About the writer.
Some personal background information. 

Rheinhardt Meyer and me

A recent photograph, taken at the South African Annual National Championship Breed Show in Pretoria, together with the well-known S.V. Judge  Reinhardt Meyer.


Ever since my early schooldays- a long time ago! -  I have been involved with German Shepherds and even as a very young schoolboy I always wanted to own  a German Shepherd of the very best quality and the very best bloodlines.

While other children of my age were more interested in having the best designer clothes – or the very best bicycle their parents  could be persuaded to  buy – I always wanted to have the finest German Shepherd Dog.

In South Africa at that particular time, the best  German Shepherd Dog were being bred by  the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and  used as guards.  In spite of the fact that it was the intention of De Beers to use the dogs as guard dogs, nevertheless they imported some very fine animals from England from the well-known “Ceara” Kennels, owned by a Miss Workman who had imported some fine specimens  into England from Germany.

Needless to say my first German Shepherd – “Alsatian” as the breed was known at the time – was  bred from De Beers stock – and offspring of a winning dog at the time “Evander of Ceara”.

Although the dog was not as  good  a show specimen  as I would have liked, he was a very clever dog and a natural retriever. He was very easy indeed to train and it was a pleasure training him.

After I  finished school, left home  and  attended  the University at the University of Cape Town, my interest in German Shepherds continued - perhaps to the detriment of my studies! -  I attended every show that was held in Cape Town.  

While  at University  I  found it very difficult to be without a dog and – very impulsively – I bought a pup from  that I kept  in my room at the university residence.

Immediately I  graduated from University and returned to home, one of my first steps was to get another German Shepherd.

 I heard about a  young German who had  emigrated from Germany and arrived  with a bitch he brought out in whelp to a well-known German dog from working bloodlines.  This was in the early 1950’s.

The pup I  selected from the litter, registered as  “Armin von Marzlinger  Moos” was  a very bold,  confident, grey dog and  descendant of the  famous pre-war German sire, “Egon v.d. Silberkrone”.

Later, when I managed to buy a copy of  one of first English edition copies  of  Von Stephanitz”s famous book I was delighted to see the name of Eon v. Silberkrone prominently featured

“Egon”  SZ 450383, represented the “old-style” German Shepherd Dog , before the advent of  Rolf v. Osnabrueckerland and Axel v.d. Deininghauserheide.  who exerted such a significant influence on the development of post-war Shepherd Dogs.  .  If you happen to have a copy of Von Stephanitz book “The German shepherd Dog” you will find an illustration of “Egon” on page 962.

 My   interest in dogs, and especially German Shepherd Dogs, has continued to the present day.   I registered my Kennel name “Von Haus Fischer” in 1957 and I have been actively involved in showing, breeding and training up to the present day. 

My involvement with Shepherds  has always been  purely in the nature of a  hobby –   a  very expensive hobby I might say! -  and I  have hardly bred more than one or at most two litters  a year. 

My aim has always  been to breed top quality animals that could compete in both breed and obedience shows, and also serve as reliable family guards and protectors.

Because my special interest has been Shepherds that could compete at the highest level in both breed shows and Obedience trials, I admired the focus of German breeders on beauty combined with utility and working ability.

The insistence of German breeders that working ability was as important as physical beauty appealed to me.  For this reason the animals I have used for breeding have been for the most part from leading German bloodlines.  However I also imported some animals from England from kennels that paid attention also  to working qualities as well as show potential.

The study of German bloodlines has always held a special fascination for me.  I have made a point of learning as much as possible from every source available to me.

Because of my well-known  interest in the breed,  I was appointed a South African Judge and officiated in this capacity for many years.  Later I was involved in  organizing   the training of aspirant new Judges.

 Because there was very little in the way of educational material available,  I   compiled  a very  detailed Judges  training manual for aspirant  Judges.  It was very favorably received and I am pleased to say that many newcomers to the breed are still finding it very useful. 

Over the years I have participated in every aspect of the exciting, competitive German Shepherd Dog world; showing, breeding, obedience training and also judging the breed.  I have been a member of the German S.V since 1962 and regularly attend Sieger Shows in Germany.

