am Sarah van der Spek and I'm originally from The Hague, Holland. Despite the fact that I've asked for it a lot as a kid, I wasn't raised with dogs. My father always made very clear that owning a dog is a big responsibility and takes a lot of time. Since we already had quite a lot of rodents and fish, it just would be too much.
Now I'm 34 years old and since September 2005 I live in the province Groningen, in the north of Holland. I have 9 Amstaffs that join meat home and I also own several Amstaffs that I've
placed with foster families and co-owners, because we can't keep a pup from every litter at home, since every dog deserves enough
space and time. (So foster families and co-owners take care of some of our dogs, but can never be held responsible for the choise of puppy or for the combinations I make, of course.)
My partner Bouke came live with us in 2013. Since then we run the kennel together. Bouke was raised with a Bouvier and a St Bernard. When I told him I had Amstaffs, he emediatly liked the idea and during his first visit to me and the dogs, he loved their enthustatic and friendly character right away.
You can often find us in the woods or by the water, where the dogs can enjoy themselves and lose some energy. Bouke also trains conicross with some of our dogs, and they participate in matches every once in a while. I myself train several of our dogs for show, obedience, agility and tracking. Our dogs also regularly swimm in a special doggy pool, and we like to go to organised dog walks or other dog events every once in a while.
How It Began
passion for this breed has begun in The Hague, my home-town where lots of Amstaffs live. When I was a teenager, this breed caught my eye. Especially a brindle and white male that walked down the lane close to my house a lot. Such a powerful and beautiful dog! When I left my parental home, I started browsing the internet and oriented the different types and lines. I soon knew I was mostly attrackted to White Rock/Chasqui and Ruffian line, mainly for their athletism and wonderful expression.
Eventually I found the website of Cheyenne Indians,
a kennel that was specialized in working Amstaffs; dogs with spirit
and game. Unfortunately this kennel is not active anymore, but at that time the kennel owned the wonderful males Chasqui Indian Dingo and Ch. Yukon's
Diamond in the Ruff, amongst others. When I saw pictures of these
two males, I was totaly in love and after looking at their pedigree it got even more interesting and I decided to make an
appointment with the kennel. This was in the summer of 2003. During
my visit, I actually liked all Amstaffs of this kennel. Such gorgeous and impressive
dogs with strong, driven, enthusiastic and for most human-friendly characters! Now I knew for sure I wanted my own Amstaff!! I'd already seen on the website that Ch. Yukon's
Diamond in the Ruff in the future would be bred again to a gorgeous female, Miss Lady Ruffian, and since I really liked that combination, I paid a deposit and put myself on the waiting list.
CH Yukon's Diamond In The Ruff
Chasqui Indian Dingo
In 2004 I could finally pick up my first Amstaff (imp. Italy) and soon after that the second one followed (imp. France). From there on
my passion grew even further. Training obedience, participating at dog shows and learning more about the breed and breeding dogs became my
hobby, and my hobby turned into a lifestyle. That's the reason why I
moved from the city to the countryside, and now I am the proud owner
of several Amstaffs and a FCI kennel registration since 2005. In that same year, 2005, my third Amstaff (imp. France) came to live with me. Not a puppy this time, but an adult female. In 2006 I bred my first litter with her, from which I've kept a female and that's how my breeding program started to evaluate.
We've now imported 14 Amstaffs in total (from USA, France, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Hungary and Belgium) and also used foreign studs besides the ones from Holland, to come closer to our goals.
My goal is to breed healthy,
balanced dogs without any exaggerations. We breed confirm the breed standard and, as stated above, I like a certain type which can be found in the White Rock and Ruffian lines. I'll most likely always keep these lines as a base for my breeding program to maintain this type.
An Amstaff should be an active and enthusiastic dog, so if you're looking for a dog that sleeps all day and doesn't pay attention to visitors, then our advise would be to continue your search and pick another breed, or at least another line with calmer temperament.
