www.trainedgermanshepherdsforsale.com                                                          www.zwingervonhimmeltrainedgermanshepherds.com/

Zwinger Von Himmel Reviews


HIGH QUALITY WEST GERMAN WORKING LINE SABLE FEMALE PUP, TOP TITLED PROVEN BLOODLINES, Exceptional Temperament! Serious Inquiries Please Contact Us By Phone 207 843 5405 For Our Current and Available West German Shepherd Puppies.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Update
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2022 11:14:40 -0800
From: Nick Simons [email protected]
To: [email protected]

Hey Roger,

"My wife and I had a wonderful experience working with Roger. We have three young kids and live an active lifestyle. Roger ensured we would get a great match, and our puppy has proven to be just that. Roger was very helpful and responsive to any questions we had and explained the process thoroughly. It's evident that Roger is extremely experienced and passionate about the breed. Our puppy is very smart, healthy, and beautiful. We would purchase from Roger again."


Nick and Tierra

Also, a few update pics: Murphie came to the office with me today-

Simons Resting Simons Sale


-------- Original Message --------

Hi Roger,

I hope this note finds you well. My sincerest apologies for the delay in getting back to you since Bruno arrived and became part of my family. Bruno is so wonderful and immediately blended in. As soon as I picked him up at the airport, I let him out of his kennel to meet him, give him a snack and some water after his long journey from Germany. He was so grateful and bonded with me instantaneously. Although you might not want to hear this, I did let him ride inside my truck with me on the short journey home as I felt the Texas heat was a bit much for him. We spent the first 3 to 4 days near the house simply getting to know each other. He never left my side since we met at the airport.

From the start my intention was to involve Bruno in everything I do, as I am relatively active. Bruno enjoys going on long walks, jogs, camping, fishing, road trips and hosting barbecues at the house. He is very good with people, not only at home but also in public. He has been to the pub with me several times and is a very well-behaved gentleman. He never leaves my side. I cannot tell you how many times I am approached to be told how beautiful he is and asked if they can pet Bruno.

At home Bruno is very aware of his surroundings and always keeps an eye out for me. Never leaves my side!

I must admit that when we first spoke and you detailed the process of getting one of your dogs, I was impressed. The fact that you took the time to understand exactly what I wanted and would take the necessary time to find what I was looking for was very professional. The entire process went seamless. Thus, why I have recently asked you to select another companion for me in the very near future. I am excited to hear back from you on your selection. I know it will be an excellent one.

Below are some photos of Bruno that I would like to share with you. I am still looking for the ones I took of us during our camping trip in South Texas and will send as soon as I do. Please feel free to share this as you desire.

For anyone that may be reading this and is in search for a top-quality GSD, look no further. Roger is the real deal. He will take his time, make a proper selection based on your needs and you will get what you are looking for. I certainly did! Thus, why I am soon to be a repeat customer.

Regards, Jack


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Luzifer
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2020 00:21:11 +0000
From: clement patti [email protected]
To: Roger Tortorella [email protected]

Dear Roger:

We are going into our third week with Luzifer and he is fantastic. I am not one for many words and can only say thank you for the wonderful new member of the family. We followed your advice upon his arrival at JFK and he became a member of our family instantly that night. He sleeps through the night and doesn't even wake us to eat! He has never had an accident in our house. He listens to commands impeccably inside the house and is getting even better each day outside. He is beautiful and every time we go for a walk someone compliments him. During our discussions we discussed the fact that we have a 10 year old, 5 lbs. Toy Poodle and were concerned. We also discussed, if you recall, that we previously had an American GSD who was violent and aggressive in behavior towards us. To be honest, when you told me it was about breeding and our dog would be different, I was a bit leery. Anyway, Luzifer is different- he is perfect and has lived up to our expectations. He leaves our Poodle alone and he does not even come close to "mouthing" us. As others have said, you are the best matchmaker. You should start a dating service! Thank you for everything. Please feel free to post this should anyone want a referral.

Clement S. Patti, Jr., Esq.


----- Forwarded message from J <[email protected]> -----

Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2016 20:16:33 +0000
From: J <[email protected]>
Reply-To: J <[email protected]>
Subject: Here are the contents of my referral
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>

Every word, punctuation, bold font, etc. is all from me, a client – Zonia
***READ THIS*** if you are leery or not sure what you want.


My name is Zonia & I did indeed purchase a “sable” shepherd from Roger.  I’ll start at the beginning because you will them totally understand a great deal about “WHY” you will never be sorry if you get a chance to purchase a shepherd from Roger.  Roger is not only very experienced in every aspect of the german shepherd, but he is also an extraordinary very wise man. 

First of all, I was not forced to write this, nor instructed on what to say, this is written from my own words and comes from the heart.  Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted a german shepherd, mostly because I learned at a very young age how intelligent (#1) this breed is. Long story short, there were three occasions in my life, where I was seriously considering on getting a german shepherd and actually bought the “Monks” book on how to raise german shepherds back when I was in my 30’s.  It just never seemed to be the right time, as through the years we chose to have cats, but I never gave up on the idea to have a german shepherd someday.  Fast forward, near 60 years old now, recent marriage to a man who had 4 german shepherds in his life & that he sled trained.  We are currently raising goats and chickens and down to one cat AND moving to Missouri to retire.  Yes, time now for MY dream to come true…MY GERMAN SHEPERD!

I’ve ran my own successful corporation & other businesses and have many professional jobs and am also an avid researcher…so…I dug into many avenues to find a german shepherd, from adopting, rescue, puppy mills (not wanting to go this way at all but just checking things out )and to where I’ve researched many times before in the past…and that is, “professionally trained and raised purebred german shepherds.   It was an easy decision after the researching as I really didn’t want to start with a puppy after all, too much work and time that I really didn’t have, so with that being said, I figured on getting a german shepherd that had some additional protection training (I was a correctional officer also so I was fascinated with K-9’s that would assist us when needed).   So I had saved the Zwinger Von Himmel site to come back to after I narrowed it down.  Now, let me just say, that I wasn’t sold on the idea that there were no prices listed AND there were so many of the german shepherd dogs pictures but they were all sold.  But I did appreciate that there was so much information on the breed, etc, that it impressed me, so I had to call.  After talking with Roger for a while, I liked his tone, his professionalism, his wisdom, but I still needed to know before I sent off that large sum of money if I was really going to get a “great” dog.  So, I did some more research  and found some other clients who had not only purchased dogs from Roger, but were training them further for K-9 units, Wounded Warrior projects and such, etc. (you can search the web yourself – I used the ZwingerVonHimmel) and contacted them.  I didn’t inform them that I had talked to Roger, I just wanted to get information from them and see what they had available and how happy they were with the dogs they received from Germany.  Well, I only had to call one of Roger’s clients and was so thrilled to hear how awesomely happy they were with the dogs they had purchased (5) from Roger.  That’s all I needed to hear, so I contacted Roger for the go ahead to FINALLY get the shepherd that I’ve always wanted. 

***Here comes the important part…YOU MUST just “trust” Roger and “know” that he will pick the right dog for you!!!  He has an innate ability that comes from his passion and the love he attains for this awesome breed.  He has experience way beyond what most people can even comprehend and I not even sure if he is totally 100% aware of it.  I love that this man, cares so deeply about EVERY single dog that he gives as a gift to YOU!  Every client must meet his expectations or YOU WILL NOT GET ONE FROM HIM!  Thank God/Creator I say!  I wouldn’t want to receive a dog from anyone who doesn’t genuinely care and just does it for the money.  I also learned how much the trainer’s really care for each one of these shepherds and did receive confirmation and proof of such.

***NOW – about his dogs*** - I cannot describe completely or fully the total awesomeness of the 2 year old we received.  It brings tears to my eyes to know that I have been so blessed with such an wonderful, extraordinary, unbelievable temperament, masterful agility, well-mannered and easily manageable, very social, not hyper, astute sable german shepherd named Wasi.  His marking are unbelievable.  He never bothered nor went after our chickens from day one and loves to chase/play with the goats and round them up.  Without a doubt, it’s like he has been with us since a puppy and fit right in almost immediately!  It is SO SO SO worth it, every penny, to receive a dog that IS “properly” trained!  There is NO WAY a person can train their own puppy to become what this majestic 2 year old german shepherd is.  This referral is being written after having Wasi for way over a month and the only reason for the delay was the move that hindered the time I wanted to spend on writing this referral.    To this day, Wasi still amazes me…I can’t say enough…I can hardly still believe it.  What a Divine blessing indeed!  You will not be disappointed with the gift you receive : )

I’ve left my contact information with Roger to pass along if anyone should wish to contact me for any additional information. 
Kind regards,


To: Roger Tortorella
From: Michael Gordon
Re: Five-Month-Old Male German Shepard Pup
[email protected]

We have owned German Shepard dogs for over 30 years and will not own any other breed. I would venture to say, I thought myself a bit of an expert, until I landed on the Zwinger Von Himmel site. The photos of the German Shepard dogs, and my subsequent conversation with Roger instinctively told I have to attain a dog from Zwinger Von Himmel. Roger listened to me quite carefully, asked questions about the family our experience with German Shepard's and based on said conversation sent me photos of a red & black 5-month-old pup, the pup was absolutely amazing. I immediately agreed to purchase the pup and when he arrived, WOW! The pup's temperament is remarkable, great with kids (we have 2 small children), obedient and super drive!!
Within two weeks time, I called Roger and asked if he could offer us another pup, I have since purchased a 3.5 month male pup, haven't seen him yet, but the photos Roger provided demonstrate a German Shepard with the exact characteristics we were looking for.
I would strongly recommend Zwinger Von Himmel to my friends and family members. Roger is always available to answer tough questions and silly ones as well. A testament to his belief in his German Shepard's Dogs and devotion to helping clients like me help the pups adjust to their new homes.

Michael Gordon


Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2013 09:49:46 -0700
From: [email protected]
Reply-To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: IMG_5887.jpeg
To: [email protected]

Dear Roger and Dorothy,
We just wanted to send you a progress report on the pup we purchased from your kennel. Nick has been a real joy to our family. I have fostered and owned several German Shepherd dogs and this was the first time we decided to purchase a world class pup. I consider myself a seasoned pet home with the breed but wanted to pursue owning a dog that I picked out for extensive training on all levels. I researched several breeders across the country and found your program to be not only exceptional but also an excellent resource in the breed. You did not pressure us in buying just a dog but educated us on what your kennel and training program has accomplished. You not only answered all our questions thoroughly and with great patience, but you understood our home and experience and found the perfect dog for us.....Nicholas. Not only is he a beautiful dog but he is so smart it is intimidating!
Thank you again for providing us with this wonderful pup and your continued support ( no matter what time of day or concern we might have ) and guidance with Nick. When we decide to purchase another German Shepherd I have no hesitation in putting our trust in you and your kennel.

Morris and Sharon


Date: Thu, 9 May 2013 08:29:21 -0500
From: Sharilyn Glover [email protected]
Reply-To: Sharilyn Glover [email protected]
Subject: Re: Jolene
To: [email protected]

Hi Roger,

I just wanted to send you a formal note of appreciation in regards to your work in assisting Mike and I with finding our new German Shepherd puppy "Jolene". She is exactly what we needed and exactly what you said she would be. Jolene is the perfect match for "Blitz", our 110 pound, male, German Shepherd. When we describe Blitz's personality we like to say that Blitz "IS" his name. Consequently, we really needed a strong minded female that was not going to let Mr. Blitz bully her. After you listened to us describe our lifestyle, environment and Blitz you told us that you knew the exact dog that would be right for us (and Blitz). You nailed it! Jolene is the tough cookie that Blitz needed. She's beautiful, spunky, extremely intelligent and very protective. We love her! And so does Blitz. Thanks again for all of your patience and your guidance. We truly appreciate you.
Sharilyn Glover
New Orleans, LA


Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 18:58:49 -0700
From: Phil Rosenbaum
Reply-To: Phil Rosenbaum
To: [email protected]

Hi Roger,
Kondor is an incredible dog. No complaints. The number of compliments he gets on his good looks is truly unbelievable.

