When I lost my most recent adult German Shepherd Dog in November of 2018, just a few days before Thanksgiving, I recall thinking to myself that this was the last one. I just could not bear the burden of saying goodbye to any more best friends, it was too hard. Around three months later I began to come around to the realization that I could not possibly live without a German Shepherd in my life, and so the search for a new companion began.
Having purchased our previous two Shepherds from a reputable breeder while living in the Midwest, we certainly know the value of obtaining an animal via a quality kennel and began our search here in Colorado with that in mind. I cast quite a wide net and even considered importing a puppy from some big name kennels at ludicrous expense. Eventually, however, I decided to narrow my search to within eight or nine hours from home in Durango. Still, this left me with an overwhelming number of breeders to consider. Rather than begin by calling them all first, they are all going to tell me their dogs are the best anyway, I started looking from the other end by reading reviews from their customers and taking a general ‘internet temperature’ compiled from multiple sources. What I found was that Kim and Von Rief German Shepherds scored very, very, well on this metric. Kim’s customers consistently had amazing things to say about her and, especially, her dogs. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical of the ‘Breeding The Best In The World’ marketing on the website, it is a rather bold claim, but the photographs showed gorgeous dogs and the material touted an excellent breeding program certified by the AKC and other agencies that dabble in the vast world of canines so I sent an inquiry. I quickly received a response from Kim who asked me to fill out a questionnaire regarding my interest in German Shepherds, my experience, what my goals were, etc. While reading the questions and filling out the information, I knew that Kim cared deeply about the dogs she is breeding and it wasn’t only about the dollars for her. Following that we had a phone conversation and talked about my timeline for wanting a new puppy, we were still a few months from being ready for the commitment. I sent her a deposit to get us on the list for a future litter and felt very comfortable doing so despite choosing not to make the 7 hour drive to Colorado Springs in order to ‘inspect’ her operation firsthand. Though again, who isn’t a bit nervous making decisions like this?
Well, I needn’t have been and that is why I was eager to write a review for Kim, especially considering the heartfelt reviews from her past customers had a big impact on my decision. Our puppy was born in early March to the Nokia x Netzer litter and Kim kept us up to date on the lot of them weekly with photos and general information. While waiting was probably the hardest eight weeks I can recall in a long time, Kim kept us well informed and entertained with news of the litter. I decided I really didn’t want to make the long drive over the mountains to pick one out of the three males we had available to us and relied heavily on Kim’s experience and knowledge of her dogs to help me decide which pup would best suit our lifestyle and goals. She graciously sent me video of all the pups together and separate, and along with her input we chose our boy Beso (red collar) and set a date and time to pick him up in Colorado Springs.
On our pickup date we arrived at the kennel and Kim had everything ready to go. Puppy, paperwork, tour of the kennel, meet the parents, just like clockwork. The Von Rief kennels are clean and well maintained, all of the dogs appeared happy and healthy, no surprises at all. It was a pleasure to finally meet Kim in person and her reputation as an excellent breeder and overall awesome person is one hundred percent spot on in my opinion. But what about the dog?
The dog. The dog, the dog, the dog. Words simply cannot express how amazing this puppy is and how much our whole family has fallen in love with him. I cannot say what the specific breeding strategy is at Von Rief, but our puppy is all around fantastic. He is calm, stable, outrageously intelligent and willing to learn. In turn, his drive is very strong and he is very confident. I cannot wait to see him full grown. He has an absolutely rock-solid temperament, and, if I may, is stunningly gorgeous. In short, I couldn’t have asked for more and feel that I got what I paid for and then some. For the sake of first time owners who may read this, please do not interpret this to mean that we got Rin Tin Tin out of a box from Von Rief. You are getting a German Shepherd puppy and everything that comes along with that. It is up to you to educate yourself and devise a training plan long before you pick up any puppy. However, Von Rief has put all of the ingredients in the bag for you to create the dog you imagine that you want. These pups are the real deal. At 16 weeks of age Beso is crate trained, potty trained, has passed basic manners class and knows all of the general commands. Of course he is still a puppy and prone to acts of domestic terrorism, but of all the dogs I’ve owned he is truly the smartest and most focused at this age. We are very happy with our pup and look forward to many years of companionship with him. I would not hesitate for a moment to recommend Von Rief German Shepherds to anyone looking for a quality example of the breed.
Thank you, Kim. We are forever grateful for entrusting us with one of your puppies.
-Martin Stordeur, Durango, CO
Within the past two years we had to put two of our German Shepherds down because of DM (Degenerative Myelopathy). To watch your dogs, who you love with all your heart, who only went to the vet for shots for the 7 and 8 years of their lives; go thru that horrific disease is heart wrenching. I don’t think I cried so hard and long in my life and swore I would not get another German Shepherd.It was November 2014 and my husband and I were talking about how we missed having a German Shepherd as part of our family and the feeling of safety we felt with having one. So, I started searching the web for GSD breeders, even though I swore I wouldn’t. I came across this most magnificent looking German Shepherd puppy I have ever seen. I immediately emailed the contact inquiring about purchasing him even though he was in Colorado and we live in Pennsylvania. No lie, I got a response back in less than 5 min, it was Kim Rief. She responded with she just sold the puppy the day before. I was so disappointed. I was a day too late. I wrote back that we wanted to surprise our kids with a puppy this Christmas. She wrote back about a litter she was expecting in January 2015.
