Ryker vom Polarstern SchH 3 FH CD TD

b. 22 October 1986 – 29 November 2000

aka “Ryker Doodles”

Ryker at 14

“Sovereignty” was the best word to describe Ryker. He possessed dignity, intelligence, character and strength, with just the right amount of silliness thrown in, he represented the ideal GSD temperament. He was a natural tracker who was always V or SG in his Schutzhund ratings, calm, quiet and intense. His protection work derived from a delight for the fight — the tougher the better. Yet he adored children and was completely safe around everyone. In obedience, Ryker was, unfortunately, handicapped by a handler who was a total novice. “If we knew then what we know now” Ryker would have shined in obedience as well.

At 14, Ryker was still the quiet alpha of the house. Confident and never needing to display his power, he could still cause Ivan or Hawk to fawn and grin like puppies.

Take a look at the motley pedigree below. Everything from “vom Lierberg” to “Gertie XII”!  Ryker’s father, Dirk, was an outstanding tracking dog, while his mother enjoyed our early Schutzhund practices and was a balanced, nice dog in both structure and temperament.

Crosswind’s Dirk v. Heiterhaus

OFA GS-13697T


Heiterhaus Cabot

OFA GS-10837

*Masko vom Konigstein



*V-Mars v. Sonnenberg

*V-Olly v. Lierberg


SchH 3

Schokrest Oh My Darlin’

OFA GS-7449


Covy’s Oregano of Tucker Hill

Philberlyn’s Rhoda of Marin


Heiterhaus Debra Joy

OFA GS-10949

CH Judd von Kristy

OFA GS-3899


US CAN CH Von Der Ley’s Midnight Cowboy


Von Leebrin’s Adelheidi

Covy Tucker Hill’s Spirit

OFA GS-7448

US CAN CH Cobert’s Reno of Lakeside


Covy Tucker Hill’s Glimmer

Kuss vom Schatz

OFA GS-18094

Der Hans vom Kriegerhaus


AKC WE430798

Heinz Peters

Krieger von Hiatt
AKC WC226109

OFA GS-4270

SchH3 FH


Phyllis Hiatt

Wenatchee’s Armando


Freia vom Pross

Vilma von Pfersee

AKC WD 640250

OFA GS-7644-T


Phyllis Hiatt

V-Roon v.d. Freiheit Westerholt

SchH 3 “a”

V-Inka von Pfersee


SchH 1 “a”

Gertie XII

AKC WE942411

Alf vom Hessenhof

AKC WC615659


Rogue XVII
AKC WB352322

Missy v Portnoy

AKC WC275038

Greta von den Lachenden Augen

AKC WE755797

*VA-Roll vom Sieben Faulen


AKC WC784120

*Sun Shine’s Daisy Mae

AKC WD857821


Ryker and Warren after finishing their SchH 3 in Pocatello, Idaho. (Pam Christensen photo)

New CD, Fall of 1987

Schutzhund 2 heeling — doesn't look too bad for Ryker! This photo appears in Dog Fancy's German shepherd edition. (Judith Strom photo)

Courage test for the schH 1 in Spokane with helper Jim Elder. (Kerin Elder photo)

With helper David Macias during a seminar in Helena. (Judith Strom photo)

29 November, 2000

I always knew Maggie and Ryker would go at the same time.

We put Maggie to sleep Monday night. We’d been concentrating so much on Maggie that we chose to ignore the fact that Ryker was going downhill. By Tuesday morning he’d crashed. He had a temperature of 105+ deg, and though a shot of banamine brought it down, he never recovered. By Wednesday morning he couldn’t walk at all, and even rolling over onto his chest took everything he had. So, last night, Ryker went too.

No matter how prepared you are, it’s still hard. Our vet came to the house around 8:00 last night. Ryker had enough energy to sniff her and wag a time or two before laying his head back down.
This is the worst part about having dogs in your life.

But, life goes on. It snowed 4 or 5 inches last night and Gator, Rosie and Ivan are all maniacs outside, charging through the drifts with their mouths open, scooping up snow and beating each other up. They come inside with snow all over their faces and big happy grins.

To those of you with dysplastic dogs, Ryker is proof a dog can have an active, long life with bad hips. He was diagnosed with moderate dysplasia at the age of two; got his SchH 3 at five (when he was finally showing signs of pain and refused the wall on the way back) got his FH at six, and then for many more years helped train new decoys on the training field.

Ryker may be seen in the Dog Fancy special GSD issue and several pet-oriented GSD books. He was a special dog. We’ll miss you, Doodles.