Posts Tagged ‘German Shepherd Puppies’
Friday, November 27th, 2009
Over the past weeks, we have been looking at the differences in the many coat colourings seen in German Shepherds and the problems that arise when German Shepherd breeders focus on colour and appearance rather than working ability. We have also talked a lot about the difference between recessive and dominant genes. Every dog has two sets of genes, and in a dog with two different gene variations telling it to have two different coats, the dominant gene will override the recessive gene. Uncommon colourings such as solid black, or solid white are recessive to the common black and tan saddle-back coat. However, while saddle-back coats are perhaps the most common and the most well-recognized, the saddle-back gene is recessive to one coat type: sable.
Sable German Shepherds are by no means uncommon, but they are less recognized by the general public than the classic saddle-black coats for which the breed is well known. This may simply be due to the aesthetic preference, as sable coats are perhaps the least visually pleasing of all coat colourings. The term “sable” refers to the colour banding of individual hairs in the coat. The hairs in a sable coat are often tan with black tips, but they can vary greatly from dog to dog. In fact, it is common for a sable German Shepherd’s coat to change greatly as the dog ages from puppy to adult.
As a working dog, the sable colouring is well suited to hunting or guarding live-stock, where camouflage could aid in the dog’s role. As a guard dog, security dog, or personal protection dog, the colour of a dog’s coat offers no real benefit, but a well trained, well-bred sable German Shepherd will be every bit as intelligent, strong and loyal as its saddle-back counterpart. As we’ve said before, the colour of your dog’s coat is not important in true protection work. What is important is that the dog has the nerves and genetics of a true working line German Shepherd.
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.
Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
This is a million dollar question that I get asked almost very day. Genetics is everything when it comes to real protection dogs. It takes a very special dog to do real protection work. Most German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Dutch Shepherds that are being trained and sold as protection dogs are working in pray, which is NOT real protection.
It takes three things to make a good protection dog: first and foremost is genetics, second is environment, and third is training; in that order. You can be the best trainer in the world and put in the time, but if the genetics are not there you will not succeed in developing a good protection dog.
We at Command Control K9 have a policy that we will not breed any dog unless it has proven itself, and has completed at least our Elite Family Guard Dog program. To give you an example of what genetics is, this weekend I had a couple that came down to my kennel to do bite work with a female Belgian Malinois puppy that they had purchased from us, out of Cindy and Ducko’s litter, who was born March 20, 2009. Now knowing this pup, and knowing where she is in her training — she had not even taken a bite before, never mind seeing a French Ring bite suit — not only did she take a bite the first time, but she let go and transferred to the other leg when I thread her with it. Now this is Genetics.
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
Keeping protection dogs and family pets healthy is always a top concern for owners. But what happens when our good intentions actually end up hurting our best friends? In a recent study at the University of Wisconsin, researchers found that vets and dog owners all over the country may be over-vaccinating dogs and causing health problems. Basically, in an effort to make their pets healthy, people may actually be making them sick.
Dr. Ronald Schultz, a pathobiological scientist at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine has been studying canine vaccines for nearly forty years. In his research, he has found that immunities can last an entire lifetime in canines. This means that quite possibly, people only need to vaccinate their dogs one time, instead of the yearly vaccinations that many family pets and protection dogs now receive.
The annual vaccinations are usually comprised of a single shot that includes vaccines for over 16 different canine diseases such as Lyme disease, parvovirus, distemper and more. The rabies shot is often given every three to five years, but Dr. Schultz’s findings also show that this may be over-vaccinating dogs as well. He has studied the antibody levels in dogs as they progress through their lifetimes, and his data has shown that the dogs retain their immunities to these diseases for many years, sometimes even until natural death.
Over-vaccinating dogs can lead to side effects like skin problems, allergic reactions and even autoimmune disease. Dr. Schultz’s research is becoming widely acknowledged by vets across the country, who are rethinking the annual schedule of vaccinations. His results could lead to cheaper vet visits and healthier pets and protection dogs.
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