Phone #: 601-573-3449
Mission Statement: By using appropriate performance testing and selective breeding, American Sentinel K9, LLC strives to provide individuals and families with safe, stable protection dogs that have the genetic components required to develop into highly effective family companion guardian K9s with minimal proper training, and truly excel when advanced training is provided.
About the breeder at American Sentinel K9, LLC - H. Lee Robinson, M.S.
The Declaration of Independence acknowledges certain unalienable rights, and specifically mentions our rights to life, liberty (freedom), the pursuit of happiness. A quality dog not only serves as a great companion, but also helps protect these rights. The loyalty offered by a good dog is unmatched, which is why they are often referred to as "man's best friend." It takes both experience and education to develop a true knowledge and understanding of a subject.
Animals do not define behavior or genetics. Definitions are just words. Many people can understand words, but can they recognize what is going on? Animals cannot tell you what they are thinking in words, they display behavior and phenotypes that are defined by their experiences and genetics. We have to take what we see the animals display, and define these observations with words. Experience provides the "display" component. Education provides the "definitions" component. By developing our education and experience, we build upon the knowledge acquired by those that came before us, and develop our own understanding...and only after true understanding begins to occur is the proper application of true knowledge possible. Too many newbies simply have not yet invested the time, research, education, and/or experience to really develop the knowledge that they often think they have, which creates unnecessary hurdles in their achievements. (For more details on animal behavior, click here.)
In my private and professional studies, I began to realize the best performing domesticated animals were produced by people that 1. accepted limitations of man's abilities and 2. removed delusional mindset often created by wishful thinkers. Throughout history, the best breeders of performance animals yielded to reality and accepted the practices of natural selection. Natural selection is based on the concepts of survival of the fittest. What I mean by this is...Simply because we want something to be so, doesn't make it true. If we want success, we cannot be kennel blind or just wish something into existence. Producing quality takes work...and a lot of it. Desire is not enough. To get the best, we have to select for the best, and to do that we have to place the performance of the desired task above all other criteria.
People have purposefully mutated many breeds of dogs and then try to justify it by stating they are "breeding to the standard." Have you ever noticed that registered "working breeds" are almost always owned and bred by people that do not work their dogs? It is delusional to think one can produce working dogs without actually working them. One cannot simply speak performance into existence. We are not gods here, and hoping is not going to cut it. When breeding working dogs, we should put stability, ability, and health over all else. Ironically, many "working dog" breeders purposefully produce dogs towards a mutated standard knowing the dogs are unable to perform the most basic aspects of life. If you doubt this, look at the Neapolitan Mastiff, Chinese Shar-pei, or the English Bulldog, neither of which is a functional dog anymore. These are just two of many examples of dogs ruined by poor breeding. Such dogs are plagued with genetic diseases caused by traits that are described as desirable in poorly written standard, turning working breeds into gargoyles and nothing more than shadows of what they once were before technology began replacing them. Breeders of such animals lie to themselves and justify such practices, meanwhile they deny the truth that sits in front of them. The overall well being of such canine companions is completely ignored. Dogs obviously do not wish to be imprisoned within mutated bodies and genetic disorders.
People have also continually tried to find short cuts to replace performance testing, but the truth lies in what works. There are no short cuts to replace performance testing. Be it milk production in dairy cows or the speed of a greyhound, actual performance testing for the desired task is the only way to truly and objectively measure performance. If you want to include other tests, such as some lab tests, fine...but do not let those tests replace good old fashioned performance selection. It should be noted that the healthiest breeds on the planet were produced by performance testing, and that is because when it comes time to work, only the strongest and healthiest specimens routinely win.
