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Ted Hoppe (386) 337-0730

Ted Hoppe (850) 633-1826

Articles in Category: Service Dogs

Thank You 2014

on Wednesday, 31 December 2014. Posted in Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd Puppies, Malsatians, Veterans with PTSD, German Shepherds, Protection Dogs, Puppies, Service Dogs, Service Protection Dog training

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We had such a wonderful year with all of you we wanted to take a minute to share some of the highlights of 2014!

 

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We started off with this delicious Red Sable Puppy.  Brad Hoppe is overseeing the puppy love!

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 Thanks to your generosity we placed Service Protection Dog "Hero"

with Veteran Josh S. 

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Singer/Songwriter Cory Singer performed on our behalf at an event in New Jersey to help raise funds for veterans.

 

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We had some amazing puppies come through GatorlandK9 this year

on their way to new homes!

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 Some of our German Shepherd Service Dogs became world travelers.  We have enjoyed the travels of Jessi the Service Dog this past year!  Here she is with her handler in Europe!

Sarah Buxton and Naya

 

Country Music Star Sarah Buxton honored GatorlandK9 

by awarding our "Naya" the Service Dog of The Year Award

presented by Heart Songs for Veterans in Nashville, TN

Jill Pavel, Founder of Heart Songs for Veterans

Presented our Service Dog Program with a $ 2000.00 donation from the event.

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 Endy Found a Forever Home with our new friend Jane Saul!

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 We continue to celebrate Gatorland Malinois.  This is one of our alumni Mela.

We look forward to celebrating 2015 with all of you!!  Meet Taimon he will be arriving at GatorlandK9 International soon!

Contact Ted Hoppe (386) 337-0730 or email Ted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Happy New Year!

Author: Jill Pavel 

Protection and Service Dogs for Women

on Friday, 24 May 2013. Posted in German Shepherds, Protection Dogs, Service Dogs

When you think of a Service or Protection Dog, what comes to mind? A beautiful German Shepherd wearing a harness with a handle, guiding a blind person or an attentive Labrador helping someone who is deaf or in a wheelchair.  We DO cater to our female clients with physical disabilities however we also cater to women who live with anxiety, ptsd and other neurological challenges.  

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Jessica and Fibi

Dogs have been known as man’s best friend for a long time. Now more than ever, this is true, as we become more familiar with the human-animal bond, we find more ways that the relationship between a human and a dog can actually help to heal the human. Dogs are now visiting nursing homes and hospitals and helping to bring moments of peace and happiness to someone who is lonely or in pain.

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Jane and Endy

Any person who has been through a traumatic experience can suffer pain in the form of depression and post traumatic stress syndrome. Women who have been assaulted or abused can suffer also from repressed feelings of guilt and shame. These feelings can literally take someone’s life away. It becomes hard to perform simple tasks and going into public can become impossible without bringing on anxiety attacks. This causes the person to be isolated which aggravates the depression. A woman will also be afraid to go out alone because she can no longer trust her fellow human and she feels vulnerable.

A German Shepherd that has been specially trained to assist and protect a person can be a vital key to giving this woman her life back. The dog, if trained and certified as a Service and Protection Dog will be able to accompany the woman into all public places and help make her feel more comfortable and safe as well as being a friend to lean on if an anxiety attack should happen. The training is custom tailored to the individual client as each person has special needs and the dog will learn cues to help a person leave an uncomfortable situation.

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Suzanne with Savannah and GatorlandK9 trainer RJ Hoppe

The trainer really takes on a dual role as trainer and handler of the Service Dog during the training process and must also be familiar in helping the woman learn to handle and trust the dog and will play an important role in helping the woman to make her first trips out in public. The trainer will need to be familiar with the psychiatric needs of a patient with post traumatic stress disorder and will assist the person if they need medication or experience an anxiety attack in public. It is a lot to learn to handle the dog and deal with all of the feelings of being out in public, so the handler/trainer must assist the person if needed.

The Service Dog will become extremely bonded to its new owner, as the German Shepherd has an uncanny ability to sense the needs of a human and will adapt it’s training to very specific needs of each client.

