I am Buddilly's girlfriend. Decided to join the forum to see if I could get some general questions of mine answered and clarify some of the characteristics we are looking for in a future dog. First off, I understand that Harrison K9 and CPI are NOT German Shepard breeders, but import their dogs from European breeders. I have gone to Harrison K9 in Aiken, SC and was really impressed with their operation and felt comfortable with their methods. BUT, I want to be well researched and educated before I make the commitment to a PPD. This is the start of my research, please understand that and be respectful.
The reasoning behind wanting to have two dogs is because we both travel a good bit. I personally drive long distances frequently (6-10 hours) and have to deal with stopping for gas, food, and to ensure that my horses are traveling well. As some of you might know, gas stations off the highway are not the safest place to be. I do conceal to carry but have been in situations were I can't devote all of my attention to my surroundings. Having two dogs makes sense in our situation so that when we separate, we both can have a dog with us.
What we are looking for in a PPD: (Trained Young Adult)
1. Obiedance (obviously). Yes, I am attracted to CPI's video of the guy walking in Boston with his dogs off the leash. I understand this may be an easier technique for a German Shepard to learn, but the skills I can't teach is the protection side. I am more that willing to provide continued training with the dog personally and professionally. I would actually like to be involved in the selection, and the initial training of the dog (even if I just sit and watch). Needless to say I WILL be involved.
2. Search a home or building before I enter. Alert me to any problems before I walk in.
3. Be my second pair of eyes while I am working outside and alert me to any possible threats (more advanced than the typical dog).
4. Understand the difference between the UPS man or friend versus a person with malicious intent approaching the property per my body language and communication with that person.
5. 99% of the time be a friendly companion, but in the moment where I truly need them, they will protect me. (Be aggressive enough to deter someone, but be able to snap in and out with command)
4. Be friendly with other dogs. Especially my current dogs.
5. Be able to acclimate to hot or cold climates.
1. Does any one have experience working with CPI, or Harrison K9? Have you heard anything negative (other than the price of their dogs) that would be of importance? Any recommendations for other PPD trainers that don't have the fancy website, but a good solid reputation with reputable references.
2. Do any of you own other dogs beside your German Shepard? Do they get along. Both of my dogs are neutered and I assume our future dog will assume Alpha without any problems from my other pups.
3. Do any of you have problems with getting home owner's insurance? I know this depends on the agency but I have done some research and have found that some insurance companies will not insure you if you have a German Shepard, Rottweiler, Doberman, Pit Bull, etc.
4. What are the qualities that you have found to be most valuable in your dog? Both personality wise and protection. What are the most important qualities I should be looking for. What questions should I make sure to ask when interviewing a trainer.
5. I know that Harrison K9 uses positive reinforcement and does not hit or use physical contact in their training. CPI actually puts their dogs in situations where the attacker is fighting back using a folding chair or physical contact. Any insight into this?
6. What is the difference between a regular German Shepard (black and tan) versus an all black German Shepard? If any. What are the best lines that I should be looking out for.
7. Is a 24 month health guarantee sufficient?
I have trained horses all my life, I understand the trainer to animal relationship. I don't expect my novice friends to all of a sudden become experts (even in a few years time) in training a horse. Thus, I am not going to put the confidence in myself to train this dog alone if I am not going to be the absolute expert. I am more that willing to learn and continue the dogs training personally. To start off, I would prefer to have an expert train the dog.
If we can get a PPD for less than $50,000, by all means point us in the right direction! Take the price factor out of this equation and please just offer your personal experiences, and honest advice about owning a PPD.
Thank you so much for you help. I really appreciate it!