Great interview with Gerrard van Es - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by Cutaway on 29 April 2019 - 22:04

Part 1

PH: Welcome to America, Gerrard. Since this is your first trip to America, how do you like it?
ES: I like it very well, thank you. I can’t believe how cheap everything is and how slow the people drive. Cars are so inexpensive and gas is very cheap. Also, everybody has so many guns. You would never see this in Europe. It is unheard of. (He had just been to a pistol and gun club shooting that day). Housing and property are so cheap.
PH: You have just seen the Americans compete in Europe at the World Championships. What did you think of our team and our dogs?
ES: First I would like to congratulate your team for doing such a fine job. The handlers did an excellent job. Of course I don’t know how good of trainer they are but the handlers were well schooled. As for the dogs, I do not know. I only know they performed good that day.

Favorite Sport

PH: Gerrard, you breed many great dogs for many sports, but which is your favourite sport?
ES: KNPV is my favourite sport. It is much more real training than say Schutzhund or IPO. It has many more exercises and it takes much longer to train dogs for this. The training is much more real. It is more suited to police and street work. But it is a sport that is not suited for every dog. The intention of this KNPV is different than that of Schutzhund. Most anybody that has a dog that will work a little can work in the sport of Schutzhund or IPO at some level. Most KNPV dogs are sold to the army or police. Most Malinois are in KNPV. This is not to say that all Malinois are good for KNPV, but certainly more Malinois than German Shepherds.
PH: Why are there not more German Shepherds in KNPV?
ES: In KNPV, you must teach them a few things that are hard sometimes to explain to the dogs. The dog must stay with its handler without any leash. He must work on his own. Some of the exercises are very hard and you cannot teach him these exercises by giving him cookies. Sometimes you must be hard with the dog to teach him this work, but in the end you have this marvellous working animal. The call off is very hard. In German Shepherds, sometimes this is very hard to do because you must bring the drive down and the Shepherd sometimes cannot bring his drives high again like the Malinois.

The Performance Secret

PH: Gerrard, you have excellent luck with German Shepherds in the KNPV, like your famous dog Gento vom Haus Larwin and many of his prodigy who are working now in KNPV with the highest MET LOF scores. Why is this so?
ES: When I bought “Gento” he had just gotten his IPO 1 and his former owner was having problems with the dog. Gento is a very high, high, high drive dog and he is very for-real and very very hard. I started to work him in IPO, but thought it a waste of a great dog, so I took him to Holland to work in KNPV and in a few months had KNPV 1 with MET LOF scores.
PH: Now that Gento is in America with us I am sure you will miss him. You bred him many, many times with excellent results. I feel we are very fortunate to finally have such an excellent stud dog in the United States. People from all of Europe bred to this dog and it seems he produced good with anything you bred him. What made Gento such a good producing dog?
ES: I guess you can thank God for that because that’s what I think he was born to do. But really, it is because of his pedigree. His father is the famous dog Robby v Glockeneck and his mother is a Sagus v Besecker Schloss daughter, and of course Greif zum Lahntal son. “Robby” is such a top producer of working dogs. And, as you know, Gento is a very real dog. He could be police dog in anywhere in the world, as are almost all of the sons and daughters of Gento. Robby, as you know, is an East German dog and produces much fighting drive in all of his sons and daughters. Also, “Greif” is one of the greatest producers of working dogs ever to have been in Germany. Now, all of the Germans are coming to Belgium to buy their working dogs because we breed dogs for working first and all the rest second.
Appreciated Too Late

