Archive for January, 2010
Thursday, January 28th, 2010
A dog kennel or a dog run is an enclosed outdoor area, usually secured by a chain-link fence and gate, in which a dog is kept. The use of a kennel has become standard practise, especially among owners of working dogs and other large dogs. However, while the use of a dog kennel certainly isn’t terrible, it may not be the best solution for your canine.
When making your decision on whether or not to kennel your protection dog, you must take into consideration the natural behavior of a dog. Many people make the mistake of assuming that what feels natural to them as a human will be true of their dog. Unlike many humans, dogs are not claustrophobic. In fact, small enclosed environments that simulate natural dens make them feel protected and comfortable. However, while this applies to the dog house or crate where your canine will be spending his nights, it does not apply to the kennel or dog run where your dog may have to spend his days.
The ideal environment to keep your dog would be a large, fenced-off yard. Some kind of fence or enclosure is preferred, especially in rural environments, as it helps prevent other wild animals from wandering in. If your yard is not an option, a kennel may be the only other solution, but remember that bigger is always better. The more space you can give your canine, the happier and healthier it will be.
We at CCK9 don’t believe in housing our Guard Dogs and Protection Dogs in the traditional method, which is to have dog kennels or dog runs. We feel that this creates erratic behavior in the dogs; they end up pacing back and fourth, and it creates a spinning effect. We at CCK9 prefer a more natural environment. That is why we give all of our Guard Dogs and Protection Dogs free range on our 105 acre state-of-the-art facility. This creates a much more balanced dog, and a much happier dog.
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
The grooming requirements of a dog are largely dependent on both the breed, and the type of coat. For your dog guard, grooming will be largely based on these two factors. However, considering that the German Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois are two of the most common breeds used as guard dogs, and that both share nearly identical grooming requirements, the following grooming tips should apply to the many guard dog owners with either of these two breeds.
Both the German Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois are considered relatively low-maintenance breeds of dog. Of course, this does not mean that regular grooming can be completely avoided. Both breeds will shed lightly year-round. It is advised that you brush your guard dog at least twice a week to prevent the fur from matting. Both of these breeds also shed seasonally. This means that twice a year, over the course of a couple weeks, they will shed profusely in order to rid themselves of their winter or summer undercoat, and allow the next season’s undercoat to grow in. This may be a good time to bathe your dog. Baths should only be given once or twice per year in order to prevent the natural oils in the fur and skin from drying out. The removal of fur during seasonal shedding can sometimes be made easier when the fur is almost, but not completely, dry after bathing.
Although there are literally thousands of dog brushes to choose from, we at CCK9 feel that the best brush money can buy is the Furminator brush. We use it on all of our Guard Dogs and Protection Dogs, whether it be a German shepherd, Dutch shepherd, or a Belgian Malinois which typically has a shorter coat. When using the Furminator, it is important use it on a consistent basis, at less two or three times per week, to be 100% effective.
Thursday, January 21st, 2010
When a dog is introduced into a new home, it establishes its place among the other members of the household, and establishes them as part of its pack. It is natural for a dog to place all members of its perceived pack into a hierarchy, and to attempt to place themselves as high as possible in this hierarchy. A dog will understand through training that the humans in the household are the ones in charge. However, when multiple dogs are present, the ways in which they establish dominance over each other can cause problems. Fortunately, these problems can be avoided.
The most important step is the initial meeting. Before bringing a new dog into the household, it is best to introduce it to your resident dogs in a neutral area outside of the home. Dogs are territorial, and the introduction of your new protection dog into an area that your resident dogs perceive as their territory may cause them to act aggressively towards the new addition to your household. Bringing them to a neutral space allows them to build trust and cooperation. Allow them to sniff each other briefly, and then bring their attention back to the handler for positive reinforcement. This should be done with a separate handler for each dog in order to maintain a sense of control, and each dog should be kept on a leash. Take note of posture, and be on the lookout for signs of aggression such as low growling, bared teeth or a prolonged stare.
