Hochspitz Taltarni

Australian Champion Hochspitz Taltarni (Tarni) was very much welcomed into our family just over three years ago, and has been one of the better decisions Stu and I have made!

Our beginnings with Leonbergers were completely due to fate. Stu and I were at our property in the High Country, and were out and about when we decided to grab a bite to eat (& drink - 'bourbon' was mentioned) and enjoy it in the park. There we came across this lovely lady (Beth Scobie) and her father. They were on their way home to Sydney with this big Fluffy bunch of Fur named Chardy. Beth happily showed us pictures of the parents (Konig & Pascha) which certainly impressed us.

It had been 7 months since I lost my beloved 15 year old Miniature Silky Terrier (Bernie), and I said to Stu, 'I have to have one of those pups!' Off I went and made a phone call to the breeder who kindly invited us over. Well, blow me down it was only 15 minutes away from our property and yet in the 4 years of having our place we had never met each other.

We just fell in love with the dogs & learnt in a very short time all the answers to my questions. The puppy that kept coming to us was 'Taltarni' - Stu & I took to her instantly. So there we were smothered in pups, licks, nips, tails & Mum (Pascha) - very overwhelming.

To our amazement 2 hours had slipped by (Karen and Jenny simply couldn't get rid of us) and I mentioned to Stu that my skin wasn't reacting. I have suffered with severe Eczema all my life and am allergic to dogs. Normally, if I was in a room for 5 minutes with dogs I would break out in an extremely itchy bad rash and have trouble breathing as my chest would start to tighten up - yet nothing. Karen advised us that her dogs were raw fed which was most likely the reason why I wasn't reacting - nevertheless I had to have one of these pups no matter how itchy I became later!

Our twins Daniel & Kayla were just 18 months young, and were back at our property with their grandparents. We pulled up with our new addition and it was one of the biggest thrills to see two little youngsters laughing, clapping & so excited. Shae, our Long Haired German Shepherd was 1.5 years young at the time. She took Tarni under her wing and was extremely patient and very gentle with our little one.

Tarni adjusted to our home life wonderfully. She spends time in the chicken pen with our chickens, runs around with the kids and Shae, and had fun with Sheba (Stu's brother's GSD) and our 2 sheep (Megs & Fugly). She is neither boisterous nor a mad barker and is very content in her ways. She adores being brushed, so it's first in, best dressed as to who gets brushed between Shae & Tarns.

As Tarni was growing we were told several times of her quality as per the breed standard; good angulation, good strong bone, good coat, excellent temperament. It was very pleasing to hear that our Young Girl was turning in to a Very Fine Lady indeed. As the Leonberger is a rare breed and not commonly known in Victoria, we were asked to show Tarni to promote the breed. Aaarrrggh... was the first thing that sprung to mind as Tarni was purely intended as a Pet and this was our priority. Showing was the last thing I wanted to do, but I decided to give it a shot and see how we went. This was a learning curve in itself and turned out to be not as nerve-wracking as thought. During the time Tarni was shown, most of the judges were not familiar with this breed standards but commented on how well she showed. Of the judges that knew the Leo, I was advised that Tarni had very good qualities in a Leo Bitch. She has never been non-awarded, and within 12 months Tarni was awarded her Australian Champion Title and a big 'sigh of relief' came from within. I still show Tarni on occasions and catch up with the friends I have made throughout the showing scene.

We were approached regarding breeding with Tarni as she has such good qualities and at the time our reply was No, as we wanted to keep her as a Pet, not as breeding stock. However she had all the necessary tests (hip, eye, elbow) conducted with the results being very good, although she still had not had a season. When her thyroid was tested the results read low, but still within the 'Normal Range' for Leonbergers. Stu and I made the decision to put her on medication to see whether this would bring her into season, which certainly worked. After a short period we took her off the medication to see if this 'jump start' was all she needed; 4 months after, she came into season naturally. We were absolutely delighted.

We hope you enjoy the site of our very precious girl and of course the remaining crew of our family.

Megs & Tarni - Runner-Up Best of Breed : Eltham Show, April 16, 2005