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Dave’s Report On KeyTo

Dave, who has KeyTo (a Candle Hill Puppy), writes:

“Dear Elizabeth,

That is a great picture of Sonar and her puppies, they are so tiny it is hard to think of our KeyTo being that small once upon a time.

We are so indebted to you for selecting our KeyTo for us, we asked for a companion and you could not have provided a better match.  We owe you some pictures and I will put more emphasis on that with the bad weather hitting us – it’s raining but that did not stop KeyTo and I from our 2 mile walk today.  Right now he is curled up on the couch with his head on Shirley’s leg, both of them sound asleep with Shirley’s hand on his neck…

We find something about KeyTo to laugh about or share with each other  every single day, by the way, he is a big puppy now, at 11 months old he is 81 pounds and 26.5 inches tall at the top of his shoulders and he has the most gorgeous set of shiny, bright white teeth you will ever see in a dog.  His coat is just a bit more plush than standard coat, and he is a stunning mix of black saddle fringed in cinnamon red further fringed with a honey blond and he has the face and eyes that look directly into your heart and soul.  His face and look is one of a very mature dog and I’m sure would give pause to anyone that might not have the best of intentions.  He is confident without being overly bold or aggressive and plays well with all dogs we have met.  He inherently has good “doggie manners” , bowing and play dodging with other puppies and standing still and deferring to adult dogs.  He seems to especially like playing with female puppies or young females even a year old.  We do have to be careful with him around children and other young people, he has a high play drive and is boisterous which can be a bit overwhelming to strangers.  I have seen a bit of restraint lately and I think he is beginning to show the initial signs of maturity.  That said, his play drive and energy is practically unlimited.  He also has demonstrated protective traits about Shirley, at night when she dozes on the sofa he alerts to strange sounds and his hair bristles as he stands at her side, in public he steps between Shirley and strange dogs that approach until after they “meet and greet”, and I have seen him do this once or twice when a man approached Shirley, he seems to be wary until Shirley demonstrates some recognition of the approaching stranger.  Shirley has said frequently that he would have made a great police dog.  He is extremely intelligent, can sort through a chain of events and come up with appropriate reaction, and responds to training immediately.  I will have to admit that we have NOT engaged in rigorous training as we did in the past with the Shepherds we intended to do Search and Rescue work with, but we have had him in a “Puppy Kindergarten” which, was a disappointment to us.  The “Trainer” lacked in many traits that we were accustomed to seeing in a dog trainer in our past experience, but KeyTo responds to the training we have given him, come, heel, sit, stand, stay etc..

And my Dr. Hall was right on the money when I asked him why he was happy that we got a German Shepherd puppy at my checkup in April and he responded that on days when I didn’t feel like going for a walk – the dog will.  We walk a minimum of 2 miles a day, seven days a week and most days it is more than 2 miles, as much as 4 or 5 miles.  On days when I have been a bit tardy in going for a walk Shirley has said ” David, please take KeyTo for his walk, he is driving me nuts” and I cut short whatever was delaying me and get my hat and coat.  And he is a ‘water dog’, he taught himself to swim and it was interesting to watch him develop his swimming.  At first he waded and we threw a float toy only to where he could fetch it by wading, after a week or two we threw the toy to just one pace beyond wading and at first it surprised him to not feel the bottom but he did not really have to swim to get back to wading depth, and then we noticed that he went beyond wading depth to bite at bubbles or get a bit of debris floating on the surface, after that we tossed the float further and further and then on walks beside the lake he would jump in and go for a swim on his own.  Now that winter is setting in I have to stay away from the lake shore on our walks.

Well, I guess I better draw this to a close, I will get some pictures to you but pictures can’t convey what I’ve told you in this mail.  I just don’t have any better way of telling you how much we love the German Shepherd that we got from you, and we have commented that you certainly did a great job of picking out a puppy with the traits that we valued.  You certainly know intimately the characteristics of the breeding pairs and can accurately recognize personality traits in the developing puppy.  I carry a picture of Cardinal and Kindra in my wallet with the Candle Hill Shepherds address on it and have shown it to several dozen people.  KeyTo draws admiring comment and discussion with almost everyone we meet.

Of all that we have to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day, our German Shepherd dog, KeyTo, that we got from from Elizabeth Kohl of Candle Hill Shepherds  is one of the most remarkable.

Good night and our best wishes to you and all your family,


For more stories of Candle Hill Puppies visit our Testimonial Page