Remember the Homecoming!!

Since our Homecomings were originally designed as a “breeding aid” for Shiloh Shepherds, we have tried to encourage participation of all Shiloh dogs. We fully realize that it is difficult for all our dogs to get here because of the great travel distances involved. So, each year we have tried to plan different, interesting and educational activities for owners and dogs to encourage more participation. Even though we have a large number of dogs in our breeding and training program, we are still limited in the total knowledge of our lines if we are unable to see, test and evaluate them thoroughly at least once a year.

Complete knowledge of the progeny we produce enables us to produce better dogs! If we sell a litter of eight pups — never to see them again — we have no way of really understanding the temperament, conformation, or other faults they may have. If we are unable to see the result of our breeding program, we are left in the dark, and unable to improve on qualities we feel are desirable.

Our goals at Shiloh Shepherds are not in producing a large number of puppies each year. We produce a large number of pups in order to ‘cover more ground’ in a shorter amount of time! Yet all this hard work and, planning becomes futile if we cannot test and evaluate the results! Nobody’s perfect and we make mistakes like anyone else, but we want to KNOW about the mistakes so they can be CORRECTED! When you bring your dog back to our Homecoming, not only are you getting a chance to meet your dog’s relatives and hopefully have a good time, you are also doing a great service for the German Shepherd breed! PLEASE help us in our goals for the betterment of the breed!

We sincerely appreciate the effort many of our ·customers have made to bring their dogs ‘home’ several., times during the year. This is a great help toward our goal of producing the best possible German Shepherd we can. Yet it is of no help to people like Griff, who flew all the way from Odessa, TX so he could get a better understanding of our lines for his breeding program! Over the years we have established smaller breeding/training kennels in various states all over this country, as well as other countries, that are using our program and our stock exclusively! When these breeders fly in from the Bahamas, Guam, the Caribbean Islands, or from Oregon, Wyoming, Nevada, Missouri, Texas, Florida, etc., they are making the trip to learn more about the dogs in their program!

The Genetic Seminars we present emphasize the importance of knowing not just the parents, but even more important, the grandparents, the great—grandparents, as well as all the uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. The more you know about the dogs in your line, the better your chances of succeeding in producing the quality, type, and temperament you are aiming for! You MUST know the faults and virtues by REALLY knowing the ‘family tree’, both GOOD and BAD!

So, if not for yourself, or for us, then for the sake of future German Shepherd breeders who need your help: please make every effort to be here at least once a year — during the Homecoming!

We have always tried our best to help our customers in any way we can. You are welcome to call on us at any time, when you have a question on training, breeding, or caring for your dog. We have made OURSELVES available to our customers seven days a week, and we receive calls at ALL hours of the day and night! When you run into a health problem with your dog, in many cases you call us before you call the vet! We’ve had calls at 1:00 AM asking what to do about a dog with a chicken bone stuck in its throat. You have called us when you wouldn’t call your vet at that hour! You have called us when you found a stray dog in your yard and weren’t sure what to do about it. We constantly receive calls asking for help on every conceivable training problem. All we ask is that you bring your dog HOME once a year, so that we can evaluate our breeding program better!

We would honestly like to thank those of you who DID come, despite the long traveling distances and expensive air fares, to make our 1983 Homecoming a success! It was such a thrill to see our puppies coming home: from North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia, Texas, etc.!

It seems that each year our Homecoming serves to ‘recharge our batteries’ so we can push forward in our goal of producing the best possible German Shepherds we can! We need to stop, look, and listen! We need to evaluate the good as well as the bad, honestly and objectively. We need the encouragement of our customers to keep pushing toward the goals we have set! We need to learn so we can continue to teach.

Even though the Homecoming is designed primarily to help us evaluate our progeny so we can make the necessary improvements in our breeding program, we want it to be a fun day for all Shiloh dog owners, as well as an educational day for anyone interested in breeding better German Shepherds!

In 1983, we decided to try something different. For the past few years, we have put great emphasis on the working ability of the German Shepherd. We have held Obedience Training Seminars, Genetics, Breeding and Whelping Seminars, Protection Training, Tracking, Herding, and Health Care Seminars during our previous Homecomings. We were covering all the bases except conformation! The last ‘fun match’ we had was in 1979, and even though it was a lot of fun, we didn’t learn much during that match. In our ninth Homecoming (1983) we were really blessed with the opportunity to have Mr. Fred Lanting judge our match! Mr. Lanting is one of the foremost authorities on the German Shepherd breed today. He is an absolutely fantastic judge because he took the time to give a complete, honest, and detailed critique of each dog in the ring. It enabled not only us (the breeders) but the owners and all the spectators to see and understand each dog’s faults and virtues. Mr. Lanting has a kind, honest and gentle way of explaining the dog’s faults. Instead of getting your feelings hurt, all you can feel is appreciatory.