 A few years ago, in 2002,  I  received a personal letter  from the German S.V. in Augsburg congratulating me on my 40-year membership  and a very impressive looking certificate!  The time is rapidly approaching when I hope to receive the coveted 50 year S.V membership certificate.

As a regular visitor  to Germany and the various annual Sieger Shows  over the years, I have had the opportunity of seeing many of the famous show winners of the past, visiting some of Germany’s most famous kennels. meeting many well-known figures in the German Shepherd Dog world and also have had the privilege of meeting a number of very knowledgeable S.V. judges.

I have also traveled to many parts of the world and taken the opportunity to make contact with German Shepherd breeders in these countries, from whom I have learnt a great deal.

 While spending time at the University of California at Berkeley in the early 1960's involved with my  post-graduate studies,  I had the pleasure of meeting many well-known  personalities in the United States, active in the German Shepherd world at the time.  I have very pleasant memories of Ralph and Mary Roberts and watching their excellent "Ulk Wikingerblut"  consistently winning at   many  of the shows I attended.

A person with whom I became very friendly indeed  and maintained contact for many years was Erich Renner who  unfortunately died a short while ago.  In addition to being a Director of the Eye Dog Foundation Erich was one of the most knowledgeable persons about training and dog behavior I  have ever met .  He was also a fine handler and I can remember his excellent handling of a well-known German import "Harald v. Haus Tigges".   Erich  afterwards  became  the  proud owner of the magnificent 1967 Sieger "Bodo v. Lierberg", a  strong, powerful dog  of superb temperament.

 I have imported animals of the best bloodlines from leading German breeders and, at  various times, quality  bitches in whelp to the  top German sires  - V.A rated  animals or the Siegers  of the day.

The first bitch I imported in whelp, Neera v.d. Elfenwiese, from the Swiss Kennels of Martin Gredig, was mated to a  dog regarded as  the best producer of his day – Caesar v.d. Malmansheide – who had been graded V.A. no less than five times at Sieger Shows between 1955 and 1960. 

Caesar, a son of the important pillar of the breed, Hein vom Richterbach, was in the excellent class and graded V.A. in 1955,1956, 1958,1959, and 1960, a truly remarkable achievement.

I can recall  visiting the kennels of the owner of Caesar,  Ernst Grurmann, in Iserlohn in Germany and being very impressed with the animated movement of Caesar.   At the Kennels of Ernst Grurmann I also saw the 1951 Sieger Veus v.d Starrenberg, who had  an important influence on the breed through his son Nico von Haus Beck, especially in producing dogs with working ability.

Another dog that Ernst Grurmann showed me was Bodo vom Tannenbruch, a dog that I was not  particularly impressed with, but he did produce a dog that played an important role in the development of the breed, the 1963 Sieger "Ajax v. Haus Dexel".

Since then I have repeated the process of importing top-quality bitches from the best bloodlines to leading German Sires and top show  winners of the day in the hope of breeding top quality stock.

 I  have imported   bitches from the best-known  German bloodlines  of the day,  in whelp to the leading and most sucessful sires.  One of the earlier bitches I imported - Pablo von Alexyrvo Hof - was imported in whelp to the 1962 Sieger “Mutz a.d. Kueckstrasse”.

Illustrated below is one of  my early  favorites - "Pablo von Alexyvro Hof", imported in whelp to "Mutz".   Not only was she successful at shows, she was also  a   wonderful guard and protector - a feature I have always admired but unfortunately missing from some of our present-day animals.

In the hope of being able to breed animals of the very best quality that would be able to compete successfully both in conformation shows and also in the obedience ring, I imported a number of bitches in whelp to well-known German Show winners and animals classified V.A. such as:

 “Jacko v. Bimohlen”,  “Jalk v. Fohlenbrunnen”   “Lasso di val Sole”;  Siegers “Dingo v. Haus Gero”  “Fanto v. Hirschel”   and others. 

I  also imported  several  excellent males from Germany from the finest, show-winning  bloodlines.