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Client with Jessi

Contact Ted Hoppe This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

(386) 337-0730 Ted Hoppe

Author: Jill Pavel

GatorlandK9 Service Dog Honored in Nashville

on Tuesday, 15 July 2014. Posted in Veterans with PTSD, German Shepherds, Service Dogs, Service Protection Dog training

Veteran Mark Berry traveled to Nashville from his hometown of Caanan, New Hampshire with his German Shepherd Service Dog, NAYA.  During a music benefit at The Stage on Broadway presented by Heart Songs for Veterans, Marks' GatorlandK9 Service Dog Naya was awarded "Service Dog of the Year" by Country Star Sarah Buxton.

Country Singer Ashley Winters shared her song written for Mary and Naya "By Her Side".  

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Country Singer Ashley Winters, Serenading Veteran Mark Berry and his GatorlandK9 International Service Dog NAYA with her original song penned in their honor "By Her Side".

Sarah Buxton and Naya

Country Star Sarah Buxton awarding GatorlandK9 International Alumni  Naya

"Service Dog of The Year" Award

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Heart Songs for Veterans of the Year SGT Eric Hunter, Artist Sam French.Todd Farmer

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L to R: Heart Songs for Veterans Andy Roadarmel, Todd Farmer (Drummer) Sam French & Brian Jones (Justine Blazer Band)

The Omni Nashville provided accomodations for Mark, Naya and Service Protection Dogs for World Peace.

To Cap the evening off a surprise donation was made to Service Protection Dogs for World Peace on behalf of Jill Pavel, Founder of Heart Songs for Veterans in the amount of $2000.00. Pavel presented the check to D. Hoppe.

 Author: Jill Pavel

Warrior The Service Dog

on Tuesday, 12 November 2013. Posted in German Shepherds, Service Dogs

We are going to tell you a story....a beautiful story about Warrior the Service Dog and his young charge Josh who is 15.  Warrior has been trained as a seeing eye dog for Josh who is fighting a brain tumor which has compromised his eye sight.

 

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GatorlandK9 brought Josh and Warrior together when Warrior was a puppy. 

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When our German Shepherd Puppy was old enough for Service Training He went back to Gatorlandk9 for Service Dog Training with Owner Ted Hoppe.

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Here is a GREAT Video of Warrior During a Training Session

Click here HERE >https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa8djvV5cO0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

After completing his Service Dog Training He went home to live with Josh and his family.  

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 We are so pleased to say that Warrior and Josh are both working well together.  Recently Josh took Warrior to a Boy Scout event!

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Here is an update from Josh's Mother Sarah yesterday.

Warrior took a tour of Joshua's High School today. He did so wonderful and his behavior was top notch.  Everyone just loved him and can't wait for him to be a "Full-Time Student". He's going to have his picture in the year book right next to Joshua's! How exciting is that?  I'm so proud of him and it's all due to

Ted  Hoppe at GatorlandK9.  Sarah Hepler

Click here if you want to visit Warrior's Facebook page >https://www.facebook.com/pages/Warrior-A-Service-Dog/475422392512417

Click here if you want to visit GatorlandK9's facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ServiceProtectionDogs

Author: Jill Pavel

Veteran Josh Schutt's Story Living with PTSD

on Tuesday, 27 August 2013. Posted in Veterans with PTSD, German Shepherds, Service Dogs

In June 2013 We officially launched our Veterans with PTSD Programming 

Our Mission:  To provide funding to Veterans with PTSD or other neurological disorders and individuals who have a need for help from a service protection dog,  where they might otherwise not be able to acquire a service dog.

We are currently working with Veteran Josh Schutt, Philadelphia, PA who served for six years in the US Army including 2 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Josh lives with PTSD and TBI.  His daily life struggle is documented on his facebook  page Help Support A Veteran.  Josh came to GatorlandK9 four months ago.  We are actively working toward his goal of funding a service dog.  

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Josh has opened up his world to all of you.   This is his story.  

Josh Schutt's  Story

I served in the US Army from 1998 until October, 2004. I was medically discharged due to injuries I suffered in Iraq.

