THE LEGEND - ZAMP

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Zamp - A Legend in his own Lifetime
By Sue Belfield
Kassieger GSD

VA1 Zamp vom Thermodos SchH3

(Sire: Vice Sieger Quantum v Arminius   Dam: Ute vom Thermodos)
27/01/2002 - 02/03/2010

The story begins in Bad Neustadt an ancient city cocooned within a wall and built in the shape of a heart which stands amidst the beautiful county of Rhoen – Grabfeld nestling in the very heart of Germany it is here where on 27th January 2002 a litter of six puppies were born at the kennel ‘Grabfeldgau’ the home of family Dieterich - Reinhard, Sigrid and their two daughters Julia and Lisa. This fairytale setting with this kind, generous and loving family was all so fittingly perfect, surely there could be no better place for the most loved & famous German Shepherd of modern times to have started his journey into the hearts of an entire Shepherd World than the spot where in 790AD the famous King Charlemagne looking down from the Salz (Castle) hill supposedly said to his queen, “As a sign of our love I will build a city below in the shape of a heart”.

Bad Neustadt the city with a heart

A recent litter being lovingly reared at ‘Grabfeldgau’  

Young Lisa Dieterich was only 8 years old when Zamp was born, nonetheless it was she who picked him out from the litter, claiming “He must have been a stunning puppy”,  Lisa immediately corrected me by saying “No Sue, when he was young he was a no good dog, very long and croup was not good also” this prompted me to ask Lisa “What was it about him then that made you chose him?” to which she replied, “I just loved him the most because he was the one who was fat and always wanted to sleep”, is there a more endearing reason for an 8yr old child to have fallen in love with a puppy than that? His dam Ute vom Thermodos was 3 months old when she came on breeding terms to Reinhard Dieterich listed as her ‘Halter’ (trainer) with whom the dog resides and so in German terms is also considered an owner although with different rights. Ute made 10 x SG1 in her young show career , graded ‘V’ at 2yrs and qualified SchH2, Kkl1a. Under breeding terms agreement Herr Albrecht Woerner as breeder & owner of Ute had choice of stud for her first litter and so she was mated to Rapi Supra, whelped and reared by the Dieterich family when the pups were old enough Herr Woerner took the whole litter. Pick of mate for her 2nd litter fell to Reinhard Deiterich his choice of Ute’s union with Quantum v Arminius is one many of us will be forever grateful. As both owner and breeder of the dam the litter had to be registered in Herr Woerners kennel name of ‘Thermodos’. For half the monetary value of the litter Herr Woerner agreed to sign ownership to Reinhard and as Lisa was totally besotted with this particular male pup Reinhard made her halter of the puppy registered as Zamp v Thermodos and Lisa enjoyed spending time training him in agility.

   As we know, all puppies go through various stages of development especially males and during the next 6 months as Lisa so aptly described earlier many of the stages Zamp went through were really ‘not good’ ones. Therefore how fortunate that but for the love of a child this phenomenal male could have been lost forever to the breed living his life as an ordinary pet in a common household as opposed to the super pet in the Dieterich family home.

8yr old Lisa at play with Zamp

Lisa & Julia celebrating his Junghund Sieger win of 2003

In October 02 at the age of 10mths Zamp was entered into his first show at Heroldsberg near Nurnberg the judge was Herr Nitschke, with Reinhard as owner, Lisa as halter and handled by her sister Julia then only 16 years of age it was a real family affair and Zamp gained the  grade of very promising taking 1st place in the baby class.  During the following year ’03 and in readiness for the forthcoming Sieger show, Zamp was vigorously campaigned; he remained unbeaten with a show record of 10 first places. Inevitably the more he was winning the more people were now talking of how good the dog is when on proviso Lisa remained halter of Zamp, it was agreed Herr Woerner would share ownership with Reinhard and so it came to pass.  The remainder of his story is recorded in historic archives of the SV when at the Bundessieger held in Ulm SV judge Herr Bernhard Norda awarded him SG1and title of 2003 Junghund Sieger. Returning to the city of Ulm in 2005 Zamp presented his first progeny group having being at stud for the short period of 18mths (this is due to SV rule of no propagation allowed prior to 2yrs of age) all offspring were only aged between 12-18mths, nonetheless the sheer class and future promise was evident even at this early stage and has since been borne out by the fact this first group consisted of the now well known names of VA3 Negus v Holtkamper See, VA2 Pania dell’Alto Pino, VA9 Chiara von Steffen Haus to name but three from his ever increasing number of auslese progeny. From seeing him in 2003 I was already in love with this male, how much more in love with him was I on seeing his potential as a sire as I watched this young group gaiting around the ring. With such an impressive group it was no surprise as Herr Heinz Sheerer judge of the Adult class that year moved Zamp into the Auslese group for the first time placing him VA5 behind the then Sieger & VA1 Larus v Batu, VA2 Quantum v Arminius, VA3 Erasmus van Noort and VA4 Pakros d’Ulmental when glancing through the 2005 catalogue you might be interested to find his ownership to only be in the name of Reinhard Dieterich with Lisa as halter, whereby the following year in 2006 though Lisa is still stated as halter the only owner named is Herr Woerner. This is because in the German SV only one name is ever entered in the catalogue under owner. In the Autumn of 2007 Herr Woerner sold his share of the partnership in Zamp. 

