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Discussion Starter #1
I think this is the proper place to put this, since I am asking about a trainer, and I suppose some of his training methods.

Okay, let's see. After discussing things with the family, CPI looked pretty good, phone calls were made, numbers written down, etc. so I was perfectly content for a while now that we had some kind of tangible evidence that I would be getting a GSD in the near future. However, just to double check on their credibility, I checked out Leerburg. o___O looks like CPI isn't as fabulous as they make themselves out to be. The members at Leerburg don't look at them very highly, so I was seriously unsettled by that.

I decided to check out some other PPD websites, and my dad seems to like Command Control K9. I'm okay with them, and their prices are slightly better than CPI's, with the upside being that I haven't heard anything negative about them, but I wasn't entirely sold.

So, after hearing mention of Ivan Balabanov on HERE as well as on Leerburg, I decided to look into this guy. I'll admit, the first time I looked at the prices of the dogs on CPI, I got sticker shock. Once again, I got the same kind of sticker shock when I looked at the prices of Ivan's dogs -- but more for the opposite reasons! :eek: the prices were phenomenally better than the ones at CPI, Harrison K9 and CCK9.
Why is that?

All of his videos looked decent, the pages on his website were helpful, and I liked the look of the few available dogs he had up -- but wait, wasn't that how I got interested in CPI too? So I thought 'hey, before I jump into this even further, I'd better do my research'.
And tada, here I am.

My questions:

Has anyone worked with Ivan Balabanov? Met him? Went to one of his seminars?

Anything positive about the experience?

Anything negative?

Has anyone bought a dog from Ivan?

Has anyone MET a dog from Ivan?


I feel like I should trust this guy, even enough to consider the option of picking out a dog (with his help) and then paying for him to train it to be a protection dog. I'm certain this is an option that was posted on the site, I'm in the process of finding it again.

All of his competition titles and championships are really nice, but as someone who is BENEATH a NOOB in protection dog sports, he might as well've posted awards on doggy tap-dancing -- I wouldn't know the difference. :blush: I'm sure I'd be much more impressed if I had even an inkling as to how significant they were to his career and reputation. So for all you educated people out there, care to shed some light on the situation?
Ivan Babanov - Ot Vitosha Kennels Championship Titles, Tracking Accomplishments, Dog Obedience Training, Personal Accomplishments, Trained Protection Dogs For Home
(His accomplishments)
protection dogs- why choose us
(Credentials)

I'll pester my dad to try calling Mr. Balabanov on Monday, but until then, I'll gather as much info as I can.
 

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Okay, I took a peek at the other sites you were considering - They are good marketers and sales people, saying the right things to newbies (like yourself) looking for a protection dog.


Ivan is the real thing. People who have worked with dogs, seen dogs, and people like myself who have a working line gsd to train in Schutzhund for training, for fun, would go to Ivan for a real protection dog, because I know he understands dog, and knows way more about dogs than what the other two websites are offering.

Go with Ivan, his reputation is well deserved, he is known for his integrity and genuine helpfulness.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay, I took a peek at the other sites you were considering - They are good marketers and sales people, saying the right things to newbies (like yourself) looking for a protection dog.


Ivan is the real thing. People who have worked with dogs, seen dogs, and people like myself who have a working line gsd to train in Schutzhund for training, for fun, would go to Ivan for a real protection dog, because I know he understands dog, and knows way more about dogs than what the other two websites are offering.

Go with Ivan, his reputation is well deserved, he is known for his integrity and genuine helpfulness.
Thanks Castlemaid! This was the kind of answer I was looking for. =)
 

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I had gone to Ivan seminars in the past and I'm going back to another in a couple of weeks. I like him a lot and I don't have anything negative to say about him. I only know him from a sporting perspective, and I have not met any of his dogs in person, so being truly honest, I cannot say anything positive first hand either about PPD. But considering the guy has worked hard to build a reputation through the years, the chance of him messing it scamming someone for being noob are less.
 

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I've watched alot of his training videos and I like his methods. of all the ones you've been looking at, personally, I would go to Ivan if I had my choice and could afford it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
All answers are helpful! I've been looking into another company called A1K9, which is situated in Swansea, Wales. So far I haven't heard anything negative about them, but again, I'm not ready to hop on a plane and go visit them quite yet. I've also heard of Alpine K9, and a flight out to Phoenix, AZ is a bit more reasonable, I think. If anyone has any info on Alpine K9 then that would helpful to me as well! (I'm not expecting quite so much info on A1K9, considering the location ;) )
 

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I wouldn't hesitate to get a dog from Hans Prager (alpinek9), he is also a trainer , there is a member on this site who has a puppy from Hans partner . I think his prices are very reasonable and that guy knows his czech dogs:)

I also like Eurosport. My female is out of a Eurosport bitch, while shes' a sweetie, she can be a real tough girl, high defense, suspicious, always 'watching'.

