DAE Grand Champion & International Champion Rohan's Reward ROM TC CGC HT RE CDX NW1
Kay Springer - Strider
Maybe once in your life with dogs, you are fortunate enough to have a very special one. After being in German Shepherd Dogs for 24 years, in 2003 such a special dog entered my life. A friend of mine and I purchased a puppy from a Bobbie Kindy, a well-known breeder, because I wanted to add some new bloodlines into my breeding program. We named the puppy "Strider," not really knowing that this name would certainly be fitting for his amazing movement.
We showed him in puppy classes, and he did quite well winning conformation points from the puppy and teenage classes. Then, after about 18 months, my friend took a huge promotion and had to move to Washington D.C. We decided that Strider would come and live with me until he finished his championship because his handler lived locally. He finished before he was two years old but never moved to Washington, instead coming to live with me since his "other mother" was traveling a lot and so I could put some obedience titles on him.
While training for his AKC CD (Companion Dog) and his CDX (Companion Dog Excellent), he was also shown in Best of Breed competitions. Over the next few years, he obtained his CD, CDX, TC, (Temperament Certified), HT (Herding Tested), RE (Rally Excellent) and CGC (Canine Good Citizen), and also became the #5 GSD in the country based on defeating other GSDs and other herding dogs at AKC shows. Before he retired, he won 80 Best of Breeds and multiple Group Ones in AKC conformation shows. He also became an International Champion and was Best of Breed at the highly competitive Eukanuba Dog Show where only the top 10 dogs in each breed are invited to compete. Strider retired from showing at age six but came back out when AKC created the Grand Championship title. Strider was awarded his Grand Championship at age eight as a Veteran Dog.
I have always felt strongly that a German Shepherd should have titles at both ends – conformation titles up front and performance titles at the end. Strider and I were always working toward some performance title. He was 80% trained for his Utility Degree (UD) when I decided, after 30 years of training dogs, that I was just not enjoying it. So we did not get his UD because of me, not him. But I had to keep his mind busy (he was without a doubt the smartest dog I have ever trained and there have been many). So we started training in a new venue – nose work.
In nose work, we train the dog is to identify a scent (birch, anise or clove) that is hidden and not visible. There are four parts of the test for a Nose Work 1 (NW1) title using the scent (birch for NW1): on the exterior of a vehicle; in a room such as a classroom; in an exterior, or outside, area such as on a picnic table in a courtyard; and in a container, i.e., boxes.
Strider always had an amazing nose. When shown in conformation, I had to hide in the "back forty" and be downwind so he would gait around the ring appropriately. You could see him lift his nose in the breed ring to locate me, much to the displeasure of his handler! We both loved nose work and we added a NW1 title to his "alphabet soup" of titles at age 10.
On top of his conformation and performance achievements, Strider also turned out to be a wonderful producer of beautiful puppies. He was bred to various bitches around the Bay Area, and the country, and produced 11 AKC Champions many with performance titles. He was also OFA Hips and Elbows (clear of hip & elbow dysplasia), Thyroid & DM clear and was awarded a "Health Award of Merit" by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America
"Strider" was officially known as DAE* Grand Champion & International Champion Rohan's Reward ROM** TC CGC HT RE CDX NW1
My heart dog and once-in-a-life time dog left me just before he turned 12 following a back injury from slipping on wet grass while we were playing with his Jolly Ball. We had been treating the injury for over a year but, eventually, I had to let him go to the Rainbow Bridge. A dog that I was never meant to have but came that into my life and enriched it so much.
*DAE - Dual Award Excellent - awarded by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America to dogs that are conformation Champions and have one of the highest performance titles.
** ROM - Register of Merit - awarded by the German Shepherd Dog Club of American to dogs/bitches that have produced a certain number of AKC Champion progeny.