He's done great in the car and in new environments (we're currently midway through a 3 week road trip through Vegas and California).
He has also become completely dialed in to me as his master which has been very rewarding to see over the past four months.
I'm not quite ready for another one, but the thought has crossed my mind...
Thanks again.


From: Deb Osmond
Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2012 4:38 PM
To: 'Don Osmond'
Subject: Susi


Sorry for the delay in responding.

Sophie is doing very well. We couldn't imagine life without her. She eats very well and gets along with our smaller dog and cat. Sophie is the sweetest young lady. She has her kennel in the bedroom but seldom uses it. We put her bed near our chairs in the bedroom and that's where she's usually at. If we leave and walk into another room she'll follow us but after she checks the room out she'll go back to the bedroom and lie down on her bed.

She knows all her commands and obeys very well. We work with her daily so she doesn't forget anything. Though she loves people and going outside to play she lives in the house. She loves riding in the car and sits on her bed in the back of the SUV and just watches people go by when we stop.

We searched for over a year for the right shepherd and I think we all agree that the wait was worth it. She is the perfect dog for us; loving, obedient, alert and loyal.

We were going to send you pictures from Halloween but Sophie wasn't sure about the Halloween decorations. We go all out in decorating for the fall holidays. The big turkey for Thanksgiving was ok but we wanted to wait to send you Christmas pictures. After our daughter's riding lesson today we finally got the camera and took some pictures.

Please don't worry about Sophie. She's very healthy and happy. We absolutely adore her and if you ever come through Charlotte, NC let us know.

Happy Holidays,
Don and Deb


Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2012 09:54:49 -0700
From: Lori Kinkade
Subject: RE: Rapi
To: [email protected]
Hi Roger,

Rapi is our families second Von Himmel German Shepherd. She is (not to brag) the most beautiful dog in the world. But what is even more incredible about her is her brains and personality. With three children in a rural area in Maine we needed a watch dog and watch dog she is. She thinks our children are her puppies and keeps watch over all of them like a diligent mother. When there was a rash of break-ins in our neighborhood, I slept well at night and never worried about our house when we weren't at home. She is better than any alarm system – no thief could ever get past our girl! But what makes her even more amazing is that she has the brains and temperment to know who is a threat and who is a friend. Alot of people when they first see her are terrified and I have to explain that she is no fear biter - (I actually want to say she is smarter than most people- but keep that thought to myself!)

We had spoken to several breeders before we luckily called Roger. From the first conversation, I knew he was the person we had to work with. His passion and knowledge for the breed was astounding. When we first met he and Dorothy and their amazing dogs, we understood what he meant by "the difference is obvious". Our children now look at other German Shepherds not Von Himmel quality and say "those aren't German Shepherds – those are American Shepherds!"

The work that Roger and his Von Himmel team is inspiring. With their knowledge and care plus years of experience they have literally created the perfect bloodline of German Shepherds. Anyone who loves the breed would be LUCKY to have a Von Himmel German Shepherd.


Lori Kinkade
Belle Fête Events and Catering
35 Noble Street
Brunswick, Maine 04011


August 29, 2012

Dear Roger,

I am sorry it took some time to write this letter of appreciation for selling us two of the best dogs we ever owned. First, we got Castro. He was about one year of age when you shipped him to us from Germany. Since day one, he has been loyal, caring and very aware of his responsibilities guarding our acre-plus house here in Miami. We trust Castro with small children and everyone in the neighborhood loves him and respects him. Our female GS, Issy, died early this year and we decided to buy another GS from you.

We went for a puppy and you advised us to get BONO. He came from Germany as well at the age of two months. At first he was just a big ball of hair, but you could tell he had a personality. Well, BONO is now 5 months, he is almost as big as Castro and we SIMPLY LOVE HIM. My wife adores him because he is really a troublemaker, and he is always looking for ways to call attention. Roger, we are a very private family and our dogs are really part of us. I sincerely thank you for being honest, professional and especially cooperative in getting our dogs for us. We will retire to our summer home in Vermont in 5 years and the first thing I will do is to call you to get one more dog from you. I know you will deliver the best dog for our needs and if you ever retire please make sure whoever gets your business continues to treat people with dignity.

THANK YOU for being there for us and please post this on your website.

Mario M. Lovo, Esq.


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2012 19:02:15 -0400
From: Bill
Reply-To: Bill
Subject: Tyr & Hild
To: [email protected]

Hello, Roger,

We're delighted with the dogs that you've chosen for us. Tyr, at two years old, is the Ideal male Working-line Shepherd. And Hild, who turned six months last Friday, is his female counterpart—aggressive and confident, with uncanny intelligence, rock-solid nerve and abundant affection. Our vet commented that they are both Superior to the other Shepherds that he sees in his practice.

When we brought Hild home, Tyr accepted her at once, and they've since been inseparable. Watching them play isn't for the faint of heart; however, once Tyr makes it clear that he's the older, bigger, and stronger dog, he enjoys letting Hild chase him and try to assert herself. They also spend a good deal of time keeping us safe from squirrels.

Roger, Thank You for the care that you took—Your Knowledge and Attention to Detail—in determining what we wanted in Working-line Shepherds. In our eyes, Tyr is Magnificent. And we couldn't be happier with your more recent effort to select Hild, The Perfect female companion for Tyr.

We'll send pictures soon. Don't hesitate to use us as references.

Bill & Barbara Cochran
(207) 794-3061


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Thur, 6 Sept 2012

Dear Roger,

Thanks for taking the time to be so personable and picking a great dog for our family. Ever since we picked our GSD from the airport, we have been pleased. It was a long ride from the airport to home. What normally would have been a 45 minute ride became a nearly two hour ride due to rush hour traffic in the Washington metropolitan area, but Prince took it like a champ by alternating sleeping in my lap and the cargo section of the SUV.

Prince is now close to six months old and he loves to travel. We live in Washington, DC. Prince has been to farms in North Carolina and Canada. He travels well and while on the farms he loved running in the wide open space. Often while we are walking him or just out and about, people take notice and ask where we got him. Even law enforcement and veterans stop to enquire about Prince. One veteran said Prince reminded him of the GSD who saved his life more than one time in Vietnam. Many people comment on his show stance and the quality of this dog based on his appearance. Prince is lovable, strong and playful. He has been a source of pride and joy for all of us. I have taught him some basic commands which he quickly learned. We will soon go through formal obedience training with the whole family and I can't wait to see how Prince will excel.

Roger, you have been there for us every step of the way. From questions about our veterinarian, how to discipline, food and teething, you have given me excellent advice. Giving Prince a marrow bone to help with his teething was one of your best tips! This indeed satisfies his need to chew and keeps him engaged for hours. Being there for me for the life of my GSD, Prince is a true testament to your professionalism, confidence and love for your dogs. Thank you for your continued help and knowledgeable advice.

Best regards,
Denise Fleet


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 22:36:54 +0000
From: John Pottinger
Reply-To: John Pottinger
Subject: RE: Zwinger von Himmel
To: [email protected]


We have been very happy with our beloved GSD. We had to drive several hours to get him, and we loved him from the first. He was obviously tired from an intercontinental flight, but when he saw me he put his eight week pay against the cage grate to say hello, and he has been one of our family since. We have five children from age 15 to 5, and he has bonded with all of them.

"Wolfgang" has been fearless from the very start. I have a lesser quality GSD whom we love dearly, but the difference in pedigree is dramatic. For example, although I have convinced Wolfgang to give me some space when running a chain saw, he was absolutely willing to go after my running chain saw and we had to put him in the house out of fear he would bite the running blade. Thunder that would send my other GSD "Misty" into tremors Wolfagang does not seem to even notice.

There was time when he was so seemingly oblivious to loud noices I feared he was hard of hearing! He learns very quickly. He learned how to fetch and retrieve in two short lessons and now gets very energetic whenever he sees me pick up a ball. At seven months, the sound of his gallop and drive on the ball is striking. When we throw it, I can't help but marvel at the drive he has. When engage in this activity, his attitude is "no treats, --only ball--no treats --only ball" --very little will take him off task.

He is becoming more of a guard dog at eight months. We had an alarm repair technician over this week (only my wife and kids were home) Wofly was very protective and stayed very focused on my wife and this man. He reached suddenly into his pocket and Wolfy "protested severely." He did not like that screwdriver--at all. He asked if Wolfy was a trained guard dog. Wolfy not had one iota of training in this regard other than an occasional "good boy" when he alerts on unusal happenings. Even at this age, his bark sounds like serious business. I have friends who have dogs who are less focused and attentive, and I do not notice how good our Wolfy really is until I see them struggling to get their dogs to obey.

Wolfy is at a point were he is really maturing rapidly. We look forward to all the ways he continues to come into his own. I would not hesitate to recommend Zwinger von Himmel to anybody wanting a high quality GSD.

John from Kentucky


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 14:49:42 -0400
From: Edward Leon
Reply-To: Edward Leon
Subject: Update and photos Uraz
To: [email protected]

Hi Roger,

Please forgive my lack of expertise with a camera but the attached pictures, taken when he was seven months old (back yard in winter) and eight months (soccer field), look okay to me. Let me know if you need any more.

We are absolutely in love with this guy. He is a balanced, extremely friendly, never aggressive and absolutely the most well adjusted dog we have had. He loves kids, adults and most dogs. As you suggested, we have him out every day in public places (rain, snow or shine) - the beach, playgrounds etc., where he meets people and fellow canines. Also, and fortunately, he quickly adjusted to living with a cat. He seems to love the stream of complements and attention he receives. Several people asked if he was imported. It seems there are many people who are knowledgeable concerning German Shepherds.

On his daily outings, Uraz has an instinctive knowledge of which dogs to ignore and which ones to approach for play. He is relaxed around the house but he is always ready to have fun. He is already learning two languages - German and English. Also, he is studying the Frisbee. He adores long walks and playing with the chuck-it. The training is still a lot of play plus basic commands. Sit, stay, wait come, heel and, even, "high five." Kids love the last one.

Thanks for picking out the perfect puppy for us.

Ed Leon


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 04:57:57 -0400
From: Marisa
Reply-To: Marisa
Subject: Hello Roger!
To: [email protected]

Hey Roger,

I'm sorry it's taken so long to get back with you I have had a lot going on with my daughter and her surgery. Now, on to Ruger. He is honestly the BEST dog I have ever had!!!!

I have him in obedience and shutzhund training and he excels in everything. In fact both trainers have offered to steal him from me lol. I take him with me just about everywhere and he does so well with people and seems to be fearless. The ONLY time I have seen him switch into aggressive mode was when he just turned four months old and a man I had arrested previously approached me when I was walking with my daughter. I couldn't have been more happy with him, obviously he knew that man was no good and was protecting his family even as a puppy!!

I have to tell you Roger you picked the perfect dog for me just like you promised. While he is still in his puppy stage, loves to play and excels with his drive on the field, he is such a good family dog! My three year old lays on him, watches tv with him and feeds him. He is so smart and intuitive its just amazing and while he is a natural at bite work he is so gentle with Makenna. In fact it's hilarious to watch them together. She will take his food bowl away and make him sit or down then give him his food piece by piece after he performs a trick each time.

This pup is so much a part of my family now and I just want to thank you. I have had such bad experiences in the past with fear aggressive and unconfident animals I seriously considered not getting another one. I will try and send more pics and updates now that things have slowed down. Please use me for a reference to anyone who needs one!

Thank you Roger! Oh..... And thank you for all the return calls and hours upon hours of answering questions and advice.



July 16, 2012

Dear Roger,

My family and I wanted to thank you so much for all your help with selecting a dog that was the right fit for our family. Your knowledge of German Shepherds is exceptional!

Your dogs in particular are of the highest quality. You took the time in several phone calls to explain the breed, the difference in German Shepherds from the states as compared to yours (which there is no comparison!) and answered every question we had in great detail.

Your website has a tremendous amount of information and explains the dog's training at each level.

Abbie is the best fit! She is wonderful and loves our 2 year old and 11 month old! Most of all she is very protective of the boys and of me! That is exactly what we were looking for. She also is playful, energetic, and very skilled athletically.

