A Conversation with Karl Fuller
In October of 1988 I spend a week in Germany filming a video on training Sheep Herding dogs with Karl and Marion Fuller (Kirschental Kennels).
Karl is ONE OF if not THE premier German shepherd breeder in the world. Over the years he has produced 6 VA dogs, won the HGH championship 8 times with 7 different dogs and has produced 2 males that sired bundessiegers. No one has ever done this.
In an effort to try and understand his method of breeding, we spent a lot of time talking about his bloodlines and how he has accomplished what he has. Karl is a full time shepherd. He spends his days in the fields with his 800 sheep and his dogs. It's not unusually to move the flock into a field and leave it this for over and hour before moving on to other pasture - so there is a lot of time to study your dogs movement and drive - if that's where your interest lies.
Karl has been breeding shepherds since the 1950's. His formula, from the beginning, on selecting breeding partners has been to choose good working blood and cross it with the type of confirmation dog he likes.
Although there were earlier Kirschental dogs, one of his foundation bitches (from the mid 1950's) was a dog named Blanka Mummelsee. Blanka brought working ability into his line - she was a HGH bitch that worked until she was 14 years old. Blanka was not kored - but her entire bloodline came from sheep herding stock.
An interesting thing that Karl mentioned about Blanka (and several of his later HGH bitches) was that they were not very tough dogs, but they were excellent herding dogs. As time passes and I learn to appreciate the HGH, I see herding dogs that have a tremendous amount of drive to go out and do this work but they are a little handler soft and not tough schutzhund dogs.
Most schutzhund people would classify these dogs as having " shit temperament"; it was not to long ago that I would have agreed with them. The fact is that these dogs bring a "working drive" into a bloodline - what they lack in hardness and courage they compensate for in their drive to go and go and go. They have twice the drive to work that most schutzhund dogs do.
Later in this article I will discuss how these dogs have been used in breeding to produce top schutzhund dogs.
First I would like to run through his line and explain how Karl, started with an un-kored working HGH bitch and developed the line to end up with Eiko Kirschental - who was the 1987 & 1988 German Sieger.
Karl bred Blanka to Dolf Altenbacktal. Dolf was a very good looking dog with good hips. He was also a tough dog (in Shctzhund USA and HGH). This breeding (Dolf and Blanka) produced SG Zita Kirschental HGH. Dolf was later imported into America by Nancy Overton and was the third dog in the United States to be OFAed.
Zita was bred to Eros Buseckerschloss and produced SG Isa Kirschental. Isa was then bred to V1 Asslan v. Klammle to produce the “N” litter Kirschental. The “N litter” had Nimi, Negus, VA Nanni. This “N” litter was the best litter Asslan ever produced. An interesting point on Asslan is that his mother was not kored so because of this Asslan could never go VA.
Nimi Kirschental (a good working bitch) was bred to 3x VA Lasso de val Sole to produce 2x VA Xitta v. Kirschental Sch III FH IPO III HGH. Karl brought the working of Nimi together with the confirmation type of Lasso to produce this outstanding bitch (Xitta).
Xitta was then bred to the Sieger Uran Wildstiegerland to produce the Sieger Eiko Kirschental. Eiko was just sold to Japan along with the 1989 Sieger Iso Bergmannshof.
So Karl has demonstrated that you do not have to start with “Super Dogs” to produce super dogs. But you do need to have an eye for movement, type and working ability and the patience of a saint to do what he has done.
Over the years, Karl has liked to use Lasso, Asslan, Canto and Quanto for type. He consistantly went to these lines with his working bitches. In a few cases he would take the confirmation of a female to a working male to accomplish what he wanted - but most of the time it’s the other way around. The important point is that he always taking “TYPE” to “WORKING ABILITY.” We often hear breeders say they are trying to create good looking working dogs, but Karl Fuller consistantly does it.
Karl also has a strong herding line that he has developed over the years which is also out of Blanka Mummelsee. He bred Blank to Bernd Lierburg to produce the “V” litter Kirschental. He kept 2 bitches from this litter, (Vefa & Vrigga).
Vefa was bred to the bundessieger Racker Itztal which produced Fenga v. Kirschental. Racker’s father was Pirol Kirschental. Pirol came from a litter of 6 top “V” dogs and 1 VA female that went VA in 1967 (Perla Kirschental). An interesting point is that Karl had 2 VA bitches that year Perla and the VA2 bitch Senta Kirschental - both of these bitches had the same mother Bora Althbachtal - Bora coming out of Valet Busecherschloss.
Fenga, a black sable, was twice HGH champion in the mid 1970’s. She was an excellent sheep herding dog with a great deal of drive to work - but she was liery of people. She would not have made a good schutzhund dog.
Karl used Fenga to produce Uwe Kirschental by breeding her to the 1976 Bundessiger Drigon Furmsmanhof. Uwe produced the 1986 bundessiger (Dunja** who is here is America owner by**). Drigon of course being a son of the 1974 bundessiger Enno Antreftal. Having bred to Enno and owned a number of his progeny, I know that these dogs added confidence and stability to the working drive of Fenga.
The 1988 bundessiger*** is a granddaughter**? of Haddy Kirschental, Haddy aslo being a daughter of Fenga.
Karl said that Fenga, Vefa and Bernd Lierburg were all good hip producers.
Fenga was bred to Argus Klammle (Argus bringing in Asslans type) and produced the 1983 HGH champion Winnie Kirschental. You can see both Winni and Vasko in my video titled Germany’s HGH Championships
. Winnie was the only puppy in her litter, which is a real shame because she doesn’t run - she floats over ground.
Karl bred Winnie to Eiko Kirschental and produced a young bitch that will be in my HGH training video named Amie Kirschental, (her call name is Ulma). Ulma has the movement of her parents - it gives you goose bumps to watch her run when she works sheep and she has the drive to go and go and go.
Karl plans on competing Ulma in the 1990 HGH championships, if you go to Germany to watch the Bundessiger you should try and go to the HGH championships in ** - they are normally a week before the Bundessiger.
Karl has a second working line that has developed over the years from the 1956 HGH champion Dori Aus Dem Wandershaferi. A daughter to this dog (Alma Kirschental) came in 2nd in the 1957 HGH championships. A son of Dori (Gero Kirschental) was the 1962 HGH champion.