|Triann Shepherds has a rather varied resumé.
I have been active in dogs sports for many years and have competed
with many different breeds in sports as varied as Flyball and Aglility
to Schutzhund and Sheep herding. I have had the opportunity to work
with some truly outstanding dogs. To list a few of the accomplishments
we have earned together.
- Triann Shepherds has competed in C.K.C
events and has titled dozens of dogs (of several different breeds)
in both conformation and obedience, including many high in class
and high in trial awards.
- Triann Shepherds has bred many champions
and has bred many litters that produced multiple champions including
the Marilyn Monroe litter which produced Ch.
Trianns Marilyn Monroe "Marly", Ch.
Trianns Prince and a Showgirl "Star",Ch.
Triann's Some Like It Hot CDX "Teddy", SG-1
Ch. Triann's Marry a Millionare "Mary", Ch.
Triann's Candle in the Wind "Wika".
- Triann Shepherds has bred many Group placing,
Multi-Group placing, Best of Breed and SG-rated German Shepherds.
- Triann Shepherds has produced multiple
Best Puppy in Show and many Best Puppy in Group placing dogs.
- Triann Shepherds has bred two German Shepherds
to have placed within the "Top Ten" in Canada. In 1989
we achieved top ten status with SG-1 Ch. Triann's Wolfgang
CD, HIC, CGC with only limited showing and only a few years
later repeated this achievement with Wolfie's son Ch. Triann's
Black Gold Blue Rodeo.
- I have trained dogs for Police Service
and Civilian Security. In addition we have developed a written
standard that for dog security teams that is currently before
the Attorney General of British Columbia and when finalized will
become mandatory for all dog security teams in B.C.
- Triann Shepherds has competed with various
dogs in Flyball tournaments and earned the covetted Flyball Master
title with Minnie Aussie Kayla TT CGC HIC.
- Owned and showed the number One Basenji,
BIS Am./Cdn. Ch. Terrarusts Seek a Rainbow OFA, in Canada
- Triann Shepherds has trained dogs for
the movie and television industry including appearances on the
X-files, Millennium, Air Bud, I'll Be Home for Christmas, Da Vinci's
Inquest, the Adams Family and many others.
I have been fascinated by dogs and animal
training for as long as I can remember. My family had raised Toy
Poodles and American Cocker Spaniels so I was exposed to dogs right
from the start. Most of my early memories revolve around dogs. The
first picture I ever saw of myself showed me seemingly permanently
attached to a Springer Spaniel named "Trixie". My mother
told me that I learned to walk by holding on to Trixie's collar
with one hand and hanging on to my diaper with the other. Another
early memory recalls playing soccer with a friend, Christine and
our dogs, Spike, a sheltie mix and Flash, a Corgi. The dogs mostly
played goal, but now and again Flash would get bored of waiting
for the play to come to them and would rush out and take over the
ball - her ball control was far superior to ours. (Kind of ironic
that a large part of my employment in the last few years has revolved
around teaching dogs to play ball, first in Air Bud as an assistant,
then Air Bud II and finally as head trainer in Air Bud III World
Pup.) Spike features in another strong memory. Among Spikes many
tricks was the ability to sit up balanced on his haunches for long
periods of time, an ability he often put to good use while we were
at the dinner table. One time in particular he had been sitting
that way so long he actually dosed off and fell over. The whole
family ended up in hysterics, even my father who tried (and failed)
to make us believe that he didn't care much for Spike. Spike was
of course excited by all the attention and soon learned this trick
was a show-stopper, sure to earn a treat from the table, something
forbidden under normal circumstances.
Not all of my animal memories revolve around
dogs. I had a budgie, Sunny Boy, he was a beautiful shade of blue
with a yellow crown. After learning that my uncle Larry had taught
his budgie how to say "have a beer" I wanted to teach
Sunny Boy how to speak. Larry's advice consisted of "just keep
saying what you want him to say over and over and he'll get it eventually".
