Aspen Peak Shepherds

Breeders of champion line pedigreed AKC registered German Shepherds.

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About Aspen Peak Shepherds

Aspen Peak Shepherds was formed in 2020, when we bought our first German Shepherd puppy for showing and breeding. To explain, I have to tell a story about how our love for the breed and breeding came about.

I (Catherine Rudy) started breeding Minuet cats in 2015, with my husband being my right-hand man but not really delving too much into the intricacies of cat associations and genetics like I had. What he learned was through absorption from me. My cattery is called Tiny Lions Napoleons ( and I went all in with the breed, even becoming a member of the breed committee with TICA (The International Cat Association). I show my cats and have taken them to the highest titles they can achieve.

My husband watched proudly from the background. He was always by my side in raising our cats, hand-feeding kittens small enough to fit in the palm of a hand. However, he always felt he was apart from the cat world because he was a dog person. He wanted to do what I was doing with my cats with a dog breed he has always loved, the German Shepherd Dog. He kept his peace until after years of breeding cars, he finally posed a question: Would I be willing to help him breed German Shepherd Dogs.  

I was startled by his question, not so much that he wanted to move into the dog world, but that he would want to take on an endeavor for himself. In truth, several years ago, we raised Jack Russell Terriers, but our growing human family and work constraints put a kibosh on that after a while. It wasn’t until we both retired and our family grew up and moved out that I started raising cats. Now, Scott, my husband, wanted something for himself. He had watched me go through the horrible growing pains of raising kittens of a minority breed, was my rock when I was ready to quit, and knew all the ups and downs of breeding, and he said he was ready to take on a project of his own.  Our own.  

We agreed to explore breeding dogs again, even while I continued with my cats, only after we did a lot of research in the dog breeding world. In truth, we already had a lot of “breeding” knowledge and respect for doing it right, but we wanted to learn the intricacies of the dog world. Things had changed in the many years since we had raised Jack Russell Terriers. Since I am the one who does all the intellectual research, I started reading books on German Shepherds, delving into German Shepherd sites, and making contact with the breeder who would eventually agree to mentor me with our first dog. It took a lot of work and my history with my cattery showed that I was worth the risk with a breeding dog.

My husband found Julie and Luis Taborda in Florida through some old work contacts and I spent a lot of time speaking with Julie and earning her trust. I explained what we wanted to do with developing our own kennel with championship German Shepherds and promised to show her dog before even breeding.  Julie is an amazing breeder and runs Vom Fustenhund Kennels.  She grilled me and I appreciated that. I expected nothing less from someone who values her dogs and her lines. Eventually, Julie agreed to let my husband and I get one of her dogs, but it had to be a dog worthy of passing on genetic material–a show quality dog.

We got WDR Lakota Aspen Peak Vom Fustenhund from Julie in September 2020, our first German Shepherd Dog as a 9 week old puppy. She came from exceedingly impressive lines, with her sire being Grand Champion TRG’s Johnny Walker Red V Luzak, and her dam being Grand Champion Wonderland’s Mia Hamm FDC CGC ATT.  We were thrilled and couldn’t wait to have Lakota grow up with us. It was going to be a long wait for our first litter from her–two years to get her OFA certifications–but in that time, we would train and show Lakota, as well as have her be a part of our family. Breeding correctly takes a lot of time and patience, and we were definitely willing to do this.  

The one thing we were not prepared for was how energetic a German Shepherd puppy can be. From day one, we had her formally entered in puppy classes, obedience and conformation classes, and going to weekly dog socialization sessions. Then she went into agility training, took swimming lessons, and more and  more conformation classes. We took her to shows both in Colorado and outside the state. Lakota had tons of energy and needed constant work to keep her mentally engaged. We kept looking for her on/off switch but couldn’t find it.  It wasn’t until Lakota was around 10 months old that she started to reel herself in, her puppy energy finally tapering off somewhat.  Not completely, of course, but reaching manageable levels.  This is when her intelligence started to shine through. All that puppy nonsense started to transform into intelligence. It was amazing to see such a change in our beautiful, regal German Shepherd dog.

So for two years, we worked with Lakota, not even thinking about puppies from her other than getting her DNA checked through Optimal Selection to check out her genetic soundness. She passed with flying colors and that was put in her file for later. At 2 years old, she would get her OFAs done on her eyes, hips, and elbows, and this would determine whether she was structurally sound for breeding quality puppies. In the meantime, Lakota was our beloved German Shepherd Dog. She bonded well with my rescue shepherd/husky mix, Kodiak, and Jenny, our rescue long-haired chihuahua mix. She even got along with our six cats, my championship Minuet cats who also have the run of the house. In fact, Lexie, my International Winning, Breed Winner Supreme Grand Champion Minuet has fallen in love with Lakota and will often snuggle up with her.    

Our Kennel in Brief:

Aspen Peak Shepherds is run by Catherine and Bryan Rudy of Divide, Colorado, in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. It is dedicated to producing pure-bred, champion line German Shepherds that can pass along the desirable traits found in this loyal, majestic breed.

It is the intention of Aspen Peak Shepherds to promote the German Shepherd Dog as an ever-improving, healthy breed by breeding only high-quality dogs that have passed their health certifications and proven clear of genetic diseases tested through DNA by Wisdom Health, Optimal Selection.

Aspen Peak Shepherds is my husband’s name for our kennel and we have made a commitment to breed only quality German Shepherd Dogs with championship backgrounds and proven health. I will continue to learn under the mentorship of Julie Taborda to ensure that the best lines are bred to our dog(s) and raise our puppies in the house, among the family, in the best circumstances, and given the best care and love that we have to offer. We hope you will contact us to learn more about our dogs when considering a German Shepherd to add to your family.

Tiny Lions Lexie snuggling unabashedly in Aspen Peak Lakota’s bed.  Lakota wouldn’t dare tell her otherwise.