In 2012, Vera Symonds began Trademark Kennels with breeding quality German Shepherds, carrying on bloodlines that her mother and father, Barbara and Benjamin Gautreaux, of Bar-Ben Kennels started in 1978. She believes this breed is exceptional in all aspects of performance and companionship, meant to be versatile and very loyal. Although Trademark Kennels is still in the infant stages of becoming a well-established breeder, training (of all breeds) and breeding of German Shepherds has been a lifelong endeavor with 25 years of accomplishments and wisdom in this industry.
With ambition and passion to work with animals, Vera Symonds aspired to study behaviors and learn from accomplished trainers and began competitions specifically in dog and horse shows earning her the first title, AKC’s Companion Dog in 1992, at the age of 11 and champion barrel racer with her pony. Her love of a dog named Bar-Ben’s Impressive Copy and his willingness to work with her, a child, was ultimately the planted seed for her training and the kickoff to her imminent path with canines. Along the way she received a college degree in Computer Information Systems, specializing in Network Administration and acquired management experience with large corporations in the service and sales industries.
During the past 25 years in canine training and breeding, Vera Symonds has achieved many titles from the American Kennel Club as well as:
- AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
- AKC STAR Puppy Instructor
- Association of Professional Dog Trainers
- Therapy Dogs International participant
- Member & Instructor for local Greater Fredericksburg Kennel Club
- Member of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America
- Previous board member of German Shepherd Dog Club of Northern Virginia
In 2016, Trademark Kennels began a service dog program for children with Autism, providing healthy and sound puppies with an affordable and timely approach to the growing need in our community. Trademark Kennels goals include helping people whether by companionship, competition, or day-to-day service needs and to build confidence in families with well-respected canine citizens.