A happy dog is a dog that is physically and mentally stimulated. Your Personal Protection Dog needs to work and be exercised on a daily basis. I don’t know how many times I seen or hear about someone with a good working dog that only takes them out of the run twice a week to their local club to stimulate the dog. To me this is definitely not enough. We work our Protection dogs seven day a week. In fact a relaxed day for us would be to walk our dogs five miles, three time a day. I personally walk my talk, I will literally walk five miles a day, and it is not an uncommon sight to see me walking with four or six dogs in the city.
One of the best ways to stimulate your protection dog is to have him follow you on a bike, you can cover a long distance at a very fast-paced, in a short amount of time. It is important however when riding with your protection dog that you have him on the curbside, for the safety of the dog. The following is a video that we shot in Holland with a experience KNPV handler and his Dutch Shepherd at a local KNPV club on a bike.
This video is a demonstration of the basic obedience exercises within the KNPV PH 1 Program. Note that handler must do a series of turns through pylons, first on lead, then off lead on examination day.
We filmed this video on one of our many trips to the Netherlands in one of the Local K.N.P.V Clubs. The handler in this video is an experienced KNPV handler, notice that when he is handling his Dutch Shepherd that he exercises the three main points of doing obedience, calm assertive energy, communication, and a loose lead.
Many personal protection dog owners pride themselves in the breed of their dog. However, it is quite often that many owners do not know exactly what breed their dog is, which can be a problem. Knowing the breed of your dog is useful in a number of ways, some are more important and obvious than others. If you feel that you are not one hundred percent sure about your personal dog’s breed is and want to find out, DNA testing has many advantages.
It is important to understand exactly what DNA testing is. This testing involves taking a small sample of tissue or a sample of saliva, which will contain skin cells, or blood. After the sample is taken, genetic profiles are run to determine your guard dog’s unique DNA profile. Once the profile is formed, it is then compared to other profiles from known dog breeds to determine what breed your dog is mostly compared to genetically. Dog DNA testing is simple enough that it is possible to collect the sample at home, and then send it off to a lab. Vets and breeders both put their trust in home kits, because they are strictly tested and monitored to make sure that you are getting a high quality and accurate test. The home kits also make things much cheaper than having it tested at your vet’s office. It can also reduce stress for you protection dog because it will be happening in their own home.
The important question that many ask is if DNA testing is accurate. There are several factors that can affect accuracy. The main one being the actual sample that is collected; if the instructions are not read carefully, you may end up with a sample that does not contain enough DNA, making it useless. If the instructions are closely and carefully followed, then you should be able to get a sample that is accurate. Regarding dog DNA testing, it is really up to the owner of the pet. Some dog owners do not care about what breed their pet is, however with guard dogs breed is very important. Breed is an important factor when it comes to your protection dog, because some breeds do not have the physical requirement like strong nerves to be a protection dog. If you are considering getting a DNA test on your guard dog, ask your vet questions on your next visit. They will be able to give you some helpful hints or brand that are accurate and recommended by many.
Although we pride ourselves on offering pure bread German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd and Belgian Malinois personal protection dogs. In the real world your family’s personal dog might not be exactly what they say it is, and that is when a DNA test might be a good option.
Health problems like arthritis often referred to as degenerative joint disease affects not only humans, but also dogs as well. Arthritis is the breakdown of cartilage, which causes the bones to rub against each other. This will cause stiffness, pain and loss of movement in the joints. As a protection dog owner hopefully you do everything in your power to keep them healthy. Including things like giving them medicine to prevent things such as heart worms, making sure they have good nutrition, and have a loving home. You will also naturally notice changes in their mood and behavior. Your guard dog will become like another one of your children, and if they begin to act differently in the slightest way, you will be able to tell. If you notice your protection dog not feeling too well, there is a possibility it could be arthritis. Arthritis affects one out of every five dogs in the U.S, and is a source of unbelievable chronic pain.
Being that your personal protection dog will not be able to verbally tell you what is wrong with them, it is your responsibility to look for signs of arthritis. Some signs that your dog will show you is favoring a limb and difficulty sitting or standing, these symptoms obviously result from the chronic pain they are in. Also, their joint deterioration will cause them to have stiff or sore joints, and also a hesitancy to jump, run or climb stairs. If your guard dog, for example your Belgian Malinois has arthritis they will have a large decrease in activity and will begin to sleep more and be a lot less alert. If your dog experiences these symptoms for more than two weeks, take them to the vet to be evaluated for arthritis. Therapies for arthritis may include a healthy diet and regular exercise to maintain a proper weight. Drug treatments will also help relieve some of the constant pain your dog is experiencing. The most common treatment for arthritis is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Also over-the-counter treatments, such as pills or foods which contain glucosamine and fatty acids have been known to relieve symptoms of dog arthritis. Regardless of how it’s done, making sure that your protection dog is happy and free of pain is the most important thing.
