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Viper was #15 conformation Sheltie in the breed for 2022.
If you're here you must be interested in Shetland Sheepdogs.

Istari came into being in the mid 1970's with Kathy's urge for "just one dog." We have been exhibiting Shelties for over 30 years. We show in both American Kennel Club (AKC) and United Kennel Club (UKC) shows. To help you interpret the titles commonly seen on this website, I've put together this little guide:

AKC Championship Ch.
AKC Grand Championship GCh.
UKC Championship U-Ch.
UKC Grand Championship GrCh.
Canadian Championship Can Ch.
Reserve Best In Show RBIS
Best in Multiple Breed Show BIMBS
Best in Specialty Show BISS

We are located in sunny Phoenix, Arizona - a desert city with temperatures ranging from lows of 40 degrees and highs of 70 during the winter months to lows of 90 degrees and highs above 110 in the summertime. Due to the summertime heat, we generally take a break from showing then to enjoy the swimming pool and events in the air conditioning. Please see our AVAILABLE page for puppies or adults looking for their forever homes.


AKC GCHB/UKC CH Blue Heavens Top Gun

Our goal is to produce a genetically and structurally sound dog with a temperament you can live with. After all, they are show dogs only 1% of the time and companions 99%. We no longer breed Eskies. The Shelties have had their eyes checked by a board certified ophthalmologist and, once they reach 2 years of age, hips certified free of dysplasia by OFA. In addition, all the Shelties have been tested for DMA (Dermatomyositis) so that we can best prevent this disease.

Keith is a President of the Desert Southwest Shetland Sheepdog Association and the Grooming Space Coordinator for the American Shetland Sheepdog Association. Kathy is President of the Mid-Arizona Sheepdog Club and Show Secretary for the Desert Southwest Shetland Sheepdog Association. So, you can say our "free time" has gone to the dogs.

Our daughter, Rebecca, grew up with the dogs and actively showed in both Junior Showmanship and in the conformation ring as a youngster. She was the winner of two Best Junior Handler awards at American Shetland Sheepdog Association national specialties as well as numerous awards at all breed shows. Now, as an adult, Rebecca has joined us in our quest for the perfect Shelties.


RBIS/BISS GCh/BIMBS GrCh Istari Midnight Sun (Edward)

#1 Shetland Sheepdog - UKC 2011, 2012 & 2013

We are often asked how we came up with the kennel name "Istari." The word "Istari" means "wise ones" in The Lord Of The Rings and was used to decribe the wizards (Maiar), such as Gandalf, who came to Middle-earth in the Third Age.


� 2018