Archive for the ‘German Shepherd Puppies’ Category
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
As outlined in previous posts, genetics plays an important role in the working ability of a dog. Whether or not a dog will make an effective personal protection dog depends largely on its genes and its bloodline. The way in which the colour of a dog’s coat is related to working ability can be complicated. The easy answer is that there is simply no correlation between the colour of the coat, and the working ability of the dog. The genes that control coat colour are in no way connected to the genes that are important to the nerves and temperament of the dog. For example, if a German Shepherd puppy with a black coat is born from a litter sired by an experienced import working line German Shepherd, you cannot look at the colour of the coat and assume that the puppy is worthless. Having black German Shepherd puppies in a litter is an increasingly rare occurrence, but it is still very possible. In fact, the breeder in such a situation might consider themselves lucky to have a working line puppy with the added bonus of a rare and beautiful black coat.
The gene for black coats in German Shepherds is what is known as a recessive gene. When a puppy is born, its DNA carries two sets of every gene; one from each parent. Of course, even though every puppy has two genes that control coat colour, it can only have one type of coat. To illustrate this fact, and how it ties into coat colour, we will give an example of a sire who has one gene that says “black and tan coat”, and another that says “solid black coat”. The dam will have the same: one gene for black and tan, and the other for solid black. When their litter is born, one puppy receives the sire’s gene for black and tan, but receives the mother’s gene for solid black. Because the solid black gene is a recessive gene, that puppy’s coat will never be black, despite carrying the genes for both types of coats. If another puppy receives the gene for solid black from both parents, its coat will be black. The only way a dog’s coat can be solid black is if it receives that gene from both parents. If you crunch the numbers, there is only a 25% chance that a puppy from that litter will have a black coat, but there is a 50% chance that you will have a black and tan puppy that still carries one solid black gene. The gene for black coats can remain dormant through generations of black and tan German Shepherds.
Where this becomes a problem, is when breeders start breeding selectively for black coats for their beauty and aesthetic value. In order to ensure that every puppy will have the desired coat colour, they will only breed two black German Shepherds together. Due to the rarity of black German Shepherds, this means that they are breeding from a very limited gene-pool, and the quality of the dogs will suffer.
The bottom line is: if one is looking to purchase a top quality canine protection for their home and their family, they should not be concerned with the colour of a dog’s coat. The most important thing when considering a purchase is to ensure that the dog is bred for working ability, from only the best and brightest working line dogs.
Thursday, October 29th, 2009
A group of German Shepherd trainers in the south of Norfolk County, England are preparing a select few of their German Shepherds for work as guide dogs for the blind. The Labrador and Golden Retriever have been the symbolic breeds of guide dog work for a long time, and while the work is not exclusive to these breeds, the symbol of a black lab is synonymous with charity organizations associated with funding guide dogs. However, what many people don’t realise is that German Shepherds were the first breeds to be used as guide dogs before Labradors and Retrievers became more popular.
Karen Jannece, the current trainer of and 18-month old German Shepherd, speculates that the use of Labradors and Retrievers over German Shepherds is a matter of size, and that there may be undue prejudice against the larger German Shepherd. “German Shepherds made better guide dogs, but took longer to develop,” explains Karen, “German Shepherds are very intelligent and very loyal. They are more attentive than Labradors.” The use of German Shepherds as protection dogs and guard dogs by the police is another reason why people might be unnecessarily intimidated by the breed.
Pathfinder Dogs, the small charity organization responsible for the reintroduction of German Shepherds for use as guide dogs, already have 90 blind people on their waiting list. Unfortunately, training any dog to be a guide dog is a long and expensive process. It costs about £36,000 ($58,955 USD) to purchase and train a puppy. We hope that the kind donations of caring citizens will help bring more German Shepherd guide dogs to more people who need them.
