On the next episode of Alpha Dogs, Kenny and the Vohne Liche Kennels gang head to the west coast to check up on the VLK West kennel location that opened up close to a year ago in Banning, California. In order to develop and grow the kennel, Kenny needs to find a supplier of high-quality dogs for the kennel. Without it, VLK West will never flourish.
The first stop is with Tom Tennant, president of Green Dog K9 Sales, who is a breeder of working dogs located in Mexico. Shipping dogs in from Mexico as opposed to Europe will help reduce shipping costs and save VLK a lot of money. But in order for Kenny to recruit his dogs, a high standard must be met in order to make the deal.
Next, Kenny meets with Doug Roller, a trainer that has worked with VLK West. Although he is an outstanding trainer, he uses an E-collar to train his dogs. This device has been noted to be very controversial and Kenny is left with the decision whether this technique will mix well with VLK’s K9 philosophy.
These devices send a vibration or electric stimulus to a dog’s neck through the dog’s collar. These signals can be set either by an electric fence sensor in the ground or by a remote control used by a handler. These came into use in the 1960s and were used to ward off bad behavior. The intensity setting could be compared to a lightning strike, but has since changed and made more effective for trainers to use today. They are now seen as effective in teaching good behavior and comparable to a tug on a leash.
The effectiveness and safety of these e-collars has brought up heated debates since the inception of the device to the public. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), recommends the use of these devices during search and rescue missions. The main concern is proper education is needed on behalf of the handler before this device is used in a practical setting.
Tactical K9 is a company that specializes in the education of proper handling of the collar and is currently working alongside VLK to teach the proper use for their training courses. They are located in Los Angeles, California and offer their services to polices officers and military dog handlers across the country.
Make sure not to miss Alpha Dogs: Growing Pains Friday at 9P and see if Tom is able to provide dogs for VLK West and if Doug can show Kenny that the E-collar can be an effective training device for their K9 philosophy.