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Hampton Roads Dog Training Service Dogs Search and Rescue Pet Search Boot Camps Boarding Group Classes Canine Legal Consultations Behavior Modification Agility Conformation Apprentice Training Hampton Roads Chesapeake Hickory VA Beach Norfolk

Kobe

Registered Name: Zingira's Fire and Brimstone

 

(2001-2015)

We were breeding Keno’s first litter for multi purpose dogs.  The lines had both show and coursing backgrounds.  Once Kobe was born I saw her talents above all the others so she was my pick to be my second SAR Ridgeback.  She just happened to turn out to be stunning; however, she had a bad bite so she was spayed.  At that time I had only been pitting performance titles on Keno, so I decided to concentrate on Kobe first because she was young, and to go back to Keno for her SAR work.  Kobe’s sire brought what we wanted with a must win attitude.  At times she was challenging, but Kobe was a dog that never quit her task, ever.  Even once when sick from an intestinal bacterial load picked up on a search, she only laid down to rest, and I had to pull her from the search.  I knew something was wrong and had her checked.  It came back that she had a load of campylobactor bacteria.  Kobe had serious heart.  Her sire was a top winning conformation dog with coursing dogs in his pedigree.  He was quite a stunning male and passed that to Kobe as well.  He had many Best in Breeds, Best in Shows, multiple National Specialty wins, and was featured in many magazines.  And we know Kobe’s mom was very versatile in performance, so it turned out to be a very successful match in both beauty and performance.     

Kobe was born with a pushy attitude and was a dominant bitch, but always fair.  Being like her father, she always wanted to be out in front of the other puppies, and at just a few weeks old she was the first to air scent and follow that to the scent subject.  She was the one with the attitude and ego, and that also helped me tremendously with my boot camp dogs that live in my home for training.  They are usually disrespectful dogs from about 7 to 9 months old, so Kobe made my job so much easier because she knew how things were suppose to go in dog terms and she always started the process out for me.  Even after a lifetime of training I never tire of remembering how fast she got results with the least amount of hoopla. 

 

She started her SAR training at 5 weeks old, and of course all the other puppies wanted to do runaways too, so Kobe learned to work in a pack for three weeks.  We did work with her on her own too, but she actually loved the competition of getting to me first, and I always had to laugh at her young determination.  Kobe was so very sharp, and by the time she was 8 weeks old she was already sitting and waiting, among other commands, and mostly house trained.  She followed me all over the farm along with the other puppies.  So that kind of human and dog bond and packing up was started with my litter of puppies very young.  Over the years I heard from the other puppy owners how helpful this was in everything they did with their dogs.  It was amazing how much those three weeks from 5 to 8 weeks affected the dogs in their adulthood.  Kobe’s training was chronicled in the Ridgeback Quarterly, a national magazine, for two years, and also written about in the Great Britain Rhodesian Ridgeback’s National Club’s magazine as well as our US version.       

 

Kobe started agility young, as well as coursing and straight racing.  Even though I had no plans to title her, she sure could have gotten one in all of them, but it is not without its danger of injury so I decided to only do SAR with her and not risk needless injury.  SAR training takes a lot of time all on its own.  Kobe’s ego and desire to be in front of everyone translated to a dog that always wanted to “win”.  That same desire was the factor that made her such a great SAR dog.  She would work for 8 hours or more if I asked her to and never quit.  Her desire to find her scent subject was at the top.  But she worked for the game and me, not for her subject.  When she was young her runaways were so funny.  She was fast with everything she did.  Boy, did she love to run.  It was always top speed for her. 

 

One of Kobe’s favorite things was to race the horses up and down the fence line.  She only wanted to nip and chase the horses and did not have much desire to be buddies with them like her mom and the rest of the dogs.  She wanted them to listen to her and do what she said to do like the bossy girl she was.  What a dog she was, and even to her last days she always had to be the leader among the dogs.  She still made sure Tazz knew she was lower then her even if she fell down doing it at 13 years and 10 months old.  During her last year I had to be more careful with boot camps, and they learned to just leave her alone (which is a good lesson in itself), but Kobe would actually knock herself down to remind a dog of their place.  It did not matter how old she was, she did not mellow at all.  She just could not move like she used to, but her mind was wonderfully strong and unchanged. 

