by TIG on 27 May 2019 - 22:05
Glad I was able to help. The images you posted made all the difference.
I for one would love to hear more about your boy and his life.
I believe the old Dutch lines had a lot to offer (clearheadedness, stability, strong serious defense drives) but unfortunately they are nearing extinction having been taken over by the WGWL & Czech lines to produce crazy prey monsters w lots of flash & less substance but that flash gets points in today's dog sport.
If you are interested this is a bit about my girl.Five yrs & still missing her. She was very special. http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/community.read?post=785214-the-hallmarks-of-a-good-shepherd&p=1
by hexe on 28 May 2019 - 00:05
I second the interest in Roy's career and his off-duty life, too.
by Juno on 28 May 2019 - 11:05
I am also super impressed with Remy - sounds like an awesome GSD.
by emoryg on 28 May 2019 - 14:05
I apologize in advance, but I did not have the wonderful life with Roy I had hoped for. He sustained an injury to his leg and our career together was very short. Due to the nature of our work, I returned Roy to his kennel and selected another dog. But I will share what I remember as that may be of interest to some.
Roy was a replacement for my aging police dog. With a hot summer around the corner, my department decided to go ahead and replace K-9 Bojar so I could get the new dog street ready before the heat set in. Bojar would happily work through the summer, but older dogs and heat do not mix well. Working dogs, especially old ones, are subject to heat related emergencies, with age having a great influence on recoverability. They sometimes don’t give a lot of warning, they just fall out.
It took several weeks to locate Roy. I like a very specific dog and know exactly how to test for them. My hopes are to be able to find one quickly, but it often takes testing 50 to 100 dogs to find the right fit. Roy was in a facility with an excess of 100 dogs deemed suitable for police work. I don’t remember exactly how many dogs I tested before he was located, but I don’t think it was on my first day. After testing Roy I went to tell the kennel owner he was the dog I wanted. This is when I first saw Roy’s papers, along with his health certificate, hip and elbow xrays. I was already familiar with the KNPV and knew the dog would have received extensive training. This isn’t always a good thing.
Roy was a very solid dog with good drives and strong desire to please. What brought him home was his absolute confidence and ability to look at a grave threat as a challenge. Where other dogs when tested at one point or another had some display of uncertainty or concern for their own well being, he saw the grim reaper as an opportunity to satisfy this inborn desire to confront and physically dominate through aggressive behavior.
Back at home it became apparent that Roy had been well cared for. He was a perfect gentleman and playmate around my family, easy to live with and well mannered. My family had a planned vacation the week I brought Roy home and he accompanied us on the trip to the beach. It was a good opportunity for me to spend time with Roy and we hung out exploring for several days.
Once we started working together, the priority would be to get him accustomed to the training program and how he was expected to perform for my agency. Pretty much all the training changes came easy. He had received some training that is counter productive for what I do. It was nothing major, but a few things needed repair, such as his article search. He wanted to pick things up. That’s a no, no. He wanted to remain with the decoy after the bite. That’s a big no, no. Roy would initially guard a motionless decoy. Again, that’s not a good thing. He must fight the criminal with the same intensity as he does in training, rather the suspect is fighting back or laying there dead. He also had no formal tracking skills, except what he was born with it. Like the other issues, they were all easy fixes.
Roy would spend the first weeks of his career training and riding shotgun to the veteran police dog. Initially all calls were still handled by Bojar. As Roy started to progress he was allowed to start running actual calls. We start off with non violent felons, misdemeanors, property crimes, etc. The veteran dog still runs calls when we expect trouble. I should say, we always expect troubles and train for those occasions. The difference is the veteran dog has been there, done that. We also try to set Roy up for success on his first 15-20 actual street tracks. So if there are calls where it’s unlikely we will find anyone, the veteran dog handles them as well. We want Roy to start off with success. In training and scenarios he is always successful. We want this on initial police calls as well. So anytime we had a high chance of locating the suspect, Roy took the call, unless we needed the street smarts of K-9 Bojar. Think along the lines of our reinforcement schedules. We want to use a one on one ratio to teach the new behavior. We work along this way of thinking. Soon enough we will be in a variable reinforcement schedule rather we want it or not. But to start the dog on the right foot, he is hopefully rewarded for every actual police call we go on. This instills early on that when we arrive on scene, we get out and start the hunt. We don’t go for walks, smell where other dog’s have marked, of any other nonsense. When that harness goes on, we hunt.
Roy, now officially know as K-9 Roy made good progress and was taking on more and more of the calls. Eventually he was handling all the calls and Bojar would only come out occasionally or on training days. Old police dogs still love to come out and play and my department was very supportive of the retired dogs and even took care of them after they no longer worked the streets.
Roy’s first track was for a drunk driver that fled on foot from a traffic stop. He was near flawless the entire time, even downing on a shoe along the way. He located the driver hiding near the front door of a church. He enjoyed the work and I was expecting continued improvement as his exposure to the streets increased.
It was on our off day that Roy got hurt. We were in the backyard playing. If I remember correctly, I had brought home a bunch of cigarette butts that I collected the day before at work. There was a small patch of woods and grass in my backyard and I would hide things for the police dogs to find. One of my daughter’s like to hide Barbie Dolls for them as well. It was after Roy located the cigarettes that I started to throw a ball or a stick for him. I thought it was a ball, but pictures were taken while we were searching and it shows him with a stick. Anyway, I throw it one time and he sprints after it, but on returning he lets out a little groan and comes back with a limp. It comes from his rear leg and he is tender around the hamstring. I feel a knot in that area and think maybe it’s like a Charlie Horse. I try to massage it and see if he can walk it off. Nope, he’s still cramped. I put him up and check back later and still there. I give a muscle relaxer and again try to work out the cramp. The next day at the vet, the doc goes over the leg and then tells me about a research project he did on something called a gracilious contracture (SP?). It’s like a muscle cramp that wont go away. I believe he said there was surgical options, but I should not expect the dog to ever be 100%. It was devastating news to hear. Such a promising crime fighter having an injury that will hinder his abilities. It was determined that it would not be fair for Roy to continue him at that level. The kennel readily took the dog back and a few weeks later I was able to locate Roy’s replacement. We had already started odor detection and I kept working Roy in that area until I located the new dog. He could still work in the police field, but would serve in a less physically demanding role (tracking, jumping, running, sprinting, etc).
Roy was a very nice dog. Having the KNPV certification is no easy task, especially for the GSD. He was a willing worker and enjoyed making me happy. After a training exercise I would pat my chest and he would jump up, place his paws on my chest and dance with me as I would sing, Roy’s my boy! He acted like he won the lottery. I felt that way too. Good deep nose on the track and loved finding his articles. Methodical in his search patterns and knew if he didn’t find it, no one could. Confidant, approachable, tireless worker, agile, fast, always asking what else can I do? Brought power to all his biting exercise. A power keg as we say (not powder keg). Broke my heart knowing it would not be in his best interest to stay working with me.
TIG, thank you again for finding his information. I recognized it as soon as I opened the page, especially the dam having only a one word name. I am not sure where Tom came from. I called an old friend to see if he remembered the pedigree and he was certain that the sire was KNPV, so then I think maybe it was a Tom son. And thank you for sharing your story of Remy. Love those old dogs.
I try to attach pictures, but keep getting an Error 405 Not Allowed message.
by ValK on 29 May 2019 - 15:05
still a good, enjoyable to read story. thank you.
4 of my previous total 6 dogs was really very good practical dogs but, albeit was being well trained, never been in professional use, thus nothing extra ordinary happened, to be worthy to become a story.
by emoryg on 29 May 2019 - 19:05
Valk, thank you for the kind words and glad you enjoyed it. I believe Western Rider will be posting pictures of Roy soon. Here is a story of my first police dog I worked with. https://www.dropbox.com/s/vxt84hobzdw63b3/K9Cisco.doc?dl=0
by Juno on 29 May 2019 - 19:05
by TIG on 30 May 2019 - 16:05
Emory Thank you for telling us about both Roy and Cisco. Tears still falling after reading your most beautiful tribute to Cisco. I would encourage you to publish it as a separate thread.
We need to remind folks of what this great breed is all about. Studies show most people only spend 5 -10 years in a breed. So we constantly have folks coming in who do not really know the history of the breed aND all too often start breeding right off the bat without a clue of what they should be selecting for. We are losing the traits I call shepherdness that Remy, Roy and Cisco all had and are what should define our breed - especially clearheadedness, courage,loyalty and pack drive(I cringe every time I hear some bozo promoting dogs that will come back up the lead at the handler).
Do you know Cisco's pedigree by any chance?
Sounds like you were blessed to have so many great partners. Thank you for your service to us and to our breed. God bless you and each of your partners.
Sent you a pm.
by emoryg on 31 May 2019 - 15:05
Thank you Juno and Tig. Happy you enjoyed their stories.
by emoryg on 05 June 2019 - 01:06
TIG, sorry I forgot the pedigree. Here he is. http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/german_shepherd_dog/dog.html?id=2800168-cisco-vom-licherberg