I also want to thank you for the constant support. We have had several questions since we got Abbie and you have, again, taken the time to call and discuss and train us on how to be good owners!! Abbie didnt need help......we did!

Thanks so very much!
Jason and Shannon Brown


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2012 12:47:57 -0500
From: Barbara Cochran
Reply-To: Barbara Cochran
Subject: Pup
To: [email protected]

Hello Roger,

Thanks for the Christmas card—our best wishes to you and Dorothy for the new year.

Tyr continues to be an affectionate but rough and tumble dog. His drive, courage, athleticism, and loyalty appear to us to be off the charts. We couldn't be happier with him. Schutzhund training may be in his future beginning this summer.

We've always wanted to have two dogs. After careful consideration, we've determined that now is a good time to get a (female) companion for Tyr. Essentially, we want Tyr's female equivalent—a pink-papered working-line German import with similar characteristics.

For this to work for us, we couldn't pick up a pup before mid-spring. We're in no particular hurry, but we do want to get a companion for Tyr before there is too much of an age difference. Thanks,

Bill and Barbara Cochran


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Sat, 10 Sept 2011 12:12:45 -0400
From: Cheryl Fisher
Reply-To: Cheryl Fisher
Subject: Pedigree Mailed Today
To: [email protected]

Hi Roger,

I have just taken some photos of Layla and thought I would send them to you.

She is doing great! We have begun some basic obedience training and she is, of course, obsessive about learning. She is curious about how everything works.

I just want to thank you, Roger for everything. You have been extremely reliable and have made what I thought would be a very complex transaction feel easy and seamless (from my first phone call with 1,000 questions, through to having sent her pedigree to me, you have delivered on everything). I appreciate your straightforward honesty AND cannot express how awesome it is to continue to have such a resource of information regarding these beautiful dogs. You have been truly professional and I 'd like to one day, come up to Maine to personally meet you and have a tour of your operation. I wish you success and look forward to the day that I call you for another male to add to our family of German Shepherd Dogs!

Thanks much!
Cheryl Fisher


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 22:41:40 +0000
From: [email protected]
Reply-To: [email protected]
Subject: Sassi recent photos
To: [email protected]

Hello Roger,

Here are some recent photos of Sassi, she is amazing, beautiful, intelligent, fearless and far exceeds any expectations I could have had.It is obvious to us, that great care went into the breeding process. She is in extremely well breed in regard to muscle structure and temperment. I would strongly recommend your service to anyone looking for a exceptional German Shepherd. She is the best.

Kim Perrotta


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2011 19:14:16 -0800
From: Pam Ehlers
Reply-To: Pam Ehlers
Subject: My Beautiful Girl Hattie
To: [email protected]

Hi Roger,

Just a Thank You for my beautiful baby girl Hattie. She is GREAT!!!!! She is very smart and everywhere we go somebody wants to take her home. Thank you so much she is exactly what I asked for beautiful color, ALOT of drive and very smart.

Thanks again Pam and Hattie.


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 10:31:05 -0400
Subject: Quenn
To: [email protected]

Hello Roger and Dorothy

We would like to thank you for all you have done for our family. We are so pleased with Quenn,he is a great addition to our home. Quenn is an Exceptional German Shepherd his high drive at home as well as at Schutzhund Training is second to none, what he has shown in a very short time shows the the quality of his lines an breeding. Roger you made the process of buying and shipping Quenn an easy process.He is fearless and very intelligent, his color and markings are what we were looking for. After only being here for six weeks you would think we had him from a puppy,we could never thank you and dorothy enough.



Hi Roger,

We just wanted to comment on our dealings with you and your team. It's a blessing to know there are people out there you can trust. We bought Nikita on faith and your word. You delivered exactly what you said you would. We told you what we were looking for in a dog and Nikita surpasses what we even imagined. She has nerves of steel and she's very smart. She is a quick learner and has excellent drive.

Thank you so much for your honesty in delivering a GREAT dog. We look forward to getting our next dog from you soon. Please feel free to use us as a reference 540-479-9196.

Rick and Dawn Clark from Fredericksburg, Virginia


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2011 17:25:39 -0800 (PST)
From: suzan Hein
Reply-To: suzan Hein
Subject: Phil
To: [email protected]

Dear Roger,

We have had Phil for 3 to 4 weeks now and he has been a real joy. He's a fantastic looking dog and we have received a lot of "good looking dog" comments when walking him to different places in town. We really enjoy his happy go lucky attitude and there is not doubt by his actions that he know he is ours and loves to be with us at all times.

We really appreciate your patience and professionalism in picking out the perfect German Shepherd for us. If we were to ever want another German Shepherd in the future you will most definitely be hearing from us.

Thanks again for everything

Eric & Suzan Hein
Helena, Montana
[email protected]


Dear Roger & Dorothy,

Subject: Our Visit

We enjoyed our visit and meeting you both in person. It was over a 1,000 mile drive and well worth it. After visiting breeders and importers in our local area, we did not feel confident, so we continued to do research until we found your program. Before contacting you, we contacted people who have purchased german shepherds from you. The people we spoke to were very, very pleased with the dogs you have placed with them. We spoke to a variety of people and they all said, you matched the dog to their needs. They also commented on, your detailed advice concerning training, care, continued contact and wanting to know how the dogs were doing. We found you and Dorothy to be down to earth people that care about the german shepherd breed and the homes that they go into.

It was exciting to watch you train and work with your female german shepherd, Fila. She worked with you, like she was one with you. We enjoyed walking the big trails on your land with you and your dogs after training demonstration.

Just wanted to send you this note to let you know, we appreciate the time you spent with us. Our search is over, we will be contacting you in the future.

John and Shannon


From: Sheryl Lee [email protected]
Date: 2008/05/10 Sat PM 03:08:47 CDT
To: [email protected]
Cc: Thomas J Lee [email protected]
Subject: Letter Correction

May 10, 2008

Dear Roger and Dorothy,

The pup is wonderful. Sophie is bright, beautiful, expressive, and loving. I can't tell you how grateful I am that you spent all those many hours talking with me while I was researching and making my ultimate decision. I talked to many breeders (priced both higher and lower) and did a lot of research, but the most helpful information I got was directly from you. I think the thing I found during this process was that while most breeders were interested in breeding out bad qualities, you are working with such good lines that you are breeding in good qualities.

There has obviously been a lot of work that has gone into this pup. She isn't the least bit timid. Dishwasher, washer, dryer, garbage disposal, hammer, gun shots out here in the country…not one of these things startled her. She allows me to search her entire body for ticks after coming in (as you know, we have one heck of a problem this year) while standing tall and still. Also, one fine testament to her temperament was her introduction to our young cat, Zoe. After a few barks and growls and less than 12 hours, they became the best of friends. Sharing a dish, toy, or rough-and-tumble doesn't bother either one of them. (No, the pup doesn't eat cat food; it's the other way around.) Sophie is playful, but backs off when the cat expresses any distress. In other words, she isn't "out for the kill."

And, she doesn't just look intelligent; after two short days she already knows the meaning of going "Out" and coming "In." She is very quickly getting the idea that "Sophie, Come!" brings a loving scratch behind the ear. She also shows signs of being a water lover. We have a small stream behind the house, and she is fascinated by the running water. She goes and stands "knee" deep without the slightest hesitation.

I am delighted and my heart soars as she spontaneously freezes in the classic German Shepherd pose. The only thing that pleases me more than knowing that you will be there for my "German Shepherd questions," is that I will spend a lifetime with a quality companion.

Sheryl Lee
Baldwin, Maine


To: Zwinger Von Himmel, World Class German Shepherd Breeder/Importer
Co: Roger Torterella

Hello Roger, I hope this letter finds you in good health,

I would like to take this opportunity to talk about my experiences with Zwinger Von Himmel and Roger Torterella. My wife and I had decided to bring a dog into our family and wanted to choose a breed that would be a good family pet an guardian. After looking over the numerous breeds and researching them we decided on the German Shepherd and wanted the best of the best which in my opinion would have to come from Germany. After three months of looking over different breeders we decided to call Zwinger Von Himmel, World Class German Shepherd Breeder/Importer. I called the number on the web site www.zwingervonhimmel.com and Roger answered the phone, I told him my name and where I was calling from, and explained to him that I was looking for a family pet as well as a dog that would be a good protector. We talked on the phone for about an hour about his dogs, organization, experience etc, I told Roger I was looking for a male and he told me about a dog named Nick which was about a year old and would be exactly what I was looking for, we finished up our conversation and I told him I would call him the next day on my decision. After my conversation with Roger I thought to myself, he must have a P.H.D in German Shepherd, and I knew this was the place to purchase a family pet from. I called Roger the next morning and told him I wanted Nick, he gave me the instructions for payment and once he received the transfer in a couple days he would call with the flight and terminal number for the Airport in Toronto. Two days later I received a call from roger with all the information regarding the flight and pick up time, I told roger I will call from the airport once I pick up Nick. One week later my wife and I are off to the Toronto airport to pick up Nick, we got to the cargo section of the Airport and there was the crate with our beautiful German Shepherd Nick. I opened the crate door an out he comes full of energy licking our faces ready to play, we took him over to the grass let him do his business stretch out his legs for about 45 minutes then walked him over to our SUV. My wife opened the rear hatch and he jumped in and laid down. I called Roger and thanked him for the dog and to let him know that everything went the way he said it would, we talked for a few more minutes and we headed home. When we go home our daughter come running out to see her new dog, Nick jumped out licked her face and they have been best buds since, The next day we were all by the pool sitting on the deck with Nick, our daughter jumped in the pool and Nick let out a yelp and went in after her swimming towards her, after ,we got them both out of the pool I held on to Nick while she jumped in the pool a couple times. Each time she jumped in Nick would try to go in after her again, once he figured out that she was ok he just sat at the edge of the pool watching her like a hawk. I called roger after that to let him know what had happened, and he says "that's their instinct" laughing a bit, I said you could never put a price on what Nick had just done, Over the next six months Nick continued to impress us every day he is a well trained and well mannered dog. After three months of having Nick I called a German Shepherd breeder who is about an hour away from us and told her that I have a German Shepherd that I got from Germany and wanted to further Nicks training with her, she was interested to see the dog and drove down to our house. As soon as she saw Nick she was stunned at how "finely tuned" he was , she asked to see the pedigree and the pink papers, after she read it over she says, you have the best of the best, I have never seen a dog as "high end" as yours, and she has been breeding German Shepherds for 20 years. Six months after having Nick he was so perfect in every way we decided to get another dog. I called Roger, he answered the phone and I said "Roger its Jason From Canada and I need another dog", he laughed for a bit and I told him I wanted a female that would be compatible for Nick, he said leave it with me for a couple days I will go over my files on the female dogs and call my trainers in Germany and well will get the perfect match for Nick. Two days later Roger called back and said "we have your perfect match her name is Dana she is 8 months old", I looked at the pictures of her and said ill take her, the money is on its way. Two days later Roger called with the flight information and a week later we drove to Toronto and picked her up, everything worked as smoothly as it had for Nick. Dana is as much perfect as Nick she settled into our family very quickly and continues to impress us every day just like Nick.

Thank you Roger for placing such two beautiful German Shepherds in our family, and again, thank you for all you help and advice when I would call you when I had questions regarding our dogs.

In Peace, Jason and Tara, Ontario Canada
Thanks Again Roger


Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2010 21:40:35 -0400
From: Bill
Reply-To: Bill
Subject: Tyr
To: [email protected]

Hi Roger,

Tyr at fourteen weeks continues to amaze. He's extremely curious and affectionate. When Tyr is in public with us, he's drawn to other people and wants to investigate loud noises. Recently, I took him to a road construction site to see how he would react to large, rumbling machinery. He couldn't get enough of a bucket loader and wanted to follow it as it pulled away. When he hears thunder, a chain saw, or a brush cutter, his first reaction is to investigate.

