All teeth and flying fur

Annecy vom Kugelblitz

Annecy vom Kugelblitz

Annecy has developed into the biting Mali powerhouse i knew she would. My all purpose Malinois is making me proud! This girl has a long list of jobs to accomplish in the coming year. If all goes well and her hips and elbows come back she may become our foundation for vom Kugelblitz Malinois breeding program.  You don’t often see Malinois in the SAR world, a few in disaster and recovery work but a malinois in an airscent position is rare. We have one, Maxwell, so i know it can be done and takes a very special kind of mali. Annecy is working in the wilderness airscent role currently but with an interesting indication, she performs a bark and hold at the subject, till called off for a refind. The reasoning behind this long behavior chain is because we are not sure exactly what role Annecy will play in the future and we want both a disaster option or a wilderness option. Please enjoy a few photos from a recent drive building session


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Dog Corps. goes to IPO Nationals

Adam P, Kevin P, David G, Jennifer Culver, Jamie S, and Beth N

What is IPO you ask? Well by meaning it is Internationale Prüfungs-Ordnung but unless  you speak German that will mean very little to you.

So in english IPO is a dog sport which predominately features German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, American Bulldogs, Dutch Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dobermans. Once called (and still somewhat called) Schutzhund (meaning protection dog) it consists of 3 phases tracking, protection and obedience. Originating in Germany in the 1800’s its a dog sport that has been around for a long time. Consisting of numerous “titles” the dogs can earn to show courage, intelligence and utility it is frequently used as a breed survey to test the breeding suitability for German Shepherds.

I become involved in IPO in January of 2013 after acquiring my male German Shepherd puppy Edgar von Ramhaus aka Soren. Soren will be trialing in spring 2014 for his IPO titles as well as taking his certification test for IPWDA Cadaver. The Dog Corps. traveled to Easton PA last weekend to watch the nationals and get an overview of how trialing a dog in IPO works. The kids enjoyed watching the human canine partnerships and that evening over dinner we had lengthy discussions about training.

Handler and K9

While working with the students at FFS i try very hard to provide a solid basis in canine body language, because if you can read a dog you can train him to do anything. I always encourage the kids to maintain a healthy balanced relationship with the canines they work with, which means keeping their emotions in check and not in the training. Our dinner conversation revolved around another topic in dog training, the use of punishment and aversives. The kids were able to pick which handlers had used more positive vs more negative in their training relationships. The dogs body language was documented and discussed out loud during the obedience and protection routines. Despite the chilly air and lack of sunshine we had a great day observing some amazing handlers and their canines.

The kids with Rita Argiros


So you want to be a search dog handler?

Abby indicating during a mock search

Abby indicating during a mock search

What are the first thoughts that come to mind as a search dog handler?

Sleepless nights
Pricker bushes
Never ending energy
And the ever filled pockets of hotdogs and tug toys
I could fill pages with stories and experiences both good and bad about being a SAR K9 handler but at the end of the day I love it and the relationship it gives me with my dogs. A million lessons already learned and a million more to follow. If interested in learning more about this life changing experience or to just meet some cool people, we always welcome visitors to hide and watch our dogs work. Check out our team or contact Jenn

Annecy the 19 week old mali pup

Annecy has been with us now for 10 weeks and we have been balancing her “job” training with her basic obedience. Just a little update on her heeling and sit and down out of motion exercises, plus some drive building. Love this girl she is so great to work!