My Herzhund lab, Herzhund Finding Freedom (Korra), joined our family in May of 2020, after a few months of waiting and anticipation. Korra was bought with the intention to be my assistance dog, and she has done more than fill that role perfectly. In 2019, I was struggling with severe mental illness and agoraphobia, which meant that simply leaving the house was extremely difficult for me. Korra’s arrival into my life in 2020 changed everything. I was able to leave the house without feeling overwhelmed, made friends, and for the first time since 2016, I am now studying again. Korra is an incredibly stable dog, with a stunning temperament and looks to match. Everywhere I take her, we leave behind a trail of smiles and compliments. Her love and drive to work is visible to everyone we encounter, and I don’t think I have ever seen a dog as committed to their job as Korra. She works through every distraction and difficulty thrown our way with a wagging tail, never losing faith in me as her handler, even when I am feeling unsure. The entire process of welcoming Korra into my family and training her for what I needed has been such an amazing process, one that has been made extra special by Alison, Steve and the rest of the Herzhund family. I have never felt unsupported or alone on my journey with Korra, and any worry that I have is quickly put to ease. They have been with me every single step of the way, and the kindness, understanding and help I have been given never ceases to blow me away, and there will never be enough words to express my gratitude. Korra’s temperament, looks and personality are a testament to the extreme effort that Alison and Steve put into raising their puppies, and this is further evidenced by the fact that Korra STILL loses her mind with excitement each time we return to visit her first family, and still responds to her baby nickname of ‘Peachy’. Buying Korra, I welcomed more than just a puppy into my life. I welcomed friends, an incredible support system of amazing people and my life has been changed immeasurably. Herzhund Finding Freedom truly helped me find my freedom, and to Alison and Steve, I will be forever grateful! Emma Philips, owner of Peachy.
I knew that a pup from Herzhund would provide me with strong foundations to build on, in whatever I chose to do with my dog. The amount of work and experiences that Steve and Alison provide the pups before they come home is clearly seen. Emmi is confident yet curious and so unfazed with everything. After having a reactive dog, it is great not to have to worry that my actions will cause an impact on Emmi and her behaviour. As an owner of a Herzhund puppy, you become a member of the Herzhund family. Amazing support continues to be provided by Steve and Alison - no question is considered small or stupid, and you get to share with other owners who are going through or have gone through what you are experiencing. Emmi is so much more than I was expecting for a labrador. She is sassy, smart and mischievous. I don't regret putting my hand up for a Herzhund labrador!
In May 2020 we were overjoyed to welcome Herzhund Fancypants Sodapop aka Soda (Mr Blue) into our family/pack. I asked for an ‘all-round’ lab and 18 months later i can say with confidence that’s exactly what we have. Soda has a distinct on/off switch which is necessary since he shares our home with 2 other labs (and i don’t like chewed furniture). He’s a sweet, loving and friendly dog and equally as important he’s got a sturdy and confident personality. Soda works with focus when around other people and dogs when we’re in shared public spaces. Recently we’ve begun retrieving training to start trialling him in the field and formal obedience training for competition. He moves with ease from being a pet dog snoozing in the living room with his fur brother and sister to a dog eager to train or go out for coffee and perhaps the odd dropped chip! I can’t thank Steve and Alison enough for beeeding and raising Soda’s litter - they are all stand-out dogs. We’ve also been blessed with friendships and support from (both online and in real life) the other Herzhund lab owners. Soda regularly gets to hang out with Finn and Freya from his litter (F Litter). We are so impressed with Soda that we are hoping to have another Herzhund puppy join the family as a Service Dog. Su, Nigel, Cai, Wilbur, Laiken and Soda
We applied for one of the Herzhund Kennels Labrador pups not because we are amazing trainers but because we were aware of how incredible the pups would be. I had spoken to Steve years before about the process they go through raising the puppies and my last pup (now 7!) was not raised the same way and she was so hard to toilet train and can be quite an anxious dog. I was pretty sure the Herzhund approach would produce an incredibly resilient and trainable dog. I was terribly worried that we wouldn’t be “chosen” because we weren’t professional trainers but we needn’t have worried. I think the Herzhund Kennels team wants families who will love their dogs, train them well so that they can be happy and successful parts of the family; not just amazing top-tier trainers. And thank god they did choose us. Our girl is incredible, amazing, smart, trainable, sweet and a brilliant member of the family. I’d never get a Labrador pup from anywhere else again!
The first dog I have ever owned is a Herzhund, I had had very little experience with dogs before putting my name down with Herzhund. I had never owned a dog let alone trained one! I had been looking at local breeders in QLD and none of them felt right. It wasn't till a work colleague suggested Herzhund that my heart skipped a beat and I knew I wanted one of their pups, they looked fantastic and mum came with hip and elbow scores (I only just worked out what this was when researching what to look for in a dog lol). I was a bit nervous about applying thinking I might miss out but I was just honest and shared my desire for a family pet. The rest is history, my F litter pup Freya is my best friend, we go for morning walks, play in the back yard with my human daughter (4 yrs old) and she loves going on holidays with us to the beach. Freya is my constant, when life is hectic or stressful, she is always there ready to give me a whole-body bum wiggle and a big lick. The thing about being chosen for a Herzhund pup is that it's so special you want to do better, you are given the best start and you want to continue with it so you learn how to meal prep raw food like a pro and you find ways to incorporate basic dog training into your life. I think the only requirement for wanting a Herzhund dog is commitment because the Herzhund family will support you with everything else.