Solid Gold Genotype / Phenotype for Working and Health

Dobermann from Germany's finest working (Schutzhund/Police) lines

Blitzkrieger Dobermann as 
Companions/Protectors (PETS)
The significance of "working (schutzhund/police) lines" to the "pet" owner . 
I am often asked if my Dobermann make good "pets".  As always, this depends on the owner but the answer is YES! 
These German working lines were selected, over many generations, for superior protection instinct and ability to be shaped for work (i.e: obedience, tracking, etc... )   This work DEMANDS  STABLE TEMPERAMENT ! 
Many people have a misconception about proper protection work.  The best protection/sport dogs must have a very stable temperament.  Their fight drive comes from confidence (never out of fear) and they are not suspicious of people (they do not react to a threat that is not there). 
In Germany, working temperament is tested & rated using terms such as Sharpness, Hardness, Courage, Protection Drive (with "Very High" being the highest possible rating (and an ideal one); combined with (the ideal) "Middle" sharpness) .  These have been consistant Koerung ratings of Blitzkrieger dobermann lines 

Very high courage & protection instinct means these dobermann have been selected (for generations) and have a natural (genetic) instinct to protect you and your property - and the courage to follow through if , for example, "barking at the window" does not deter an intruder. 

Middle Sharpness is the ideal. Sharpness refers to response to stimulus and is linked to nerve fiber and defensive aggression.  The middle sharp dog does not react to a threat that is not there.  An overly sharp dog is NOT a good working dog & represents a potential liability as a pet (rather than a reliable protector). 

Very high hardness means a dog can be shaped in extremely demanding/high levels of training but it also means corrections can have less effect. 
Some Blitzkrieger combinations are made for clients who prefer a lesser degree of hardness, more biddability in obedience, agility, etc... and although clients are informed if this selection applies to a combination,  please keep in mind that hardness is a relative term and all Blitzkrieger dobermann do have hardness.

Working lines have high drive which provides them with superior motivation to work = sport/obedience/agility/  etc... 
(See "Make a commitment to a higher level of training" below).   This high drive must be accompanied by good nerve (tested in schutzhund by gunfire, tracking, etc..) which also ensures that, as  "pets", they are least likely to "spook" when the unexpected happens (i.e:  when a car backfires, etc..).   Excellent nerve fiber also means they have the ability to turn off their high drives and be very calm (on/off switch) but they do require some (daily) outlet for this drive. 

I know, from many years experience (combinations in Germany and my own), they are "Happy Dogs" = EXTREMELY affectionate & intelligent companions.   Many times they have demonstrated their ability to respond to a situation with outstanding discernment (without prior training therein).   But perhaps the most often repeated, outstanding characteristic of these dobermann can be summed up in the word "CONFIDENCE".

