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Hello and welcome to Darkenwald Keeshonden!
My name is Suzette Lefebvre. I purchased my first Keeshond companion in 1972, got hooked on the breed, purchased my first show dog and began showing in conformation dog shows. I married my husband Ron in 1977 and he supported me in my habit, and I have been showing ever since. In the past few years, multiple surgeries including a knee replacement, and most recently a shoulder replacement, have slowed me down and I have to enjoy more shows from the sidelines than from inside the ring. We have finished more than 50 Champions and have raised 53 litters to date. Since we cannot keep all the show potential puppies ourselves, many of our finest have made their way to establish or enhance other Keeshond kennels here in the USA and in Canada. Some decedents have made their way to Europe. We are honored to have had or bred many Obedience performers, Conformation Champions, Best in Show, Specialty Best in Show winners, HOF, Bronze and Silver Grand Champions, Agility and Fast Cat Titlists. We are so proud of the co-owners of their accomplishments with their Darkenwald dogs!
We are also proud of the Service and Therapy dogs born here that have gone on to enrich others' lives so much.
We are located in central Virginia, in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. We are the home to show, performance, and companion Keeshonden.
Our dogs live in our home and are both show dogs and family companions. Each breeding is carefully selected and both father and mother must pass certain health checks prior to any breeding to insure the healthiest puppies possible.
(Our brag ad nauseum section - thank you for your patience)
After 50 years of exhibiting my dogs in conformation shows and with 45 years of breeding Kees, the highlight of my cumulation of years in this breed was Nia winning Best of Opposite Sex at the 2021 Keeshond Club of America's National Specialty 1st show, Best of Opposite Sex at the Top 20 Kees Event at the 2022 National, being awarded The Top Member owned Keeshond of the Opposite Sex in the Country in 2020 and tying for the Top Winning Member Owned Show Bitch in the country in 2022, receiving an Award of Merit at the 2021 KCA Nationals 2nd show and 2022 Nationals, followed by an all-breed Best in Show with her 5th BOSS Specialty Show win along the way in 2202 as well!
We have bred Nia for her first litter in 2023, sired by CH Jo-Lyn's Sound of Silence. "Runner" won Select dog at the regional in conjunction with the 2023 KCA National and an AOM at the National!
Puppies are young but are showing so much potential! All 5 are in show homes with 2 staying with the breeders, at least for now.
I want to thank our friend & Nia's handler, Wade Koistinen for showing her exquisitely, at the National Specialties, and for taking her for the Spring of 2022 where she finished her Silver Grand Championship and the KCA requirement for the Hall of Fame title and with the help of his husband Ronnie, when he was tied up in the BEST IN SHOW Finals with not only Nia to show, but his Havanese, Ripp, Ronnie stepped in to guide Nia to the BIS! (Wade took RBIS with RIPP!) What a day that was!
It's been my pleasure after breeding what I feel are quality Keeshonden that will help improve the breed, that even though I will not be breeding much longer, I am passing the baton as it were, to several breeders who have my dogs to carry on with. I want to particularly mention Shainakees Keeshonden, owned and loved by Rev. Ruthann Seibert in PA, and Keetomyheartkeeshonden, ( keetomyheartkees.com ) owned and loved by Talli and Dan Brown here in VA.
I have bred several litters now with these wonderful people and hope to continue to do so for a while longer before I officially retire. They aspire to the same standards of quality and ethics I do when breeding healthy dogs and according to the standard set by the KCA, and more!
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