Archive for the ‘CCK9 Policy’ Category
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
On July 29/09 My Father passed away, at 84, with cancer. After cleaning up his personal belongings, I found an old photo of my youngest sister, Wendy, and my first German Shepherd dog named Terry. Wendy will be celebrating her 50th Birthday on October 11/09.
As I stared at the photo, I thought to my self; Where has all the time gone? The German Shepherds today don’t represent the German Shepherds of yesterday. Terry was a solid black German Shepherd who was very strong in nerves, social, and loved children. He never had any formal training, yet somehow he always knew who was welcome on our property and who was not. We never walked him on a lead on busy streets, yet he always knew to stay by our side. At night he roamed the busy streets, looking for whatever, but always returned home in the morning, waiting patiently for his breakfast. In today’s world, it is getting harder and harder to find a good German Shepherd puppy. That is why we, at Command Control K9, do a lot of our own breeding and training.
Monday, September 21st, 2009
The Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging, abbreviated as K.N.P.V. literally means “Royal Dutch Police Dog Organization”. The dog sport K.N.P.V. is among one of the most prestigious dog sports in Europe. In fact, the only place one can get their dog title is in Holland, and there are only, 800 to 1000 dogs that receive the K.N.P.V. PH1 title each year. Out of that 1000, only 1% are German Shepherds. The majority of K.N.P.V. dogs are of the Belgian Malinois breed.
This sport originated in Holland as a way to train and test dogs for police service work. However, while K.N.P.V title dogs are certainly impressive, they are hardly fit for police or protection service today. While the exercises closely resemble those required for true protection work, they can hardly compare to real world experience.
K.N.P.V. is only a sport. A sporting dog will not protect you and your family, whether it is French ring title, Schutzund title, or K.N.P.V. title, even if one were to cross train to true protection.
Thursday, September 17th, 2009
The sport of Schutzhund originated with the introduction of the German Shepherd into the German police forces during the early 1900s. Prior to this, the only working role for a dog was to guard or herd livestock in rural areas. In urban areas, dogs were treated as pests, and regarded as being both unclean, and unwelcome. As the role of the shepherd dog became obsolete in an increasingly industrialised society, and bigger urban centers saw an increase in violent crime and attacks against police officers, German Shepherd breeders saw an opportunity to introduce the German Shepherd as an aid to police officers. Unfortunately, due to the social stigma of being accompanied by what was then seen as a “filthy” and “vicious” animal, even police officers themselves were reluctant to bring working dogs into urban society. The sport of Schutzhund was arranged as a way to prove a dog’s worth, loyalty and obedience. It also provided a means through which they could uphold breeding standards. Only dogs who performed admirably in Schutzhund were permitted to breed.
The term Schutzhund itself means “Protection Dog” in German. While many of the activities are no longer relevant to protection work today, all of the activities can be divided into either tracking, obedience, or protection-related. Protection exercises involve the use of a decoy. Unlike other dog sports, where the decoy outfit covers the entire body, the decoy in Schutzhund only wears heavy padding on one arm, with the rest of the body being protected only by loose and durable clothing. While this ensures that the mobility of the decoy is not impaired, it creates an unrealistic scenario in that the dogs can only be trained to bite one arm.
Although I have respect for the sport Schutzhund, it is only a sport. There are too many companies that are selling Schutzhund title dogs, and selling them as protection dogs. A Schutzhund title dog, working on a groomed field, biting on a sleeve, is not a true protection dog. If one wants a true protection dog, then one must purchase a dog that has been working in the real world. We at Command Control K9 train all of our protection dogs in the real world. We not only get our dogs to bite on a bite suit, we have them do building searches, vehicle hijacking, targeting the weapon hand, food refusal, guarding surrounding premises, man scent tracking, bite on elevation and muzzle work. The Dogs not only know how to bite, but also know how to fight.
The bottom line is a sporting dog will not protect you and your family, whether it is Schutzhund title dog, French Ring title dog, or K.N.P.V title dog, even if one were to cross train.
