Tag: german shepherd
If the ranks of specialized crime-fighting canines seem to be reaching new heights, well, they are.
Drug-sniffing dogs, bomb-detecting dogs, and even “porn dogs” are all already on duty, but there’s a new incarnation of crime fighting dog hovering on the horizon, and it may be most super-hero-like yet:
Skydiving anti-poaching dogs.
To help crackdown on the epidemic of ivory poaching in Africa, dogs are now being trained to parachute (with their handlers) from helicopters, track and take down poachers.
But he and a six-year-old German shepherd named Giant, featured in the video above, are being trained for the task at the Anti-Poaching and Canine Training Academy, according to NationalGeographic.com
It’s run by Paramount Group, a defense contractor based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The academy’s canines, which are bred at the facility, are trained and matched with rangers from national parks and game reserves across Africa.
Dogs have been skydiving for a while now (remember the one on the Navy Seal mission that took down Osama bin Laden?). But that’s only half of this job.
Once on the ground, the dogs — much faster and better at tracking than humans — are released to pursue the poachers and bring them down before they vanish into the bush.
Both dogs have already mastered descending from a helicopter by rope, strapped to their handler, but parachuting gets them to the ground more quickly, and decreases the likelihood of the poachers being scared off by the noise of the helicopter.
An estimated 100 elephants a day are gunned down by poachers who saw off their tusks. About a thousand rhinos were killed last year by poachers who harvested their horns.
Africa’s parks are far too vast to be patrolled effectively, allowing the poachers to operate almost with impunity.
Dogs, as is often the case in war and crime-fighting, were seen as effective strategy. Flying dogs? Even better.
The risks (to the dogs) is high. Fleeing poachers could easily train their high powered rifles on the dog pursuing them. Having a drone chase them down, maybe one that could fire tranquilizer darts at the poachers, would seem to make more sense. But then again drones don’t have dog noses.
Eric Ichikowitz, director of the Johannesburg-based Ichikowitz Family Foundation, which helped launch the training program, says the dogs seem to like the chase, getting excited when they hear the roar of a helicopter.
“The dogs are exceptionally comfortable with skydiving,” he says.
“They know they’re going to work.”
(Photo: National Geographic)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 25th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: africa, animals, anti-poaching, arrow, belgian malinois, dog, dogs, elephants, german shepherd, giant, horns, ivory, law enforcement, parachuting, parachuting dogs, pets, poachers, poaching, pursuit, rhinos, skydiving dogs, tracking, tusks
Just like last year, Crufts offered up a choice for discerning scandal mongers as the world’s most prestigious dog show came to a close in the UK over the weekend.
Before the dog hair had been cleared away from the NEC in Birmingham, charges of nepotism were swirling after it was revealed judge Di Arrowsmith awarded best gundog to a Gordon setter partly owned and bred by her sister, Josie Baddely.
And animal advocates and others were raising a stink about the Kennel Club judges awarding best in breed to a German shepherd who would have been a walking exemplar of the direction breeders had long been trying to take the breed in — that slinky appearance, with a sloped back and hind legs that seem to trail far behind the rest of the animal.
He would have been an exemplar of that, at least, had the dog had been able to walk.
First, because it’s a little more clear-cut, we’ll deal with the nepotism.
Arrowsmith insisted she awarded the prize on the dog’s merits.
“When I adjudicate, I do so without fear or favor,” she told the Daily Mail. “The Gordon setter was the best dog in the ring on that night. It would have been dishonest not to give the award to him.”
The Telegraph reported that criticism was running rampant on dog breeder forums on the Internet.
“Most exhibitors who adhere to decent standards of behavior don’t enter under judges who are related to them,” one said. “The decent thing to do is withdraw from the group judging,” said another. A third said: “This is yet another Crufts controversy that will only harm the competition.”
The Kennel Club, which runs the show, insisted no rules were broken.
