Posts Tagged ‘Guard Dog’
Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
KNPV is a term that comes up often when speaking of working dogs, and with good cause; KNPV is one of the most challenging and well-respected dog sports in the world. Between 800 and 1000 dogs get their KNPV PH1 title each year. Of these, only about 5 will be German Shepherds. KNPV titles can only achieved in Holland, where the sport originates, and the vast majority of competing dogs will be Holland’s favoured breed: the Belgian Malinois. For a German Shepherd to achieve a KNPV title is an extremely difficult task that requires a hard dog with strong nerves. KNPV also requires a dog that is intelligent, loyal and sociable as well.
Training a dog for the KNPV PH1 title takes dedication and commitment. Training normally takes been 2-3 years to complete. To train a dog for this long, with the level of intensity required for KNPV takes a true love for dog sport and dog training. Training German Shepherd puppies or Belgian Malinois puppies must begin at a very young age.
While KNPV is the closest dog sport to real protection work, one should never forget that it is just a sport. However, KNPV forms the basis of breeding standards in Holland. Only the best dogs make it through to achieve a KNPV title, and the litters bred from KNPV titled dogs are ensured to have the strength and nerves required of true protection dogs. Very few KNPV dogs are female, as the best females are always held back for breeding.
Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
Despite the name, ringworm is actually caused by a form of fungus. Over 35 different species of this fungus exists, but only about four can cause ringworm in dogs. Of these four, Microsporum Canis is the most common. Ringworm is very contagious, and can be passed from dogs to humans. The risk of catching ringworm is especially high in young children. Infection can be spread by direct contact with an infected animal, or by contact with the spores which can live in sheets and carpeting for several months.
Ringworm can take as much as two weeks to develop into visible lesions after initial infection. The fungus grows within hair follicles in the skin, and causes hair in the infected area to break off at the root. As a result, ringworm infections often manifest in dogs as circular patches of missing fur. Many cases of ringworm can be identified by examination under ultra-violet light. However, only two of the four species of fungi that cause ringworm will fluoresce. The most accurate test is to have your veterinarian perform a hair culture on fur from the infected area, although this form of testing can take 2-3 weeks to perform.
If left untreated, ringworm will spread and cause painful sores, but once identified, infection can be treated fairly easily through anti-fungal medications. Unfortunately, ringworm is much more difficult to remove from the home, and reinfection will occur until remaining spores are dealt with. After an infection, it is recommended that you destroy and replace your dog’s bedding, brushes, and other objects which frequently come into close contact with your dog’s fur. Items that cannot be destroyed can be soaked in a mixture of hot water and iodine, and rinsed with water and diluted bleach. Clean the house thoroughly, and have carpets and upholstery steam-cleaned.
While ringworm is not often a dangerous or life-threatening illness, its persistence can make it difficult to deal with. In a guard dog, the skin irritation caused by ringworm can have a detrimental effect on concentration and overall performance. Weather you have a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, or Dutch Shepherd, it is important to check your guard dog regularly for signs of ringworm and other signs of skin irritation. Do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you detect any signs illness.
Thursday, June 24th, 2010
The Cane Corso is a large molosser type breed of dog with a muscular build. It has a square muzzle that is typically about as wide as it is long, and naturally drooping ears. The Cane Corso is commonly seen with cropped ears and a docked tail, although the controversial practise of docking tails and cropping ears is discouraged in many dog shows, and has been made illegal in several countries. The coat is short and smooth with black and fawn being the most common colour variations.
The Cane Corso was originally bred in Italy as a working dog where it was used both for hunting, as well as guarding livestock. It’s name comes from the Latin “Cohors”, meaning “guardian”. Like many European breeds of dog, the Cane Corso nearly vanished after the Second World War, but has been making a steady comeback due to the efforts of enthusiasts who have been working to revitalise the breed since the 1980s.
Relative to many other breeds, the Cane Corso is exceptionally intelligent and easy to train. However, while they have a long history of guarding livestock against wild predators, this does not always translate to the ability to guard against criminals as a guard dog or a protection dog. For work as a guard dog today, it is best to stick with working breeds, such as the German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois, who have demonstrated clearly that they posses the nerves required of a true guard dog.
Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
Dogs bred and trained to be guard dogs or protection dogs are often among the strongest, most agile and most intelligent dogs in the world. While these are all necessary traits for a working dog, it means that your German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois guard dog is far more capable of escaping its dog crate than a standard house pet.
The act of escaping confinement is usually not out of a dislike for the crate itself. Canines, by nature, feel safe and secure in confined places, and often enjoy relaxing in their crates. However, escaping the dog crate can become somewhat of a game to your dog. It is a self-rewarding experience that your dog will repeat. In the event that your canine escapes his crate, it is extremely important that you take immediate action to prevent further escapes. If you move your dog directly to a more secure crate after repeated successful escapes, it may injure itself in an attempt to escape the new crate.
The weakest parts of a crate are the hinges on the gate, and the latch. If your guard dog has escaped its crate, it is most likely that it has done so by pulling on the gate to bend the hinges, or by knocking the latch out of place. In both cases, a more expensive aluminum crate will be much harder for the dog to escape from, but more important than the crate is ensuring that the dog’s behavior is corrected. Securing the gate with cable ties, or bungee chords will make it more difficult for your dog to escape, and can be implemented immediately after your dog’s first escape, or sooner as a preventative measure. Positioning the crate with the gate against a wall or solid surface can also help prevent further escapes. It is important that your dog associate the crate with a calm and relaxed state of mind rather than an energetic or playful one, and removing the reward of escape can help accomplish this.
Purchasing a more expensive crate may prevent further escapes, but it may also cause your guard dog to injure itself. With proper training and reinforcement, your German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois will view the crate as a place of sleep and relaxation rather than a challenge or game to be overcome.
Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
In German Shepherds, standing ears have been a staple of the breed’s appearance since the very first were bred in the early 1900′s. Unlike other breeds whose ears must be painfully cropped, the German Shepherd has been bred for ears that stand naturally, without the need for unnecessary surgery. Not only do standing ears give the appearance of alertness, but they more effectively channel sound, and are less prone to dirt and infection.
Many people take it for granted that a German Shepherd’s ears have always stood erect. However, German Shepherd puppies go through a process of growth in which the cartilage in their ears firms up, allowing them to stand. When the puppies are first born, their ears are much too soft to stand on their own. In the majority of puppies, the ears will naturally begin to stand between about 3 to 6 months with no extra help. Unfortunately, some puppies are born with softer ears than others, or cartilage that does not firm up enough for the ears to stand. The process of taping ensures that their ears will set properly, in the shape which was intended for the breed. It should be stressed that the majority of pups will have ears that stand naturally. Ear taping should only be used on pups who have shown no signs of standing ears after about 5 or 6 months.
The process of ear taping should not be left too late. In many cases, starting taping at 7 or 8 months may already be too late. It is important to monitor the growth of your dog’s ears, and how they react to noise. Making noise and giving commands will encourage the pup to work the muscles around their ears, and encourage standing. If, by the 5th month, your pups ears have not shown signs of beginning to stand, you should consider taping. While it is recommended to have a vet tape the ears, it can be done at home as well. The most important consideration is to make sure that the right type of tape is used. Only clean surgical tape should be used. Any other type of tape, such as duct tape or scotch tape, can seriously damage your dog’s ears. It is also important to purchase a safe adhesive, specifically designed for use on skin. The process of taping the dog’s ears is fairly simple. You will need some form of soft cylindrical form to place in the ear-flap. The foam inside of hair-rollers, with the hard plastic parts removed, often work well. Apply the skin-bond glue to the foam, being careful not to apply excessive glue, allow the glue to contact your own skin, or allow the glue to drip into the ear of the dog. Gently place the foam along the inside flap of the ear, in an upright fashion. Leave space between the foam and the ear canal. Tape the ear around the foam in a cylindrical fashion, starting from the bottom. Be careful not to tape too loosely or too tightly, and you should be done.
Whether you have a police dog, a guard dog or a personal protection dog, healthy ears are an important part of your German Shepherd puppy‘s development. If, at any time, you are in doubt about the health your puppy, you should never hesitate to contact your veterinarian for advice.
