I'm Linda Lavender, and I entered the professional dog world in 1996 training dogs for Command Performance . Alan and his daughter Jennifer Steinle are behavioral trainers based out of Atlanta, Georgia. However, as a mother, I needed a job with benefits, so I moved on, but stayed in contact with the Steinles and worked with them occasionally.
In 2008, Jennifer offered to co-own a beautiful American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff) with me. I accepted and entered the world of Conformation Showing. Jennifer and Kevin Sheppard of Ambition Amstaffs handled her to her Championship Title. Every weekend we went out, Ziva won something. I was HOOKED!
My house is small and my family was large at the time, so I couldn't have many Amstaffs. I went looking for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Stafford/Staffy/Staffy Bull) and acquired a FANTASTIC example of the breed from Michelle Bryant and Sandra Carter of Shortyrock Staffords .
Jennifer and Kevin handled Cisco until 2013 when I entered the ring for the first time. I showed him off and on until he finished. Then I decided I wanted to rank him in the top 20. Our first weekend out in 2015 we took Best of Breed and a Group placement under Judge Thomas Yates. I was able to get him in the top 20 and keep him there for the year even though I only showed him from January to August. That year, he won Best Opposite Sex at the 2015 National under Judge Craig Frazer and again on a supported entry under Judge Judy Heller.
My next goals were to finish a dog by myself. I've since titled Fancy and a couple of her sisters as well as many others. Fancy and I also achieved a Grand Champion title and she was the #3 Amstaff bitch of 2017. Fuego is currently ranked in the top 3 for 2018 and 2019 with multiple group placements. Fuego won an award at Westminster two years in a row.
I have since added some nice stable and healthy Staffords and Amstaff girls to my "kennel". My next goals are sport titles, multiple Group 1 placements, Best in Specialty Show awards, and ranking in the top 5.