PH: You once said to me that you thought Robby and Greif were both dogs that were very misused. What did you mean by that?
ES: I think the Germans did not take advantage of these great dogs when they could, and now they come to Belgium where we have used these great dogs for breeding to try to buy this blood back now to put in to their breeding programs. Robby and Greif were never used by the Germans when they were in their prime. Now everyone sees what these great dogs produced and they think they must do anything to get these bloodlines back so they can once again produce great working dogs. It is really a shame that every-one waited until the dogs were dead to appreciate them.
PH: Gerrard, I have known you now for two years and we do a lot of talking and training together and you offer many great working dogs, but never have I seen you with a dog with any West German show blood-lines whatsoever. Why?
ES: I think you should know why. You only have to look at the show shit dogs in the world. They all look alike. They are either black and tan or black and red, extremely large and, for the most part, so soft that it is a joke. As far as I am concerned, the German Shepherd in West Germany is no more, they breed only for money because they can sell these big, pretty dogs in eastern countries and America for many thousand dollars.
Don’t take me wrong. Sometimes you get these show dogs and one in many thousands will work good, but he will never reproduce this when breeding him. They, at best, will produce dogs with high, high prey with little or no fighting drive. These dogs all look like you have a cookie cutting machine and used it to make them, they are so much alike. Maybe these dogs are good for some people but never for the man who wants to train dogs for real working.
As you know many, many people from Germany come to Belgium to buy their dogs for police or for top sport. Many famous trainers and judges have dogs from us. The reason is that they want dogs who can do work with all drives present and high. They want dogs with excellent hips and good conformation and do not worry so much about the colours. I think within two years the Germans will come to America to buy dogs for police. They have sold most of their working bloodlines because all of the money is in breeding the show dogs. To the man who loves the German Shepherd for working, this will bring many tears to his eyes and heaviness to his heart. The German Shepherd dog that started the sport of Schutzhund in Europe is slowly vanishing because it is not profitable to produce them. It is truly tragic what man has done to his best friend.

Very Scary Dog

PH: Gerrard, you certainly said a lot and I have to say that I agree with you. I even had a German police tell me the same thing this year at the Nationals that the Germans will soon be buying police and working dogs from America. You mentioned about East German dogs and sable dogs. What are your ideas on these two dogs?
ES: I have talked and read many things Americans have said about East German dogs. Most are wrong I love to use the DDR dogs in my breeding program. It puts size, bone, drive, and much, much more into your dogs. You don’t have to pick up their tails to tell they are males. You can tell immediately on the DDR dogs. The most important thing, I think, the DDR dogs put in their unbelievable ability to produce enormous fighting drives.
And as far as sable dogs, this has been argued for years in Europe. I personally don’t know but I like them better. It seems I find many more good hard real dogs that are sable than any other colour. And I just bred to the famous East German male, Zorro v Lager wall and believe me, this dog is more than just hard. He is a very scary dog to be near and his puppies are top for the sport of Schutzhund and police. I have never seen anything like this. This dog is amazing and he is handled by a woman. He is getting so many breedings in Europe, you would not believe. Also, the East German dogs are known for producing very excellent hips and as you know, working dogs must have excellent hips.
His Western Lines

PH: But you do use some working bloodlines from West German don’t you?
ES: Oh, hell yes! I use many Busecker Schloss dogs, as well as dogs from “Drigon”, a little bit “Enno”, a little bit “Karthago”, but a whole lot of the old West German working lines, I use some Korbelbach, but you must be very careful of teeth and soft ears But really, I use many West German working dogs from former times in my breedings because I produce many litters in one year.
PH: Now that Gento is in America, what type of dog will you replace him with?
ES: I would hope to find a Gento son and buy him back but no one wants to sell them; they all bite so good. My new dog, whatever I get, will be at least one-half East German, and from the other half will be nothing but working bloodlines, and he must be a very real dog for all situations. So, I guess I will try to find a young Gento, but this will be an almost impossible task.
PH: The dogs from Belgium have been winning the world championships for the last few years. Why do you think they are having so much success?
ES: Belgium is a very small country and has less people than Germany and much less dogs but the skill of the handlers from Belgium is very high. Recently when we did not win, we would come in second. This is not because other countries have bad trainers but in Belgium we start with dogs that are bred to work. I guess you are tired of me saying this but we think you must breed excellent working dogs before you can train them. No matter how great the dog, he must have a good handler, too. Everyone that I have talked to thinks that the Belgium dogs bite so much better, but this is not really 100 percent correct. It is more the way we train in Belgium. We do not only train Schutzhund bite work, we train our dogs to bite in the KNPV clubs as well as the Ring clubs, so they get much more for-real situational bitework, and this only goes to help on the Schutzhund field. We, for the most part, like a little more civil, more aggressive dog than some of the other European countries.