Once the dogs appear to be comfortable in each others’ presence, you may bring them home. Ensure that each dog has its own resting area, food bowl, water bowl, leash etc. They will establish a sense of hierarchy amongst themselves, but you should watch to ensure this occurs peacefully. Take note of which dog appears to have established leadership between them. At feeding time, feeding the lead dog first can help prevent problems.
Protection dogs and security dogs are trained and bred for obedience. However, you cannot always expect the same from household pets. Following the above steps will help ensure that the introduction of your new personal protection dog will go as smoothly as possible.
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
It has been nearly 20 years since the reunification of Germany in 1990, preceded by the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989. However, a divide still exists, even today, between the German Shepherd bloodlines that were recovered after the Second World War. From 1949 until 1990, Germany was divided into the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) in the East, and the Federal Republic of Germany in the West. The DDR, being a communist state under influence from the USSR, was kept wholly separate from West Germany. This separation is what caused the split in German Shepherd bloodlines that persists to this day.
The DDR and Czechoslovakia, both members of the Soviet Bloc, developed working bloodlines for use as aids to border guards as well as for use as police protection dogs. Due to the close relationship between the two, Czech line German Shepherds and East German DDR German Shepherds are essentially the same bloodline. Meanwhile, bloodlines in West Germany were split once more between working line dogs and show line dogs. It is important to recognize that the working line and show line German Shepherds from West Germany are vastly different. Show line dogs are bred to be physically attractive, but lack the courage and strong nerves of a true protection dog.
Accepting that West German show line dogs are unfit for protection work, the true comparison is between the West German working line (often stated simply as German working line), and the DDR/Czech line. There has been much debate over which is superior, and this debate may continue for years to come. Some people consider the West German lines to be superior, arguing that the DDR/Czech lines were developed before the split between working and show lines, and are not extraordinary in either discipline. However, it is important to consider that both were recovered from the original German bloodlines after WWII, and both have been continuously built up and bred for working qualities over the past 60 years. The bottom line is that they are both working line dogs, and they are both a solid choice for work as a personal protection dog, guard dog or security dog.
Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Dog parks are often in found in urban areas as means for dog owners to let their dogs exercise off-leash and to socialize with other dogs. However, the benefits incurred by dog parks may not necessarily out-weight the problems that they create.
The first and foremost benefit of dog parks is that off-leash exercise is good for your dog. In regular parks, and other public areas, taking your dog off its leash may be both illegal and dangerous. As a result, your dog is forced to run only as fast as you are able to. For the majority of dogs, this is far slower than their natural running speed and does not provide the same level of exercise as being able to run free. This is especially true of working line protection dogs who are bred to have improved speed and agility. Another benefit of dog parks is the opportunity for dogs to socialize with others of their species. A dog needs to feel connected to those that it identifies as members of its pack. Most often, this means yourself and your family. Socialisation outside of this is mostly a matter of keeping your dog obedient and comfortable in different environments and around different people or other dogs. However, just as you should not allow other people to pet your protection dog, you may also want to limit the ways in which your protection dog may interact with other dogs.
The cons associated with dog parks are centered primarily around injury incurred between dogs. Many dog owners simply allow their dogs to run free and play amongst themselves while in dog parks. Unfortunately, many smaller or weaker dogs may become subject to the rougher play of a much larger dog. This is most often the fault of an owner who does not take the care and responsibility to ensure that their dog plays safely and harmlessly. Unfortunately, the majority of dog parks are unregulated and unsupervised. However, a number of private dog parks do exist. Private dog parks often screen dogs for temperament before they are permitted to enter. Some breeds with a reputation for aggressive behavior are often denied outright. Working breeds such as the German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd may have to undergo an extensive evaluation of their obedience and temperament. However, a well bred and well trained protection dog or guard dog should have no trouble passing any evaluation of obedience and temperament.