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
Sensitivity to environmental substances is incredibly common among human beings. While severe reactions to substances occur in many people, mild allergies to pollen or dust mites are much more prevalent. However, humans are not the only mammals affected by these strange sensitivities. Canines are just as likely to have allergies as humans are. However, the way in which these allergies present themselves can be very different. It is important to know what signs to look for in your protection dog, and what actions to take if you suspect your dog may be having an allergic reaction.
Unlike in humans, where mild allergies to pollen or mold manifest as a stuffy nose, or watery eyes, dogs with these types of allergies often suffer from skin irritation, especially around the ears, paws, flanks and groin. While this is often nothing to be overly concerned about, excessive licking and scratching can create sores in the skin that may become infected.
It is also possible for your dog to have a food allergy. In severe cases, vomiting, diarrhea or even seizures may occur, but often the symptoms are harder to spot. Flatulence, sneezing, and general irritation of the mouth, throat, or intestinal tract may all result from a food allergy.
Finally, canines can sometimes be sensitive to certain types of insect bytes. This is especially true of dogs who have previously had very little contact with this type of insect. A dog with an allergy to flea bytes may suffer from irritated skin and itchiness in the area for as long as a week after the byte.
Detecting and pin-pointing allergies can be a very difficult task. It is common for allergies to develop over time rather than being present for birth, which makes the task of narrowing down possible allergens even more difficult. In all cases, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian if your German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois is suffering from any of the above symptoms. Every case is different, so it is up to you and your veterinarian to pin-point possible allergies. Of course, knowing what symptoms to look for is the first step in keeping your personal protection dog happy and healthy.
Thursday, May 27th, 2010
The Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging (KNPV) is a dog sport originating in Holland that uses a number of exercises in an attempt to mimic situations encountered by police k9 units. One such exercise is centered around guarding an object.
For dogs with a natural protective instinct, training to guard an article should not be a difficult task. The same guard drive that a canine would have experienced in the wild to protect food, a den or young puppies, can be applied to any object. For the K.N.P.V. exercise, the dog’s are trained to ignore distractions such as a people walking past the article, and to attack the decoy who will attempt to take the article. The article can be any object, but medium-sized objects such as a bag, or coat are often used. After the dog has taken a bite on the decoy, the decoy will release the object and step back, at which point the dog will return the article without any outside command.
As with many K.N.P.V. exercises, the idea behind it is well-intentioned, but the execution of the exercise as a sport is inevitably unsuitable for a real world scenario. The scenario that this exercise depicts is one in which someone has carelessly left something of value in a wide-open, public space. Imagine that you have something of great importance that you need protected, but instead of locking it inside of a building, within a contained, fenced-off area, you have left it out in the middle of a park. This is, essentially, the K.N.P.V. scenario. In a real scenario, guard dogs are most often used to prevent intruders from entering a specific area rather than guarding a specific object. This is due to the simple fact that if you have an object valuable enough to hire highly skilled guard dogs to protect it, you are better off preventing intruders from even coming near the object rather than waiting until they have fully grasped it.
Although we have great respect for the K.N.P.V. dog sport, one should always remember that it is only a sport. Guard dogs and protection dogs should be trained for real world scenarios, not for sport.
Thursday, May 20th, 2010
Just as it can be with humans, hyperthermia, or heat stroke, can be a very serious and potentially life-threatening problem. All warm-blooded mammals produce natural body heat which is dissipated in a number of ways. Humans dissipate heat by sweating, which helps keep the body’s core temperature at about 98.6 ° Fahrenheit. As many people know, dogs cannot sweat, but instead dissipate heat through panting. A healthy dog’s core body temperature should be between 101 ° and 102.5 ° F. In all mammals, once the core body temperature rises above a certain point, damage can occur to the brain and other organs, resulting in heat stroke. For canines, a core body temperature of 105 ° F or higher is enough to cause serious problems.
