18 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Not many people are aware that “military style” training (which includes repeated hanging to unconsciousness, kicking, and other abominations) is the standard in police and sheriffs department K9 units. The media has helped cover it up, and when a video surfaces of this abuse, it is presented as “a rogue K9 handler” abusing his dog. But this is not the exception to the rule. It IS the rule. visit http://www.stoplynching.com, and then join our “K9 Hang ‘Em High Club” on Facebook to help expose these hidden atrocities. We came up with “Hang ‘Em High” because that is what the K9 handlers at the department I worked nicknamed our K9 unit.

    1. Dog training is a mixed bag within any discipline. For example: “It seems that Schutzhund (utilized by police and military) is synonymous with hanging, helicoptering, slamming and kicking.” I train with a schutzhund club every Saturday and there none of these things. I have, in the past, trained with another club where there were some of these things. It’s one of the reasons I left.

      Schutzhund is also not “the method used for police and military dog training.” The schutzhund test was developed as a breeding suitability test for the German Shepherd and is now open to all dogs as a sport. Many police/military dogs have ancestors with a schutzhund background, but it isn’t the standard for police/military training. This background is important because the odds of getting a suitable working candidate in a dog without working ancestry is very poor. Schutzhund clubs are typically regular people who compete in a sport with their dogs. The majority of these dogs are loved pets before anything else.

      You might check out Denise Fenzi’s site. She trains in schutzhund with a very different perspective that what is presented in you link.

      1. Our department’s lead sadistic “trainer” had a “Schutzhund and K9 Training” club. I went to Barnes and Noble and read a book about Schutzhund, and there was quite a bit of cruelty advocated in that book. I’m always amazed at the people who declare that they not only know the torture exists (and it IS widespread), but they’ve witnessed it, and yet they do NOTHING in an effort to get it stopped. They defend their “sport” instead of trying to help the dogs who are being routinely horrifically abused throughout their lives. Amazing.

      2. There are indeed clubs that train that way. But its not the “standard” by any stretch.

        Saying you found a book that advocates for that sort of training is like saying you found a book from Cesar Millan and therefor obviously the entire USA trains just like him.

        Absolutely advocate to have the trainers who DO train that way changed out. But don’t slam the entire sport and training for something that is NOT universal. I know quite a few people who train in a variety of Schutzhund and other bite work sports, in a variety of clubs, and not one of them trains using those methods.

      3. For those who don’t know about the ‘debate’ this issue, please go to http://www.stoplynching.com and read the chapter “Denials and Justifications.” I maintain that it IS the standard, based on ongoing inquiries, investigation, and reports coming in from ALL over the country. Some will admit it up front, usually with a justification involved. Others will deny, deny, deny (as the VPD department does), but will usually (during a few back-and-forths) tip their hand, and some evidence comes to the fore. Now, if the ones who have replied here are really not, nor ever have been, involved in this severe maltreatment (although they’re aware of it, and one admitted to witnessing it), then I won’t insist that they be as offended by this routine, ongoing torture of dogs as I am, or do what I consider to be the right thing, by participating in getting it stopped. But I would ask them to discontinue in assisting the deniers in putting up roadblocks in the way of efforts to see it ended.

      4. Stacey – did you know that Schutzhund is German for police dog? That is what this site says. I found numerous sites showing Schutzhund and police dog “training” are firmly intertwined.

        Geeks On Pets: Police Dog Training Techniques
        Police dog training is a very specialized form of dog training. … The rest of the equipment used for Schutzhund, or police dog training, …

      5. Sue, arguing over what you have read on the internet and in books is not meaningful. Find your local schutzhund club and go watch. Odds are, you are going to see a lot of happy and well-loved dogs. I’ve been involved in various dog sports for more than a decade. It is rare, but you do fine abusive people here and there. Schutzhund is like many other dog sports where the older and more punitive methods are being left in the past.

        Here’s an excerpt from the international rules (FCI) for holding IPO (schutzhund) trials:
        “Directly when it comes to training the physical as well as the psychological health of the dog is top priority. It is imperative then that the dog be handled in a fair, orderly and humane way…A person who trains or does sport with his dog, has to undertake a method of careful training with the goal in mind to achieve the best possible harmony between himself and the dog…In order to achieve the upbringing, training or training effect, it is important to not utilize force and to use positive methods for the dog.”

      6. Now, it might be that some, or even most, recreational “Schutzhund” clubs are kinder than they used to be. I can’t go to all of them. And you can’t, either. If I were to go to my local one, which is run by the lieutenant who loves to hang dogs, he certainly has learned (from the hoopla I made after he hanged a dog in my presence in the police station) not to do it in front of me again. But I know he is still doing it. AND, I am connected enough around the country to know that the majority of police and sheriffs are still doing it. I also have this from my own site:

        “The affidavit was responded to by Molly Graf, USA Northeast Regional Breed Warden, Eichenluft Working German Shepherds. Molly told Ms. Yanai she should send her notarized letter to several people in Schutzhund, including National Breed Warden Johannes Grewe (the same Johannes Grewe, I presume, who “pulls hard on the rope attached to a pinch collar around Nitro ‘s neck. The animal squeals and careens in a heap…” in Bakersfield). She further advised that it would be helpful if more people would step forward as witnesses to Bryan and Claudia McNulty’s abuses. She commented, “Bryan McNulty is now an apprentice judge for USA…Claudia McNulty is Regional Breed Warden and member of the Breed Advisory Committee.”

        I emailed Molly and wrote that I know how difficult it is to get people to “step forward” to report what they have witnessed, but that I have in my possession a police report in which Mrs. Brown describes the manual strangulation of a K9 by David Inglis while his wife Debbie kicked the dog in the testicles, EXPECTING THAT SHE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN THIS DOCUMENTATION.

        Molly’s response to my email was, “In Schutzhund, training is not supposed to be all fun-fun for the dogs.”

        So, as long as ANY department is engaging in this torture (and, unfortunately, it is still most of them), I will keep trying to get it stopped. You are apparently not bothered by it. Fine, so go play with your dog(s) in your Schutzhund club. But I am bothered by it. So please don’t throw out a blanket denial about it’s happening, because it can’t be stopped until people acknowledge that it is happening, and needs to be stopped.

  2. The beautiful story of Winnie-the-Pooh, at the link under the image you use here, reminded me of another bear who was rescued during a war and ended up in a zoo.

    Wojtek was an orphaned Syrian bear adopted as a cub in the Middle East by a group of Polish soldiers during World War II. The Poles had lost their homes just as Wojtek had lost his, which may help explain the bond between them. Wojtek — after being given a soldier’s rank and ID papers — helped fight the battle for Monte Cassino in Italy, and eventually demobilized with his unit in Scotland.

    Today, he would find a home in a sanctuary. But it was a different time, and Wojtek ended his life at the Edinburgh Zoo. He was loved and became an enduring symbol of the friendship between Scotland and Poland. In November, a statue of him with one of his soldier friends was dedicated in Glasgow.

    A few links for anyone interested in his amazing story:





    1. I forgot to mention, many times when she does this she never enters the animals into the county system. Much easier to cover up theft then.

    2. Some of the links didn’t come through. Sometimes this happens when they’re ‘https/’ links; if you just change the ‘https’ to ‘http’ it ought to work.

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