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
The doberman pinscher is a medium-sized dog with a lean, muscular body. Its coat is short and is most often black and tan, although colour variations of red, blue and fawn tints do occur. Many people recognize the breed by its pointed ears and stubby tail, although these are both the result of surgical alterations performed shortly after birth. The doberman’s natural tail is actually quite long, and its ears fold down and hang alongside the head. The technique of removing the dog’s tail, known as docking, is performed in order to prevent the tail from interfering with the work of a dog. Cropping the dog’s ears is done in an effort to improve the dog’s hearing. Cropping a dog’s ears and docking its tail has been in practise long before the doberman. However, some countries have made these procedures illegal, and many dog shows will not allow a cropped or docked doberman to participate. There has been some controversy over whether or not these procedures cause pain and discomfort to the dog, especially in the case of cropping its ears and taping them so that they grow upwards.
The doberman was originally bred in the late 1800′s as a guard dog and a personal protection dog. While some dobermans are still employed as guard dogs today, the majority are simply house pets. Although the breed is known for being both strong and intelligent, a number of factors have led to the decline of it’s use as a working dog. Notably, the breed commonly suffers from a number of health defects such as heart conditions, or weakness in the spine. Also, while the doberman takes well to training and was originally bred for protection work, the temperament of many is considered, by today’s standards, to be unsuitable for training as a protection or guard dog. The doberman’s temperament is often misunderstood to be excessively aggressive and intimidating. Originally, they were bred specifically to have these traits. However, to assume that a doberman today is naturally aggressive would be wrong. In fact, studies have shown that while the doberman may not be the most docile breed, it is predisposed to be substantially less aggressive than many other breeds that are not assumed to be aggressive. Most incidents of aggression in the doberman are the result of poor communication and false assumptions of threats against its owner.
Although the doberman is one of my favorite breeds, and I have personally owned many in my life, I feel that in today’s world the doberman doesn’t have the genetic nerves to do true protection work. From my experience, they don’t transfer easily from one handler to another. Also, unlike the German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd or Belgian Malinois, they can’t climate themselves from extreme heat or cold very well. This is only one of many reasons why we’ve chosen to sell only these three herding breeds instead of including the doberman.
Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Television, the internet and viral videos alike have made false promises of training protection dogs with ease through the use of electric dog collars. The practice of using an electric dog collar on your protection dog is both inhumane and ineffective. It is the layman’s way.
In many of my visits to Holland, I’ve seen, first hand, exercises performed by the K.N.P.V. program in which they train the dog to find a box in the woods. The dog is to indicate on the box and do a bark and hold. Because the dog is not to mouth the box, the box is electrified to administer a shock. I personally disagree with this method of training, and I would never subject my German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois to electric shocks. However, history has also shown the unpredictability and unreliability of using electricity in training. Detection dogs were trained during World War II to detect mines. Trainers brought the dog’s attention to the ground using electric shocks administered through wires just under the ground’s surface. It was an attempt to train the dogs to anticipate danger in the ground. However, this had the unfortunate side-effect of making the dogs extremely nervous, which shortened their service-life dramatically. To train a dog to anticipate any form of pain will cause extreme and undue stress on the animal.
In today’s world, for a handler to properly communicate with his protection dog is almost a dying art.
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
One of the most frequent topics of conversation I have with clients involves Schutzhund titled dogs. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the difference between Schutzhund (sporting) dogs and true protection dogs, even within the dog industry itself. Both dogs vary widely in their training and genetics but one thing is fact: Schutzhund trained dogs, with few exceptions, rarely make excellent personal protection dogs. It’s a controversial statement to make but my years of experience have shown this to be true. Unfortunately, much to the detriment of a person needing true protection, companies are selling Schutzhund titled dogs and labeling them as protection dogs.
“Schutzhund” literally means “protection dog” in German. The sport, originating at the turn of the century, was used as a testing method for determining if a dog was suitable for breeding. Through the years the strong genetics once indicative of a Schutzhund dog have become diluted. Additionally, the training required to become a titled dog is contradictory to the methods protection dogs need to utilize when fighting off an attacker.