Tyr is exhibiting an abundance of the working-line traits that we prize. His nerve is rock solid. And he's fearless. Within the first 24 hours of being in our house and at nine weeks of age, he launched himself at our other Shepherd, a large adult male, snatching a Nylabone from his mouth. When our adult Shepherd approaches Tyr barking and growling, Tyr always charges forward, also barking. It's all a big game (closely monitored by us) that Tyr sometimes instigates. Outside, when they tussle over a stick or a ball, Tyr is very aggressive and doesn't seem to notice that Zephyr is several times his size and is no shrinking violet himself.

Tyr has drive to spare. Often, he'll pick up a toy and repeatedly shake it, Terrier-like, for ten minutes at a time. During walks in the woods, he often stops and stares intently, lifting his front leg off the ground and bending it at the joint in the arousal position.

Tyr also shows signs of being an excellent athlete. I've never seen a Shepherd puppy as fast and as quick. He loves to leap (which we try to limit at his age) at almost anything.

Our vet, his techs, and people we meet as we socialize Tyr all comment on his conformation and friendly disposition. Tyr appears to have great potential.

We couldn't have asked for a better puppy.
Thanks again,
Bill & Barbara Cochran


Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 00:54:07 +0530
From: Viji Krishnan
Reply-To: Viji Krishnan
Subject: Shorty
To: [email protected]

Dear Roger,

Greetings from India! It has been about five weeks since Shorty came over to India and it has been such an experience. He is getting acclimatised to the weather, all the different sounds and scores of people he meets on his daily walks. But everywhere he goes he gets compliments like "oh what a handsome dog", or "he is so well behaved". And Shorty offcourse laps it all up. In this short span of time, Shorty has worked his way into all our hearts. He is such a wonderful guy ( I don't like to call him a dog), is sooo smart, a little too smart, because he knows how to handle everyone at home. Within a couple of days of his arrival he figured out I was Mom and Gopi was Dad. Then he figured all the staff in the house. He has 2 fulltime caretakers that are there for him, but if I am home he ignores both of them completely, oh what attitude you should see!. But the minute I leave home he is constantly inviting the 2 boys to play. So his caretakers say he is a completely different puppy when I am not around. So I say, he is one smart cookie who knows to take advantage of every situation. Well enough of boasting about my new baby.

Thank you for all your efforts, help and guidance in importing Shorty to India. I really appreciate the patience from you and your team regarding the several documents needed to import Shorty to India. The only thing I would do different the next time around when I import my female is personally pick her up in Germany. Shorty was not released by customs for almost an hour after he had landed and I think I was more traumatised than him. This was after the fact that I had a clearing agent at this end take care of paperwork. I think you should advice anyone from India wanting to import a dog to just pick it up in Germany personally.

I will confirm in a day or two when I am sending Shorty over for his titles and Sch training.

Thank you for your continued support and advice everytime I call you about Shorty. I really appreciate the fact that you have been available on phone even on Sundays. That shows the great committment you have to these wonderful dogs you breed and place in homes like mine. This is the first time I have brought a dog home without having seen him first, but I trusted you from the first time I spoke to you and you have indeed placed a gem with us. Thank you so much.

Warm Regards,
Viji Krishnan


Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 21:26:19 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: my experiences with von Himmel
To: [email protected]

Dear Roger and Dorothy,

I wanted to write you some lines regarding my doing business with Zwinger von Himmel. First of all, Roger does business in a professional manner from start to finish. From my first phone conversation with him I could tell that he knows German Shepherds very thoroughly. He was willing to discuss them at length. His dogs and the lines he uses are absolutely first class. He is a perfectionist in a very positive way. His word is his bond. He taught me that quality does not cost. Instead, it pays.

I have purchased four dogs from him. The first two are puppies: the Dux puppy and the Ustinov puppy. These two puppies are maturing nicely and are beautiful dogs. I have bought Tango, a one year old male who is being trained for Schutzhund in Germany, with Roger's professional team of trainers. I have also purchased Picasso, a three year old male, who has been titled in every way possible. He is such a competent dog in competition. He lives with me in my home and he is a wonderful pet. He will be used for stud service here in the United States. He is a noble dog without any vices. It is such a pleasure owning him. He is a dog with silent greatness. I consider it a privilege owning a von Himmel dog, because Roger screens his buyers carefully and wants a continued connection with the dogs he sells, long after the purchase.

I have been treated very well by Roger, Dorothy and von Himmel. I am very happy and appreciative of the experiences dealing with von Himmel; I would recommend them.

Paul Klopfenstein
307 East Dooley St.
Downs, IL 61736


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2010 13:08:36 -0400
From: Bud Lee Electric
Reply-To: Bud Lee Electric
Subject: Reference Letter
To: Roger and Dorothy

Dear Roger and Dorothy: I want to thank you for your knowledgeable advice and for placing such an intelligent, beautiful, and intuitive puppy with our family. I truly believe that Zwinger Von Himmel breeds the very finest German shepherd dogs.

Buster has shown his intelligence since the day we brought him home. He was so easily housebroken. He comes to us and barks to let us know when he needs to go outside. He has blended in with our family of three children, six cats and one elderly golden retriever. At first, Buster was very curious about the cats and always wanted to play with them, but he was always gentle with them even when they were not happy to see him. Buster's temperament around children far exceeds my expectations.

Buster is six months old now and is growing more beautiful, mature, and graceful with each passing month. He loves to play fetch in the yard and is especially fond of the frisbee. He has incredible energy and drive, yet is such a well-mannered dog in the house. It is amazing to me that while I am playing fetch with him he does not get distracted from the task at hand. If there are cars driving up the driveway while he is playing fetch with me, he does not deviate from retrieving the ball. I remember my golden retriever as a puppy, and his actions surely would not have resembled that of Busters. We often dispense ice from the refrigerator and at the tender age of just three months old, Buster would run to the fridge and sit in front of it hoping to get a piece of ice. On a few occasions, he picked up his bowl and brought it over to set it in front of the fridge. At 3-4 months old he learned to sit, shake, lie down and sit up. As I am only an amateur dog enthusiast, this is a true testament to the quality and extreme intelligence of your dogs.

In addition to playing outside, one of Buster's favorite things to do is to take a ride with us. Since he was 4 months old, we have taken him most every place we go. If we were attending my son's track meets, we would leave him in the car and he wouldn't chew a single thing! Luck? No, it's the temperament and intelligence of your dogs.

It is truly evident that your passion for the German shepherd dog far surpasses any breeder I have ever met. I am so delighted that such an expert lives right here in the state of Maine and that I could support a local business. Again, thank you for your skilled training advice, and I look forward to keeping in touch with you for the life of our best friend, Buster.

Sincerely Yours,
Corinne and Donald Lee
Taylor, Connor, and Cassidy
Bud Lee Electric, Inc.


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 18:06:22 -0600
From: Mat Eilerts
Reply-To: Mat Eilerts
Subject: Mat
To: [email protected]

Roger, I have sad news about my husband Mat. Last week Jan. 6, he had been exercising with a trainer and collapsed and passed away. Mat thought a lot about you and he was so proud of his dog Oskar. We were working on his training just in the past 3 weeks. Oskar is lost without his "Daddy" but he is being a protector of me. After I get all of the things that need to be done now, I will start over with his training. I cannot thank you and Dorothy enough for bringing this wonderful dog into our lives. I want to make Mat proud of the potential Oskar has. I have some pictures and I will send them later of our Christmas this past year. Mat always wanted the best and that is what made him so proud of Oskar. I still don't have Oskar's respect, because he bonded primarily with Mat. We will get there. Last summer, Mat wanted to take a trip to Maine so you could see him, I blew him off because of costs. I wish he could have made that trip. I just wanted to let you know because he was so happy having this little boy. I may be contacting in the future if I have question's.

Thank you Roger for giving Mat this beautiful animal, he was a very proud master of Oskar for the last 8 months of his life.

My very best,
Tami Eilerts


----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 2010 21:42:20 -0800 (PST)
From: Eduardo Andujar Ventura
Reply-To: Eduardo Andujar Ventura
Subject: Xena, Us and Zwinger von Himmel
To: [email protected]

Roger and Dorothy Tortorella,
[email protected]
Dear Roger and Dorothy Tortorella,
First, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year and all the best to you and your family. My silence for the past while has been involuntary as my wife has been quite sick and had to jungle with many issues at once. The situation being much better, I hope that we will be able to be in touch again.

As you will see in the attached photos, Xena is doing very well. She has developed to be a WONDERFUL EXCEPTIONAL dog, graceful and athletic, a quick learner, with quite a strong character but very gentle and family oriented.

Again, my wife and myself, we would like to thank you for everything: specially for providing us with the beautiful dog of German Lines that we always wanted to have, for your professionalism, knowledge and commitment to a German Shepherd program, for being always available to answer each of our hundred questions, as well as for your many recommendations on how to deal with certain aspect of the dog's life, from its physical and psychological development at different stages to extremely useful details on the best food available.

I would like to add that Xena is a great companion to both of us and has been an unexpected source of comfort for my wife. This whole experience has been great from the first time we were in touch with you and, should anyone wish to contact us for references, it would be our pleasure to do so.

With our best regards,
Eduardo Andújar and Family
[email protected]


Date: Sun, 31 May 2009 13:53:57 -0400
From: Thomas Stocker
Reply-To: Thomas Stocker

He is coming along very nicely. He is a very high energy dog who needs lots of running time daily.We new this, and all of us have made it a point to address this need. He now plays fetch nicely and returns the balls!! He stays on the property and is happy to hang out while you mow, clean stalls or just relax. He is constantly on the move with a ball in his mouth. Kurt launches a soccer ball over the barn with the aid of a lacrosse stick and he runs full throttle for it , beating out Dwight. He enjoys this game many times a day. I can clip his nails, what ever, and he will put up with it. He is now up off his heels and very fit. He floats over the ground and is impressive to watch run. He has just had fun discovering how fast those legs can run. He is kind to all people, just hyper at first and loves everyone.He does love physical contact. Jess takes them for a run behind the 4 wheeler( about 2 miles) to the brook on hot days and he loves that. He will be swimming before long. He now ignores cows ans horses thanks to a few encounters with the fence. We also have young fox pups we encounter on my runs and he listens to my directions nicely and we continue. Please free to drop in sometime if you are down this way. We would love for you to see him in action. I will send pics as soon as I finish up our school year. We have been right out strait. Kurt is heading for Alaska and we are working hard to get him through school and packed.

We can not believe how easy it has been for Kane and us to make this adjustment so far! Kane and Dwight have no issues. We have taken walks, jogged a mile Sat. & today and all has gone well. Friday night and Sat. night we allowed Kane to have run of the house - we thought we might end up being up at least some of the night - but instead - we were able to sleep in (relatively speaking) - not a peep out of him. He does not go up the stairs yet and of course that is where Dwight sleeps. Last night, Kane carried the food dish into us to let know he was hungry and it was time to eat. He is very curious about the farm animals - he has not been educated about the electric fence yet. He has even done very well with our cat -Gus. Gus is very trusting of dogs - he does not run away. So while the cat and Kane still have a way to go - they are doing better than you'd think.Hope all is well. Tom & Sarah

Thanks so much,
Tom & Sarah


Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 18:58:44 -0400
From: Ron Barr
Reply-To: Ron Barr
Subject: Hello!
To: [email protected]

Hi Roger,
Been a while since I gave you an update.

Jake is doing great he is a great companion and my best buddy!

His favorite thing to do is go quad riding, he can run for hours and not even get tired. He is such an athlete it amazes me and even my vet. He loves to swim and when I cannot locate him I just look in the pond and find him splashing around.

He is such a well behaved and stable dog, not to mention so handsome, every place we go I get comments and people come up to me to check him out. He wants to go with me all of the time and as soon as he sees that I am not going to be taking one of my work vehicles he thinks he is automatically coming along.

Take care, Ron


Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 10:58:07 -0400
From: Stephanie Oxaal
Reply-To: Stephanie Oxaal
Subject: Rocky
To: Roger Tortorella

Dear Roger,
We want to thank you so much for Rocky. He is everything you promised and more. We noticed his temperament right away. He is not hyper and needy like many dogs can be at first. He is very calm and easy going. When we are out with him in the neighborhood he gets a lot of compliments about how friendly and calm he is. Of course he gets excited and playful, but he's not out of control. I take him to a puppy training class (more for me than him !) and he really stands out among the other dogs not only because he is so handsome but because he is not jumping and barking and running all over the place. We love to play with him but when it's down time he takes it and patiently waits for us if we're not ready for playtime yet.

