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Winifred G. Strickland collection of dog training materials

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AKE-20-18

Content Description

6 scrapbooks (photos, clippings, correspondence, ribbons) documenting obedience training and event participation; some loose files including manuscript by Strickland on her Wynthea Kennels.

Scope and Contents

Collection highlights the golden period of Strickland's career, when for five consecutive years, 1950 to 1954, three of her dogs were named top obedience dogs of the United States. During this period she earned 40 perfect scores of 200 points.Dogs highlighted include

It is comprised of six scrapbooks of photos, clippings, correspondence, registration and award certificates, and ribbons documenting obedience training, event participation, and breeding of Strickland; some loose files including manuscript by Strickland on her Wynthea Kennels.


  • 1948-1968


Access Restrictions

This material is open to research without restrictions.

Publishing and Use Restrictions

Many of the materials, particularly photographs, may still be under copyright and require permission of the AKC and/or the creator before publishing. Please consult the Archivist.

Biographical note

Winifred "Winn" Gibson Strickland (1916-2012) was a nationally reknowned dog trainer and and German Shepherd breeder. Her Wynthea Kennels produced 24 breed champions and 8 obedience trial champions; she earned 215 obedience titles in her lifetime, still competing into her 80s. Her books include Expert Obedience Training For Dogs, Obedience Class Instruction For Dogs, and The German Shepherd Today.

Born and raised in Nasonville, Rhode Island, Strickland grew up without dogs but a local movie screening of "Rin Tin Tin" had a lasting and truly pivotal effect on her. After a stint as a secretary in New York City, she procured her first German Shepherd, Gerry, and taught him manners and heeling on her own, before enrolling in obedience classes and conformation shows in the late 1940s.

Her next dog, UDT Margelen's Chieftain, or "Topper," was a traumatized dognapping victim whom she patiently socialized and trained, and by 1950 he was earning Top Obedience honors at every major dog show.

In 1952 she again achieved great ring success with Hussan von Haus Kilmark. As a result, the German Shepherd Dog club of Germany awarded Strickland a gold medal and citation for "excellence in dog training."

Strickland's import Alf von Kroppelberg, or "Arry," developed a well-followed and friendly rivaly with Hassan after making history by earning his UDT title in a record 23 weeks in 1954.The two also competed in conformation, frequently winning Best Brace together.

Newly divorced and raising two kids, Strickland earned her pilot's license in the 1960s. She developed notoriety flying around the country to compete and judge at obedience trials and conduct dog training clinics. She made Landenberg, Pennsylvania her permanent home base for Wynthea Kennels, and encouraged all her clients to put breed and obedience titles on their dogs. In 1965, at the AKC's behest, she devised Working Agility competitions for German Shepherds.

In 1951, Strickland established the Little Rhody Dog Tracking Club and was a valued teacher across the country for decades. She was an active member and board member of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America and founded and presided over the Diamond State German Shepherd Dog Club of Delaware.

Physical Description

7 Linear Feet (in 6 custom flat boxes)

Language of Materials



Donated by Susan Strickland, daughter of Winifried Strickland, in 2021.

Related Materials

Several volumes of books and one videocasette program created by Strickland are held by the AKC Library. Consult the online catalog for more details:

Guide to the Winifried Strickland Collection of Dog Obedience Training Scrapbooks
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the American Kennel Club Library & Archives Repository

101 Park Ave
FL 5
New York NEW YORK 10178 United States