I am Tristan Fransen and I live in Winterslag, a district of Genk in Belgian Limburg that is known for its coal mining past. In 2002 I took my first steps in the world of dogs. I trained my first dog Tosca, a purebred beagle, at a dog obedience school for all breeds. There, I picked up the dog vibe and I soon became a dog instructor.
After a few years, however, I was ready for a new challenge so in 2008 I ended up in dogsport for working/utility dogs. The first dog I trained in the IPO program was a Belgian shepherd – Malinois called Haylie from Marraxplace. But since I already trained at a VVDH (Association for German Shepherds) dog club, I became more and more attracted to the German shepherd breed.
In 2010 I finally got the chance to get started with my first German shepherd dog: Kaya vom Banholz, a breeding female from the kennel von der Daelenberghütte of Rinus Bastiaansen. I trained/trialed her to IPO-3, got different working titles and I also participated with her for the first time at a provincial championship.
With much admiration I have always looked up to Rinus as a helper, a judge and a breeder. With his support I became a passionate club helper, (allround) trial helper and tracklayer. Already several times I participated as an allround helper at major competitions such as the Universal Sieger selection competition and the VVDH Championship.
In 2013 I met Mona Henriksson and Thomas Bengtsson, owners of Brigadens kennel, a kennel of German shepherds in Sweden. Initially it was planned that I would train their breeding female, Brigadens Elda, so that she could be used in their breeding program. I trained/trialed Elda to IPO-3, got different working titles and competed in several selection trials, with varying successes.
The connection I had with Elda on and off the training field is one to never break. Fortunately Mona and Thomas noticed this too so they decided to entrust Elda to me. A decision for which I will always be grateful to them. And this is the start for our own kennel von der Feuerbrigade.
About the kennel
The kennel name von der Feuerbrigade is dedicated to Mona Henriksson and Thomas Bengtsson from the Brigadens kennel. Translated to English the kennel name would mean from the Firebrigade:
- Fire: English translation for the Swedish name Elda
- Brigade: reference to Brigadens kennel
Our main goal is breeding healthy, stable and workable / temperamental German Shepherds that are suitable as a sport dog, companion dog for (active) families or service dog.