One of my early imports was sired  by “Marko  von der Boxhochburg”,  V 5 at the 1959 Sieger Show in Karlsruhe, and  one of the most prominent sons of  the famous “Alf. V.Wallddorf Emst”.

 I  saw “Alf” as a ten year old at the home of his immensely proud  owner, Walter  Lueg in Hagen in Germany and even at this age was very impressed with this fine son of the legendary Rolf v. Osnbrueckerland out of an Axel v.d. Deininghauserheide   daughter.

 Another early import was a son of “Frack  v.d. Burg Arkenstede”, a dog that was subsequently exported  from Holland at a fairly  advanced age to the States, where he proved to be a  dominant sire.

 “Frack”s” bloodlines were of particular interest to me as he was a son of a very important German show winner just after the war “Grimm v.d. Fahrmuhle” out of a “Rolf” daughter.  

Illustrated below is a photograph taken almost forty years ago - when I had a lot more hair! - of the bitch "Neera v. Elfenwiese" imported in whelp to the most famous German dog of the day, Caesar v.d. Malmansheide and my imported  "Frack" son - "Astor v.d. Schuttenstee".



This combination  of bloodlines proved very successful indeed in producing dogs of excellent character and show quality.

Because I was particularly impressed with  the excellent proportions and remarkable prepotency of  the “Hein v. Konigsbruch son,  “Canto v.d. Wienerau”  I also  imported  a  “Hein” son. 

 “Hein” himself was exported from Germany  to  Mrs. Valerie Egger  in England, owner of the very old-established  “Tadellos ” Kennels.   He was  a dog of  excellent front and rear  angulation and  had a reasonable show career in England, winning one C.C.   However, he never ever produced another  animal approaching the quality and prepotency of the remarkable “Canto v. Wienerau”.  

The late Walter Martin, who I had the pleasure of meeting on a number of occasions, was certainly a visionary and his influence on the breed  was quite staggering. His “Wienerau” kennels virtually changed the entire  German Shepherd Dog scene and introduced  an unmistakable “type”.

Walter Martin was able to recognize qualities in “Hein” that others had missed   and foresaw the possibilities that a mating between “Hein” and his bitch  Liane v.d. Wienerau.

I imported a  dog of excellent temperament  and of very good show quality   "Alex v. Basilisk", sired  by the  1978 German Sieger “Eiko von Kirschental”, from  Mr. Josef Rolli,  the leading breeder in Switzerland at the time.

 What was of particular interest to me was the fact that, apart from being sired by the legendary Double Sieger “Uran v. Wildsteiger Land, Eiko’s  Dam was the very good producing  V.A. bitch “Xitta v. Kirschental”.

“Xitta”, bred by Karl Fuller,  was the product of a long line of H.G.H sheep herding animals.

The Dam of  “Alex v. Basilisk”,  the dog I imported from Josef Rolli, was “Ola v. Arminius” also an outstanding producer in addition to being a V.A. bitch.

Not surprisingly, because of his genetic background “Alex” turned out to be a very fine specimen.

In addition to being a  very good Show specimen, he also had an exceptionally good temperament; bold, fearless, and an excellent guard.  He was  not a fighter, never growled at other dogs in the show ring,  but he had a certain  presence about him that warned other males that he was not to be trifled with!.  

He also proved to be a good sire who handed down his strong temperament to his sons and daughters.  I was particularly proud of the fact that a young home-bred son, "Kuti von Haus Fischer" became Grand Victor one year, even though he was in competition  with a number of excellent German imports.   

What was particularly pleasing was the fact that the Judge was the highly respected German Judge Leonhard Schweikert.

Because I admired the bloodlines of “Eiko v. Kirschental” so much, I imported a bitch sired by a very good “Eiko” son, “Dax. Arjako”  from the well-known  “vom Holtkamper See”  German kennels of  Hermann Niedergassel.  My purpose was to line-breed on  “Eiko”,

 In  more recent years I have imported a very fine  male sired by  the  1995 Sieger “Ulk v. Arlett, another dog that I admired tremendously.  "Ulk"  owes a great deal to his grandsire “Eiko”.  