Our biggest disappointment turned out to be the attendance at the Hip Dysplasia Seminar! We had rented an entire hall. We sent notices to all the small and large breeders in our area as well as all the nearby states. We had hopes that they would all come so that we could all work together in an effort to stamp out Hip Dysplasia in the German Shepherd! We had also invited all the local veterinarians within a 100 mile radius, hoping they too would help us in these efforts! Not only is Mr. Lanting one of the foremost authorities on the subject, he is the only one who has written a complete and detailed book on hip dysplasia! He has also proven his theories on the dogs he breeds by getting generation after generation of sound hips in his German Shepherd stock. The slide presentation was excellent and very informative. Mr. Lanting spent time answering everyone’s questions in great detail, so that the owners and breeders would have a much better understanding of how to deal with this problem.

Mr. Lanting came all the way from Alabama for the purpose of helping interested breeders in their quest to improve their stock by learning more about hip problems and how to work toward eliminating them. Even though he had an enthusiastic audience, it consisted mainly of dog owners, NOT BREEDERS! I know of two people who were present that owned a spayed bitch with good hips, but they came anyway, to learn more about and support the breed. A few people that had dysplastic dogs that they had purchased at other kennels came to learn more about this problem in hopes that they could get a better dog next time. Many came to hear Mr. Lanting because he is such an interesting speaker. One of our customers was on “cloud nine” after the seminar because Mr. Lanting actually shook her hand. She promised never to wash her hand again!

The disappointing part was that only 3 German Shepherd breeders were present. If that wasn’t bad enough, I received call from Doberman breeders asking why they weren’t invited, since they were very interested in improving their breed! We would hereby like to apologize to all the “other breed” breeders for neglecting to inform them about this seminar. If we are lucky enough to get Mr. Lanting back to New York again, we will be sure to invite anyone who is interested in the betterment of their breed. If other breed people show such an interest in this problem, maybe the Shepherd people will change their minds and show more interest in improving the hips on their dogs too!

The German Shepherd was designed to be a NOBLE WORKING DOG, not a pathetic cripple! We are fully aware that the effort to eliminate bad hips is like “spitting in the wind” and that finding sound dogs to breed is about as easy as “cutting down a forest with a butter knife” but we’ve got to start somewhere! There are many sincere breeders that are trying very hard to “stamp out” hip dysplasia in their lines, but most breeders either ignore the problem or just stop breeding! Giving up is not the answer! Gossiping that "So—and—so" has worse hips, etc, etc, is not the answer! Ignoring the problem is not the answer! We have to work together toward eliminating the problem, for the betterment of the breed! People don’t want to buy a dog, care for it, love it and then put it to sleep! Sure, it will happen sometimes, but you have to work towards it happening less and less! Otherwise the people that really want a Shepherd, but are afraid of getting another dysplastic will end up with a Dobe, a Rott, a Poodle or an Australian Cattle Dog, anything, but they’ll never buy another Shepherd! If these people forsake the breed, so will others!

May we suggest that anyone really interested in the problem of hip dysplasia in your dogs purchase Mr. Lanting’s book CANINE HIP DYSPLASIA AND OTHER ORTHOPEDIC PROBLEMS. We would also like to suggest the best German Shepherd Magazine to order would be the “GERMAN SHEPHERD QUARTERLY”. This is the only publication presently available that puts emphasis on the TOTAL dog, Conformation, Obedience, Schutzhund, etc. Don’t miss the very informative articles by Mr. Lanting in each issue! We would also like to suggest that anyone interested in working with their dog, from housebreaking to Schutzhund training purchase a copy of Mary Belle Adelman’s book.  Especially those of you that missed her interesting and unique presentation here in person! Mrs. Adelman has developed some excellent, revolutionary and unique training techniques that you really must read about! Her methods are easy to understand, and they work! You can also ask for details concerning future training seminars she will be holding in various states. Don’t miss ‘em!

We Would Hereby Like To Apologize:

1. To the people that really wanted to come, but received late notification. We are not trying to make excuses, BUT, our printer was bogged down with work and we were planning on sending out the new color collage with the Homecoming notice. Due to events beyond our control, there were many screening problems in reproducing the collage which in turn delayed the flyer. Finally we had just the flyer printed, labeled, and returned for mailing immediately. Since we mailed out by ‘Bulk Mail’ the Post Office just let it sit there! We received letters from very upset people that didn’t get their flyer until September 5th! Now I call that a very SLOW postal system! It shouldn’t take two weeks for a flyer to go from Rochester NY to Cleveland OH! Maybe they have gone back to the Pony Express and just forgot to tell us?

