I have been living in the beautiful lower Westerwald exactly between Frankfurt and Cologne for a few years now. I have had dogs almost all my life.
It started when I was 12 years old. Actually, my father never wanted dogs. But on my 12th birthday I was ill, and so my parents promised me a dog. Since I had already been regularly walking the Cocker Spaniel of acquaintances for some time, it was to be a Cocker Spaniel. So we looked for a breeder of Cocker Spaniels. Of course we found one relatively quickly. And so it happened that we went to Paderborn on a Sunday to look at a puppy. The bad thing was that on this day - we wanted to take the puppy with us - the puppies were in quarantine because of fleas. The dogs were not staying with the breeder, but with his parents-in-law. They bred dogs themselves - not Cocker Spaniels, but dwarf longhaired dachshunds. As these were housed separately from the Cockers, the little ones were healthy. And the dachshund puppies were also of an age to be given away. And so it worked feverishly in my head. I considered whether I shouldn't take a dachshund puppy then - all according to the motto "better a bird in the hand than a pigeon on the roof". Somehow I didn't really trust my father, because I suspected that he might change his mind about the dog. So it came as it had to: Axel von Löhne-Inglish moved in with us. He was 14 years old.
After Axel's death, it didn't take long before a new dog enriched my life. This time it was a dog from animal welfare. Max moved in with me. But unfortunately I had to part with him after just under 2 years because he was absolutely not good with children. As sorry as I was, I looked for a suitable new home for him - an elderly lady in our district took him in. This developed into a suitable partnership for Max. After all, he lived to be 16 years old.
After Max, there was a dog break for me for a few years. In the meantime I was married and we had children. At some point, the idea came up that it would be best if the children grew up with animals. And so we decided - also at the request of the children - to get a dog again. Together we thought about the breed. Finally, we came up with the "most family-friendly" and ideal dog for us: the beagle. We looked for puppies, which we found at a hobby cattery, which was not affiliated to any association and therefore not registered anywhere. We chose the most active male from the litter. This was - as it turned out later - not a good choice, because Frodo did not accept our children above him. After he then seriously bit our daughter Katharina, we first tried to get professional help. But we just couldn't get a grip on the problem. A registered and certified Beagle breeder said to us, "You have to break his will under all circumstances". For us, the point had come when we started to think about finding a new home for Frodo, because it couldn't go on like this. And so, some time later, we found a horse stud farm where some other dogs also lived. Here Frodo came into a pack, where he then also learned to subordinate himself.
But we didn't want to stay without a dog and we didn't want to be discouraged. A short time later, we happened to find Ronja, a bitch that had been given away privately. Ronja was a mix of German Shepherd and Labrador, and was already 4 years old at the time. She turned out to be a real godsend. She was a great family dog and was very sweet with our daughters. She was very easy to get along with and we could do anything with her. Everyone loved her because she had such a wonderful character. When Ronja was 9 years old, we decided to take in a second dog. This time it should be a dog from a foreign animal protection. And so Finia from Romania moved in with us in 2010. Unfortunately, we had to let our Ronja go over the rainbow bridge in the same year, because she was terminally ill with liver cancer. And we still miss Ronja very much today.
At some point - the children were grown and more or less independent - my ex-wife and I had separated. My youngest daughter Tabea wanted to stay with me. Since we had always had a greater connection to dogs, it was clear from the beginning that Finia would stay with Tabea and me, especially since Finia is actually Tabea's dog anyway. Fortunately, Finia is still alive today and in good health. In the meantime everything is going a bit slower with her, after all she is already more than 13 years old. We hope that she will be able to spend a few more years with us.
Half a year after the separation from my wife, a new puppy moved in with us. I made a dream come true. Actually, I always wanted to have a German shepherd all my life. In the past it was not possible because my mother was afraid of German shepherds. After that, unfortunately, it just didn't happen. But because of the health problems with German Shepherds in the last few years, I got away from them and somehow found the Belgian Shepherd. Both breeds are more or less closely related to each other. And so I studied the Belgian Shepherds and their characteristics in detail. Since the characters of the different varieties are relatively the same, I decided on the long-haired Tervueren. So Leon vom Saargold moved in with us in the summer. And that was one of the best decisions I made in my life. Leon is - like Ronja at that time - a true soul dog. At some point it became clear that Leon was not to be the only one, and so in August 2019 Omero vom Wildweibchenstein moved in with us to strengthen our pack. But with that, we should actually be complete for the time being.
Well, and after we took part in the first show with Leon, Tabea and I caught fire here. Since then, we have not only become members of the DKBS (German Club for Belgian Shepherds), but also regularly take part in shows. It was also clear to us at some point that we would have Leon licensed so that he could be a stud dog. In the meantime Leon is licensed in the DKBS, and has already had 3 litters from which 16 healthy, great puppies have been born so far. Leon is also a stud dog in the BSB. Since 2019 we are also members of both the BSD (Belgian Shepherd Dogs Germany) and the BSB (Belgian Shepherd Dogs Berlin). This means that we are now members of all relevant associations here in Germany.
We are also members of our dog sports club, the Hundesportfreunde Dernbach. Here I do RO with Leon, after we did THS with him in the beginning. Leon had already successfully passed the companion dog test at the young age of 15 months and 5 days.
With Omero, I am also aiming for the BH test next year, and he should also be licensed.
And in the meantime, Orelia vom Saargold, a daughter of Leon, joined the pack. That was not planned, but Orelia made me want to breed myself. And so we are now preparing for Orelia to be licensed next year, and in the course of the year we will have our kennel ready so that we can really look forward to our first Tervueren litter. But it was clear to me from the beginning that we would breed in the DKBS under the umbrella of the VDH/FCI.
By the way, some time ago I also infected my daughter with the Belgian virus. I share this wonderful hobby with Tabea, and we usually go to and complete the dog shows together, and are also in the same dog sports club. In the meantime, Tabea also has her first own Tervueren - Arko vom Goldlöckchen. Arko is - how could it be otherwise - also a son of my Leon. This time from the last litter so far.
Yes, and one thing is also clear to me: I can no longer imagine a life without Belgians! Belgians are my absolute dream dogs - you can do everything with them. Whether it's dog sports or just being a couch potato: they simply do everything. The important thing is that they take part in everything. Because they want to do everything together with their family.
You can find out how I actually came to Belgian Shepherds here..