Caroline Kisko, the secretary of the Kennel Club, insisted the winning gundog won the prize on his merits. In a statement, she said: “It is important to clarify that no rules were broken here. Any dog that is chosen as a winner is done so because of the judge’s honest opinion on the day and is judged with integrity.”
The statement goes on, at length, with trademark bluster, to defend the decision — even though that’s really not the point.
Whether it’s Miss America pageants, Nobel Prizes or dog shows, you just don’t allow people to serve as judges in competitions in which their family members are entered. Fathers shouldn’t be judging sons. Sisters shouldn’t be judging sisters — even sisters who don’t get along (as is reportedly the case here.)
But does the Kennel Club say, “Yeah, you’re right, that was pretty stupid of us?” No, they spin and defend, manipulating the truth much like breeders and breed standards have manipulated dog breeds.
Which brings us back to the deformed, mutant German shepherd.
Sure, it could have been a case of nerves, or health problems unrelated to genetics that led her to stumble her way through the spotlight at Crufts.
But I suspect it has something to do with a limited gene pool. Design a human whose feet aren’t under his butt and he’d have trouble going through the paces, too.
Just as close relatives shouldn’t be judging each other in contests, they shouldn’t be breeding with each other — especially when the sole goal of those overseeing the breeding is to produce an offspring that accentuates some silly, and often unhealthy, physical characteristic that the latest breed standards deem “desirable.”
As seen in the video at the top of this post, the dog named best in breed, Cruaghaire Catoria, is barely able to trot across the arena floor. It’s as if her front legs and rear legs are operating independently of each other.
Why then award her best in breed? For one thing, her shape conforms to what, until recent years, was considered the ideal (when in reality it was unhealthy, prone to causing hip problems, and gave the breed the appearance of a skulking, runaway felon).
Correcting that, just like achieving it, takes some time — and that’s if there’s consensus among the breeders and all those smug kennel club types who have trouble ever admitting they were wrong.
If Cruaghaire Catoria is any indication, that consensus doesn’t exist.
(Photo: James, the Gordon setter chosen best gun dog; ASC/ZDS/Anthony Stanley / WENN.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 15th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 2016, animals, breed standards, breeders, breeding, breeds, crufts, deformed, dog, dog show, dog shows, dogs, german shepherd, gordon setter, judge, kennel club, mutant, nepotism, pets, scandals, sister
A dog who grew up at an orphanage for rhinos, then left to pursue a career as a tracker, is back at the orphanage and has a new mission now — as an elephant’s best friend.
The German shepherd, named Duma, was still a pup when he arrived at the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in South Africa, where he was trained to help locate orphaned rhinos in the wild — before they became prey for poachers.
After three years, though, his tracking duties were required elsewhere, and rhino rehabilitation specialist Karen Trendler reluctantly said goodbye to Duma.
This past fall, Trendler gleefully announced on Facebook that Duma, after a year away, was back.
He arrived just in time to help deal with a young elephant named Ellie.
Ellie had been abandoned by his herd and arrived at the orphanage with several health issues. While those had improved, Ellie — the only elephant at the rhino orphanage — remained down in the dumps.
Until he met Duma.
On top of his other duties, Duma has brought Ellie out of her shell and the two have become inseparable, as shown in this report by EarthTouch News.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 15th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, duma, elephant, ellie, friends, friendships, german shepherd, interspecies, karen trendler, pets, poachers, poaching, rhino orphanage, sniffer, thula thula, tracker
A 21-year-old woman who police say was trying to sell both herself and a stolen German shepherd on Craigslist — in separate ads, of course — was arrested at a motel in the Poconos this week.
The German shepherd, named Shiba, was reported missing Nov. 23 from St. John the Beloved Coptic Orthodox Monastery in Canadensis, Pa.