above 2005 now VA5 Zamp at rest with Lisa and below with Reinhard, Julia, Lisa and Sigrid 


In 2006 the Sieger Show was held in Oberhausen where in glorious sunshine Zamp presented progeny for the 2nd time and a more awesome progeny group I had never seen from any sire to date. Paraded around the packed stadium to rapturous applause there were even certain sections of the crowd seen to be giving the group a standing ovation. Never before have I witnessed a showing of such affection or widespread approval for any sire and his group of progeny. The next day during a torrential down pouring of rain Herr Sheerer judging the Adult Class moved Zamp up one place from his initial 2nd position into 1st here we had another great moment in Sieger history as with arm outstretched in the air his now 20yr old handler Julia, clad in soaking white tracksuit waved constantly to the cheering crowd whilst somehow managing to keep control of Zamp and her feet from slipping as she continued to gait him around the saturated ring. Meanwhile the face of young Lisa as she stood by the barrier on the outside of the ring was flooded with tears, tears of joy of course but I imagine also of relief that her beloved boy was now but a short time away from becoming VA1 and crowned German Sieger 2006. Luckily for me we had acquired Zamps daughter Daira earlier that year and as Lisa was her halter she was still living at the Dieterich family home while awaiting her Pet Passport, in fact if truth be known she was still sleeping on Lisa’s bed.!! So this connection was the reason I suddenly found myself being generously embraced by the family involving me in their intimate celebrations, just one more precious memory to add to my personal Zamp experience and one only the unselfish goodwill of this loving family in their readiness to share Zamp with his World of admirers could and still make possible for even now wherever Zamp appears a crowd emerges.

2008 - Sieger show Aachen -Zamp still pulls the crowds despite the fact he did not compete

Preceding his win at the Bundessieger Show Zamp attended the 2006 World Show held in Dortmund when taking the lead herself this time, Lisa steered him all the way to Best In Show and to the title of World Sieger.  Funnily enough, despite all his other major wins and coveted VA titles this win, at an All breed show in Dortmund (albeit the world show), is the only one recognised by the British Kennel Club as his qualifying entry to Crufts 2008 where his attendance lent for more history in the making. Here a trilogy of firsts started to unfold a first for Reinhard, Sigrid & Lisa entering British Shores, a first for a German Sieger being exhibited at Crufts and therefore a first time any British judge had the privilege of judging one. As we all know he came, he saw and he conquered and is so far the only dog to be awarded a Commemorative Achievement Medal from the British Breed Council of Clubs. For more than Crufts Best Of Breed under judge Mr Terry Hannan that day Zamp won the love and affection of all he came in contact with thus taking a little piece of all our hearts back home with him to Germany.

2006  Sieger Podium Oberhausen 2006 BIS World Show Dortmund 2008 Crufts Best Of Breed
Zamp with time for  everyone at Crufts With family, friends and son Digger at Aachen The Crufts Farewell gathering

This story for now is coming to an end, I hope it has many more chapters to fulfil in the future for apart from his sheer beauty, superb temperament, calm disposition and tremendous producer of progeny, the most wonderful, amazing part of Zamp’s life is the relationship between himself and his devoted ‘human’ family, who all cherish this mega superstar first and foremost as their beloved family pet, upon which no financial price tags have any place nor will ever hold any value. After all who sells a piece of their Heart? So how much more of a Fairytale could it be for the dog who occupies a space in the hearts of so many world wide enthusiasts, than to live at the home of a big hearted family, in a heart shaped city, within the heart of Germany? Perhaps the answer to that is best described when I tell you that while being told most of this story as we dined in the reverent surroundings of the cloisters at the Carmelite Monastery in nearby Ehem, the now 15yr old Lisa in a passionate display of love and everlasting devotion quite appropriately banged her fist on the table declaring in no uncertain terms, “Zamp was born here and he will die here”. I believe no more need be said!

Here follows a collage of photo’s depicting the life of the wonderful Sieger Zamp v Thermodos

Here I come
A Leap of Faith
Hang on just going to fetch that stick!!
You want another pose? Ok how about this one!?!
Sitting pretty
(R to L) Zamp with progeny Digger and Daira vom Elzmundungsraum
The Lovable, Adorable and Irrepressible "Zamp vom Thermodos"



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This Page was last modified on 01 May, 2017.

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