  Because I  the  recognized the qualities the 1992 Sieger “Zamb v. Winerau”  could offer, I imported  a  pup sired by  of one of “Zamb’s”  best sons  “Esko v. Wienerau”, who had been V.A. three times,  from  the “Murrenhutte” kennels of the late Ruth Stuttchen.   She was a charming lady and it was a pleasure dealing with her.

 What appealed to me was the fact that the dam of my pup, "Hardy v. Murrenhutte", a V bitch,  was a “Fanto v. Hirschel” daughter.

In spite of his excellent bloodlines  the pup did not develop into the show specimen I had hoped for, being somewhat  short in leg and too deep.  But he did  he turn out to a be  dog of remarkable intelligence and excellent  guarding abilities.  In the test of courage his performance was exceptionally good.

 “Zamb” has proved to an exceptionally good producer.  It is somewhat disappointing  and perhaps surprising that his most highly rated son "Esko" ,  did not turn out to be as successful  as his father in producing top show specimens..  A possible reason is because the dog was owned by a French breeder. Being based in France  he was perhaps  not as accessible to quality bitches as other  stud dogs

But perhaps I being unfair to "Esko" because he was the Sire of  a very good bitch  "Feli v. Ochsentor". who was the Dam of the Siegerin "Karma vom Ochentor.

"Karma",  in addition to being a superb show  bitch,  has also turned out to be a very good producer.  Not only is she the Dam of the outstanding  "Pakros d'Ulmental, who was V.A 4  at the 2005 Sieger Show and Sieger in 2007. "Karma" he is also the dam of  an excellent bitch who was also V,A  at the 2005 Sieger Show.

This bitch. "Xara vom Agilolfinger",  was  bred by Lothar Quoll and sired by the Sieger Larus v. Bata.   Apparently  this very experienced and knowledgable German Judge must have thought so highly of "Karma" that he acquired her on breeding terms in order to have mated to "Larus".

And so  it   seems  clear that the name of "Esko v. Wienerau" will appear in the pedigrees of  many leading German show winners for many years to come.

To digress for a moment, I thought so highly of "Pakros", when I saw him at the 2005 Sieger Show, I imported a  "Pakros" daughter of his from the Fichtenschlag kennels  of  the Osmanns.  Although this young bitch  hasn't turned out  turned out to be the top quality show specimen I had hoped for. she has a superb temperament and has proved to be  exceptionally good guard dog.

Even though I was not  as successful as I had hoped with my "Esko" pup, I recognized the value that "Zamb" had to offer.  When I learned that there was a young  male available with the bloodlines of “Zamb’s” best daughter, the double Siegerin “Vanta v. Wienerau”, I jumped at the opportunity to buy him.

I have always  felt  that “Vanta” -  Siegerin in 1992 and again in 1994, a very rare accomplishment for   a bitch -  was one of the most best bitches ever bred in Germany.  She also had a number of excellent  litter brothers and sisters.  But for some reason she did not have many offspring. 

The dog I imported from Germany,  "Lewis v.d. Langrut"   was sired by “Flex v. Wienerau”, a “Vanta” son – in fact one  of  the very  the few sons  she produced.  Flex's  Sire was the very dominant "Eros van der Luisenstrasse".

  The  late   Walter Martin  mentioned that,  apart from being an exceptionally fine show specimen, "Vanta" had a very strong temperament.   She certainly passed this  down to her son "Lewis" - kennel name "Levi", as will be clear from this photograph below.  "Levi's" manwork is unusually pronounced!

"Levi" doing manwork assisted by my friend  Chris Louw..


Recently  I imported a son of the 2003 Sieger Bax v.d. Luisenstrasse, a strikingly handsome animal. I also imported  a bitch  pup sired by one of Bax’s best sons Pakros di Ulmental,  referred to earlier in the comments I made about  about his Dam, "Karma v. Oschentor". . 

“Pakros”  was V.A. 4 at  the 2005 Sieger Show and as mentioned before ,  many knowledgeable breeders in Germany predict  he will be Sieger in 2006. Apart from being an excellent show specimen, Pakros did particularly well in the test of courage and is also proving to be a very good Sire.

