We purchased our first German Shepherd Dog as a couple in
1984 from the very successful Breeding Kennel of 'Britstar' alias Wally Ball
& Irene Thompson.
He was a ten week old male called CAM 'Britstar
Chaparral'. There was one condition to
his purchase; he was to be shown.
I was already involved in showing horses....but a
dog? We entered Cam in a small local All Breeds
Show and received a respectable 3rd place-I recall the judge commenting that
had I stood him, he could well have been her winner!
That was encouragement enough for me! From then on I was determined to learn
all I could about this new challenging sport including that
'stand' thing, and thus began our show career!
Around a year later (1985), a
called Nuschi, 'Britstar Anusch'
came to join our family. She was also from Wally and Irene and she
was placed with us on breeders terms. This meant Wally & Irene would get a
litter back from
her sometime in the future. At
her first show outing Nuschi was placed 1st Baby puppy out of 10 entries
under Mr. C. Hollingworth (Vic).
She went on to gain her
Companion Dog title in obedience (usually the top 3), and a 5th placing at
the Royal Melbourne Show.
We began practicing that 'stand' thing straight away!
Cam sadly passed away and broke our hearts on
June 10th 1995.
Nuschi passed away on the 21st June 1990 after being diagnosed with mammary cancer.
Please click on the
to meet Cam, Nuschi & some more of our canine friends that have passed over
rainbow bridge to dog heaven!
In 1986 we combined Cam & Nuschi's names to give us our
kennel prefix 'Camnusch' and our kennel was born. Our tattoo symbol CAM was
also approved in 1986, and over the years Camnusch has become the home of many top performance
dogs. We truly believe our kennel represents the
best of ...
- this philosophy has proudly become our kennel slogan!
We were founding members of the GSDCV -Geelong branch around 1983-4. At the time
we were traveling about an hour and a half each week to the nearest GSDCV
branch, which was Ballarat. We'd heard that a Mr. Sterzenbach was trying to get
a training group together and we jumped at the chance. After officially being
accepted as a branch of the GSDCV, I became a committee member and the
Membership Officer. I was also on the Social committee, fundraising committee,
and later helped form an Obedience demonstration group and Terry became the
Equipment Officer. Members participated in various activities such as the Royal
Children's Hospital appeal, and the Demo team held displays for community groups
such as scouts etc. The branch wanted to promote the breed's qualities in the
Geelong region and boost memberships for the branch. Cam & I appeared in the
Geelong Advertiser on numerous occasions promoting the breed & the branch, and I
still have those clippings as fond memories.
1986 - I gained my show instructors certificate, and passed all criteria for my obedience instructor's certificate soon after, however, I decided not to do my last practical exam as I felt uncomfortable using many of the training methods promoted at the time. I was interested in motivational training, but this form of training was frowned upon back then. By the late 80's the branch's membership had grown considerably, and a variety of new personalities had begun to emerge....... unfortunately that's when the inevitable conflicts began. Some of my fellow instructors had already left the branch and were instructing elsewhere, and I was to leave soon after. Terry & I decided to train our dogs elsewhere or at home, a move that would prove advantageous in the long term.
Interim - We continued showing the dogs and did some obedience at one of the many Melbourne branches of the club. We bred a litter or two, bought a house, and bought a new puppy that we eventually called 'Peppi' after being called Puppy for almost 12 months -Peppi was the closest name to Puppy we could think of.
The plan was to
hopefully use him with our bitches in the future (if all went well). Peppi
was maturing nicely, and his obedience/show training was progressing well.
During this time some friends had been urging us to return to the training
branch assuring us that things had changed. It took a lot of convincing, but
eventually Terry & I decided to go see for ourselves.
1996 - We returned to the Geelong branch, and to my surprise found that things had changed. I credit this change to the late Margaret Valastro, it seemed she had managed to unite the branch once again. I later became the newsletter publisher (an attempt to further unite members), and was asked to join the Demo team (with Peppi) under her instruction. Margaret helped spark my enthusiasm for Obedience once more, and it was this enthusiasm that eventually lead to Peppi's impressive obedience performances, particularly at the 2001 National.
Margaret would never get to see these performances, she died suddenly in
June 2000 during the 28th GSDCA Nationals held in Queensland. Peppi & I had
the privilege of being in the 'guard of honour' at her funeral.
We continued to
attend the branch for some time after her death, but self interest was
beginning to raise it's ugly head once more.
2002 - The last straw came when the criteria for an end of year trophy was corrupted by the trophy donors; simply because the donors had a grudge against the potential recipients-us!...... we decided from that moment (as many other's did) to train elsewhere or at home! These same self promoting individuals are still actively involved within the GSDCV-Geelong branch today. Also in 2002 we joined a small agility group at Teesdale (Vic) under the guidance of
Denise Agnew of
kelpie stud & founder of ADAC . We had been searching for many years to find a
suitable agility instructor, and Denise seemed to be it. Although we had no idea what ADAC was at the time, we have come to realize that the training methods used for ADAC are far superior to that of any others we have attempted!
2003 - We became members of the
Tracking Club of Victoria and have been hooked ever since! Peppi passed his Preliminary track in August 2003 under Lynn Klecka. We would like to thank both Lynn and Helen Den Hartog (who owns no less than 2 tracking champions) for their the guidance when we didn't really have a clue what we were doing.
2004 turned out to be a very bad year for us all round and circumstances prevented us from participating in any dogsports.
2004- Adac became NADAC and later became
apart of the large American organisation known as
-as their Australia division under the guidance of Shirlene Clarke
PAWS TO CONSIDER - www.pawstoconsider.com.au.
Please go take a look at the
NADAC Australian Website www.nadacaustralia.com
site, or the parent club in America
NADAC - www.nadac.com.
We are so proud to be the owners of
the first two 'Australian' German Shepherd Dogs to gain their official titles in the
sport here in Australia!
2005 - Tracking began in earnest! Aust Ch: Breebaron Lawbreaker aka Peppi gained his test 1,2,3, and 4 at consecutive trials and just missed out on his test 5 at the end of tracking season. Whilst Camnusch Ozi Outcast aka Oki passed his Prelim and Test 1 at consecutive trials with a grading of VERY GOOD!
There are so many people to thank for their support
and friendship over the years that it would take forever to list them
individually, so I will take this opportunity to wish these people
(collectively) the very best of luck in their own personal goals and
aspirations. Terry & I would also like to thank the people who have
contributed to the success of 'Camnusch' bred/owned animals in one way or
another over the years, (owners, handlers, animal specialists, fellow
breeders, trainers etc), and we look forward to sharing more successful
'Camnusch' results with you in the future.
Many thanks to you