will be doing her IGP 1 until next year.

So when will she be bred? No idea.

This seems to be an odd answer for most callers. Yes I am a GSD breeder, no I do not have puppies, no I do not know when I will have puppies....

I also have no plans to breed Kew again. She was a great mom, but physically she didn't deliver very easily and has had 2 c-sections - that's enough.

So unlike people who buy a puppy and start planning breedings before the dog is 4 months old, I haven't even given it much thought. Things change quickly and although I do look at males and see what's going on, I'm not seriously thinking about a breeding at this point.

There is no rush.

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pool fun

March 29, 2022

This past Saturday I took all three girls for a recreational swim at Maple Hill Canine Centre. Kathy had installed a new fun toy for the dogs to push themselves up and grab. It was fun to watch how fast all three caught onto the game. Emmy was by far the smartest, Kew the loudest (of course) and Fredi didn't "get it" for quite a while (I cut that part out).

They all have different reasons to be in the pool but it is just the best exercise for all three!

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March 21, 2022

Had someone fill out my contact form on the weekend with some very long questions. Not about my dogs or breeding program, but basically asking for my professional advice for free. Thankfully I didn't spend a minute replying as I usually wait until I'm behind a real keyboard to type anything longer than one sentence. Not sure how much longer after I received the first email I received a second email telling me to disregard the first as they didn't want advice from anyone who is against the "vax pass" (as it states on the home page of my website).

Yup, I'm against discrimination and segregation! Get your vaccine, don't get your vaccine - that is your choice, but I will not discriminated against anyone for their choice - period!

This person would have fit right into pre-WWII Germany.

The world is a sad place right now - glad I have my dogs and I didn't get sucked into his world.

In other weekend news - all three of my girls got to have a swim at Maple Hill Canine Center (they don't discriminate either!)

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liar, liar, pants on fire?

March 11, 2022

As I've mentioned, I have a FB group for Ontario GSD people. I do not allow breeders who do not do basic health testing to be recommended. Basic equals certified hips & elbows.

When I rejected a comment about a certain breeder, the poster pointed out that 2 other VERY well known breeders were allowed to be listed. They claimed that they were also not doing basic health testing. I happen to know both of these breeders and although I am not familiar with all of their dogs, I didn't expect to find what I did when I started to look closely.

The first breeder is a showline breeder and I just picked the first litter and looked at the dam. Their website says she has HD/ED = normal. There is no link to any database and no copies of certification documentation. So I started to dig.... I could not find the dog listed in the SV or the OFA database. It's not an import as it has their kennel how is this possible?

The second breeder is a working line breeder and I started to go through their current litters and clicking on the mothers. The information on their website is desperately lacking... The female I focused on is again not listed on either the OFA or SV website - yet it says her elbows were evaluated as "clear/normal".

I was able to find out the CKC registration numbers for both of these dogs so I know for sure they are not listed in the OFA database. Getting their registration numbers is not always easy and I can't imagine a potential buyer being able to figure out any of this.

Are the breeders lying?

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she's so smart

March 10, 2022

Read an article about how to keep senior dogs happy and healthy. I have all of the points covered except for making Emmy use her brain. I brought her out to train while I had Fredi on some training rest and I could see she really enjoyed it, but doing this on a regular basis is difficult. Emmy is now almost completely deaf and we have limited indoor training time.

I decided to get her a dog puzzle and let her do that now and then. I borrowed a few from friends and after her swim on Saturday, gave her one to do. A friend had his niece over and she decided Emmy needed some help.

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new toy

March 8, 2022

A friend gave me a new toy for the dogs on Friday night.

I have been buying "GoDog" toys for my dogs for awhile now. They do not last forever, but I'm very happy with their quality. For the most part, they last a long time...until a dog decides its time is up and kills it. This is usually at least 6 months and sometimes it's not even one of my dogs who destroys it.

The GoDog toys are NOT cheap but again, for the money, and compared to other stuffed toys, they are worth the price.

The new toy was not a GoDog toy and it showed. It lasted 3 days.

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March 4, 2022

I mentioned in my news article called "cutting corners" that it is very simple to alter an OFA document.

I don't have any official hip/elbow certificates as I don't do OFA, but here is a copy of Fredi's preliminary results.

Which one is authentic? (this took me about 30 seconds)

Here is the actual link to her results.

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old fashioned

March 1, 2022

I was reading a breeder's description of their dogs on Kijiji this weekend and just had to screenshot it and write about it.

Their main focus points about their dogs were that they didn't breed for "angles" or "slopes" - that they bred "old fashioned" dogs. The next paragraph talks about how their dogs are very large and calm - but athletes! Every time I see someone describing the breed as 'old fashioned' yet oversize, I wonder if they actually know anything about the history of the breed?

