Note: This article is one of many
dealing with every aspect of the German Shepherd Dog - breeding, training,
bloodlines, famous German show winners, and a great deal more, that appear on
the author, Dennis Fisher's website. Visit
http://www.allaboutgermanshepherddogs.com to see these articles.
Some personal background information.
Ever since my early schooldays I have been involved
with German Shepherds and even as a very young schoolboy I always wanted to
German Shepherd of the very best quality and the very best bloodlines.
While other children of my age were more interested
in having the best designer clothes – or the very best bicycle their
parents could be persuaded to buy – I always wanted to
have the finest German Shepherd Dog.
In South Africa at that particular time, the best German Shepherd Dog were being bred by the De Beers Diamond
Mining Company and used as guards.
In spite of the fact that it was the intention of De Beers to
use the dogs as guard dogs, nevertheless they imported some very fine
animals from England from the well-known “Ceara” Kennels, owned by
a Miss Workman who had imported some fine specimens
into England from Germany.
Needless to say my first German Shepherd –
“Alsatian” as the breed was known at the time – was bred from De Beers stock – and offspring of a winning dog
at the time “Evander of Ceara”.
Although the dog was not as
good a show
specimen as I would have
liked, he was a very clever dog and a natural retriever. He was very
easy indeed to train and it was a pleasure training him.
After I finished
school, left home and attended the University at the University of Cape Town, my
interest in German Shepherds continued - perhaps to the detriment of
my studies! - I attended every show that
was held in Cape Town.
University I found it very difficult to be without a dog and – very
impulsively – I bought a pup from
that I kept in my room at the university residence.
Immediately I completed my studies at University and
returned to home, one of my first steps was to get another German
about a young German who
had emigrated from
Germany and arrived with a bitch he brought out in whelp to a
well-known German dog from working bloodlines.
This was in the early 1950’s.
pup I selected from the
litter, registered as “Armin
Moos” was a very
bold, confident, grey dog
and descendant of the
famous pre-war German sire, “Egon v.d. Silberkrone”.
when I managed to buy a copy of one
of first English edition copies of
Von Stephanitz”s famous book I was delighted to see the name
of Eon v. Silberkrone prominently featured
450383, represented the “old-style” German Shepherd Dog , before
the advent of Rolf v.
Osnabrueckerland and Axel v.d. Deininghauserheide.
who exerted such a significant influence on the development of
post-war Shepherd Dogs. .
If you happen to have a copy of Von Stephanitz book “The
German shepherd Dog” you will find an illustration of “Egon” on
interest in dogs, and especially German Shepherd Dogs, has
continued to the present day. I registered my Kennel name “Von Haus Fischer” in
1957 and I have been a member of the German S.V. for more than 40
involvement with Shepherds has
always been purely in the
nature of a hobby –
a very expensive
hobby I might say! - and I
have hardly bred more than one or at most two litters a year.
aim has always been to
breed top quality animals that could compete in both breed and
obedience shows, and also serve as reliable family guards and
my special interest has been Shepherds that could compete at the
highest level in both breed shows and Obedience trials, I admired the
focus of German breeders on beauty combined with utility and working
insistence of German breeders that working ability was as important as
physical beauty appealed to me. For
this reason the animals I have used for breeding have been for the
most part from leading German bloodlines.
However I also imported some animals from England from kennels
that paid attention also to working qualities as well as show potential.
study of German bloodlines has always held a special fascination for
me. I have made a point
of learning as much as possible from every source available to me.
of my well-known interest in the breed, I was appointed a South
African Judge and officiated in this capacity for many years.
Later I was involved in organizing the training of aspirant new Judges.
there was very little in the way of educational material
very detailed training manual for aspirant
Judges. It was very favorably received and I am pleased
to say that many newcomers to the breed are still finding it very
the years I have participated in every aspect of the exciting,
competitive German Shepherd Dog world; showing, breeding, obedience
training and also judging the breed.
I have been a member of the German S.V since 1962 and regularly
attend Sieger Shows in Germany.
