I always loved animals and owned several different breeds of dogs before I got my first Rottweiler. In my younger years, I owned and trained horses, showing them in hunter/jumper classes. Working with animals was always a passion of mine, so when my last horse died, I started to miss training and showing and also having that special relationship with an animal. I had always admired the Rottweiler, the males reminded me of beautiful black stallions, so I decided that was the breed for me.
My first Rottweiler was purchased in 1982 as a pet/companion from a breeder in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. I decided to take her to obedience classes since I liked training and wanted to get back into working with animals. Well, "Lola" was the star of her obedience class - she won 1st place at her graduation certification and I was "hooked"! When she was ready for her Companion Dog Degree, I entered her in some local shows and she got her title with placements. This was sure easier than showing horses!
I put a Utility Degree on Lola and then kind of ran out of things to do with her competitively. Remember, at the time, there was no Agility or Rally and Rottweilers couldn't do AKC Herding. So that's when I got into tracking. Lola earned her Tracking Dog and Tracking Dog Excellent Degree and I found a new passion. To this day, tracking has remained my very favorite thing to do. I have put over 20 TDs on dogs I have owned (a few on dogs others owned) at least 16 TDXs and 3 CTs. I don't have the time to keep track anymore! (no pun intended :-)
My interest was piqued in showing in the breed ring, after attending several Rottweiler Specialties and seeing all the beautiful dogs in competition. So after doing much research and talking to many breeders, I decided to buy a show dog. I had met Jane Wiedel, who bred Rottweilers with the kennel name of Birchill, when I was showing in obedience. She was showing a big male at the time - CH Birchill Quincy who later earned his CD and TD. I liked his athletic look and his working drive. By the time I was ready to purchase my first show dog, Jane owned a Quincy son, Wally, who later became CH Birchill Warwick, CDX, TDX, Sch I. I met Wally at a Schutzhund tryout which was sponsored by Medallion Rottweiler Club. When I saw Wally grabbing the sleeve, parading around with it, and then depositing it neatly in the corner of the ring, again and again, and with more and more of the agitator's articles, I knew he was the one. Here was a dog who had incredible drive and kept coming back for more. I loved the way he "stored up" all his articles in the corner of the ring, obviously they were very valuable to him! He had that funny personality that made me laugh, very friendly and people-oriented. I was hooked again! In September of 1987, when Jane Wiedel told me that Frank Brader had bred his beautiful bitch, CH Von Brader's Elsa to Wally, I immediately sent him a deposit. I just knew this was the dog for me.
This puppy was my Jem, the love of my life, and he became Am/Can CH Can. OTCH Von Brader's Jem of Phantom Wood, UD, TDX, JHD, TT, CGC, VX, ARC Gold Sire. Jem was the foundation sire of Phantom Wood Rottweilers and is in the pedigree of every dog I currently own. I chose the kennel name of Phantom Wood and planned to start a line of Rottweilers who would be "Beautiful Working Dogs", competing in the breed ring and earning their Championships, plus doing the work the Rottweiler was bred to do. I wanted them to be lively, friendly, natural retrievers, eager to please, and have that "life's a party" attitude, just like Jane's Wally. I have not been disappointed.
I have to thank Jane Wiedel for being so supportive to me, especially in the early years, helping me with her extensive knowledge of pedigrees and her always sensible advice. Joan Klem and Susan Rademacher were also very helpful, their knowledge of the breed and pedigrees was invaluable to me.
I've been a member of Medallion Rottweiler Club for over 20 years and the American Rottweiler Club for 12 years. I bred my first litter in 1993 and have produced many Champions and obedience, tracking, herding, agility and rally-titled dogs. My stud dogs and brood bitches are Gold, Silver or Bronze Producers. I have met so many wonderful people and have made so many dear friends because of my involvement with the Rottweiler breed. My once-hobby has turned into my life's passion.
I hope you enjoy perusing these pages and meeting the Phantom Wood Rottweilers of the past, present and the future litters I have planned. Feel free to email me for more information on the breed, to ask questions or just to say "Hi". Hope to meet you someday at the shows!