Interview with Ted Hoppe
Articles tagged with: German Shepherds
The German History of the German Shepherd
"The most striking features of the correctly bred German Shepherd are firmness of nerves, attentiveness, unshockability, tractability, watchfulness, reliability and incorruptibility together with courage, fighting tenacity and hardness."
- Max von Stephanitz, Father of the German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is a versatile working-dog, capable of being trained to perform a wide variety of tasks. German Shepherds are family pets, police dogs, guide dogs, search and rescue dogs, bomb and drug detection dogs, sheep and cattle herders, hunting companions, guard dogs, obedience champions, avalanche dogs, assistance dogs, show dogs, and more. Regardless of their particular role, German Shepherds are excellent companions provided they receive the attention, training, and exercise they need and feel useful.
This dog breed is only about 100 years old. The breed was originated by Captain Max von Stephanitz. Captain von Stephanitz, of the German infantry, bought sheep-herding dogs (many of them field trial winners) from all over Europe in the late 1800's and early 1900's and bred them together to create his 'ultimate service dog'. He started a registry and stud book. His favourite dog, Hektor, was 1/4th wolf. All the dogs originally imported to the UK & America were proudly traced back to him. After WWI, British and American soldiers, impressed by the abilities of the dog, brought home examples to breed. The breed instantly become popular, both as a family pet and as a working dog. Shortly thereafter, the German Shepherd Dog's (GSD) name was changed to Alsatian Wolf Dog. Their popularity soared for a while, then fell tremendously as the media sensationalised every remotely negative event that occurred associated with a canine with the word 'wolf' in it. There were arguments like this - was the Alsatian Wolfdog the best working / most capable / most intelligent dog that ever walked the face of the earth OR was Alsatian Wolfdog the unpredictable / livestock eating / human attacking beast from hell? The name was eventually changed back in 1977 to German Shepherd Dog, and the GSD soon reached its peak at the top of the most popular dog list.
Von Stephanitz created the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde, or SV, as the official governing body for the breed. The SV then created the Schutzhund trial as a breed test for the German Shepherd Dog, and prohibited the breeding of any dog which could not pass the trial. The purpose of Schutzhund training is to assess and mold the dog's natural abilities to track, protect, and teach the dog control through obedience. It has been considered by some to be a test for breeding in that during the training the degree to which the dog possesses these working abilities becomes apparent.
The German Shepherd Dog is a large, strong, substantial-looking dog. The fur is a double-coat and can be either short or long haired. It varies in color, coming in many different shades, mostly cream (tan) and brown, but also solid black or white. Dogs with coats that have tri-colored hair (ie. black, brown, red, or white) are called sable or agouti. Different kennel clubs have different standards for the breed according to size, weight, coat color and structure. The GSCs have an average life span of ten to twelve years.
The German Shepherd Dog is an intelligent breed of dog. Because they are eager to please, they are easily trained in obedience and protection. German Shepherd Dogs are often used as working dogs in many capacities, including search and rescue (SAR), military, police or guard dogs. They are also used as assistance dogs / service dogs (such as guide dogs). The original purpose for the German Shepherd, was (not surprisingly) to herd sheep, cattle or any other animal that may require the assistance of a shepherd. Even given the name "shepherd" some people are surprised to hear that these dogs were bred for herding, as the GSD is more often found working as a guard dog, police dog or companion pet than in the field working sheep.
The German Shepherd does not have the "eye" as border collies or other similar breeds. They are trained to follow their instinct, which for the GSD is to "work the furrow", meaning that they will patrol a boundary all day and restrict the animals being herded from entering or leaving the designated area. It is this instinct that has made the breed superb guarding dogs, protecting their flock (or family) from harm. Your German Shepherd will try to "herd" you and your family. Often they will "follow ahead", walking in front of you and looking back to make sure you are going where you should. Although the German Shepherd is not used as frequently for herding in present time, there are many breed lines still known for their herding. The breed is naturally loyal, intelligent and protective (which makes it good for police work). German Shepherd has an excellent nose, making it good for tracking and search and rescue work. German Shepherd Dogs are calm and have a steady temperament when well-bred which is why they have been used as "Seeing Eye" dogs. A German Shepherd thrives on regular exercise, mental stimulation and a well-balanced diet.
Author: Jill Pavel
GatorlandK9 Launches social media contest. Our service dog handlers submitted their favorite photos of their service dogs. Friends and Followers will vote for their favorite dog, Contest ends on February 11th, our winners will be announced in our February 15th newsletter.
There will be several winners receiving "Heart Songs For Veterans" T-shirts and mugs.
Thank you to all of our friends and handlers who submitted photographs of their favorite GatorlandK9 Service Protection Dogs, German Shepherds!