Among those looking for the nine-month-old dog was a group called Hound Hunters of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and among the places they were looking was the Internet.They were tipped off about an ad on Craigslist, featuring a photo of a dog who appeared to be Shiba, in what appeared to be a motel room. All the owners were asking for was a “small re-homing fee.”
The first thing Hound Hunters did was call the number listed and arrange to buy the dog.
The second thing they did was search the Internet a little more, and discover that the woman trying to sell Shiba was also advertising herself as an escort.
The third thing they did was go to police.
The Poconos Regional Police Department began its own investigation, confirmed the woman had the two ads on Craigslist, and was promoting herself on other escort sites as well. On one of them, she had posted a message for police: “Hey Mt. Pocono PD catch me if you can.”
That taunt may have inspired police to take a little more interest in what they might have previously viewed as a run of the mill stolen dog case.
Police and members of Hound Hunters met in a vacant lot near the Travelodge motel and finalized their plan, in which Hound Hunters of NEPA President Christine Cahill and member Donna Barney, who had set up the meeting, would knock on the woman’s motel room door.Here, we’ll let Cahill, pick up the story.
“Donna and I would go in by ourselves,” she wrote in a detailed Facebook post. “We were to knock on the door, and when she answered and we confirm that she and the dog are actually there, Donna was to hit her call button on her phone to alert the detective…..and they would be there in the blink of an eye. They told us if anything didn’t seem right, we were to immediately get away from the door/window and take cover.
“First, let me tell you, just looking at this place (a motel), would give anyone the creeps. Second, with the info we found on this person, anyone would be crazy to just walk right up and knock on the door … but, yes, that’s exactly what Donna and I did.
” … I knock on the door, she pushes the curtain aside to look out, then opens the door, just a crack. We see a beautiful black nose sniffing through the crack … We were invited inside, but I asked if we could bring the dog outside (especially when I saw a man sleeping in the bed just inside the door).”
(At that moment, Donna was hitting the button on her phone to alert police, but she had lost her signal, as can happen in the Poconos. She excused herself, walked around the corner, picked up a signal and hit the button again.)
“Just as the girl stepped back outside, the police came around the corner,” Cahill wrote.
Kingston was charged with receiving stolen property and taken to Monroe County Correctional Facility.
Police said she will also be charged with theft of lost or mislaid property and solicitation to commit prostitution.
Shiba was reunited with her owners, who were visiting from New York when Shiba went missing. They made the two hour drive and picked Shiba up at the monastery.
“Donna and I are still bursting with adrenaline after our first ‘sting’ operation that actually included the police,” Cahill wrote in the Facebook post. “We’ve done this before, but not on the level of needing police back-up. As we like to say….. ‘This isn’t our first rodeo!’ And, I’m sure it won’t be our last.”
(Photos from the Hound Hunters Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 11th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrest, arrested, christine cahill, craigslist, dog, dogs, escort, german shepherd, hound hunters, hound hunters of northeastern pennsylvania, investigation, kaynie kingston, missing, monastery, operation, pets, poconos, police, prostitution, reunion, sheba, shiba, sting, stolen
Gotta hand it to Max.
The German shepherd has come up with a far healthier alternative to toilet bowl water.
His owners posted this video on YouTube a couple of weeks ago.
We can only hope that they are as vigilant at keeping his water bowl full as they are at posting on social media.
In any event, Max shows himself to be one smart dog, who has learned not only where to find cool, freshly filtered water, but knows his left from right well enough to avoid being bombarded with ice cubes.
The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department in North Carolina has been holding a dog raffle for years, but this year’s contest has been called off after a flood of criticism on social media.
The raffle, held to raise money for the department’s canine unit, is part of the county fair and it offers a chance to win a German shepherd pup for $1.
But after posting details of this year’s raffle on its Facebook page, the department drew thousands of complaints — most of them calling the contest irresponsible and objecting to randomly awarding a dog to a family that had not been screened first.
