NEW: Message board active since 6th May 2006. An easy solution to get real advice and answers to any question or problem you may have.
This page is devoted to Frequently Asked Questions and Questions submitted via email.
If you have a question and believe that others may benefit from the answer please click here and email youre question in. We will answer youre question as soon as possible and add it to this page.
How long have you been training dogs?
- Are you self taught?
Yes and no. I (Ben) started after successfully completeing advanced handling and training for obedience. 6 months later I enrolled myself for protection training and went back to school for protection training that of Schutzhund and K-9. Thats when I started to train dogs. Obviousely in time I changfed certain procedures to fit my self and developed new techniques. Due to my belief that one must allways keep them selves up to scratch I have shared my experiences with other professional trainers and have learnt and tested their techniques were some I adopted some they adopted and others I combined. After 3 years of training I had started to train guide dogs and I went for guide training were I specialised in training Guide dogs for the blind. Years later after the 1998 Earthquake of Istanbul I completed a progrm for SAR training. I still today often join training programs in seek for even beter ideas an extra knowledge and give seminars aswell. There are 3 types of instrucors. The know it alls whome know a couple of basics which is less then we teach handlers. Instructors who devise their own training procedure and keep it secret where some of their outcome is exelent yet lack in other areas. Then their is the ever learning instructor group who constantly seek new knowledge and share their own knowledge among instructors hoping for even more understanding of dogs and achieving goals higher then general standards. (groiup I am in).
I have been told that instructors specialise in one section of dog teaching. What do you specialize?
This is generally true. I stareted of with obedience and specialised with behaviour problems. Then I did protection were I specialised in Earthquake dogs. I did guide training and specialized with guide dog training for the blind and then specialized in Earthquake dog training in SAR. Being that I have successfully completed instructor schools for different training and being that I have trained many dogs in many groups I do all of the training. As in dogs my speciality lets say is German Shepherd Dogs. Generally in training there is an obedience, agility, protection instructor. With guide dog training there is most usually one instructor and for SAR training there is generally an instructor and a helper.
Is it true that you are known to get cross with handlers.
I was tempted to ad “but extremely patient with dogs”... wife didn't allow me though musn't cheat she says. Women.... Anyway back to the question yes it is true. If you bring your dog in for training yet don't follow advice and continue everything your way then yes you will find me having a moan. I have found my self in many situations.The most common one is where I have a dog that has behaviour problems. I correct them and pooch is well over standards. Owner comes back in a few days complaining that everythings back like before. I inspect and find the reason is the owner. I try out with the dog one – two hurrayu dogs back on track. Owner still having problems. Owner is not doing what I am saying. Owner thinks pooch is a robot and I have not programmed him right. Owner is telling others that he/she wasted money on training. Owner gets told off! Dog doesn't! Not dogs fault. Soetimes told of owner begins to use his/her (generally men) head and take in what I say. Dog is now Okay with owner. Unfortunatly generally owner knows best! Back to the drawring board.... Owner beats dog up I tell owner of. Owner closes dog up thinks dog will become extra good protection dog. Owner gets bitten I cuss owner not dog!
Latest example: One owner has an unregistered ‘German Shepherd Dog'. Lovely owners and they love their dog. They wanted Obedience and protection training. Their dog performs above standards with me but won't walk beside owners let alone heal. I have explained time and time again but with no success they have a dominant dog and won't listen to correct the dog at home. So the dog thinks he is boss. I obviously never went on to the protection part of training it wouldn't be wise. Example they tell their dog to get of the sofa and the dog snarles at them. Why because he thinks he is boss. Why because thats how they treat him thats what they teach him. Example they think its fun to tease him with his food and get him cross. When he snarles they give his food back. How can one correct that, if the owners continue doiing so? Anyway he is still a puppy and isn't ready for breading they keep mentioning breeding but I have allways advised them against it he is not a breedable dog. He doesn't meet chaecter, ability, atonomy standards of the German Shepherd Dog. And he is too young. What do they do? They meet somebody with a German Shepherd Dog. This dog is in season so they take it home. I find out when I get a telephone call their has been an accident vet can't come. The bitch tried jumping over their garden wall whcich is spoked and has a spoke through her! I am devistaed I had warned them time and time again that their dog could easaly try to jump the fence and will get injured. Their answer was he can't jump that high. The bith was a third of his size... Luckily it seemed that she had the spoke go through her skin but not through the flesh so she should be okay. What do they do they put them back together again! I find out that I was called to make a miracle, teach the dog to not do it again. By the way the bitch was a mongul with her bum higher then her shoulders and looked like she was a year old. Neither dog had previous experince. What would one do? Obviously tell them of. I left they still were doing what they wanted to do. They had a moan that the vet wouldn't come. I don't blame him.
