The history of
"Own Delight's" Shelties (1975-2022) of Annegien ten Cate, NL

As a child my mother Annegien already wanted a dog. Instead of a dog she got a number of bound volumes of the magazine De Hond 1935-1939. I still have these books in my bookcase. Annegien married her childhood sweetheart Freek ten Cate. As soon as they lived on their own, they got a dog. They took "Tedje", a black and white dog who looked a lot like a Border Collie, from the shelter. After "Tedje" they preferred a slightly smaller dog. So in 1964 they bought their first sheltie, a tricolour male called "Danny". Unfortunately "Danny" only lived to be six years old. So in 1970 Annegien and Freek went looking for a sheltie again. Even then it was difficult to buy a sheltie. Because my sister and I were whining for a dog we bought an American Cocker named "Snowy" after a visit to a show and a nice conversation with a breeder. Because this cocker was rather difficult I, 13 years old, went to obedience training with this dog. We certainly needed some help with the education of this Cocker. When "Snowy" was about six months old we got a phone call that there was a Sheltie male for sale in Amsterdam. This male was a child of Stalisfield Viking Gold From Shiel, a male from the Riverhill line and a female from the same line.  "Aby" was a beautiful dog for that time but like many dogs in that time he was cryptorchid. So we could not show him. In the meantime we - Annegien, Freek and I, Marion - had met a cocker breeder at the training course who introduced us to the World of Dogs. Annegien and Marion were active in showing and training. Freek became a board member of several dog clubs. The three of us went on a course about dogs. The course was given by a well-known all-round judge. He taught us a lot of passion for dogs. After that it went fast. We bought two more Cockers and a sheltie. This sheltie was also cryptorchid so we could train but not show.

In 1973 on a holiday in England we visited some English sheltie breeders. At the Exford kennel there was a lovely blue merle dog with a very free character. Annegien really wanted to have this dog for training. Sky Diver Of Exford was a very nice dog to work with and he also turned out to be beautiful. He became an International Champion and had won 13 res. CACs in the Netherlands. Annegien really wanted a blue merle offspring from "Diver". So the first tricolour bitch was bought, Duly of the Noble Heart. A bitch out of a combination of Shelert and Dilhorne lines. This combination of lines was a nice basis for our kennel. In 1975 my mother and I bred our first litter with the kennelname "Own Delight". Freely translated: for our own pleasure. We only bred if we had the intention to keep a dog. All our dogs lived in the house and became very old - on average 13 - 17 years. Because we were so busy training and showing, we only wanted to breed to a limited extent. Therefore, after more than 40 years of breeding, we have only bred six generations. We started with an Exford male but at that time the Exford kennel was coming to an end so it was difficult to find a partner from the same lines. After studying the pedigrees, we chose males from nice, type-fixed lines, who could possibly compensate the shortcomings in our females. This choice has brought us success. We have bred several generations of beautiful dogs. Who were very successful at shows and also enjoyed training. We started breeding blue merles and tricolours but at a certain point we could not find the quality males in these colours so we switched to sable males. We therefore ended up with sables. Although we bred very little we had the following successes: In total we had 15 champions of which seven were champions of shelties bred by us. They had the colours blue merle, tricolour and sable. Our dogs were always very sound. One out of seven dogs bred by us became a show champion. We have bred four consecutive generations of champions. From 1976 all our dogs were tested for eye-diseases. We did not breed with dogs, which were not an improvement of the previous generation or were healthy. In addition we trained with all our dogs; obedience, agility or search. We trained two or three times a week to make sure that all the dogs got their chance. 

Still training is my great passion. Our goal was to breed beautiful, healthy and willing to work shelties. Therefore we were very proud of NL, Int. Ch. Own Delight's Pascal. "Pascal" became in the year 2006 also Agility Champion. For "Pascal" we bought a beautiful bitch Shemorn Anais Fleur. She became Dutch and International Champion. She gave us NL Ch. Own Delight's Roos and NL, Int. Ch. Own Delight's Roos. Two beautiful daughters with whom I trained agility until they were over 12 years old. "Roos" became best bitch at the Championship Clubmatch of the NSV and best of breed at the Winner Show but I think her most beautiful achievement is her Detection Diploma at the age of 14. "Pascal" and "Roos" represent what my mother and I were aiming for in our breeding: beautiful, healthy and willing to work shelties.  

For her merits as a breeder my mother received the Golden Honorary Pin of the Dutch Kennel Club. For all the work she has done for the Dutch Sheltie Club she was appointed an honorary member. My father received the Golden Honorary Pin of Cynophilia. The whole family was intensely involved in the Dog World. It was always a joint family effort. When my father passed away in 1994, my mother and I continued the activities at a lower level. My mother moved from Amsterdam to Almere and lived next door to me. In the meantime, I had become a judge and together we regularly went to shows. In the years that followed my mother bred three more litters from which "Pascal", "Queen" and "Roos" emerged. My mother always did most of the work in breeding. We lived next door to each other for 20 years and still spent a lot of time together with the dogs. My mother passed away in November 2018. I then had the last two Own Delight's shelties, "Queen" and "Roos". "Roos" passed away on January 15, 2022 at the age of 14,4 years and with that an end has come to an era for me and the "Own Delight" sheltie kennel. I am still very active in the World of Dogs and have several functions and I am a judge of group 1 and 5. I now have a lovely sheltie male with whom I mainly train. I will not breed anymore. For me more than 40 years of breeding shelties has come to an end:  "Own Delight's" sheltie kennel from 1975 till the year 2022.

Marion ten Cate, NL - July 2022

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