Archive for 2009
Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
When making a home delivery, there’s always a lot to talk about. In addition to showing the client how to handle their protection dog, I offer advice ranging anywhere from nutrition, to bonding, to ensure that you’ll get the maximum security benefit from your dog.
One bit of advice that always seems to surprise our clients is that you should not reveal the name of your protection dog to anyone outside of your inner circle. Not many people have heard this. It seems like the most natural thing ever, like introducing a member of the family. However, knowing a dog’s name allows someone to exercise control.
My point was proven a few years back when I had a Dutch trainer at my kennel along with a new Belgian Malinois. The Malinois was in an enclosure and we were standing outside it. I commanded, in Dutch, that the dog ‘come here’. The dog looked at me but did not come. Using the dog’s name, I said “Troy, come here”. The dog immediately responded and came to me. Knowing his name made the dog feel less defensive. The trainer left having learned a lesson.
Protection dogs should be trained not to cue on name but on the handler’s vocals only. The handler’s voice is as important as the command. We also do not teach our dogs using hand signals (as commands) for the same reason. When we deliver a dog, we teach him or her to take command from your vocals instead of ours.
Here at the kennel, we do not use names in our training. We have one name for males and another for females. It’s not uncommon for us to train multiple dogs at the same time; during this time, we only control the dogs through voice commands and eye contact, not through the use of names. Although all of our dogs have a given pedigree name, they are delivered without knowing their names. I have several clients who never use their dog’s name at all.
So next time you are walking your dog and someone asks you what your dog’s name is, keep in mind that the truth may not be in your best interest. For security purposes, maybe “Max” will do?
Monday, December 28th, 2009
We are excited to announce that we have bred our two top Elite Family Estate Protection dogs, Jenny & Max. Jenny is a DDR Czech line import German Shepherd that we imported three years ago at seven weeks. She was one of the two import female pups that we held back for our breeding program, out of ten imported female pups that we bought from the Czech Republic for our breeding program. She had just completed our Elite Family Estate Protection dog program which is an extraordinary accomplishment at such a young age. Her nerves are strong and her protection is extraordinary; at the same time, she is very efficient, very sociable and loves children.
Max is a K.N.P.V. PH 1 title German Shepherd that we purchased from Holland for our breeding program four years ago. Although Max was born in West Germany, he was trained in Holland for his coveted title K.N.P.V. PH 1, one of Europe’s most difficult dog sports. In the ten years that we have been in business, by far, Max is one of the strongest nerved German Shepherds which we have seen. He is not only stunning to look at, but is extraordinarily devastating in his protection. He comes in fast and hard, with a bone-crushing bite. Max is extremely intelligent, and learns very quickly. He is very social and loved to be around children.
Whelping date is March 1st, 2010. We are expecting very big, robust pups, with lots of bone density, big heads, and very strong nerves. They will be mostly black and red, with maybe one or two sable pups. The pups will be suitable for Family Executive Protection dogs.
Monday, December 28th, 2009
Caring for puppies is a rewarding experience, but can also be a difficult one. The health of your puppy can be fragile, especially in their first weeks. One of the most common health problems that can appear in puppies is diarrhea. Diarrhea is, of course, strongly connected to your puppy’s diet, but can also be indicative of other health problems. Although it is not always cause for alarm, it should be taken seriously, as it may mean that your puppy is not getting or not able to properly digest the nutrients it needs to grow up strong and healthy.
The first thing to consider is that your puppy’s stool can vary in appearance from completely liquid to completely solid, and anywhere in between. If the stool is simply soft, but not watery, it may not be a serious. This can occur from improper digestion caused by poor diet, change in diet, stress or over-feeding. While it is most commonly not serious, you should monitor your puppy closely until it’s stool returns to normal consistency.
If the stool is liquid and quite watery, it is a much more serious problem. Firstly, watery diarrhea can cause dehydration. In puppies, dehydration can become life-threatening in as little as 24 hours. A puppy can survive a day without solid food, which may be beneficial in that it helps give the digestive track a rest, but it is absolutely imperative that you give your puppy lots of water. If your puppy will not drink, or has had continued diarrhea for more then 24 hours, you must take it to the vet. Be sure to monitor any diarrhea for signs of blood, as blood is a key indicator that your puppy could be very sick. Do not hesitate for a second to take your puppy to the vet if you see even a tiny drop of blood in the stool. Watery diarrhea and blood in the stool can both be caused by intestinal parasites, or other serious digestive problems. This should not, under any circumstances, be taken lightly.