I have been told that you are not against greyhound betting. Thats not true is it?
I smile when I hear questions like this from dog lovers and animal protection memebers. Actually for the sake of advertisment I will not lie and make people happy. I am prepared to loose customers and speak honest. I am NOT against it. I'll explain why.
In Northern Cyprus their is a mongul dog in every corner that was kicked out of its home. Every neighberhood has at least one person who has been bitten by a dog. The reason for this is that their are no breeders and no assosiations that keep track and authorize pedegrees. People have a dog and without any knowledge breed. Most of the dogs end up on the streets. I have yet to come across a dog that is in up to its breed standard that was born in Northern Cyprus. The only professiopnal breeder I know of is me and I only breed German Shepherd Dogs. That is a problem and a very big one too! Soon people will be giving certain breeds a bad name in Northern Cyprus the reason for this is incorrect breeding. When it comes to Greyhounds. They are expensive dogs therfore have a high chance of being looked after. There is only a handfull of them in the TRNC anyway. They are runners and because of the betting business they get their daily exersize need. I have seen thousands of dogs in Cyprus and only tens get their daily exersize requirement. Their is a very simple solution to make sure that the greyhounds are looked after. Chip them and force regulations. Regulations would include licensing. To get a license and keep it valid the dog must be checked by government vets periodically. All deaths must require an otopsy. Simple. Owner gets a heafty fine if the dog isn't examined no excuse plausable! Problem solved. People are trying to stop the betting business they say that the racing life is short and these dogs will be put down or thrown in the streets later on in their lives. Okay so lets say a ban is put in. What happens? What happens to the dogs? I can name dozens of dog breeds that were once roaming the planet yet are now extinct due to us humans not requiring their services anymore! Whats the idea Greyhounds to be next? As when it comes to putting down puppys I smile once again. How many dogs have you seen carpeting main roads? At least one a month. How many puppys die in Northern Cprus due to being dumped, burried alive, death from mongulism, death due to not havsng vacinations the list goes on and on. On the other side many professional breeders allow mother dog to eat their young when they do or put certain ones doen themselves. Very unpleasent but nature protects the puppys that won't make it in this manner. In many countries certain breeds are only allowed to have a maximum number of puppys any above the number are put doen. One reason is so the rest have a chance and not all die or turn week and get kicked out on the streets later on in life. There is so much to do before even looking in the direction of the Greyhound. Funny thing is people against the Greyhound sport are not against to hourse races. Do you know why a whip sound or a hit at a hourses bum causes a rac hourse to run? Nature is the cause. Horses get attacked in the wild by big cats. They are born with a reflex to get away. That reflex is used to get the horses galloping in hourse races. What happens when they fall and get stampeeded resulting as a broken leg? Any answers? Te Gryhound is tricked into running by the means of nature, running after the bunny rabit.
....You talk about the gryhound. Schutzhund is worse and you teach it.... (no-name)
The owner of this emailed question was invited to see one of my dogs do a SchHIII show. He changed his mind afterwards. His Dobermann is now in for training. I obviously do now know his name but lets keep it secret...
I do perform Schutzhund training. Yes it is a sport and yes I love it and no I am not against it and yes I believe a German Shepherd Dog that can't get a SchH I title has something wrong with it and shouldn't breed. So do all of the German Shepherd Dog registry offices hold this as a rule. All protection dogs WILL bite when provoked. Do you prefer a dog who will bite out of instinct or one that is trained to do so? A trained dog will bite at last possible resort, and will do so by giving as much possible pain with little possible damage. A trained dogs bite will hurt much more but will heal much quicker and leave little to no scaring. Whereas an untrained dog attack generally results in dozens of stiches and scars for life with less pain at time of incident. A trained dog will release on command. Will back of on command. WILL release when subject gives in and surrenders. An untrained dog will get more visious when being pulled back all will be attacked and will only stop attacking if shot or suspect manages to get away. An untrained dog will generally attack somebody who is scared a trined dog rarely bites a scared person. Barking, growling and maybe a head punch will serve their requirements. Training for Schutzhund protection work starts of with teaching a dog when NOT to bite then how to bite. An untrained dog knows how to bite the day it was born. Untrained dogs bite and more their jaw to slice. Trained dogs produce a single bite called a hold with no siccor or knife affect. An untrained dog will bite neck, back, throut etc. Depending on breed (natural instiinct) trained dogs go for arm or leg ONLY! An untrained or poorly trained dog acts with hatred. A schutzhund dog will be loveable and plyable the instant it is told to release. No hate is involved! A Schutzhund titled dog is 1- Obedient. 2- Social 3- Alright with strangers 3- Can track on command 3- Can protectitself and surrounding from threats and it can distinguish between threats and act accordingly. A man with a stick is a threat watch. A man moving towards owner with a stick is a threat intersept and bark. A man with a stick running towards owner ready to belt owner is a threatr intersept and hold suspect down untill told to release or suspect gives up the fight!