There are a number of reasons why a dog may be unable to properly dissipate heat. For dogs with an undercoat, such as the German Shepherd, failure to properly brush and remove the loose undercoat as the warmer seasons come can put your dog at risk. Walking on dark asphalt on a hot day can also raise your dog’s core temperature considerably, as the heat from the ground is radiating directly towards the chest and abdomen of your canine. Working protection dogs and police dogs are at even greater risk due to higher levels of exertion combined with activities such as tracking that require your dog’s mouth to remain closed, thus preventing proper heat dissipation through panting. Lack of proper hydration, as well as muzzles or anything else that may prevent proper panting can leave your dog at risk for heat stroke as well. Finally, never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle. Even on a relatively mild day, the temperature inside your vehicle can quickly raise to dangerous levels.
If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, there are a number of indicators to look out for. Frantic panting, rapid heart beat, dizziness and staggering, refusal to obey commands, inability to sit up or stand, and collapse or unconsciousness are all signs of potential heat stroke. In the event that your dog is suffering from hyperthermia, your first action should be to cool the dog down by whatever means necessary, be they water, air conditioning or even ice packs. Immersing or dousing your dog in cool water is an excellent way to cool it down, but avoid cold water, as the drastic change in temperature can be a shock to the dog’s system and produce further complications. If you have a thermometer on hand, keep track of your dog’s temperature. Once it drops back down to about 103 ° F you should discontinue cooling and head immediately to your veterinarian, or the nearest veterinary hospital. If no thermometer is available, look for other signs that your dog’s core temperature has dropped, such as a reduced panting and distress.
In almost all cases, heat stroke is preventable. Proper grooming, hydration and care are all it takes to keep your protection dog or guard dog cool and healthy on a hot day.
Thursday, May 13th, 2010
Canines have a long history of helping those in need. Whether they are guiding the visually impaired, retrieving help for the injured, or just providing companionship to those in need of emotional support, dogs have helped improved the quality of life for countless people.
Sadly, the lives of many people are still severely affected by disabilities that leave them vulnerable to crime. No one wants to be a victim of crime, but those with disabilities are at increased risk from criminals who may see them as an easy target. The inability to run away, or the inability to defend oneself is a frightening prospect. Thankfully, a personal protection dog can offer these people the security and safety they need to better enjoy their lives.
Owning a protection dog can help increase the confidence of those who might otherwise be afraid to travel alone, or to visit the corner-store or at night, or any number of other scenarios. Having a German Shepherd or a Belgian Malinois protection dog by ones side not only projects the appearance of being well-protected, but also ensures 100% true protection in the event of an attack. As well as offering security and protection, a personal protection dog can also be a life-line in the event of a medical emergency, by recognizing a crisis and retrieving help when appropriate. There is no question that the peace of mind offered by owning a protection dog is invaluable to those who seek to enjoy life to its fullest.
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
The Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging (KNPV), roughly translated as “Royal Dutch Police Dog Sport”, is an intense dog sport that developed in the Netherlands as a way to test the breeding potential of working dogs to ensure their bloodlines remained strong and capable. While a variety of breeds are permitted to participate in KNPV, the sport is largely dominated by the Belgian Malinois. Although the breed does enjoy a fair bit of popularity in the area, its widespread use as a sporting dog for KNPV is a result of the Belgian Malinois’ ability to prove itself in KNPV trials time and time again.
Breeders put an incredible amount of time and effort into keeping their bloodlines strong and training their dogs to perform their absolute best. Whether they are training working dogs for police work, or sporting dogs for KNPV, it is important that training begins while the dogs are still puppies. A breeder must also determine the capabilities of his puppies very early on. While KNPV sporting dogs often produce very strong litters whose pups go on to be full-fledged police dogs or protection dogs, it is important to realise that the type of training they receive must be centered around the work they will be doing from the very beginning. Training a Belgian Malinois as a sporting dog will make it unsuitable for work as a true protection dog, even if it were to be cross-trained. It takes a huge amount of skill and expertise on the part of the breeder to ensure that their Belgian Malinois puppies are living up to their full potential and continuing to improve their bloodline.
Call Us Toll Free 877.687.CCK9 (2259)
/ Or Email Us