I checked out their website and it's about 10 years out of date so very difficult to look at individual dogs. Without an updated website I can't tell if they x-ray their breeding stock. I searched the OFA database for their kennel name and found only ONE entry - so I assume they do not. Their dogs do not do Schutzhund and I don't think they are involved in CKC events either. But they describe their puppies as "obedient" - not sure how puppies are obedient but whatever... LOL

This breeder has been at it for over 25 years.

I did find negative reviews, a "rip-off report" and another place where they describe their puppies as "the perfect German Shepherd Dog"

I beg to differ....

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cutting corners

February 24, 2022

I have a GSD Facebook group and the simple rule regarding recommendations or posting puppies/studs etc... is that the kennel/dog MUST provide a pedigree link and the dogs must have minimum certified hips and elbows. This is WAY below my breeding standards, but IMO is the minimum done on breeding dogs.

So yesterday a difference of opinion came up from two breeders in the group. They think it's acceptable to breed with only OFA preliminary results. Hey, they can do whatever they want, but I won't allow it on my group. My group, my rules and I have plenty of reasons.

- OFA Preliminary submissions can be made as early as FOUR months (not my job to check and see how old the dog was when the x-rays were taken)

- OFA Preliminary results will not be listed in their database if the dog is under 12 months and unless the breeder checks off a box that allows ANY results to be shown (ie - the dog doesn't pass)

- OFA Preliminary submissions are just that - PRELIMINARY. The OFA has a process that doesn't allow for certification (ie the dog does not acquire an OFA #) unless the dog is over 24 months.

So while SV will certify a dog at 12 months, OFA has a 24 month minimum certification process. I am not a vet, I am not an expert, but I have studied these certification systems and I know how they work. According to my vet, the SV system is NOT the same as OFA. Saying that because the SV will certify at 12 months means it's ok to use a different system but take rules from another is not ok.

The SV does not have a "preliminary" process - that doesn't mean breeders like myself do not have their dogs x-rayed before 12 months to do the same thing that an OFA preliminary process accomplishes. The purpose is clearly stated on the OFA website "If the dog is found to be dysplastic at an early age, the economic loss from the cost of training, handling, showing and so forth can be minimized and the emotional loss reduced." So you x-ray your dog to find out if you are putting time and money into a dog that is never going to be breeding quality. Then, at 24 months (for OFA) or at 12 months (for SV), you x-ray again to certify for breeding purposes. Neither the GSSCC or SV will accept OFA preliminary results for a breed survey.

Naturally the "reasons" to only breed with preliminary x-rays are laughable, it mostly boils down to time and money. Skipping OFA certification because you want a summer litter instead of a winter litter is not in the best interest of the breed. Skipping ANY certification because of what YOU want isn't in the best interest of the breed.

So after training last night I started to look into some of these breeders who are breeding on preliminary results. One has a litter with a dog that is over two and a half years old, yet still does not have official OFA results. The supposed preliminary results are not listed on the OFA database either. Why not? Why would a breeder not have the results published? Are they presenting a digital copy of a certificate without the OFA link? I'll just leave this here - It is very easy to digitally alter an OFA document... I had forgotten that I sent Fredi's x-rays for preliminary OFA evaluation to add information to an article I'm writing - her results, regardless, were posted with my blessing - nothing to hide here!

Another breeder I looked at does not have a website just a FB page - VERY difficult to see the whole picture from a FB page! But again, the bitch isn't listed on the OFA database. I tracked the female down through the CKC and found out she was born in 2016.... STILL no official OFA certification at 5??

Why does any of this matter? Why do I care? If you look at the articles I've written, I understand it's very difficult for a puppy buyer to figure out how things work when it comes to finding a good breeder. Using preliminary results that aren't even listed on the database of the system you chose to certify your breeding dog is completely unhelpful.

I look at Fredi, 20+ months old, in full standing heat today, hips/elbows certified and a bunch of other health testing done and there is NO rush to breed her. Not the weather, not that I NEED another dog to replace Rico...

But then again, I can never replace Rico!

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fixed it!

February 22, 2022

Last Sunday (the 13th) Fredi somehow hurt something. Dogs will run through deep snow, chase anything that moves and they don't care about ice.

Couldn't figure out what part of her was injured - back? leg? really hard to tell in a dog that doesn't show pain but I could sense that she wasn't 100% and she wasn't jumping into the car as she normally would.