I received notification
from the German S.V. in Augsburg congratulating me on my
40-year membership together with a very impressive looking
a regular visitor to
Germany and the various annual Sieger Shows over the
years, I have had the opportunity of seeing many of the famous show
winners of the past, visiting some of Germany’s most famous kennels
and meeting many well-known figures in the German Shepherd Dog world.
have also traveled to many parts of the world and taken the
opportunity to make contact with German Shepherd breeders in these
countries, from whom I have learn a great deal.
spending time at the University of California at Berkeley in the early
1960's involved with post-graduate studies, I had the
pleasure of meeting many well-known personalities active in the
German Shepherd world at the time. I have very pleasant memories
of.Ralph and Mary Roberts and watching their excellent "Ulk
Wikingerblut" consistently winning at
many of the shows I attended.
person with whom I became very friendly indeed and maintained
contact for many years was Erich Renner who unfortunately died a
short while ago. In addition to being a Director of the Eye Dog
Foundation Erich was one of the most knowledgeable persons about
training and dog behavior I have ever met . He was also a
fine handler and I can remember his excellent handling of a well-known
German import "Harald v. Haus Tigges".
Erich afterwards became the proud owner of the
magnificent 1967 Sieger "Bodo v. Lierberg", a strong,
powerful dog of superb temperament.
have imported animals of the best bloodlines from leading German
breeders and, at various
times, quality bitches in whelp to the
top German sires - V.A rated animals or the Siegers
of the day.
first bitch I imported in whelp, Neera v.d. Elfenwiese, from the Swiss
Kennels of Martin Gredig, was mated to a
dog regarded as the
best producer of his day – Caesar v.d. Malmansheide – who had been
graded V.A. no less than five times at Sieger Shows between 1955 and
Caesar, a son of the important pillar of the breed, Hein vom
Richterbach, was in the excellent class and graded V.A. in
1955,1956, 1958,1959, and 1960, a truly remarkable achievement.
can recall visiting the
kennels of the owner of Caesar, Ernst
Grurmann, in Iserlohn in Germany and being very impressed with the
animated movement of Caesar.
At the Kennels of Ernst Grurmann I also saw the 1951 Sieger
Veus v.d Starrenberg, who had an
important influence on the breed through his son Nico von Haus Beck,
especially in producing dogs with working ability.
Another dog that Ernst Grurmann showed me was Bodo vom Tannenbruch,
a dog that I was not particularly impressed with, but he did
produce a dog that played an important role in the development of
the breed, the 1963 Sieger "Ajax v. Haus Dexel".
then I have repeated the process of importing top-quality bitches from
the best bloodlines to leading German Sires and top show winners of the day in the hope of breeding top quality stock.
have imported bitches from the best-known German bloodlines of the day, in whelp to the leading and most sucessful sires.
One of the earlier bitches I imported - Pablo von Alexyrvo Hof - was
imported in whelp to the 1962 Sieger “Mutz a.d. Kueckstrasse”.
Illustrated below is one of my early
favorites - "Pablo von Alexyvro Hof", imported in
whelp to "Mutz". Not only was she successful at
shows, she was also a wonderful guard and protector
- a feature I have always admired but unfortunately missing from some
of our present-day animals.
In the hope of being able to breed animals of the
very best quality that would be able to compete successfully both in
conformation shows and also in the obedience ring, I imported a number
of bitches in whelp to well-known German Show winners and animals
classified V.A. such as:
v. Bimohlen”, “Jalk
v. Fohlenbrunnen” “Lasso
di val Sole”; Siegers
“Dingo v. Haus Gero” “Fanto
v. Hirschel” and
also imported several excellent males from Germany from
the finest, show-winning bloodlines.
of my early imports was sired by
“Marko von der
Boxhochburg”, V 5 at
the 1959 Sieger Show in Karlsruhe, and
one of the most prominent sons of
the famous “Alf. V.Wallddorf Emst”.
saw “Alf” as a ten year old at the home of his immensely
proud owner, Walter Lueg
in Hagen in Germany and even at this age was very impressed with this
fine son of the legendary Rolf v. Osnbrueckerland out of an Axel v.d.
early import was a son of “Frack
v.d. Burg Arkenstede”, a dog that was subsequently exported
from Holland at a fairly advanced
age to the States, where he proved to be a
bloodlines were of particular interest to me as he was a son of a very
important German show winner just after the war “Grimm v.d.