PS. Not all dogs are accepted for Schutzhund training. Dog must be social, must NOT be aggressive, must enjoy company of owner, must have a bond with owner, must show that he/she is loved and looked after, must have self-confidence. Don't judge Schutzhund please untill you find out and see for yourself what it really is!
...What is the best age to breed dogs?... (Ahmet)
Femlales after 18 months of age and males at a minimum if 12 months but I stongly advice that the stud must be over 12 months of age and lifting its leg when having a pee.
What is the strongest dog? (FAQ)
I allways find this type of question strange. Who would win a fight so and so's dog or mine? Wh yare you going to put your dog in for ring fighting? The trueth is their isn't really a strongest dog. Dogs have different success rates depending on climate, wether conditions, enviorenment etc. It all depends on what duty is to be performed, where it is to be performed and under what conditions. A pitbull will probably not last as long as a labrador in a strong sea. A doberman won't last as long as a husky in dense snow etc.
- What dogs are best in protection work? (FAQ)
My personal favourite is the German Shepherd Dog but it all really depends on what type of protection work ou are talking about. Good protection dogs would include; German Shepherd Dogs, Dobermanns, Rotwiellers, Boxers, Bullmastifs, Bulldogs, etc. The list goes on.
...You allways talk of breed standards. You say my dog is not a standard Alsation. Just because my dog has long front legs doesn't mean he isn't an Alsation... (John)
Dear John, I tried to explain before. Your dog leg ratio is well over the limit. German Shepherd Dogs are trotting dogs when, as in the case of Dan, the dogs front legs are too long when running it puts too much strain on the dogs back and causes pain. His hind legs can't go as far forward as his front legs, that why he tiers so early and performs his sumersalt during bends. His front legs being to long does not mean that he is impure it means he is not carry the necessary standards that make a German Shepherd Dog. He is completly afected he is in pain ad cannot perform the tasks a German Shepherd Dog is supposed to perform. I know it is upsetting because he has a great charecter and is very bright but for someone who loves their dog as much as you do I don't understand why you want him to be trained fo the SchHI title. He won't succeed in passing the checkup and thus no judge will watch his performance. He will be in constant pain throughout the training and he will never get to perform in front of a judge anywere in the world. He can't pass the AD test anyway. You can't enroll for a SchH title without the AD. That isn't my rule its worldwide. You have accepted that he can't be breed when you were back in the UK. Dan is obedient and full of love. If I were to take Dan in for training I would make money. So if I am not accepting him then you should realize that I must have my reasons. I am not willing to give a dog pain and i have only seen Dan twice. You love Dan I saw you together, how can you accept him to suffer? When I talk to Dan's breeder in the UK. I was told that dan was sold on contract and was marked as a pet. She says she expained and charged accordingly! And you signed. Your contract states that he isn't to be bred either.
The importance of breed standards is that they are there to protect each individual breed. Without the standards each breed would ditoriate through time and would become another dog. People pay money to adopt dogs and have expectations. If there were no standards people would be adopting by chance. What would happen to a dog that is supposed to be good with children yet murdered the family's baby? Breed standards make sure that dogs of that breed are healthy and stand up to their name. Less starys and eliminated genetic problems. Eg. German Shepherd Dogs have a genetic problem HD. This is where there hind legs joints are not snuggly fit anda re loose causing agony as the dog grows up. It is thanks to these standards that HD is kept under control and owners have a much lower risk of adopting a puppy to later find it suffering. When i checked up with the FCI that Dan is registered to I was notified that he hasn't had his X-Rays sent in either! Dan is a pet and a lucky one too living indoors with a house full of love. It's ime you accept that Dan has a problem and stop asking for things he can't give you.
John: Ben thnx 4 coming over after my email, and pointing out that I do love and look after big Dan. Nope youre answer wasn't a harsh one, no hearts broken J . I very much appriciate the documents you gave and now do understand and accept. Please put in a page for breed standards so people understand.
