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Well, I guess we will have to live with a dog that won’t out. We haven’t gotten Buff to out or take a leg hold. The leg bite issue may be in part to the over all diameter of this particular suit. He did take a tricep hold on the decoy for the first time. Best of all Dexter the Corso at 7 months engaged the sleeve while on the mill. Special thanks to the decoy Mike Graziosi.

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Mandy a German Hunting Terrier, the belly sister to Wooly Bully, died last week. We believe she was over 17 years old. She was an exemplary hunter of varmints. She dispatched

a Fisher Cat up in Maine. This event made the local news paper. Adding to her existing celebrity.

She will be mourned by Marie, Christina, Jennifer & Frank Genovese III.

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In the lower half of the United States, the Cur Hunting Dogs are quite popular. A hound like, athletic breed, best  known for hunting small game & keeping burglars at bay.

It is my belief, they carry the genes of several breeds. Hounds & Bull dog variants being most prevalent.

Recently, in Suffolk County L.I. a Cur bitch named Cyrah was struck by a vehicle. Sadly, Cyrah was killed in the accident. She was owned by Mike Stafford & loved by many. She leaves behind several pure bred pups. Hopefully, Cyrah’s geno-type will continue.

I am told Cyrah was only about 24 months old. Frequently, high drive dogs do not get old! Falling prey to their own courage & spirit. This is a concern with Buff, my own personal dog. He too is spirited, requiring the keenest supervision. I often say, “The last act every good dog does is break your heart.”

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In the month of March 2009, Bruce Schrom’s American Bull Dog “Drex” earned a Schutzhund 1 designation. In addition, Bruce recently completed a productive hog hunt with both Drex & his belly brother. Both dogs performing like seasoned  hunting dogs. Congratulations.

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About ten years ago the Folks from Stangos Restaurant acquired a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Lilly. I have had my hands on dogs for over 70 years. Never have I seen or touched a pup as cute as Lilly. Her high gloss black coat, big male head & cold nose were therapeutic. All this accompanied by a symphony of delicious snorts & grunts. Lilly leaves behind too many broken hearts to mention. One thing for certain, Lilly went where the good ones go.

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Earlier in the week, Tony George’s wife May prepared some Dumplings for me. Truly, world class! It was enough for two big meals.Yesterday, Liz Cossman gave me a nice print of a sled dog taken from an old Alaskan poster. Liz is also giving me another poster with a Dobie kissing an exhausted fireman. The actual photo will put mist in your eyes. Liz has asked us to help her find a rescue dog.I have begun to spread the word! This morning Craig Bonn, gave me a gift of a bottle of red wine. As part of the label my image is backed by the American flag. It is inscribed, ” A hearty red wine designed to promote Patriotism & Freedom” It’s cork is capped by a 12 guage Remington shot gun shell.

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Conditioning the German Shepherd Dog, Part 2

Continued from Part 1

This essay is not designed to give the reader all the knowledge required to mill or condition dogs. Since I too am a student, such a challenge would be difficult or impossible to accomplish. The true masters of milling/conditioning would best accomplish a task of this magnitude.

My intentions are to (merely) touch upon the pros and cons of various K9 body types and how the differences apply to milling and sport. In addition, I hope the text that follows will motivate the student into using a Gravity Slat Mill and (perhaps) competing in a canine sport.

My personal definition of physical fitness is “The ability of man or beast to recover from hard work.” I feel in the area of recovery, the Gravity Slat Mill is far and away the first choice of serious dog people.

Within the science of conditioning, over-use is one of the primary ways to harm an athlete. To avoid over-use/injury problems, milling angles should be rotated. Issues of momentum, resistance and velocity should be varied as well as time durations. Rubbing your dog before and after exercise may also reduce potential injuries. In addition, the K-9 athlete should be encouraged to run forward and backwards. Running backwards is an advanced exercise. It is something I have developed over many years conditioning. It is especially effective for police dogs, or dogs doing serious protection / bite work. Reverse or backward milling builds an improved foundation for hard shaking. It stimulates most of the muscles of the spine including the cervical vertebrae and rear quarter. The abbreviated name for this discipline is the G&P. Once again the reverse movement or G&P is an advanced exercise and should not be used in the early stages of millwork. Should we decide to do a conditioning video, the G&P will be addressed at length.