Monday, October 26th, 2009
Agility is an important part of any protection dog’s training. It is naive to assume that your dog will only be protecting you and your family on level ground, with no obstacles. A good example is of a would-be thief pointing a fire-arm at a clerk behind the counter of a general store. In such a situation, a security dog kept in back will have mere seconds to get across that counter to disarm the criminal. This is just one of many situations in which a dog’s ability to quickly and easily traverse tough obstacles can mean the difference between life or death.
Agility training is performed through the use of various obstacles set up in a course which the dog navigates with verbal instructions from the handler. The most common obstacles include pipes and tunnels, poles intended to be weaved around, A-Frame structures intended to be scaled and descended, elevated planks and boardwalks, see-saws intended to be traversed from one end to the other, and various hoops and jumps. As the dog advances in training, higher jumps and more complicated courses are introduced. It is often beneficial to re-arrange the course regularly in order to maintain an element of unfamiliarity.
Before engaging your dog in agility training, it is a good idea to review your dog’s health and physical capabilities. Breeds developed as working dogs, such as the German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd or Belgian Malinois, are naturally very agile. However, all dogs doing agility-training should be pre-screened for health defects such as poor eye-sight or hip and elbow displaysia. Health problems affecting the joints and eyes can not only make agility training difficult, but can also make it dangerous.
While the bulk of exercises are designed for adult dogs, there are certain exercises, such as tunnels and low jumps, which can be performed by puppies. It is not a bad idea to start training early, but leave more intense jumping and weaving exercises to young adults who’s skeletons have fully developed. Obedience training should always precede agility. Often, a leash can become entangled or interfere with obstacles in a course, so training for off-leash control is essential. It also a good idea to condition your dog through basic exercise, such as swimming, in order to build muscle and cardiovascular endurance.
We at Command Control K9 don’t train our protection dogs using traditional agility training methods. Our course is comprised of barrels, ladders, skids, wooden planks, corrugated metal, glass, and plastic. We expose all of our German Shepherd puppies, Belgian Malinois puppies, and Dutch Shepherd puppies to our agility course at a very young age. In fact, we start them at 5 weeks of age. We feel that the most important time for a pup is between 5 to 8 weeks; this is more important then the next 6 months of the puppies’ life. At 5 weeks, the puppy is exposed to different environments and surfaces. The pups learn rear foot placement by practicing on an elevated four-inch plank. Rear foot placement is necessary for more advanced exercise such as climbing a ladder or scaling a wall. It is also helpful for getting a dog used to heights. It sounds extreme, but it’s necessary when, for example, a protection dog needs to be deployed up the wall to apprehend a suspect.
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
Box training, or as some people may call it, table topping, is almost a dying art. As I’ve said before, the work that we do at Command Control K9 is very special, we incorporate this method in all of our protection dogs. We feel this helps harden the grip and builds confidence with our young German Shepherd puppies and Belgian Malinois puppies to bite on elevation.
The concept is very simple; one would take an elevated table or box with two sides on it, with the front and back open and exposed. The dog is placed in the box with an over-head beam and a harness that is fastened to the dog, so that it does not slip off. It is important to use a very slippery surface; we use sheet metal. The decoy then approaches the dog from the front end. When done correctly, the dog has no choice but to use only his jaw power to bite. This is only effective if your protection dog has already developed their bite. This is very advanced work and should only be done with experienced trainers.
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.
Friday, July 24th, 2009
Humans and dogs share a long history together. Of course, as much as human history has had it’s gruesome moments, the history of dogs has shared those moments with us. Some of the first roles of dogs in the military were as guard dogs in the armies of the ancient empires. The Huns trained giant Molossian dogs for use in battle, the Britons outfitted their mastiffs in spiked collars and chain mail, and the Romans formed platoons of attack dogs to use against infantry and cavalry. From the Egyptians, to the Greeks, to the Persians, it could be said that every great empire of the ancient world included dogs in their armies. Of course, as technology improved, and firearms become common-place on the battlefield, the role of dogs as attackers in the military became obsolete. Since then, countries have made attempts to include dogs in offensive military roles with limited success. The Soviet Union made attempts to train dogs to deliver explosive payloads to the under-sides of German tanks. Of course, the chaos of the modern battlefield, the inability for their dogs to distinguish between German and Russian tanks, and the ultimate demise of the dog upon detonation of the explosives all contributed to the end of this practice.
