We, Kathy and Bruce Stewart, have been involved in the Keeshond breed since 1977. Our "Klompen" kennel has been blessed by having many exceptional dogs, who have not only been wonderful companions, but many have gone on to excel in Conformation, Obedience and Agility. Our involvement began with a BIS bitch whose pedigree was doubled up on the world's top winning Keeshond kennel - Flakkee kennels. Since then we have incorporated several other top winning kennel names into their breeding program. We have owned, bred and shown in excess of 80 champions, including 9 Best in Show, 14 Best in Specialty Show and 22 Best Puppy in Show winners. We bred on average less than one litter per year.
Since retirement, in 1994, we share our household with 1 Keeshond and 1 cat. Bruce likes to golf. Kathy is involved in several crafts including: stained glass, pottery, jewelry making/teaching, photography and rock painting. She ocassionally accepts judging assignments overseas.
In the summer months we live in a rural community 20 minutes south west of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We have 4 acres of land - mostly treed which includes a huge lawn with fruit trees and flower gardens. It is a wonderful setting in which our animals can run and play in a safe environment.
In 1994, Kathy made the conscious decision to stop campaigning dogs and began to judge them instead. She is now approved to judge all of the Non-Sporting, Working, Toy breeds and Best in Show /Best Puppy in Show. She has judged in Canada, the USA, Australia, Norway and England.
With Bruce’s retirement in 2004 we purchased a motor home and now spend our winters in Arizona at a wonderful RV resort. There we have all the pleasures that one could imagine in one's retirement.
OUR DOGS’ HISTORY
After a 2-year search for the perfect Keeshond in 1978 we purchased our first Keeshond, who later became known as BIS CAN AM CH vonRYAN'S RAGAMUFFIN, CD CHOF COMX. Muffin’s pedigree was doubled up on the Flakkee dogs, who still hold the records for top winning Keeshonden in the world. Not only was Muffin an exceptional family pet, but she proved her worth in the show ring (by winning Best in Show at 1 year of age) and whelping box (by producing several Best in Show kids and grandkids).
Our first litter was sired by WISTONIA WINTER-WIND out of Muffin. From that litter we not only got our first homebred champion, but our first homebred Best in Show, Best Puppy in Show, Best in Specialty, Companion Dog and Canadian Hall of Fame winner. His name was BIS BISS CAN CH KLOMPEN'S SLUICEBOX SAM, CD CHOF . A litter sister, CH KLOMPEN'S LIMEJUICE LILL was also a Group 1st and Best Puppy in Show winner. Together Sam and Lill were our first Best Brace in Show litter. All in all - a dream come true.
Our third litter produced the dog that our kennel is most noted for - BIS BISS CAN AM CH KLOMPEN'S TOMMY TITTLEMOUSE, CD CHOF COMX . Tommy was a dog with a superb temperament, pretty silhouette, lovely coat (color, texture and length) and effortless movement. He easily became the top winning OWNER-HANDLED Keeshond in Canadian history, with his first Best in Show at 10 months and his last at 7 years. He won the breed 157 times in his career. For every 3 times that he won breed, he won GR1. For every 4 times he won GR1 he won Best in Show (11 times). He also won 5 Best Puppy in Shows and 3 Best in Specialty Shows. I am positive that his career could have been much more outstanding, except that my priority lay with bringing up my young son, rather than attending dog shows. While Tommy was not perfect he does, in our minds, represent a wonderful example of what the Keeshond breed should act and look like.
When asked if there is anything that we would have differently in our breeding program there was little that we would have changed. We generally have been blessed with good, healthy dogs that have given us a lot of pleasure, both in and out of the ring. The one regret that we have is not having had the opportunity to special BIS BISS CH KLOMPEN'S ROCKY RACCOON CD CHOF COM more often. Unfortunately, he came along at a time when Tommy was winning and Rocky never had the chance to prove what he was really made of. He is one of the closest dogs to the standard that we have ever bred -- a sound, fun loving individual that we are very proud of. We really couldn’t have asked for much more.
CHANGE IN DIRECTION
After having judged a Keeshond Specialty Show in Australia, Kathy realized that the quality of the dogs she had judged there was exceptional. Many of the dogs that she had put up were decendants of her Best Veteran dog, BISS AUS CH GR CH KERJOYDON EARL O HEARTS, including her Best of Breed winner, BIS BISS AUS NZ GR CH RYMIST SUGAR N SPICE. "Scully" was a multiple Best in Show and Specialty show winner. We decided we needed to have one of her progeny.
In the fall of 2002 we brought over a beautiful 5 month old puppy, bred by Brad Santas and Katrina Oliver. She became known as BISS CAN AM CH CALIVALE CAKE WALK, CHOF. "Easy" took our breath away the moment she stepped out of the crate at the airport. She had qualities that we either needed or wanted to maintain in our breeding program. First, we noticed her beautiful silver colour and correct textured, longer coat. Then, we saw the lovely dark pigment; small almond shaped, very dark - almost black - eyes. She won our heart then and did not disappoint us later at home, in the ring, nor the whelping box. A new chapter had begun at Klompen.
It proved to be a wise decision as we have produced some truly lovely dogs from this new line.
All our dogs, through the years, have been members of our family. They are born, raised and live in our home. Our pups learn to use a dog door by the time they are 5 or 6 weeks of age, which allows them to come and go freely from the house into a large, enclosed, grassed dog yard. At Klompen, we believe that our dogs should have more than good looks. They should be healthy, happy, intelligent, well adjusted companions that are easy to live with. The icing on the cake are those dogs that go on to win High in Trial, Best in Shows and/or Best in Specialty Shows.
