My Rhodesian Ridgeback, Wildwood's Kilimanjaro,
AKA "Yaro," loved Kira from the start.
Dr. Greg Bach is a renowned expert on Lyme disease and he has been appointed to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Department of Health Task Force on Lyme Disease.
Gabriele "Ayla" the purple-collared pistol went to Dr. Greg and Debbie Bach (former owners of Cheetah). They were out of the country, so Ayla stayed with me until she was approximately 16 weeks old. She is now a SchH2.
Swift Run's Yakira vom Bahnhof, AKA "Kira."
Both of my Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Yaro and Kali, assisted in socializing this litter. The Ridgebacks are pack-oriented dogs and very social with other dogs. Thus, they are invaluable in socializing puppies. Such early socialization with other dogs helps reduce later problems with dog aggression. Here you can see Gato (black collar on the right), Geniveive (green collar), and Galenika (red collar leaving) with Kali.
Gato was a tiger, a beautiful tiger, from the outset.
Gracey the white collared wonder was purchased by my my neighbors, Tedd and Billie Reitz, for their son Wyatt. He's the same boy who used to play with Elle and he always wanted one of Elle's relatives for his very own. Wyatt's mom, Billy, also loves to play dress up with Gracey.
The dam of this litter is
Swift Run's Yakira vom Bahnhof, AKA "Kira," whom I purchased from Chris Rasmussen of Moeller Hof Dobermans. Kira's sire is Chris's highly credentialed Arras von Moeller Hof out of Farina vom Bahnhof:
Tammy Marshall of Swift Run bred Kira's Litter out of
Jessebae's Dancin' with the stars, AKA "Danni" :
Kira is highly line bred on many Nymphenburg dogs, especially
Feus von Nymphenburg via Arras vom Wehebach:
For details about Elka, see:
Galenika "Nika" was one of the feistiest puppies I have ever seen. When she was only about 10 weeks old, she chased after a running riding lawnmower. I caught her just before she stuck her paw under the cutting blades!
Ginger "Katie" was always on the move with her "Penn State" blue and white collar. She was the first to leave with local Franklin Police K-9 officer, Kevin Anudson.
Avatar vom Bahnhof
Swift Run's Yakira vom Bahnhof
Gato's Unique Story
Gato's story illustrates how you can have a genetically great dog, lots of knowledge, good intentions, but still mess everything up in the most horrible way. Due to my work schedule, I paid a young woman with lots of experience with working puppies to let my puppies out during the day, when I was unable to do so. Having this person care for the puppies began approximately when they were six weeks of age until Gato was approximately 16 weeks of age.
At about 8 weeks, I had noticed that he had become very evasive of and even aggressive toward people who dropped by my house. I couldn't explain it. I had never seen such dislike of people in my puppies prior to Gato. The more I tried to socialize him, the more upset he would become.
At the outset, I had asked my puppy sitter to not let any children around the puppies unless I was present, because I did not want the puppies to have a bad experience with children. This young lady's step children were known to be quite hyperactive and intrusive. She assured me her step children would be left with her grandmother when she came to take care of my puppies.
As it happened, I injured my foot and I needed to stay home. I was on crutches. I forgot to tell this young lady that I did not need her to drop by to care for Gato and Ayla (whom I still had because Greg and Debbie Bach were out of the country). I was in my bedroom and I heard a commotion at my back door. By the time I got on my crutches and to my back door, downstairs from my bedroom, the puppies had been let out and three horrible children were surrounding Gato, all of them grabbing at him, screaming, laughing, and basically torturing him. Then, when he was snatched up by them, the grandmother began slapping and smacking him, as he growled and snapped at her. He had been placed in a completely defensive position, that is, what he believed to be fighting for his life. When I rescued him, I asked them what exactly was going on. They explained to me that they noticed early on that Gato did not like children and they were "fixing him" for me. Well , he was "fixed alright." He hated people especially children.
I tried and tried to socialize Gato, but to no avail. He HATED people who were not me, or my friend Terry Slingluff, whom he had known well from birth.
When Gato was 18 months old, I was trying to help my friend Tom MacLean place a male puppy he had. I asked at the mondio ring club where I trained Gato whether any of them would be interested in Tom's puppy. My friend at the club, Nicole, told me her older brother very much wanted a Doberman, but he was a WV State Trooper, and he needed an adult protection dog. She knew Gato well and believed Gato would be the perfect dog for her brother. I feared that Gato would be too aggressive to live with anyone but me. However, I was willing to give it a try, because Gato was very serious about biting and he was more of a protection dog than a sport dog. We decided to try. As you can see in the photographs, Gato did very well with Bobby and his wife, Annie. Going to live with Bobby and Annie, who was studying to be a medical doctor and accomplished this goal with the assistance of Gato, was the best thing that ever happened to Gato. He learned that people other than me can be trustworthy. Bobby and Annie loved Gato, but they wanted to have children and they could not socialize him enough with children that they felt comfortable with him being around children. After two years, he returned to me.
Gato was extraordinarily excited to come "home." He ran around my property like a puppy. The only problem was that I now had Zorro, the puppy from Tom, who was two years old. Having the two of them was just too much given my work schedule. Eventually, Barb and Nick Valerio of Barnic Dobermans became Gato's forever home. They plan to do AKC Obedience and Agility with him, which he appears to be loving at this time.
Gato's story illustrates that even when the environmental circumstances don't work out optimally, an excellent temperament is resilient. Gato is undeniable proof that resilience is possible, when an underlying excellent temperament is present.
Furthermore, rational handling on my part when he was young likely contributed to Gato's recovery. Because he really trusted me, due to my not using the oppressive "alpha roll" approach, he was able to extend the trusting attachment that he had to me, toward his new families on two separate occasions. For a brief discussion of the "alpha role" approach being a HUGE MISTAKE with a Bahnhof Doberman, please see the Obedience Section of:
Genevieve "Evva" was very much a sweet and laid back girl. She had a lot of bone and substance as well as very dark pigment.
Baby Gato was named "Cat" because he was so muscular from birth, that he looked like a shiny black panther.