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Our lovely children below

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Chad Tracy

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Kenny and is his girl "June"

We got our start into German Shepherds in 1971. We bought our first dog from a local breeder. It was a male puppy from the Yoncalla's Mike lines. The puppy was a birthday present for Ken. We only had him for a few months, when he developed torsion and died. Of course, we went to the same breeder and bought another dog, this time a bitch puppy, out of the Harrigan line. Of course the natural thing you do with a bitch is to breed her and have puppies. When she was old enough, we did breed her. We had a litter of eight puppies. We sold the entire litter, except for a cute little sable bitch. A couple of months after having the litter, the Harrigan daughter developed pyometria and we had to have her spayed. We sold her to a relative as a pet. (I might add that she is still living, at the age of 13.) We began to show the cute little sable that we kept from the litter at fun matches and she always took first place in her class. We really began to like this showing and thought it was lots of fun. At 10 months of age, we noticed that she began limping in the rear, so we took her to the veterinarian to have her x-rayed. She was dysplastic, so we had her put down. We then began looking for another Shepherd.  Two days later Ken came home with this cute little black and tan girl. I was still so upset over the loss of our previous bitch that I didn't even look at the new puppy for three days. Ken did everything for her. Once I did go see her, she grew on me and everyone in the family very fast. This little girl is now an ROM, our Zeus daughter, Empress Hera of Nordlicht. She is now ten years old and going strong. This is where our real start began. Being in the breed for the amount of time that we have, we feel that we are very fortunate to have the animals we have. We do have some animals that we are proud of, and feel they have had significance on our breeding program and the breed. Our #1 here at Ken-Delaine would have to be our Zeus daughter, our ROM bitch Empress Hera of Nordlicht. It takes time and many other factors to have an ROM, and not many people will ever have an ROM. This is why we think so much of her. She truly stamps her progeny with certain type. She has excellent OFA hips, and her progeny also have had good hips. They all have her rich dark pigment, very dark eyes, strong ears, and proud "look of eagles" appearance. Empress has produced four champions from four different breedings. She was bred twice to Sel. Ch. Ravenhaus Noah, and there was a champion in each litter. The first was Am/Can/Int'l.CACIB/Puerto Rican/Col/Ven/Dominican Ch. Solomon Beau Enki (I believe this to be the most titles by a Shepherd male in history). The second by Noah was Am/Can. Ch. Ken-Delaine's Leia. Empress was then bred to Sel. Ch. Cobert's Reno of Lakeside ROM. There was only one puppy from this breeding, but she became a champion Am/Can. Ch. Ken-Delaine's Tania. The next breeding was to Am/Can. Ch. Enderhaus Comotion and there was also a Champion in this litter, Am/Can. Ch. Ken-Delaine's Stuart W. Empress is now past her time to be bred anymore, but she has proven to be a real producer, no matter who she was bred to. She has always had quality in her litters. She is not pretty herself, but she certainly produced better than herself, and that is the name of the breeding game! The second dog we feel has been of importance to the breed is a bitch that we bought from California. She is a GV Ch. Schokrest on Parade daughter. Select Am/Can. Ch. Shandee's Primrose Lady. Her call name is "June." June is not an extreme dog in structure, but she is what the breed should be - CORRECT. She IS extreme in personality and temperament. She is very outgoing. This was quite evident at the 1982 national under Mr. Loeb, where she went Select. As Mr. Loeb approached her, it was if she was saying, "Please pet me." She never quit wagging her tail. She was a crowd pleaser, and would truly win your heart. In preparation for dog shows, we conditioned June 1 1/2 to 2 miles a day. When you work for the national, the work becomes more extensive. We started out about 2 miles a day. Six weeks before the national she was road working 5 miles a day, every day. June had the devotion and the true desire to "want to please," so she would go forever. The sign of a true working dog. By the time of the national she was very fit and Mr. Loeb said it in his critique, "She was in hard physical condition." June placed 4th Select, and it is because of her tremendous joy for life and her correct structure, that I believe she will produce like herself and will leave a stamp on the breed. She has been a pleasure to own. Having her go high Select has been a beautiful dream come true for us, and is an accomplishment for any owner, or dog. When we first started in the breed, we did do some obedience; however, I personally prefer conformation, and didn't get a lot of satisfaction from obedience. I still do some training of obedience for other people from time to time. We get a great deal of pleasure