Author: Jill Pavel
We are going to tell you a story....a beautiful story about Warrior the Service Dog and his young charge Josh who is 15. Warrior has been trained as a seeing eye dog for Josh who is fighting a brain tumor which has compromised his eye sight.
GatorlandK9 brought Josh and Warrior together when Warrior was a puppy.
After completing his Service Dog Training He went home to live with Josh and his family.
We are so pleased to say that Warrior and Josh are both working well together. Recently Josh took Warrior to a Boy Scout event!
Here is an update from Josh's Mother Sarah yesterday.
Warrior took a tour of Joshua's High School today. He did so wonderful and his behavior was top notch. Everyone just loved him and can't wait for him to be a "Full-Time Student". He's going to have his picture in the year book right next to Joshua's! How exciting is that? I'm so proud of him and it's all due to
Ted Hoppe at GatorlandK9. Sarah Hepler
Click here if you want to visit Warrior's Facebook page >https://www.facebook.com/pages/Warrior-A-Service-Dog/475422392512417
Click here if you want to visit GatorlandK9's facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ServiceProtectionDogs
Author: Jill Pavel
We have a lot to be thankful for during the past year 2013.
We helped a few veterans acquire their service dogs.
Veteran Lou and Topeka
Ted Hoppe introducing Veteran James and Kira for the first time
Veteran Mark and Naya shopping
Veteran Josh Schutt will start his Service Dog Training 1.13.14
We made the front page this year! >> http://www.vnews.com/home/8864230-95/a-dog-in-service-of-one-who-served-white-river-junction-va-adapts-to
RJ Hoppe had an amazing trip to Europe, they were able to check in on the dogs and meet the new German Shepherd puppies that are in their new homes.
Our young client Josh is living happily with his Service Protection Dog Warrior. Josh was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has Warrior by his side to guide him through his daily life.
Josh with his scout troop leaders and Warrior
RJ Hoppe received his certification for training in American Street Ring
RJ & Ted Hoppe working with Tebow
Looking forward to making memories and changing lives in 2014. We wish you and your family a successful, healthy and happy New Year!
Author: Jill Pavel
The Adventures of Josh and Hero!
After months of helping Veteran Josh Schutt raise funding to train and acquire his service do we are pleased to share that he has brought home "HERO" after being certified this past Friday January 17th.
Veterans who live with PTSD need our help to continue to raise awareness of how a Service Dog can change their life for the better. With Hero by his side we hope Josh Schutt's quality of life will improve each day as it has before for our other Veterans and their service dogs.
We are going to let these pictures tell the story of Josh and Hero's new life together.
Josh contacted GatorlandK9 and asked for their help. He and his wife Kirstie Jo were newly married and ready to start their new life together. Josh was having a difficult time with his PTSD and after researching Service Dogs he contacted our organization.
Josh is a US Army Veteran living with PTSD & he wanted to acquire one of our German Shepherd service dogs. Josh was connected with our Veteran Program Director Jill Pavel, who helped Josh raise funding through press, media, events and online fundraising platforms. Josh also hit the street running advocating for himself and asking his community and home town to help him raise funding.
In five months we had raised $ 20,000.00 for this mission to move into it's next phase which was to bring Josh down to GatorlandK9 in Florida, meet his new service dog HERO and complete handler training so he and Hero could become certified.
We had parades, bike runs, auctions and more!
Without the help of many this would not be possible. GatorlandK9 is working to put service dogs into the hands of as many Veterans as possible, we cannot do it alone! Thank you to everyone who has supported our efforts.
Meet Hero who was our October 2013 Dog of the Month.
Josh and Hero Bonding for the first time
Off to work we go!!
Author: Jill Pavel
Some Testimonials are worthy of their own place on our website!
Noro is doing so well! Working with him every day without fail and I use RJs training techniques which have resulted in some amazing progress. I have to reiterate that without RJ's week here I would not have had the same confidence or knowledge of the building blocks that I have used. Even the way RJ "petted" Noro was always given mimicking an alpha's grip on the scruff while being playful--at least that is what I saw and it is only one of many things I noticed and learned to do differently just by observing RJ. Noro will do a down stay indefinitely now. His attempts to alpha out in our household are pretty much non existent now. He is, at almost 2 (mid-March) shaping up to be a pretty magnificent dog. His house protection is stellar and he will sound a nasty alarm but go to his control pad (right where RJ placed it) usually on first command but consistently on second.
Hannibal is doing great. Grace is in India until May so I have both dogs until then. Because of his service dog status I enjoy taking him for all store based errands. I can't take him anywhere without people telling me what a beautiful, handsome and well behaved dog he is. He remains in top form and when walking with him I feel it is what I imagine driving a Rolls Royce would be like with regard to his attention to every slight turn, acceleration of pace, etc. A joy.