The majority of dogs will experience some kind of diarrhea at least once in their lives. It’s up to you to know what to do, and when to take your puppy to the vet. Keeping a close eye on your puppy’s health is necessary to ensure that your German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd or Belgian Malinois will grow up to be both strong and healthy.
Friday, December 25th, 2009
When German Shepherd breeder Max von Stephanitz created the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde as a means to standardize the German Shepherd breed, his vision was that of utility over aesthetic quality. The German Shepherd is a working breed above all else, and von Stephanitz worked hard to ensure that only the strongest, most intelligent and most capable dogs would represent the German Shepherd breed.
Unfortunately, von Stephanitz’s vision has since faded. Conformation shows that promote visual beauty over working ability have given rise to an influx of show line German Shepherds. True working line protection dogs are getting harder to find. However, not all conformation shows focus exclusively on aesthetic quality. Some trainers and breeders have set out to award working line German Shepherds based on conformation standards that promote the breed’s working ability. Only working line dogs are permitted to enter, and awards are given to dogs who will improve the integrity of the breed by their physique, intelligence and nerves. True German Shepherd conformation standards should focus on how the dog’s build will effect its working ability. Physically, a good protection dog must be healthy, strong, agile and well-balanced. Aside from the obvious lack of nerves and confidence found in show line dogs, many show line German Shepherds are also poorly balanced, and as a result, are not as agile as their working line counterparts. Mentally, a German Shepherd needs to show intelligence, loyalty and strong nerves.
While many aesthetics-based conformation shows have contributed to the development of poor German Shepherd bloodlines, the efforts of a select few trainers and breeders are helping to preserve the true strength of working line dogs. Here at CCK9, we only breed the best working line German Shepherd dogs for work as Protection Dogs, Guard Dogs and Security Dogs. Any conformation show that focuses on the German Shepherd as a working dog, as it was meant to be, is a welcome improvement.
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
As a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, and Dutch Shepherd breeder, we at CCK9 have the opportunity grow with each litter that we breed. As you know, no matter how long you have been in business, or how many litters you have bred, there is always something one can learn from each litter. We at CCK9 breed, train and sell the majority of our protection dogs.
We are not a whole-sale seller that turns over dogs. Yes, we do import protection dogs from Europe, but it is a small percentage compared to the number of dogs that we breed, train, and sell.
One of the reasons that we do our own breeding is because it is getting harder and harder to find good, true protection dogs. Most of the dogs that are coming from Europe in today’s world, whether they are from Holland, Germany, France, or the Czech Republic, are sporting dogs that are biting in pray, which is not real protection. When we breed and train our own protection dogs, we not only learn with each dog, but we know exactly what the dog is all about. We know that the genetics are there, the training is correct, the dogs are doing real protection, and that they are very social and great with children.
To breed and train our own protection dogs is a lot of hard work. It takes time, patience, and discipline, but who is complaining? We are having a lot fun, and I would not trade it for anything in this world.
Monday, December 21st, 2009
Knowing your canine is important for protection dog or guard dog owner. However, being able to recognize and label canine anatomy is especially important for both German Shepherd breeders as well as those wishing the purchase canine protection. Much of a German Shepherd’s bloodline and history can be discovered simply by looking at the build and physical structure of the dog. Knowing the details of canine anatomy is key in being able to distinguish the physical differences between an import German Working Line dog versus an American Show Line.
Just as all humans have joints and physical features labeled as elbow, wrist, knuckles etc., there are common labels given to the various joints and features of canine anatomy. While some of these labels, such as thigh or knee, are the same as that of humans, it is important to remember that the thighs and knees of a canine are very much different from our own.
The withers is arguably one of the most important parts of canine anatomy, as it is used to measure the height of a dog. The withers is a ridge on the dog’s back between its shoulder blades. The height of a dog is measured from the bottom of the paw up to the withers, and never includes the neck, head or ears of a dog in the measurement. Starting from the paws on a dog’s forelegs, the paw is connected to the pastern by the wrist joint. There is no human equivalent to the pastern, but it is the shortest and lowest bone on a dog’s forelegs excluding the paws and toes. The pastern is connected to the forearm by the pastern joint, and the forearm is connected to the upper arm by the elbow. These are only vaguely similar to forearms, elbows and upper arms found in humans. The upper arm is connected to the body by the shoulder.
