Hi and welcome to my site for GraceRok Australian Shepherds! Please have a look around and meet me and my Aussies!!
I'm Suzanne and I've loved dogs my entire life. I became obsessed with herding breeds in my teens after watching my neighbor's gorgeous sheltie and dreamed of having my own one day. As a junior handler, I showed my miniature poodle to her CKC Champion title and also titled her in obedience achieving her CD. She was also trained at the CDX level. I worked at a dog grooming salon following high school-- grooming mostly poodles, terriers and cocker spaniels, a terrific educational experience.
I later owned and trained another poodle and also my first herding dog, a blue merle sheltie, Lynphil's Dusty Blue "Dusty" from Lynphil Shetland Sheepdogs. After that there was no turning back, herding breeds were 'it' for me! I've been so blessed to have owned Aussies for 10 years, since 2010, and I still never fail to be impressed with their intelligence, playfulness, vitality and great beauty. I initially wanted Aussies so I could learn and compete in agility and Rally-Obedience but after my second Aussie I was once again bitten by the conformation bug. Now I love it all and have titled my dogs in all venues. When Ditto joined my family it was then that I decided that I want to share my love of this amazing breed and all it can do with other like-minded people.
My Aussies are family and my companions first and foremost! They are not kennel dogs, they live in the house with me, sleep on my bed, and spend most of their time following me around inside or outside the house. They love spending time outside playing or training in our 7 acres of scenic meadow, pond, and mixed forest. Their large 3/4 acre fenced dog yard is punctuated by many old red pine trees. I am in the process of clearing walking trails out back for recreation and peaceful meditation.
My dogs are fed a mostly raw diet and a quality kibble occasionally.
I follow the Jean Dodds, DVM protocol for minimal vaccinations.
All training is based on the most current, marker-based, positive reinforcement training methods that have been proven by science to be effective and humane...and FUN!
Where is the name GraceRok from?
A beautiful Aussie that is athletic, graceful and sound - built on a solid foundation. That is GraceRok. I also love double entendres. I've been into contemporary cutting edge music all my life and have been a college radio DJ and taught myself guitar. So this references my recent discovery of how amazing the genre of cutting edge, modern top 40 dance, rock and hip hop Christian music is! It is every bit at good as Billboard Top 40 but brings a positive and joyful message of Grace. Both Aussies and this music bring me so much joy so "come let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the ROCK of our salvation" Psalm 95:1
I am a member in good standing:
Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)
Central Ontario Australian Shepherd Club (COASC) -I am former Vice President2 on the Board of Directors of COASC
Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA)
Australian Shepherd Club of Ontario (CKC affiliate - ASCO, pending re-registration) - I am a member of the start-up group
I am the founder and current organizer of:
I am committed to remaining curious, teachable and to continuous learning about dog and puppy raising, humane husbandry techniques, positive training, best feeding, and more! There are always new and/or different ways to do things and I am eager to keep learning and applying that knowledge for the benefit of my dogs. In addition to my extensive library of books on dogs/training etc, and ongoing online research, I attend as many educational events as I can:
Australian Shepherd Breed Seminar Series - Nanette Newbury, online 6 weeks: Breed History, Front Angulation, Rear Angulation, Proportions, Breed Standard, Puppy Evaluation
CKC Breeder Seminar - 2 days online
Handling workshop/seminar w-Emily Burdon
Australian Shepherd Grooming Pt 1 and 2 - online AJ Tavares w- The Grooming Land
Good Breeder - online webinar with Dr. Hutchinson, DVM w- Good Dog
The Puppy Culture DVD set The Powerful First 12 Weeks That Can Shape Your Puppy's Future
How to Groom the Australian Shepherd - online Moira Cornell
Show to Win - online Moira Cornell
Puppy Puzzle DVD set - Pat Hastings approach to evaluating the structural quality of puppies
All day force-free sheep herding workshop with Kynic Stockdogs
Conformation handling seminar with Will Alexander - post dog show in Ontario
Breed mentoring seminar through COASC with Heather Herron and Ann DeChant
Handle it Right! Agility handling Regionals prep series with Dante Comacho
Conformation Handling with Bob Rowbotham
Herding Clinic (Sheep and Geese) at TeeCreek Dog Training Center with Kathy Warner
Breeding Better Dogs with Dr. Carmen Battaglia
Understanding Canine Body Language at PawsWay Toronto