Let The Dog Relax

PH: Gerrard, you have sent many good dogs to America in the last few years and they are starting to win in this country. The North American Championships in Georgia, the police dog that won was a dog we got for Deputy Greg Mominee, the dog “Orthos” an “Uwe” son. Greg also came in second with the same dog at the USA Nationals. This is a dog that you and I got for Greg. What one thing would you tell people in America about getting dogs from Europe?
ES: The one most important thing that I must tell to all to give your dog some time. I cannot believe how some people know so little about dogs. You send them a dog on an airplane that has been with another owner for some years, and the dog is a little bit strange from the airplane flight. He is in a new world, new sounds, new smells, new everything, and they want to take him out and work him that day or the next. This is very wrong. People who care for a dog and know to train dogs will never do this.
I would not want a dog who could come out of the box and would work immediately. This type of dog is usually only a dog that works from his prey drive. We in my country, call them prostitutes because they care not who they are with. I really think there are some good trainers in America and some excellent dogs, but some people still need to learn some things about the dogs like I have just mentioned. Even if I buy a dog in my club that I know this do every day, I will not work him for at least two weeks until he gets to know me. This for sure is the only thing to do with a new dog.
Free Advice

PH: Gerrard, is there any advice you could give to us in America on our dogs? You have seen most of the dogs advertised in the magazines in America. What do you think of them?
ES: Well, one thing, I think if the Americans want to continue to compete at high levels, they must work together more. I noticed from talking to Americans in the last weeks I have been here, that they are not so helpful to each other in their training. They all want to be the tops in the sport but want to do it alone. There has never been a champion that was made a champion by only his handler. He must have help from his club and his agitators. I talked to American handlers when they were in Germany and most were very excellent handlers, they just need to work together as a team, that is all.
As far as the dogs in your magazines I see, I never knew one country could have so many Rottweiller dogs. They are so expensive in America but this is also true in Europe. The market is just too much for them. But the German Shepherds I saw ads for, were mostly for show dogs and this scares me a little bit. I would hope to see more people in America with working bloodline dogs.
You need many more Schutzhund clubs in America. In a town the size of yours, and it is a very small town, in Germany or Belgium you would have four or five clubs. This way your dogs can work with different helpers and on different grounds.
PH: Well Gerrard, it has been a pleasure training with you and working with you these last weeks. Is there any last thing you would like to say?
ES: Yes, Paul, I would like to thank everyone that I have met in America. If anyone would like to talk to me, I ask that they contact you to get in touch with me as my phone number will be changing in Belgium in January.


by Cutaway on 29 April 2019 - 22:04

Part 2
Those Serious Dogs
PH: There we see again Roby v Glockeneck, the father of your great “Gento vom haus Larwin”. You see him in so many of the top working dogs that are serious, not just play dogs

ES: He is definitely a top producer of working dogs. They did not use him so much when he was alive, and now they are very sorry of this great mistake because he is for sure one of the most proponent producing working dogs in the last many years. One of the problems was that he was located in the very north of Germany, and most of the breeders are in the south or middle of Germany. He is now dead, he died recently of old age. He was a great dog up to the end, but there are still some great sons and grandsons of his left who are producing top working dogs.

PH: Who was the handler of “Orry”?

ES: Roger Snollaerts. His new dog is a young Orry son out of my DDR brood bitches and he thinks he will be a super dog like his father.

PH: Gerrard, every time I pick up the Dutch dog magazine or the Belgium dog magazine, I see trial results of Haus Antverpa dogs scoring unbelievable scores. Are most of these Gento vom haus Larwin sons?

ES: Most are but not all. I use other people’s great stud dogs also. There is, of course, Nero v Haus Antverpa, the KNPV dog of the great trainer Mr. Kamps, and Nestle v Haus Antverpa, who was just sold to Japan for a lot of money by his owner. He made extremely high scores and was not a simple dog to train. He is a very hard and serious dog, and even though he is young, he produces this in his puppies also. As you know, these real dogs are not always the best dogs for top sport work. They take their protection very seriously. It takes a very special handler for this type of dog.

Breed & Compete

PH: What will the Japanese do with him? Breed him?

ES: Oh yes, of course they will breed him, but I understand they will also try to compete with him. They are a lot like the Americans; they have some money and want to buy good stuff which is correct.

PH: I have known you for many years and I know you breed many dogs and you sell many working dogs to the Germans, but I never see in your kennel any of the German show bloodlines. Absolutely none. I guess you only breed working dogs.

ES: Yes. We breed only working dogs that’s for sure. We strive to breed good-looking, correct, Korklasse I and II dogs with no mistakes and good hips. I like to breed real dark, dark sable dogs, they are just my favorite and they always seem to be the best for working.

