Today I’m posting an article about Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels in the Mannford Reporter written by by C.L. Harmon
Their names are Dean and Patty Heckathorn and they are a nice little secret tucked away in the country just off Hwy 48 South.Their secret is their success in breeding over 25 champion or grand champion Heidelberg Shepherds in the past several years.
Dean, a former biologist for the US Department of Fish & Wildlife for 18 years, raises, trains and cares for animals full time. Patty still works for the Wildlife Department as a secretary, but also works in the business as well as attending shows with Dean.
In 1996 while living in Daphne, Alabama, Dean started poking around the internet about a place where he could purchase a shepherd. His parents had had them and so he grew up with a fondness for them. After an exhausted search, he found a place with Heidelberg Shepherds in Springs, Texas. The next day, after a ten hour drive, the couple purchased a male and female shepherd.
Although, the couple initially only wanted a shepherd as a pet, they fell in love with the Heidelberg “brand” and decided to do a couple of breedings. They kept a few from the litters and then bought a few more dogs from the breeder in Texas and their kennel was born. In 1999,
Dean got transferred to Oklahoma. At this time the couple had 12 dogs and opened up shop here. Eleven years and several dog days later later, due to federal cutbacks, Dean was to be transferred again in 2010 to Albuquerque, NM. Only now they had several more dogs and uprooting wasn’t simply not feasible. What had been a hobby suddenly became a full-time business venture for the couple.
“I had always wanted my dogs to be available to everyone and so our prices had been $5-600 cheaper than our nearest competitor,” Dean said. However, he was forced to raise his prices in order to make the kennel a viable business that would make a living. They are still cheaper than their competitors, Dean said. Puppies sell now between $1,200-1,500.
One of the concepts the couple use in training is their choice to train family dogs as opposed to many types of shepherds which are trained for law enforcement purposes. They are trained home security, but are smart enough to know the difference between a kid climbing the fence to retrieve a football and the burglar breaking into a home, Dean said.
This breed is sweet natured and are very loyal have a natural herding instinct, Dean explained. “We raise family dogs that are loving family members and protective of the family,” Dean said. In their 18 years of raising, they have bred approximately 700 puppies.
The couple also offers several other services including: boarding, training, pet supplies, microchipping and even a free obedience class on Saturday mornings for all breeds to help teach them basic obedience and social skills.
Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm. We have several wonderful German shepherd puppies for sale that that are ready to go home.
Please call me at (918) 261-4729 if you would like to take one of puppies home with you. Please visit our web page to learn more about these wonderful Heidelberg German Shepherds that we raise at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels. http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/