We appreciate very much your help and availability for all of our questions and concerns. You always answer us right away and we know you are there for us and Rocky whenever we need you for advice or instruction on his care. So thank you again so much for everything.

Fred and Stephanie Oxaal


----- Original Message -----
From: Ingersoll family
To: [email protected]
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 10:34 AM
Subject: Gilla

Hello Roger and Dorothy!

I just wanted to send you an undated "Thanks!". Gilla has been with us now for over a year. She is simply amazing. This summer we had numerous guests with small children and even babies stay over and Gilla impressed everyone. My sister came with her baby to stay with us and as a child suffered a brutal attack by a German Shepherd. She was a little apprehensive in meeting Gilla. Needless to say Gilla was completely and utterly respectful and my sister was truly enamored of Gilla within the first day. It really meant alot to me that she can now put behind her a terrifying event in her life and realize how kind and respectful a German Shepherd can be. Gilla is a vital part of our family and I simply cannot imagine our lives without her. Again, we just wanted to let you both know how very thankful we are for Gilla, she is quite simply the most perfect dog in every way!


The Ingersoll Family


Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2009 08:28:42 -0400
From: Gerhard Heck
Reply-To: Gerhard Heck

Dear Roger,
Hello there hope all is well. Just yesterday I thought of you and was thinking of sending you some additional photos, but got lazy in the midst of a very busy day. Reiko is the best, he has become accustom to us and our active lives and is always there to participate. He goes every where we go and loves the car, so much that it is hard to walk by the car without him stopping hoping to get in. We love him and are so happy with all aspects of him. We cant go anywhere without getting compliments on how beautiful he is, and he gets along with and enjoys playing with other dogs so well. Even when they get rough he stays calm and just goes on as normal. Love to see that. We continue to make a effort to keep him well socialized with other dogs. So in conclusion he is a wonderful addition to the family and I could not picture life without him already.

Thanks so much,


Dear Roger,
I wish to thank you and von Himmel Kennels for your superb breeding of my "Orbit von Huhnegrab " son. When my family and I were on vacation in the state of Colorado, we noticed how many people had dogs and did many activities with them. I started to wish that I had a dog of my own that would be versatile enough to do things with. That's when I came across your website. You guys have been great. You have a passion that you don't see too often in many breeders. You are always willing to talk and answer any questions I might have. Thank you for that.

About my dog, from the moment he came into our house he started to show what he was all about. Though he was only three months old at the time, if he heard a strange noise in the house he would bark (a bark that made you take notice) also he would let you know when he needs to be let out. And what a people stopper he is. We feel we were walking around with a Hollywood Celebrity. People stop dead in there tracks to ask me about him all the time. He's beautiful and he's as big as he is handsome. He is only eleven months old and is weighing up at 87 pounds already. He takes after his father Orbit .

As of late, I also put him in an academy were they also do police K-9 training called " US K-9 Academy and Police Dog Training Center". They do the training for DEA, Customs, Police, Explosives etc... He learned his basic German commands there and he has done great. When he turns around a year and a half I will then have him evaluated for protection work. If we are as impressed with him in this short time we have him, I could only imagine what the future holds.

Thank you again. We highly recommend Von Himmel Kennels.


Dear Roger & Dorothy,
I really believe in giving praise where due, so thought I would let you know how delighted I am with your service and just want to grab this opportunity to express my gratitude. I have to admit at first it was quite daunting to order a dog over the internet. However, the process was straight forward, the dog turned up to be more than a promising dog and I'm very pleased with the perfromance that I'm getting. What I really appreciated in you is your patience, the way you informed and explained all my questions and most importantly, your honesty. I felt very comfortable dealing with you and would frequently ask for your professional opinion on my selection of German shepherd doges. I felt that your preferences / opinions (educated opinions) were not typical of what GSD owner would expect. You didn't try to "sell me" on the more expensive dog. Instead, you were very honest in your assessment of the "best buy" taking into consideration not only the perfect balance of all the factors involved in the process of buying a dog, but also what I like to consider the "c" factor: cost, which is much appreciated by almost everyone.

Last but not least, I wish Dorothy and you all the best and would like to stress out once again on this lovely relationship that started with buying Zaskia and will definitely reach higher ends.


Truthfully yours,
Marc Mouawad


Dear Roger and Dorothy,
It has been about three months now that Cayuga has joined our family and he is an absolutely beautiful and wonderful treasure. Everything you told us about the temperament and intelligence of your puppies has been so true. He is a very calm and intelligent dog and we are amazed and his character and beauty.

Everyone from our vet to our friends are impressed by his disposition and beauty and we certainly want to thank both you and Dorothy for the time you spent with us in placing Cayuga within our family.

My favorite time of the day are the very early morning hours I get to spend with him playing in the yard and watching his beautiful gait. He picks up things very quickly and was easily house trained and we rarely have to tell him things more than once before he picks it up. Although we wish we could spend more time doing formal training we are socializing him and getting him very comfortable with his surroundings.

When we lost our first German Shepherd Dog it took a very long time for us to get another. Building trust with a breeder and finding the right match was a venture that took us a long time to come around to and we feel very fortunate to have found your kennel and appreciate the dedication and professionalism that you bring to this wonderful breed.

We look forward to many years of friendship and excited about keeping in contact and sharing stories throughout Cayuga's life. If anyone is considering purchasing a puppy from your program both Mimi and I would be more than happy to serve as a reference at any time.

All our best wishes, The Jacaruso Family


From: Ingersoll family <[email protected]>
Date: 2008/08/26 Tue PM 03:24:50 EDT
To: [email protected]

Hello Roger and Dorothy, Well we have had Gilla for about 3 months now. She is an absolute treasure. Really, from the moment we picked her up from the airport we have been amazed. There has not been one single moment in which she has shown indecision, fear or timidity. We defiantely tested that when on the first night we accidently set off our alarm at 2am and she came to my side and simply sat down! We were more paniced than her! What can we say that would adequately describe Gilla? She is calm, curious, open to anything new, mindful, respectful, intelligent and just a sweet girl! We still remeber you and Dorothy inviting our family to visit with you both and meeting your shepherd Queno. Queno wass so striking and his eyes, his eyes were so intelligent and alert, we all wanted to take him home right than and there. Well, our Gilla is exactly the same her eyes are just as amazing. Everyone that sees her is simply amazed by her intellect and disposition. We literally have to "tell" her something one time and she understands and will act accordingly. Roger and Dorothy, from the very bottom of our hearts, Thank You, We simply could not imagine our family without Gilla. We apperciate the hours you spent with us. And yes we would have to say you are the perfect matchmaker!

Fondly, Tyler, Kim, Bryce and Dianna Ingersoll



To Roger,

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you and your trainers.

I visited many websites and phoned many breeders, and I found myself attracted to "ZWINGER VON HIMMEL" German Shepard's. When I emailed Roger for the first time (June 2007) he immediately introduced me to his current litters.

At the time I replied too late and had missed the current litter.

After this I had lost contact with him for a few months. What I found very professional was that Roger always kept me updated and telling me what pups are available.

Roger always had the trust in assuring me that he only selects the best puppies for his clients, he always kept me updated on the litters and puppies he had available.

I found working with Roger very professional and he still keeps the professionalism till after the sales, this was one of the things that really impressed me!

I was very excited about my new puppy, my puppy arrived on the 18 July 2008, he has been with me for almost four weeks now and he has very excellent colour he has a wonderful temperament and is very typical of his father, he is an awesome puppy he has brought great joy to my family and I and I think he will continue to bring joy in the month and years to come. He has excellent drive self assurance and is very energetic, he also does not easily take no for an answer and he continues till he gets what he wants, this is what makes me so attracted to this puppy and I want to take the opportunity to thank-you for assuring this great puppy with me I will keep my comments updated as the puppy grows.

I will go with what an old friend taught me "You look at a puppy when it's 8 weeks and then again at one year old."

Kind Regards

Mr I. Erasmus


From: "Alan Johnson, MD" <[email protected]>
Date: 2008/07/20 Sun PM 12:19:57 EDT
To: Roger and Dorothy <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: Zwinger von Himmel

Roger and Dorothy,
We appreciate your interest in how things are going.

Gabriel/Grischa (he gets called both and fortunately responds to both) is remarkable in every sense but particularly in terms of temperament and intelligence.

He eats well, has incredible energy, and is in good health. He moves beautifully, with that ground eating shepherd gait, and is athletic and sound. I have had a large number of dogs. I have never had a dog whose temperament and intelligence combine to make him unbelievably trainable. I'll not burden you with too many examples, but he is calm and collected around all our animals (horses, donkeys, parrots in the house, chickens outside, rabbits, bears, and turkeys frequently etc.) first looking to us to define their place and then reproducibly acting in an appropriate fashion. He waits, for example, at the gait (open or closed) to the pasture and does not enter as he was(once)instructed - but if the equines lean over the fence to him he is friendly and cautious. He does not chase or bark (I told him one time to "leave the chickens alone" and that was all it took) though in the case of rabbits it clearly pains him to stay at my side. He has learned respect for a parrots beak, but will stand by them if they fly to the floor until one of us comes to help them up...He alerts us to a human visitor but immediately becomes friendly and sweet when told these are accepted, remaining alert and standing in front of us with strangers etc. This is quite different from our danes who are not so good at settling down when reassured and can be a nuisance with their barking and aggressive stance. Interestingly, Gabriel recently has begun to grab their muzzle in his jaws if I fuss at them to hush, following which they settle down and accept this correction despite the size mismatch.

I have rarely had to tell him no more than once. I regret that I work 85 hours a week, as I think he would be terrific at more formal working dog training. We plan to try to get him at least socialized outside the "pack" by agility at least, but just don't realistically have the time anymore to travel and show.

Sorry for the running on...As you can tell I adore this dog. Myra accuses me of stealing her pup, but I don't really see it that way. Our gratitude to you for placing us with such a remarkable pal.


July 25, 2008


My experience with this German Shepherd has been awesome. When I picked him up at the airport, he was one of four doges who were shipped over.

What is amazing is that with the four dogs, all different ages, there wasn't one peep. Very unusual.

Right then and there I was impressed.

On the ride home he melted into my lap and it was an instant bond.

I have not experience puppy hood for sometime now, being 69 years old. Purchasing a puppy was a big decision and I am thrilled to have chosen a Zwinger Von Himmel.

Training him has been a pleasure. In less than a month, he is already sleeping in a dog bed in the bedroom. He wakes me every morning like clockwork.

He is friendly to all who approach him. When company comes, he lies under the kitchen table and he's never a bother.

He jumps, leaps, bounds, and amuses himself constantly. He has a maturity and steadiness about him that an American dog would not have at his age.

I could not have chosen a better companion.

Thank you very much,

Jack Sullivan


---- Forwarded message from ----- Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 19:55:46 -0800
From: Debby
Reply-To: Debby
Subject: Photo of hand feeding dinner to our beautiful pair
To: [email protected]

Dear Roger,
Here is a photo of hand feeding our Zwinger Von Himmel GSD pair dinner on Day 2 of our new female being home. No fighting or growling ~ just beautiful behavior. Thank you for sending us two such beautiful intelligent GS Dogs! We are re-naming Jenny - Rainee as it means Queen and she is so regal and elegant. She surely is a Queen! Our big male formerly Joseph is very responsive to Oberon. The King in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. So now we have our King and Queen;)

It was so easy to socialize these dogs! The quality of your genetics and your training is 5 star. We could not ask for any better. They are push button and so kind and gentle. Please publish our name and website for anyone who has questions about buying a dog from you and Dorothy. It would be our pleasure to speak with any prospective owners.

We could never thank you enough... After losing our 13 year old West German Shepherd, Bacchus, we thought we would never find any dog to compare. Your ability to match a dog and now a pair of your dogs to our family is the best gift ever! Thank you so much for all of your time and sincere interest.