Fahrmuhle” out of a “Rolf” daughter.
Illustrated below is a photograph taken almost
forty years ago - when I had a lot more hair! - of the bitch "Neera
v. Elfenwiese" imported from Martin Gredig and my imported
"Frack" son - "Astor v.d. Schuttenstee".
This combination of bloodlines proved very
successful indeed in producing dogs of excellent character and show
I was particularly impressed with
the excellent proportions and remarkable prepotency of the “Hein v. Konigsbruch son,
“Canto v.d. Wienerau”
I also imported a “Hein”
himself was exported from Germany
to Mrs. Valerie
Egger in England, owner
of the very old-established “Tadellos
” Kennels. He was
a dog of excellent
front and rear angulation
and had a reasonable show
career in England, winning one C.C.
However, he never ever produced another animal
approaching the quality and prepotency of the remarkable “Canto v.
late Walter Martin, who I had the pleasure of meeting on a number of
occasions, was certainly a visionary and his influence on the breed
was quite staggering. His “Wienerau” kennels virtually
changed the entire German
Shepherd Dog scene and introduced
an unmistakable “type”.
Martin was able to recognize qualities in “Hein” that others had
missed and foresaw
the possibilities that a mating between “Hein” and his bitch
Liane v.d. Wienerau.
a dog of excellent temperament and
of very good show quality "Alex v. Basilisk", sired by the
1978 German Sieger “Eiko von Kirschental”, from
Rolli, the leading breeder
in Switzerland at the time.
What was of particular interest to me was the fact that, apart
from being sired by the legendary Double Sieger “Uran v. Wildsteiger
Land, Eiko’s Dam was the very good producing
V.A. bitch “Xitta v. Kirschental”.
bred by Karl Fuller, was
the product of a long line of H.G.H sheep herding animals.
Dam of “Alex v.
Basilisk”, the dog I
imported from Josef Rolli, was “Ola v. Arminius” also an
outstanding producer in addition to being a V.A. bitch.
surprisingly, because of his genetic background “Alex” turned out
to be a very fine specimen.
addition to being a very
good Show specimen, he also had an exceptionally good temperament;
bold, fearless, and an excellent guard.
He was not a fighter, never growled at other dogs in the show ring,
but he had a certain presence
about him that warned other males that he was not to be trifled with!.
also proved to be a good sire who handed down his strong temperament
to his sons and daughters. I was particularly proud of the fact
that a young home-bred son, "Kuti von Haus Fischer" became
Grand Victor one year, even though he was in competition with a
number of excellent German imports.
was particularly pleasing was the fact that the Judge was the highly
respected German Judge Leonhard Schweikert.
I admired the bloodlines of “Eiko v. Kirschental” so much, I
imported a bitch sired by a very good “Eiko” son, “Dax. Arjako”
from the well-known “vom
Holtkamper See” German
kennels of Hermann
Niedergassel. My purpose
was to line-breed on “Eiko”,
more recent years I have imported a very fine male sired by the
1995 Sieger “Ulk v. Arlett, another dog that I admired
tremendously. "Ulk" owes a great deal to his
I the recognized the qualities the 1992 Sieger “Zamb v. Winerau”
could offer, I imported
a pup sired by
of one of “Zamb’s” best
sons “Esko v. Wienerau”,
who had been V.A. three times, from the
“Murrenhutte” kennels of the late Ruth Stuttchen.
She was a charming lady and it was a pleasure dealing with her.
appealed to me was the fact that the dam of my pup,
"Hardy v. Murrenhutte", a V bitch, was a “Fanto v. Hirschel” daughter.
spite of his excellent bloodlines
the pup did not develop into the show specimen I had hoped for, being
somewhat short in leg and
too deep. But he did he turn out to a be dog of remarkable intelligence and
In the test of courage his performance was
has proved to an exceptionally good producer. It is somewhat disappointing
and perhaps surprising that his most highly rated son "Esko"
, did not turn out to be as successful as his father in
producing top show specimens.. A possible reason is because the
dog was owned by a French breeder. Being based in France he was
perhaps not as accessible to quality bitches as other stud
perhaps I being unfair to "Esko" because he was the Sire
of a very good bitch
"Feli v. Ochsentor".
who was the Dam of the Siegerin "Karma vom Ochentor.
