Cheryl Carlson (Cher Car) History
I had scholarships, and work study, but I needed to work as well, to pay my way through college. I took a night job with a local security service that provided guard dogs to car dealerships and other businesses in the greater Lansing area. That security service used “pound dogs”, just about anything that would bark, but I convinced the owner, Mr. McClellan, that using purebred German Shepherds would be a better choice. We both went to a well known breeder, Fred Migliore of Eko Lan kennels near Howell, Michigan, and purchased two male pups. At that time, Eko Lan Kennels was riding high on the success of their three famous dogs:
He was a large, black and red male, with a serious attitude, but very calm and accepting of strangers. My friends and I would get together during the week nights to come up with different training scenarios involving our dogs, and Renegade was always “out thinking” the scenario.
I had many good pups from him, most notably “Magnum”, the first Police K-9 for Michigan State University, who I bred and trained to certification as a Police Dog, then donated to MSU… where he was handled and loved by Sergeant Dale Metts.
When the founder of Parkwood Kennels Mrs. Eva Camp Hines passed away in 1983, I bought the Parkwood Kennels business and property.
I continued to conduct my dog training and breeding business under the name of Cher Car Shepherds while operating the Parkwood Kennels boarding and grooming business, but decided to merge both entities into the Cher Car Kennels name in 1988.
Early Police K9's
Commendations and Awards
I can say now that I was worried that I would never find another dog like Renegade when I started working with “Sebastian”, and I was right… “Sebastian” was even better than his dad!
We went on to do more national type of training, earning a French Ring III when there were very few trials in French Ring, and the decoys and judges were all imported from France.
Not only was he a marveleous competition dog who taught me a great deal about training, he was also a true "working dog" in every sense of the word. Sebastian also had two live tracking finds to his credit, when I was working to install several Police K-9’s that I trained for Marinette, Wisconsin.
Our Cher Car Kennels bred Malinois hold more French Ring Sport titles than any other US kennel’s bred dogs, and my training students have earned over 150 French Ring titles. I personally bred, trained and titled three of my personal dogs to Ring III. What fun we have with these Malinois!
I was experiencing some serious problems with my back, which limited my ability to compete with this dog in trials. “Zodiac” was my personal protection dog, and would accompany me on horseback riding outings. On Labor Day 1996, Zodiac was kicked by a horse, which shattered his left rear leg. Two days later, I was admitted into the hospital, where I underwent emergency surgery on my back.
All through both of our recoveries, Zodiac was there for me, as I was for him. He needed another surgery around Christmas, because he re-injured his leg. While the leg injury kept me from showing him in many trials, I titled him in Agility, mostly to teach him to use his leg properly.
He went on to earn his Grand Championship, as well as a French Ring II and a CDX in AKC competitive obedience. A “Razor” daughter, named “Gillette”, would carry on his winning ways, earning her Championship at the UKC Premier with some very stiff competition.
Her daughter “Schick” and grandson "Kevlar" carry on this "Sebastian" line in our breeding program today.
He figured prominently in our kennel during the 2000's. He was a solidly built, oversized male, steady in temperament, with a well known deep, strong bite.
He was titled in several protection venues, as well as earning his Companion Dog title through the UKC.
Not only did he compete successfully at protection venues across the nation, he also demonstrated serious defense drives for my Dog Bite Prevention seminars.
I purchased “Timber” as a police K9 prospect, but upon looking at his pedigree, found that his father went back to my old dog, “Renegade”. Timber was also one of the first dogs titled in UKC protection sports.
I was fortunate to become the first woman to be licensed as a Service Dog Trial Judge for ALL classes of Dog Sports, able to officiate at Police Dog I and Police Dog II certifications, as well as all other levels of obedience and protection certification offered by the UKC Service Dog program. I am additionally the only woman certified to select and certify helpers/decoys for the UKC Dog Sport program. This program was hugely successful, and my students have earned over 200 Dog Sport titles, more than any other club in the country!
I'm still working… still training, still showing, still breeding, still judging, still trialing. As many of you know, I have undergone three cancer surgeries since 2005, including a double mastectomy. I am happy to say I AM a cancer survivor, thanks entirely to early detection; and urge all men and women to conduct self examinations and receive regular check ups and mammograms. Below are a few links for additional information.