The roles of modern military working dogs, as well as the breeds used, lend themselves to the emergence of dogs as messengers, sentries and scouts. The use of messenger-dogs during the Seven Years’ War, guard dogs for the French navy during the 1770s, and the increased use of canine abilities to hunt and track snipers has led to a focus on intelligence and dexterity over raw power. While descendants of the original Mastiff breeds used by ancient Britons still perform guard and tracking duties in military and police roles today, the German Shepherd has enjoyed it’s place among the top breeds for military working dogs since the early 1900s. Originally bred in Germany for their intelligence, they quickly gained popularity throughout Europe, and even in America. However, the Germans continued to not only breed more intelligent and capable German Shepherds, but also German Shepherd puppies who were more capable of beginning training at a young age. Throughout the course of the Second World War, German military dogs, trained as early as five or six months old, easily outclassed dogs used by the allies. The reputation of German military dogs was so great that it prompted the US to begin what was known as the “Million-Dollar Dog Program” in an attempt to match the superiority of the military dogs used by the Germans. Soon after, the war ended, as did the Million-Dollar Dog program. However, both the German breeds as well as the practice of beginning training at five to six months has continued on in today’s military working dogs.
Monday, May 4th, 2009
In my industry, you’ll hear a lot of people refer to training as “working the dog”. While possibly offensive to those not in the field, the terms “train” and “work” are commonly used interchangeably.
Sometimes, though, people will ask if dogs actually see personal protection training as “work”. Here is what they really are asking: do dogs enjoy being trained?
The answer is an unequivocal YES!
It takes a special dog to do personal protection and service work. Only the top 1% of dogs actually qualify for our rigorous program. Being so selective serves two purposes. First, it is important that a dog possesses all of the genetics, natural talents, abilities necessary to finish the program. It is nearly impossible to train a dog to completion without the proper attributes. In fact, trying to force a dog into something it isn’t ready or willing to do is like pushing a rock uphill. Secondly, training is a time and labor-intensive endeavor; our dogs all have years and years of training behind them. We are extremely selective when choosing puppies because we really want the dog to complete the program.
Every dog is born with a purpose. Most dogs will become family pets and companions. However, there are a few that are simply born with everything that it takes to do protection work. Just like humans enjoy developing their talents, dogs born with the desire and intelligence to protect enjoy the challenges of fine tuning their given abilities. These simply aren’t the type of dogs who would prefer to lie in the sun all day. They would rather be practicing their bite work or learning commands, tracking or testing their agility on the course. They need stimulus. I would not allow a dog to continue in our program if he or she seemed reluctant, uncomfortable, or disagreeable. It is not good for the dog or for our clients or for us either.
My motto is “do what you love”. This is why I am a protection dog trainer. Our dogs express the same sentiment, not in words but when they complete their agility training for the day and are still ready for more or when they execute a command without the expectation of anything more than verbal praise.
I have a job to do but it doesn’t feel like work because I enjoy it and it is my purpose in life. My dogs? They feel exactly the same way.
Friday, May 1st, 2009
Without a doubt one of the most asked questions we get has to do with how protection dogs behave toward children. Without hesitation, the answer is “terrific”. Children and dogs have a fantastic connection with each other.
One of the most prominent differences between canines and wolves is that while wolves shun humans, dogs embrace them. This relationship is especially emphasized when one observes how dogs behave around children. Children are high energy, excitable and have a high-pitched, non-threatening voice. These qualities remind dogs of when they themselves where puppies, having fun in the whelping box with their littermates. Thus, dogs rarely see children as threatening. The feeling the dog has is much like how most humans feel when they see a baby.