exhibiting dogs that we have bred, studying type and pedigrees to come up with dogs we have bred not only for structure, but for a beautiful appearance, something for a breeder to be proud of. We based our breedings on some of the old bloodlines of longevity, such as Reno, Zeus, and Noah. It is a good feeling to know that your dogs will be with you a while. We feel that these bloodlines have also made a mark on the breed in many ways. Our goal is to produce sound animals, dogs with longevity, intelligence and to honestly feel that we did our best to breed animals that will further the breed, and always strive to bring quality into our program and into the breed in general. We would like to think that we helped the breed, at least in our area. Also, that we can work towards the goal of having done our best to bring the best possible bloodlines into this area. Considering that we have mainly had bitches, this means we have to ship them around the country to have them bred. If you are a truly good breeder, this is the price you pay to have quality animals and bloodlines. The most important thing that we have worked for over all the years in the breed is honesty. Honesty about the breedings we have done. They can't all be great, they can't all have show quality in them. We try to keep an open mind and be critical enough and not be kennel blind. At the same time you must be proud of the good ones, and realize that it took a long time in the breed to recognize a good one. Structure and movement take a great deal of time to understand. If you are able to pick a good one from a litter, you are to be commended. We are proud of all of our champions, and the bitches and sires that produced them. But it is because of a lot listening to other breeders, asking a lot of questions, and studying; that we feel very confident now choosing a dog for the show ring. The next goal that we set for ourselves and have kept, is honesty with people. This includes people we sell dogs to, other breeders and to anyone wanting to know about our dogs or anything to do with our breeding program. The only time that people hide things from someone is when they have something to be ashamed about, or they are not telling the truth. We stand behind every dog that we sell, and deal fairly and openly in all situations. To misrepresent an animal in any way is wrong. I believe we have met many goals, but we are always striving for higher goals, which makes this not only an exciting sport, but in this breed, a very exciting and real possibility for all things one has dreamed of to happen. We did not "fall" into our champions, our ROM, and our Select, it took work, dedication and determination, along with a lot of heartbreak. We were in the breed ten years before we had a champion. Within the last three years we have had five champions, four of which we are the breeders of and one that we bought at a young age, a select bitch and an ROM. Three of our champions we still own, and of course the Select and the ROM. The first eight years were a great deal of learning. It is only in the past five years we feel that we have graduated from novices, to knowledgeable breeders. One can never learn enough about the breed. I guess that we just feel more confident in our choice, and in what we are breeding and passing along to the newcomers to the breed. We went for years to fun matches when we started. Never won a Best in Match. maybe a first place ribbon, but we were content-not happy, but content. We went to shows but didn't take points. I guess this was the "paying the dues"' years, as I've heard it said. There were a lot of slack years when we didn't have anything to show. We went to the shows and watched. We went to ALL the local shows. We read books and tried to learn everything we could about the breed and exhibiting. All of it did pay off because when our time came, we felt ready. We are very fortunate that both of us are into Shepherds equally. We both love the breed and showing. It is difficult when only one party is into dogs. We work together on the showing, breeding and the care of our dogs. We have a "private kennel." We keep about seven to twelve dogs usually, mostly bitches. Since bitches are the real foundation of a good breeding program, we try to keep the top bloodlines in our kennel. We keep one or two males here for breeding, but we ship most of our bitches out for breeding to top studs around the country. We own one acre of land, completely fenced. Each dog here is allowed to have their "time out" to run the property every day. In this way, they each get personal contact with us each and every day, rather than living as "kennel dogs." I believe this is what gives them their great show attitude, because they truly love us individually. The one thing that is important to every breeder-showperson is the fact that "You get out of your dogs what you put into them." After hundreds of miles of roadwork we've done, the endless hours of researching pedigrees and the thought and planning put into breedings, and the worry over them, the proof is here in my backyard in the champions, the ROM, and the Select we have. All in all, I'd say it was worth it!

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