Waldershelf | About Us
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About Us

 

General

Jeanette and Steve have both had Bernese since 1983 but did not get together until 1989 and after marrying in 1991 shortly afterwards took over the kennel name Waldershelf which had been in Jeanette’s family for many years as her mother and her uncle bred Rough Collies in the 1950s and 60s. Waldershelf being an old name for the area Jeanette’s family grew up in and in which we now live.

Steve was originally an engineer but had a 24 years career as a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) & Supervisor for West Yorkshire Police. In mid 2018 he moved to be a CSI Training Manager losing the obligation to work late shifts, week-ends or call outs and then changed this to a job share part time role from December 2018. He has been a member of the committee, or an officer, of the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain since 1988 and has covered most roles in that time including Membership, Treasurer, Show Secretary. His current responsibilities include the web site but his main passion is breed health and he has been the breed’s health Co-Ordinator since the early nineties which a few years ago became the Kennel Club official Breed Health CoOrdinator positon for the Bernese Mountain Dog.

Steve and Emily in Swiss Mountains

Steve and a young Emily in the Swiss Mountains

In this role he has organised health surveys, seminars and written many articles on breed health. He has spoken at breed health seminars but is always keen to stress he is not a veterinary expert but just a committed breed person trying to make the right things happen for the future health of the breed.

In 2000 he attended the first ever International BMD Health Seminar, organised by the Swiss breed club, and was one of the speakers at this event explaining a Health Survey he had conducted in 1998. The event was a great success, was repeated and became a regular event around Europe and Steve attends every one. From these international get togethers an International Health Working Group, the Berner IWG, was formed to address breed health and Steve was President of this group for 6 years before resigning as President, in 2013, but continues to be an active member of the group. In 2011 the BMDC of GB hosted the International week-end as part of their Ruby Jubilee and Steve was the organiser of this aspect of the week-end, in his roles as Breed Health CoOrdinator and as Acting Chairman of the club and President of the BIWG.

Since about 2006 Steve has also been Chairman of the Breed Council, a KC approved body that brings all the BMD breed clubs together. He also represents the breed at the Kennel Club on the Large and Giant Breeds Working Group.

Steve is always incredibly busy at GB club events and having a demanding job involving working week-ends he is often unable to spend much time with our prospective puppy owners and in terms of helping out at Team Waldershelf  he frequently finds himself committed to other things at crucial times but is always around if really needed and for discussions and decision making.

Jeanette has always had a big interest in the health of the Bernese Mountain Dog and is very interested in alternative therapies and has attended many seminars covering training and health. As well as our dogs she is involved in the breed in many ways.

Jeanette carting with Hattie

Jeanette carting with Hattie in 2011

At the Garden Party she produces, with helpers, the Saturday evening BBQ which has become a massive effort and grew from a Team Waldershelf get together with friends and she also caters at the Grenoside Open show. She is always busy with the dogs at home and very much into alternative therapies which she is always happy to talk about. Jeanette used to run a day service for adults with learning difficulties for Rotherham Council but, especially since she retired at the beginning of 2016, she is now chief Team Waldershelf whelper and dog carer and walker.

As a family Jeanette and Steve, not so much Emily since she left home, also do Foster Care for Adults with Learning Difficulties which can be very rewarding.

Emily has grown up with the dogs and it is very true that she learnt to walk holding onto a lovely calm male Bernese called, somewhat ironically, Crash, (Gillro Gatecrasher at Waldershelf) who just knew instinctively exactly when to walk and when to stop. Emily has been going to breed events since (before) she was born and as she grew up she took part in many canine activities with the dogs partly through involvement with the Young Kennel Club and the summer and week-end camps where all manner of working and showing related canine functions could be experienced, learning from experts in the field. She has attended many teach-ins from well known handlers and groomers and had success in the Junior Handling area. AttendingGood-day-at-Darlington-ChampShow many events with heavily involved parents gave her a big insight into how things in the dog world work from a very early age and overseas trips to exhibit or just watch or visit well known kennels also broadened her experience of the breed.

Emily was included in the ownership of our affix from an early age and takes a full role in all decisions and activities and has been, for many years, the chief Team Waldershelf handler. Emily obtained a degree in Business Management, completing in Summer 2017, and works for Rolls Royce Aerospace in Derby where she is beginning to carve out a career for herself as a strategic buyer.

Emily has now moved in with boyfriend, Phil, and lives the other side of Sheffield but she is back regularly to go to shows or attend to the dogs. They have recently committed to buy a house in Derby and will be moving in the Spring of 2019.

 

Judging

All three of us are specialist judges of the Bernese Mountain Dog but with different levels of experience and qualification.

Steve has judged in the UK since 1988 and awarded CCs since 1995. Since 2004 he has also judged many times overseas at both club shows and general shows awarding CACs on numerous occasions. The countries he has judged in are Finland (X2), Norway (X2), Sweden, Denmark (X2), Switzerland, France, Netherlands (X2), Belgium, Eire, Russia (X3), Austria and Lithuania. On occasions Steve has also judged a few other breeds and groups at Open show level both in the UK and overseas but his main interest, and only passion, is the Bernese.

Finland 2015

Steve in Finland 2015

Jeanette has judged since 1993 and awarded CCs since 2003. Her first overseas judging appointment was in 2014 at the same show as Steve in Norway and she also shared the judging in Lithuania with him in 2017 and Denmark in 2019.

Emily has already passed all the required courses and examinations to award CCs. She judges at Open show level and will broaden her experience in the coming years with confirmed appointments including club shows in the UK and an overseas judging appointment.

In addition Steve, Jeanette and Emily have attended and passed a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Judging seminar and Entlebucher judging seminar run by the Entlebucher Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain.

 

Erik the PAT Dog

We are delighted that Erik has been approved as a Therapy dog. He was assessed by an independent assessor and we have now received his certification....

July 2015

July was a rather quiet month for us on the show front (partly because we missed show closing dates due to being on holiday) but we did manage to visit a few shows and Erik won a very large Junior class at Leeds Championship Show. ** Hip and Elbow Results** We are so......

May 2015

This was our big holiday of the year, and it was with great enthusiasm that we set off with the caravan and all the dogs both to visit the wonderful places in both Austria and Italy and take the opportunity to show the dogs overseas.  We competed at 5 continental......

October 2015

We attended the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club Judging Seminar where Stephen and Emily PASSED the assessment and examination. Emily and Jeanette left the UK but this time to Poland whereby they had a girls weekend away combined with dogs of course! They visited the Diekowej Doliny Kennel where they were made to feel very welcome......