I didn't run to the vet (so unlike me!) but put her on rest (no training) and then booked her for some hydrotherapy at Maple Hill Canine Center. Swimming is the best exercise and Kathy is a better evaluator than I am when it comes to figuring out where the problem is.

Fredi has had 2 sessions since then, hasn't trained for a week and had a nice long walk yesterday without the other dogs.

She seems completely back to her old self!

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when you just know...

February 14, 2022

I usually don't bother commenting on FB posts from bad breeders (that are not on my FB run groups) but I did last night. I asked what health testing the parents who produced the litter had. No, I'm not interested in buying one of them - but I like to ask so the breeder will have to share that info for those that are interested.

99% of the time there is none or very limited health testing. And 100% of the time the breeders will either not answer, be very vague or (my favourite) block you for asking.

Buyer beware? Nah, the buyers only ask "where are you and how much?"

Note: I was blocked LOL

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fake news?

January 28, 2022

Twice in the last few weeks, callers have told me that I am advertising things I am not. One told me that my Google Knowledge Panel said I board and train dogs and another this morning told me that although he doesn't use the internet, the internet says I have puppies. This is the same as the rant...I mean news article I wrote about November 22.

So naturally these calls lead me to first figure out what a Google Knowledge Panel is and second, to argue with the second caller.

Turns out the Google Knowledge Panel is just little panel that comes up on the right hand side of a Google search. The content of the panel comes from my website and from "Google My Business" - both of these things are under my complete control and although I am not that technically advanced that I know everything about all of this, I know that nowhere does it say that I board dogs or train them for others. My guess is that people 'googling' for dogs just click and click and click and can't remember whose website says what.

As for the second "the internet that I don't look at says you have puppies" was the usually "no it doesn't" conversation. Yes, I am a breeder, yes I breed German Shepherd Dogs and No, I don't actually have any (imagine that!).

I think I should take down my phone number but sometimes the calls just entertain me....and sometimes actual intelligent people call.

But not often!

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happy 12th birthday Emmy!

January 26, 2022

Another year goes by and she gets another year older. I'm happy she is 12, I am sad that I know she won't be here much longer. Her cousin just turned 14 so I have hope that I still have years with her but I am also a realist.

I just re-did the title pages for all the dogs and it was so nice to go back through all of her titles and remember doing them (and how young she once was). Emmy is a dog that can do anything (and has) - so much fun to train! We accomplished so much together and received so many compliments no matter where we trialed.

Emmy will be enjoying the day inside where it's warm (it's pretty cold outside today). Friday afternoon swim and hopefully some time on the weekend for just her and I to have a walk and talk about old time.

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two calls

January 12, 2022

I received two calls about dogs yesterday. Both entertaining for different reasons.

First call was the usual "I haven't even opened your website but I want you to answer my questions". As I work during the day, I asked if the person calling could look at my website and if he still had any questions he could call me back. Well, according to him that was rude of me. I think people assume that I have something I'm dying to sell and I should be at the public's beck and call! I asked him why I was rude since someone was paying me to work and as much as I'd like to spend an hour talking dogs with him, I have a job. So that wasn't good enough...he then asked if I had puppies (just reaffirming he hadn't even opened my site) - I told him all that info is on the website. (again...totally rude!)

Ok so that was that. Nope it wasn't. He then texted me to tell me how rude I was and that I wasn't going to sell puppies like that. It was difficult not to respond and tell him that I may be rude (which I wasn't, but that is the new word for telling people the facts in a way they don't like) but I'm not lazy and that I don't sell puppies to lazy people anyway....but I just deleted the text.

Second call was from someone who wanted to buy a puppy from a breeder I know of, but I think they were shopping around to see if there was a better deal somewhere? Their conversation was based around "straight backs" which I know right away is a backyard breeder term or a "general public who know very little about the breed but know about straight backs and King Shepherds" term. So I tried to direct them to my article on Types and that her puppies are Am lines and the other kennel they were looking at were German Show lines. Trying to explain working dogs and that if they wanted a dog with no drive or working ability then a Labrador is a great family dog. I mean why call me to ask about things like that if you don't want my opinion?

All of a sudden I hear the wife say "we are going to get a Lab" and then the phone went dead. So I called back because - well F-you if you think you are going to call me for advice and then hang up on me. The guy said it was his phone...I don't believe him. They didn't want to hear what I said. I know that this is the way people deal with things now - I don't want to hear it so I will hang up, delete or block you.

Neither call was any loss to me!

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January 10, 2022

I previously wrote about these websites that claim to help people find a good breeder. I received an email from one last week that had taken the liberty of adding my kennel under the heading of best breeders in Ontario. Naturally they wanted $ from me to boost my ad or something...not sure because I immediately asked them to take it down.

