In the later 70’s Jack went in pursuit of a Giant Schnauzer. He was referred to a man that was well entrenched in the dog world as a resource. This man did not know of any Giant Schnauzers at that time but found out Jack was a hunter and suggested he look at an adult IWS that he had. Jack went to see the dog and really enjoyed the few days he spent with him. He realized that this was not the dog for him but he went in search of a puppy as he knew this was the breed for him. That search led him to Colleen and she referred him to Enid Shomer in Florida that had a litter of pups sired by Duggan. Jack had done many things with dogs prior, but once puppy “Pax” (CH Aviv’s Mariner Cap’n Paxton WC) arrived, Jack really got thrown into the whole world of dog showing and field training.
Although showing her German Shepherds in conformation, Colleen’s passion was obedience and solving behavior problems. She started teaching obedience classes in 1969 for the local German Shepherd club. When she decided that she was tired of so much dog hair from the constant shedding of her GSD’s she went looking for another breed and stumbled on the IWS. She did not want the shedding but she wanted a breed that would enjoy working for her like her GSD’s had. Her first IWS came from the Princess Colleen Kennels in Massachusetts owned by the Goodnows. "Shammy" (CH Shillalah Shamrock Jicoda UD WC) became her foundation bitch. It was Shammy’s granddaughter "Chaos" (CH Kilkee’s Chaotic Grand Sham CD WCX) that became the foundation bitch for Whistle Stop Kennels when Jack and Colleen merged.
The Academy of Canine Behavior
In 1982 Jack and Colleen started The Academy of Canine Behavior. They had been training hunting dogs, teaching obedience classes and working with problem dogs as an aside. But as more and more people heard about what they were doing it became a full time business. They moved the business from Eastern Washington to Western Washington in 1986. The business now averages 35 employees and is full service dog care including a doggie daycare, grooming, full boarding services and various programs for training. There have been over 70,000 dogs through their doors.
As a hobby both Jack and Colleen continue to participate with their dogs in many venues. Between them they have competed successfully in conformation, obedience, rally, tracking, agility, lure coursing, herding, go to ground, schutzhund and both upland and retriever tests.
As a business they have done scent work for the wine industry and the Public Utility Department. They have worked with their dogs in the entertainment industry including movies, commercials and television programs. They are authors of many published dog articles and a book. They have been speakers for many organizations both public and private. And they are instructors at the Washington State Animal Control Academy teaching officers about canine behavior.
They have been awarded honors for working with their county government on The Animal Task Force Committee. Both Jack and Colleen have worked many years with this committee (but at different times) as they both feel that it is vitally important to work with the government on “good” laws. Colleen was awarded Washington States’ highest honor for their on-going support of the 4-H program as they are firm believers that we need to support our children.
Both have many affiliations with different dog clubs starting back in 1968. The clubs have included obedience clubs, working dog clubs, breed specialty clubs and all-breed clubs. In many of these clubs they have held board positions. Jack is past president of the Irish Water Spaniel Club of America. Jack and Colleen were founding members of the Irish Water Spaniel Club of Puget Sound over 15 years ago. It is the only local IWS in the country and has the only local breed specialty show. Currently Colleen is the AKC Delegate for the Whidbey Island Kennel Club and as a delegate she is serving on the delegate’s field committee. This is the committee that oversees the AKC rules governing field tests for sporting and hound breeds. Jack was just elected to represent the Irish Water Spaniel Club of America as the AKC Delegate.
Although Jack and I have a vast history and experiences in many areas of things that pertain to dogs in general, we continue to find the greatest pleasure in planning breedings of IWS, exploring the best way to raise the pups to meet the needs of their new families, helping people find the right pup for them and getting those notes back saying how loved that pup is by its family.