About us

Welcome to Zauberberg Kennels– The best German Shepherd breeders and Dog Trainers in Tucson, Arizona
Zauberberg all started here with the story of a German Shepherd Breeder from Germany!

When I was 13 years old- Germany West Berlin.
Up to this point my parents never allowed me to have any pets! No hamster, rabbit, guinea pig or bird, as my parents never trusted me to take care of a pet.
When I was 13 years old my mother had visited a friend that had a litter of eight German Shepherd Mix puppies that had been an accident. He told her that he couldn’t adopt him out by next Monday, he would take them to the pound. My mother took one and brought it home…..
Here I was, with the history of never had been allowed to have a small pet- we had a Shepherd looking puppy eight weeks of age! I was super excited! I named him “Buddy”, because I had just read a book about a seeing eye dog that was titled “Buddy’s eyes are seeing for me”.

Then, my dad came home from work!
War broke out between my parents. My father didn’t agree at all…..

Three weeks of war between them, me taking care of the dog before school, after school, feeding him walking him before bedtime. My care was flawless and super consistent.
After three weeks my mother finally gave into my dad: “ok I will take the dog back!”
My Dad said: “you can’t do that to our son!”

That’s how I got started!

Dog training clubs in Germany, breed specific or not, are like pubs in London……there are a lot of them in close proximity!
When Buddy was about 6 months old, I came by a dog training club, a “Schutzhund Club”. Looking over the fence, watching these German Shepherds doing focused obedience and very controlled bite work, I looked at Buddy and thought, “that’s what I want you to do!”
An addiction was created. Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, I would attend the training and learn how to make my dog do these things. What a fascinating world that was for me.
A little over one year later, Buddy obtained his very first title, the BH or spelled out, Begleithund Pruefung. A test with similar requirements as the AKC Good Citizen Companionship title- but much more extensive in performance requirements.
Unfortunately, Buddy was not a talent in the protection phase of things.  He just didn’t have it. I flunked Schutzhund 1 twice. I was 16 years old, crying like a baby every time.
Yet, Buddy was an absolute tracking talent. So I went and concentrated on Tracking titles and was very successful doing something my dog was talented for, and had fun with it!
But I felt that the real competition happens in a Schutzhund Title. This is where I wanted to compete. The triple crown of performance: Tracking – Obedience- Protection all in one event, what a thrill!
Since there was not much that can be done to make a dog a better “biter”, I needed a different dog! A dog that had a natural drive for this kind of work.

During all this time, the club I was working with, had recognized that I was a natural talent in dog training. They were concerned that I could lose interest, that one of the Club members, who was also a breeder, offered to give me a twelve months old female for free. Her name was “Bibi vom Buckower Feld”
That day at the dinner table, I presented the opportunity to my parents.
My Dad once again declined!
I did not speak to him for three weeks.
After that, he said: “since it seems to be more important to you than anything, go get this female”
In less than two years after that Bibi vom Buckower Feld was titled Schutzhund 3 level!
She went to be my dual purpose trained Customs Service dog, patrol and narcotic detection.
I qualified twice to represent my district at the Bundessieger Pruefung for Law Enforcement dogs, placing in the top ten of over 100 dogs competing.
In the private sector of dogs I had obtained another puppy from the same kennel she came from, Datscha vom Buckower Feld. Schutzhund 3 in no time. Competitor at Regional Championship in Berlin- qualified to the Bundessieger Pruefung!
At age 21 I purchase a young female “Jenny von der Herdesfarm”.
I competed successfully at the German National Championship again.
Jenny was my first Breeding Female!
My Kennel name then was “von der Quadriga”
The Quadriga is the bronze statue on top of the Brandenburger Gate – the symbol for Berlin Germany. Breeders like to either name their kennel by a well known location close to them or by their own last name.

Once I moved to America- a new era was born!
I met my wife Linda at the Phoenix Schutzhund Club.  She had just switched from American German Shepherd – to German Bloodlines, once she realized that American Champion lines were not meant to perform in the sport of Schutzhund/ now called IPG. They have been – and still are, bred more for their looks than the work.
Before we met, she had built Camino Verde Pet Resort. A boarding – training-grooming facility on the SW side of Tucson.
After we got married, we built Zauberberg Kennels in McNeal AZ on a 240 acre property- fulfilling our dream of freedom to do what we really loved to do. Breeding and training German Shepherds.

How was the name ZAUBERBERG created?German German Shepherd breeder Tucson
And that is a story of its own……
I was born and raised in an American occupied section in West Berlin…I was “Americanized”.
I thought calling my kennel name something AMERICAN would be the best. My first kennel name on American soil was “vom Challenger”!
I remember placing an add in Dog World Magazine- half page- $500.00 “VOM CHALLENGER Kennels” was the headline.

A German woman down the street from us breeding all American Champion Lines placed a business card size ad in the same magazine. Her kennel name was “vom Hindenburg”
She got triple the calls we received and had to get German bloodline puppies from us to fulfill the requests! When people saw CHALLENGER, they obviously didn’t think of German Bloodlines!
That was the end of “vom Challenger” for me.
We had to get a German Name. I looked at my book shelf filled with German books. There it was, Der  ZAUBERBERG, a novel written by the German author Thomas Mann!
Needless to say, the name was hard to pronounce for someone who doesn’t speak German. I didn’t have any idea about branding or marketing. By the time of discovery it was too late to change again.
Over the last two decades the name ZAUBERBERG KENNEL has gained recognition very very well by producing German Shepherds of highest quality from imported blood lines.
People talking about our name just to face the challenge of saying our name correctly!

Ever since, Zauberberg has titled around 200 dogs in Schutzhund. They were either our own, or clients dogs.
The breeds we have titled are mostly German Shepherds Rottweilers and a few American Bulldogs. For the pet dog training world, we have trained Huskies, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Cane Corso, Beagles and many others.
My son, Daniel, born in 1996, has been around dogs all his life.
His first dog was a Jack Russel Terrier named Max. Daniel was 4 years old when we started teaching him how to train Max.
All he ever saw was his mom and dad raising puppies, training and going to competitions with us all over the country.
When he was old enough, he started holding the camera, filming his parents, and taking pictures for our website. Very early he was trained to be a decoy, agitating our dogs in protection work.
At twelve he raised and trained “Joe vom Zauberberg” as his own puppy.
Daniel decided after finishing high school to get into the occupation of being a full time professional German Shepherd breeder and trainer.

 What does Zauberberg stand for?

Zauberberg Kennels is breeding the highest quality of West German imported bloodlines that have been selected for health and temperament over generations.

The outcome of our matings are predictable to a very high degree. We always match phenotype and genetics correctly, so the outcome of our breeding is very uniform. A specific type in looks and temperament has been established over decades observing our puppies closely. Puppies are born and raised in the best environment possible.
The support provided to our clients is the best humanly possible.
Zauberberg Training is different than any other. It is not just a technique being applied. It is about the WHAT to do- WHEN to do it, and most importantly WHY to do it.
Positive- and negative reinforcement combined will create a dog that performs willingly and reliable. Our training philosophy is based on scientifically proven processes that will make complete sense to you once you take the opportunity to train with us– or let us do the training for you!
A dog does not learn any differently than a rat- or any other creature on earth.
Zauberberg training is all about clear communication with the dog. Our YouTube channel is about sharing the training with you- and NOT showing end results.