Meet Patty Schneiderjohn
Like many kids, Patty Schneiderjohn always wanted a dog. She had plenty of pets – hamsters, guinea pigs, parakeets, and cockatiels, and when she finally got that first dog, she was a Dalmatian: Centurion Battlestar, or Star for short. Star felt like a dream, a puppy who was all hers. Patty spent all her free time with Star, teaching her basic obedience, hiking in the nearby woods, going for long walks around the neighborhood. Star lived a long and happy life and passed away during Patty’s sophomore year in college.
Two years later, in Patty’s senior year, she found a litter of Dalmatian puppies for sale. That’s how Jane came into her life. Jane, who had one blue and one brown eye, was an awesome hiking partner who stayed on the trail and didn’t chase the wild animals. Jane was very sweet and loved babies. When Patty’s kids were little and got on her nerves, Jane would simply leave the room. She was a character, too: She only wanted to eat in the same room with her humans. So she’d grab a mouthful of food, dump it in the room you were in, eat it, then go back to her bowl to grab another mouthful.
Birds and horses
After college, Patty volunteered at Wild Bird Rehabilitation for four years, spending every Thursday night feeding baby birds and helping take care of
sick and injured ones. There’s nothing, Patty learned, like having a hummingbird
perched on your finger, drinking from a red-tipped syringe. Patty spent hours circling
room after room, feeding baby birds, giving meds, cleaning cages, washing bowls.
“DSK is my home away from home. Even though we compete against each other in the ring, we also help each other improve, which makes for a great and very supportive environment.”
In 2004, Patty’s husband gave her a set of horseback riding lessons as an anniversary gift. This led to Patty’s lifelong love of horses and barns. At that point they had what Patty thought of as the perfect dog – Frodo, a Siberian Husky-German Shepherd Dog mix. Patty and Frodo took obedience classes, and Frodo went everywhere with Patty and the family. Frodo was great with people, other dogs, in all situations. Sadly, he died of stomach cancer right before his sixth birthday – a week before Christmas. Patty and her family were heartbroken.
The next dog in their lives was Artemis, a rescue German Shepherd Dog whom they adopted when he was seven or eight weeks old. Artemis had had a tough beginning: He’d been dumped at a southern Missouri
pound when he was about three weeks old. Fortunately, a woman from a rescue group came by that very day, adopted him, took him home, and hand raised him. Artemis had issues with humans; even at a young age he’d growl and raise his hackles. Who knows what might’ve happened to him in those first three weeks of his life? He was scared of many things, but he loved food – and he trusted Patty. She learned all she could about raising and training a shy dog, and Artemis slowly grew to like people.
By the time Artemis was one, he had a whole catalog of tricks and a mastery of basic obedience. That’s when Patty started looking for something more to do with him, both for another shared activity and to help with his shyness. A fellow horse enthusiast suggested that they try agility, and that they try it at Dog Sports at Kim’s. So in April 2009, Patty and Artemis began classes on Tuesday nights with Wendy Culbertson. A year later, Artemis made his debut in the agility ring. He earned his first MACH (Master Agility Championship) in March 2014 and his MACH2 a year later, in July 2015.
Just before Artemis turned four, Patty and Artemis’s car was hit by a driver running a red light. Patty’s car flipped over, the windows broke, and Artemis took off.
In something of a miracle, he managed to cross highway 270 under Manchester Road, then disappeared into the night. It took eleven days and three humane animal traps to catch him. He ran from people, though he did take a sandwich from a street cleaner who tried to catch him.
For days, Patty sat on a corner from sunup to sundown, watching the spot where Artemis moved from woods to subdivision and back to the woods, trying to catch sight of her beloved pooch. She never did. She was tortured with questions about where he was and whether she’d ever see him again. In the end, he was captured in a humane trap outfitted with his much-loved food bowl, some string cheese – and several items of clothing carrying Patty’s scent. After that, none of Patty’s dogs ever rode loose in a car again; they’re always crated.
Artemis had quite a show career. In 2014, he was one of the top 20 agility GSDs. At the GSD Nationals, he won high-scoring rescue dog in agility and rally. Artemis earned two MACHs and was halfway to his first PACH when he tore his left cruciate ligament and underwent TPLO surgery, after which he entered a well-earned retirement. Today Artemis enjoys hiking, running, and playing in the back yard.
The newest addition
Patty knew she wanted another GSD and spent two years researching the perfect breeder, whom she finally found in Florida. When Patty brought Oshie (Oceania Von Der Tetiaroa) home, she knew she wanted to do obedience and agility with her. Patty was already working part time at Petco as a head dog trainer and mentor, so Oshie got to go to work with her, which helped Oshie grow into a great demo dog. Oshie also started obedience lessons with Kim Berkley, then branched out into agility as well.
Patty and her crew traveled to Tulsa in July 2016 for their first AKC National. Oshie competed in Rally Advanced, winding up 12th out of 66 dogs. In the agility competition, Artemis’s only fault was a knocked bar during their third run, netting him 29th place out of 125 dogs. Not bad at all for their first Nationals!
Patty and Oshie have been to AKC Rally Nationals twice and the Obedience Classic twice. Oshie was the #1 Novice A obedience GSD in the country in 2015. At the
2017 GSDCA Nationals, she tied for Rally Victrix. Half of her first RAE legs came in High Combined performances. Patty and Oshie are currently working on tracking and AKC scentwork. And Oshie is a great trick dog!
Rounding out the pack
In August 2016, Oshie's breeder sent Tica (Utica Von Der Tetiaroa OA AXJ OF CGC TKN), an eight-month-old bicolor GSD, to Patty. Tica finished her agility Open Standard and Novice Jumpers titles in October 2017 at the GSDCA Nationals. Patty plans to start showing Tica in obedience this summer.
When Patty was at Petco, her main goal as a trainer was to help rescue dogs stay in their adoptive homes. As a trainer at DSK, she not only gets to help people understand their dogs better and find the joy of a well-mannered pet, but she also gets to help people reach their competition goals. She loves helping students at trials – calming nerves, planning and filming runs, helping students analyze what worked and what didn’t…and then, at the end, snapping photos of them with their amazing dogs and the ribbons they earned as a team.
Nothing could make her happier.
MACH 2 Artemis RN MXG MJG MXP MJP MXF T2B CGC
Oshie -- Oceania Von Der Tetiaroa UDX OM1 VER BH RM RAE2 AX OAJ MXP2 AJP OF XFP CA SWN SCA SEA SBA SHDN CGCU TKP
Tica -- Utica Von Der Tetiaroa OA AXJ OF CGC TKN