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Welcome to Prelude!

    A love for animals set the stage for the International success of Prelude Kennels, and for owners David Swartwood and Thomas Nesbitt. Both active in day to day activities of the busy kennels and farm, they also are committed to the ongoing development of purebred dogs through their judging duties all over the world. 

  Prelude Kennels & Farm is located in Gananoque, ON, a beautiful town located along the historic St. Lawrence River. 

   Find out more about David & Thom Below!


Meet David!


           I have been raised with and training dogs for my entire life, childhood dogs were Boston Terriers.

         My start in breeding pure bred dogs began in high school with American Cockers, Lhasa Apsos and finally deciding on English Springers Spaniels as my breed of choice over 40 years ago.


          Bryden English Springer Spaniels have achieved International fame in conformation, obedience, agility, rally, tracking, therapy and even hunt tests but mostly as loved family pets. David has trained and titles springers in conformation, obedience, agility and rally.


           We added Miniature Wire Haired Dachshunds under the Prelude prefix in 1994. Since then they have achieved Best in Shows and Best In Specialties in North America and around the world.  After 20 years as an All Breed handler I now enjoy judging along side my partner Thom Nesbitt.

            I am an All Breed judge with the Canadian Kennel Club. We have been fortunate to judge together across Canada and the US as well as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Indonesia, Japan, China, South Korea, Bermuda, Bahamas and Puerto Rico. 

           In our spare time we run a training school and small farm with sheep, donkeys, llamas, Dexter cattle and a wide variety of poultry, turkeys, chickens, guinea hens, ducks and peacocks among them.

I love every moment of judging and meeting new people with the similar interest of preserving the sport of pure bred dogs.

Meet Thom!


       Thom has always loved dogs and got smitten by the conformation world when he bought his first show dog, a Siberian Husky, in 1968. The breed proved more challenging than he expected and he later fell in love with American Cockers, buying his first Cocker in 1982. He thought she was beautiful but quickly was made aware that she was not a show dog so he got involved with obedience and put his first CD on a pure bred dog.


          In 1993, David Swartwood, his partner, moved to Canada and he introduced Thom to the wonderful world of English Springer Spaniels (Bryden prefix). They also launched themselves into the world of Miniature Wire-haired Dachshunds which they breed and show under the prefix of Prelude.


        In 1994 Thom began his judging career, first getting his license for the Sporting Group and then Hounds and is now licensed as a Canadian Kennel Club all-breed judge. He is a Theologian by training, having graduated at McGill University in Montreal. His career was in Health Care as a Palliative Care Counsellor and he was National Executive Director of Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind.


     Today, he is retired and he and David enjoy their 57 acre hobby farm. David is also a judge and together they have had the privilege of judging in Canada of course, the USA, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Colombia, Argentina, Ireland, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Costa Rica.

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