About Us


Where to start? Deron and I met because of or through Working Dogs. Sled Dogs to be more exact. I met Deron when he had one Alaskan Malamute and the interest in Sled Dogs. I was already running Sled Dogs I had trained from puppies, but had not started racing yet. Deron soon bought Alaskan Huskies and began Racing. I started Racing the dogs I had trained and been working with at the same race that Deron raced for the first time. A few years later we started running dogs together, traveling to races together.

Deron and I at one time owned about 100 Siberian Huskies, as well as my Labrador Retrievers, and Saint Bernards. We ran them on Sled Dog Trails on and just off our property as well as all over, many miles in N WI. Deron could hook up a large team of dogs in our kennel and be gone for the day on trails avaible for Sled Dogs where we lived. He and I raced our Sled Dogs in MO, IL, WI, CO, MN, MT, MI, and Ran Trails in more states. We backpacked with our Dogs in MO, IL, WI, CO and perhaps other states I am forgetting right now. To say that Dogs were our lives is an understatement. The joke was that I married the guy with all the dogs, he married the gal that made Sled Dog Harnesses. We both got a great end to the deal.

Because Deron and I both work out of our home we were able to care for and train our Sled Dogs dogs different hours and perhaps easier than the average person. Yes. It took many hours in every day. We fed a lot of food, picked up a lot of, let's say, mess, and on the first Thursday of each month, I cut a lot of toenails. Repairing and Making New Harnesses was a job in itself.


I have been training dogs and other animals, most of my life, since I was a little kid. The first animal I ever trained was a Hen Chicken, I trained her to do a few tricks...I was about 6 years old at the time. Since then I have trained every type and lots and lots and lots of animals from everything from mice to horses and so many in between. I trained my Sled Dog Team, in St. Louis, county, MO and won races with them. I have trained Dogs, Cats, Goats, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Ratties, Gerbils, Hamsters, Mice, Horses, a Pony and a Donkey, and a couple of Fish (yes, as in a Betta and a Goldfish) to correctly run an Agility Course (see our Sister Sites under the Navigation at the right). I have also trained equine for riding and driving. I have trained all sorts of animals to do all sorts of things, I have been doing that for over 50 years.

Deron has been an Basic Obedience and Basic Working Dog Trainer for many years. He has held classes indoors and out...out is way more fun! Deron brings all sorts of things for the dogs to learn in his classes. Before the classes are through all of the dogs learn to wear a harness and pull a small sled, to wear a backpack, and of course Basic Obedience. In Deron's classes, everyone has so much fun! The dogs that attend LOVE Deron before the third class is over.

Regina Agility Gypsy Training Uic on St. Pat's Day Tetter Totter

Together Deron and I have trained all types of animals to do all sorts of things. Some of the animals we have trained together besides dogs and cats, are Llamas, Goats, Horses, Donkeys, Geese (yes geese)... and when Deron is not training with me, he is building training equipment for me to use. This includes, but is not limited to, when I told Deron that I wanted to train my Fancy Rats to do an Agility Course, Deron looked up Dog Agility Equipment, printed out specifications, and started doing the calculations to make my Pet Rat Agility Equipment to the correct size and type. He did the same thing with each of the species I have wanted to train. And THAT was/is in many sizes.

On youtube our Chanel is Marna's Menagerie. You can see some of our animal training there. We also have different Holiday Themed Animals doing Tricks and Agility Videos.

See Saw Titus Hoop 4 2013-09-14

Deron and I now live waaaaaay out on the Prairie in NW South Dakota, Belle Fourche is our mailing address but we are 50 miles from the Post Office. We no longer have a large kennel of Sled Dogs, years go by very quickly and life changes as the years come.

We do have a lot of room for now our dogs to run and play as well as Dog Equipment here for training our dogs. We have had over three acres set up for Dog Agility alone....well, our goats and cats, yes, as in housecats, were/are trained on that Agility Equipment too. Our dogs enjoy our every day companionship, Deron and I spending mush time with them daily. (we also have a Horse Agility Area set up, you could see that on our www.doesmybuttlookbiginthesaddle.com website if you like)

Marna, Missy & Raya moving some cows Horse Riding Deron Blake 2013-07-11. Horse Riding Marna 2013-07-11

Deron and I care more about having and working our animals then we do our own comfort. We moved waaaaaay out here, off grid (because land was cheap) and without running water, so we could keep our animals when we moved from WI. You know that county song "I was Country before Country was Cool."? Deron and I were Off Grid before Being Off Grid Was KOOOL.

Deron w/Titus & Tekoa 2013-12-24

So We and German Shepherd Dogs that have Jobs? It was just a matter of time. I had German Shepherd Dogs for many years in the 1980's and 1990's. They were actually my first Sled Dogs and Weight Pull Dogs and the first dogs I Backpacked with all those miles I have backpacked with dogs, with the dogs and myself wearing packs. In fact, my first German Shepherd Dog, Tamar, was my first of many dogs that was in a Trick Troupe that Entertained Scouts, Schools, Old Folks Homes, At Pet Stores, and many many other places under the name "The Gospel Dogs". I guess I always knew I would own GSDs again. When it came time to start thinking about replacing our Farm Dog, as she aged, I started really thinking about, reviewing books on breeds, thinking about the different breeds traits...GSDs just kept coming back around in my head...it was just time.

Marna Holding 2Ts  2013-12-13 Marna Holding Texas Tea and Turquoise

Finding the right GSDs can take time. And for us it did. There are NOT many "Reputable GSD Breeders" that we could find here in SD or surrounding states, and most lead back to the same dogs in their pedigrees pretty quickly. So Deron had me looking for "nice dogs with good pedigrees" all over the Nation. Thank you Lord for the Internet!

If you read each of our GSD's own pages here at this site you will find that we have had our dogs shipped to us from TX, FL, MI as well as a couple we kept from breedings that were born in SD. We did a LOT of research on Pedigrees to make sure these were the type of dogs we were looking for and that their Pedigrees are compatible for breeding.

The contents of this page for About Us is still under construction. Please check back later!

I would like to invite you to join us on a Yahoo Group that I host called Working Big Dogs.
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-- The Working German Shepherd Dogs Team
Tue, 30 Jul 2013 14:01:41 -0400

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