Edward Denny owns and runs Vom Zeder Haus German Shepherds. He is one of the top GSD advocates and breeders in the United States. However, his main goal is not to breed and sell German Shepherds. His goal is to educate the public on the breed, promote rescuing dogs, and fight the exploitation of GSDs.
He is also has a program that is attempting to bring back the breed’s original 60s and 70s era characteristics and traits. He is an interesting and fascinating man who used his faith along with the German Shepherd to help him overcome many obstacles in his life including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
To find out more about his life and what drives his passion for the breed, we asked him 10 questions. Enjoy the interview!
1. Where did you grow up and where does your passion for German Shepherds come from?
My Childhood years were split between S.W. Ohio and S.E. KY. As a Child I endured PTSD, and while I didn’t have my own GSD’s during childhood, I was involved with these dogs. The German Shepherd Dogs I was involved with early in life provided me a special love and therapy that enabled me to overcome mental and emotional damage that I had sustained. I’ve had a special bond with this Breed ever since.
2. What was the first German Shepherd you owned? Tell us about him or her.
I’ve had so many great GSD’s over the years. My first was a slight built daughter of the great Jeck Vom Noricum. Her name was Kelly, a female with tremendous heart, intelligence, and working ability. Kelly was such a devoted Friend, and I will always miss her.
3. What do German Shepherds mean to you?
The German Shepherd Breed is literally everything to me. I have devoted my life to the welfare of the breed. These dogs are why I breathe.
4. Why did you start Vom Zeder Haus?
I began Vom Zeder Haus to improve the GSD Breed in the U.S., and to educate the American Public about the Breed.
5. What is the VZH Breeding Initiative?
The VZH Breeding Initiative is our program to take the Breed back to the era of the 1960’s and 70’s, which from a physiological standpoint, are the best years for the German Shepherd Dog. This was before the breed split into multiple distinct Sub-Species, before conformation took precedence over working ability / instincts and health. I am speaking of the Authentic dog in Europe and thus produced by the few Qualified Breeders in the U.S.
VZH imports GSD’s from the top breeding program in Europe which crosses GSD’s from Old Czech / DDR / Pohranicni Straze lines with German Dogs. VZH then crosses those dogs with West German GSD’s. Of course, this is all explained in detail on our Website.
6. Why should people adopt instead of purchase from a breeder?
VZH understands the need and desire for very well-bred GSD’s, which is why we breed. However, if a person does not possess the patience to partake of an Interview process ( that all Qualified Breeders have ). Or the patience to be placed on a waiting list for a GSD dog or puppy ( that all Qualified breeders with Authentic GSD’s will have ) or if a person does not have the financial resources to acquire an Authentic GSD, then this person should Rescue. Then hopefully find the patience and financial resources needed to be a good dog Parent.
Another reason to rescue is Just because. VZH has a page on our website entitled ” When and why to rescue ” which goes into detail about the GSD Rescue situation in America. Whether or not a person intends to Rescue, every dog Owner in America should read that page. It will enlighten any person to the very dark and very sad side of dog reproduction here in the United States.
7. What is your experience with adopting a dog?
We have two Rescues at VZH at this time, dogs that we literally picked up on the road. You don’t know what you are truly getting with a rescue, so very good Parenting skills and patience is a must. However, when a person in America acquires a dog from an unqualified breeder, its literally the same as you also don’t know what you are getting. The difference is that you won’t spend much if any of your money for a rescue.
8. Who should adopt and who should buy from a breeder?
No person should acquire a dog from a Breeder unless you have the patience and commitment to support a QUALIFIED Breeding Program. No person should adopt unless you have the time , appropriate environment, patience and dog Parenting Skills to be not a Dog Owner, but a Dog PARENT. The only thing better than one dog is two, three is better than two etc. So having an Authentic GSD and thus the support of a Qualified Breeder, while also having one or more Rescues is a good.
9. What are your hopes and dreams for the German Shepherd?
There are two major changes that need to happen with the German Shepherd Dog. The breed needs to be taken back to one sub-species, and a Governing Body for the reproduction of not only the GSD, but all dogs must be formed in the United States. VZH is working on the former, it is up to the American Public regarding the latter. The page on our website mentioned previously- ” When and why to rescue ” is about so much more than rescuing, and explains how the American Public can act, so the American Government can develop Laws to help Dogs in the United States.
10. What kind of impact can a GSD have on a person’s well-being?
I can certainly speak from experience here. The German Shepherd Dog has so many natural gifts thus to provide Therapy to people who have experienced trauma or maybe just disappointment in life. Generally speaking, people are about themselves and dogs are about you. GSD’s can provide love, commitment , and emotional support like no other.
Hopefully this exclusive interview with Edward Denny from Vom Zeder Haus gave you some insight into the importance of adopting German Shepherds as opposed to buying them from an unqualified breeder. There are plenty of shelters in most areas of the United States and other countries to pickup an abandoned or abused GSD that was left alone and would love a new family.
Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think!
Did you learn anything new about German Shepherds in this interview? If there was one question you could ask this breeder, what would it be? Let us know! We would love to hear any feedback!