A colleague recently wrote, “Everyone thinks they have the best dog and none of them are wrong”. It’s like being a proud parent. I am proud of each of my children and talk about their dreams, accomplishments and personal growth on a daily basis with whoever will listen. Dogs are family and my dogs are no different. I have two Bouvier des Flandres (French herding dog)
and they each have their own personality, and I love them very much.
People ask me how I got into the Bouvier breed
. I come from a police canine background, and a department that used to train with us had a Bouvier as a police dog. His name was Tommy and I loved that dog. He was big, happy, and loved to bite the sleeve. This dog was powerful and I just loved his personality. One day, when the time was right, I wanted a Bouvier. Now, Titus was never a police dog but I did train him in personal protection. He loves to bite the sleeve, do agility training, and play fetch. Titus got to do his job two years ago when a stranger walked into our home at 6:20 am. I was up and heard the door open, and then Titus bark ferociously. The man quickly fled. Later I learned several homes were broken into the previous evening. Titus did his job and I was so proud of him. Though protective, he really is a gentle giant and very friendly. I often wondered if he had the natural instinct to protect and now I know he does.
We recently got a Dolphin Robot pool cleaner. The first time I used it, Titus was outdoors laying by the house in his usual place. Once he noticed this thing moving in the pool he got up moved forward, puffed up his chest, and stared. As it crept closer, he started to bark at it. It was quite comical to watch. It took about 10 minutes until he figured out it was not a threat, just different. Dogs like consistency and notice change. Move furniture or have a box delivered, they take notice immediately upon entering the house and will give it a sniff over. Titus was my demo dog at work but he is now retired. He still loves to play fetch but has difficulty getting up so we are finished.
My demo dog now is Bracha, a 7 year old female Bouvier. She is a feisty little thing, topping out at 70 pounds – 20 pounds lighter than Titus. She is much more protective (territorial) at home. She was in bed sleeping when the break-in occurred. Once Titus sounded the alarm Bracha came running to take care of business but she was 2 seconds too late. She is Daddy’s little girl and she knows it. When we are on vacation, I board my dogs at the Adams K-9 kennel. My staff says that when I am away she struts around like she owns the place and body slams every one. The sassiness comes out when Daddy is away. She has soft eyes and we have a special bond. She lays under my feet in the evening waiting for me to say it’s time for bed. Titus turns in at 9:30 pm but Bracha will stay up with me until I say it’s time for bed.
Bracha is also trained in protection, it is just something fun I do with my dogs. I seek out dogs that are confident, likes a good game of tug that I can transition into protection. I cannot count the times people have asked me to train their dogs in protections and they just don’t have what it takes to do it. Protection is a dog sport. If you want your dog trained to actually bite people I am not interested. Dogs that train in protection must be confident, not nervous, balanced, and have the energy and want to train. If you want a dog that you can train in a dog sport, find a breeder that competes with their dogs in dog sports
. Their pups will have the natural instinct to do dock jumping, agility or protection. I love working with my dogs and they love working with me. My dogs are the best. They are the best because we have that unique bond that only a human and dog can have.
How about your dog, what is so cool or unique about your dog? Every dog has a story. Do you hunt, kayak, or do tricks with them? Or, are they just your companion and you are good with that. Sometimes people get a dog as a family pet or personal companion but they find out they have more dog than they know what to do with. Sometimes your dream of having a fur baby turns into a nightmare. A veterinarian sought me out because her dog was destroying the furniture (separation anxiety) when she left the dog alone
. We talked back and forth and she had the dog on Prozac but he was still destructive. I explained, we just teach obedience and structure, separation anxiety is a tough nut to crack. She was insistent on training with us, and her dog finished his two-week program and she is now in her 5th
month of group classes. She stated this fixed the issue of separation anxiety.
Another West Michigan man lost his wife and got a dog as a companion. The dog was a nervous wreck and the owner had gained a lot of weight since the passing of his wife. Again, I made no guarantees about the dog’s nervousness, but again we fixed the problem. The dog gained confidence and was trained. The owner was now able to walk his dog and he was losing weight because he was active with his newly trained dog. These are two positive stories are great examples of why we do what we do. Train dogs and help fur parents.
We all love our dogs and want the best for them, but sometimes people don’t know how to get the best results with their dog. If you would like a better relationship with your dog, we have the expertise in helping you communicate better with your dog. Contact us today, a free Adams K-9 evaluation is just a phone call away.