We miss you all and look forward to seeing you when we get down to Florida this year. Please give the family my very best-
Author: Jill Pavel
Here are some GREAT reasons a Malsatian is a Good Choice of a puppy breed from GatorlandK9.
- Low Maintenance - less shedding
- Super healthy, this is a cross breed. Meaning there is no common ancestry, minimizing the chances of geneticallay inherited problems or health issues malanois/german shepherd cross
- Medium sized dogs are easier for service work, they can get into tight spaces
- Highly trainable for ALL types of Service work
The Malsatian is a cross (malanois/german shepherd cross) done frequently by trainers & police agencies in Europe & produces a superior working dog that is easier to handle & trains very quickly.
Our Malsatians come from outstanding genetic backgrounds.
Ted Hoppe has bred & trained Malinois for over 20 years & traveled to Europe to Import his original breeding stock, creating the Gatorlandk9 bloodline, a working bred Malinois. These are crossed into the finest Imported German Shepherd bloodlines in the World.
Temperament tested, super socialized & evaluated so that they will go to suitable homes.
Author: Jill Pavel
In the US, a person with 2 registered dogs can breed them regardless of their individual qualities and receive AKC papers. These dogs may have floppy ears, hip dysplasia, and poor temperament, be nervous, gun shy, fear biters and the owner of the litter will still receive full registration privileges on all of the puppies. In short quality control is non existent in the states.
This does not mean that there are no good breeders of German Shepherds, there are many breeders who have knowledge of the genetics of the breed and x-ray their breeding stock. The German Shepherd breeders in the US who breed quality dogs, practice the European standards but these breeders are in the vast minority, so yes it’s possible to buy a quality German Shepherd in this country but hard to find.
The breeding of German Shepherds as done in Europe is an entirely different affair and uses the following quality control standards.
1. All dogs must have a hip certification ( 'A' stamp ) by a qualified veterinarian.
2. All dogs must have a conformation rating. It is important that they look like German Shepherds and conform to the standards.
3. Each dog certified for breeding must also have a working title, like Schutzhund , IPO , SVV or ZVV. This is very important because it assures to a certain degree that drives and temperament remain true as required of a working dog which the German Shepherd was originally bred to be. It requires a lot of effort on the part of the owner to achieve a working title as required in Europe. A puppy must be schooled from a young age in tracking, obedience and sport oriented protection work.
4. All dogs must also go through a breed survey called a Koer in Germany or Bonitacia in Slovakia, in which many individual qualities are evaluated, and where they are rated and approved or disapproved for breeding. This is extremely important as the dog is truly put under the scrutiny of experts.
These 4 requirements are necessary for 2 dogs to be bred and receive Pink papers.
Quality control standards are why someone should choose an Imported German Shepherd or one that is bred from imported bloodlines. Our German Shepherds excel as Family Protection Dogs, PTSD Veterans Service Dogs, Service Therapy Protection Dogs & just excellent Family Companion Dogs.
The German Shepherd breed is considered the most versatile and useful of all breeds. No other breed works in so many varied services to the degree of the German Shepherd. Quality control standards assure the buyer that they will receive a well bred dog, who is intelligent, loyal and mentally/physically sound.
In June 2013 We officially launched our Veterans with PTSD Programming
Our Mission: To provide funding to Veterans with PTSD or other neurological disorders and individuals who have a need for help from a service protection dog, where they might otherwise not be able to acquire a service dog.
We are currently working with Veteran Josh Schutt, Philadelphia, PA who served for six years in the US Army including 2 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Josh lives with PTSD and TBI. His daily life struggle is documented on his facebook page Help Support A Veteran. Josh came to GatorlandK9 four months ago. We are actively working toward his goal of funding a service dog.
Josh has opened up his world to all of you. This is his story.
Josh Schutt's Story
I served in the US Army from 1998 until October, 2004. I was medically discharged due to injuries I suffered in Iraq.
I was injured in Iraq on Aug 1, 2003, when my weapon, a .50 cal machine gun, misfired and exploded on me and I was left only holding what they call the butterfly handles. My body immediately went into shock, so I didn’t feel any pain but I did recognize the severity of my injuries. My bleeding was very significant so I wasn’t sure that I was going to make. It took three hours to get to the closest medical unit. When I got to the MASH unit, I explained to the doctor what happened and he was so shocked he lost all the color in his face. He said he couldn’t believe that I was alive, let alone awake. I took shrapnel to my leg and my stomach. He immediately had to operate on me to remove the metal throughout my body. I spent a week in Iraq until I became stable enough to be transported to Germany. Once I was there, many tests were run and they were able to partially close up some of my wounds. I spent another week there before I was sent to Walter Reid where they proceeded to run more tests, close up the rest of my wounds and made sure I was healing. Once they ruled out internal bleeding, I was released.
