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The Vander Lindes (Dennis and Lynn)

Dennis and Lynn


Lynn and Dennis Vander Linde have been involved with dogs their entire lives. Lynn grew up with Weimaraners and Dennis grew up with German Shepherds and a Belgian Tervuren. At age 14 it was with “Dude”, the Belgian Tervuren, that Dennis had his first experiences with helperwork by wrapping his arms with beach towels and duct tape and letting Dude bite him and then pull him around the yard. Crazy, huh?

Then, in 1993 as a young married couple, Dennis and Lynn began their quest to get their first dog. They were planning on having children soon and wanted a dog that would be a loyal and devoted family member and also be exceptional with children. They were seeking out a German Shepherd for their own. This quest took them to over 15 breeders while searching for the “total” dog. Finally, they were referred by their veterinarian to a litter of German Shepherds that was 6 weeks old. Dennis called the breeder (Jeffrey and Marla Doss), and the Dosses explained that their litter was from “Schutzhund” lines, a term that Lynn and Dennis were unfamiliar with. Upon visiting the puppies and parents, it was very clear that these “Schutzhund” dogs (parents and puppies) were different from the past litters and dogs that the Vander Lindes had visited (American conformation lines) and were just like the German Shepherds that Dennis grew up with: “Sugar”, “Dutchess”, a female Belgian-Import, and “Adonis”, a male Retired USAF Service Dog. However, the Dosses were only able to possibly sell one of the puppies, as they had an agreement with the owner of the stud that allowed them to only keep the “pick” puppy. After much persistence and persuasion, Lynn and Dennis successfully talked the Dosses into selling them the “pick” male puppy, which the Dosses really wanted to keep. Lynn and Dennis named their new puppy Grosser Kola von der Linde.

With the encouragement of the Dosses, Lynn and Dennis took Kola out to the local Schutzhund club to learn more about the dogs from Schutzhund lines and the training. After watching 3 training sessions, Dennis was hooked and joined the club and the United Schutzhund Clubs of American and began training Kola in Schutzhund. In 1996 Kola attained the BH then SchH 1 with scores of 93 tracking, 88 obedience, and 93 protection. In 1997 Kola attained the SchH 2 with 88, 92, 92. In 1998, Kola attained the SchH 3 with 96, 92, 95. Kola achieved numerous High in Trial Trophies along this journey. Kola was begrudgingly retired in 1998 after suffering a career ending back injury. Kola was the dog who started the passion for the Vander Lindes and was Dennis’ first dog with whom he made the USCA’s SchH 3 Club, which is for handlers who train a dog from BH all the way to SchH 3.

In 1996, the Vander Lindes went back to the Dosses and bought Kola’s half sister and named her “Bella”. However, Bella did not have as much talent for Schutzhund as Kola did. So, Dennis, with the help of his good friends Mark Leamer and Jeff and Lisa Carroll, trained Bella to be a narcotics detection dog and donated her to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department in Atlanta. Lt. Jose Calleja’s and Bella’s largest seizure before being retired from active duty was 850 lbs of Marijuana!

In 1998 Lynn and Dennis bought an 8-month old German Import named Eik von der Geissheide. Dennis trained Eik from BH to SchH 3, FH 1 and Kkl 1A. From 2001 to 2003 Eik was a National-Level Schutzhund competition dog and was shown in the 2001 S.E. Regional Championship, where he was SchH 1 Region Champion, the 2002 German Shepherd Dog Championship (finishing 23rd out of 40), 2002 National SchH 3 Championship (finishing 53rd out of 141) and 2003 North American Championship (finishing 17th out of 55). Eik’s highest scores were: SchH 1 99, 79, 96; SchH 2 95, 94, 98, SchH 3 99, 92, 98 and FH 1 93. Eik was Dennis’ second dog with whom he made the USCA’s SchH 3 Club. Eik is now retired and enjoys just laying on the front porch and just “being a dog”.

In 2000 and 2001, Dennis was a National-Level SchH 3 competitor with CS Dyk Hedaland, SchH 3, FH 1, Kkl 2A, a dog he handled and maintenance trained for A.J. Phillip then Mary Massengill. In the 2000 USCA National SchH 3 and Police Dog Championship, Dennis and Dyk finished 20th out of 82. In the 2001 USCA National SchH 3 and Police Dog Championship, Dennis and Dyk finished 15th out of 63 with a perfect 100 points in tracking.

Currently, Dennis is training his next competition dog Amos van’t Enclavehof, who he purchased as a puppy. They have attained the BH and are in eventual pursuit of SchH 3, hoping to reach USCA’s SchH 3 Club once again.

Dennis is also an accomplished Schutzhund Helper, having helped numerous Club members attain multiple Schutzhund titles, including Tracy Betenbaugh and Afra vom Stamm Walo reaching the WUSV SchH 3 World Championships in 1999 and 2000 as a member of USCA’s World Team. Dennis’ help included Tracy and Afra’s participation in all of USCA’s National Championships in 1999 and 2000 in route to achieving their prestigious accomplishment.

The Vander Lindes’ have three beautiful children that share their lives with the family German Shepherds. Lynn and Dennis are proud that they accomplished the goal of getting a dog, now dogs, which are loyal and devoted family members and exceptional with their children.

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