(This was written before Pakros became Sieger in 2007.and before "Vegas became Sieger in 2008.  "Vegas" has of course proved to be an amazingly prepotent Sire - more dominant than "Parkros".  I have recently imported a pup sired by one of his best sons "Bojan vom Pendler" out  of the excellent producing bitch "Hummel vom Larchenhain".)

An outstanding young “Pakros” son , the French bred  “Vegas du Haut Mansard"   was the winner of a very strong young dog – 12 – 18 month class at the 2005 Sieger Show.

Because temperament and working ability are  important for me,  I also imported a bitch with the  bloodlines of  Frei v. Hirchel.   “Frei”, the litter brother of the double Sieger “Fanto v. Hirschel”,  was also a good show specimen, a top V winner,  but not quite as good  a show specimen as  as his famous brother "Fanto".  But "Frei" is regarded by  many as being the better producer of  working dogs..

When one imports  an animal from Germany it is important to know the bloodlines of the Dam  as well as the Sire.  If the dog you are importing comes from a long line of  good producing bitches, the chances of  having success in your breeding  are so much better.

 It is because the bitch line is as important as that of the Sire,  I recently imported a  young dog from the well-known Huhnegrab Kennels of Heinz Scheerer, who judged the adult male class at the 2005 Sieger Show.  

Not only is the dog I imported, “Immos v. Huhnegrab”,  a son of one the best dogs and most popular Sires  in Germany  “Karat’s Yoker, bred by Jimmy Rassmussen of Denmark, the bloodlines of  his Dam,  "Medi v. Huhnegrab"  line reflect five  generations of top quality, “Huhnegrab” bitches, many of them  V.A. animals.  "Medi" was sired by a dog I rate very highly indeed - "Erasmus v. Noort".

This doesn’t mean that I am necessarily going to have the success I hope to achieve with this young dog.  He is still  immature and there is always an  element of luck whether or not  he will fulfill his early promise..   But at least statistics are in my favor.

Recently I imported another  animal with the "Huhnegrab" bloodlines that I admire so much.  It is a bitch, bred by  the " v. Grafenbrunn" kennels of Hein Scheerer's  son Dirk and sired by the  V.A.  rated  "Yasko v. Farbenspiel" "Orbit v. Huhnegrab".

What I find particularly appealing about "Orbit" is the fact that he has a superb masculine head and in this respect he differs from a number of other "Yasko" sons.   His temperament is also outstanding, a feature he fortunately appears to have reproduced in my new young bitch.  

Another very desirable feature of "Obit v. Huhengrab's" pedigree is the fact that his Dam, "Pirie vom Haus Dexel" was sired by the strikingly beautiful grey dog "Timo vom Berrekasten", Reserve Sieger in 2000, but a dog that many breeders have overlooked in their breeding programmes.

If one is going to be successful in breeding outstanding animals it is very important to have as much  knowledge of German bloodlines as possible.  Sometimes this information is difficult to acquire.  This is why  I have provided details of the dogs I have imported and the reasons why I have  done so.  I hope that the information may prove of value.

One of the problems with  German Shepherd Dog breeding in Germany at the moment is the fact that there is a very sharp division between show lines and working lines.  People involved in competing at the highest level in working trials seldom use show dogs  in their breeding programmes.

This is a great pity because, although there are some  show winners in Germany today with  temperaments that are not as bold as one would wish, there are many top winners  with very sound temperaments. But  working dog people seldom use these animals.  They  do not appear to be interested in breeding excellent show specimens.   Their focus is entirely on  lively, working temperament.

This makes it extremely difficult if you are keen  to find  an animal that  is both a  very good show specimen and also an excellent working animal.  But it  can be done!  There is no reason why it not possible to have an animal that is both an excellent specimen of the breed and also an exceptionally good working dog.  But you have to be careful in the selection of your breeding stock.

Because I am interested in  training for competitive obedience as well as the breed ring, I recently imported a young  male from the old-established  Maaraue kennels of Alfred  and Ellen Muhlbauer, breeders who have always paid attention to working temperament in addition to show quality. My young dog "Dasko von der Maaraue" is sired by a dog  with a particularly good temperament "Focus von der Maaraue"."