 

I sadly lost Kobe on 1-14-2015.  She had Laryngeal Paralysis, which is a progressive neurological problem.  No one knows how it starts, but falls and back injury is one theory, and Kobe had a few of those.  It also appears more in large breeds.  She had a bad spasm and breathing issue, and once I got it under control her back end had failed her.  She was unable to walk and her breathing still was not completely right.  So instead of having her suffer that we decided it was time for her to run free again at the Rainbow Bridge.  She left with a solid piece of my heart.  But my beloved Keno, her mom, was most assuredly there to guide her.  Nalena, Keno’s breeder said it the best, “she is all better now and running around telling all the other dogs what to do”.  That is what Kobe did the best. 

 

Kobe’s career includes:

  • AKC Lure Coursing JR. Courser Title 2003

  • Part way to her AKC Senior Coursing Title

  • Points towards her AKC Lure Coursing Championship

  • Half way to her ASFA Field Championship Title, placing all firsts, with one second.

  • One third towards her straight racing title, placing all firsts and one very close second

  • AKC Canine Good Citizen Title 2003

  • Therapy Dog International’s certified 2003

  • Passed the rigorous temperament test of the American Temperament Testing Society 2003

  • Advanced Agility Skills, Kobe would go under, over, or onto anything

  • Kobe’s police/scent certifications with North American Police Work Dog Association: all tests are police level tests:

 

  • 11-2011, Area Search (with or without scent discrimination) her certification was valid until 11-2012, but we retired her in 2012 so did not certify her after that.  

  • 11-2010, Area Search (with or without scent discrimination)

  • 04-2009, Article Search, Area Search (with and without scent discrimination)

  • 04-2008, Article Search

  • 11-2007, Area Search (with or without scent discrimination), Tracking

  • 04-2007, Obedience, Area Search (with or without scent discrimination), Man Trailing

  • 05-2006, Man Trailing “Distinguished Expert” (a term used at that time for the highest level)

  • 03-2006, Obedience, Area Search (with or without scent discrimination)

  • 05-2005, Man Trailing “Distinguished Expert” (a term used at that time for the highest level)

  • 01-2005, Obedience, Area Search (with or without scent discrimination), and Man Trailing “Novice”(a term used at the time for beginning level) 2005 was her first year of certifying and she did so in two scent disciplines.  She did the same in 2006, but in 2007 she certified in three scent disciplines, and in 2008 we added article search.       

 

Kobe’s advanced scent training:

  • Aged Scent.She worked a year old cold case where she worked a trail that we later found out was the exact path of the Bloodhound that worked it a year earlier.She this confirms her working a year old trail.

    Her most aged training exercise was an 8-month-old two-mile trail that expanded through the harshness of summer and winter months, and was a combination foot and car trail.She worked that trail like it was only a couple weeks old.She indicated where it went from foot to vehicle and back to foot.I laid two trails and her brother Two-Way did the same thing equally as well.

    Kobe consistently worked validated trails months old in her pet search work.

 

  • She was trained to ID objects touched by the subject she is looking for.

  • Scent Transfer/secondary scent.She will search for a subject using their scent that was left onto another person.So if a stranger assaulted someone I could scent Kobe on the victim to search for the suspect.

  • Secondary Scent & Back Tracking.Additionally I can use the secondary scent off a person as my subject to seek, but yet use the suspects scent to back track to the scent I am seeking.I scent Kobe on the suspect, with notations of someone else in my commands then back to he suspect and tell her to backtrack.Kobe will back track the suspect to locate the victim.

  • Car Trails.Kobe has been trained extensively on car trails.I can tell when the subject goes from foot to car and back to foot.She has done many very successful validated car trails that went for miles, and over heavily traveled roadways.She has taken it a step further and can Id the tracks for me of the vehicle she is trailing if it is visible.