I went back to make sure I wasn't listed and found my "ad" - wow... it was even worse than I thought. I am sandwiched between a Labradoodle and Cockapoo breeder and everything about the write up is wrong. They have called my kennel "Ultimate" instead of Unlimited and from the wording and the emails I've received, this website does not originate from North America. Even the name of the website isn't right "I Love Dog World" - doesn't sound like someone who was English speaking thought up that name!

So no we are about a week later and my "ad" is still there. I did receive an email that they were going to take it down...

I always thought it was odd to Google, not so much!

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she swims again!

January 3, 2022

The pool is up and running at The Maple Hill Canine Centre and Emmy was their very first customer!

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happy holidays 2021

December 23, 2021

Emmy, Kew and Fredi will be getting a stocking full of toys and treats. Emmy is especially adept at opening presents!

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happy birthday Gelly!

December 17, 2021

One year ago today our little singleton was born! Kew's entire pregnancy was horrible. Started with a very difficult breeding and ended with a c-section. I really didn't think even one puppy would survive but Gelly made it and is thriving!

The thought of having a singleton also really scared me. We did everything we could to make sure she had the best possible 8 week start to her life. Fredi helped a lot!

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it's all how you raise them

December 13, 2021

it's not.

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no photo proof

December 7, 2021

Today during my lunch I took Fredi down to the showroom to train as we always do. The owner was in with his off leash Border Collie. Fredi has met this dog a couple of times but not recently. She was not acting very nice when we got downstairs and I was a bit afraid she wasn't going to be very tolerant about it being near her. I got out her toy and started to train her, the other dog followed us. Eventually we were heeling around the showroom with the other dog following along wondering when the food was coming out!

I'm pretty proud of Fredi and even prouder of myself for not just staying in my office and avoiding the whole situation. No photos to prove any of this happened - but it did.

I've attached a photo of Fredi meeting another dog a year ago. We have trained her to ignore other dogs but she has occasionally met a dog or two. The owner's dog is never on leash (he owns the place!) so I have introduced them to make sure when they will meet it will go alright.

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goodbye Rico

November 26, 2021

Yesterday we lost our beloved Rico. It wasn't completely unexpected as he had a stroke last year and I knew his health would deteriorate. On November 14th he came inside with a severe limp after running around all day with the other dogs. It didn't improve after a couple of days so I had the vet look at it. His leg was swollen and he wouldn't put any weight on it at all. Rest and pain medication. After a few days I could tell that he was still in pain and was going downhill. I made the appointment and hoped he would improve.

It is the worst thing about having dogs. All I can feel good about is that Rico had a great life with me. We spent hours and hours training, traveling (we went to Florida and Georgia together) trialling and playing together. He was the best - we always called him "our least annoying dog" :-)

We will miss him dearly and when we see little bits of him in his daughter Kew or his grand daughter Fredi, we will smile and remember him with love.

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finding a good breeder

November 23, 2021

There are websites popping up that encourage breeders to join (for a fee of course) to have their kennel listed. These websites are supposed to weed out bad breeders to help puppy buyers purchase their next dog.

The thing about these website is that they don't actually screen breeders or have any standards. The one I received an email from this morning, World Dog Finder's only requirement is that the breeder is a member of the CKC (or AKC etc...). The website is based out of Croatia.

Hate to break it to them but even puppy mills register their dogs!

Another is called Good Dog - they do not register Canadian Breeders, but again, their standards are so lax that I don't see the point. They also list doodle breeders so there you go! Just another person out to make money and take advantage of puppy buyers.

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take down my website?

November 22, 2021

Had a call from someone on the weekend...the usual. He asked if I had available puppies - I told him I did not. He then told me that my website says I did.... I told him that my website was "up to the minute" up-to-date and he didn't understand. I told him that my website certainly does not say I have puppies. He said it did and that since it's wrong, I should take it down!

He was really on the ball because after he hung up on me (you know, because when someone doesn't agree with you, that's what you do!) he called me back again not knowing that he had just spoken to me. When I told him he just called me, he did what any normal human does...he hung up on me again. Yeah, that's the type of person I want to sell a dog to! LOL

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a plethora of bullsh*t

November 19, 2021

Just looking at a local dog trainer's website and reading about their dog's "titles" and how incredibly qualified they are to train you and your dog. Complete crap to put it nicely. I know I've written about this before, but every time I see it, I can't help but laugh.

For example, if you look at Emmy's list of titles, you will see an IPO 3. She has an IPO 3. I don't list the titles it took to GET the IPO 3 because that is a given. She had to pass a BH, SchH 1, IPO 2 and IPO 3 to get the IPO 3. She had to pass novice to get an advanced title etc... Listing each requirement is redundant and unnecessary.

