Tina Barber has
been involved with German Shepherd Dogs all of her life. After working
with her family’s dogs in Germany as a child (shortly after World War
II) and continuing as a teenager in the US, she decided in 1962 at the
age of 14 to form her own kennel, naming it Konigan Kennel. During
the early 1960's, Tina was very active training (Schutzhund) and showing
her dogs. She trained and degreed 14 dogs for NASA (North American
Schutzhund Association), the first Schutzhund organization in the US,
where she served on the Board as the membership coordinator for over a
For over thirty years
Tina has conducted training and genetic seminars sponsored by breed and
training clubs all over the United States and Canada. Her Practical
Genetics seminar was condensed into an article that was published in the
prestigious German Shepherd Quarterly in 1982. She
has led weeklong workshops on such topics as proper imprinting and
socialization, as well as basic principles of the Shiloh Training
from coast to coast across North America, from Halifax, Nova Scotia to
Victoria, British Columbia and the South from Orlando , FL to
California. She has also written articles for many breed newsletters as
well as major publications, including the German Shepherd
Quarterly, Good Dog, Off Lead,
and NASA News.
During those early
decades, Tina focused her energies on gleaning all the knowledge
possible, from the top breeders of that time; however, her early
attempts at breeding met with discouraging results. Beginning in 1972,
she put much more emphasis on her breeding program. Working with other
breeders, she intensely researched Canine Hip Dysplasia. Her desire was
to develop the best genetically sound German Shepherd Dog and eliminate
the heartbreak of CHD.
In 1974, she spearheaded
the Litter Mate X-ray Program and shared her vision with a significant
number of AKC dog clubs, especially large breed working dog
organizations that specialized in breeds such as the Danes, Dobermans
and Rottweilers. Born again in February 1974, she changed her
kennel name to “ Shiloh Shepherds” and dedicated her dogs as a tool
to glorify her Savior. Incorporating the basics of her LMX
(littermate x-ray program), she embarked upon a large-scale breeding
program. This time her breedings were more successful and her
lines became more stabilized; by the late '70's this new "super breed"
was gaining a great deal of recognition.
Many test litters were bred in order to choose lines that would produce
sound hips and temperament, while maintaining giant size. The most
promising offspring were retained and then inbred to determine more
genetic depth. Those coming closest to the ideal were then linebred, and
occasionally outcrossed in order to set type. Many litters were bred and
entirely raised at Shiloh Kennels as a means to collect and compare
genetic versus environmental data on hips and temperament.
Tina later used this
information to formulate a "genetic blueprint" on the various lines she
would select. From these
studies, which took over two decades to complete, four lines were
chosen to establish the foundation for the future "Shiloh Shepherds".
Intense inbreeding and
linebreeding continued to eliminate and/or enhance desired traits. All
pedigrees (dating back 9-14 generations) listed hip ratings, faults,
virtues, size, weight, temperament, and color of each dog. Progeny
reports and littermate reports were documented for the future database.
International Shiloh Shepherd Registry, Inc continues to maintain these
records, as well as documenting the same information on all Shiloh
Shepherds produced. Its database currently contains over 4,000 dogs with
over 45,000 of their ancestors.]
Barber still insists on these rigid breeding controls, both for her own
kennel, as well as any approved breeders. These controls insure the
soundness of the Shiloh Shepherd, both in mind and body, for all future
For over two decades,
prior to 1991 when Tina started publishing Shiloh Shepherd Newsletters
under the banner of the Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club of America, Inc., she
provided Shiloh Shepherd Newsletters to all of her customers and anyone
else that requested them. These newsletters included educational
articles as well as information about her breeding and training
programs. Many of them have now become collector’s items
that are occasionally offered on some internet auctions.
During the '80's, Tina
intensified her breeding program. With over 100 dogs in her kennel, plus
dozens of co-ownerships and "satellite kennels", her efforts were now
producing remarkable results.
Her only goals had been
to stabilize Size, Hips, and Temperament, but a very distinctive type
was also emerging. As of the late 80’s, her dogs were still registered
as AKC German Shepherds, but the reputation of the "Shiloh Shepherd"
kennel was gaining a strong following and many people were already
starting to refer to their dogs as “Shiloh Shepherds” because of their
unique “type” even while they were still AKC registered. At that time,
Tina wrote the official Breed Standard that defines the specific type
towards which she was striving.
In 1990, Tina chose to
separate her breed from the AKC mainstream in order to maintain the
strict breeding policies she had used to stabilize the soundness of mind
and body now in these dogs. The International Shiloh Shepherd Registry,
Inc was created as the only registry to maintain data on all of her
stock. With this registry in place, Tina allowed other approved licensed
breeders to start their own kennels, and work with her to continue
producing the magnificent creatures that are still known today as Shiloh
Shortly thereafter, she
organized the Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club of America, Inc in order to keep
all Shiloh Shepherd owners and fanciers informed. She traveled to dozens
of shows yearly to assist new exhibitors, as well as answer questions
for anyone wishing knowledge about the Shiloh Shepherd.
Over the years, Tina has
been working very closely with breeders. As a means to continue
educating the future breeders of the Shiloh Shepherd, she developed the
VIB (Very Important Breeder) program, which included education, study
material, as well as homework. This tradition continues today with
the Original Shiloh Shepherd Academy, a mandatory forum that has helped
educate ISSR Licensed Breeders since 2000.
worked very closely with all Shiloh Shepherd enthusiasts via private and
public lectures, club newsletters, and the various forums, answering
hundreds of questions, and writing detailed articles, many of which are
now available via the Shiloh Shepherd Learning Center. Since the New
Millennium, Tina has had to overcome many new hurdles along the road she
has taken for her beloved dogs. Aside from the continuous torments
spewed at her by the various dissidents that have rudely continued to
steal and tarnish her good (Shiloh Shepherd) name, she also had to
endure the unspeakable tragedy of the fire that destroyed her home and
all of her earthly possessions. During the turmoil that followed,
she was forced to re-home 43 of her beloved dogs, while focusing all of
her energy on locating a suitable new place to rebuild their lives.
Tina, her daughter and her grandchildren had only one thing left to hold
on to, and that was their faith that God had promised to never leave her
or forsake her. In April 2000, only 3 months after the fire, her family
located their present home and dubbed it “New Zion Shilohs”! Since that
time, the breed has continued to prosper, as it grows ever more popular!
However, the story did
not end there. Over the past five years, Tina and her family have
had to overcome nearly insurmountable obstacles that have continuously
been thrown at them, instigated by a small group of dissidents that
desperately want to destroy her so they can profit from the reputation
that her dogs have earned.
Yet, with the tenacity
of a bulldog, Tina and her family have continued to overcome the
obstacles and walk through the fire practically unscathed. Their faith
has never faltered; instead, they have only grown stronger through each
For more personal
details spanning Tina’s entire life, be sure to order your copy of her
The Shiloh Shepherd Story: Against the Wind—A Breed Is Born!