"Karma", in addition to being a superb show bitch,
has also turned out to be a very good producer. Not only is
she the Dam of the outstanding "Pakros d'Ulmental, who was V.A 4 at the 2005 Sieger
Show and Sieger in 2007. "Karma" he is also the dam of an excellent bitch who
was also V,A at the 2005 Sieger Show.
bitch. "Xara vom Agilolfinger", was bred by
Lothar Quoll and sired by the Sieger Larus v. Bata.
Apparently this very experienced and knowledgable German Judge
must have thought so highly of "Karma" that he acquired her
on breeding terms in order to have mated to "Larus".
so it seems clear that the name of "Esko v.
Wienerau" will appear in the pedigrees of many leading
German show winners for many years to come.
digress for a moment, I thought so highly of "Pakros", when I saw
him at the 2005 Sieger Show, I imported a
"Pakros" daughter of his from the Fichtenschlag kennels of
the Osmanns. Although this young bitch hasn't turned out
turned out to be the top quality show specimen I had hoped for. she
has a superb temperament and has proved to be exceptionally
good guard dog.
though I was not as successful as I had hoped with my "Esko"
pup, I recognized the value that "Zamb" had to offer. When I learned that there was a young
male available with the bloodlines of “Zamb’s” best
daughter, the double Siegerin “Vanta v. Wienerau”, I jumped at the
opportunity to buy him.
I have always felt that “Vanta”
- Siegerin in 1992 and again in 1994, a very rare accomplishment
for a bitch - was one of the most best bitches ever
bred in Germany. She also had a number of excellent litter
brothers and sisters. But for some reason she did not have many
dog I imported from Germany, "Lewis v.d. Langrut"
was sired by “Flex v. Wienerau”, a
“Vanta” son – in fact one of the
very the few sons she produced. Flex's Sire was the very dominant
"Eros van der Luisenstrasse".
The late Walter Martin
mentioned that, apart from being an exceptionally fine show
specimen, "Vanta" had a very strong temperament.
She certainly passed this down to her son "Lewis" -
kennel name "Levi", as will be clear from this photograph
below. "Levi's" manwork is unusually pronounced!
"Levi" doing manwork assisted by my friend
I imported a son of the 2003 Sieger Bax v.d. Luisenstrasse, a
strikingly handsome animal. I also imported a bitch pup sired by one of Bax’s best sons Pakros di Ulmental,
referred to earlier in the comments I made about about his Dam,
"Karma v. Oschentor". .
was V.A. 4 at the 2005 Sieger Show and as mentioned before , many knowledgeable breeders in
Germany predict he will be Sieger in 2006. Apart from being
an excellent show specimen, Pakros did particularly well in the test of
courage and is also proving to be a very good Sire.
(This was written before Pakros
became Sieger in 2007.and before "Vegas became Sieger in 2008.
"Vegas" has of course proved to be an amazingly prepotent Sire -
more dominant than "Parkros". I have recently imported a pup
sired by one of his best sons "Bojan vom Pendler" out of the
excellent producing bitch "Hummel vom Larchenhain".)
young “Pakros” son , the French bred “Vegas du Haut
Mansard" was the winner of a very strong young dog – 12 – 18 month
class at the 2005 Sieger Show.
temperament and working ability are important for me, I also imported a
bitch with the bloodlines of Frei v. Hirchel.
“Frei”, the litter brother of the double Sieger “Fanto v.
Hirschel”, was also a
good show specimen, a top V winner, but not quite as good
a show specimen as as his famous brother "Fanto".
But "Frei" is regarded by many as being the better
producer of working
When one imports
an animal from Germany it is important to know the bloodlines
of the Dam as well as the
Sire. If the dog you are
importing comes from a long line of
good producing bitches, the chances of having success in
your breeding are so much better.
because the bitch line is as important as that of the Sire, I recently imported a
young dog from the well-known Huhnegrab Kennels of Heinz
Scheerer, who judged the adult male class at the 2005 Sieger Show.