But many people think you can mix working dogs with show dogs. You might get success one or two times, but for the most part it will absolutely fail. To get show dogs, you must breed show dogs. To get working dogs, you must breed working dogs. You might have a great show dog who works good, but it will be because of his training and he will not reproduce this working ability to his offspring. You can see this by looking at the German results in their breeding’s.

PH: I see a lot of Blistard bloodlines in your breeding’s. Can you tell us something about these?

ES: This is a famous working kennel out of Holland. When you are a breeder, it is wrong to close your eyes to other people’s good dogs, and I try to keep an open mind and use other kennels’ proven producing lines. I bought a bitch from a certain kennel and bred her, and the owner of the kennel said it was a bad breeding to use on his bloodlines, but it produced the world champion and many other top dogs. Where the bloodlines come from is not important, it’s what they produce that is important. I use a lot of East German bloodlines, and West German but only the older working bloodlines like “Enno”, Drigon”, Racker”, “Bungalow”, and many others.

Big Mistakes

PH: Now that you have been to America again, you have seen a lot of dogs that came from you that are competing and are doing quite well, such as Mominee’s dog “Orthos”.

ES: I see a lot of improvement in the dogs from some of the people, but one of the biggest mistakes they seem to make is some of them make a wrong judgement in what the dog is actually doing. The dogs are simply not getting enough work in all phases. I’m not speaking about all of the dogs, and some of the ones that are receiving work are getting the wrong kind of work. They are working way too much defense, I mean civil-type defense, and the dog’s grip is suffering. They will bite you for sure, like a police dog, but the grips are not as full and strong as I think they should be. They try to work too much in one session. I would rather see 5 minute sessions than a 1-hour session. I think people now are recognizing the type of dog they need for this work. They want working dogs.

Beware Of Malinois

PH: Your wife is also becoming famous as a Malinois breeder. This trip you saw some Malinois in the States. What do you think of them?

ES: I am sorry to say that the only god Malinois I have seen I have sent to America. A Malinois must be very clear in the mind. He must have a mind of German Shepherd and the working ability of a Malinois. My wife Anna raises mostly pedigreed Malinois from both KNPV and Belgium Ring bloodlines, so I can really not make a judgement on all of the Malinois. I have seen some advertisements for Malinois in America that I knew in Europe, and I am not real pleased with some of them. People in the States always want pedigreed dogs, but there are some excellent Malinois available without pedigrees. I think people in America have been sold some Malinois with pedigrees that did not belong to the dogs. This is also a problem in Germany. I have heard where some men are making pedigrees for the dogs, and this is not right.

Americans must remember that the Malinois is not supposed to be an 80 or 90lb dog, and the pedigreed Malinois are not that large. Most of the large ones are not Malinois – they are crossbred with other breeds. They look like Malinois, but, believe me, they are not.

Size Means Nothing

PH: I think Mr. Kamps with his champion Malinois female, “Cobra”, has proven that size is not a problem. She is 50lbs of dynamite and knocks 300lb men down like toys.

ES: Size means nothing, as I told you. Take the Malinois “Lambik” (“Roy”) that was here this week. He knocked men over that had years of experience catching dogs. Every time he was sent on a small courage test, he either knocked the man down or hit the sleeve so hard that he ripped it from the man’s arm. That’s one hard hitting dog and he weighs at most 70lbs. He is probably the best Malinois to ever come to America. I hope Americans breed to him and use him.

Big & Strong

PH: The Malinois that you are breeding seem to be very large boned and strong, and muscular bodied, like the Roy dog and Cobra. Are you striving for this?

ES: Yes, I want to keep the height according to the standard, but I also want to add muscle. Certain pedigreed bloodlines in Belgium add this and I love that.

Perils Of Popularity

PH: Now I noticed that the demand for the Malinois is much higher world-wide. How is this going to affect the breed?

ES: I am afraid that, over the years, the same thing will happen to the Malinois that has happened to the working dog in Germany simply because of money being the culprit. Greedy breeders sell anything for a profit. Like I told you before, there are really too many really bad dogs sold in all breeds. The Malinois is not a cheap breed like it used to be. A good Malinois costs as much as a German Shepherd, and sometimes much more. So beware when you are offered a deal too good to be true, usually it is just that.