Dogs have such a strong desire to bond with children that they will not hesitate in situations where they otherwise would. For instance, dogs are naturally leery of new surfaces and may hesitate at first to step on asphalt or sand. However, if a child is in a sandbox the puppy will step onto the sand without delay because the puppy’s desire to bond outweighs the risk of experiencing an unknown surface.
This relationship is highlighted every time we have a new litter. Our German Shepherd puppies, Dutch Shepherd puppies and most recent litter of Belgian Malinois puppies start to socialize with children very soon after birth. The puppies love the interaction and are happy and exhausted once the children leave. These same feelings continue into adulthood and are part of the reason that protection dogs are excellent for families with children or for specific child protection work. In addition, since dogs do not view children as threats, you never have to worry about your personal protection dog becoming defensive if your children are roughhousing or playing together.
We have zero tolerance for aggression toward children; none of the dogs we sell would ever feel defensive toward a child. Actually, their instinct to guard a child is higher than for an adult. This is why personal protection dogs are an excellent choice when considering security options for your family. CCK9 offers a popular child protection program. The second best thing to a mother’s protection, our dogs will safeguard your child in all situations. In the few instances where your child may be alone or you may be distracted, the child protection dog will be alert to any danger. If a predator or unknown person should attempt to touch or accost your child or children, the dog is trained to get in between them and bark in a threatening manner. In addition to other commands, our dogs are trained to assist in child rescue if there is ever a need.
Considering the security that trained dogs can and are eager to provide, it’s no wonder that dogs are called “man’s best friend”.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
All dogs are smart, but certain breeds are consistently at the head of the class. And German Shepherd puppies are one of them. PetMD recently released their list of the 10 Smartest Dogs, and to no surprise, the German Shepherd was number three on the list. The two breeds smarter than the German Shepherd were the Standard Poodle and Border Collie.
German Shepherds were ranked high for their intelligence, courage and dependability. They noted that German Shepherd dogs are easily trained and will obey commands the first time they are given. German Shepherds were originally bred to be intelligent, athletic herding animals, so they made the transition to guard dogs, police dogs and protection dogs quite easily. In fact, German Shepherd protection dogs are now used in countries and cultures around the globe.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
It happens all the time.
I’ll deliver a personal protection dog to a new family and we’ll conduct the multiple day training course. The deeper we get into the training the more excited the family gets regarding all of the special abilities their protection trained German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd possesses.
I understand the excitement since I have the pleasure of working with these very special canines everyday. Even after all these years I still get a rush from demonstrating our dog’s defensive abilities and unique skills.
Commonly, the enthusiasm over their new protection dog spills over and they want to tell everyone- and I mean everyone- about their security dog/alarm system/newest family member. The neighbors will hear about him, coworkers will learn about him, acquaintances may be treated to an impromptu demo.
Trust me, I get it. Protection dogs are like a human bodyguard in a dog suit, so amazing that you want to tell everyone about it. So at the end of the training course I generally address this issue to the family. True, there are a few people – those with regular contact such as trusted household staff or extended family members-that need to understand the seriousness of your security dog. However, I strongly advise against telling anyone outside of your immediate circle about the extensive education in defense your dog has received. It’s a complicated world and no one purchases a protection dog if they don’t have concerns over their personal safety. Just like you wouldn’t tell everyone that you have installed a new alarm system in your home or advertise that you carry pepper spray in your pocket during your morning jog, you lose a certain edge by not being discreet about your dog’s capabilities. While it’s true that a security dog is an effective deterrent in itself many violent crimes are committed by a person that the victim is acquainted with. Knowledge of your canine’s protectiveness will give them the advantage in strategizing their crime.
CCK9 takes privacy very seriously. It is for this reason that CCK9 employees never disclose the names or any other identifying information (including occupation) about our clients. We do provide references- as many as you like- but only with express permission from the client and only by giving a first name and cell phone number.
So, it is up to the owner how open they want to be about their canine companion’s unique training. But trust me when I say that we will maintain your confidentiality at all times.
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