A "responsible owner" will:
*Socialize their puppy.  Regardless of the confidence bestowed by genetics, all young dogs need to gain experience by being thoroughly introduced to the "world" outside their home.  The list (people/places/sounds/situations/other animals/etc...) is almost endless and you cannot do too much of this. 
*Set aside time time each day to provide exercise (playing/ training or walking, etc...).  This is VERY important, not only in terms of bonding and/or imprinting but, providing this "on" time (energy outlet), means your dobermann will more likely be willing/able to switch their energy "off".   (A consistant schedule helps.) This might only be a long, daily walk but, if you are too busy to do this, you are too busy to own one of my dobermann!      Of course young pups have more energy and I recommend providing an area (i.e: 20x10 run with dog house) where your pup can "be a pup" without getting into trouble while you are resting or tending to other business.   If you start when your pup is young and make this a fun place (complete with rawhide bone for chewing, etc....) your pup is not likely to resent it.  This also applies to crates, which are useful with young pups at night - but not recommended to include long periods in the day.
*Make a commitment to a higher level of training.   This means learning how to utilize your dobermann's high (prey/ball/food) drives to motivate them to do what your want.  If you do this, they will work long after their lower drive relatives have headed for the couch.  I highly recommend books, such as: "Schutzhund Obedience - Training in Drive" with Gottfried Dildei by Sheila Booth as excellent information source for those interested in working (obedience) with any high drive/hard dog, even if you never contemplate schutzhund! 
Those owners who prefer to rely soley on leash corrections would be far more successful with a soft, low drive dog! 
NOTE:  Soft, lower drive dogs form the majority of participants in "pet" type obedience classes. The type of obedience training in these classes is usually geared to suit this type of dog and rarely reflects the same obedience training you will encounter at a schutzhund club where high drive, hard dogs are the norm.  At a schutzhund club you will learn to enhance/channel your dogs drives  (a high drive dog will work for a ball/tug but with less precision in the beginning) and (at a later age) you will learn how to administer well timed, strong corrections combined with motivation from the drives you have enhanced/shaped.   The end result allows you to shape high drive, hard dogs at a VERY high level of precision and control in tracking, obedience and bitework (Lower drive, soft dogs are not suited to schutzhund because they cannot endure these higher levels of shaping. They simply do not have the will {drives} to work at this level.) 
High prey drive in young pups means they instinctively desire to playfully chase/bite what moves.   For this reason, they should not be left unattended with young children.  Providing a suitable outlet (Playtime, training/tug/ragwork, even a rawhide bone) is essential and enables you to shape drives.  There is absolutely NO point in owning a high drive dog if you are constantly diminishing those drives! 
*Be responsible for the safety of their dobermann and for the safety of other people/animals.  I keep all pups and even my older dobermann on a long line (or train in an enclosed area) until control work is proven under distractions.   Blitzkrieger Kennel does NOT recommend novices engage in any bitework training outsite of Schutzhund!   This type of training requires an experienced handler and a certified trainer. 

A responsible Breeder will work with you to select a pup best suited to you/your requirements so it is crucial to provide them with as much information (about yourself, your environment/experience with dogs/training goals/etc..) as possible. 
Dobermann from "Working (Schutzhund/Police) lines" are selected/bred for character traits that are admired & honored - on or off the schutzhund field.   They are not for everyone but they are outstanding Companions/Protectors! 

10 wks.old Blitzkrieger pup
Bo was hit by a car at a young age and suffered damage to her spine and spleen - which ended her schutzhund carreer.  She was returned to me  and placed in a "pet" home on Vancouver Island.   After recuperating, Bo was able to resume some training and she was bred (dam to Blitzkrieger "G" Litter) but, soon after that, her owner, Ginny, moved to a suburb of Seattle, Washington.      In 2000, Ginny called to tell me this story: 
Ginny was upstairs in bed, when she heard noises.   She went downstairs and saw Bo apprehending a burglar in their living-room.   Ginny frantically called the police.   Bo held the burglar at bay until the police arrived.  Ginny was terrified to see blood in the room but thankfully Bo was not injured.  The blood was from a roast beef the burglar had tried to use to distract Bo - and a bit of the burglar's blood as well.
Caos retired from ring sport after an older dog attacked him and Caos was left with a broken jaw and missing teeth.  He was later placed in a "pet" home on Vancouver Island where he has spent the past years as a well loved companion and protector. 
His owner, "Johnny",  lives alone in a rented house.  In March 2008, the landlord, who lives on the same property, had not seen Johnny for a couple of days.  He then noticed his dog was barking, and crying inside the house.  He called Johnny's friend, and together they broke into the house and found Johnny unconscious on his bed.  They rushed him directly to the hospital and were told he would have been dead within the hour, had it not been for Caos and their intervention. 
Caos died at 12 years of age from Gastric Torsion.