Why have you stoped training Pitbulls? Are they not a dog????? (S.Yucel)
When I was back in Turkey I used to train pitbulls but even then i was or at least i thought I was picky. I wouldn't say that they are hard to train but incorrec handling changes the dog and i don't want a name tag up when some idiot prevokes their dog to do wrong. I stopped accepting Pitbulls when I found out that an old customer had their Pitbull in the ring and was on National TV. I now don't trust my instinct when it comes to Pitbull owners. Everyone in our club used to say that only ignorant people have a pitbull and they have a Pitbull because of what they are. I never accepted this theory but i came to find out I had made a mistake judging owners. Obviously their are ‘bad' people owning many dogs but they most often prefer a Pitbull. Now as a rule I don't train Pitbulls at all. They have been banned now in Turkey. I dislike them, they will even attack a baby they are not in the familly of man's best friend and their is no pitbull up to standard in Turkey or Northern Cyprus. I might train a Pitbull if it is of %100 up to standard and is registered with a good familly record. You stated that you will be getting married this year and you got youre dog from a freind who owns an unregistered pitbull. Pitbulls must be the last member to enter a familly. Their must be no babys in th familly. You are getting married and obviously will be having children later on in life. Your pitbull was the first in the familly dangerous for wife and future kid/s! Forget about training thinck again about your pitbull you have only had him for 2 days.
Why did you socialize my dog? He used to bark at other dogs. He doesn't anymore. Do you really call this protection? (C.Durmus)
I socialize dogs as a rule. Unsocial dogs can NOT be trained for protection work. Your dog Rex used to bark at stray dogs a mile away. Do oyu rally call that protection. You yourself said he always weanted to run after neighbour dogs when ypu were out for a walk. Rex has been trained to protect himself, you and your family aswell as your house, car and belongings. When Rex barks now it means he sees a threat. He won't bark if he doesn't believe there is a threat and trust me he knows a theat a lot better then you do. He is loose in the garden now and doesn't threaten youre relatives coming over for a cuppa tea. Whereas before you had to tie him up. If a crook ever camer in disguise before he would have been tied up. You being so used to his barking wouldn't have thought twice. How was he going to protect you? Chew through that 2 inch chain of yours? Now if he barks you will know something is not quite right! He is loose he will be able to protect you.
- I have recently moved to Cyprus with my Lab. She got poisoned a week ago, luckily it was only a mild poisoning and she is pulling through. She has completed obedience classes back in the U.K. and is very obedient. I phoned up her instructor she advised me to teach Heidi (my lab) to not eat from strangers. She told me to use chilli and meat! I trust her a lot but I would much prefer a different solution. (Helen)
Unfortunately in northern Cyprus dog poisoning is much more a frequent happening then in Europe . There is two main reasons. Firstly Cyprus is more of a farming country therefore farmers have to device ways of protecting their crops. The second reasonis that there are so many strays about that people have been known to put rat poisen in food and put the food in the street. Sometimes they are bored of dog barking sometimes because they are afraid. Unfortunately there isn't really many routs that you can follow to stop your dog from eating from stangers and of the floor. Chili is indeed the most popular way to get around it. Special food is sold for this purpose but they have the chilli approach to! Another common way is electric with high voltage and less current. This to is painfull but gives no harm. Nearly all dogs that I train in Cyprus I train them for food too. I first try my standard approach (no pain) this I start at the beginning of a training program and it continues throughout the program. I would like to be able to say tht it works but unfortunately I get a success rate of about %30 and continue with a chili like procedure towards the end of training to thse that fail. I must warn you that I only see perfection in about %50 of these to. Dogs are good with chilli pain. They aren't as affected as us (unfortunately). I use a high voltage low current system for this group that generally works for all of them. The devie that I have designed for this perpose uses a single 1.2 volt rechargeable battery so you can believe me it can't damage your dog. Please be open minded pain is better then loss of pooch! I will be more then happy to help you. Try this first though you might get lucky especially because Heidi has received training.
Perform when your dog is hungry.
Best begin early morning.
Leave the house with a box gloves and small pices of cheese. Without touching the cheese throw small pieces at least a meter away from you towards the left as you walk. Then return home. Take of gloves and wash your hands. Now take your dog for a walk with a box of treets. Walk so that your dog is on the track where you had thrown down the bits of cheese. Do not heel, or give any other commands leave pooch free. Evrytime pooch tries to get a piece of chese say No. preferably you are at maksimum distance and call pooch beside you give a treat and say nothing then continue on your walk. Do this for a few days you will start to become successful and have a chance if pooch automatically comes to you each time a piece of cheese is found. When you reach this point continue of leesh and hold a greater distance. Gradually change foods on the track and mix in different foods. Perform this exersize at different times of the day and in different enviorenments . Including your home. Gradually drop giving treats and use verbal and/or physical affection instead. Important notes are that this exersize must be continued throughout life. At least once a week always on a different day time and place. Allways fed your dog at the same times out of the same bowl. Allways present treets with the same hand in your own special way and on completion of this course get friends to help you out by them trying to give a treet whilst you teech your dog to automatically come to you. If you can spend enough time and are very patient you have a hsgher success chance. If this doesn't work then you will have to go for the chilli approach. Good Luck.