Posts Tagged ‘Security Dog’
Friday, December 4th, 2009
A gun dog, also known as a bird dog, is a type of working dog used by hunters. Their job is to assist the hunter by finding and retrieving game, usually some type of fowl. There are three types of gun dog: pointing dogs, flushing dogs and retriever dogs. Each is trained to assist the hunter in a different way. There are even a number of dog breeds developed specifically for pointing or retrieving. The Golden Retriever and English Pointer are common examples.
The difference between a pointing dog, flushing dog and retriever dog makes them appropriate for hunting different types of game, in different settings. However, personal preference of the hunter is also a factor in which should be used. Pointers, and also setters, are named after the pointing action they take upon discovering game. When game is found, the dog is trained to freeze in place, and remain perfectly still while indicating the location of the game by pointing towards it with its muzzle. The hunter is then able to flush out the game and take a shot. Flushing dogs are best used on game that is likely to run from the hunter on ground. Instead of freezing in place to point, the dog is trained to aggressively flush out the game, causing it to take flight. This allows the hunter a clear shot. Both of these types of gun dogs are trained to retrieve the downed game upon command, usually soon after the shot. Retrievers are most often used when hunting waterfowl, and are trained to sit calmly and quietly while the hunter takes shots on birds that come into range. The dog must watch the gun and mark each downed bird. After the shooting, the dog is then instructed to retrieve each mark. Retrievers are also able to take commands from the hunter in order to find birds which the dog did not see fall.
While each type of gun dog is trained for a different purpose, there are similarities between them and the way they have been trained. First and foremost, is their ability to ignore gunfire. Gun dogs are trained to sit still and calm in the presence of gun fire, and some pointers are even trained to freeze in place upon hearing it. The sound of a gunshot is loud and unnatural. Even most humans can be unnerved by it. To get a dog to ignore gunfire takes training and obedience. Obedience is another key factor in the training of gun dogs. The dog must be able to sit still, calm and quiet for extended periods of time. This is especially true of retrievers. Finally, communication is an important part of any working dog’s training. Gun dogs are not just able to understand verbal commands, but are also able to understand the situation. This is especially important when multiple pointers are used as they are often trained to honor the point of another dog by pointing alongside of it.
There is no question that the work of gun dogs and the work of protection dogs are worlds apart. A breed developed for use as a gun dog could never perform true protection work the way that a German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd or Belgian Malinois can. However, there is one key area of training where these two worlds overlap. Training for the event of gunfire. A good protection dog needs to be able to remain calm and steady, and know how to react in the event of gunfire.
Monday, November 16th, 2009
The White German Shepherd, sometimes referred to as just White Shepherd, is a white-coated colour variation of the German Shepherd breed. The white colour variation has been present in the breed since it’s original development in the late 1800′s by Max Von Stephanitz. Their white coats are mistakenly interpreted as a sign of albinism, but genetic analysis has proven this to be false. The white coat is in fact valid colour variation ’caused by a recessive gene. During the 1930′s, the Nazi party took control of breeding standards and practises in Germany. Under new control, white coats became grounds for disqualification and White German Shepherds were not permitted to breed. Following the Second World War, dedicated breeders sought to repopulate and rebuild the German Shepherd breed, but the existing breed standards were kept in place, and white coat variations continued to be seen as a fault.
Today, many kennel clubs around the world continue to regard the White Shepherd as a variation of the German Shepherd breed, and most do not permit White Shepherds to participate in conformation dog shows. However, the United Kennel Club in the United States has declared the White Shepherd to be a separate breed. While the recessive white coat gene is very rare, it is believed by some that the gene pool is significant enough to warrant the development and identification of White Shepherds as a separate breed. The UKC conformation standard states that a White Shepherd should be pure white in colour, although off-white, cream and light tan coloured coats can be accepted. The dog’s nose and paw-pads must remain black.
Aside from the obvious difference in colour, White Shepherds are physically identical to the German Shepherd. White Shepherds can be superb workers and make excellent shepherd dogs and guide dogs. Unfortunately, as the white coat is a recessive gene, the gene pool from which White Shepherds can be bred is limited. As with any breed that is developed for aesthetic preference over working ability, the limited gene pool can have a negative effect on the overall performance of the dog. It is because of this that a White Shepherd may not have the nerves required for work as a guard dog, or a true protection dog.
Monday, October 5th, 2009
The Airedale Terrier is one of the largest terrier type breeds, and the largest among those originating in Britain. However, Airedales bred for dog shows are often much smaller. The Airedale has a medium-length double-layered coat with a soft undercoat underneath a coarse, wiry topcoat. The coat is most often black around the back and sides of the dog, with tan around the head, legs and tail. The tail is sometimes docked shortly after birth, although this practise has been made illegal in Britain.
The Airedale Terrier was originally bred in the late 1800′s, and is most likely a cross between smaller Terrier breeds and a larger hunting dog known as the Otterhound. Like the Otterhound before it, the Airedale became popular among hunters. However, unlike Terriers before them who were often accompanied by a pack of Bloodhounds, and expected to enter the dens and burrows of prey after the Bloodhounds had sniffed them out, Airedales became more of a jack-of-all trades breed capable of both sniffing out and taking down larger animals. As well as being efficient hunting dogs, the size and temperament of the breed suited it well to work as a guard dog on British farms. During the the First World War, Airedales were used to deliver messages during battle. Later, they were also given the task of finding and retrieving wounded soldiers from the front lines. After seeing the impressive work of Belgian Malinois police protection dogs in Belgium, Airedales were also adopted into British police forces. However, they were later replaced by the German Shepherd as the most common breed used for police work. During the 1930s, American breeders in Ohio developed what is known as the Oorang strain of Airedale Terrier. Bred to be larger and sturdier than previous Airedales, an attempt was made to market the Oorang as “the greatest utility dog in the history of the world.” The kennel closed and breeding of Oorangs ended in 1970 upon the death of its creator, Walter Lingo. However, some kennels still claim to produce original Oorang Airedale Terriers today.
Today, the Airedale Terrier is still an impressive breed. However, they have mostly been replaced by other breeds for work as security dogs or police dogs, and their role as a hunting breed is now largely obsolete.
Monday, September 14th, 2009
After herding, the guard dog is perhaps one of the oldest canine professions. Traditionally, guard dogs were bred to watch over livestock, and chase down predators in the area. These dogs had to be fast, intelligent and strong. Molosser and Mastiff type breeds are broad terms which refer to large dogs bred by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Celts for the purposes of guarding territory and livestock. Many of today’s most effective guard dogs share a common ancestry in the Molosser and Mastiff, and retain their strong build, intelligence, and territorial instincts. It is important to consider that while many smaller dogs have strong territorial characteristics, they often make better watch dogs than guard dogs in that they might bark, but lack the strength and skill to effectively stop an intruder. A true guard dog can be trained to know when and how to attack and disarm an opponent.
The ways in which dog breeds find their way into guarding roles is perhaps as varied as the breeds themselves. Some ancient breeds, such as the Rottweiler, were originally bred for herding, but adapted into guarding roles through the need to protect livestock. Others, such as the Tibetan Mastiff, were bred and trained to guard sacred religious locations for as long as history has recorded them. More modern breeds, such as the Doberman Pinscher, have been bred exclusively as guard dogs in the past century. Amazingly, other modern breeds who were bred as herding dogs, such as the German Shepherd, have adapted into a wide variety of other roles, including that of a guard dog, in only a few decades. Other breeds commonly used as guard dogs today include the Belgian Malinois, the American Bulldog, the Pit Bull Terrier, and the Bullmastiff.
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