  • Specific scent article search.The basic article search certification is all items/potential evidence that has human scent on it.I took it further and could have Kobe search for a specific object only, and or all objects touched by a specific person.

  • Scent Article to Vehicle Identification.Similar to old fashioned human lineups only harder.I started playing with this when an actual ongoing case had a hitch in their evidence chain being a vehicle the suspect was in that was towed to a non-police lot.Based on the circumstances of that case I taught Kobe to take the scent of her subject and ID the vehicle the person was in.Never used it, but it did come into play once on a case where someone’s pet was picked up and Kobe ID’ed the vehicle in the neighborhood.

  • Shortly after the above a child died when searchers, including dogs, missed the child in a trunk of a vehicle.So I even further refined her vehicle search work so if I ever had a search like that my dogs would not miss finding the scent locked in the trunk.   

  • Building searches.I did extensive work in buildings with Kobe and she became amazingly fast and efficient.She never missed someone hiding no matter how small he or she was or how hard he or she tried to hide.She was fast but very detailed at clearing buildings.Her brother Two-Way was faster then Kobe but not as detailed, so at times I worked them together.If I had a very small child hiding I would use Kobe, if I had an earthquake and needed to clear a school I would use Two-way.Having that choice was very effective.

     

    I have done my research and know of no other dog with this kind of training rolled up into one dog.  Kobe was exceptional and I hope one day I will have another dog half as amazing as she was.  It takes many years and continuous training to hone those kinds of skills, but it is very rewarding.  There was not much in the way of scent work that Kobe could not do.  Any new thing I started with her, she was more than ready and enthusiastic to learn something new.  In any given trail Kobe could tell me an entire story of what happened, and I often did blind training to keep up my skills in reading her story strong.  I could tell you where the subject peed, where they sat or laid down, or where they ate, who they hugged, things they touched, and even what doorknob they turned.  This dog was beyond amazing.  We were so tuned into each other I could even tell you that someone was unreachable to her based on refind alert.  It was different when she was unable to reach her subject.  I could tell when I was very close because her refinds would get short and she would cheat and not come all the way to me if the subject was within a couple hundred feet.  Otherwise, she did full refinds.    

     

    Personal Stories:

    Lets Get Mom’s Shoe

    Kobe watched Keno and mimicked her, and mostly that started with Article Search.  When I came home she always wanted to bring me something to get her treat.  Sometimes it was my shoe, which was so cute.  She would come so proud of herself snorting with my tennis shoe in her mouth.  So from there I would tell her to go get the other one.  I would point to my shoe and tell her to go get it, and she would obediently go get my other shoe.  That expanded to me being able to show her something, and she would go get a match for it. 

     

    Snake Girl

    Kobe had a primal snake instinct.  Living on a farm means you have snakes, mostly black snakes.  In my specific area there is not so much risk of poisonous snakes thankfully, because Kobe is fast.  I found out about Kobe’s natural instinct for snakes accidentally.  On occasion while trailing, out of the blue she would jump straight up like a cat.  We would all laugh so hard but never saw anything.  We had no idea why she was jumping.  We would check the area and never saw a thing.  After a moment when she would jump like that she always appeared a bit hyper-aware, and even if something small touched her leg she would go straight up in the air again.  We figured she felt, saw, or smelled something just did not know at the time what it was.  This started when she was young- less than a year old.  

     

    One day while on the farm we were walking in the back pasture.  We had cut it for hay, and there were nice long piles of puffed up hay for the dogs to play in.  All the dogs were stalking mice and such.  Kobe had a very funny fox like way with her hunting.  She would freeze and cock her head to listen to what ever it was.  She would pin point the mouse, lean back, and leap up and stomp hard right on her mouse.  It was wild to watch.  Then she would bury her head and come up with a mouse.  She did that so much, you can imagine my surprise when she came up with a snake.  As she came up with it she started backing up rapidly while moving in a circle, and at the same time she was frapping the snake very hard from side to side, like a dog might do a tug rope.  As she frapped it, she was hitting her side with the snake so hard it was actually loud.  She did this half a dozen times and flung the snake into the air about 20 feet.  When it hit the ground she repeated it again, and then a third time but not as strongly.  She killed the snake and never even gave it a chance to bite her.  When I went to see, she was lording over her kill so very proud of her job.  I had to tell her what a good girl she was for saving us all from the garter snake.  When I touch it to make sure it was dead she chimed in to help and did a small round of frap and fling.  She would even attack snakeskins.