Before each breeding we do extensive research and careful planning so as to ensure we will be producing healthy, handsome representatives of the Keeshond breed which meet our high standards. The minimum requirements for our breeding stock include: first, that they have the temperament required of a good companion dog; second, that they are free of all genetic (inherited) problems; and third, that they are champions or capable of becoming champions. Many of the dogs used in our breeding program are at least Group winning dogs, at best Best in Show and/or Best in Specialty Show winners. Several also carry one or more obedience and/or agility titles. Each breeding is carefully planned to ensure that the Klompen's international reputation for dogs with good health and high quality are maintained.
I am always available from the time the mother goes into contractions, until all of the puppies are born and doing well. I assist every delivery, in that I help to break the individual sacks and gets the puppies breathing, as quickly as possible, thereby helping them to become extremely intellingent dogs. Our pups are given gentle handling and stimulation from the time of their birth, until the time they leave our home between 8 and 10 weeks of age. They are all temperament tested before leaving in order to help us to match the right puppy with the right owner. Most are well on their way to being house broken and crate trained before leaving for their new home.
Our goal has always been to breed QUALITY rather than QUANTITY. We strive to breed Keeshonden that are sound of mind, body and conform to the written standard for the breed. Within our household, we generally had only one or two brood bitches. We averaged one litter per year, with 4 to 8 puppies per litter. One of our prime objectives was to find the perfect match between dog and owner, so that the dog would remain in one household for the duration of its lifetime.
Due to our present traveling arrangements we believe it is in the best interests of our dogs, and ourselves, to only keep 1 dog at any given time. This means that we will no longer have adults available.
We are aware that all breeds of dogs are subject to genetic problems. By extensive research and careful selection, we do our best to make sure that these problems do not occur within our lines. We guarantee the health of the dog for 3 years from the date of sale.
All of our dogs were sold with contracts that contain a Non-breeding clause. We cancelled this clause only when the individual dog had shown its worth by becoming a champion, and having extensive testing, to prove that there are no hereditary problems evident. By doing this we have been able to maintain very high standards for our Klompen dogs’ health, temperament and type. All buyers must agree to abide by either the KCCs or the KCAs CODE OF ETHICS. We do not have a standard contract. Each one is tailored to the specific circumstances of the owner(s) and pup that is being sold.
While the large majority of our dogs are sold outright, we will, on occasion, sell breeding prospects with Co-ownership agreements, with hopes of using them in our breeding program in future years. Our main concern is for the welfare and happiness of the dogs we breed. We try to treat our puppy buyers the way that we would like to be treated.
WHOM DO WE SELL OUR DOGS TO
Our dogs are sold as companion dogs, first and foremost. In selling our dogs we want to find the best homes possible. We want our dogs to become members of someone else's family. We want them to have all of the love, care and attention that they would get if they continued to live with us. This is a tall order to fill. Many are sold as show prospects, both to knowledgeable breeders and to complete novices. We are pleased to be able to help get a novice started in the exciting hobby of showing dogs, and proud to say that several kennels have gotten off to a good start with the purchase of one of our Klompen dogs.
We have been fortunate enough to sell dogs all over North America, as well as overseas. Puppies will only leave here after being wormed (if necessary) and obtaining their first vaccinations. When shipping we do not use tranquillizers. We have found that puppies seem to travel very well by air. The majority will just go to sleep, when put in a stressful situation. They usually come out of their crates, clean, happy and ready to meet their new owners.
AFTER SALES SERVICE
Our commitment to our dogs does not end with the sale of the dog. The one thing that we have often been complimented on is our willingness to help out. We assure our puppy buyers that they can feel free to call us even with the simplest of questions. No problem is considered insignificant. We are happy to offer advice on every subject imaginable, including housebreaking, grooming, showing, training, obedience work, etc. If for some unforeseen reason, the owners cannot keep their dog, our contract allows us the right of first refusal to buy the dog back. If we cannot take the dog back at that time, we will help the owner to find a good, caring home for their companion.
Any females that come to our home for breeding must be good representatives of the breed and must nicely compliment our stud dog. Pedigrees, health, temperament, type, structure and movement are all things taken into consideration before agreeing to any matings. With the introduction of fresh express and frozen semen it is often not necessary to bring the bitch to the stud dog.
After 31 years of showing Keeshonden we branched out and have entered the world of purebred cat shows, with the arrival of a Siberian McTabby kitten, named Can. Double Grand Ch. Krasivaya Anatoly. Rene Sauser (California) bred "Toly" and was gracious enough to let us take our pick of the litter. We have always owned a cat. However, this is the first time that we have shown one. We started with a bang, with Toly earning his Championship, sufficient points and 5 of the 6 finals required for his Grand Championship in his first show weekend. His second weekend out Toly completed the requirements for his Grand and Double Grand Championships. Toly ended up being the Best Siberian Alter in the Northwest Division of International Cat Association for 2009. He was always an indoor cat. Unfortunately, Toly got out and went missing in 2012. Despite our extensive efforts to find his whereabouts, he was never found. We miss him terribly.
Because of our love of Toly, we decided to purchased another Siberian. This time we are getting a Neva Masquerade kitten from Russia. Her expected arrival is mid-February 2015. She will be well loved and cared for. For more information about this hypoallergenic breed please go to SIBERIAN CATS.
God willing, we expect to be able continue our breeding program in a limited capacity. We have had much success and made many good friends over the years. We hope to be able to balance judging and breeding with our Snow Bird activities for many years to come.