A dog’s hind legs are considerably different than its forelegs. Again starting from the paws, the hind paws are connected to the rear pastern. The rear pastern is connected to the secondary thigh, also known as the gaskin, by a pronounced joint known as the hock. The secondary thigh is connected to the upper thigh by the stifle, sometimes referred to as the knee joint. The upper thigh forms the hind-quarters and is connected to the body by the hip.
Along the back of the dog, there is the croup, loin, back, withers and crest. The croup is the rear-most portion of the dog’s back, where the tail is connected. The crest lies along the neck-line of the dog. The loin, back and withers fall in between the two, in the order described. Along the underside, there is abdomen, brisket and forechest. The abdomen is rear-most portion of the dog’s underside, starting where the rib-cage stops. The brisket forms the underside of the dog’s chest, where the rib-cage is, and the forechest is the protrusion of chest past that forelegs.
The head of the dog includes characters common among most mammals such as eyes, nose, ears and tongue. The elongated portion of the dog’s mouth and nose area is known as the muzzle. The point where the muzzle meets the remainder of the head is known as the stop, and is usually where the eyes are located.
While the various terms may seem initially daunting, they are not difficult to learn. Knowing the key parts of the German Shepherd anatomy will help ensure that you have the tools you need to make an intelligent, informed decision when purchasing a person protection dog, guard dog or security dog.
Friday, December 18th, 2009
Many people make the mistake of assuming that their dog sees the world the same way they do. We all know of a dog’s great sense of smell, and many of us have heard that dogs are colourblind, but few of us really know what this means, or how a dog’s vision may be different from ours.
First of all, dogs are not completely colourblind. Vision in both humans and canines is measured by photoreceptors known as cones and rods at the back of our eyes. Cones are able to pick up fine details in colour, whereas rods are able to better pick up motion and dim light. The ratio of cones to rods in our eyes determines whether we are better at picking up fine details and colours, or better at picking up motion and seeing in the dark. Dogs have significantly more rods than humans, and as a result, they are much better at seeing in low-light situations, but less cones means they are less able to perceive colour. Dogs are still able to see some colour, but cannot distinguish between greens, yellows, oranges and reds. To those of us with guide dogs, this information may be troubling, as one starts to wonder how a guide dog can differentiate between a green light and a red light at an intersection. However, there are a number of other queues that a dog will pick up on, including brightness and position of the light, as well as noise and traffic.
Secondly, the lack of cones in a dog’s eyes affect the level of detail with which they can see. As a result, they are less able to visually distinguish objects that are far away. While humans with ideal eye-sight are said to have 20/20 vision, a dog may only have 20/75 vision. This means that a dog has to be 20 feet away from an object in order to see it with the same level of detail that a human can see 75 feet away. Many working dogs, such as German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherds, have been bred for better senses, including vision. Your protection dog may have better vision than a house pet, but it would still be less than that of a human. Of course, vision is not the only sense at a dog’s disposal. While your dog may not be able to see you sitting still at the other side of a field, he may be able to hear you, and can almost certainly smell you. On top of this, any amount of movement will be picked up by your dog’s rod-heavy photoreceptors.
Keeping these factors in mind is important in effectively training and working with protection dogs, guard dogs and security dogs. You have to know your dogs strengths and weaknesses, and how to employ your dog at its absolute best.
Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
As the leaves have changed colour and fallen, and we are experiencing our first winter storm of the season, we at Command Control K9 change our training tactics. With winter upon us, it gives us an opportunity to work our protection dogs in a winter environment.
We do less agility, and focus more on man – scent tracking in the deep, snowy, cold winter nights.
A good protection dog has to be well rounded and able to work in all conditions, whether it is in extreme heat or cold, day or night. This is why we at CCK9 only breed train and sell German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds and Belgian Malinois, for they, unlike any other breeds, can climate themselves from extreme heat and extreme cold.
Winter is also an exciting time, for this is the time when we not only celebrate the holiday season with our family and friends, but also a time of the year when we breed our female, for a new generation of fetcher personal protection dogs.