I was medically discharge from the military for my physically injuries. However, my emotional and psychological injuries were a lot harder to recover from. For the next few years, I spent a lot of time looking at the bottom of a beer mug and trying to avoid everyone and anything. I could not sleep unless I drank enough to pass out and when I did fall asleep, I would wake up screaming and sweaty from the nightmares. I experienced a lot while in Iraq and I was having trouble learning to live a normal life again. I didn’t know what was going on or how to deal with it. I finally went to the VA where I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder usually caused by a life threatening event(s). It is diagnosed when someone experiences recurring flashbacks and high levels of anxiety that continue a month after the traumatic event.
My doctors suggested a multitude of medications but they weren’t enough. I finally came across something called a PTSD service dog and after researching, I realized they had helped many Veterans like me deal with PTSD. I discovered that having a PTSD service dog would allow me to live a more normal life. For example, I am constantly looking around to make sure there aren’t any snipers or IUDs hidden in my surrounding but the sense of security the service dog will give me will allow me to relax. It will also wake me up when I have night terrors, which are frequent. It will help me to go out and be social in big crowds, which I typically avoid. If it senses me getting stressed, a PTSD dog is trained to calm me back down avoiding a full blown panic attack.
The challenge with obtaining a specially trained service dog is that they cost more than I can afford due to the fact that the training is so extensive that is takes years to complete. There are many agencies out there that offer free dogs to Veterans but they have an extremely long waiting list and I have dealt with this for way too long. I am now asking for your assistance and anyone else’s who would be willing to donate funds to help me cover the cost of getting a PTSD service dog. The average cost of training and obtaining a PTSD service dog, including training is very expensive. I am ready to live a normal life again but I need your help. Please help me raise this money by donating anything you can and by passing this along to everyone you know. It would be greatly appreciated.
There are several ways you can support our efforts for Josh:
If you would like to make a donation you can mail a check!
Make Checks Payable to:
Service Protection Dogs For World Peace
PO Box 296 Barberville, FL 32105
Mark Memo: Josh Schutt
Author: Jill Pavel
At GatorlandK9 International we often hear from our clients who purchase our puppies/dogs for Service Protection Dogs and Family Companions.
I just wanted to give you an update on our wonderful Belgian. I attached a few photos we have taken recently. He is a very courageous, adventurous, ball of energy who loves his long relaxing naps in weird positions. We traveled home to Texas over the Fourth of July weekend. Let me tell you how wonderful he did. He flew in the cabin with us both ways and laid on the floor completely relaxed and was a perfect dog. I was also surprised that on the Fourth during fireworks he laid at Madison's feet the whole time and then decided he would sleep through almost all of it. He has never showed us an ounce of worry or act of being scared. We take him to an obstacle course multiple times throughout the week and he has mastered all of it. His love for water is growing everyday now to where he walks in just for fun. He has also successfully learned sit, lay down, shake, and is working on stay. We wanted to let you know we couldn't be happier with the wonderful animal you have provided us with. We get so many compliments on how beautiful and well behaved he is. Words can't express our gratefulness. Thanks again for everything!
Very Truly Yours,
Madison and Andrew
Author: Jill Pavel
It is wonderful to hear back from our clients how well their dogs are doing. Arkan was purchased in 2005 from gatorlandk9. He is currently living in Southern California.
Just wanted to tell you how great Arkan Is doing, and how young he looks. He is so strong and powerfull. He gets raw meat ( turkey) with his Orijen dog food everyday.
A vitamin C and apples and carrots for a treat, and a moozle twice a week. We walk and run everyday. I love him so much. I.m his playmate and cuddler, while Ann is his person and makes sure the training is always there. I,m sorry Ted but how can you not spoil these dogs, thank god for Ann ( no nonsense from her). She is all business.
LOVE. MY BOY, Thanks Ted.
Visit our website: http://www.gatorlandk9international.com
Author: Jill Pavel
HERO is our October Dog of the Month!
HERO is a young 20 month old drop dead gorgeous, male German Shepherd import. He is a perfect choice for your family protection dog. He has advanced obedience training and protection training. He is wonderful with children! He is Mr. Personality and you will fall in love with him at first siight.
HERO has all the qualities you have come to expect from GatorlandK9 International Custom Selected German Shepherd Protection Dogs.
If you are interested in inquiring about HERO or any of our other Service/Family Protection Dogs please contact Ted Hoppe at (386) 337-0730
For more information on our German Shepherds (import) please visit our website at www.gatorlandk9international.com
Author: Jill Pavel