You have most likely seen photos or video of sporting dogs biting and holding onto a sleeve of a decoy pretending to be “the bad guy”. It can be a rather impressive display. However, true protection dogs should never be trained in this manner! Hanging onto the sleeve of an attacker gives him time to use a weapon against the dog. Unlike protection training, Schutzhund does not require the dog to target the weapon hand first. In fact, sporting dogs focus on the forearm. Our training method involves teaching our dogs to bite the wrist of the hand holding the weapon since this is fastest way to disarm him. True protection dogs will then inflict a series of deep bites to both the legs and the arms until the handler calls the dog off. If you were being attacked and your dog needed to come to your defense, which method would you prefer?
Other training techniques vary greatly. For instance, sporting dogs are trained to search and rescue by taking scent on the ground. Our dogs are also trained for search and rescue but, like wolves in nature, they take their scent from the air. Taking scent from the air is very useful for rescue since the terrain of the ground may be aged- an impediment for ground tracking. Dogs trained to take scent from the air are more productive and have fewer challenges in finding a missing person, especially along large expanses of ground.
It is rare to see a sporting dog with the genetics needed for protection work. Genetically, we look for dogs that have a ‘guard drive’, a strong desire to defend and the nerves to back it up. On rare occasion, I will run across a Schutzhund dog that is genetically equipped for protection but it doesn’t happen often, perhaps five times in my career. CCK9 does not sell sporting dogs; we only sell protection dogs. We take the safety of our clients very seriously and will not jeopardize this for the sake of sales or for the display of flashy titles. Frankly, I couldn’t sleep at night if I did.
I am often asked if Schutzhund trained dogs can be trained to be protection dogs and vice versa. The short answer is no. When placed in a situation where the dog needs to defend its handler, he or she will revert to their original training. Dogs resort to their foundation education under stress. For the most part, a titled dog will likely run out of a room with its tail between its legs; they lack the nerve and training. Cross training simply is not a good idea.
Sporting dogs definitely have their place and many find the sport enjoyable. The sport does have a dark side and I have heard of dogs being granted a Schutzhund title over a cup of coffee. It’s important that these dogs are purchased from reputable breeders. If a client of mine insists on a titled dog I will evaluate Schutzhund dogs for them- but only after making sure they know that the dog isn’t trained to protect. I always emphasize, however, how great it is to own a true protection dog. Not only are they balanced, stable and great with children and pets but ready and able to defend your family. Plus, you can take them anywhere- the park, shops, the airport, anywhere without worrying about the dog’s behavior or your own safety. Personal protection dogs truly are the best of all worlds.
The choice is yours. But do your homework before purchasing a protection dog. After all, if you ever have the misfortune of being attacked one thing is certain- titles will not serve to defend you.
Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
Recently, we were interviewed for an article in the April edition of Best Life Magazine. In the article, the author weighed the pros and cons of a variety of different security measures including protection dogs and guard dogs. Obviously, you know my opinion regarding the superior form of home and personal security.
Other sorts of security included employing a human bodyguard, guns, and installing an alarm system. Confidentiality helps one maintain an edge with all security initiatives. The same is true with protection dogs. Though personal protection dogs, and especially guard dogs, are a strong visual deterrent to crime it is still important to maintain the upper hand by not casually disclosing his or her abilities.
Command Control Canine Ltd takes our clients’ privacy very seriously. Fortunately, so do our clients. We recently delivered four Level III personal protection dogs to the home of a well-known rock star living in New York. The dogs will begin touring with the musician shortly. During the delivery, he asked us to sign a series of confidentiality agreements instructing us not to disclose his name or image. We were happy to sign the forms but disappointed that it wasn’t assumed we would be discreet. Given his position, requesting written assurance is understandable and a matter of course in much of what he does.
All of our clients, famous or not, receive the same treatment. Our policy is simple. Under no circumstances do we reveal the names and/or specific, identifying occupations of our clients. We never market our dogs using a celebrity’s name; our dogs stand on their own merit. It’s a celebrity obsessed world, but your personal safety is more valuable than any advantage that name recognition may give us.
We train and supply personal protection dogs to increase your safety. Trust us when we say we’ll do nothing to jeopardize it.
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