Monday, December 14th, 2009
It happens often that a family will catch their otherwise perfect canine in the revolting act of eating its own feces. This is known as coprophagia. As humans, we are shocked by the concept, and often angered by the act. However, as strange as it may seem, this is very normal and very common behavior in canines.
There are many reasons why a dog will begin the habit of eating feces. First and foremost is that it is in the dog’s very nature to do so. Before domestication by humans, there were many times in a dog’s life where eating feces would be beneficial or even crucial to their survival and survival of the pack. For example, a mother with her litter of pups may eat feces as a way of cleaning up to prevent the pups from getting sick. The mother sacrifices her own health to keep her pups healthy. Other adult dogs may also act in the same way as a service to the pack. Likewise, adult dogs in the wild may eat feces in and around the den in order to help mask their scent and keep their den hidden. Again, this is a sacrifice in order to ensure the den’s pups do not fall prey to other carnivores.
Of course, domestic dogs have survived with the aid of humans for thousands of years, but their basic instincts still cause them to act in this way. However, there are also a number of other reasons why a dog may eat feces. Some reasons are completely irrational. Certain dogs may start eating feces out of boredom, or because they simply like the taste. A dog may also view humans picking up feces through a plastic bag, and might attempt to mimic this behavior by picking up the feces with their mouths. Other reasons for dogs to eat feces may indicate a more serious health problem. If your canine is being fed low-quality food, it may not be completely absorbed before passing through the dog’s system. The result is that your dog’s feces may still look and smell a lot like dog food. A dog may also eat feces if it is infected with some form of intestinal parasite or worm. Both of these indicate a problem with hunger and nutrition, which may cause a dog to start eating feces in an attempt to regain lost nutrition.
Of course, while it is common and natural behavior, letting your dog eat feces is not good for its health. A protection dog, guard dog or security dog is a big investment, and it is in your best interests to ensure that your dog does not get into the habit of eating feces. If you catch your German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd eating feces, your first course of action should be a visit to the vet. You do not want to let a possible intestinal worm or nutritional problem go undiagnosed. The next step is to begin breaking your dog’s habit. Keeping a tight schedule is an effective way of doing this. Have your dog excrete at a certain time each day, in your presence, so that you may clean up before it is eaten. The longer your dog goes without eating feces, the less likely it will be to restart the habit.
Friday, December 11th, 2009
Knowing how to travel with your protection dog is an absolute necessity. After all, your dog cannot protect you from home while you and your family are miles away. No matter how you plan to travel, the first thing you should do is ensure that you have an appropriately sized dog crate. There should be enough room in the crate for your dog to stand up and turn around comfortably. German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds are all medium to large sized dogs, and you should buy your dog’s crate accordingly.
Traveling by car is perhaps the least complicated. If it’s your car, you can place your dog in it how you please. However, to keep your dog safe, it is recommended that your dog be inside of a secured crate. A van or pickup truck are ideal vehicles, as they provide enough space to properly rest your dog’s crate. If your pickup truck has an open bed, be sure that your dog’s crate is well secured and will not move about during travel.
Traveling by public transit, such as a bus or train, can be legally complicated. The majority of buses and trains in the united states do not permit pets on board. However, working dogs who are registered as service dogs are, by law, permitted in all public areas. This includes buses, trains and even airports. Your personal protection dog is not a pet, and under certain circumstances, it can be legally registered as a service dog. Unfortunately, many people do not fully understand the law regarding service dogs, and may attempt to deny you and your dog access to a public area if you do not have a visible physical disability. In the United States, Federal law states that service dogs and their owners cannot be denied access to any public area, regardless of whether the dog aids a person with a physical disability, such as a guide dog, or performs another function, such as a protection dog. If you are outside of the United States, it is important that you familiarise yourself with local laws regarding service dogs.
Traveling by plane is perhaps the most complicated. If your dog is legally registered as a service dog in the United States, it will be allowed to accompany you in the cabin of the plane. If you are traveling to another country, be aware of that country’s laws and how they might react to you bringing your protection dog into their airport. If your protection dog is not registered as a service dog, it will be required to ride in a crate, in the cargo area. In either case, it is advisable to purchase your ticket in advance, and inform the airline that you will be traveling with your dog.
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