Seriously, you would think I’d just announced I was a serial killer. But in modern Los Angeles, being a dog breeder is pretty much paramount to being a criminal. Really? Huh…
I will only breed animals that I and my breeding mentors believe will further the health and soundness of the breed. Why is this a bad thing?
I don’t breed dogs to make money (heavens no, the opposite is more true). I breed dogs because I want there to continue to be amazing, trustworthy, healthy dogs available for the dog lovers who are growing up now. I breed because I believe in the breed, because I have lived with these dogs for the past 15 years and I know what would be missing from the world if they disappeared. I breed because I know what is missing from the city as agriculture becomes something quaint and forgotten and because I don’t want to think of a world where the amazing majestic animals are also gone.
In my lifetime, in my neighbourhood, I’ve seen horse pastures paved over and the chickens, ducks, goats, sheep and horses that used to be so common become something that children only see at the petting zoo at Disneyland or the LA County Fair. Large, magnificent animals like the Shiloh Shepherd would be easy to dismiss in a city environment as extraneous but I stand here saying they’re as relevant in the city as they ever were in the rural life that’s disappeared.
The intelligence, gentleness and grace they bring with them, generation to generation, makes them a wonderful family companion. Yes, they’re large. Unlike their high-energy cousins, the German Shepherd Dog, Shilohs generally require less high energy exercise and can often be “exercised” through training and play rather than flat out running.
Beyond that, they have the capacity for service work, therapy work, search and rescue and any other “career”. Their structural soundness, and the strict breeding code we follow, means fewer sick or crippled individuals. And a breeder willing to take the heat means we will continue to weed out the undesirable lines, bringing the best of the best forward.
I breed Shiloh Shepherd dogs. And I’m proud of it.