Debby & Jim Wright


From: Ron Barr [email protected]
Date: 2008/05/10 Sat AM 10:22:45 CDT
To: Roger Tortorella [email protected]
Subject: A Letter for you

Hi Roger,

I just wanted to write you a quick letter as an update to let you know how well Jake is doing as he is now almost 6 months old.

He is growing larger and more handsome with each passing day. Jake is also the most wonderful and well behaved dog as well as an affectionate companion who wants to go with me wherever I go. There are times I marvel at how beautiful he is. When he runs through the woods or plays in the yard he is so graceful and coordinated it just simply amazes me. He is so full of life and energy as he loves to chase birds and squirrels, (he has incredible prey drive) fetch sticks (it is almost comical as I try to clean the yard all of the sticks I throw into the woods end up coming back) and basically just have fun.

His training is going well and he is almost completed with his basic obedience class. He is of extremely high intelligence and learns quickly. While the youngest dog in the class he is certainly near the top as far as his skills go.

I have to tell you when you and I first spoke I was in awe of your love and knowledge of the German Shepherd Dog. I found you through a web search and had spoken to many people prior to you about a puppy. Out of all of the people I spoke to you were the only one who bothered to take the time to talk to me about your breeding program and your dogs. Then you questioned me about my lifestyle and I could tell that you really cared about whom you placed one of your dogs with. We probably spoke that day for close to an hour and when we got off the phone I could tell that I wanted to purchase a dog from you. The other breeders only seemed to be concerned with telling me that I had better hurry up and come in before all of the puppies were sold.

I also really appreciate the fact that you have made yourself available on the several occasions that I have called with questions concerning Jake's training and progress. We have spoken 4-5 times in the last few months and you have never failed to return a telephone call or email. You have listened to my questions and given freely of your time which really says a lot about you both as a person and a businessman.

I am extremely happy that I made the decision to purchase a puppy from you as Jake is everything I have always wanted in a pet and I look forward to meeting you in the fall when I bring him up for his training towards a Shutzhund Title. I would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone who is wondering whether or not to purchase a dog from you and you are welcome to use me as a reference at any time.

Ron Barr & Jake


November 28, 2007

Dear Roger and Dorothy,

It was great to finally meet you and Dorothy. I was initially impressed with your expertise and commitment to the breeding of German shepherds, when we discussed the possibility for me to acquire one of your puppies from your German breeding program.

After actually meeting you and Dorothy, I now know you are the real thing. I find your passion for the breeding and development of German shepherds inspiring. But, at a personal level I am even more appreciative of your enthusiasm to shore your experience and knowledge.

I am very pleased with my new puppy, Tora. She plays fearlessly with my 5 year old black & red male German shepherd. When I compare Tora to the 5-year old male, who by the way, is a great dog, I can see the difference. At 19 weeks, Tora's reds are much deeper already. She exhibits great prey drive and intelligence. Tora is very affectionate and has claimed her spot in the family. She is and will be a great companion.

I am looking forward to working with you in the future.

Again, thanks for everything.

Glenn Beebe Abbot, Maine


Dear Zwinger von Himmel,

Here are some words of appreciation from yesterdays visit. Thank you for the training lessons, tips and training equipment.

Our dog is responding very well to the training and he enjoyed being worked. We would like to leave our dog with you for additional training.

We couldn't imagine our dog being in better hands than yours. The care that you provide for them is first class in every aspect, including treating them like family members, living in your new home. They are not just dogs to you or another number so to say.

We always feel comfortable visiting you with our children, because the character of your dogs are wonderful.

Congratulations on your new home. It is beautiful and so is the location. And also a special thanks to Dorothy for cooking us such a tasty lunch.

Kind Regards,
Beth and Adam


From: RJ Ollenberger [email protected]
Date: 2007/10/19 Fri PM 06:28:36 CDT
To: [email protected]
Subject: Quani

Hello Roger,

I lost Quani not long ago in a car accident. Losing her is losing a member of my family, and I miss her everyday. We are devestated by this, and know that nothing will ever take her place. I lost my constant companion and a wonderful friend. She was everything that you promised, and more. I will miss her forever. Thank you for all you did.

I found Rogers website when I was looking for breeders of the GSD. I had been looking for a dog for about a year and had researched several breeders. I contacted Roger and after the first conversation knew I had found my breeder. He also helped me decide to go with a trained female as opposed to a puppy. Roger knew every answer to the questions I had, and I felt that this was a passion of his, not just a hobby. After that first conversation I felt confident I had made the right decision and shortly after I made arrangements to bring a female sch 1 home.

Quani came to me from Germany, and from the first moment I clipped her leash on, she became mine. Even after a 12 hour flight, she was calm and happy to see me. Any apprehension I had about aggression or bad behaviour was totally gone. This was a wonderfully trained and perfectly socialized GSD. I was so totally amazed and thrilled that I had chosen her.

We had a few bumpy starts to integrating Quani into my family but Roger was there for all of it. Any phone call I made, he was there to talk through whatever difficulty there was. After about a month, it was like she had always been a part of my family. She was my constant companion, riding with me in my car and hanging out with me at home. Her bed was beside ours and I knew that anyone coming through our front door had better belong here. Her nightly trips to check on the household became something of a topic of conversation. From my side of the bed, over to my husbands, down the stairs to my daughters room and back again. She did this several times a night. Needless to say, I felt pretty safe.

Rogers experience with GSD is apparent, and everything he told me was right on. I would definitely be confident in getting another dog from him. A trained GSD is not inexpensive, but in my opinion is worth every penny. The time spent with these animals in training is extensive and they prove it from the moment you meet them. If a trained GSD is what you are looking for , than I would look no further. Roger will do his best to help you choose what you are looking for and unlike some others breeders, will still be there after the money has exchanged hands.

I cannot stress how important it was to me to have someone to rely on, it made the transition much easier and I think that is what a good breeder is..someone who will always be there to guide you through all the questions that come up with owning a new pet. Quani proved to be a wonderful member of my family, and everything that was promised about her was not even close to what she became.

Thanks to you for everything you did Roger, it will never be forgotten.

R. Ollenberger

Dear Dorothy and Roger,

Don and I have owned German Shepherds for 27yrs., Sophie is our 4th. Each time we bought one we put more time and effort into selecting one with better breeding. When we lost Duffy our last one we began to do a lot of research which amazed us as to the volume of information there is about these incredible dogs.

Since we are approaching retirement age in a few years and since part of that time we planned to do Pet Therapy we knew we needed a very special dog. Having spent a lot of time at a Children’s hospital with my son and remembering how excited we would get when it was dog day, I knew someday that we would give back in the form of Pet Therapy.

During our search for a puppy we happened to see your website and read every word. We were very impressed with how much we learned from your site about the German Shepherd and delighted to learn that you lived just minutes away from where we live in Maine. We talked for a couple of hours at which time you explained more than I could ever imagine about your West German line. I learned more about them in that one conversation than I could have ever done on my own. The passion and devotion that both of you have for this breed is just pure love. We planned soon after that to purchase one of your pups and soon after we picked up Sophie who flew into Boston. I can’t remember being more excited than that day when I saw her in her crate. She sat in my lap all the way home just as sweet as could be.

It wasn’t very long before we realized that we may have owned German Shepherds before but Sophie was our first REAL German Shepherd. We were amazed then and still are at the difference overall from any other we have owned or met. Everything that you said was right on the money, the drive, the courage, the intelligence, the pigment, the ability to learn she’s got it all, and oh what a beauty, she turns heads and not in fear but in appreciation of her attractiveness.

At age 9 months and just returning from your home after a month of training and knowing how much love and attention you gave her we couldn’t be more pleased and look forward to more training at 15 months. We would be happy to discuss all of our experiences with future owners, feel free to pass on our email or phone #.

It is with great pleasure and confidence that we recommend both of you to anyone who is in the market for a German Shepherd and to congratulate you both on doing what is best for your dogs each and every time you place one. We have not only had the pleasure of meeting you but are thrilled that we will be in contact with you throughout Sophie’s life.

Our best regards,

Don & Diane Magnussen

----- Original Message -----
From: [email protected]
Date: 2007/06/24 Sun PM 08:05:02 CDT
To: [email protected]
Subject: Enya

Dear Roger,

I wanted to let you know how Enja is doing. She has been developing very nicely and showing a wonderful prey drive. She is almost six months old now and has bonded well with my other dogs and family. She is the type of dog that wants to be around someone at all times. Most nights she finds her spot at the end of the bed. I have been very impressed with her and look forward to showing her and working on her titles. I want to thank you for all of your help. It is nice to see someone that is so passionate about the German shepherd breed and not looking to just sell someone a dog. I have bought shepherds from other places and nobody has given me all the time that you have. In other kennels once you purchase the puppy they want to be done with you. I can't even count the number of emails and lengthy conversations that we have had over the phone. You definitely go out of your way to help your customers. I would recommend you to anyone. I have no doubt that Enja is going to be my best German shepherd. I wish you and your family well and will keep you updated on Enja's progress.


----- Original Message -----
From: Chelsea Hash
To: rogeranddorothy
Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2006 1:34 PM
Subject: Thank you again

Dear Roger and Dorothy Tortorella,

I cannot express how rewarding an experience working with you has been. When I first approached you I had no concept of the process that surrounds finding and bringing a dog from Germany. You explained all of the issues and I came to understand what my options were and the possible results. Beyond just the process, you told me your own stories and experiences working with the GSD breed and it was easy to see how much you wanted to help me find a great dog to be my companion and sport partner.

In the following months you kept in contact with me as I was preparing for the arrival. I really appreciate the level of personal contact as you called me to keep me up to date on events as they happened in Germany. On the day I picked up my puppy from the airport you called to make sure she got there, and continued to send encouraging and informative e-mails as she acclimated to my home.

Senta is 7 months old now and has been everything I ever hoped for in a dog. I had been attending Schutzhund without a dog for a year before getting her and it was so exciting taking her out on the field for the first time. Having taken a break over the winter to finish school, my Schutzhund club member were ecstatic to see me drive up with my own pup to work. It didn't stop at the greeting and since I returned with my dog she has never failed to impress.

Senta has taken naturally to all 3 parts of Schutzhund. On her first track she kept her nose down and found the article and has continued to make progress since, always downing and now progressing to longer tracks with turn. I have been able to enjoy obedience with her as she is highly play motivated and responds very well to positive reinforcement. That said protection is definitely her favorite event. From day one she had a hard bite on the jute and courageous interaction with the agitators. By our third visit she was barking on command and ready for courage tests. We did a shorter courage test and after the agitator charged she took off after him, making a flying leap to bite the puppy sleeve. Unfortunately the agitator running back expecting to need to encourage her to chase and you could hear the clear snap of her teeth as she bit the air. Unfazed she landed and went after him again.

Senta has been a joy off the field as well, integrating into our menagerie. She's made friend with the cats and watches our caged pets. She took to crate training with no fuss and has never had an accident it. She was completely house broken in less than a month and is so well behaved she's welcome at our office. She even helped a co-worker get over a fear of big dogs because he was able to watch her grow and be the same stable animal she was at 12 weeks and 18 pounds as 7 months and 60 pounds. I've had no problems with fear or aggression towards other dogs or unwarranted aggression towards people.

There's no other way to put it, Senta has been a dream. Despite some turmoil I've had at work and home, much reducing my free time she's handled it well and helped me handle it. The need to walk and work the dog has be a great source of relief and fun. I can't wait to begin attending trials ans confirmation shows, and hope to begin putting titles on her in the coming year.

Thank you again for all your support.

Chelsea and Tim

----- Original Message -----
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Sent: Monday, May 29, 2006 3:27 PM
Subject: One awesome pup


Ok, so you touted the temperament... and I must say, she it is fantastic.

The second day here, at 8 weeks and one day she began climbing steps. Made it up one or two at first. Now, she can climb however many confronted with. Starting to go down as well. My last GSD took weeks to even try by herself. While she is being crate trained, she spends a great deal of time free in one of our salons daycare areas during the day -- penned in of course, and cries or makes a racket when she has to go to the bathroom. Has yet to just let it go. Sits unsolicited, and I can go on further.