And I tried that, but it didn't seem to be working fast enough,
what with work and school I didn't have as much time as wanted to
spend training Sunny Boy. Then I had an idea, I would repeat the
phrase "pretty bird" into a tape recorder and would feed
Sunny his favorite food on top of the recorder twice a day. This
way he got to hear the phrase hundreds more times a day all while
associating it with something pleasurable. Within a short while
he was chattering away like a pro and soon started saying "pretty
bird" every time he wanted something, in fact, you couldn't
shut him up. I was less enthusiastic about his new talent when he
made it a habit to comment on bird noises outside at four in the
morning, usually with a string of "pretty birds" and his
other standby, a glass shattering cat whistle.
In addition to my dogs and Sunny boy I also acquired a tortishell
kitten, or perhaps I should say "Cocoa" acquired me. She
was an energetic and intelligent cat and learned many tricks. She
loved to play ball and would exhibit the most incredible gymnastics
to catch balls I strategically aimed halfway up the walls and once
she caught them she would bounce back with it ready for another
go. One evening I saw a t.v. show where the guest had taught his
dog to say "Mama". I was determined to teach "Cocoa"
to speak. I knew that the best time to try to teach her her was
when I was getting her dinner ready because she was so focused on
me and as with Sunny Boy and the tape recorder she would associate
the lesson with something pleasurable. While she was weaving around
my ankles and crying for her supper I said "are you hungry".
It wasn't long before she was saying "Hunngrrrey". She
used her limited vocabulary to great effect any time she wanted
something, food, treats, attention. Years later when I moved to
the farm she came with me and she would hang off the screen door
saying "Hunngrrrey" whenever she felt she was on the wrong
side of it. I had to explain to a curious neighbor once that I wasn't
starving my cat, she just wanted in.
I think I was always meant to work with animals
as a career, while other teenagers were making spending- money babysitting
I earned money by looking after friends and neighbors pets. I actually
earned the money to buy my first dog myself. I had been working
for a neighbor who bred poodles, helping her feed and clean when
she had a litter of puppies and looking after things while she was
away at dog shows. I fell in love with a toy poodle puppy named
Sugar and begged my parents to buy her for me. It was finally decided
that if I could earn the enough money for the puppy I could have
it. This was, I think, an easy out for my parents as they didn't
really think it was possible for a teenager to earn the price of
a purebred poodle puppy. I went to my neighbor and she agreed to
let me trade my work for Sugar. I remember my Mother wasn't impressed
at the time but... a deal is a deal.
Where do the Shepherds come in you ask? After
the failure of my marriage I was left on a remote property with
two young children. My daughter Trish was only two and Ryan was
less than a month old. My first priority was having a dog that could
provide protection for my family. While I considered several breeds,
I chose the German Shepherd breed first for their ability as guardians
but also because of their versatility and steadyness.
Along the way I became interested in showing
and competing with my Shepherds. Eventually, after several bad experiences
buying dogs from other breeders I decided to breed my own. I wanted
dogs that were sound in mind and body, and by breeding and developing
my own lines I could make sure that all the necessary testing was
done and passed. I believe that there are too many good dogs out
there to consider breeding dogs with health faults. My first commitment
will always be health first.
After I had been breeding and competing with
my German Shepherds for several years I got a call from an animal
trainer who wanted to borrow a 10 week old puppy for a commercial
they were filming. The trainer was extremely impressed with how
social and well behaved the puppy was and how much training the
puppy already had. She started using Triann Shepherds for any jobs
she got using German Shepherds and soon I was going out to the movies
sets and working the dogs myself. Over the years this has become
my primary job. What started out as a love for and curiosity about
animals has lead to a wonderful if demanding career. I love the
challenge of working for the movies but regret that it takes time
away from conformation and obedience competition. I look forward
to returning to the show ring with a new generation of Triann German