WHAT WE DO
Capable and Healthy Working Dogs
K9andSports is dedicated to working dog breeds. We are all about preserving the unique qualities of capable and healthy working dog breeds that can be used for what they were bred for: for tasks within the police, military and customs, in security companies and in rescue dog work.
The tasks of working dog breeds are many. However, certain qualities and characteristics are always key: a high willingness to work, strong nerves, insensitivity to noise and physical robustness as well as high drives. Regardless of whether a dog is used as a deterrent at a demonstration or to search for victims in a disaster area: in all cases it will have to continue its work for a long time dealing with a variety of environmental influences, including unpleasant and unknown ones.
One Team - All Stakeholders
The incredible skills working dogs have, didn't come out of nowhere: many players have historically been involved and still are. It is one of our goals, to bring everyone to one table and cooperate: irrespective of breed, organization or nation.
- Public Authorities, national and international organizations as well as private companies with K-9 programs (i.e., police, military, customs, security companies, organizations that use rescue dogs and alike)
- Dogsport Handlers and clubs
- Breeding Kennels
- International Orgs like FCI and FMBB
Did you know that the majority of K9s used with public authorities like Police and Military come from private hands? Some have their own and successful breeding programs (e.g., the German and the Swedish Armed Forces). But none of them can currently cover the number of K9s they need. The cost and time of such breeding programs would exceed what is possible. And where would the dogs go that turn out to not be suited for such K9 program?
The Role and Responsibility of Working Dog Sports
Sports with Working Dogs have a historical role in breeding selection. Canine and service dogs are almost in all cases purchased from civilians and have a history of sport lines - from the IGP, KNPV, French or Belgian Ring or other related sports. Trials and breeding selections should contain and test challenges that working dogs meet when used as K-9s. One example is gun shot indifference (hereditary) which is part of sport trials and breeding selection alike. Gun shot indifference is not only important for hunting dogs but of course a very important trait of a working K-9. It is easy to understand why it is crucial that breeders have the chance to rely on a certain selection that comes with trials and breeding selection.
Active Supporters - Registered Non-Profit Organization
In our opinion, we are seeing a trend to not prioritize the "jobs" and important characteristics of working dogs, maybe a bit in favor of show and pet dog characteristics. While these have a "right" on their own, we believe it is important to differentiate. One reason we launched the K9andSports initiative is to emphasize and work for the conditions we need to preserve our working dogs as what they are. In order to do so effectively, we formed a working group consisting of people who come from various utility dog sports, from authorities that keep service dogs, companies and organizations, associations and clubs. No matter what breed of working dog or what nation.
Our initiative is young - just a few months old - and we are learning by the day. Currently, we are in the process of founding a registered non-profit organization, thereby manifesting our non-profit status.
All our active supporters work in at least one of our six select groups:
Cooperation with Public Authorities, Organizations and Companies with K-9 Programs
It is our goal that sport trials and breeding selection tests actually reflect a test of those characteristics that are relevant for a K-9 handler. In order for this to happen, sport and K-9 world should cooperate and work together on respective regulations. We are already in conversation with respective stakeholders in various jurisdictions, including Europe, USA and South America. Our first test to action in this regard is the revision of the regulations governing the breeding selection of the German Malinois Association (DMC) which we will align with respective stakeholders.
Promotion of New Prospects: International - Youngstars - And Adults
In times at which people are moving away from nature and towards digitization, we strongly believe that dogsport, the bond with animals and time in nature should not be lost but rather supported.
Our Youngstars initiative, targeting youth up to the age of 25, is already in full force. K9andSports allocates free spots at seminars and workshops relevant for our cause; and those are many covering all working dog sports, search and rescue work, physiotherapy, helper development, police and detection dog work and more. Within a couple of months, more than 30 Youngstars attended courses in Germany, USA, Brazil, Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic. We initiated an online course for decoys.
In 2022, a successful IGP camp with more than 160 attendees under 25 took place in Germany; K9andSports is bringing this concept to other countries. 2023 will see such Youngstars Camp in the USA and Sweden.
We just started working on concepts to introduce adults - interested in an active life with their dogs - to many possibilities. It's our plan to work together with local clubs that are committed to modern training - offering new prospects a place to come to.
Our Public Relations working group does not only take care of social media and our website - by the way: not a small task! Our main goal is to bring the sport and the training with working dogs to people who have not experienced it yet. We want to open sport competitions to a new audience (CACIT seems to be off to a good start). We want to explain the tasks and benefits of working dogs to the public and maybe introduce pet dog owners to a training by people who have a wealth of experience in teaching dogs very complex behaviors.
We call it "Lobbying"
As an advocate for working dogs and working dog sport, we specifically address international organizations such as FCI, FMBB and WUSV as well as national breeding associations such as VDH, SV and DMC. We are fortunate to have active supporters who already have relevant positions and connections that they can leverage. We want to ensure that the interests of working dogs and working dog sports are adequately represented: when new laws are passed, when new competition regulations are put into place. We actively participate in "stakeholder" discussions - be it in associations or the EU Commission.
Animal Welfare and Science
The well-being of working dogs is important to us and so is animal welfare-law. Decisions must be made on the basis of scientifically proven facts and only on such basis can fruitful discussions arise. In a separate working group, we deal with the scientific status of effective and humane training methods, the inheritance of characteristics and other questions that must be answered in order to discuss them with decision-makers.
What can YOU do?
The easiest way to help us is to sign this initiative and collect votes. Please talk to your friends, other club members, and training team: anyone who is enthusiastic about working dogs and who pursue our interests and goals should sign this initiative. Why? Because with our joined voices we draw attention and make a point as to how many people have the same interests, concerns and goals. Your signatures have already led to various organizations actively pursuing conversations with us, trainers have offered us seminar spots for Youngstars .. let's grow this community and show the world how strong it is: #OneVoiceforWorkingdogs
You want to get involved more actively? You are offering a seminar and want to share a spot with Youngstars? You have ideas we have not thought of? Contact us and let us know!