For years, many people have shipped anything that was yellow and had teeth abroad and sold them as Malinois. That is why you have so many police departments who don’t want to even talk about Malinois now because they have been so badly burned before. I heard a real bullshit story while I was here. Some famous American trainer – I will not say his name - told some of the people here at the seminar that Malinois were excellent in obedience and protection but he did not have one because they could not track good. This is real crap! He simply has never been to Holland or Belgium and seen the police dogs or seen a real trainer with a Malinois.

Enjoy Their Youth

PH: Gerrard you said you see the same problems as always in America.

ES: Yes. It is really a shame to have people who love the sport of dogs but cannot find enough people in one area interested to train with. It is not like this in our country. A small town such as this here in Princeton, West Virginia, would have five or six working dog clubs. It seems that in America the sport of Schutzhund is for people with more money because they must travel so far to train and participate. This is really a shame because it is just the opposite in Europe.

I want to say one thing. I have seen many policemen and Schutzhund people in the last few days with young dogs. They are pushing these young dogs too fast and too quick. A dog 6 months old should never be on a hard sleeve. If he can do it, fine but don’t do it! Let them be puppies! Let them play! Let them see the world but don’t burn them out. When you do this type of training, you end up with dogs that bite without the power to break a balloon.

Too Much Training

And please, I want to warn: Some of you are trying to train too much in one day. You are trying to put six months of training in two days and it will not work! Some of these grips are already ruined, but some can be fixed. All of these dogs, as the owners will tell you, when they came from Europe, had full, strong grips.

Respect For Bennett

PH: At the 1992 World Championships, your dog won, but the American team won. Do you have any comment on this?

ES: Yes, I want to wish the biggest congratulations to America and more than anything, to Mr. Glenn Bennett because he came in second with a dog he trained and raised from a puppy. He did not have the major money to spend to get a great dog, so he did what I think is the best. He raised and trained the dog himself; for this, I take my hat off to him. The Americans are always getting closer and closer to winning it all. Now we must always worry about the Americans. They will continue to win. We don’t worry about beating the Germans, that’s not a problem. But you Americans are a problem, you are the ones to beat now. Again, I want to congratulate Mr. Bennett. It is a lot easier when you can go and buy a pre-made dog but think the most satisfaction comes from doing what he did. I really respect Mr Bennett for his accomplishments.

Last Words?

PH: In closing, is there any last comment you would like to make?

ES: No matter what happens, your dog is really your best friend. Treat him that way. They are not damned machines! Give your dogs the respect they deserve, and they will give it to you.


by Cutaway on 29 April 2019 - 22:04

I hope that these get read and we can have some great discussions around it. We do not and probably will not agree on all parts but I hope we can agree to have some spirited and educational back and forth

by Rik on 29 April 2019 - 23:04

ES: I think you should know why. You only have to look at the show shit dogs in the world. They all look alike. They are either black and tan or black and red, extremely large and, for the most part, so soft that it is a joke. As far as I am concerned, the German Shepherd in West Germany is no more, they breed only for money because they can sell these big, pretty dogs in eastern countries and America for many thousand dollars.

LOL, I guess people the world over recognize that all show and no work makes Rin Tin Tin a dull breed.

And it appears the WUSV is working as hard as they can to make the WGSL equal to what the GSDCA has produced in the  ASL. I guess it's all good as long as checks are cashing.




by benzi on 30 April 2019 - 00:04

Thumbs Up very informative..


by emoryg on 30 April 2019 - 00:04

I can’t remember when I first read that article. I think it was either the late 80s or early 90s.

by ValK on 30 April 2019 - 01:04

I think it was either the late 80s or early 90s

i did notice that too when started to read and saw long gone dogs, mentioned as in present time. seems like that interview taken 30 years ago :)
curious what that guy could tell today, when descendants of all former DDR lines screwed up irreversibly and no more stock left for resurrection attempt?


by emoryg on 30 April 2019 - 01:04

Valk, I remember my Gento son was born in 94 and I am pretty sure Gento had been in the country a few years. So I am thinking the interview was early 90s. I would feed that old dog off my plate when I would go visit Indiana. I liked him. It would be interesting to hear from Gerrard about the changing breed. I lost contact many years ago and have no idea if he is still around.


by Cutaway on 30 April 2019 - 02:04

HERE is the source i stole the Interview from, I didnt notice any dates :(

by ValK on 30 April 2019 - 02:04

found old video with Gento.
don't like his extensive jumping, way much excitement there. most likely weak selfcontrol in that dog.
looks more like precursor of sport dog of todays.


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