The strategy of isolating the mill angles, the velocities, and the directions, will benefit all the muscle bellies germane to driving, drafting, grappling and running. In addition, a variety of internal organs will be stimulated (by milling) and they too will benefit.

We will spend several paragraphs examining body types and how these types impact sport and conditioning. Let us begin on a cellular level. A larger GSD has more cells to support and as a result more cells to feed. While the smaller

competition dog has fewer cells to feed and may have a better ratio of muscle to bone than a larger competition dog. Perhaps this ratio provides for rapid recovery in favor of the smaller athlete. Generally larger dogs need to get to the point where they can be pushed longer and harder. In reaching a higher recovery level they can better compete against the more streamlined types. With skill and hard work the larger dog’s stamina level will approach that of smaller dogs. The Gravity Slat Mill (when used properly) may prove instrumental in closing the recovery gap!

Another significant conditioning obstacle is running hot or over – heating. The reason dogs over – heat (once again) goes back to the number of cells. Each cell in the dog’s body combines oxygen and sugar, which is converted into heat. Simply put, the more cells the more heat! Consider this, the oral cavity is the primary cooling mechanism the dog has. In the case of bigger dogs their cooling limitations and cellular handicap are quite a conditioning challenge. Proof of this is highly visible in the hunting sports where dogs are capable of running 50 to 100 miles in one day.

Even in a cerebral sport like Schutzhund, physical recovery time is still an issue. Frequently the smaller less impressive GSD has the best scores. To the untrained eye these rather non – descript competitors are regarded as unimpressive. The Schutzhund competitor should realize an unfit dog maybe a less focused dog. Perhaps body mass and heavy bone maybe over-rated and possibly contributes to slower recovery as well a lack of focus. The historic success of the Dutch Shepherd And Belgian Malinois suggest more substance generally equals less performance. I am of the opinion, “Quicker recovery time appears to enhance focus.” A Slatted Gravity Mill maybe one of the better tools to acquire faster recovery time.

When milling a dog occasional sponging of the mouth, under belly and the dog’s butt area will help keep the dog from running hot. As I have mentioned in previous essays remember to read the dog’s oral cavity. Rectal temperatures are another good method to guarantee a dog is not over-heating. Two other concerns are the athlete’s nails and pads. Make certain the nails are short and pads are healthy and thick.

In closing, every healthy dog needs a job or some form of work. Sport provides a sense of purpose, enhancing and stimulating the dogs mind and body. In my opinion, the quintessential life for a dog consists of your affection, proper diet, and challenging work.

Some final thoughts, remember less mill time is always safer than too much mill time. Running the mill often times becomes a social event for the dogs and their owners. As a result time passes quickly. You must watch the clock as well as your dog. Remember to rub your dog before and after work. Rubbing makes the mill a pleasurable experience and is important for bonding. Never rely on the mill as a complete or total fitness solution. It is best not to leave a dog on a mill without supervision. When the dogs work is completed, always lower the dog gently to the ground. Allow the dog to drink some water, not too much! Take the dog for a cool – down walk. Provide the dog with more water.

One should never forget to nourish the dogs mind and spirit. With each challenge or obstacle facing your dog, include a generous dose of verbal anesthesia.

Martins K9 Formula offers three milling titles. For training or titling information, you may call us at 516-671-9600.

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Conditioning the German Shepherd Dog, Part 1

This essay is limited to dogs that are German working lines or German show lines.

In 1965, while stationed at the sub base in New London Connecticut, the military assigned me to run the Harvard Step Test (HST) at the Navy’s Medical Research Laboratory. This test was designed at the famed Harvard College to measure motivation. In this particular application the HST was to be used to measure the physical motivation of military personnel applying for Nuclear Submarine Service.Upon the conclusion of the test, the Navy claimed a correlation existed between those that scored high on the (HST) and those that did well in Submarine School.

I believe a similar correlation exists between the Gravity Treadmill Test and dogs embarking upon a career as police or working dogs.

Few challenges test nerves like a Gravity Mill. If you have a yearling dog that masters the mill in one session, that dog’s nerve is plenty thick. A high probability exists that this dog’s confidence will prove true in the field as well as in actual Police/ Military combat. It is important to note, when a yearling GSD is put on a mill his Hazard Reaction Time is working against him. The converse would be true in the case of asix-week-old pup whose Hazard Reaction Time is in the embryonic stages of development.

