About me

photos © E. Heikkinen

My name is Heta Pääkkönen and I come from Kuhmo but I'm currently studying in Oulu. In 2008 I graduated from "Canine Academy" from Keski-Pohjanmaan Maaseutuopisto, Kannuksen yksikkö where I studied dogs (behavior, training, genetics, feeding etc.). After many turns I ended up Oulu University studying logopedics. My dream is that somehow I can use my knowledge of dogs in my future job, speech therapy.

At home I have three belgian shepherd groenendaels: Niji (Willow Creek Missy, -07), Raiku (Nanduhria's Goldberry, -10) and Nuri (Willow Creek Yips, -14). I train them mainly for obedience and finnish workingdogtrials (forest tracking and message), but during years I have tryed many other hobbies. That is what I love in good belgian: There isn't any limits what you can do.

My history with belgians

When I was a child I fell in love with beautiful black shepherd from the dog breed books. From that moment I wanted to have a groenendael not only because the look of it but also because of the character. In year 2003 my first groenendael Nepo (Marmara Open Heart) born in kennel Marmara. Nepo was full of fighting spirit and tendency to aggressive behavior ("sharpness") so our daily life wasn't that easy. Best thing in Nepo was that he was always ready to try things even thought he wasn't the bravest one. I learned many things from him about dogs behavior and character features. Nepo was my flaming spirit and thanks to him I wanted to have more groenendaels.

In year 2007 after many years of searching I got my second groenendael Niji from kennel Willow Creek. In many ways Niji is a dog of my dreams. My biggest dream was to breed with her, but because I wasn't sure about myself I leased her to her breeder. Niji have two litters in kennel Willow Creek and I'm really thankful for Sanna Hasu that I had this possibility to learn more about breeding.

My third belgian Raiku came from kennel Nanduhria's and fourth is Nijis son Nuri from kennel Willow Creek. There will always be a place for groenendaels in my heart.

My thoughts about breeding

My thoughts aren't stone hard truths about breeding but guidelines to what I'm aiming for. I know that breeding is hard and you need to be ready to do compromises. I try to keep character, health and functional structure in main focus. For me its more important to have a steady litter than one really good dog in the litter.

"The perfect belgian" is really hard to describe because in my opinion there is always many factors affecting like the dogs own features, the pedigree and the owner. As a breeder I try to breed puppies which have a nice capacity for differend kind of hobbies. I hope the puppies have enough funtional capacity, fighting spirit, greediness towards food and right kind of temperament. When I choose dogs for breeding I don't want to look only the results of the dog. For me its more important to see what the dog and his / her relatives really are like. The results are only nice plus. I think the most important thing in breeding is to be honest to oneself. Everything else comes after that.

My kennelname comes from Nepos character (Liekehtivä = flaming) and I hope to produce "flaming" belgians: Always ready what ever you want to do. My breeding is just at the beginning but you never know what the future holds.

Heta Pääkkönen

Kennel Liekehtivä