The best option for you and your dog is a stretch of field or farmland in which your dog may obtain off-leash exercise without interference from others. However, this is not an option for many people, especially those who do not own plots of farm land. A private dog park may be the best alternative, as it ensures that all dogs in the park will be trained, with good temperament, and will not harass or provoke your dog. Likewise, the owners are likely to be more attentive to the behavior of their dog.
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
We were very fortunate to be in a position to have purchased Ranger. Ranger comes from one of the top Kennels in North America. She is 100% working line, with no sporting line, even seven generations back. At only one year of age she does it all, from man scent tracking, to article search, to advanced agility, to off-lead obedience, to high-end tactical protection work.
Ranger is not for sale; after she completes our Elite Family Guard Dog program, she will be held back for our breeding program, for future executive protection dogs.
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Many of us may take shelter for granted. We live in well-built homes that keep us warm in winter and cool in summer. Our homes have electricity, insulation and running water. While many dogs are naturally able to withstand harsh weather with durable double coats, this does not mean that they do not require shelter. While a dog house may not be able to provide electricity or running water, it still needs to keep your dog warm and dry.
One of the most important aspects of choosing a house for your canine is size. A dog house needs to be large enough for your dog to comfortably turn around inside of, but small enough that your dog’s natural body heat will collect inside the dog house to keep it warm. Most working breeds, such as the German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd or Belgian Malinois, are between 22″ to 26″ at the whithers. A dog of this size would require a sleeping area of approximately 22″x38″ with a ceiling height of about 30″. Many animal welfare organizations offer published documents outlining specific measurements for the ideal dog house for different sizes of dog.
Other important factors to consider are proper insulation for climates with harsh winters, and a soft bedding material such as straw. It is recommended that the dog house be slightly elevated by bricks or cinder blocks to prevent the floor from absorbing moisture from the ground. A canvas flap can also be used to further protect the house from harsh weather.
Although there are literally thousands of different designs of dog house to choose from, we at Command Control K9 feel that the best dog house on the market is the k-9 law enforcement dog house: http://www.doghouseplans.com/ We house all of our protection dogs, and guard dogs, with the same plan, on our 105 acre state-of-the-art facility. We at Command Control K9 feel that a balanced dog is a happy dog, so we give our dogs free range in a natural environment.
Thursday, January 7th, 2010
Although your dog is considered a carnivore, this does not mean that it will eat meat exclusively. In fact, it is very common for dogs to eat a wide variety of things that would not ordinarily be considered a regular part of the canine diet. Unfortunately for some, this may include your prized garden tulips. However, more important than the possible destruction of one’s flowers is the possibility that these plants and flowers are often extremely poisonous to dogs.
Among plants normally consumed by humans, there are a few which are known to be toxic to dogs. These include grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, avocado, tomatoes, potatoes, and rhubarb. Of course, most people would be hesitant to let their dog wander through their garden on any occasion, but owners should be especially cautious if they are growing any of the aforementioned plants.
Aside from plants normally consumed by humans, there are a number common decorative plants that can also be very toxic. Just because they are not edible plants does not mean that your dog will never attempt to eat them. Hunger is the root instinct of any animal, and curiosity is strong among especially intelligent dogs. Either one may cause an otherwise well trained and well behaved canine to being eating surrounding plants. Among the common decorative plants that are toxic to dogs are Aloe Vera, Azalea flowers, Daffodils, most types of Lily, Foxglove flowers, Holly, Hyacinth, most types of Ivy, Mistletoe, Morning Glory, Nightshade, Philodendron, Poinsettia flowers, Tulips, and many varieties of wild mushroom.
Of course, it is impossible to list every single plant which may be toxic to your dog, as there are literally thousands. The most obvious prevention method to keep your dog from eating toxic plants is to ensure they are not left unsupervised in a garden that contains a wide variety of flowers and plants. While being kept outside, it is recommended that your protection dog, guard dog or security dog be kept in a comfortable area that is kept free of weeds and fungus. It is also a good idea to ensure that your dogs are fed from a consistent source, such as a food bowl. Feeding your dog without a bowl encourages it to take food from other sources, and is generally a bad idea. Here at CCK9, all of our German Shepherd puppies, Dutch Shepherd puppies, and Belgian Malinois puppies are fed from bowls the moment we begin feeding them solid food to help enforce this habit.
Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
A common practise among German Shepherd trainers is to train their dogs using German Commands. In North America, having your protection dog or guard dog trained in a language other than English can have several benefits. First and foremost, it helps ensure that your dog is only responding to your voice, and your commands. While you cannot guarantee that no one else around you will know German commands, it ensures that at least the majority of the North American population will not know the proper commands to even attempt to control your dog. Secondly, it is useful to ensure that your dog will not get confused between words you speak in every-day conversation versus commands you give it. While most dogs can tell when you are commanding them and when you are speaking to someone else, using commands in a different language than what you regularily speak is simply reassuring.
While some people may not be well versed in the languages of the world, learning simple commands in another language is easy. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most basic commands in English, German, French, Czech and Dutch.
|Volg / Rechts
|Af / Liggen
|Come / Here
||Komm / Hier
|Viens / Ici
|Kennel / Crate
||Zwinger / Box
||Hok / Kennel
|Out / Let Go
|Halte / Donne
||Los / Loslaten
||Skoc / Hop
||Saute / Aller
||Pfui / Nein
|Non / Mauvais
While we’ve tried to include simple translation hints, they are very rough approximations, and this guide is not meant to replace a one-on-one training session. Here at CCK9 we offer customized training in the language of your choice for your protection dog, guard dog or security dog.
Friday, January 1st, 2010
Many dog owners will agree that their canine is considered to be a part of their family. To lose a member of your family, canine or otherwise, is heartbreaking experience. Of course, with all living things, it is an inevitability. Most working breeds such as the German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd or Belgian Malinois will usually live between 10-12 years. Considering that the life expectancy of a medium sized dog is only about a tenth of our own, many dog owners will have already experienced this grief in the past. However, the loss of a canine in your household can be an especially difficult experience for your children. Harder still, is when the loss of a canine comes unexpectedly, such as the case of a police officer in a K9 unit who’s protection dog is killed in the line of duty.
Many people, possibly even yourself, may be shocked or confused by the level of grief that one can experience over the loss of a canine. Many people have the unfortunate mindset that if the loss was not that of a human, there is no reason to grieve. However, the emotional attachments one can feel towards their canine companions can be very strong. Often, the very things that make your dog different from a human are what make them so endearing. Dog owners are blessed with the unwavering loyalty and dedication of their canines. Owners of protection dogs, guard dogs or security dogs may also dread the thought of losing the sense of security that their canine offers themselves and their family. The most important thing to remember is that grieving over the loss of a canine is both normal and appropriate.
Considering the emotional attachments you feel towards your canine may not be much different than what you feel towards human members of your family, healthy grief over the loss of a canine may not be much different than grieving over a human. However, there are still a number of factors unique to the loss of a canine that must be considered. First and foremost is the idea of having a pet “put down”. No one would ever want to make the decision to have the plug pulled on a human being, but many dog owners are forced to make this decision with their canine. To make the decision to end a life to relieve suffering is no easy task, but once the decision is made, no amount of guilt or regret can undo what has been done. Another difficulty is choosing whether or not to hold a memorial or funeral for your canine. This is made especially difficult by those who may undervalue your loss due to the perception that canine life is not as important or as worthwhile as human life. The most important thing is to do what you feel is right. If a funeral will help you mourn the loss of your canine, then one should be held. Likewise, a funeral or memorial may be a good opportunity for your children to say goodbye, and may help them with their own mourning. Finally, one must decide when and if they will get a new dog. After the loss of a canine, it is usually best to allow yourself time to grieve before getting a new dog. Canines are unique in their personalities and abilities, and cannot simply be replaced. However, if your canine happened to be a working dog, such as a guide dog or protection dog, it may be in your best interests to purchase a new one sooner rather than later. While it may be difficult to accept a new canine so soon after your loss, the benefits of canine protection may not be something you want you and your family to be without.
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