Not only is the dog I imported, “Immos v. Huhnegrab”,
of one the best dogs and most popular Sires in Germany “Karat’s
Yoker, bred by Jimmy Rassmussen of Denmark, the bloodlines of his
Dam, "Medi v. Huhnegrab" line reflect five
generations of top quality,
“Huhnegrab” bitches, many of them
"Medi" was sired by a dog I rate very
highly indeed - "Erasmus v. Noort".
mean that I am necessarily going to have the success I hope to achieve
with this young dog. He
is still immature and there is always an element of luck
whether or not he will
fulfill his early promise..
But at least statistics
are in my favor.
Recently I imported another
animal with the "Huhnegrab" bloodlines that I admire so much.
It is a bitch, bred by the " v. Grafenbrunn" kennels of Hein
Scheerer's son Dirk and sired by the V.A. rated
"Yasko v. Farbenspiel"
"Orbit v. Huhnegrab".
What I find particularly
appealing about "Orbit" is the fact that he has a superb masculine
head and in this respect he differs from a number of other "Yasko"
sons. His temperament is also outstanding, a feature he
fortunately appears to have reproduced in my new young bitch.
Another very desirable feature
of "Obit v. Huhengrab's" pedigree is the fact that his Dam, "Pirie
vom Haus Dexel" was sired by the strikingly beautiful grey dog "Timo
vom Berrekasten", Reserve Sieger in 2000, but a dog that many
breeders have overlooked in their breeding programmes.
If one is going to
be successful in breeding outstanding animals it is very important to
have as much knowledge of
German bloodlines as possible. Sometimes
this information is difficult to acquire.
This is why I have
provided details of the dogs I have imported and the reasons why I
have done so.
I hope that the information may prove of value.
One of the
problems with German
Shepherd Dog breeding in Germany at the moment is the fact that there
is a very sharp division between show lines and working lines.
People involved in competing at the highest level in working
trials seldom use show dogs in
their breeding programmes.
This is a great
pity because, although there are some
show winners in Germany today with
temperaments that are not as bold as one would wish, there are
many top winners with very sound temperaments.
But working dog people seldom use these animals.
They do not appear to be interested in breeding excellent show specimens.
Their focus is entirely on lively, working temperament.
This makes it
extremely difficult if you are keen to find an animal
that is both a very good show specimen and also an excellent
working animal. But it can be done! There is no reason
why it not possible to have an animal that is both an excellent
specimen of the breed and also an exceptionally good working dog.
But you have to be careful in the selection of your breeding stock.
Because I am interested in
training for competitive obedience as well as the breed ring, I
recently imported a young
male from the old-established Maaraue kennels of Alfred
and Ellen Muhlbauer, breeders who have always paid attention to
working temperament in addition to show quality. My young dog "Dasko
von der Maaraue" is sired by a dog with a particularly good
temperament "Focus von der Maaraue"."
The breeding of "Focus" goes
back to 'Wanko v.d. Maaraue", V.A 11 in 1978. "Wanko", in addition
to being a fine show specimen, was a dog that was widely used by
working dog breeders. His bloodlines go back to the legendary
"Bernd v. Lierberg", whose name appears in the pedigree of many of
the top working dog winners today.
Not surprisingly, my young dog "Dasko",
is an absolute joy and delight to train.
Of course it is very difficult
indeed to breed a dog that can excel in both the Show ring and also
in working trials. But with careful selection of breeding
stock it can be done. It
should be the objective of every breeder. It
does mean however, that in order to achieve this, one should have as
much knowledge as possible about the bloodlines of the animals you are
using - the Dam as well as the Sire.
difficult to obtain.
because information for English speaking breeders is often unavailable
that I have gone to some lengths to give details of the
German-bred dogs I have imported and why I have imported them.
I hope the
information I have provided will prove of value to you.
I wish you the very best of luck.
Believe me luck is a very important factor in success whatever
your field of activity happens to. I hope you achieve the success you
have dreamed about!