I went onto her website to investigate more about Von Rief German Shepherds. Low and behold I couldn’t believe my eyes…she guarantees all of her puppies will be DM (Degenerative Myelopathy) FREE!! Well that was the first of 300 emails we exchanged that she so quickly answered of mine! She is an amazing person, so kind, patient, professional and down to earth. She never made me feel like I was being a pain in the butt even though I knew I was. She was more than happy to answer any question we had.
In the next week Kim sent us pictures from Kora’s ultra sound! The morning of January 18th I get an email with a picture of the first puppy that was just born. It was a boy! In the next couple of weeks Kim sent us pictures of the puppies, so fluffy and too cute! When the puppies were 5 weeks old, my husband Ed and I flew out to Colorado to pick which one would be part of our family. Kim opened her home to us, made us feel so comfortable, like family. It was so nice to finally meet her.
Three weeks later Bane flew home to his new family! He is the most amazing German Shepherd! He is so stinking smart it’s scary. Talk about a handsome boy. Anyone who sees him stops us to tell us what a good looking dog he is. What Kim advertises about her dogs is the truth. Banes temperament is sound and praise God he is very health. Our vet here was very impressed with not only Bane but with Kim.
We so highly recommend Kim Rief and her German Shepherd Dogs. You can just see the love in Kim’s eyes she has for her German Shepherds and her breeding is impeccable. Thank you Kim for everything!
My family has bred, raised, shown and trained quality German Shepherd Dogs since 1968. We had to retire from that endeavor some 20 years ago due to retirement and physical relocation. We have, however, managed to keep at least three to four German Shepherds with us at all times.About a year ago my daughter had to replace her dog who had passed on in a tragic manner. We searched long and hard to find a reputable breeder who also had high quality puppies and was in agreement with what we considered important in the breed. Intelligence, temperament, energy, and physically as close as one could come to the German Shepherd Standard established in Germany and reflected in the American Standard acknowledged by the American Kennel Club. This was no easy task as we bore conflict with the vast majority of “big name breeders” we had shown against during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. We had always respected and followed the standard when other breeders were bending to fads, i.e.., running on their hocks, elongated stifles, questionable temperament, insufficient fronts, etc..One day we found von Rief kennels and were impressed. We saw a mating that looked quite promising and proceeded to order one up. But, this is not the end of it. Of course we met and spoke with Kim Rief, obviously the owner of the kennel. A most pleasant surprise to be sure. Kim is a very gracious person who truly loves the breed and does everything in her power to produce quality while showing love and devotion to each of her charges. By being so inclined, she is attempting to better the breed. (A task not to be taken lightly) Since my life was saved several times in Vietnam by my Sentry Dog, Ajax, I had tried to devote my life to trying to repay the breed by enhancing it. After all, if it weren’t for a German Shepherd, I would not have been alive the past 48 years. Kim is carrying on this tradition for which I am so very grateful to her.Several months ago I had to go to a hospital in Denver for some studies. Kim found time in her busy schedule to take the long drive to Denver just to chat with me at the hospital for an hour and a half over lunch. A wonderful visit.
In all my years of loving the breed, I found only one other breeder who sincerely was in it for the love of the breed and NOT for the feather in his cap. That was Ernest Loeb, owner of the famous Lahngold Kennels in Smithtown, Long Island, N.Y.. I am so proud to say My. Loeb was our teacher, mentor and close friend. A true gentleman of the old school and 100% ethical. I can now add a second name to that list. Kim Rief. A most wonderful and gracious human being. Kim, I am so glad we met.
From day one of talking to Kim we knew that she was a great dog breeder. She helped us a lot on our process of purchasing our now gorgeous puppy which we absolutely adore! She was very quick to respond to our questions and always answered them with information to help us. Her German Shepherds are so beautiful and always are very well socialized. The puppy whom we got from her is very well handled and very playful as well.Von Rief were great to work with and we highly recommend them to anyone looking for high quality, happy German Shepherds! We love our dog, he is a joy to have in our home. Thank you, Von Rief, and keep up the great work! We love our dog!
My wife and I have been long-time lovers of the German Shepherd dog and have owned a number of them. We have entered our dogs in the show ring as well as in obedience competition receiving titles from each. We were fortunate to have our shepherds for many years but our last shepherd died approximately 2 years ago leaving an emptiness in our lives. After seeing a German Shepherd playing in a yard one day which brought back wonderful memories of our own dogs, we began searching for a breeder who valued the same qualities in a shepherd as my wife and I did. Those qualities included a dog of sound mind, temperament, confirmation, and sound physical attributes so as to decrease risk of physical problems such as hip dysplasia.In checking the different kennels, we can across Von Rief Kennels and discovered two litters which were going to be available for purchase. Both litters appeared excellent, having the qualities we were looking for. My first response from Kim Ade about the litters was an immediate response by email with all my questions answered. She began trying to identify a puppy with the qualities we was looking for and she continued to evaluate the puppies over the next few weeks. We received Everybody Loves Brinkley ( Brinkley) at around 9 weeks of age and he was outstanding. We couldn’t be happier. I plan to work with Brinkley in obedience since I enjoy this so much.We have found Kim to be a breeder who puts emphasis on temperament, confirmation, and physical attributes which we were looking for. She always responded to our questions, provided pictures of perspective puppies, and was so instrumental in arranging the shipment despite many barriers that arose and always kept our dog’s safety in mind. We couldn’t be happier with Brinkley and we will plan to purchase any additional German Shepherds in the future from Kim and Von Rief Kennels.