ARTICLES »The Other Side of the Shiloh Shepherd Story

There are countless websites on the internet regarding Shiloh Shepherds. All the ISSR (registry) and SSDCA (club) websites are owned and operated by the breed’s founder. As individuals who have been involved in the breed for many years, we understand how confusing the multi-club, multi-registry situation must appear to people who are new to the breed. We are the ISSDC (club), and our associated registries are the TSSR, NSBR, and SSBA. This page was written to hopefully clarify many of the political issues encountered by those investigating the Shiloh Shepherd breed.

Outcrossing: “If it’s not an ISSR Shiloh Shepherd, it’s not a real Shiloh Shepherd”. This continuously rehashed statement by the breed's founder is incredibly misleading and most definitely false. The only dogs in any Shiloh Shepherd pedigrees that are not Shiloh Shepherds are those that were intentionally brought in as outcrosses to maintain genetic diversity and expand the gene pool. The breed’s founder has brought in numerous outcrosses of her own, going to the extent of telling people they were Shiloh Shepherds when they were not. As far as we know, the first ISSR, non-German Shepherd outcross was Secret Sampson Woo. He is rumored to have been anything from an Alaskan Malamute to a Mackenzie Valley Timber Wolf. However its doubtful if the truth will ever be provable at this point in time. Artus (the second known outcross) is an Altdeutsche Shaferhunde, which translates to Old (Alt) Deutsche (German) Shafer (Shepherd) Hunde (Dog). There are no online resources to his kennel of origin, and it appears that since his breeder is not involved with any ADS clubs, it’s doubtful that our breed's founder's claims of “generations of health/pedigree data” would have been possible to obtain in the first place.

Shortly after Artus, Orbit from Hoofprint Farms was introduced to our genepool. Orbit comes from a well respected breeder of Canadian Kennel Club registered White German Shepherd Dogs who is extremely knowledgeable on her lines. There is no question as to the posterity of the data on her dogs. The next ISSR outcross is an alleged wolf-dog who was secretly introduced in 2002, being a bitch named Chani. When her wolf heritage was publicly bragged about by the breed’s founder, many puppy buyers were informed and became extremely upset at being severely mislead. The most recent ISSR outcross was another “secret” work in progress by the breed’s founder, although not entirely secret. Tina Barber of New York State was listed as being the buyer of a Czech Wolf Dog on the European Club's website, and then her name was shortly changed to Tina Barker. Eyewitnesses have met this Czech Wolf Dog at New Zion kennels, yet the existence of this dog was publicly denied. After siring just one litter, we have learned that this outcross died at a young age at the founder's kennel.

There is limited public pedigree and health data for most of the founders ISSR outcrosses with no forthcoming data in sight. By comparison, the few select "TSSR, NSBR and SSBA " outcrosses maintain publicly accountable pedigrees, in addition to proven health and temperament documentation. Yes, they’re all “old style German Shepherd Dogs” but that’s what this breed was built upon.

The goal of out-crossing should be to maintain the look and temperament of the Shiloh Shepherd, while introducing diversity into the gene pool. When people pay in excess of a thousand dollars for a dog, the pedigree better contain full accountability.

Making the Change: Whenever any owner or breeder of an ISSR registered Shiloh Shepherd (thus associated with the founder), chooses to disassociated themselves from the ISSR/SSDCA, the breed’s founder will publicly deem their Shiloh Shepherd to be nothing but a mutt. What happened to the thousands of dollars spent to purchase a “real” Shiloh directly from the founder or one of her so called "licensed breeders"? The bottom line is the parentage and genetic history of a former ISSR Shiloh Shepherd becomes immediately irrelevant to the founder as soon as the dog is registered elsewhere. It seems the statement by the breed’s founder, “if it’s not an ISSR Shiloh Shepherd, it’s not a real Shiloh Shepherd” is nothing more than a convenient ploy to discredit all former ISSR associated dogs and their owners, including our alternate registries, regardless of scientific DNA. The “breed under development” argument is not entirely true as the Shiloh Shepherd Breed Standard has been in effect since 1991. If it were a supposed breed in development, the Breed Standard would be in development too. For gene pool expansion reasons only, out-crossing has been done by all registries, yet it’s the Breed Standard written by the founder that all Shiloh Shepherds are ultimately judged by. It’s understandable that the breed’s founder would discourage her people from entering Rare Breed dog shows that are frequented by “splinters”. She doesn’t want her newbies to learn that the non-ISSR breeders are actually responsible, friendly and accountable, and breeding very good Shiloh Shepherds to the Standard she wrote. This is a shame, as we always welcome positive show participation by owners and dogs of any registry affiliation.

Name Calling: Anyone who spends a small amount of time investigating the Shiloh Shepherd on the internet will surely come across derogatory names like “splinter” and “sliver” in their investigations. Both terms (and others) were coined to represent break-away breeders – akin to splinters from a piece of wood. The “splinters” have been accumulating for many years, and there’s quite a tree now! The first question that should come to the mind of anyone truly investigating the breed must be “Why are there so many splinters”? Most “splinters” have had their own unique experiences with the breed’s founder, and in their own time they’ve made the choice to do better. There are many “splinters” who’ve never had any dealings with her, enjoying only positive experiences with their Shiloh's. Buzz words like: breed in development, secret recipe and blueprint, are tossed around like a salad by the breed’s founder. But anyone who has done “time” in the ISSR militia quickly learns there’s nothing but hype behind these words. There’s nothing but the intention to persuade newbies to purchase a dog, as one would be sold a vacuum cleaner by a door to door salesman. And that of course includes talking down the competition to make the sale.