While I have no intentions of pushing her at this young age, seems to grasp things shown or repeatedly spoken to her. I can see we will have a real gem here when training finally commences.

Those photos of her parents really are great. If she even remotely resembles their physiques it will be fantastic.

Anyway, figured I would fill you in on our little Monja. We have elected to call her Sabine however. A German derivative of the Italian Sabina.

Hope you and Dorothy have a great Memorial Day.



----- Original Message -----
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 5:25 PM
Subject: Sabine Update Leter for Reference


Hello Roger and Dorothy,

Since the arrival of our puppy Sabine in May, we have had nothing but extraordinary experiences watching and participating in her development.

In the two-plus months we have had her, she has learned so much and ceases to amaze us in her desire for more. Not only does she epitomize the breed physically, but mentally as well. Kudos to you for emphasizing her "clear in the head" demeanor that your program strives for.

As you know she accompanies me to work everyday -- where she is exposed to dozens of people and dogs weekly. Her calm, yet confident demeanor speaks volumes as I am constantly reminded by my clients that both her beauty and personality are phenomenal.

When I found your site, it was after much research. Having had GSD's before, and might I add, not fully satisfied with either structure or behavior, I figured it was time to dial it up a notch and truly explore the West German Line of GSD's. Glad I did!

I admit, I was skeptical at first, especially procuring a dog sight unseen -- relying purely on criteria and traits described by me. While the photo of the pup was appealing, one must hope that the real McCoy lives up to expectations. Wow, does she. You and your partner did a wonderful job fitting Sabine with what I was looking for. Heck, at 10 weeks she was listening and following simple obedience commands. Now at 18 weeks, we are doing light tracking, bite play etc. in preparation for her entry into the sport of Schutzhund.

In closing let me say thanks. Not only for the outstanding little girl we have added to our family, but for staying involved in helping me better understand Schutzhund, products and more.

Best regards as always,

Gerard Schaffner


As you know I have owned German Shepherds for over 20 years. Until I found you on the internet, I never had the opportunity to own a high quality dog. I was a little apprehensive about purchasing a puppy sight unseen, but after speaking with you, I could tell that you were an honest man. Since I purchased my pup, I have read horror stories about unethical breeders. Thank goodness I found you!! Your knowledge about Shepherds is extensive and you truly care about the breed. You are always available to answer any and all of my questions, and I have had a lot, and I'm sure there are more coming. Once again I want to truly thank you for my puppy and I'm sure I will be purchasing another dog from you in the near future.

This puppy is by far the smartest dog I have ever owned, not to mention the best looking. House breaking was incredibly easy and he has not chewed one thing in my house. Just his toys!! He is by far the best puppy in his class and he has only just begun!!

In closing, if you ever need a reference for another client, please feel free to give them my name, phone number, or e-mail. I can't say enough about your credentials, integrity and total commitment to your clients and your dogs. Thank you again, you have fulfilled a life long dream of mine.



----- Original Message -----
From: "Dawn Agnew" [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2006 6:24 PM
Subject: Jove


I just want to start by saying THANK YOU, I have a awesome pup. I have to say buying a pup with out seeing it made me a little nervous especially wanting to use the pup for search and rescue you need a very special kind of dog. There's a certain demand placed on these dogs and they're asked to do alot.Well even though she's only 5 months and has a way to go in her training there's nothing yet that could stop her! Shes loves working and is a QUICK learner. She is loved by everybody too, people stop us on the street to say how beautiful she is. I am so happy with her, she will definetly make a great Search and Rescue dog. I have been doing S.A.R for over 15 yrs now and I am overwhelmed with how willing she is to please. Thanks Again for such a GREAT PUP !!!!! I can guarantee I'll be back for my next dog, in years to come...

K-9 search specialist
New Jersey Task Force - 1

Dear Roger and Dorothy,

October 15, 2006

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to give you a "Bauer" update. In short, he is everything we asked you for and everything you promised. Your reputation as the "match-maker" lives on. He has just the right amount of drive for us, very strong play and ball drive and good food drive. His temperament is unbelievable; self-confident, alert and lovable. We took great pains to socialize him, and we have absolutely no concerns regarding inappropriate aggressiveness.

We went to a training seminar given by a woman from Germany who recently moved into our area. There were about 15 German shepherds there from various regional breeders and some imports. Everyone was super impressed with Bauer's conformation and temperament. He does his sit, down, stay, heel on and off the leash very well (for a 5-month old) as well as out. The trainer had a lot of very complimentary things to say about him, and she was pretty candid giving negative feedback on many of the other dogs. I was told that his grip was excellent with no shifting of the bite when doing rag work during the "play" session.

Physically he is outstanding. He is 5-and-a-half months now and basically done teething. He is about 60 lbs and lean. All of his joints, conformation and gait are faultless ... from a less than objective observer. We will begin Schutzhund training over the winter and look for conformation competition opportunities as they come-up. I have been lazy about pictures, but will send you a good one for your website soon. He is a credit to your import program. I am strongly considering asking you to look for an appropriate female companion for Bauer next spring.

Warm regards,

Joel and Susan

----- Original Message -----
From: Joel Gross
To: Roger Tortorella
Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2006 7:38 AM
Subject: a quick note.


Roger and Dorothy, we very much enjoyed meeting you and your tremendous dogs yesterday. It was wonderful day, and we are very excited about the arrival of our "little Odin" on Friday. It will be a very long week, filled with anticipation.

The insights and opportunities you have provided over the past week have strengthened and reaffirmed my commitment to maximizing our pups potential to be an outstanding example of your breeding and import program. Success has always been a hallmark of my endeavors throughout my life. And, I never ever been more confidant in the outcome, satisfaction and reward for us and your kennel's reputation than I am in this venture. Please pass this on to your partner to assure them that your investment in the breeding and placement of this dog will be returned not only in the awards won, but in the recognition and regard that will accrue to your program as well.

Warm regards,

Joel and Susan Gross

----- Original Message -----
From: Eduardo Monroy R
To: [email protected]
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2006 1:37 PM
Subject: Re: gERMAN sHEPHERD DOG Venezuela Larus Batu Daughter



I contacted Roland Rodriguez Ertl, and its casual, he was trying to contact me in the past but my e mail was canceled and he never found me.

Today we were together, we spoke a lot, we work a litle with Zarin and my Patton, and we were teaching him some tricks for increasing prey insticts and Bite work game.

Roland is very esthusiastic and he enjoyed our meeting.

I congratulate Roland and I told him that you must to be a really honest and right person, because you sold to him Zarin, she is proved high quality female dog, for conformation shows, for Schutzhund (very happy for bite work and instincts, and 100% free of behavior problems ). Very nice forehand reaching in movement, high withers, etc.

In this GSD world is very easy to find people without scruples and with bad intentions.

But you are a right breeder, right seller and GSD friend, and I must to congratulate about this.

Sorry my english, But I hope that you can understand what I try to say.

Thanks for your "contact Bridge" between Roland and us, and we will show you the progress of Zarin in the future, we will helping Roland with Zarin.

Ahhh, pictures of Zarin 26 February 2006 click

Best regards

Eduardo Monroy

December 3, 2005

Dear Roger & Dorothy,

We would like to thank you for helping us to find Reinhardt. He is an exceptional puppy. He is intelligent and has an outstanding personality. When we first located your website and contacted you we appreciated how much time and knowledge of German Shepherds that you have. For over 30 years we have owned, raised and trained German Shepherds. We have personally owned ten shepherds and have helped train many more. There is a great difference in German Lines, especially to be mentally sound.

We have always had the German Lines for their strict breeding guidelines (number one to be temperament, which makes training an easier task. Emphasis on good structure, health, character and pigment. After loosing our last Shepherd in September we were very fortunate to find Roger of Von Himmel . We are very impressed with his knowledge and commitment to a mentally and physically sound dog and program. He spent as much time as needed to answer all our questions and are impressed with his commitment and experience. We purchased Reinhardt at 8 weeks and we are extremely impressed with his excellent temperament, health, structure and confirmation. He is very trainable and intelligent. He fits in perfect to our family needs and also with our grandchildren. We highly recommend Von Himmel (Roger & Dorothy) to anyone that is serious in purchasing a top quality dog, which is important to the future of the breed and the new owner. We would also like to thank Roger's colleagues in Germany who socialize and evaluate the puppies from time of birth to shipping to USA (very important). This also helps in choosing the right puppy to fit the owner's needs. In our case we needed a dog, which would be good with family, friends, children and the right temperament to be trained easily for Shutzhund training. Roger and his trainers have provided us with exactly what we wanted which is also important. Roger has been wonderful and keeps us informed of all new natural food products and supplements for good health and endurance throughout the dog's life.

Many thanks to Roger & Dorothy and their colleagues in Germany for the great job that they are doing and their commitment and devotion of the breed.

Best wishes,
Judith & Robert Dempsey
Natick, Massachusetts

----- Original Message -----
From: Roland Ertl
To: Roger & Dorothy
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 9:11 AM


Dear Roger & Dorothy,

I attached on this mail some pictures from my great Zarin. You can appreciate in them the high quality that she is and every day she is becoming greater in her performance. She is taking training very well for a BH and Schutzhund 1. Her trainer is very happy with her disposition to play, movement and behavior. Absolutely, her genetic is been over dominating.

I am very grateful from your offers to me this enormous female. You were very honest and helped me with very good advice about his feeding program. Also I want to give you thanks because at the business process you offered me Zarin at a very good price for her quality.

Roland Ertl

Dear Dorothy & Roger,

My wife and I would like to tell you how much we appreciate your assistance and guidance throughout the years with the German Shepherd you have imported for us and we wanted to give you an update.

It has been eight years since you imported Jax for us. He is in very good shape and is a healthy dog.

We take Jax just about everywhere with us and often receive many compliments on his character and temperament.

The working qualities in Jax are outstanding. He is a very willing to please type of dog and by far the easiest Shepherd to train that we have ever owned.

The trainer has expressed and proven to us several times Jax's working potential. The trainer also said that he usually doesn't see a black and red confirmation dog like Jax work so well. Jax has a high capacity to handle stress and very stable nerves. The trainer also remarked on how well certain dogs were placed in Jax's German pedigree.

Again thank you for your professionalism and continued contact with us, you are doing a marvelous job.

Joseph & Anna


Good evening Roger and Dorothy-

Well, Kaiser turned six months last week!

It is hard to believe Roger that it was back in January when we first spoke and you told me about the pups that would be coming from your dog, Fila in April. Those four months went by slowly, but it was well worth the wait. Kaiser has been everything that you said he would be. His temperament is great and he has been easy to train. The kids love him and are happy to show him off to their friends.

We packed up the four children and Kaiser last week and did some shopping in Freeport, Maine. I can't begin to tell you how many people stopped us and asked if they could pet Kaiser. As the photos demonstrate, he is truly a beautiful dog. We were all very proud of him and he loved the attention. Weekends have been spent walking him on the beach or taking him for walks in the woods. He seems to enjoy them both equally as one offers plenty of canine company and the other plenty of new territory to explore.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for placing such a wonderful dog with our family. As I had told you in January, our first experience with a local breeder was not a good one. It was clear to me after our first conversation that your passion and knowledge for the GS breed sets you apart from the many others I had spoken to or met with. You have always been there to take my call during that first month when I had so many questions and even recently for a few more training tips.

I promise to stay in touch and will continue to forward pictures of Kaiser as he grows. Please feel free to provide my contact information to anyone who is thinking of purchasing a dog from your program.

Thank You

David Morrow
MES Solutions, Inc
Senior Vice President of Sales

----- Original Message -----
From: Jarvis, Ernest @ Washington DC
To: Roger and Dorothy
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2005 5:27 PM
Subject: RE: Update

Ernest Jarvis
Washington, DC

Roger and Dorothy,

Just touching base to let you know that we are very pleased with "Simba", our GSD import pup. The trip from Germany appeared effortless and when he arrived at the airport, we were delighted to meet him. As an added bonus, there was virtually no mess in the crate. We are impressed with his intelligence and, more importantly, his demeanor with our young boys, ages 3 and 5. He has been a wonderful addition to our family.

