The Hounds of Hoedspruit

Hello All,

I know it has been a while and I apologise for our absence. All I can say in my defence is that although the bush is a truly amazing place, adjusting has been challenging.

So I thought I would get back into it and start by introducing you guys to our latest K9 team here at Kilo9 Kennels.

Now I love animals of all sorts but my longest standing relationships has always been with the domestic dog. I have seen all sorts through out my life. In my family, dogs rank higher than most humans and they usually out number them as well. So you could say I grew up as part of a pack.

In my years in Cape Town I was involved with different animal rescue organisations and many paws have passed through my doors.

But this is my first time exposed to the world of the working dog and it is fascinating. The team we have here so far is as weird and wonderful as I could have hoped for.

First and foremost there is Chrisjan’s second in command, Bane, the pit bull and shar pei mix. Bane started out as a personal dog of Chrisjan’s who he rescued in the bush as a puppy. He was skinny, flee infested and maggots were pouring from his ears. Because there was no vet for many miles, Chrisjan was on the verge of putting him out of his misery with his own weapon. But he had not the heart and so he dedicated his next few months to keeping Bane alive until he could take him to a vet. It was a struggle but Bane made it out of the bush with a dad and his health in tact.

When Chrisjan came to Cape Town to further his training, Bane was by his side 24/7 and so quickly started training of his own. At about the same time Chrisjan finished his Dog Handling training, Bane got his own qualification as a trained personal protection dog. And he passed with flying colours, representing the mutts in-between all the pedigree’s. We are so proud of him. Now Bane is furthering his training for detection and clocks in for work everyday along side his dad here in Limpopo. Bane has already been a part of two successful arrests and occasionally comes close to sinking his teeth into fleeing poachers. So he is definitely pulling his weight in our fight to protect the wild life, loving his new found purpose in life.

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Then we have Loki, our first Belgium Malinois. He is definitely the looker of the lot. Our very own pretty boy but he is not just all looks though. He is exceptionally smart with a mind of his own and a will to match it. Chrisjan got him at the beginning of the year on his way back to the bush from Cape Town. Loki was only three months old at the time and he took to Bane immediately on the ride from Pretoria to Hoedspruit. This was a bit problematic because he cared for nothing and no-one except Bane. But over time and desensitisation, he is now a bit more focused and is resuming his training. His obedience is on point and his social skills seem to be instinct. Though he is 6 months old already, we have only now gotten him to a point where we can start detection training with him and further his protection training. He is still a puppy and doesn’t seem to have an aggressive streak so it is hard to get him to bite things. This is a problem if you need him to under go protection training. But hopefully when his hormones start kicking in he will have a new found drive for protection. Still a lot of work to be done with him but his playful nature and intelligence makes it a pleasure. Puppies will be puppies.

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The latest addition to the pack however, is a creature on his own. His name is Takula, meaning wild dog, and he is a menace. We got him at 9 weeks old and he has not left Chrisjan’s side since. The bond they have created is unlike any I have ever seen. Takula is also a Belgium Malinois and he is a working dog dream. Not only does he bite everything but at 3 months his detection development is ridiculous and his bond with Chrisjan has driven him to be a potential champion protection dog. Some different training is in his future though. His confidence is so high that he even attempts to protected me from a full grown hyena by chasing after it. I had to run after him, afraid the hyena might turn around and teach him a much needed lesson. For Chrisjan on the other hand, a task as simple as shaking hands with people, have become some what challenging. Taku doesn’t like it when people touch his dad. He communicates this very clearly by launching himself at anyone who even comes to close to Chrisjan, teeth snapping loudly. And I do mean anyone. So even though his basic obedience is good, some restraint training is in his future. But he is even more puppy than Loki so there is plenty of time to shape his behaviour.

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This is our current pack and we are looking forward to expanding it even more.

Exciting and unmistakably challenging times ahead for us.


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