Above: Caos at 10yrs. of age
 with her new family

Middle photo - Pup is on sled
The Journey
by Crystal Ward Kent
When you bring a pet into your life, you begin a journey - a journey that will bring you more love and devotion than you have ever known, yet also test your strength and courage.
If you allow, the journey will teach you many things, about life, about yourself, and most of all, about love. You will come away changed forever, for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark.  Along the way, you will learn much about savoring life's simple pleasures -jumping in leaves, snoozing in the sun, the joys of puddles, and even the satisfaction of a good scratch behind the ears.
If you spend much time outside, you will be taught how to truly experience every element, for no rock, leaf, or log will go unexamined, no rustling bush will be overlooked, and even the very air will be inhaled, pondered, and noted as being full of valuable information. Your pace may be slower except when heading home to the food dish - but you will become a better naturalist, having been taught by an expert in the field.  Too many times we hike on automatic pilot, our goal being to complete the trail rather than enjoy the journey. We miss the details - the colorful mushrooms on the rotting log, the honeycomb in the old maple snag, the hawk feather caught on a twig.   Once we walk as a dog does, we discover a whole new world.   We stop; we browse the landscape, we kick over leaves, peek in tree holes, look up, down, all around. And we learn what any dog knows: that nature has created a marvelously complex world that is full of surprises, that each cycle of the seasons bring ever changing wonders, each day an essence all its own.
Even from indoors you will find yourself more attuned to the world around you. You will find yourself watching summer insects collecting on a screen or noting the flick and flash of fireflies through the dark.  You will stop to observe the swirling dance of windblown leaves, or sniff the air after a rain. It does not matter that there is no objective in this;  the point is in the doing, in not letting life's most important details slip by. You will find yourself doing silly things that your pet-less friends might not understand: spending thirty minutes in the grocery aisle buying dog birthday treats, or driving around the block an extra time because your pet enjoys the ride. You will roll in the snow, wrestle with chewy toys, bounce little rubber balls till your eyes cross, and even run around the house trailing your bathrobe tie - with a puppy in hot pursuit - all in the name of love.  Your house will become muddier and hairier. You will wear less dark clothing and buy more lint rollers. You may find dog biscuits in your pocket or purse.
You will learn the true measure of love - the steadfast, undying kind that says, 
      "It doesn't matter where we are or what we do, or how life treats us as long as we are together."
Respect this always. It is the most precious gift any living soul can give another.  You will not find it often among the human race (so true!). 
And you will learn humility.  The look in my dog's eyes often made me feel ashamed.  Such joy and love at my presence.  She saw not some flawed human who could be cross and stubborn, moody or rude, but only her wonderful companion.  Or maybe she saw those things and dismissed them as mere human foibles, not worth considering, and so chose to love me anyway. If you pay attention and learn well, when the journey is done, you will be not just a better person, but the person your pet always knew you to be the one they were proud to call beloved friend.
I must caution you that this journey is not without pain.  Like all paths of true love, the pain is part of loving.  For as surely as the sun sets, one day your dear animal companion will follow a trail you cannot yet go down.  And you will have to find the strength and love to let them go. A pet's time on earth is far too short - especially for those that love them.   We borrow them, really, just for awhile, and during these brief years they are generous enough to give us all their love, every inch of their spirit and heart, until one day there is nothing left.
The young pup of boundless energy wakes up stiff and lame, the muzzle now gray.  Deep down we somehow always knew that this journey would end. We knew that if we gave our hearts they would be broken.  But give them we must for it is all they ask in return. When the time comes, and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final gift and let them run on ahead - young and whole once more.
"Godspeed, good friend," we say, until our journey comes full circle and our paths cross again.


The Kiss... 
He had just saved her from a fire in her house, rescuing her by carrying her out of the house into her front yard, while he continued to fight the fire.  She is pregnant.
When he finally got done putting the fire out, he sat down to catch his breath and rest.  A photographer from the Charlotte, North Carolina newspaper,  "The Observer," noticed her in the distance looking at the fireman.  He saw her walking straight toward the fireman and wondered what she was going to do.   As he raised his camera, she came up to the tired man who had saved her life and the lives of her babies, and kissed him, just as the photographer snapped this photograph. 

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Member:German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada (1988 - 1998)
Lower Mainland German Shepherd (Schutzhund) Club (Surrey,Canada) (1988-1998)
 United Doberman Club, USA (1988-1998)
President (1997) Pacific Coast Schutzhund (DVG) Club.
Richmond German Shepherd (Schutzhund) Club (Canada) (1998 - 2000)
Training Director (2002) Pacific Coast Schutzhund (DVG) Club.
 Litters since 1995

Blitzkrieger Kennel/Deanna Anslow