As your guard dog gets older they begin to go through different physiological and physical changes. It is your job as a responsible protection dog owner, to make sure that they are provided with the proper nutritional needs to keep them healthy. Senior dogs will require a well balanced diet, which is lower in calories but still containing protein and fat. There are specially formulated senior dog diets that help to create a feeling of fullness. A diet that is higher in fiber, is the type of diet they will benefit from greatly. This is because older dogs are more prone to developing constipation, so they require a diet with 3% to 5% fiber. A tip to help increase fiber in their food is to add wheat bran. Along with their special nutrition needs, senior dogs can be given supplements which will help to supply them with some needed nutrition. A daily supplement like glucosamine and chondroitin, will help to support their joints. Any deficiencies that can develop can be prevented by a vitamin and mineral supplement. Extra antioxidants are also a good way to improve their diet.
Some senior protection dogs may suffer from lack of weight gain and disinterest in food. If you notice your German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, or Dutch Shepherd guard dog not eating well and becoming too thin then you should take them to the vet to be examined. If no signs of any type of diseased come up then you must try to get the dog to eat. Many older dogs have a hard time chewing large hard kibble, so try giving them smaller pieces that is moistened with water. You could also try adding broth to the food, to give it more flavor and become more appetizing to them. Some dogs prefer cat food and will eat it eagerly. However, cat food is high in protein and should be avoided, if possible. Formulating a homemade recipe with milk eggs, boiled, rice, vegetables, chicken, etc could be very beneficial to you dog’s nutrition. Do not try and create one yourself however, because the correct amounts of vitamins and minerals is crucial. Instead have ask your vet which type of homemade diet would be best for your dog. As your personal protection dog grows older, their needs change and it is your responsibility to take care of them properly.
Today, one of the most dangerous health problems facing dogs is obesity. It is your job as a responsible protection dog owner to do something about it. Dogs that are overweight are known to live unhealthy and shorter lives. Extra weight creates a unneeded stress on bones and joints, which could lead to arthritis problems. Dogs that are overweight usually are less able to exercise and do daily activities comfortably, because it becomes much harder for them to breathe. They are less able to resist infections, and they may be at a larger risk for problems during surgery, compared to healthy guard dogs.
There are many health problems that may develop due to obesity. One is Joint or Locomotion difficulties, this is when extra pounds and stress causes the the joints, bones, ligaments and muscles to become aggravated. This could in time lead to larger problems such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and spinal disc disease. Heart and Respiratory disease is another health problem triggered by obesity. It is when excess fat tissue in the chest cavity and around the heart muscles. This causes the heart and lungs to work harder to simply provide the correct amount oxygen and circulation. Overweight personal protection dogs are also more prone to diabetes, pancreas inflammation, and liver disease. Heat Intolerance is when excess fat makes it more difficult for the dog to tolerate heat, causing them to feel uncomfortable quite often. Also skin problems can occur when rolls of skin build of fat deposits, they can often hold dirt and bacteria.
Your protection dog will most likely become overweight when they are not exercised well enough, and from eating more food than is required. Overeating can cause your dog to become greedy, bored, and overfeed often. If you feed your dog leftovers or give them treats a lot, cut back significantly because this behavior leads to obesity in dogs. You can tell if your guard dog is overweight by a simple procedure. Place a flat palm of your hand and feel their ribs, if you have a difficulty feeling the ribs, then they are most likely overweight.
If you discover that your dog is overweight, start by taking them to the vet to have them set a goal for your dog and recommend how much food he should eat each day. The food that you choose for your dog should satisfy their appetite but also contain the vitamins and minerals they need. Keep in mind that a gradual transition from their old diet to the new one may be needed. Do this by feeding them a mixture of the two and increasing amounts of the new diet, while slowly decreasing. Regular exercise is needed to increase the amount of calories they burn, do this by taking them for a daily walk or run. If your dog is old or in poor health, check with your vet first to make sure increased exercise is safe. Your protection dog may not lose the weight as quickly as you might think, so just be patient and keep sticking with the new routine. Eventually your German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, or Dutch Shepherd will be happier and healthier, and you will have helped them increase their quality of life.
One of the factors that is so important when deciding to train a protection dog is the type of breed. The Chow Chow is a breed that was originated in Mongolia around 4,000 years ago. A guard dog needs to be somewhat large and well built, these characteristics help for the dog to be strong and powerful when needed. The Chow Chow does not exactly possess these traits, they are a medium sized breed that is not very strong. The males have a weight that is usually between 50 and 70 pounds. Chow Chows can become extremely lazy if they are not exercised regularly, so it is very important that they are taken for daily walks. This breed would thrive best if they had a lot of land to run on, it would give them their needed enrichment.
Another important factor when considering a breed for the possibility of becoming a personal protection dog, is their health. Unfortunately, Chow Chows are prone to having many different health problems. These problems include things like hip dysplasia, hot spots, stomach cancer and ear infections. All of these will be enhanced if the dog comes from a backyard breeder or untrustworthy pet store. That is why when buying a Chow Chow you should ask for the health history of both parents. Although it is impossible to predict the lifespan of a dog, this breed usually lives from 10 to 15 years old.