     

    We would never purposely allow her to kill snakes because they are actually helpful on the farm, but it still happened from time to time.  We finally understood why she jumps on the trail.  Over time I saw her attack the hay and come out with a mouthful of hay or straw, and from there on every time something touched her leg she would jump like a cat.  So, on the trail, when we see her jump we know a snake is in the area.  Seeing how I would never set it up on purpose I was never able to get a video of her, but it remains to this day the most unusual and primal thing I have ever seen a dog do.               

     

    My first certification with NAPWDA

    I took my time with Kobe’s training while trying different units in the area.  By the time I decided to go with NAPWDA, Kobe was 2 years old for her first certification.   

     

    The first funny part of this story was when I went to meet Mr. Harold “Ben” Bennett, the president of NAPWDA at the time.  Thankfully, he did not live far from me.  I had spoken to him by phone, but he agreed to meet with me at his home to discuss some unit certification dynamics with me.  Ben was gracious and invited me into his home.  While I was there, I had this idea that he had one, maybe two GSD in his home ready to eat me up.  Oddly, I saw no fence around his house that backed up to a nice pond, all in a normal neighborhood.  No kennel, no big dogs.  A pint-sized killer weighing maybe five pounds greeted me at the door.  This little Yorkie ruled that house; even Ben said she did nothing he told her to do.  Not the picture I had in my mind, but Ben was such a nice man and a plan was set up to certify all the SAR dogs in the state unit I was in at the time. Even though things changed with units, I continued using them for certification.     

     

    So Kobe was trained up, but by the time we got the plan laid out Kobe’s first certification was not until she was three years old.  Kobe’s first test day with Ben was for two scent disciplines, area search (air scent) and man trailing (scent specific), and then obedience test.  So she got three certifications her first time out.  But being three, she was fully trained.  Kobe easily completed obedience and area search, and then we went on to man trailing.  At the time they had the levels so I went for novice first.  We moved to a new area of the park for the man-trailing test, and Ben set up our runner before I got there.  When it was time, I was given a starting area and off Kobe and I went.  I had one flanker with me, Barb, being one of my new teams in training in the unit.  Kobe was taking me through the woods and I was so tuned in to her I almost did not notice both Barb and Ben were no longer following me but where now about 100 feet behind me.  I wondered why they were doing that and if I was going the wrong way, but I trusted Kobe so I kept to my task.  Kobe easily made her find. 

     

    Later I found out that when they had stopped, Ben asked Barb questioningly how much experience I had, and how much training Kobe had.  He knew from what I told him we had been working on this for a few years so was puzzled, but Barb assured Ben that Kobe and I knew what we were doing and to trust us.  Ben still hung back and Kobe made her find.  Barb said Ben was shocked, and when we all came together Ben came clean on why he was acting like he was.  Ben said the reason he stopped in the woods, questioned Barbara and was shocked we made a find was because he thought the runner was on the other side of the road.   

     

    Ben laughed and told me when he gave instructions to the runner he used a left and right term to someone who was facing him, which for them was the opposite direction.  Ben thought I was going the wrong way and figured any minute the dog would correct her direction.  I was proud when Ben told me that was impressive that I did not let them influence what I did, and that I trusted my dog.  He wished all the officers he worked with would trust their dogs like that.  That novice test was way too easy for Kobe, so four months later we passed the expert test.  I naturally trust my dogs, but Ben put emphasis on that point and I have always taken that with to ensure I always trust my dog, and they have never failed me.