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Articles tagged with: protection dogs

Hannibal and Noro - Testimonial Protection Dog

on Monday, 03 March 2014. Posted in German Shepherds, Protection Dogs

Some Testimonials are worthy of their own place on our website!

photo 1

Hannibal

Dear Ted,

Noro is doing so well!  Working with him every day without fail and I use RJs training techniques which have resulted in some amazing progress. I have to reiterate that without RJ's week here I would not have had the same confidence or knowledge of the building blocks that I have used.  Even the way RJ "petted" Noro was always given mimicking an alpha's grip on the scruff while being playful--at least that is what I saw and it is only one of many things I noticed and learned to do differently just by observing RJ. Noro will do a down stay indefinitely now. His attempts to alpha out in our household are pretty much non existent now. He is, at almost 2 (mid-March) shaping up to be a pretty magnificent dog.  His house protection is stellar and he will sound a nasty alarm but go to his control pad (right where RJ placed it) usually on first command but consistently on second.

Hannibal is doing great.  Grace is in India until May so I have both dogs until then. Because of his service dog status I enjoy taking him for all store based errands. I can't take him anywhere without people telling me what a beautiful, handsome and well behaved dog he is. He remains in top form and when walking with him I feel it is what I imagine driving a Rolls Royce would be like with regard to his attention to every slight turn, acceleration of pace, etc.  A joy.

We miss you all and look forward to seeing you when we get down to Florida this year.  Please give the family my very best-

Stephanie

Author: Jill Pavel

Happy New Year 2014!

on Monday, 06 January 2014. Posted in German Shepherds

Dear Friends,

We have a lot to be thankful for during the past year 2013.

We helped a few veterans acquire their service dogs.

lou and topeka

Veteran Lou and Topeka

james and kira

Ted Hoppe introducing Veteran James and Kira for the first time

mark naya shopping

Veteran Mark and Naya shopping

josh

Veteran Josh Schutt will start his Service Dog Training 1.13.14 

We made the front page this year! >> http://www.vnews.com/home/8864230-95/a-dog-in-service-of-one-who-served-white-river-junction-va-adapts-to

RJ Hoppe had an amazing trip to Europe, they were able to check in on the dogs and meet the new German Shepherd puppies that are in their new homes.

female puppy available

Our young client Josh is living happily with his Service Protection Dog Warrior. Josh was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has Warrior by his side to guide him through his daily life.

warrior and josh

Josh with his scout troop leaders and Warrior

RJ Hoppe received his certification for training in American Street Ring

rj and ted street ring

RJ & Ted Hoppe working with Tebow

Looking forward to making memories and changing lives in 2014.  We wish you and your family a successful, healthy and happy New Year! 

Author: Jill Pavel

Interesting German Shepherd Information - Why This Breed?

on Tuesday, 17 December 2013. Posted in German Shepherds

The German History of the German Shepherd

"The most striking features of the correctly bred German Shepherd are firmness of nerves, attentiveness, unshockability, tractability, watchfulness, reliability and incorruptibility together with courage, fighting tenacity and hardness." 


- Max von Stephanitz, Father of the German Shepherd Dog

sire of puppy

The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is a versatile working-dog, capable of being trained to perform a wide variety of tasks. German Shepherds are family pets, police dogs, guide dogs, search and rescue dogs, bomb and drug detection dogs, sheep and cattle herders, hunting companions, guard dogs, obedience champions, avalanche dogs, assistance dogs, show dogs, and more. Regardless of their particular role, German Shepherds are excellent companions provided they receive the attention, training, and exercise they need and feel useful. 

 This dog breed is only about 100 years old. The breed was originated by Captain Max von Stephanitz. Captain von Stephanitz, of the German infantry, bought sheep-herding dogs (many of them field trial winners) from all over Europe in the late 1800's and early 1900's and bred them together to create his 'ultimate service dog'. He started a registry and stud book. His favourite dog, Hektor, was 1/4th wolf. All the dogs originally imported to the UK & America were proudly traced back to him. After WWI, British and American soldiers, impressed by the abilities of the dog, brought home examples to breed. The breed instantly become popular, both as a family pet and as a working dog. Shortly thereafter, the German Shepherd Dog's (GSD) name was changed to Alsatian Wolf Dog. Their popularity soared for a while, then fell tremendously as the media sensationalised every remotely negative event that occurred associated with a canine with the word 'wolf' in it. There were arguments like this - was the Alsatian Wolfdog the best working / most capable / most intelligent dog that ever walked the face of the earth OR was Alsatian Wolfdog the unpredictable / livestock eating / human attacking beast from hell? The name was eventually changed back in 1977 to German Shepherd Dog, and the GSD soon reached its peak at the top of the most popular dog list.

Von Stephanitz created the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde, or SV, as the official governing body for the breed. The SV then created the Schutzhund trial as a breed test for the German Shepherd Dog, and prohibited the breeding of any dog which could not pass the trial. The purpose of Schutzhund training is to assess and mold the dog's natural abilities to track, protect, and teach the dog control through obedience. It has been considered by some to be a test for breeding in that during the training the degree to which the dog possesses these working abilities becomes apparent.

The German Shepherd Dog is a large, strong, substantial-looking dog. The fur is a double-coat and can be either short or long haired. It varies in color, coming in many different shades, mostly cream (tan) and brown, but also solid black or white. Dogs with coats that have tri-colored hair (ie. black, brown, red, or white) are called sable or agouti. Different kennel clubs have different standards for the breed according to size, weight, coat color and structure. The GSCs have an average life span of ten to twelve years.

The German Shepherd Dog is an intelligent breed of dog. Because they are eager to please, they are easily trained in obedience and protection. German Shepherd Dogs are often used as working dogs in many capacities, including search and rescue (SAR), military, police or guard dogs. They are also used as assistance dogs / service dogs (such as guide dogs). The original purpose for the German Shepherd, was (not surprisingly) to herd sheep, cattle or any other animal that may require the assistance of a shepherd. Even given the name "shepherd" some people are surprised to hear that these dogs were bred for herding, as the GSD is more often found working as a guard dog, police dog or companion pet than in the field working sheep.

The German Shepherd does not have the "eye" as border collies or other similar breeds. They are trained to follow their instinct, which for the GSD is to "work the furrow", meaning that they will patrol a boundary all day and restrict the animals being herded from entering or leaving the designated area. It is this instinct that has made the breed superb guarding dogs, protecting their flock (or family) from harm. Your German Shepherd will try to "herd" you and your family. Often they will "follow ahead", walking in front of you and looking back to make sure you are going where you should. Although the German Shepherd is not used as frequently for herding in present time, there are many breed lines still known for their herding. The breed is naturally loyal, intelligent and protective (which makes it good for police work). German Shepherd has an excellent nose, making it good for tracking and search and rescue work. German Shepherd Dogs are calm and have a steady temperament when well-bred which is why they have been used as "Seeing Eye" dogs. A German Shepherd thrives on regular exercise, mental stimulation and a well-balanced diet.

 Author: Jill Pavel

A Veteran Advocates for Himself and His Service Dog!

on Monday, 23 September 2013. Posted in Veterans with PTSD

 
 
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NAYA - Service Protection Dog
Mark Berry is a 59 year old Veteran, born in Hyannis, Massachusetts. In 1973 Mark enlisted in the United States Navy and spent the next 4 years serving during the Vietnam War Era. He was with the 6th Fleet after boot camp and spent time on a carrier in the Mediterranean.  Mark was an airman on the flight deck. One of his job tasks was during the recovery of TWA flight 841 that was attacked by terrorists in 1974 over Athens, Greece in Route to JFK, NYC.  This was the first known instance of a young Arab boarding an American plane in a suicide mission (resource, Wikpedia). Mark was part of the recovery team that brought home 88 bodies including 79 passengers and 9 crew members. To this day, Mark has a difficult time discussing that event in his life.  
Mark is 100% disabled. He has been living with mental disorders and PTSD since his service to our country. He was diagnosed with PTSD two years ago during a VA hospital stay. 
When I asked Mark how he came to GatorlandK9 he said," I have gone through the system and met other Veterans  that had service dogs.  I saw how they were working for them and I wanted one."  All Veterans are looking for relief and solutions to help them cope with their PTSD and other Brain related disorders. According to Mark he was told that there is at least a 4 year waiting list. Mark found GatorlandK9  on the internet and was impressed by Owner Ted Hoppe's Military Service in the Air Force. He was drawn to the dogs we presented and reached out to Ted. 
Mark  has been living with his service dog Naya for two years.  Mark has a deep respect for Naya. He respects her as an employee would respect their boss. Talking with Mark was refreshing, he has a very professional relationship with his dog.  He views her as she should be, a "working dog".  I asked Mark how he navigates the relationship when they are not at work.  He said, "she is trained to know that once her vest goes on, she is on duty. When the vest comes off, she is off duty but always on, stand by".  Only when the vest comes off does he indulge Naya in play with her Kong Toy.  Naya was born in March 2011.  Scan0050
 Mark Berry & Naya
Six months ago, Mark started to fight in a new war.  A war for his rights to bring his service dog to the White River Junction VA Hospital, VT and  for Naya's right to perform her job functions at all times.  Without a legal explanation, Mark was told by a social worker  of the facility that he could no longer bring Naya into the facility.    Mark took it upon himself to fight for his rights and the rights of other Veterans.  Naya had never exhibited any behavioral issues or negative conduct both physically and from an audio perspective.  She was professional at all times.  Becoming accustomed to the benefits of having Naya by his side at all times created anxiety, fear and anger inside of Mark.    Mark could not understand, Naya had been to the hospital with him many times, she has always been well received by the housekeeping, nurse, administration, doctors & therapists. Mark said, "When the Social Worker told me that this is a new policy it was presented in a way that I perceived it as a threat, t was time for me to stand up and fight for my rights."
Mark immediately turned to GatorlandK9 and we immediately jumped into action by reaching out to a Corp. of Veterans including Sean Hill.  There were endless phone calls on Mark's behalf to the VA Hospital, Local Politicians including Congressman Peter Welch who went in on foot to meet with the Administration of the VA Hospital on Mark and Naya's behalf.  Unfortunately none of their efforts were met with a positive response.   
When Mark exhausted all of his internal resources at the hospital  he reached out to Chief of Police, John Richardson.  Police Chief Richardson, took it upon himself to contact the hospital directly and was responsible for facilitating the reinstatement of Naya's ability to enter the hospital.  Naya already had the appropriate paperwork and attire to represent her official role as Mark's working dog.  It is sad that it took a First Responder to get the job done.  Since when did our Veterans stop having a legitimate voice?  To be fair, Mark has stated clearly that he thinks the White River Junction VA Medical Center is one of the best facilities he has dealt with in his years post service.  In his opinion this was not a policy issue but a human issue.  Naya and Mark are back in business and have championed a positive outcome in this situation.
The point of sharing this with you is that Mark wanted other Veterans to know that we cannot always rely on others to advocate for our needs or rights.  Sometimes we have to take a stand and do it for ourselves.  In this case Police Chief Richardson helped Mark get this situation turned around, but Mark had to go out and advocate to him for his help.  It was empowering for Mark and as the author of this blog,  I hope this helps other Veterans not find defeat in the word NO.  NO can create empowerment.
Jill asked Mark to share some of his wisdom with other Veterans pertaining to PTSD and Service Dogs, specifically with his life experience with Naya.   Here is what he said:
1. "Talking to Therapists and Psychiatrists on a regular basis is a part of my treatment.  I do not wait until I am close to a breakdown to get help.   Also, when I visit the VA hospital they take notes and put them into the computer.  During my fight to get Naya and my rights reinstated they always made notes in the computer.  Ultimately that helped me when presenting my case to the Police Chief to help me.  Police Chief Richardson acted as my liaison and cited the laws to the same people who were telling me no."
Other first responders will be more sensitive to the issues of a Veteran.  They have respect for our service. 
2.  Be wary of where you purchase a service dog.  Naya is an import dog hand selected for me based on various emotional and physical criteria.  GatorlandK9 & serviceprotectiondogs.org custom selects all of the dogs for all of their clients. Domestic Shepherds tend to have a higher incidence of thrown hip dysplasia and mental instability. The Breeds that Gatorland & serviceprotectiondogs.org  provide are able to sort out different environments naturally.  
Naya stays neutral in busy environment, where other service dogs  jump up off place command or bark.  Naya always remains in control.  
3.  Naya helps Mark wake up from  nightmares and night terrors.  She calms him down.
4.  Mark shares, "When I am in general public places ie; Walmart or food stores,  Naya has the ability to pick up on what is going on around me before I do.  She has an incredible sense of her surroundings at all times.  She alerts me by standing in front of me or she puts her left paw on my leg which is an indicator for me to find a quiet place.  If anyone comes close to me, she alerts me by standing so close to me she is almost on top of my leg."
Mark stated boldly, "Meet my PTSD!!  I have anxiety, paranoia, agitation to the extent that I can be viewed as verbally offensive, withdraw socially.  All of these symptoms have been helped and alleviated to a great extent because of Naya and our working relationship. I am consistently in awe of how she has the ability to read me, my symptoms before I recognize them in myself.  I have had to learn how to read her and her responses as well. I am mutually protective of her.  I respect the training guidelines of not allowing the public to touch or interfere in her work.  Once in awhile she is stumped by a situation.  She cocks her head and looks to me and I guide her as to how to handle the new situation. We are a team.  
Mark recently shared this article with me http://www.vnews.com/news/healthcare/8365794-95/va-gets-45-million-for-ptsd.   There is help coming for PTSD research, more so than in the past.  Article's such as this that show the grants and funding working for our Veterans is promising.  We have a long way to go. 
Scan0051
 Mark Berry & Naya 
Mark has had an inspiring journey for himself with his service dog Naya and on behalf of other Veterans. We look forward to sharing more with you as Mark continues to navigate through his life with Naya by his side.  
For More Information on our Veterans with PTSD Programming visit Contact Jill Pavel (732) 423-2070
For More Information on our Custom Selected Import Dogs and Training Programs please visit www.gatorlandk9international.com  Contact Ted Hoppe (386) 337-0730
Author: Jill Pavel

What Makes a Malsatian a Good Choice from GatorlandK9?

on Monday, 26 August 2013. Posted in Malsatians, German Shepherds, Protection Dogs

Bradpuppy

Here are some GREAT reasons a Malsatian is a Good Choice of a puppy breed from GatorlandK9.

  • Low Maintenance - less shedding
  • Super healthy, this is a cross breed.  Meaning there is no common ancestry, minimizing the chances of geneticallay inherited problems or health issues malanois/german shepherd cross
  • Medium sized dogs are easier for service work, they can get into tight spaces
  • Highly trainable for ALL types of Service work


The Malsatian is a cross (malanois/german shepherd cross) done frequently by trainers & police agencies in Europe & produces a superior working dog that is easier to handle & trains very quickly.
Our Malsatians come from outstanding genetic backgrounds.

Ted Hoppe has bred & trained Malinois for over 20 years & traveled to Europe to Import his original breeding stock, creating the Gatorlandk9 bloodline, a working bred Malinois. These are crossed into the finest Imported German Shepherd bloodlines in the World.

Temperament tested, super socialized & evaluated so that they will go to suitable homes.


Bradpuppysweet

Author: Jill Pavel

"HERO" - Dog of the Month

on Sunday, 06 October 2013. Posted in German Shepherds

HERO is our October Dog of the Month!  

Hero

 

HERO is a young 20 month old drop dead gorgeous, male German Shepherd import.  He is a perfect choice for your family protection dog.  He has advanced obedience training and protection training.  He is wonderful with children!  He is Mr. Personality and you will fall in love with him at first siight.

HERO has all the qualities you have come to expect from GatorlandK9 International Custom Selected German Shepherd Protection Dogs.

If you are interested in inquiring about HERO or any of our other Service/Family Protection Dogs please contact Ted Hoppe at (386) 337-0730

For more information on our German Shepherds (import) please visit our website at www.gatorlandk9international.com

 Author: Jill Pavel

Arkan (German Shepherd) Update

on Friday, 20 September 2013. Posted in German Shepherds

It is wonderful to hear back from our clients how well their dogs are doing.  Arkan was purchased in 2005 from gatorlandk9.  He is currently living in Southern California.

 arkannewhome

Ted,

Just wanted to tell you how great Arkan Is doing, and how young he looks. He is so strong and powerfull. He gets raw meat ( turkey) with his Orijen dog food everyday.
A vitamin C and apples and carrots for a treat, and a moozle twice a week. We walk and run everyday. I love him so much. I.m his playmate and cuddler, while Ann is his person and makes sure the training is always there. I,m sorry Ted but how can you not spoil these dogs, thank god for Ann ( no nonsense from her). She is all business.
LOVE. MY BOY, Thanks Ted.  

 Paul

Visit our website: http://www.gatorlandk9international.com 

 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.  

 photo (2)

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 

Picture4

 

 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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