About UsHi! My name is Heather Muzzey and I am located in sleepy Plant City, FL. I enjoy the warm weather nearly year round with my husband Wade and our 2 daughters, Savannah (10) & Summer (14).
My friend Kim was the first to introduce me to the breed. She didn't even have a ridgeback yet, but she had always wanted one. When I asked her why, what she told me sounded like the perfect dog for me and my family too! Now we're both addicted!
When I purchased my first Ridgeback, I really had no interest in dog shows. The breeder (who is now a GREAT friend) encouraged me to just go and watch. Boy, did that change my life! The next thing I knew I was not only entered in my first dog show, but in lure coursing and then helping start up our breed club in Florida! All I can say is these dogs definitely have a way of changing your life!
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not always easy to live with, for sure. They are notorious counter surfers, especially my girl Paris! They seem to be able to eat ANYTHING and if you get the show bug, like I did, they can be very expensive too! To us, they are worth the effort... and then some!! I never thought I could love a breed so much and be so completely devoted. I must say that I will ALWAYS have a Ridgeback at my feet!
Hi, my name is Heather Muzzey and I am located in Loudon, NH with my husband Wade, and my daughter Savannah. We live on 2 wooded acres with a brook bordering two sides of our property. Our kennel is named after our brook. Schuttler Bach is German and translates to Shaker Brook. The dogs love playing in the water and running through the woods. They also go on hikes with us, boating, swimming and are around our horses and chickens on a daily basis.
I have been breeding dogs for about 10 years now. I started with cocker spaniels and admittedly knew NOTHING about breeding or health tests. I was raised on a farm and if you wanted a puppy, you bred your dog. It was that simple...and that ignorant.
I then started showing and breeding Rhodesian Ridgebacks. I had good mentors who taught me very valuable lessons about breeding and showing. What I also learned was that I hate showing! The people, the dogs, the judges...just crazy. The things I saw... aggressive dogs being led from the ring by their muzzle to keep them from biting, breeders breeding their dogs that didn't pass health tests (most likely because of the expense of showing they had to recoup their money), people cussing out others out because their dog won (yep, happened to me). I also learned that many people were not as they seemed. The all seemed to think that no one was good enough to breed their beloved breed...but them of course. Many of them talked the talk...about back yard breeders and puppy mills but if you seen into their own back yards, you would be shocked. Not everyone was like that or did those things, but some were and did. It was all horrifying to me. Plus, if you don't have a professional handler, it is even harder. I did champion several of my dogs and produced a top 20 champion, but it was no fun for me...or my dogs. I was done!
While I still love and adore Rhodesian Ridgebacks, I no longer breed them. There are several reasons for this, but the biggest one is that I found my soulmate dog in my girl Gemma! She was everything I had been looking for...and then some. I have always been interested in Schutzhund and wanted a dog I could train for that sport. Ridgebacks are not good candidates for Schutzhund, so I began the search for a smart, healthy, well bred German Shepherd...from Germany! I didn't want anything to do with American show lines that unfortunately have been bred so severely that they can barely walk. Don't believe me? Go to Youtube and search "German Shepherd half dog half frog". It is frightening the damage we have done to many breeds in the name of Best In Show.
I mention all of the above because it is what lead me to where I am today. Happy with my dogs, comfortable with my ethics and much smarter about breeding. I plan to train in Schutzhund as it seems very well rounded. Tracking, Obedience and Protection. We plan to start Gemma in training later this summer and we are getting a new puppy that will start in training immediately. We are very excited to start a new sport that we can enjoy with our dogs!