Breeding selection within the gene pool in nature is controlled by "natural selection." Although breeding animals within captivity is technically called "artificial selection," by using performance criteria to select breeding stock we are able to model the process of "natural selection" and achieve our goals...even when our goals are different than what would be best in nature. In the wild, the selected task is survival in nature, but in captivity the selected tasks are often set by the breeder. Breeders should ask themselves, "what is my goal?" If one desires performance, then they need to breed for it! "Beat'em in the brood box" so to speak. If you desire to produce performance animals, don't select for head size. Selecting for head size will get you head size. Selecting for blue will get you blue. Selecting for hip scores will get you hip scores. Selecting for loose skin will get you loose skin (and likely skin disease as well). All the above methods are selecting for a form or a type, but not a function. The answer to producing quality living beings is very simple...To get performance, you have to start by selecting for performance. This is the practice at American Sentinel K9, LCC! The American Sentinel Canine line of bandogs perform as family companions and as guardians...hence the reference to the "family companion guardian" alias.
One of the finest lessons I learned runs parallel with the thoughts of a great dog man, Bert Sorrells, who for decades produced one of the finest lines of working dogs that existed. Bert Sorrells' knowledge of working dogs is extensive, and he is well known for producing dogs that excel in truly competitive performance measures. According to Mr. Sorrells,
If you want to produce dogs that perform, you breed dogs that perform. You can't make excuses for why a dog fails, and then try to justify breeding it. This will only produce more dogs that fail. If a dog is consistently a strong performer though, you can make allowances for things you don't really like if you wish to breed this dog. The difference between "excuses" and "allowances" is determined by performance. Excuses are made for losers. Allowances are made for winners.
For a breeder that desires performance, it doesn't matter how the dog over comes the challenges to perform. All that really matters is if the dog is a consistent performer or not. Breeders that consistently produce dogs that consistently perform do not make excuses for dogs that consistently fail. Dogs that don't perform have to be removed from the breeding program (gene pool) regardless of how much we like certain things about them. And, dogs that consistently perform well can be bred (given they have appropriate temperaments) if we wish to breed them regardless of if we like everything about them or not. Breeders have to decide what traits they are going to select for. If a breeder measures performance as a trait, and selects on this basis, then the breeder is more likely to produce dogs that perform.
This is what we strive to do at American Sentinel K9, LLC, as I agree with Mr. Sorrells completely. He also stated that you have to decide what performance features you desire to obtain and be clear about that goal. During our discussion he referenced to desired selection measures being set by the "traits," and for performance dogs the expression of these traits are to be measured by performance criteria in order to maintain objectivity just as if we are doing scientific experiments. Sure we should see and observe...and we know what we know...but we shouldn't let our knowledge lead to speculation...and we should accept the performance truths as they present themselves (assuming data is fairly represented). Bert knows dogs and knows what he is talking about. The use of this thinking though shouldn't be used just because he stated it though...it should be used because he is right.
The pressures placed upon a species by natural selection determines how a species "evolves." If a dog fails the test, it is "not breed worthy"...and it does not matter why the dog fails. Don't excuse the failure. If a dog does perform and it doesn't matter why the dog succeeds, then the dog "is breed worthy" if you choose to breed it. If you select for non-performance goals (blue coat, head size, hip scores, etc), don't expect to produce performance dogs as these traits don't ensure performance. And, if you want performance, then performance measures need to be your selection pressures...not anything else. Would you breed a dog for a "big head" or a "blue coat?" Although there is nothing wrong with these traits per say, balance must be maintained and measured by performance. If these traits exist in your performing dog, that is fine, but to produce performance dogs you can't select a dog just because a dog expresses a particular physical feature within its phenotype. And if we start looking for "other traits" besides performance then we will often loose our objectivity into accepting the truth as it is presented. This type of thinking is why many show breeders have ruined or are ruining so many working dogs. It is happening today because the strong voices of ignorant show breeders influence many uninformed people...and without in depth thinking on such issues the blind quickly follow the blind assuming that if these things are popular they must be correct.
Performance selection will remove for any reason of failure...be it temperament, angulation, tendons, ligaments, muscles, drives, cardiovascular, respiratory, and the most important nervous system. Performance is obtained by a combination of features. To "test" for all of the needed features for performance we would first have to be able to... 1. Recognize all of the contributing factors of performance instead of simply looking at the performance results (the sum result) AND 2. Have a test for ALL (hundreds, if not thousands) of each individual component. Obviously, this is not only impractical, but it is impossible. Instead just select for performance and you will end up combining working gene pools together and improve the dogs rather than "improving" the paper work.