I also don't count her certificates as titles. A BH is not a title, a CGC is not a title etc... Video sent in trick dog crap isn't a title - a fun thing to do with your dog, absolutely, but I sure wouldn't hire someone who thought they were all that because they taught their dog to "sit" (yes, that is an actual novice trick dog 'trick').

I also detail exactly what is involved in getting the title/certificate so that all those letters don't look like my dog has multiple degrees in physics!

Being an Omega Alpha or E-Collar Technologies distributor doesn't make me qualified to train dogs. Listing that I am a member of organizations that I don't actually belong to - does not qualify me to train your dog!

There is nothing wrong with being proud of your dog's accomplishments, but keep it in perspective!

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November 18, 2021

I took last Friday off work to drive to Bowmanville to pick up new crates that we had ordered in April! For years I've had wire crates in my car that worried me my dogs wouldn't be protected should I have an accident. Most everything I do is focused on the dogs. These are Ruffland crates in Malibu Blue.

Crates in the car keep us all safe - doesn't hurt that they look fabulous!

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cheap dogs

November 9, 2021

What does it cost to have your dog groomed? About $1500.00 actually!

In August I had Emmy and Kew groomed. Total was about $180.00. The very next day, Kew developed some sort of skin issue. Emmy was perfectly fine. I assumed Kew was having a reaction to the products used and started to treat her with Benadryl. I tried grooming her myself, then washing her again... more Benadryl and I think I tried Reactine too. Nothing was really helping and then it started to get worse. My vet looked at it and put her immediately on antibiotics and had me bathe her once a week with Duoxo Shampoo.

After a week of antibiotics there was a definite improvement - until there wasn't. After two weeks without antibiotics she was sliding so back on the antibiotics she went. After another week she was worse than she'd ever been.

Back to the vet for cultures and a round of Baytril. Baytril costs about $7.50 per pill and she needed 4 a day.

After a week of Baytril the cultures came back with THREE separate bacterial infections so she is on Baytril for another week (at just 2 per day).

Update - I've put Kew on another two weeks of Baytril as I've seen a few spots and I don't want her sliding backwards.

Post Grooming Furunculosis is the official diagnosis.

Post-grooming furunculosis is a deep skin infection that occurs rather quickly, usually on the back of dogs (where grooming products are commonly placed). The infection is often due to an organism, particularly Pseudomonas aeruginosa, that is associated with water environments. Because of this association, most affected dogs have a history of grooming, scrubbing, or towelling two days prior to symptoms (range 1-7 days). The precise source of the bacteria is not always clear as cultures from shampoo bottles are infrequently positive.

Fredi got something in her eye.... I think we are over $1,000.00 on that one too!

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third place

November 2, 2021

This past weekend was the end of our month long tracking competition with OWDC. For the 3rd consecutive year one of our members holds a tracking contest and whoever completes the most tracks in the month of October wins. Last year Fredi tied for 1st place, this year she came in 3rd. Not that we didn't track as much, but one member decided to track twice a day and we can't compete with that! LOL

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October 29, 2021

Looked into any CKC breeding rules or requirements this week and found that they have dropped even the smallest rules they did have at one point.

According to the CKC, I am perfectly allowed to breed my dog on her first heat to a male dog who is still probably a puppy and possibly even her brother and still register the puppies.

"The CKC Code of Practice for Member Breeders insists that they aim to breed dogs that are healthy and sound in both mind and body to ensure that the dogs are true to their heritage and that conform to the requirements as defined by the Rules of Eligibility (ROE) for each breed where available."

I check the ROE for a couple of other breeds and there are no rules regarding inbreeding and/or age. There are no ROE for the German Shepherd Breed, the CKC has left it to the discretion of "member breeders" (as there is no such thing as a CKC registered breeder, just members who are breeders...) to "follow the CKC code of ethics" (which again, has no rules regarding breeding)

This just reinforces my constant "the CKC is simply a registry" point and saddens me that buyers think "purebred" equals "well bred".

Picture of one of Fredi's last tracks of the year...

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nope nope nope

October 21, 2021

This GSD colour chart is going around Facebook and at first glance (and I mean GLANCE) it looks like something to have on hand.....until you look at it for another second and realize this must have been created by either someone with no knowledge of the breed or a total backyard breeder.

Panda, Piebald and Brindle are NOT colours of the German Shepherd Dog. Nada, Nope, No Way - absolutely NOT. No matter how many people tell you the story of Frankie (?) the first "panda" German Shepherd Dog. Nope, nope, nope - there is something in that pedigree that isn't pure.