The breeding of "Focus" goes back to 'Wanko v.d. Maaraue", V.A 11 in 1978. "Wanko", in addition to being a fine show specimen, was a dog that was widely used by working dog breeders.  His bloodlines go back to the legendary "Bernd v. Lierberg", whose name appears in the pedigree of many of the top working dog winners today.

Not surprisingly, my young dog "Dasko", is an absolute joy and  delight to train.

More recently I imported an excellent young male from Helmut Buss, "Yukatan v. Laerchenhain", sired by Bojan vom Haus Pendler out of a bitch that has produced  very well indeed, "Hummel vom L:aerchenhain".

He is  litter brother of  a rising young  star in Germany, "Ypsilon v. Laerchenhain", for whom a great future is predicted.  He has  been placed first at  every show he has been entered.

 Bojan, bred by Wolfgang Meinen and V.A 8 at the 2009 Sieger Show, is, I believe, the best son  of the double Sieger  Vegas du Haut Mansard - 2008 and 2009. who has  also sired a number of other excellent dogs.

Not only is Bojan a superb show specimen, he also has an excellent temperament.

I have high hopes for this young dog "Yukatan", not only in the breed ring but also in Schutzhund  trials as has a very strong temperament and is showing a great deal of promise.






A recent photograph of "Yukatan",  taken at a recent show, handled by my very competent and athletic young handler  David Range.

Recently, as a suitable breeding bitch to be  mated when she matures  to "Yukatan", I was very fortunate to acquire from Hein Scheerer, a really good, young bitch - "Rona vom Huhnegrab"  sired by the outstanding "Zamp vom Thermodos" son,  "Quattro von der Partnachklamm".

"Quattro",  the "Jugendbester" in 2009, is considered by many to be the  "Zamp" son with  the  strongest temperament of all his excellent sons.   Even though he was still a very young dog in 2010 - whelped  on the 11th March 2008 - "Quattro" was considered worthy by Herr Rheinhardt Meyer  to receive a V.A grading at the 2010 Sieger Show.

The Dam of my young bitch is "Hedi vom Huhnegrab", whose brother   "Hatto vom Huhnegrab" attracted attention at last year Sieger Show for his exceptionally powerful strong protection work.

I am very fortunate indeed  in that this young bitch, "Rona", apart from developing into  a good show specimen, has a particularly strong,  temperament, completely unconcerned and unperturbed by any unusual  circumstances.

 In discussing this unusually strong - but nevertheless  very responsive  -  temperament with Heinz Scheerer, I asked whether  in his opinion "Rona's" unusually strong  temperament was due to the influence of her grand-sire, "Odin vom Holtkamper Hof", the sire of  of her Dam, "Hedi".   "Odin vom Holtkamper Hof "is  a dog known to produce animals with strong temperaments.

 Herr Scheerer believes however, it is more due to the influence  "Hedi's " Dam,  "Yonna vom Huhnegrab" who comes from a long line of bitches with similar temperaments.  She has been an exceptionally good producing bitch both from the point of view of conformation and temperament.

With luck it may be possible that one day, by breeding "Rona" to "Yukatan" I may be able to produce what has  long been my aim and ambition  - a "universal" Sieger of real merit.

Of course it is very difficult indeed to have a dog that can excel in both the Show ring and also in working trials.  But it is possible and  should be the objective  of every breeder. It does mean however, that in order to achieve this, one should have as much knowledge as possible about the bloodlines of the animals you are using - the Dam as well as the Sire.  Sometimes however, reliable, unbiased   information is difficult  to obtain.

 It is because information for English speaking breeders is often unavailable that I have gone to some lengths to give details  of the German-bred dogs I have imported and why I have imported them.

I hope the  information I have provided  will prove of  value to you.

I wish you the very best of luck.  Believe me luck is  a very important factor in success whatever your field of activity  happens to.   I hope you achieve the success you have dreamed about!



Dennis Fisher.


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