Chapter 1 - The Beginning

The story of “Pines” has its origins in the 1920’s, when a lady called Effie Fry first registered the affix, as she had become involved in showing and breeding dogs, largely small terriers and dachshunds. Scroll forward 60 years, when she had become an old lady, well known in the dog world, but needing help to keep her kennels going. Elaine took on this task for her last years, enabling her to stay in her home to the end to be with her beloved dogs. As a result of this help, Elaine was bequeathed the “Pines” affix. At the time, she was breeding Bulldogs and Rottweilers in partnership with her then husband under her own affix of “Ghezirah”, but when she and John Sharpe, who was a breeder of Irish Wolfhounds with his then wife under the “Telgar” affix, got together, it seemed an ideal opportunity to have a new start with the “Pines” name. There was a litter of Rottweilers, but it had become increasingly difficult to find suitable homes for the puppies, so we considered alternative breeds. Elaine wanted a black & tan working dog,

Tegan with daughter Tia
Tegan and daughter Tia

and John insisted on hair, and remembered having seen a Hovawart (the only breed in the book matching both their criteria) at an exhibition he had attended at Wembley…..KC’s forerunner of ‘Discover Dogs’ the search for one began.

As now, puppies were at a premium in the early days of the breed, but after what seemed a long wait, and a lot of badgering, in the autumn of 1986, Julie Condron put us in touch with Janet Kibble, who had a 14 month old bitch that she needed a home for, as she was in a kennel most of the time, something that does not really suit the Hovawart temperament. “Tegan” (Kynyaf Tegan of Pines) duly arrived, and to be fair was very wary of people, but Elaine was sufficiently impressed by her progress in socialisation to want to have a litter from her, and after some discussion, she was taken to Hofwarth Blondel, and a litter, with all the colours, was born just before Christmas, 1989. Two of this litter made their mark, “Tia”, with Maggie Spencer, rose to the heights of Test “C” in Obedience competitions (and is the progenitor of the HC of GB “Tia” Trophy), and “Elsa”, with Hester Oxborrow, was Best Bitch at the Club Show.

Early GB Hovawarts
The Early GB Hovawarts Elsa, Jet, Tegan and Tia

Despite this, there were problems, as the litter contained a puppy with HD, and none of them had as good hip scores as either parent (Tegan was 1:1), also, Elsa developed hypothyroidism in later life, so in fact none were themselves bred from.


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Chapter 2 - The Next Step