German Shepherds started from one person's love of a great breed of
dog but it has grown into so much more. When I raised my very
first litter of Shepherds, I would have never thought that it would
have grown into what it is today. I have been very fortunate and
God has blessed me in many ways to allow Sequoyah Shepherds to
become what it is today. I started raising Shepherds
in 1997 and at that time, I was only raising a litter or two a year.
Being a veterinarian, the most important thing to me at that time
was hips and orthopedics.
I was extremely fortunate to find
the female that I did, Gretchen. I purchased her in 1996 at
almost 2 years of age and at this time, September 09, she is still
with me. I last xrayed her hips in 2008 and she had beautiful
hips even at 14 years of age. Her offspring out of her first
litter PennHipped in the top 20% of the German Shepherd breed, some
of them even after 10 years of age. I have used her genetics
as part of the building blocks for my breeding program. We
have not yet perfected our orthopedics but have been very, very
pleased with most of the hip scores we are getting in the program.
2006, Sequoyah Shepherds really started its first main expansion.
I met Tom and Kathy Cawood and Shari and Marah Steven. I met Tom
after he and Kathy contacted me about purchasing a German Shepherd.
Tom was looking for a German Shepherd with which he could do some
advanced training. After years of breeding and raising Great
Danes, Tom was ready to branch out and find another breed with a
little more speed & agility. He was looking for a new niche with his
dog training & I was looking for a good trainer. Tom ended up
purchasing a wonderful male Shepherd from me out of Raven & Logan's
very last litter, Turbo. Turbo & Tom hit it off from the start.
They trained regularly and I was very impressed with Tom's expertise
with K9's. He & I found ourselves training together regularly
and even had an occasional friendly competition - "my dog can do
this, what can yours do?" It wasn't long before the two of us
joined the SDA (Service Dogs of America) in Chattanooga. The club
was in its founding stages and we both enjoyed helping build the
fledging club. In fact, we both now hold offices within that
club. Tom became the SDA Chattanooga's first and current
Vice-President & I currently am holding the office of Secretary.
Tom, I got to know Kathy, Tom's wife. She is an absolute dear!
Everyone loves her! Kathy, too, is an exceptional dog trainer.
She currently owns a toy poodle that can put both Tom's and my dogs to
shame when it comes to flashy obedience. And, that same little
poodle can herd chickens with the best of the herding breeds.
(If you ever meet Kathy, ask her about her chicken chasin' days!)
Anyway, Kathy, at first was not as
gung-ho on the higher drive Shepherds that Tom and I were working
and I had begun looking at purchasing some of the import Shepherds,
particularly the Czech lines, with which we hoped to expand the
breeding program. We both are extremely partial to the dark,
black sable colored Shepherds. Kathy, on the other hand, likes
the showier lines with the black and red coloring. So, it
became a good balance for Sequoyah. Kathy tends to focus more
on the obedience but has recently expanded into protection training
as well. Kathy is an absolute angel and
is more than happy to help you in any way she can. I
am currently trying to get her to retire
from her present job and go to work for me but so far I can't seem
to talk her into the pay cut!
Steven also joined Sequoyah Shepherds in 2006. Shari is the
go-to-girl. She has been instrumental to me in more ways that
I can even begin to explain. Without Shari, Sequoyah Shepherds
would not be what it is today. Shari moved here from
Wisconsin, a fact that we tease her about regularly but she manages
to put up with our teasing. I met her when she began working
for me as one of my technicians at the hospital. She was a
QUICK learner and we soon found that their was no limits to her
talents. She became the one that we went to for everything -
she can handle not only dogs and cats, but she apparently is a
painter, can repair just about anything (that isn't related to
computer or electronics),
and is an all-around do-it-yourselfer. It wasn't long before I
asked her to start working for me as my personal assistant.
This meant that she spend a considerable amount of time at my house
with my dogs. She & the dogs hit it off right from the start.
It wasn't long after that she asked me about getting a protection
dog for herself. You see, Shari also has a daughter, Marah, &
though they have a lab & a Golden, neither of them afford the level
of protection that Shari was looking for. It was from that
point that Uny was brought into the Sequoyah fold.
Little did we know, but that
single act would pave the way for another expansion for Sequoyah.
Not long after Uny was purchased and began competing, Shari's mom,
began showing interest in having a Shepherd of her own. She
started going to training with Shari,
Tom, Kathy and I, and before
knew it, we had added Bonnie. Bonnie became Jean's pride
and joy. She, too, has some little dogs, 2 Maltese, but Bonnie
is the one that she shows off. More recently, we have also
sent Tigress to live with her and now she dotes on both of them.
To hear her tell it, both of those dogs walk on water! Speaking of water, Jean takes them swimming together every nice day
they can and Tigress and Bonnie have since become great friends.
They are both thoroughly spoiled. They get to sleep inside
every night and spend the days frolicking in the fields, chasing
kongs, balls, sticks, and anything else that they can get Jean to
They occasionally work too, but if you asked them, I
am sure they wouldn't
change a thing
In 2010, we were pleased to be
able to add Sergeant Dennis Trzcinski of the Milwaukee Police
Department to our team. Dennis
is an excellent trainer and is located
in Wisconsin. With him
joining our team, he is able to provide training and assistance to
many of our puppy people
located up near his part of the country. He does an excellent
job with both obedience and protection training. He is an SDA
certified judge and decoy and is often called upon to do judging for
SDA events throughout the country.
Dennis's son, Allen is proving his
merit as well. He too, is turning into not only an excellent
assistant trainer but has a natural knack for
work as well. Check out his pictures! He is amazingly
good. If he stays
with it, he might just be some hard competition for his dad!
With all of that being said....
TO SEQUOYAH SHEPHERDS!