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Sharpening the Weapon

Liesel Weapon is a sleeve biting, man tracking, scent detecting, obedience rocking, badass little German Shepherd. She (and I) literally eat, breathe and sleep training (she actually has yet to eat food out of a bowl…it all comes from training). Now 6 months old, this 36 pound lean, mean (but actually really nice) fur missile is well on her way to becoming a 'super dog'.

Thursday Oct 13th we are embarking on a journey. For 2 weeks we will be trading the mountains of Western Montana for the swamps of Western Florida for an event one can simply sum up as an:

'Ass Kicking Working Dog Fiesta’ or (AKWDF)

AKWDF itinerary:

Oct 15-18 Survival/SAR course

Mud, blood, gators, fire, survival + working K9s. This seminar will bring together dog trainers, SAR members, EMTs and Police for an event designed around K9 search and rescue education and application in the field. I personally plan on getting muddy, bloody and bit at this event...I cannot wait.

Oct 19-27 Advanced working dog certifications

Going to level up in all areas of working dog disciplines: tracking, protection, nose work, obedience….This will also be an amazing opportunity to meet/train/collaborate with fellow trainers, dog enthusiasts and police officers from all over the country. I feel very blessed to be apart of such an awesome team at Top Tier K9 and am excited to learn from/collaborate with the crew every time we get together. In addition to working Liesel Weapon, I will have the opportunity to train and work with a number of GSDs and Malinois in various stages of training. We will be running complex tracking scenarios like escaped convicts and lost hikers... We will be executing pack attack setups to take down 'bad guys' with a team of dogs... We will be doing drug/bomb sweeps in different locations...We will also be doing tons of agility, service dog work, and advanced obedience. Each night will be spent having round table discussion on the working dog industry while congregating around a keg of beer...

Needless to say I am a bit giddy and raring to go...

Liesel Weapon has been pretty inspiring to work with thus far. She is solid representation of the German Shepherd's Dog... A once coveted working dog that boasted supreme intellect, reasoning, athleticism and loyalty, the GSD was the go-to dog for working disciplines. Too often today I see this breed's reputation sullied by bad breeding, bad training and a genetic disposition that has been destroyed by dog show 'conformation'. But not Liesel. She is a glimpse into the past - a throw to what all GSD's used to be and I cannot say enough good things about Crooked Creek Ranch's breeding program. If you are looking for a working GSD look no further than CCR German Shepherds (my personal opinion...I know there are a lot of fantastic breeders out there ;) ). I could wax poetic all day about GSDs, their potential in home use as companions protectors etc and how they help humans connect with their primal selves yadda yadda...

But for now, to avoid long windedness, Ill just say this trip has been a long time coming for me. Working dogs has been a forever passion of mine and I've spent over a decade educating and absorbing to get to this point. Of course training and learning is a forever journey and this trip is just another step forward...but as I pack my bags with bite sleeves, leashes, tracking gear etc... I have to take a moment to tip my hat to my 9 year old self... A kid in the woods feeling safe with his GSD looking for a spot under a tree to hunker down and dive into Jack London's 'Call of the Wild' for the 10th time. I know HE would also be excited to go on this trip...

I love this stuff. The only thing I may love more is sharing it with others. To the Top Tier K9 crew - safe travels: Ill see you on Saturday! "And not only did he learn by experience, but instincts long dead became alive again. The domesticated generations fell from him. In vague ways he remembered back to the youth of the breed, to the time the wild dogs ranged in packs through the primeval forest and killed their meat as they ran it down. . . . Thus, as token of what a puppet thing life is the ancient song surged through him and he came into his own again. . . ."

- Call of the Wild

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