Woodside German Shepherds
”Quality Breeding Offering The Absolute Best In The Breed!”
Sandy Anderson is the heart of Woodside German Shepherds. Born and raised in British Columbia, Canada, her love and passion for the German Shepherd Dog goes far beyond enjoying their companionship. For more than 30 years, she has been Canada's leading breeder of top quality German Shepherds.
Sandy has made phenomenal contributions to the breed, providing healthy dogs with sound temperaments and with a clear winning edge. She has bred and owned Grand Victors and Grand Victrixes, the most prestigious of wins in the German Shepherd venue. Most recently, bred and owned the 2013 US Grand Victor and the 2014 Canadian Grand Victor. Megabucks is a perfect ambassador of the breed, bringing magnificence, perfection in structure, temperament, health and performance. He is truly, the super dog of German Shepherds. To date, Woodside has produced more than 200 Champions in Canada and the United States and that number continues to grow.
Interview With Sandy Anderson
Conducted by The German Shepherd Times in 1996
GST: Sandy, thanks for doing this interview with us. When did you first become involved in dogs?
SA: I have always loved dogs, even when I was a child. Every dog in the neighborhood would follow me home, but my real interest, then, was horses. I showed Quarters and Paints extensively when I was young.
GST: What about showing dogs?
SA: Well, when I was about 20, I dated a fellow who owned a German Shepherd. This was the most intelligent dog I have ever seen, even to this day. But, I was given a Doberman and started showing Dobies without much success. At that time, my best friend in Dobermans was Mary White. She's gone on to become the top Dobie breeder in Canada and one of the top breeders in the U.S. as well. She even won the National - equivalent to our “Grand Victor”. Anyway, I was active in the Doberman Club and held the office of Vice President. But ... one time when our club held an all-breed fun match, I saw a sable German Shepherd male who turned out to be sired by Kaiser of Waldesruh. That was it - I was hooked! I bought a few local dogs but then we've all done that. No one would help me and the advice I was given was usually wrong. I heard about Al and Rosemary Pellatt, who had moved to B.C., and was told that they bought quite a number of dogs from the top handler, Jimmy Moses. So, I went to see the Pellatts to breed one of my females and, while I was there, saw an outstanding sable female. I bought her and she became the foundation for Woodside Kennels. Her name was Marwade's Guinivere Isis.
GST: Historically, who were the most important dog and bitch in your breeding program?
SA: Historically speaking, my favorite bitch was US GV Anton's Jenne - I owned two of her puppies but, unfortunately, they didn't work out. My favorite male was US GV Sabra of Gan Edan. I never bred to Sabra but I admired his type. As far as my own breeding program is concerned, the predominant males are US GV Woodside Nestle Quik Merwestyn, Sel. Ch. Stuttgart's Sundance Kid, Sel. Ch. Covy's Mazarati of Tucker Hill and Sel. Ch. Covy-Tucker Hill's Don Quixote.
GST: How do you typically choose breeding pairs?
SA: When I choose a breeding, I look at pedigree and type. I want to maintain pedigrees of the highest quality and also preserve the true German Shepherd type.
GST: What are the primary things you look for in a prospective show puppy?
SA: I start looking at pups at about four and a half weeks and watch them closely. I look for topline, under-drive and body carriage, not just their front reach.
GST: How do you train and condition your dogs in preparation for the show ring and how do you plan any given dog's show career?
SA: Training starts at about twelve weeks. I go to different parks to start the training. I also have access to 500 fenced acres of gravel roads with cut lawns on the side, so even the young dogs can be road-worked. Some people tell me that they are too young at seven or eight months - I disagree. A young dog can run on a lawn for an eighth to a quarter of a mile at a trot. For shows, it's great to teach them a continuous and correct gait. Planning show careers is another matter. Do your homework. Who is coming to the show? What did the judge put up last? Some judges like a certain type of dog - you'll learn after a few shows.
GST: How do you feel about this new slant and push for the “total dog” and what does this concept mean to you?
SA: I think breed type and soundness are the most important qualities in our breed. I don't believe the more angulation, the better the puppy. Everything in moderation.
GST: What advice would you give to someone just getting started in the breed?
SA: Go to the best and stick with them. If they have the type of dog you like, stay with it. The losers will try to get you away from the winners and will resort to any means to do so. Loser vs. winners - you decide where you want to be. But remember, only people who do things get criticized. Be willing to pay a little more instead of buying your friend's $500.00 show dog. They almost never turn out and it will be worth it in the end.
GST: What influence do you feel that you have made, through your breeding program, on the GSD?
SA: I see my kennel name in so many of today's top winning pedigrees. I still have trouble with the fact that one person way up in Canada could make such a difference in the breed, so don't think you can't do it, too - you can! Stay with it and just do it. Remember, the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.
GST: Where do you feel the German Shepherd is today vs a decade ago vs ten years from now?
SA: The dogs have changed over the years but the best dogs from the past could go out and win today and probably tomorrow, like Anton's Jenne and Sabra of Gan Edan.
GST: In what direction are you heading?
SA: Most of my future plans will stay on the same course. Don & Patricia Cliff are co-owners of some of my top dogs and, together, we hope to breed and exhibit some exciting representatives of the breed.
GST: So far, what has been the high point of your life as a breeder/exhibitor?
SA: Easy - there are three. First, when US GV Ch Woodside's Nestle Quik went Grand Victor in 1991 under Dave Rinke. Second, when Can GV Am & Can Ch Echolane's Holly v Woodside went Canadian Grand Victrix under Helen Franklin. And third, when Kathleen Steen made the comment at the 1994 Canadian National Victory Dinner: “Not since Connie Beckhardt has anyone established such type in these dogs that was recognizable.” - That really got to me!
GST: Sandy, thanks for your time and good luck with all your future Woodside Stars!
Editor's Note: The following is the show record for Woodside Kennels - Sandy's comments regarding her numerous achievements - “The worst part of having success is trying to find someone who is happy for you.”: 39 Canadian Best in Fururity/Maturity Winners, 10 Canadian Futurity/Maturity Victors, 14 Canadian Selects, 18 U.S Champions, 2 U.S. Selects, 1 U.S. Grand Victor, 1 Canadian Grand Victrix, 93 Canadian Champions, 1 U.S. Best in Show Winner, 4 Canadian Best in Show Winners, 3 U.S. ROM's, 17 Canadian ROMC's, 3 U.S. Best in Futurity Winners, 2 U.S. Best in Maturity Winners. Ninety percent of these dogs carry OFA numbers.