Fraudulent Practices: Are the breeders of Shiloh Shepherds registered in the NSBR, SSBA and TSSR all frauds? Absolutely not! It’s actually fraudulent for any "salesperson" of Shiloh Shepherds to disregard the Genetic Heritage of a dog they've sold for thousands of dollars, and arbitrarily alter your Guarantee of a fully registered breed/show quality Shiloh for any reason. Regardless of the final chosen registry, a Shiloh Shepherd is a Shiloh Shepherd, providing the pedigree indicates as such. Calling any owner or breeder of a registered and DNA’d Shiloh Shepherd a “fake” is defamatory and criminal, particularly when parentage is readily provable. All former ISSR breeders still hold their ISSR paperwork as proof of their dog’s pedigrees. The persistent claim by the breed's founder that only dogs “registered” with the ISSR are real Shiloh Shepherds is absolute nonsense. This statement is legally "damaging" because it intentionally sets an unfounded bias against any non-ISSR Shiloh Shepherd, breeder, or organization; including our own ISSDC club, TSSR, SSBA and NSBR registries. How would you feel about having your Shiloh Shepherd devalued from a multi-thousand dollar dog to a $100 mutt just because you tired of the founders attitude and opted for a more diligent registry and comprehensive club? Your Shiloh Shepherd should remain a TRUE Shiloh Shepherd throughout his life, particularly if you've been given a purchase "guarantee" from any breeder of Shiloh Shepherds, including those from the ISSR.

Marketing 101: "Investigate before you invest!" This common statement should be well known to today’s consumers for raising red flags. The psychological assumption in this statement is that the author is the true authority on the subject, and you’ve found the source for all you need to know. Savvy people usually recognize this manipulation for what it is and continue investigating. However with the countless internet web-pages on the founder’s numerous web sites, how can a newbie possibly dissect the wheat from the chaff? Who do you trust? It’s hard, but not impossible to discover the answer to this question. If you’re looking for a puppy, all you need to do is request copies of all available official health certificates on the sire and dam, which must include passing OFA or Penn-hip (or equivalent) Hip results at a minimum. Elbows results are desirable as well, and most responsible breeders have been xraying for OFA Elbows for a few years now. If a breeder is proud to share additional health testing documentation in a timely fashion, then you’ve found a responsible breeder. Read and reread your contract! If anything sounds unreasonable it probably is! Please do not make any assumptions about a breeder from their religious associations. Request a minimum 5 generation pedigree on your potential puppy. VISIT the kennel if you can. If this is impossible, try to make sure the sire and dam are not untrained unkempt kennel dogs. A working or temperament title on both the sire and dam should suffice if you cannot meet the parents in person. Request recent pictures of both the sire and dam! Do not fall under the assumption that any one breeder is better than another until you’ve truly investigated them. Don’t stop investigating because you’re honored to be dealing with the breed’s founder. But if this is you, best of luck. We’re here when you need us. But please, DO your best to thoroughly investigate.

Scare Tactics: Oh, the never ending scare tactics! “If you talk to the splinters we will be forced to remove you”, “When our dogs receive official recognition, your dogs will NOT be included”, “splinter dogs will eat your children”, “the Lord will crush the evil splinters”, “the book is almost sold out – so order your copy now before it’s too late”, “order a dozen of my little stuffed dogs in bulk to get your discount”, “you will end up with a worthless mutt, like the puppymilling splinters ”, etc. Does any of this sound vaguely familiar? If you’re doing your research it should. In contrast, very few “splinters” have lowered themselves to actively discredit the ISSR/SSDCA via counter-scare tactics. Its actually comical how often the "collective splinters” are accused of some horrendous act on the founder's members-only forum, where we in fact have no knowledge of what or whom she would be referring to. The sad reality appears to be that the founder intentionally makes up stories in order to rally her naive supporters against the three-headed devil "splinters". In having lived through the stereotypical scare tactics spouted by the breed’s founder for years, most of us are sick to death of her bullying, childish and empty threats. However it remains quite unsettling to all of us who know better to watch newbies get sucked into her diatribe and caustic negativity.

Bottom Line: As a group, we’ve made it a mission to ignore the founder’s ongoing assault on our ethics and our dogs. After all, it would be too easy to counter-attack a large kennel full of untrained, un-cared for, malnourished and often sick dogs being sold for thousands of dollars to loyal, trusting devotees. The poor reputation of the founder and her kennel reflects so negatively on the awesome potential of our Shilohs, that the less attention paid to her the better. And ultimately the proof is in the pudding! We have a great big pot of that sweet Shiloh Shepherd recipe with over 40 diligent breeders and an accumulated database to rival most breeds! Soon our database will be going online! We also have the highest number of championed dogs in the breed, in addition to hundreds of working/temperament titles on our dogs. We are going forward with great strength and positive unity! While Tina Barber will always be credited as the Shiloh Shepherd breed's founder, it will be through the beauty, health and achievements of Shilohs bred by responsible breeders that the breed will survive and flourish.

For additional non-biased information on the Shiloh Shepherd Breed, visit: