Four months today since Brenda and I brought Irrk to Virginia. As you can see he is still a beautiful specimen , at 3 yrs and holding steady at 90 lbs. Loves the climate and his big back yard. He is free in the yard but always with one of us .Likes to be with us. As an obstetrician I am out at all hrs of the night. He loves to come with me , waits for me in the Yukon then to the office to check it out. His training in search is great, he goes in first checks all the rooms and comes back to give the " come in". Just loves to work and guard us. He has adapted well and Brenda and I have adapted to him. He is so powerful and well trained. . Thanks again for letting us have Irrk and for all of your training.
Carlos J. Blattner MD and Brenda Blattner RN. Galax Virginia ( on the Blue Ridge Mtns. )
We purchased our beautiful Bela from GatorlandK9. She is the most beautiful, wonderful, intelligent GSD who has ever been a part of our family. She is incredibly loving and tolerant towards our little Yorkies, as well as grandchildren. Thank you Ted Hoppe for your diligence in breeding and raising this incredible breed! Patty Duncan Pearson
Thank you so much for helping my husband who is a Veteran
James and "Kira" find each other. The day we
spent with you is definitely a milestone in James
recovery and management of PTSD. The time you
took for us meant so much. The entire family
enjoyed the demonstration we saw with Tebow!
We arrived home safe and Kira our German Shepherd Service Dog is getting used to
her forever home quickly! The two of them are
bonding so well. We will continue to keep you
updated on their progress.
ennifer & James Morton
Just wanted you to know that Glaedr is doing great! I wanted to ask how big/how much his parents weigh? Just getting a feel for how big he is likely to get. At 5 1/2 months he is 46 lbs and tall! We absolutely adore him and are very pleased with how he is doing with training. Thank you again so much for such a wonderful dog. Maureen Rodriguez
Dear Ted & Dawn
Thank you is an understatement. Alex has provided our family with a great deal of love and joy. I am forwarding pictures of Alex with our grandchildren.
One year ago, we decided to look for a trained German shephard. We spoke to numerous people and contacted several breeders. We left our first meeting with you impressed with your knowledge, experirnce and a sense we were dealing with a person of integrity. We decided to go no further.
Your personal integrity was clearly demonstrated when you graciously accepted the return of the first German shepherd you provided us assuring us you would find another to fulfill our expectations. The first shepherd unexpectedly exhibited signs of an illness that neither of us anticipated.
True to your word, you brought us Alex approximately eight months ago. Our entire family recently celebrated his second birthday. Our children and grandchildren look forward to visiting Alex. He is gentle, loving and playful.
I also want to thank you for the excellent training and advice you have continued to provide on a weekly basis. We both know that I am the one that needs the training, not Alex. His obediance responding to both hand and voice signals is outstanding. Alex's protection training and response equals his obedience training. I often take Alex jogging. We meet many people along the way. Alex has a superb temperament. He is playful with other dogs and social with all people and children unless commanded otherwise. We all thank you both for bringing us Alex.
Sincerely, Harry Jacobs
We have had MAX now for 3 months. He is the perfect fit for our family. With our son Mason, who is 4 and very active, Max has displayed extreme patience, caution and protection.
It is Ted's knowledge and caring that resulted in the selection of the perfect match for our family shepherd. Thank you for getting to know us and our needs and blending that with your experience and know how to make MAX our best friend! In addition, due to Dawn's follow up and knowledge of the breed, MAX's well-being physically is top notch.
Ted & Dawn, thank-you again for a great experience.
Audrey & Mark Beebe
Dear Ted & Dawn
This letter is long overdue and it will be long
We want to let you know what a truly amazing addition to our family Yankee has become. Words alone cannot begin to express how we feel about Yankee. He has become a true family member
I was somewhat skeptical about buying a German Shepherd (GSD) that was18 months old, especially because Goldie was raised with GSD's. Goldie's comment to me was "GSD's have one owner". Having bred Rotteweilers, I was concerned to say the least. The last thing you want to do is to invite a very large carnivore into your house, only to find he does not like you or his surroundings! Ted told us from the first conversation that the one owner dog idea was not true. We told Ted what we wanted and what we expected
It is important to note that I wanted a protection dog for Goldie as I traveled frequently, or at least I did at that time. Fortunately for me my travel has decreased and I have much more time for Goldie and Yankee
In the first two months Goldie and Yankee established a bond that was far beyond my expectations. Yankee quickly realized his "job" and he has never swayed from it. I repeatedly told Yankee to watch "mommy" and he quickly learned and knew exactly what to do. It is quite funny for us to watch when a friend or friends come over to our house for an evening. Yankee never leaves Goldie's side, and I mean never. He prefers that the two of us are within ten feet of each other, but if we part, Yankee follows Goldie
There is one downside to having a GSD trained by Ted and Dawn. Yankee absolutely knows his "job" and you have to "teach" your family and friends how to act around a Yankee Dog. While we do not consider it to be a downside, our family and friends did not understand Yankee's behavior during the first meeting. Ted and Dawn's training is totally ingrained within the dog. Once the dog bonds with his owners, which takes a few weeks, he or she is very protective. My mother's first visit to our new home with Yankee as Chief Protection Officer (CPO) was quite amusing to say the least. My Mother and Goldie are quite close and they have a great relationship, unfortunately Yankee did not know that. My Mom made a quick move towards Goldie and Yankee let my Mom know that Goldie was his Mom! Yankee barked and moved in between them. He did not act aggressively as if to bite. He just let everyone know that he was Goldie's protector
We realized that we needed to let visitors know that quick moves towards either of us are off limits until Yankee knows you. Now that Yankee knows my mom, he is the sweetest dog you could possibly imagine. He is also amazing around children. I have two very young nieces and they are quite rough with him, but he could care less. He watches over them like a mother hen. Yankee is the most intelligent dog that I have ever seen. He learns from every angle. We have taught him numerous voice commands and hand signals. The best part is his ability to truly understand how we feel and how he reacts to us. He knows when we are happy and he knows when we do not feel well and he reacts accordingly
I have never seen a dog with so much passion and loving, but yet a dog that will definitely take a bullet to protect his family
Yankee is truly the biggest "teddy bear" any one could ever hope to have, but he is also the fiercest the dog I have ever seen
I could go on and on about Yankee and how much we love him, but I have to stop somewhere
I cannot stop. I just realized that I did not talk about Ted, Dawn or Gatorland. We did an extensive search for protection dogs and an extensive interviewing process. What we found was quite confusing in the beginning. We found that you could buy different breeds with different levels of training all of which was quite confusing. We were totally lost, Level I, Level II, Level III and so on, and of course a price from $2,500-$50,000
We continued our search and talked to many different trainers and breeders. We did this over a three month period and after many phone calls we decided on Gatorland. Ted and Dawn always called us back to answer any questions we had. In this day and age that was very comforting for us. We decided to go to Florida and look at the dogs Ted and Dawn had chosen for us.
It is very important to note that Ted and Dawn asked us as many questions as we asked them. They truly wanted to make sure that the dog would be happy
Obviously, we went to Florida. We were quite surprised with the dogs we interacted with. Ted and Dawn listened to our needs. We had to make a decision and we chose Yankee, strangely enough, Yankee was the dog Ted said that would be perfect for us
The moral of the story is this; when Ted and Dawn talk about dogs, LISTEN! Ted and Dawn, thank you for something more than a dog, thank you for the piece of mind and the best friend we have ever had
Rocky and Goldi
Dear Ted and Dawn:
We have never seen a finer dog than Libby. She epitomizes everything a protection dog should be: alert, obedient, intelligent, quick, courageous, balanced, responsive, and even-tempered. Introducing her into the home (that included a four-year-old toddler, a 71-year-old man, and an 11-year-old German Shepherd) was effortless and she fit in as if she were always there. We were worried that she would only look to Ted as a handler but she transitioned to us easily and smoothly as her owners, taking commands from us without any hesitation.We couldn't wish for a better dog, even if we were to dream another one up in our own heads. We feel safe knowing that Libby is "on alert" 24 hours a day, and wish everyone could know this feeling...and then realizing that everyone can, just as we did. Ted and Dawn, you have earned life-time customers!
N. Callaway, Zachary, LA
Libby is a Belgian Malinois
Dear Ted and Dawn:
Koa is growing up and is marvelous. He is beautiful, confident, and sound. I could not have had a more perfect companion. I wanted to thank you for providing such a lovely member of my family. You have indeed exceeded my expectations. He is a quick learner and is very responsive. I could not ask for a more special friend. I would be happy to speak highly of the service and wonder you have provided. Best wishes to you and your new place.
C. Young, Jacksonville, FL
Dear Ted & Dawn:
Yazeek has indeed proven to "Exceed my Expectations". I want to compliment you on your uncanny ability to match up my needs with one of your canines. You did well to direct me in Yazeeks' direction. Honestly, at first (over the phone) I thought he was over-priced and after a week of having him, I thought what a deal I got! I had no problems with him; he is ALL you represented him to be and more. He immediately fit into my home and has been forgiving of my poor pronunciation of his native tongue (he is now bilingual). I will expect a dog on your map just a little west of Denver to represent another satisfied customer in Grand Junction, Colorado. Please feel free to use me for references.
A. Roby, Grand Junction, CO
Ted and Dawn:
I cannot tell you how much we appreciate the dog that you picked for my dad and mom. They named him Panzer and he is one of the most beautiful dogs that we have ever seen. In terms of protection and affection we could not be happier. Panzer loves to play with all the grandchildren yet, at the same time is very protective of them and the surroundings (his home). Again, I wanted to say thank you very much for the excellent selection.