We looked for quite some time prior to selecting this pup. His black and red color is rich and deep. When we walk him through the neighborhood, our neighbors compliment his color and temperament. The neighborhood children enjoy playing with him and he is very easy to socialize. He's adapted well with rides in the car and plays well with other dogs. I'm impressed when larger dogs sniff him – he is fearless and stands his ground.

We have been crate training him since his arrival and with the exception of a couple of accidents (which were our fault), he's adapted well. In fact, he has started to rest in the open crate.

Simba has been with us only a few weeks, but it seems as if he's been with us for a couple of years.

Thank you again for all of your help in selecting this pup.

Ernest Jarvis

----- Original Message -----
From: sylvia
To: [email protected]
Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2005 2:54 PM
Subject: reference

Dear Von Himmel:

I am so glad I found your ad in Dog Fancy magazine, I always subscribe to. What a unique web site, best I've ever seen. I was very impressed. I knew right then this was not your first barbecue. This was a breeder that knows his dogs. Once I phoned Von Himmel, I knew Roger right from the start was a very respectable person that knows dogs.

Roger explained the differences between a American German Shepherd which I have always had, and a German, German Shepherd. He took his time so I would understand.

He also explained the differences in foods. I always feed my other dogs Iams, but after learning about By Products, I knew I would be buying Innova and now switching to Wellness. I am so glad Roger keeps me up to date on diet recommendations. He is the best breeder I know. He cares. Mezzo also eats tunafish, cottage cheese, green beans, carrots, and potatoes.

My family and I have always had German Shepherd girls. But this one, Mezzo, stands out from the rest. He is a beauty. He's outspoken, very protective, loves kids, loves to play ball and shake paws. I will say I will be glad when he's done teething, he has sharp teeth. I will be sending you some pictures soon.

I want to thank you again. Mezzo is the best. We all love him very much.

Sylvia Ball
Lancaster, NH


Just wanted to say how impressed I am with the German Shepherd you have imported for me. Until now, I never realized just how many different types of German Shepherds there are. My first concern was that the dog must have a very good temperament and be good in a family atsmophere. When I first met your dogs I encountered a very different German Shepherd from the one I owned many years ago. The temperament, color and smarts are outstanding on your dogs. I enjoyed watching you work with them and your friends work their Shepherds too.
This BH titled female I purchased from you, is an incredible watch dog, yet has a perfect temperament around my children and my cat. I feel confident taking her anywhere from hiking in the mountains to a crowded town.
I look forward to learning the SchH 1 routine with you and my wife would like to get into search and rescue work. Thank you for the follow ups and prompt responses to my emails. Your knowledge on diet is extensive and your love for the breed is "eye - opening" to say the least.
Eric Vogel and Family

----- Original Message -----
From: Dane Kottke <[email protected]
To: Roger and Dorothy <[email protected]>
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2005 12:55 PM
Subject: Reference Letter

Roger and Dorothy,

Thank you so much for Mozart, a son of Queno and Wendy. You were right, when you said these are amazing animals. We've had Mozart for 3 weeks now, and he's already blended into our family. Its hard to think of what life was like before him. My kids, wife and I are very happy to have him in our house.

All your attention to breeding, temperament testing, proper nutrition, and training really do pay off. Your passion for German Shepherds was very clear from the first time we talked on the phone. You carefully answered my questions, gave me additional information, and followed up when you said you would. When we first came to visit you and Dorothy, we realized that we would be very hard pressed to find a better breeder. When we met your dog, Queno, we realized we wouldn't find a better father for our puppy. And now we have a prime example of your work and dedication: Mozart.

Mozart is a very curious and smart little fellow. He's not afraid of loud noises, new people, or other dogs. In fact, he seems very confident and accepting of new things, even though he's just a puppy. He picked up house and crate training very fast. After four days, we've been accident free. He also loves to learn new commands, while doing clicker training and positive re-enforcement.

We've had many good compliments about him from others. One of the vets at his animal clinic recognized him immediately as a high-line West German Shepherd and thought he was fantastic. The trainer at his puppy kindergarten said he was a wonderful little shepherd, meaning that he already was showing the loyalty and smarts of the breed. She also was knocked out by how quickly he was crate trained.

But I think the best thing is that he's become one with our family. The kids adore him, and my wife, who wasn't a big dog lover, thinks he's the greatest. They think I did a great job choosing your kennel, but you did all the work by making the right breeding choices and ensuring that Mozart would be the right puppy for us.

Thank you once again,

Dane Kottke
(and from Mary Kay, Christian, Hannah, and Ingrid too.)

From: <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>
Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2005 10:03 PM
Attach: ATT00006.eml
Subject: Mickie Von Himmel (Dennis)

Dear Roger and Dorothy,,
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner regarding Mickie. She is all you said she would be. House training went well. She has free reign of the house the rest of the time. She also has her own bed next to mine. We are just completing puppy training classes and continuing to socialize her outside of class as well. She is very focused on the task at hand. She is very alert and doesn't seem to be afraid of anything. In the short time of having her around, she has been trained to sit-steay, down-stay, come when called by name and is progressing with the classes. Very shortly I will be starting her in agility and light protection work. She is a joy to have around and my family has taken to her as well. She likes to ride in the car and is very well behaved.
Recently we were at the vets' office. The girls at the desk came to check out Jada (Mickie) and they commented on the markings she has. She behaved very well while be examined. Upon leaving the office (when paying the bill), there was a male Rotweiller that weighed at least 150 pound in which Jada was interested. She walked up to him, checked him out, turned back to me and then charged at him nipping him on the nose which shows how much self confidence this pup has.
It seems to me that everywhere we go she gets a lot of attention and people want to know where I got her (hope you don't mind my giving out your web address). You can use me as a reference. I have been very happy with her and she is exactly as what you said she would be. I appreciate the communications from you - both before and after. You truly do follow up. I knew from the first phone call (2 1/2 hour long!!) that you definitely knew about this breed and cared about what kind of people should have them. The connection between Queno and Wendy certainly was a winner due to your careful planning.
I am enclosing pictures taken today. As I get the chance (busy schedule), I will forward others. I hope you enjoy them. Thank you, again.
A happy German Shepherd owner,
Dennis Allain

April 16, 2005
This letter is to affirm my extreme pleasure and absolute satisfaction with the purchase of my new puppy Maxim Von Himmel out of Queno Von Batu, and Wendy Vom Bergmannshof.
My husband and I have been highly impressed with the intelligence of the puppy which is now eleven and one-half weeks old and has the ability to have become crate trained, housebroken, and works on the leash. The dog's appearance is quite outstanding with remarkable coloring and structure. Additionally, the dog possesses outstanding qualities of courage, confidence as well as with a most outgoing personality is quite something to observe and is highly impressive for a puppy of this age. We have been previous owner of a trained German Schutzhund female adult whom we truly loved; however as a comparison, she was more docile and conversely, we have found absolute excellence in the Schutzhund quality instincts in this Von Himmel pup. The dog is extremely watchful and cognizant of his new surroundings more than a dog of his age.
My experience with Roger Tortorells, breeder and importer has been most positive. Roger has expended considerable personal time and effort in both follow-up efforts, house visitations coupled with food and nutrition consultation in conjunction with the Schutzhund standard of quality and trianing. My complements extend to to Mr. Pawsey on a superb socialization of the pups.
Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at (207) 633-4188.
Roberta ARmour
57 Biscay Road, PMB #98
Damariscotta, Maine 04543

----- Original Message -----
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 2:13 PM

I have been around German Shepherds all of my life and I love the breed. Currently, my husband and I have a 10 1/2 year old male neutered German Shepherd, Byron, who we love very much and is an important part of our family. Byron is a wonderful family dog, but he is sometimes too protective. Byron has never bitten anyone but he has scared many people and he barks constantly when we are in the car and people are within site.

My husband and I agreed that our next dog needed to have a more even temperament and we actually considered getting a Golden Retriever. However, I love the GS breed and I decided to contact a friend, Lyman Pope, who has spent years researching the GS breed and see if he had any suggestions. Lyman recommended I contact Roger Tortorella at Von Himmel saying that Roger is a top expert on the GS breed.

On my first telephone conversation with Roger, he spoke at length with me and explained the GS breed, the West German blood lines and the sport of Schutzhund. His knowledge is extensive and directed me to his website. He also sent me additional information. I took detailed notes during our initial conversation and I followed up by researching on the Internet and confirming much of what Roger told me.

During subsequent conversations, Roger discussed with me the options available and the advantages/disadvantages of each option relative to my individual situation. Roger located a couple of absolutely beautiful 1 1/2 year old GS imports with some training and hip certification as well as an adorable GS puppy.

We decided on the puppy and asked Roger to start the process. Almost immediately Roger called us back to say the little puppy had just been checked and that he was perfect except he could not be bred. Roger was completely up front with us. At that point, we asked Roger to look for another puppy and he found our new puppy, Baricello von der Noviswand AKA Baer.

Roger made the arrangements and walked us through all that we needed to know from the puppy's arrival from Germany, to feeding him, to helping him adjust to his new home and other relevant information.

Baer arrived on 5/11/04. He is beautiful German Shepherd with rich black and tan coloring. His lines are very handsome and most importantly his temperament is superb. He has settled into our home and is a very happy, smart and fun puppy. I have received many comments on how beautiful he is and our veterinarian's comment was, " What a gorgeous, healthy puppy with a great temperament!"

My husband and I want to thank Roger Tortorella for bringing to us our beautiful GS puppy, Baer.

Barbara Hanson

----- Original Message -----
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004 8:21 AM

Roger has substantial expertise regarding the high-line West German shepherds. He provided answers to all questions I had about his dogs in extensive detail and with great patience when I initially contacted him about his German Shepherd Dogs. In conversations with him it showed that he takes great pride in his Hi-line German Shepherd Dogs and gives them the best care possible. I've seen his dogs and they are the most beautiful and well behaved German Shepherd Dogs I've ever seen. Recently I purchased one of his puppies and her name is Binka. She is now ten weeks old, she is beautiful, has a super personality, is easily trained, an absolute delight and brings great joy to my life every day. I feel very lucky and proud to have her as part of my family. Since I've had Binka home with me, Roger has provided timely, reassuring and supportive assistance when I've contacted him with any concerns about Binka's care. If I chose to purchase another dog in the future it would definitely be from Zwinger Von Himmel. For me, there isn't any reason to buy a German Shepherd Dog elsewhere.

Chantal Chentrell

June 14, 2004

To Whom It May Concern,

I first met Roger in September of 2002, when I purchased my dog (Augustus) from him. At that time I was unaware of how special these dogs are. They will love you unconditionally and their intelligence will blow you away.
Right from the beginning Roger would spend hours on the phone with me sharing his knowledge of the breed. He has taught me so much and I am very thankful. I have truly never met anyone so deticated and passionate about something as much as Roger is. He is definitely the best German shepherd breeder around. After knowing Roger for about a year, he asked me if I would be interested in whelping a litter in my home. I was so honored that he would trust me to do this. His female (Hilfe) was in my home for about two months and being able to spend time with her and watch the puppies grow up was amazing. I know first hand how intelligent these dogs are even from birth.

Vanessa Richardson
[email protected]

Nicholas L. Giurichich
2 Malcolm's Landing
Northport, New York 11768

October 28, 2004

Dear Roger and Dorothy,
We've had Yuno (we call him Jupiter) for just over 2 months. We loved him from the beginning, he is very handsome and majestic looking. Best of all he has a wonderful temperament. He has been excellent with our grandchildren ages 8 months, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7. Our 12 year old twin grandsons live in Bethestda, Maryland and are also looking forward to seeing Jupiter at Thanksgiving.
He is an excellent traveler having made lengthy auto trips to Vermont, which entail ferry crossings across Long Island sound. Jupiter is very patient for a pup, he waits alone in the car and has been very well behaved at my husbands office during the long visits. We took him in a China shop and he was perfect. He was also a quiet guest when we enjoyed dinner at a friends home. Jupiter exceeded our expectations when we were seeking a pet of good nature who would be good with children. Jupiter is friendly, playful, very smart and a lot of fun.

Lenen and Nick Giurichich