Welcome to Marathon Land. I am Vassilis Balakas and together with Eleni Katikou my wife, we welcome you to the land… of our lives!
How we started…
Reason: Our special love for animals and especially dogs.
Occasion: Hera, Ozzy, Thalis, Quinna, Psipsinos an aquarium and a canary. All together in an Athens apartment.
Goal: the best living and symbiosis of all of us in the best possible conditions
Result: Marathon Land and the start of a new life.
We were born in the same year, in Athens… a common beginning that developed into a common path.
Both of us from a very young age had excellent relationships with animals.
At the age of 18 our paths met and since then we have been growing together, helping and supporting each other.
Marathon Land was a lifelong dream for us (without a name until then but with all the details of its construction in full awareness)
In 1987 we decided to put into practice what until then was only imprinted in our minds & dreams.
Under no circumstances did we ever consider staying away from our dogs.
Our home is where our dogs live. After all, that’s what we came here for.
With the stubbornness of our youth acting as a counterweight to all the difficulties that arose, in 1989, Marathon Land became a reality.
From then on, the dream becomes a way of life. Certainly a way of life quite different from what we knew until then. No Sundays, holidays, summer vacations, specific working hours, but with a daily life full of dogs.
There is the immediacy with nature, the distance from the frantic rhythms of the city. You watch the dogs and the way they work and move and they teach you that instinct was and will be a great way to work when everything else seems to stop.
So having the infrastructure we designed our three main services
The 15 acre estate helped house everything we had dreamed of. We have tried from the beginning to make the premises so that the guest dogs have what we would like our own dogs to have.
The dog rooms, the exercise areas, the auxiliary areas, the kitchen, the bathroom, every part of the estate was created with the sole purpose of providing the comfort that we would offer to our own dogs.
German Shepherd Breeder
The German Shepherd was the dog whose characteristics and character finally won the appreciation of both of us. We acquired our first purebred dogs in 1990. The goal of our breeding is to preserve what we admired and appreciated in the breed
“In character, the German Shepherd Dog should be balanced (smooth temperament) with a strong nervous system, confident, fully aware and in a good mood – except when handled defiantly. He must also be attentive and obedient.”
With respect to all who have been involved with the breed for 100 years and to all who will choose it as their dog:
“It must possess the instinctive behaviour, the ability to work under pressure and be confident in order to be suitable for the various purposes it was made to do, e.g. as a family, companion, sporting, guard and service dog.”
Every mating a new challenge!
Every expecting litter new expectations!
Every new life new stimuli for tomorrow!
Every dog new experiences!
A dog is happy the moment he offers or does something for his owner. Through training you learn, know and love your dog much more than you think.
Especially if the breed you breed is a working dog. Those who have a working dog are “obligated” to engage in work. This is how they keep their dog alive.
Max Stefanitz’s words will forever be printed in my mind. “Take the trouble to do what I ask you to do. Make sure that my German Shepherd remains a working dog, as I have been striving all my life for this cause.”
By staying true to all of the above we are committed to a character guarantee on our puppies and adult dogs.
Today almost 35 years after the day we started our lives here, we still passionately love what we do.
We still add little or big things, details or even whole pieces for even better accommodations, for even better training results.
Our emotions are still as strong with each new generation of puppies as they were with the first!
Our participation in each competition is still as unique and special.
But our need to discover new techniques, new experiences with our dogs… continues to grow day by day!
This in short is our life and by our life we mean everything to do with Marathon Land. But no matter how much we describe, it doesn’t compare to a personal encounter and a tour of a dream come true. We look forward to you becoming a part of this wonderful journey!