This was my favourite response to it... "Just cause Embark says the dog is purebred doesn’t mean it is, we all know this.." DNA testing goes back THREE generations.... That can be as little as 6 years (or less) - When a breeder tells you their dog just spontaneously produced a colour never seen before in the breed - they didn't.

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protection training photos

October 19, 2021

Here are some of my favourites from Fredi's protection training. She is learning a bark & hold and how to stay relatively calm.

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16 months

October 12, 2021

On Sunday, Fredi turned 16 months old and we just happen to have a photoshoot that day. My friend Sarah Boni of Eurosport K9 Photography was able to get some wonderful shots of her all grown up. We did our best to try and stack her (first time) and get some new head shots. Hopefully some working shots are on the way soon.

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just because

September 16, 2021

I received Fredi's SV Hips/Elbows results and I wasn't over the moon with her "Fast Normal" elbow results. I looked at a chart of comparisons ratings and on one it had fast normal equal to borderline! Well, that made me even more upset so I decided to send her hip/elbow x-rays to OFA for their preliminary x-ray evaluation.

Hips came back good (IMO they should be Excellent - but whatever!) and her Elbows came back Normal....

I'm going to be writing an article comparing the 3 systems, but honestly I think it's all just subjective!

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so busy!

September 14, 2021

Next week starts the SECOND national championships I've had a big role in organizing.

I really didn't think it would happen. I figured, like last year, it would be canceled because of the plague, but here we are!

Some of my many jobs include: catalog, entry forms, advertising, show cards, all trial details, picking judges and so many other things I've forgotten.

It's almost over!

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facts vs opinion

August 19, 2021

Out tracking this morning when someone at the soccer field let their dog out loose. My friend yelled for them to call their dog....yelled again after they made zero effort to call their off leash dog. Then told them to put their dog on a $*@#& leash as this wasn't an off-leash park (there are signs posted).

Their response was that she should keep her OPINIONS to herself....


Reality is there will just be more of this with the plague puppy syndrome explosion!

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"chien-chien" 2021

August 17, 2021

Took yesterday off work and brought Emmy and Fredi to a place we call "Chien-Chien" on the Ottawa River. We have been taking our dogs there since we found the spot about 20 years ago.

The best part about the spot is the photos I get from it. The water is shallow and sandy so I'm able to get some great shots sitting out in the water and having the dogs run at me.

Here are some of yesterday's highlights:

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as tight as they get!

August 12, 2021

My entire F litter has fantastic hips! (yes I know there were only two puppies but that isn't the point! LOL)

Fredi and Five (Larry) have both been PennHip'd and both scored in the tightest 5% of the breed. Hip conformation IS genetic (Kew also has very tight hips) and doing PennHip evaluations is an incredible tool for breeding.

It isn't easy to find a male with PennHip so hopefully Five (Larry) will be in demand as a breeding dog one day.

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disappointed, confused and angry?

August 9, 2021

Had a few phone calls lately that made me chuckle.

When I'm at work, I will usually answer my phone because my employer doesn't have issues with that. I don't want to spend too much time discussing breeding with everyone who calls because, well, they really aren't paying me for that! So after the initial "do you have any puppies" - I usually reply with "all that information is on my website". This week that made someone pretty darn angry! He replied "I don't use the internet! I'm 75 for christ sakes!!" and then he hung up on me. I found that pretty amusing that he assumed I could tell that he was too old to use the internet but not too told to sell him a puppy that would hopefully live over a dozen years. Oh bad!

The other call was like many that I receive. Although this one left a message (I was training Fredi at the time) and I called them back because I didn't know they hadn't bothered to check this site first. It was the usual "do you have any puppies?" and the disappointment turned to confusing when I said I didn't and no, I wasn't having any soon.

They need to try the two breeders (one in Ontario and one in Quebec) who have litter upon litter upon litter! I won't name them but I'm sure both of them would be more than happy to sell both of them a puppy ASAP!

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someone actually reads these!

July 30, 2021
Hey , this is just an appreciation msg for your no BS approach to what I’m sure is a never ending barrage of msgs and phone calls . I check your website’s news page every couple months and read through your posts and love your responses to people’s “oh i wanna breed my dog, oh it’s a king shepherd etc etc etc “ I’ve been on a few of the German shepherds forums / groups and seen your posts as well . They are always well informed and in my of course unprofessional opinion dead on point from what I have researched and read . If they don’t like your answers then tough lol ! Just wanted to say thank you for being so informative and transparent in your posts no matter what possible backlash you may face ! Your website is great and your health testing on your dogs … just WOW . Breeding done right !

