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I grew up on a farm in northern Illinois raising and caring for various farm animals while helping on the farm.. In 1977, I purchased my first purebred dog- a Miniature Schnauzer named Mandy. Having been around Arabian horses, which are very regal, flashy and athletic, I wanted a breed of dog that possessed those same attributes, a Schnauzer. I began breeding the Minis as a hobby, while teaching my daughters about care, responsibility and love. In 1982, my travels took me out of state, where I saw my first Giant. So in March of 1983, I purchased my first Giant. Her name was "Cali" (Donnerrain's cc Excaliber) www.keystonekennel.com/misc/memory.htm. She was my friend and taught me what it was like to be owned by a Giant Schnauzer. She was 15 1/2 years of age when she left us for her final resting place. She had a German styled coat, and was the ambassador of our home. She is the reason we chose this breed.
In 2007, we purchased our first Mountain Horse, and are very excited to begin this venture as they are similar to the Arabian in many ways. Watch our site as we share our progress.
I searched for a name that would explain the philosophy and goals of our kennel. We came up with the name Keystone: "something on which associated things depend for support". We want to support the breed by enhancing the 3 "T's": temperament, type and trainability. Our slogan, "Giants of Eminence", indicates our dedication and desire to achieve the qualities of superiority and prominence while continuing to strive for the perfect Giant. We have been recognized many times by GSCA as one of the top producers (dams and stud dogs). We are very proud of this. We have also been invited to AKC Eukanuba National Championships and Westminster several times, and still have our sites set on winning there some day.
Superb temperament is one of the most important traits we breed for. A balanced Giant will be well rounded and can successfully compete in any endeavor; whether it is conformation, obedience, agility, schutzhund, protection work or as a loyal family companion. We have made temperament our number one priority at Keystone.
Type is what makes the Giant special and distinguishable. A Giant looks like a sweet teddy bear. There is not a more beautiful sight to behold than to see a well defined, muscled body glide effortless in sync, while its' furnishings flow freely in the wind.
Trainability refers to the dogs ability to be taught. The Giant is a highly intelligent animal with lots of energy and a desire to please. Through selective breeding we strive to keep the working drive. The key to training is that each family member must be consistent. A Giant is competitive by nature. They like to be the center of attention. So when offered a competitive challenge, the Giant will rise to the occasion and present its best attributes. Competitive sports will bring out the best in your bonding with the dog. As of December 2005, Keystone Giants have earned over 100 titles (8 Intl. / 3 Can / 1 Puerto Rican / 2 Polish / 1 Russian and the balance American conformation championships) and over 12 working titles. Many more are pointed and working towards their titles. We have exported to 7 countries and imported from 5. By searching for the best of the best world-wide, we will continue to produce great quality.
Since 1983, we have been gathering data, gaining knowledge, and doing research from our contacts with professional handlers, top breeders, and groomers. Giants are beautiful animals when they are well cared for (i.e. bred properly, fed nutritionally correct, groomed and trained adequately). Each component is as important as the next. When we started our show career with "Magic", our second giant, in late 1988, we were not given any hands on help, as our mentor was so far away. We had to learn by trial and error. This was hard and very discouraging. But we stuck with it and Magic became a champion by 2 years old. We vowed then to always support and teach those who entrusted us by purchasing a Keystone Giant. We want your experiences with a Giant to be positive and rewarding.
Keystone Kennel is situated on five acres northwest of Minooka, a western suburb of Chicago, Illinois. We are less than one hour from two airports.
As we keep striving to enhance our goals, we are excited about the opportunities of the future. We look forward to sharing experiences with you, assisting in your needs and searches, and encouraging you to own a Giant of Eminence- a Keystone Giant.