We founded Candle Hill Shepherds to breed exceptional dogs in 2003 at our ranch in beautiful North Idaho. We have over 40 years of experience working with canines in such diverse fields as Search and Rescue, Schutzhund, AKC Obedience Competition, Agility, Dogsledding, Therapy work, Family Companionship, Sheepherding, and more. We are just plain passionate about dogs.
At Candle Hill hepherds, we believe that dogs and humans have a special relationship. Out of the millions of species in existence, very few animals have ever been truly domesticated, and of that select list only dogs have reached to status of “man’s best friend.” Dogs really are great friends of humanity; they not only are capable of joining our packs (families) but also of offering valuable services that we depend on.
Even with all the technology our world now offers, dogs are still critical in many areas. Take home security. When seconds count, the police are only minutes away; however, a good protection dog is there all the time. From Therapy work to Search and Rescue, from Balto famously saving lives in 1925 by delivering medicine into Nome Alaska when it was too cold for aircraft to be used, to the endless help herding dogs give to ranchers still today, dogs have a proven history to back up the statement of being “man’s best friend.”
Unfortunately, for all the good dogs have done humans, we often don’t treat them very well. We regularly push breeds to the genetic max for artificial standards of beauty that cripple dogs with painful mutations for life. Puppy mills traumatize puppies at early ages, giving them phobias and temperamental problems that can take years if ever to overcome. We don’t give them adequate education about what we expect and then are shocked when they fail to behave by our rules.
At Candle Hill Shepherds, we wanted to found something different. Our program is based on treating dogs how man’s best animal friend should be treated.
Rather than push the genetic envelope to weird extremes for perceived aesthetic value, we treat genetic health as a true priority. We want healthy, functional dogs. That is why we research our pedigrees extensively and are one of the few breeders in the Nation to offer a
hip guarantee. Our record on prioritizing the health of the dogs, just prioritizing the dogs really, allows us to do that.
Our dogs are not just bred with physical health as the objective but also mental health. We strive to produce animals that a burglar will run from but a child can hug. We want our dogs to be wonderful, legendary creatures that bring respect to their owners. Plus we think dogs are just happier when they have good temperament.
Puppy Enrichment is another component that causes us to stand apart. We believe that the early childhood environment has a huge impact on humans, and the same concept applies to dogs. That is why all our puppies go through our scientifically based puppy enrichment process. When one gets a Candle Hill Shepherd, one does not just pick up a pile of fur from the corner of a whelping box, but instead receives a puppy that has received quality, individualized attention from day one.
Since we started, we have not fixed all the problems that have come with man’s relationship with dogs, but we have made a stand. Be sure to check out our testimonials page to see what some of our clients say about their relationship with their Candle Hill Shepherd.
Over the years, we have realized that fixing man’s relationship with dogs is often not just about fixing how we breed and raise them, but how we interact with them as adults. A lot of people just don’t know how to “speak dog”, and it is rather unfair. That is why we also offer training opportunities to help people and their canines develop better relationships. We focus on basic obedience because this is the foundation for almost all advanced dog sports. If you would like to get some personalized training on how to work with your dog, please let us know.