Storm, 8 yrs old Allie, 10 yrs old Cala, 12 yrs old
The Working German Shepherd – a wonder to behold. Here a quote from the man who is considered the Founder of the Breed, Captain Max Von Stephanitz: “Take this trouble for me: Make sure my shepherd dog remains a working dog, for I have struggled all my life long for that aim.” Captain Max von Stephanitz saw no beauty in a non-functional dog and was ruthless in discarding what he considered weak. Tireless and determined, he laid the foundations of the GSD history that we were later to make the breed the greatest all-round working dog in the world.
My Love & Fascination of the GSD
I began my fascination and love of the GSD in 1989 when I began working and learning from this noble breed. It was then when I started training the Police K9. Having since trained numerous Police K9’s for single and dual purpose street work, the term dual purpose refers to patrol and detection capability to include, cadaver, explosive and drug detection. Not limited to these, but this is my forte. From there I began to participate in the German Dog Sport called Schutzhund (meaning protection dog).
In Schutzhund the dog is trained much like a triathlete since it is broken down into 3 phases which starts on a competition day with Tracking, Obedience, then off to Protection. This is standard for a VPG or Schutzhund title of which there are differing ones and varying degrees. An FH and advanced tracking degree consists of a minimum of 3 hours aged; a minimum of 1200 meters in length; a cross track at 20 minutes after the laying of the track which crosses at 2 points, both by strangers, with 5 articles placed on the track and 7 turns with a change of cover and/or road crossing. Obviously not a simple walk in the park!.
I was lucky enough to compete in the DVG Bundesieger with my Bitch and what an honor it was! The Bundesieger is the German National Schutzhund Competition, and you must qualify to be there. To say that my nerves were a bit more tense is an understatement, but like all dog work, it comes down to trusting your dog and your training. And I would NOT hesitate to go back to compete again if invited. Funny, how after working street K9’s looking for men who had committed murder, shooting or a robbery, I still had butterflies when I stepped on the field – the goal was to get them to fly in formation 🙂
For the working German Shepherd we deal mostly with European lines, some are bred here in the USA but will trace their lines back to various European Countries. Not intending to rile anyone’s feathers, but when was the last time you saw a German Shepherd actually working, tending sheep or herding, or anything outside of police work?
In Europe the dogs are still bred for form to follow function. Without the lower rears, cowhocks and sloped backs, these dogs are bred to work, hence you see a square looking dog and a powerful rear end enabling them to work for hours and jump with little chance of injuring themselves. Captain Max von Stephanitz said that “Beauty is what serves a Utilitarian purpose” and “The breeding of shepherd dogs is the breeding of working dogs; and this must always be the aim, or we shall cease to produce shepherd dogs.” Who better to take advice from on breeding and training than from the man who is considered to be the founder of the breed. It is with this in mind that I make my training, breeding and working goals.
Here a nice old film showing the German Shepherd Working Dog in Germany 1936: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsBi0PehfAM&feature=related
Today the German Shepherd Dog can be found on the front lines of America’s Military Elite Special Forces, serving as therapy dogs, and not only detecting bed bugs, but also cancer cells. Thank You Max, for such a wonderful breed! In closing a quote from an Unknown Source….“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours faithful and true to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion” – anonymous … Nothing more can or needs to be said.
Additionally, I would like to comment on the Olewo Carrots. I have traveled throughout the United States with multiple dogs and have taken one to Germany, and have always used the Olewo Carrots as a preventative against parasitic infections, and have never had to use any type of worming meds on any of my dogs. I also use it for pups as soon as they begin the weaning stage to prevent loose stools, and I send some Olewo Carrots with the pup to each new home to help lessen the stress caused by the separation of the pack and the new environment – it effectively stops the loose stool and dog diarrhea. I wholeheartedly recommend this product to everyone based on my experiences with it. It works not only as a preventative and to promote good overall health, but with the coat luster also.