I honestly wouldn't go overseas, there are so many good dogs right in this country it's just researching to see what the best fit is
 

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Raizo, it is great that you are still doing research before investing in your future dog.
I think you've learned so much in the few weeks you've been on the boards and I bet you'll know exactly which breeder/trainer you'd like to go with by the end of the year and will not have regrets, because you weren't rushing into it.
Have you visited the PDB? General Topic Messageboard - page 1 - German shepherd dog
forums? Hans is a regular on there. A search of his posts, clik here
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wouldn't hesitate to get a dog from Hans Prager (alpinek9), he is also a trainer , there is a member on this site who has a puppy from Hans partner . I think his prices are very reasonable and that guy knows his czech dogs:)

I also like Eurosport. My female is out of a Eurosport bitch, while shes' a sweetie, she can be a real tough girl, high defense, suspicious, always 'watching'.

I honestly wouldn't go overseas, there are so many good dogs right in this country it's just researching to see what the best fit is
The more I hear about this guy, (I've read several of his posts on Leerburg) the more I like him. I honestly think my family should go with this guy, he's the most reasonable that I've found.

How do Czech dogs differ from German dogs? o__O is the difference important? (Eh, xD I'll just make another thread to ask about it, or find one on here already made)

To Onyx'girl: I have actually never been to PDB, so thank you for the link! =) I'll go check it out now. Yes, my thoughts exactly -- I'm hoping to find exactly what I need by the end of this year, or the early start of next year.
 

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Not into PPD, but Balabanov is a very well-known name.

Honestly, I'm glad you're having second thoughts about your first choices! I don't know anything about them from first hand (or even the rumor mill) experience, but I thought for what you were getting for the price that you could find much, much better options elsewhere.

I would DEFINITELY check out PBD. That place is too out of control for me and I like to lurk. But if you truly cut-throat, straight to the point advice about people...THAT is the place to go!

Also second on Eurosport since you are looking for (I think) already trained. Tons of well trained adult dogs there and they are actively competing (and winning world championships) with their dogs. Again, no personal experience, just from what I've "seen".
 

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Discussion Starter #11
..::Eurosport K-9 Training and Import Services

This is the right website, correct?
=) Yes, we're looking for trained!

I'm steadily trying to decipher all of PDB -head scratch- but it's a little disorderly and extremely judgmental -- xD I'm afraid to join and ask questions! I might face some kind of firing squad if I do!
 

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Yes, that's the right website!

PBD scares me too! But if I ever wanted an opinion not coated with the sugar of fitting into board rules, that's the place to venture :)

I, too, find the format over there so hard to follow. I usually only link to it from google of if someone alerts me a particularily juicy thread is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Do you know of any other helpful websites that Hans from Alpine K-9 ventures onto from time to time? XD PDB is giving me a huge headache! LOL. I'll keep digging through it, but a less...confusing board would be nice. ^^
 

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My boy is half Eurosport. His grandfather was Czech National Champion in 2007 and his father was imported from Eurosport. Great dogs, great temperament and overall just great dogs for what you get in pricing.
 

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I can vouch for Ivan. The best part about Ivan IMO is a lack of ego. Willing to answer questions and his dogs are quite impressive. I know folks that have trained with him for many years and I myself have competed against him and Carrie along the east coast. Stand up guy.
 

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I believe if you have been on leerburg webboard they have a ppd guy there Will Rambeau (sp.) who you can ask and he will recommend good trainers or breeders to get a ppd dog from. As for other boards that have good info on this topic is workingdogsforum and I also think there is a personal protection dog forum too. They both have people training and breeding sport and work dogs that might be able to help you better answer this question.
 

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..::Eurosport K-9 Training and Import Services

This is the right website, correct?
=) Yes, we're looking for trained!

I'm steadily trying to decipher all of PDB -head scratch- but it's a little disorderly and extremely judgmental -- xD I'm afraid to join and ask questions! I might face some kind of firing squad if I do!
I have a female out of a Eurosport imported dog. Her sire was the real deal and an absolutely gorgeous dog. I know her breeder has imported at least two dogs from them and both of those are/were very nice examples of the breed.

Best of luck deciphering the PDB :rolleyes:. You have to have a really high tolerance to DRAMA to hang there. Best of luck in your search.
 

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I'm taking my one yr old basic trained to Ivan next week for an eval for the board & train program.

Can anyone tell me what he looks for or do's n don'ts?
 
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