Here is a constructive way to exploit a 42-day-old pup with positive results and reduced stress. The key is to place the six-week-old pup on the mill. Encourage him to play and hang out. Both verbal anesthesia and rubbing are important. I also like to let the pup shake a rag or play any enjoyable biting game. Within several days the pup is as comfortable on the mill as on solid ground. He now assumes Terra Firma is not his only home. A truly priceless assumption.

My assertion is simple, the younger the dog the faster the pup will adapt to the mill.Within a week or two the pups athleticism and confidence will move from walking to running.

I feel so strongly about a dog’s mill performance, I am comfortable suggesting the issue of mill – work play an important part in breeding considerations.

For many years I have worked the GSD in a manner that is unique to the breed. Many view my approach with an open mind and have benefited. However, other folks primarily from Europe,Perceive my work with suspicion, perhaps even contempt.

The German Shepherd Dog is a solid candidate for Gravity Treadmill Training (GTT).The appliance or mill should have wooden slats. These slats are attached to a soft belt (not tight) that reduces the dog’s walking – running impact as well as frame harmonics. The belt is the most important part of the Mill’s action. The Tread Mill’s frame should preferably have an adjustable incline and be made of rigid materials,preferably steel. In addition, it should be large enough to accommodate the dog’s width, but more importantly, it is imperative that it addresses the Shepherd’s unique length.

When a mill is well constructed with a properly fabricated geometry, the dog or athlete will feel unrestricted, capable of turning 180 degrees or sitting if desired. The dog should be given every opportunity to rest when needed. Never force a dog to run a mill! Should your dog not perform up to your expectations do not allow your annoyance to become visible. Never let your dog know he has failed. Your dog’s mill imprint must be positive. Tomorrow is another day.

The advantages of this type of training are often subtle. Careful observations will suggest milling benefits are both anatomical and psychological .In addition to the obvious improvements i.e. endurance, stronger shoulders, spine and rear quarter.However, another improvement is quietly developing, (most of the time) without detection. The athlete begins to demonstrate gyroscopic motor skills, more confidence and a healthier look.

On a humorous note, once a dog is broken to the mill, it is common for dogs to become vocal and make repetitious vertical jumps prior to running.I refer to this behavior as mill addiction.

Decoys and helpers often notice more confidence and fight in dogs that are exposed to the GTT strategy. When a dog’s air and motor skills are improved by the GTT strategy the dog tends to put more pressure on the decoy/helper.

My experience (with properly milled dogs) asserts that milling neither promotes nor reduces skeletal problems. Dogs with health problems should not be milled. A dog in a basic keep should not be milled more than 2 or 3 times per week. The time duration determined by knowing how to read the dog. In reading the GSD correctly you will avoid over use problems and eventual injury.

Obviously, this essay reflects how passionate we feel about milling the GSD. It is predicated on opinion and based on anecdotal evidence.

Continues in Part 2

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MK9 Beneficial Bacteria

About 10 years ago we developed a pro biotic formula in a 32 cc syringe, with 1.25 billion colony forming units. This product should be used for sustained general health. One cc is equivalent to 60 cups of yogurt. This product makes bitches into milk machines. It is used to help bring dogs out of shock. Beneficial bacteria will also off set the damage caused by anti biotics. The MK9 benificial bacteria product also contains enzymes to aid in digestion. Works for horses as well.

This product contains some of the following, lactobacillus acidophilus, streptococcus Faecium, yeast (which supplies B vitamins, stimulates good bacteria). It is beneficial to give this product to newborns before they begin to nurse. Many of the contents in fast/track are found yogurt.

My experience with this product is that it works well with animals in shock or extreme stress. I like the syringe delivery system, which is applied in the mouth. We no longer offer lactobacillus acidophilus in our dry matter food. The reason being our product simply could not compare with Conklin’s. Our efficiency, potency, and method of delivery were lacking. The largest part of our problem had to do with the heat history needed to manufacture our food. The 300-degree temperature was just too destructive to temperature sensitive live microbials.

Overuse may cause pudding or loose stool. I have not run into any additional side effects.

If you plan on a litter of pups in the future call us for our (puppy) delivery protocol at 516-671-9600.

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Positive Press

MK9 is looking for positive K9 situations to post on our site. Lives saved, the bonding of dogs with other species, Dogs with children, Canines protecting family members. This request is not breed specific. Pictures would b appreciated.

We are also looking for detailed positive Veterinary accounts. However, all accounts are welcome humorous, technical or even sad.