2.  To the people that came all the way out here to buy pups. It is not our intention to be rude to future Shiloh dog owners, honest! With all of our out of town guests, and the hectic program we had planned for the day, we just simply did not have time to spare! Our first priority during the Homecoming is to Shiloh dog owners! They are a part of our ‘Shiloh family’ and deserve our attention. The match was designed to be a learning experience for all, especially us, and we didn’t want to miss any of Mr. Lanting’s critiques concerning our dogs. We felt it was more important for us to hear each evaluation, in detail, than to sell a pup. Besides, it is NOT our policy to just ‘sell a pup’ to someone! We strive to learn all we can about the new owners so we can work with them, in selecting the right pup for their needs! This takes time and patience. We want our dogs to become a part of their new family for many years to come. So we have to use caution and sound judgment in placing them according to each new owner’s needs. A police officer doesn’t want a pretty show dog that can’t work. A little girl doesn’t want a hard temperament (super tough) dog she can’t control! The Shepherd comes in many sizes, colors, and personalities! Even though all pups look cute, they grow up someday. If you get the wrong one, you’ll regret it for a long time! So please don’t take it as being rude, but as doing you a favor! We’re always glad to work with any prospective new Shiloh dog owners, but it takes time. At least you had a chance to meet some of our Shiloh Dog Family and see some pups. NOTICE: We are fully aware of the fact that we had a 20% off price during the Homecoming. We were available between 1:00—6:00 PM, but had just too many people to talk to., at once. If you were here to purchase a pup, please let us know and we’ll be happy to give you the 20% off your new purchase after we get a chance to help you select the right pup and answer your questions. This offer will remain in effect for the rest of 1983 to anyone who was here during the Homecoming.

NOW we would like an apology from those of you (Shiloh Dog Owners) that did not make it! No, phone calls or letters alone will not do! The ONLY apology we will accept is your presence here with your dogs next year! Our 10th annual Homecoming will be held on August 26. 1984. That’s the LAST SUNDAY IN AUGUST! Please mark your calendar now by circling the 26th with a note “Shiloh Homecoming: We MUST be there”. Please make every effort to be here! We have already started making plans for next year!

One of the proposals that we’d like to adopt is having the entire day FILMED! So please prepare yourself to spend the FULL day! Many of you came later in the day to watch the tracking certification and the Schutzhund demonstrations. We agree that they were very interesting, yet you missed the Fun Match and the Hip Dysplasia seminar! Many that came for the Fun Match left right after it, showing NO INTEREST in the Hip Dysplasia seminar or the OBEDIENCE TRAINING SEMINAR presented by Mary Adelman. Mrs. Adelman usually charges $40 per person for the type of seminar she covered here, and if she returns next year, there WILL be a charge for her time! We were very disappointed to find such a small handful of people, interested in her presentation, especially when a much larger crowd gathered as soon as the ‘protection dogs’ were brought out to perform. Here at Shiloh we are constantly striving for the TOTAL DOG. That means we must be concerned with CONFORMATION, HIP DYSPLASIA, OBEDIENCE, and WORKING ABILITIES (Protection, tracking, etc.) The Homecoming was designed to cover all of these basics.

Next year we hope to add to that program a study of the German Shepherd Origin, Structure, Genetics, and others. We would truly like to see more interested Shepherd owners present! Please support your breed!

Any suggestions or comments you’d like to make to help improve our Homecoming, please let us know! We want our Shiloh Family to have an enjoyable, educational day. If there is something you feel we should add or change, please let us know. We will be looking forward to hearing your comments, both good and bad, concerning our programs, planning, etc. 

PS: Anyone interested in helping out next year, just let us know. There’s a lot of work, and many details to be taken care of. We would sure appreciate any help we can get!

During our 1983 Homecoming we had several excellent photographers present, and took some interesting pictures, so we’d like to share them with you here. We hope you’ll enjoy this quick glimpse of the fun we had in ‘83, and of course we hope you’ll be a part of it in 1984!


Site Map | 1983 Homecoming: Gone to the Dogs | Our First Homecoming | A Message from the Judge | The Homecoming by Mary Belle Adelman | Remember the Homecoming

Yearly since 1974, Shiloh Shepherd™ owners and fanciers from across the continent (and beyond)  have had the privilege of attending Homecoming, an event started by our Breed Founder, Tina Barber, and sponsored, since 1991, by the Shiloh Shepherd™ Dog Club of America, Inc.

Unfortunately we have not been able to share the original pictures taken prior to 1998 due to the tragedy that befell the original Shiloh Shepherds farm, but some of them may still be seen inside of the old Newsletters!!

Thanks to Rich Lewis and Karen Ursel, we have been able to recreate ALL of the recent years, since 1996, and would like to share these pages with you!

Remembering Homecomings Past | Homecoming from a Newcomer's Perspective | 9th Annual Homecoming 1983  | 21st Annual Homecoming 1995 | 22nd Annual Homecoming 1996  | 23rd Annual Homecoming 1997 | 24th Annual Homecoming 1998 | 25th Annual Homecoming 1999 | 26th Annual Homecoming 2000 | 27th Annual Homecoming 2001 | 28th Annual Homecoming  2002  | 29th Annual Homecoming 2003 |30th Annual Homecoming 2004 | 31st Annual Homecoming 2005 | 32nd Annual Homecoming 2006 | 33rd Annual Homecoming 2007 | 34th Annual Homecoming 2008 | 35th Annual Homecoming 2009 |

Please plan to join us in sharing pictures and stories from previous and future HOMECOMING celebrations!

Join Us For Our 36th Anniversary Homecoming Celebration!