About Us

Patrick and Susan Shelmadine, Owners of Fireside Retrievers




Fireside Retrievers was established in 1988. Our goal is to breed not only a top quality field trial dog, but also a dog for hunting, obedience, and one who will make an excellent all-around companion. Trainability, tractability, intelligence and retrieving ability are very important in our breeding program.

We take our girls to sires that both compliment them and who will add to our breeding program. All sires we use are either finished Field Champions or are pointed towards their field champions. All have OFA/Cerf.

We have bred dogs that are qualified all age, dogs with derby points, and dogs that have tracking, agility and master hunter titles. We also have several dogs currently doing very well in obedience. One just took high in trial at Kalamazoo, Michigan in the UKC novice class with a 200 and has several AKC high in trials from the novice class. Another one from the Virginia Beach area is currently being campaigned in the “B” classes and is consistently winning high in trial and high combined. We have placed two with the ski patrol in Aspen, have several doing search and rescue, and have placed two for drug detection.

Susan has been in dogs since 1970. She started in obedience, first with German Shepherds and then with Golden Retrievers. She has had several UD dogs with High In Trial and top scores. Susan has experience as an obedience trainer for an obedience club and has taught private lessons as well. In 1986 she got into the field trial game. Susan has trained three Goldens. All three have derby points, and two are Qualified All-Age with Open and Amateur points.

Patrick’s interest in dogs began back in the fifties when his dad, an avid hunter, began breeding German Shorthaired Pointers for the field. An interest in obedience and confirmation stemmed from that involvement. Eventually the pointers were replaced with Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers. The demands of running his own company kept him out of the field trial game. However, Pat always hunted his dogs and had the time to train and compete in hunt tests when they came into being. He has trained with some of the best obedience people in the country and still enjoys traveling to and judging obedience trials. He developed and instructed a puppy kindergarten class for a licensed kennel club. He also was an obedience instructor at the beginners and advanced levels for many years. He put a UD on one of his goldens and has qualified for and exhibited at several Gaines events. One of his most rewarding experiences was being involved in a therapy dog group that visited nursing homes and senior centers.

Both Susan and Pat instructed a field training class for the Golden Retriever Club of Illinois. He and Susan decided to follow their dream of breeding and training goldens that can endure the pressure field training requires, to stand up under the tough conditions of hunting in adverse weather and rough terrain and above all be a loving and trusting companions.

In 1997 we moved from the Chicago area to a rural area in Virginia. We have designed and built excellent kennel facilities at our present location with plenty of space for the dogs to play, along with access to vast amounts of additional acreage with lots of water to train on. It is an ideal place for the dogs, horses, cats and us.