I have always loved dogs and animals since I was very young. I always knew I would work with animals and started as the neighborhood dog walker at only seven years old. I went to college for animal science thinking I may be a vet, but was more interested in the behavioral aspect of animals than biological so I started training. I have been training dogs professionally since 1999. I train for a variety of interests-puppy training, basic manners, therapy work, agility, herding and obedience to name just a few. I compete with my own dogs in rally obedience, competition obedience, agility and herding.
I worked at a kennel for 10 years and ran their training program. After I was married, Mark and I had our 1st child Kenny and when he was one we moved to Hunterdon County to a small 7 acre farm to run our animal business and raise our family with a farm lifestyle that we always dreamed of. We then had two more kids Cole and Katelyn, a horse, cat, nigerian dwarf goats and three more aussies! We are very busy, but love every minute of it! This truly is a dream come true!
I consider myself a hobby breeder of Australian Shepherds as I only keep 3-4 adults and plan to have at most 1-2 litters a year. I have owned a variety of different lines with this breed and have found that the breed has split in to two different types the working line and show lines. People often ask me why I chose this particular line as my current aussies all came from out west and even though there are many breeders on the east coast I went with the more working type of aussie specifically the Fairoak's line. The working lines are smaller in bone and overall size than the show lines and have a lot less coat. I find the show lines tend to have more of a rough collie type coat where the working lines have a much shorter/sleek coat and not nearly the amount of undercoat. The show lines tend to be more laid back and not as driven, where the working lines have more drive and work ethic. This isn't to say they cannot relax or that the show lines are mellow-we are talking about aussies which overall are a very active breed.
I feel that when a breed is changed for confirmation and structure purposes only such as some show lines you loose the breeds original traits that make them who they are. I wanted to go back to what the original aussies looked and acted like. That being said my two breeding dams have a lot of Fairoak's line which are know for healthy genetic lines. Logan has a lot of Crown Point, but also some confirmation which I believe can balance some things. Occasionally I will also use a confirmation sire to broaden the gene pool. I truly believe that this balance I try to create will produce dogs that are extremely healthy, have wonderful dispositions, work with drive and still confirm to the breed standard.
I feel that the lines I have chosen have superior genetics as they were bred for overall working ability which includes health, temperament and structure and movement in order to do their job well verses being bred for structure and markings alone.
I wanted a dog that could help us out on the farm, but also be a loving member of our family and our dogs are just that!
I try and compete with all my dogs as much as possible, but those of you that are raising young children know that free time is very limited and so competing has taken a temporary back seat, but we are still getting titles. My dogs also attend classes every week for herding and obedience. They get lots of practice as demo dogs with our current classes we run and tending to our small goat herd.