Shepherd's Way

Who We Are...

Shepherd's Way is located in northwest Oregon, just south of Portland in the Willamette Valley. We have been involved with English Shepherds since 1991, raising litters on occasion. We do not operate a "kennel" -- our dogs are part of our family, accompanying us throughout the day and keeping watch over us at night (often from the foot of the bed). A look at the "staff" here:


Shepherd's Way is a byproduct of my love for English Shepherds and concern for their future. In addition to working with my own dogs, I served on the English Shepherd Club Board of Directors for over 8 years, including 4 years as President. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the American Herding Breed Association. I am licensed as a herding trial judge and have earned four Herding Trial Championships with my English Shepherds. I am also a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and hold professional certifications from both APDT and the Karen Pryor Academy. I have taught dog training classes at the Clackamas Dog Adoption and Education Center and the Oregon Humane Society, and currently teach puppy and obedience classes in the Portland area. My professional background, beyond the world of dogs, is in Preventive medicine & Public health (MD, MPH) and nonprofit management. I worked for a number of years in health services research, public health, and as executive director of the Oregon Public Health Association.

Dave & Kids


Retired ER doctor, aspiring musician, master puppy raiser, and chief financial backer for Shepherd's Way.

The "Kids"

Katy, Sam, Tom and Anna have filled a variety of important roles over the years -- from puppy wrangling to poetry writing (all dogs should have at least one poem paying tribute to their virtues). They are all off starting careers in fields ranging from social work to rocket science. The dogs raised them well! (photo from 2001)

What We Do...

My goal in breeding is to conserve the valuable qualities of the breed and contribute thoughtfully to the next generation of English Shepherds. In keeping with this goal and my personal values, my dogs are first and foremost family members and working dogs; my breeding dogs are bred infrequently (2 or 3 times in their life) and only after I have spent a significant amount of time evaluating them as individuals. I generally do not repeat breedings but rather strive to ensure that every litter I produce will make a unique contribution to the breed. All our dogs -- both those we keep and puppies we place with others -- are part of our family and we remain committed to their well-being throughout life.

I strive to work with other breeders who share my values and goals. Breed conservation is a long-term vision, and one that most definitely "takes a village" to achieve. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in working in collaboration with Shepherd's Way and our friends!

Shepherd's Way Mission

  • Contribute to the conservation of English Shepherds through a breeding program emphasizing sound structure, stable temperament, and working ability.

  • Promote the welfare of English Shepherds through careful screening and placement of puppies, assisting in breed rescue, and support for English Shepherd owners and breeders.
  Pup and Baby

Photo: Brighton and Anna, 1996

Breeding Program

  • Only sound, healthy dogs will be used for breeding.

  • PennHIP, OFA and CERF evaluations used for screening.

  • Pedigree analysis used to optimize the health of puppies and to help conserve the genetic diversity of the breed.

  • Temperament and performance testing used to objectively evaluate strengths and weaknesses of dogs prior to breeding.

  • Working ability and character assessed through participation in herding, farm work, agility, and the many activities of a busy family.


  • Raised in an active household with daily handling and socialization.

  • Routine preventive care and vet exam prior to placement.

  • Professional evaluation of temperament and structure used to help guide placements.

  • Puppies sold under contract, follow up support provided by breeder.

  • Last but not least... raising and placing puppies is a demanding but rewarding process. I put a great deal of time and energy into my pups, and into finding homes where they will thrive.