I was injured in Iraq on Aug 1, 2003, when my weapon, a .50 cal machine gun, misfired and exploded on me and I was left only holding what they call the butterfly handles. My body immediately went into shock, so I didn’t feel any pain but I did recognize the severity of my injuries. My bleeding was very significant so I wasn’t sure that I was going to make. It took three hours to get to the closest medical unit. When I got to the MASH unit, I explained to the doctor what happened and he was so shocked he lost all the color in his face. He said he couldn’t believe that I was alive, let alone awake. I took shrapnel to my leg and my stomach. He immediately had to operate on me to remove the metal throughout my body. I spent a week in Iraq until I became stable enough to be transported to Germany. Once I was there, many tests were run and they were able to partially close up some of my wounds. I spent another week there before I was sent to Walter Reid where they proceeded to run more tests, close up the rest of my wounds and made sure I was healing. Once they ruled out internal bleeding, I was released.

I was medically discharge from the military for my physically injuries. However, my emotional and psychological injuries were a lot harder to recover from.  For the next few years, I spent a lot of time looking at the bottom of a beer mug and trying to avoid everyone and anything.  I could not sleep unless I drank enough to pass out and when I did fall asleep, I would wake up screaming and sweaty from the nightmares.  I experienced a lot while in Iraq and I was having trouble learning to live a normal life again. I didn’t know what was going on or how to deal with it. I finally went to the VA where I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder usually caused by a life threatening event(s). It is diagnosed when someone experiences recurring flashbacks and high levels of anxiety that continue a month after the traumatic event.

My doctors suggested a multitude of medications but they weren’t enough.  I finally came across something called a PTSD service dog and after researching, I realized they had helped many Veterans like me deal with PTSD. I discovered that having a PTSD service dog would allow me to live a more normal life. For example, I am constantly looking around to make sure there aren’t any snipers or IUDs hidden in my surrounding but the sense of security the service dog will give me will allow me to relax.  It will also wake me up when I have night terrors, which are frequent. It will help me to go out and be social in big crowds, which I typically avoid. If it senses me getting stressed, a PTSD dog is trained to calm me back down avoiding a full blown panic attack.

The challenge with obtaining a specially trained service dog is that they cost more than I can afford due to the fact that the training is so extensive that is takes years to complete. There are many agencies out there that offer free dogs to Veterans but they have an extremely long waiting list and I have dealt with this for way too long. I am now asking for your assistance and anyone else’s who would be willing to donate funds to help me cover the cost of getting a PTSD service dog. The average cost of training and obtaining a PTSD service dog, including training is very expensive.  I am ready to live a normal life again but I need your help. Please help me raise this money by donating anything you can and by passing this along to everyone you know. It would be greatly appreciated. 

There are several ways you can support our efforts for Josh:

1.  Make a direct donation 

 If you would like to make a donation you can mail a check! 

Make Checks Payable to:

 Service Protection Dogs For World Peace

PO Box 296 Barberville, FL 32105 

Mark Memo:  Josh Schutt 

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 Author: Jill Pavel

Picking A Level of Protection Dog Training

on Friday, 25 January 2013. Posted in German Shepherds, Protection Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs

After researching protection dogs on the Internet and feeling totally confused, people often ask what level of protection training my dogs have? It’s like they are trying to compare the deluxe model with leather interior, power windows and all of the bells and whistles vs. the basic model. Buying a dog that you can trust with your family is something entirely different than buying a car.

You should ask yourself ‘What is my handling ability/experience?’ ‘What do I need in a dog?’ ‘What is the right dog for my situation?

Communicate your needs and describe what you expect from the dog. A good trainer will take the time to listen to your needs and try to get a feel if he has the right dog for your situation.

Most people and families need an excellent quality animal with a good obedience foundation and basic protection that is useful and practical. A trained dog is not a vicious dog. It is confident and approachable. You don’t want a dog that is aggressive to the point of being a liability. You need a very forgiving dog, your children can pet it and it does not feel threatened. In the Military and Police K-9 schools, the handlers are matched with the right dog for that individual. The same will hold true for matching a protection/companion dog with the individual needs of that person or family.

The proper temperament for a family protection dog is something a dog is born with. Dogs, like people have their own personalities, i.e. a very alpha/aggressive dog is not a good choice for a family companion dog. It is possible to find a very well trained dog that looks good and acts good in its training environment but is entirely different when you bring it home.

You need a good instructor to show you how to maintain a protection dog’s training. You need to acquire training/handling skills. This is all part of our service. So when selecting a dog for family protection, be less concerned about levels or bells and whistles, and more on individual personality and traits of the dog.

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