“I’m sure this is being done with good intentions. However, please reconsider,” one resident wrote. “You have no way of knowing what kind of home this pup will go to… Perhaps you could pair up with the local shelter and do a fundraiser with them and in turn encourage residents to adopt from the shelter.”
Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman did not comment on what precautions might be taken to screen the raffle winner when contacted by the Shelby Star.
But Captain Richard Acuff later said the sheriff’s office has used a screening process in the past, including a visit to the winner’s house to make sure it’s a safe environment.
Nevertheless, on Friday, the sheriff’s office posted notice on its Facebook page that the raffle was cancelled:
“The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office has cancelled the raffle for the German shepherd puppy that was going to be raffled at the Cleveland County Fair. Our original post did not state that in the past years we have required the person that won the drawing to be subjected to Cleveland County’s Animal Adoption Policy.
“Due to the overwhelming outcry we have teamed with a reputable 501.C3 animal rescue that has agreed to help in finding a suitable owner for this puppy… The Sheriff’s Office will be looking into other fundraising projects to help support our K-9 program. If you purchased tickets you will be contacted and your money will be refunded.”
A spokesperson for a local animal rescue group says the raffle is risky because the puppy could end up in the wrong hands.
“Just because someone can afford a dollar for a raffle does not mean that they can afford lifelong care for an animal,” Brianna Duffy, a spokesperson with Catering to Cats and Dogs told Fox 46 News.
“We rescue a lot of dogs that have been used as bait dogs, dogs that have been sold to any person on the side of the road to just have it for their own personal use, which is not positive,” she added.
A GoFundMe page was set up Friday on behalf of the sheriff’s department.
Posted by The American Pit Bull Foundation in Charlotte, it seeks to raise enough funds to cover what the sheriff department would have made through the raffle.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 7th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, canceled, cancelled, cleveland county, complaints, concerns, county, county fair, dog, dog raffle, dogs, fair, fundraising, german shepherd, irresponsible, north carolina, pets, raffle, sheriff, sheriff's department, social media
The board of a ritzy Manhattan co-op is requiring some residents undergo testing of their blood and spit to determine if they are pure enough — and of the proper type — to live there.
As of last month, dog owners living in the luxury tower at 170 West End Avenue must have their veterinarian sign off on the canine’s pedigree and, if the pet is a mix, detail the percentage of each breed, according to DNAInfo.com
The policy is designed to purge the building of any pedigrees the board deems troublesome.
And the board deems many breeds troublesome — 27 in all, including the Pomeranian and the Maltese.
Residents were informed of the new policy a few months ago.
The board policy says the 27 breeeds were chosen based on “documented information regarding their tendency towards aggressiveness.”
In the case of mixed breed dogs, the co-op board is requiring owners to have their pet undergo a DNA test. If the test shows a dog to be made up of more than 50 percent of one of the outlawed breeds, it will have to leave the building.
Initially, they wanted to require mandatory DNA testing of all dogs, but they amended the policy to require the testing “at the board’s discretion.”
The latest version of the policy, issued on May 26, says that if a dog’s breed is unknown “the board at its sole discretion may require a resident to perform DNA testing.”
The 484-unit, 42-story cooperative is one of eight buildings that comprise Lincoln Towers, a 20-acre property near Lincoln Center managed by FirstService Residential. Each building has its own co-op board and makes its own policies.
The board policy also requires that residents register their dog and provide a mugshot of the canine.
The list of banned breeds includes St. Bernards and German shepherds, pit bulls, basset hounds — and even the tiny shih tzu.
“It’s like dog racism essentially,” one resident said of the new policy. “It’s beyond offensive, it’s intrusive.”
(Photo: From NYcurbed.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 17th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 170 West End Ave., animals, banned, board, breed bans, breeds, co-op, discrimination, dna, dog, dogs, german shepherd, Lincoln Towers, maltese, mandatory, manhattan, mixed breeds, new york, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, policy, pomeranian, racism, shih-tzu, st. bernard, testing, tests