The story of a German Shepherd Breeder from Germany
The story begins when I was 13 years old- Germany West Berlin.
Up to this point I had never been allowed to have any pets! No hamster, rabbit, guinea pig or bird, as my parents never trusted me to take care of a pet.
When was 13 years old my mother visited with 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 in: “ok I will take the dog back!”
My Dad: “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 tried to present the idea 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!
The German Shepherd Kennel “vom Zauberberg”
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” 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!
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 novelle 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 established itself very very well by producing German Shepherds of highest quality from imported blood lines.
People talking about us just to face the challenge of saying our name correctly!