Messages like this make my day!!

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but he has all his shots

July 20, 2021

Got a call last night from a guy who, at first, didn't know what he wanted. Finally realized that he had a male dog he wanted me to use for breeding.

You know right away that this isn't going to go well for him LOL

First, when a breeder is looking for a stud dog, they don't wait for a phone call from some random guy looking to breed his male - well, at least I certainly don't! I put so much time and money into my dogs that I can't even fathom breeding them to a male who is just someone's pet. Pets are wonderful but they are not enough to use for breeding purposes.

I asked him "so your male has all his health clearances and is titled?"

"oh yeah, he's up to date on all his shots"

"Those are not health clearances. Does he has certified hips, elbows etc.."


"What system did you use?"

"oh, I didn't, but I could get those"

"And titles? What titles does he have?"

"Like what? Ummmm no, he doesn't have anything but he's purebred"

So I said "There are thousands of purebred GSDs out there - no one I know would want to use your dog for breeding"

I didn't wait to be insulted for being picky and hung up.

On a good note, I'm moving up from "hey, want to use my King Shepherd for breeding?"

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July 16, 2021

Just read a great post about deposits. I haven't purchased a puppy in over a decade so I haven't given a breeder a deposit but I have taken them. Currently, my deposits are totally refundable. I don't think that is common in the dog breeding business. All breeders are different and many breed much more than I do - and some less. If I had a few litters on the go, deposits might be the norm - but even then, if someone cannot take a puppy or changes their mind, I don't think I want their money for something they didn't get or I cannot provide and moving their deposit to the next litter isn't realistic as I don't breed often.

I know many breeders would disagree - and I completely understand the other side. If keep a puppy for person X and don't sell the puppy to anyone else and then person X decides they don't want it I'm kinda screwed. I can't actually remember if that has ever happened (I don't remember it happening). It probably hasn't because I won't take deposits until the pups are on the ground and by then, most people are pretty excited that they are getting a new puppy in less than 8 weeks. But if something happened and they couldn't take the puppy, I think I'd feel guilty keeping their deposit.

I don't take deposits on a breeding that hasn't happened, or a female that isn't confirmed pregnant - but I can fully understand doing it. If I had a breeding that everyone wanted, I would have to weed out the tire kickers.

I think the biggest reason I refund deposits is because I don't want anyone taking a puppy they don't really want just so they don't lose their $500. I also want to be able to change my mind and refund their deposit if don't think I have a suitable puppy for them.

I have spoken to a few puppy buyers AFTER they have put down a deposit on a litter somewhere and when you tell them the breeding isn't great they all say the same thing "well, I already put down a deposit....." So they will take the puppy just because they don't want to lose their $300 (because the breeders specifically said the deposit was non-refundable) Even if they have no plans to ever breed again! It's just something they all think is an acceptable practice "non-refundable deposits".

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July 13, 2021

Most pet people think that socializing their new puppy means introducing them to a plethora of other dogs and people. I probably thought that too with Tighe. Now, with the internet and the ability to gather info on any topic out there, hopefully people are learning.

People in SchH get it. We start as young as possible to teach our dogs to ignore other dogs and/or people.

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believe it or not....

July 8, 2021

I have no F*^%& idea how much my dogs weigh!! Can you believe it??

I see so many people commenting about their dog's weights I wonder if they are constantly picking them up and putting them on a scale since I don't think you have been able to go into a vet clinic for a long time.... Even if you could, how often do you bring your dog to the vet? This is mostly while they are young and their weight increases weekly.

I never once weighed Fredi until she went to the vet at 8 weeks and then again at 12 months. Never. Not once. I'm not sure how I was able to feed her, talk about her or let her be a dog without knowing what she weighed LOL I didn't start every post with "I have a GSD that is X months old and weighs XX pounds". I must be a freak!

I can actually look at my dogs and say "she's too heavy".... it's a gift!

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I'm not picky!

June 18, 2021

Just had a call from someone who wanted a husky shepherd mix. I rolled my eyes as quietly as I could and told the caller that I breed purebred dogs. They then asked what kind and I told them German Shepherd Dogs.

Ok, that was great - he'd take 2!

I have to wonder if even shitty breeders sell this way? I think if I actually did breed husky shepherd mixes (and I'm sure they must have some cutesy name like shepherdskies??) I wouldn't want them going to just some guy on the phone that really didn't care what he got? And wanting 2 at a time?