Lastly, another important factor is the dogs temperament and nerve strength. Chow Chows are typically well mannered and are a great family dog. They need to be socialized and trained starting from when they are puppies. It is important for the dog owner to start a set of strict rules for this breed starting from the very beginning. Chow Chows are usually a dominant breed and it is crucial for you a owner to stay in the alpha position and not let your dog dominate you. But this breed in no way possesses the overall nerve strength needed to become a good guard dog. In today’s world the the only dogs that have strong enough nerves to do functional protection work is the German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd, Belgian Malinois.
The Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging (KNPV), or translated in English as the Royal Dutch Police Dog Association was founded in 1907 in the Netherlands. This organization was originally formed as NPV and the K was not added until February 28, 1912. When looking at the KNPV logo, many will wonder where the K is, but it is actually represented by the crown above the crest. KNPV was created because there was not a organization whose goal was to organize training of police dogs or to spread the knowledge of this training. This organization conducts police dog trials and then offers certificates that are coveted and respected around the world. These tests require a dog of great character, physical strength, agility and stamina.
The Dutch Shepherd is one of the many dog breeds used in KNPV. Normally most of the dogs that get the title for the KNPV is the breed of the Belgian Malinois. However, there are other breeds that are chosen as well. For example, there is 1% of German Shepherds chosen and 3% of Dutch Shepherds chosen. This year however most of the trials in all parts of Holland there was a higher percent of Dutch Shepherds that received the KNPV certificate. The major different between Dutch shepherd and the Belgian Malinois is there distinctive brindle coloring. They have a coloring that is predominately brindle. Hollanders selectively choose Dutch Shepherds as a breed that they take a lot of pride in. The fact that more have been title this year then any other year is a great thing for these Hollanders.They have genetically strong bred nerves, which is very valuable. They are social, affectionate and loyal yet very guarded toward strangers. Also they make great Family executive protection dogs. These characteristics help to make the Dutch Shepherd a great guard dog and protection dog.
Line breeding is the mating of two individuals that share one or more common ancestor. There are many different degrees of this type of breeding, such as close line breeding. Close line breeding is often used to describe matches like a uncle and niece, two half siblings, or a grandfather and granddaughter. The purpose of this type of breeding is to ultimately make the breed stronger, such as the Dutch Shepherd, this is done by using one ancestor as a “pivot point”. This means that each generation is planned to utilize the genetic benefits of that one Dutch Shepherd ancestor. The breeder will keep combining the dogs in ways to eliminate weaknesses through the generations. The goal for the breeder is to maximize and build on the strengths of that Dutch Shepherd ancestor. Many species line breed naturally, however, many do not because of the limited number of available mates.
Along with other types of breeding there are both advantages and disadvantages to line breeding. An advantage is that the breeder mostly knows what they are going to achieve as a result of this type of breeding. Line breeding is the most common form of breeding used by hobby breeders. This is because it allows them to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the dogs they are working with. For example, it allows they to know what types of physical and temperament traits will be present in each litter. Overall it gives the breeder the opportunity to set desired characteristics. There are a few disadvantages that this type of breeding has however. One being that there is a chance that some characteristics could be set in your line that you do not want. These unwanted traits are then usually very hard to lose. Also, because of the fact that the breeder is working within a small gene pool, they risk the loss of hybrid vigor. Hybrid vigor is when a offspring is born with stronger, healthier characteristics. For example a Dutch Shepherd puppy could be born with a much stronger build and temperament than its parents. Without question line breeding can be both beneficial and risky, but like always it is the breeder’s decision on what chances they are willing to take when breeding dogs.
Most believe that the definition of inbreeding for dogs is mating two relatives. However, many specialist have come to agree that this is too general of a definition. This is because in any species, such as the German Shepherd, after each generation the ancestors double. By studying species, including dogs, it has been discovered that it is possible not to have anything in common between five generations of animals. Although, there is a chance for similarities to occur ten or even more generations back. So, the true definition of inbreeding is the mating of individuals more closely related than the average of the population from which they come. Also, this definition may vary from breed to breed.
Inbreeding has been known to have many pros and cons that come with it. For breeders a positive side of inbreeding is the fact that they can fix or create traits that occur in their breed. This can be done by mating together two animals that are related and share the desirable trait. For example, if a breeder has a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, or Dutch Shepherd that has a very well-mannered temperament, then they will breed this dog to hopefully produce offspring with the same desirable temperament. Over a few generations the traits will become homozygous (genetically uniform) and the offspring of the inbred will inherit the genes for those traits. On the other hand there are some negative effects to inbreeding. The most common known con of inbreeding is the creation of genetic defects and diseases. The more inbreeding is continued, the more limited the gene-pool becomes. This causes the breed to potentially overtime become weaker and weaker. Also, inbreeding can also cause animals that are so identical, to the point where they are considered clones. In conclusion, there are certainly good and bad points to inbreeding. One of the most important things to note is that the breeder who is performing the inbreeding must be ethical and responsible. Even thought they may want to create the perfect specimen of say a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, or Dutch Shepherd breed, they must also consider the risks as well.