Chris is a West Virginia native, and currently works as an Information System Security Officer managing the day-to-day security posture for multiple information systems. Chris is a Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps which is where he was introduced to the Dutch Shepherd while serving aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA with Security Battalion. In 2015 he began training in IGP with his first Dutch Shepherd. Since then, he has titled her to IGP 3 and has participated in 1 national event. He has also received his certification as a decoy with both the DVG and USCA Helper Programs.
Christie Meyer Faccinto
I obtained my first Dutch Shepherd in 1999, and have been hooked since. He was a 2yr old washout from a working dog kennel, and quite frankly was a nightmare in the beginning. LOL. However, with some time and mutual communication, he turned into the best "Level 1 of Any Sport" dog that I could ask for. And he certainly sparked my passion for the breed, demonstrating to me the amazing versatility that they bring to the table.
Since that time, I have shared my home with many Dutch. I am a founder of the North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue (though stepped back as President many years ago when the need exceeded my availability), hosted 2 informal Dutch Shepherd events in MI (2004 and 2007, I think are the years), have bred a few litters of stable yet driven working dogs, and sat on the WDSAA BOD for several years as we navigated registration representation. My training background includes clinical behavior, sport, pet, rescue rehab, birth through full patrol K9, and international virtual coaching. Ironically, my involvement in the breed all this time has really opened the virtual doors to Dutch owners in other parts of the world, and for that I couldn't be more grateful.
Photo credit: Kali Hamby
Michelle was introduced to the world of working dogs when she got her first personal dog at 18 (Malinois) in 2009. She had no idea what she wanted to do with her life, but knew her hobby included dogs! Her second dog was a Dutch who she got in 2013. While she still claims love for the Belgians, her passion lies with the Dutch Shepherd.
Michelle's competition experience includes a variety of performance sports (Rally, Lure Coursing, Nosework, Conformation, Dock Diving, and Weight Pull) and real-world detection. She has also done a handful of BHs and spends most of her time working her dogs in French Ring. Her French Ring experience includes 3x Team USA with two different dogs (one a Dutch) and several representations at Regionals and Nationals.
Craig has been training dogs since 1997. He has been involved in Schutzhund/IPO as both a handler and a helper since that time. He has also trained various working dogs in narcotics detection, mantrailing and dock diving. He purchased his first Dutch Shepherd in 2013 and joined the WDSAA in 2014.
My name is Kelley Lewis and I have spent my adult life immersed in the world of dogs. I started as a young instructor in upstate New York in the mid-90’s, mainly focused on teaching owners and their dogs companion obedience and basic manners. During those years, I assisted with some Schutzhund training and, although I had no desire to compete myself, I enjoyed the training and admired the passion, dedication and discipline the handlers displayed for their chosen sport.
I began working as a dog groomer in 2000 after moving to Idaho with my husband, Craig, and found a great love for the profession. After being blessed with our two sons, I opened my own grooming salon in 2005, which is still my full time occupation. Over the years, I continued to assist with VPG and then IPO training, as well as getting involved as an instructor and board member with our local all-breed club, serving wherever there might be a need.
In 2013, Craig brought home his first Dutch Shepherd, and over the following years, I joined his interest and passion for the breed, joining WDSAA myself in 2017. At present, we share our home with 6 Dutch Shepherds and I have never had such a close and satisfying relationship with any other breed of dog.
In 2014, I put my first IPO title on a homebred GSD and my appreciation for those heavily invested in sports grew even more. I still find great enjoyment in training my dogs in IGP and, more recently, French Ring. I have a love for sharing my knowledge of health, breeding and genetics and mentoring others. I enjoy sharing in the excitement that other owners and handlers have when they achieve a goal they set out to accomplish with their dog, no matter how big or small. This led to Craig and I starting the Inland Empire Working Dog Club in 2022. Our desire is to help provide more opportunities for likeminded individuals in the inland northwest to get together, support and encourage one another, and train and trial their dogs in whatever work or sport they choose.