It all started in 1982 with a German Shepherd puppy, the grandson of Ch. Covey Tucker Hill's Manhattan, the 1987 Westminster Best in Show. He was my foundation stud and my girls were solid black GSDs from Germany. My kennel (Smokey Creek) prided itself on turning out quality working, military and police dogs.
In 1989, I went back to finish my college degree, and had to cut back on breeding, but still produced a litter about every 18 months for the next 10 years. Our last GSD died of old age in 2004. Although we still love the GSDs, we wanted to go with a breed that was a bit smaller, but still a herding dog.
We had been researching the Belgians for a few years, and were lucky enough to find two beautiful girls, our Belgian Sheepdog in 2005 and our Belgian Tervuren in 2006.
We trained the GSDs in obedience, personal protection, herding and tracking. When we got our first Belgian, in 2005, we got involved in conformation. We were fortunate to meet a lot of great people who guided us through the conformation experience, enabling us to get chamionships on both girls. We also train the Belgians in obedience and herding, and have titles in those venues.
In 2007, we started training our girls in agility. They made their debut in March, 2008. They love the sport and continue to excel. Ernest does most of the handling in all venues, I do a lot of the training and try to keep all the shows and trials organized and our lives running smoothly.
Belgians are an exceptionally intelligent breed, always thinking and making their people think. They are extremely focused and confident, and can be intense about any activity in which they are involved. They are always willing to please. They are quite capable of training and competing in multiple venues at the same time. These are dogs that need a job. They love their people and have a sense of exploration and wonder.
Our dogs are considered part of our family. They do not live outside or in crates. The more interaction you have with a Belgian, the more amazed you will be about their thinking processes and their responsiveness to you and your family.
In breeding our dogs, we look for health, structure, temperament, type and work ethic. We believe that the puppies we produce will be a valued addition to any family, in conformation, performance or just as a pet and companion.
We are by no means finished with competition. I am hoping to participate more in handling in the future. We continue to learn about temperament, genetics, healthcare (including health issues that can affect our breeds), structure, and training .
We are members of both the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America (BSCA) and the American Belgian Tervuren Club (ABTC), Dog Training Club of Dallas County (DTCDC) and local breed clubs. We compete in AKC and USDAA events. Although both our girls are also UKC registered, we have yet to compete in a UKC event.