It might seem that I’ve been absent for too long and neglecting GERMAN SHEPHERD ADVENTURES….and I suppose there could be an argument for that conclusion. But as I stare at the last week of 2014, I can’t wait for you to see what’s ahead in 2015! In fact, I could make the argument that this past year has been all about getting ready for the Canine activity too come in 2015! During 2014, I achieved several professional goals. But first, I seriously broke my right arm during the first week of January 2014. It required surgery after 2 weeks of waiting for the swelling to recede. I was out of commission for January and February, and my poor German Shepherds suffered from a lack of being worked, but they both became quite attentive to my need for rest and recuperation. It was quite impressive to learn that they could be so helpful under such circumstances…After my surgery, I was wearing a ridiculously large cast/immobilizer that Hans mistook for a new bite sleeve for his amusement. That almost went terribly wrong, but his “Leave It” command is rock solid, so no appreciable damage was done! It was during my time off from work that our family made a huge decision. We decided that we were through working full-time for The Man. We decided to pursue this dog stuff, and enrolled in the National K9 School for Dog Trainers in Columbus, Ohio. We learned something very important there, namely, Never Limit Yourself To a Single Method Of Training a Dog. This lesson was learned the hard way, because NK9 School advocates a very singular method, gently scoffing at anything else. Not that I’m saying anything negative about the school, or the curriculum. It’s actually a pretty good primer on the profession of dog training. But that is exactly what it is, a primer. A beginning to the learning process of working as a trainer of dogs. When you finish, there’s still a LOT of learning to be accomplished on your part. A personal style, and realization that EVERY dog requires something different in training. Only experience will teach you those things. One notable highlight of National K9 is the presence of Mr. Bob Jervis. A presence in the dog world for many years, his lectures and exercises are worth the price of the school alone. I’ll not guild the lily here regarding Mr. Jervis, but I’ll simply say, “Thank You, Bob. You are the Best of the best.” The school gave me the opportunity to decide what part of working with dogs really appealed to me. Teaching obedience to pet dogs seemed so…monotonous. Working with dogs whose owner would never follow thru with their dogs training seemed like a waste of MY time and skill. Not for me. I wanted, and still want, to work with dogs and humans that are dedicated to continuing working with their dog. To my eye, this attitude is best represented by those dog people in the Dog Sport world, especially in the IPO and Protection sports world. Here in central Ohio, I am surrounded by some of the worlds finest handlers/trainers in protection activities. Dean Calderon, Tommy Gillies, and Wade Morrell just for starters…that kind of base can’t be matched. In June, I was able to attend a 3 day Service Decoy school conducted by Wade Morrell for the Franklin County Sheriffs Department K9 unit. Unbelievable Dogs, unbelievable K9 Officers, and the best instructor in the world in Wade Morrell. I’ve already written about the school here, so I won’t repeat myself, but it was career altering to say the least. In May of 2014, I made a chance visit to the premiere Kennel facility in the state of Ohio. Kennel Club USA is located in Johnstown, Ohio and is owned by Mr. Mark Jeremias. My intent was to drop off a resume’ and hope for the best. Unbelievably, I left 2 hours later as an employee. To make a long story short, KCUSA is not only a world class boarding/daycare facility, but also has a forward thinking attitude when it comes to dog training. This is where things get really cool…
My employer has his sights set on having a successful program involving working-dogs for executive protection, protection sports, and a possible breeding program. In order to make that dream a reality, he has purchased two puppies. One, is a Belgian Malinois (now named Jacque) acquired thru the well-known Les Ombres Valeureux Working Dogs in California. Debbie Skinner, the owner and breeder produces fantastic dogs, and thus far, little Jacques has shown us his dynamic personality, and legendary drive. My friend and colleague, Jonathon Brinkley will be Jacques’ Handler/Trainer, and I will have the privilege of being his helper/decoy. We plan on taking this little maligator as far as we can in bite sports, and protection work. In time, Jacque will become either a well-trained dog available for sale, or a cornerstone of a breeding program. But that’s not all.
At the end of January 2015, we will also be taking into our KCUSA fold, a German Shepherd Puppy with the same goals. We will be joining the Sequoyah German Shepherds family, (Soddy Daisy, Tenn) .-http://sequoyah-german-shepherds.com/ The Puppy is a son of Drago vom Patriot, a top of the line import from Germany. This pup shows tremendous potential, and I am ecstatic to be his Trainer/Handler. He has not yet been named, (I need to meet him before I do that!) but I know that Jon is looking forward to being his victim in the biscuit. Both dogs spring from highly driven, powerful dogs, with tremendous temperament! As part of this, Kennel Club USA is forming a Working dog club, set to launch in Spring of 2015…April will be our big kick-off, with events, demonstrations and hopefully a spring barbeque . We’ll keep information coming on this, so keep your eyes open here or at Kennel Club USA’s website and facebook page! Our club will be based on the Service Dogs of America organization and I’m very excited to be associated with such a fine group of dog people! Much more to come on this organization very soon. I will be with the SDA brass in A couple of weeks at a decoy camp put on by SDA, in beautiful Soddy-Daisy Tennesee and that will also mark the homecoming of the new puppy from Sequoyah German shepherds located nearby! That will be an exciting weekend and I can’t wait! I promise LOTS of photo’s for the blog!
Well, that catches you all up on what’s been keeping me busy these last 3 months! Lots of great stuff to write about coming up, and I’ll do my best to keep up with it all for you!