I know I've said it before, but why are people so lazy?? There is only one place he got my phone number - Google - and I'm 99% sure the link to my website came up too. My guess is that he was on his phone and just clicked "call now" - without knowing anything about what I breed (obviously because that wasn't even important!). After I kinda cut him off and told him I had no puppies and wasn't interested in selling him anything, he called back 5 minutes later. Again, just a guess, but I'm betting he didn't even realize he was calling the same breeder.

When you put that much thought and effort into getting a puppy (or two?? LOL) - I just can't imagine what kind of dog owner (and I will never use the term 'pet parent'!) you will be. I do know you will never be buying one of my dogs!

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plan ahead

June 17, 2021

Last week when I had Fredi x-rayed, I also had her dentition submitted to OFA. That means she is certified as having all her adult teeth. Sounds like something so simple but as with everything 'dog' - we learn quickly not to take anything for granted. Usually we have their teeth looked at during a show by the judge. They check that they are all there and that their bite is correct.

Kew decided that her teeth were optional and knocked out most of her front teeth one Sunday afternoon when she dropped her ball and slammed into a cinder block to get it back. She didn't care one bit. By the time I showed her I had to get a letter from my vet and photos of her with all her teeth. This had to go to the GSSCC to be notarized. When we arrived at the show (a 7 hour drive to Ohio) she decided that her toe nails were also optional and pulled one out 5 minutes after exiting the car (chasing a ball again). I almost had to turn around and come home! A toothless dog with a limp isn't going to do very well!. Thankfully by the time she was shown, her limp had disappeared and my documents were accepted.

For Fredi, because of the plague, there will not be a regional show in Ontario (and maybe no national one either) this year, so I decided that I would have her dentition certified by my vet and OFA ASAP.

I'm not exactly sure how this will help should she knock out a tooth before I show her (or have a breed survey done) but you do what you can.

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happy birthday Fredi!

June 14, 2021

On Thursday June 10th, our F Litter turned 1 and that was a big day for our Fredi.

I brought her in to Cranberry Hill to have PennHip, SV a-stamp (Hips, Elbows, Spine and Shoulders), OFA Thyroid and OFA Dentition - as well as a general wellness check (lyme, heartworm, bloodwork, fecal).

She scored in the top 95% for PennHip! I will not have the SV results back for awhile but here are photos of some of her x-rays. We are pretty hopeful she has passed all requirements.

When the office results come in, they will be added to her page.

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nice websites

June 12, 2021

Just started to listen to a pod cast / FB YouTube video by a long time SchH person (no names) that was about buying a puppy. I was curious because it had the same name as one of my articles. I couldn't listen to much because the first part of the interview was about how only crappy breeders have nice websites!

Personally, I think my website is very nice. I've been told countless times how nice it is. I like it because it is complete, truthful, up-to-date and if I were a puppy buyer, I would want to see all the information possible. Now, I am fortunate because I am able to do my website myself, I'm a decent photographer and I have a good friend who is a professional photographer. Having great photos is a HUGE asset to a nice website.

Does my site look "flashy"? I don't know - I think it shows off my dogs well.  I have seen websites of people (breeders) I know that are simply lies (and when they were called on it had nothing to say). I'm not trying to pretend my dogs (or myself) are something they are not.

Most of the time, I have nothing to sell. My website is a reflection of my love of my dogs, the breed and a record of what they and I have accomplished (which isn't anything extraordinary!).

The interview made a point of saying that most breeders who have been around for a long time don't even have websites! Like that is something to aspire to? I can't imagine having to explain everything to anyone who was interested - maybe my website is because I'm lazy and don't really want to spend all my free time on the phone? Maybe it's because I like to have a site to look up my dog's trial scores, health results etc... I don't know. But I know one thing for sure...

I know that just because my website is nice, does not mean I am a bad breeder!

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jobs with benefits

June 7, 2021

Yesterday we took the dogs to the marina where I work to let them have some fun in the water. It's not the nicest water, but it's safe, has a dock for diving and a ramp for puppies.

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genetic testing

May 26, 2021

I recently received Fredi's genetic results back from Embark. No, I wasn't testing to make sure she was "full blooded" LOL I decided to check anything health related possible - just to see.

Embark tests for 11 different genetic markers for the German Shepherd Dog. On top of that, Fredi was tested for an additional 197 conditions (it was included). She is clear for all 208. I was very concerned about things like "Golden Retriever Progressive Retinal Atrophy 1" and "Adult-Onset Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (ATP13A2, Tibetan Terrier Variant)" amongst other non GSD conditions.... Not sure why they test non-GSDs for these things but I'm not a vet or geneticist so whatever!

Along with all the health issues, I got a full profile of my dog including what colour she is, how long her fur is and how long her snout is! As a breeder, I'm glad they could clarify all of this LOL

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