To understand a bit of the true Amstaff temperament that we'd like to preserve, we want to inform you a little about the history of this breed. An Amstaff belongs to the Terrier group. Terriers are originally bred and used for hunting prey as foxes, moles, badgers, and rats. Terriers share a feisty, mischievous personality and an energetic nature. Terriers are territorial; they protect the patch of earth that’s theirs and will bark furiously at people or animals who approach their property. Since an Amstaff is not only a Terrier but has Bulldog influences as well, you should prepare for a physically strong and powerful dog. Bulldogs were originaly bred for bullbaiting (fighting against bulls), but they also faught against bears, sometimes monkeys and of course against other dogs. Amstaffs are highly intelligent and trainable, if you have patience and a good sense of humor. The average age for this breed is 13 years old.
We'd like our puppy buyers to perform with their Blue Rising Star dogs in showing, obedience, agility, race track/lure coursing, tracking, canicrossing or one of the many other sports that can be done. We really encourage to be active with the dog. A Blue Rising Star dog should have enough driven temperament
to work, but must have a stabile character to be a loving pet and show dog as well. Diversity and multifunctionality is what's very important to us, since that makes this breed so special, at least in our eyes it does!
Our main goal with showing our dogs is to keep the moderate type in the ring and hopefully keep getting appreciation for it. We don't want to follow the growing trend in Europe to breed and show a heavy, broad type with short muzzle, since we like to stay true to the origin of the breed. Not only structure but also condition must meet our goal, so we expect from our dog's co-owners and foster families that they don't overfeed our dogs, so that they keep their elegant appearance. This is how Blue Rising Star kennel keeps standing for preserving the breed how it was once meant to be; "agile, graceful and keenly alive to his surroundings".
We show our dogs since 2004 and since August 2013, a friend and also co-owner of two of our dogs, started helping us with handling our dogs, too. Thank you very much, Dénise Zeybrandt!!
Dog sports aren't only fun for dog and owner, but will also decrease behaviour problems in dogs. A dog that is physically and mentally challenged will find more rest, will be less nervous, won't destroy stuff because he's bored, won't excessively bark, or pee in the house to get attention. The connection between dog and owner will be stronger when they sport together. They will form a team and will read eachother better. The dog will probably be more obedient overall, which is a very positive thing of course.
Can showing and sporting be done with the same dog? Basically, yes!! Not every pup from a litter has the qualities to be a show champion, but if you're willing to show your dog on a regular base, then most breeders are able to help you pick a good show quality puppy. Does this mean that this puppy doesn't have the drive to work? No, of course not!! They can be great workers too and you can combine multiple sports for sure. If you don't want to show your dog but want to work on a high level, the breeder can also help you pick the best puppy for you with a high drive. But in the end for us as a kennel, our goal is to breed Amstaffs that will be good at both. A good Amstaff is an allrounder!
my (bred) dogs have an FCI-pedigree and I'm breeding confirm the rules
of the ASTCH.
Exterior and Movement Certificate
**Our stud dogs**
I would like to thank some people particularly, who made this all real for me!!
* My partner Bouke, who loves the dogs very much and always wants to join and help us on shows and events!
* Mickael & Celine and also John Meyer for giving me the possibility to own my two beautiful foundation-girls, with whom it all started.
* Friends that always helped us through the years!
* My family for their support and understanding.
* Last but certainly not least; all the owners and especially co-owners who are working together with me and giving me the upportunity
to follow my goals!
can meet my dogs at this website and learn more about the breed American
hope you enjoy looking around! If you have any questions, suggestions
or remarks, don’t hesitate to contact me.
I'm an American Staffordshire Terrier.
Brave, courageous, loyal and true.
I'm confident, gallant and full of fire.
I'll work my heart out for you,
I will never tire.
Family and friends I'll protect from all harm.
You're safe with me, I'll sound the alarm.
I'm charming, valiant and proud of myself.
Just look and come see, all eyes on me!
I'm dignified, a true gentleman, I never start a fight.
But I'll finish it yes, with all my might.
I'll hunt, I'll show, I'm an agility pro.
I'm versatile in all of my ways.
And I'll love and guard you the rest of my days.
I'm an American Staffordshire Terrier.