I am a biologist at heart, and I have always had an extreme interest in animal behavior. It is for this reason that I chose to own dogs, train dogs, breed dogs, and teach biology and genetics. It is part of who I am. Many of my political views and business views are based off of concepts of animal behavior as they are observed in nature...such as relationships between organisms.
Mutualism - both parties benefit. "Win:Win"
Commensalism - one party benefits, but the other is not affected. "Win:No Effect" (If you can benefit from us at no expense to us, that is fine.)
Parasitism (or predator/prey) - one party benefits at the expense of the other. "Win:Lose"
By studying nature, the key components of successful relationships become obvious. Stephen Covey, the author of the best seller "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," also noted the same basic concepts in business relationships and noted it as "Think Win:Win" of the seven steps in his book. To do this, one also has to as he said "seek first to understand, then to be understood." It seems what is obvious to me and many others is not so obvious to many others, for almost every week I experience a reoccurring problem...which is...someone requesting my time, my work, my money, or a dog for free. As a result, it is with great reservation I created this page, for when you tell someone "No," they often get offended. So, with that said, I chose to make a page NOT about anyone in particular, but instead about a behavior in hopes of addressing this reoccurring problem...for I do NOT wish to offend anyone. Instead, I hope to teach the lesson of "win:win" and "first to understand, then be understood" to those that wish to address me, so they too can seek a "win:win."
Seeking first to understand, then to be understood
My time is greatly limited, my work requires a skill set or knowledge, my money which is already dedicated to my obligations, and my dogs which are the foundation to our future breeding and training goals. If I give these things away without something coming back to benefit me, then I am not going to obtain my goals. My goals are important to me. I have spent over $250,000 and decades of my life to create my program. This has value, and I cannot give it away. Some lines of my dogs have taken me decades to create. If I give any of these things away, I won't be able to sustain the future decades of work and debts. I have to sustain my goal. By understanding this, hopefully those that inquire about getting my time, my work, my money, or my dogs for free will now "first understand" why I cannot give my resources away. My time, my dogs, and my family are all important to me. It is that simple. I cannot contact the vet, the feed store, or the water company and say, "can you donate your resources to me, since I donated mine to someone?" That does not work very well. What does work well is me paying my debts. I have always done this, and plan on making sure I will be able to do so in the future. This, in my opinion, is the responsibility of a business, a husband, and a father.
I can however make trades that allow us both to win. If you contacted me for my time, my work, my money, or my dogs, then I have to assume you came to me because you think I have something that can benefit you. That is great. I am glad you think positively about us and our program. I would NEVER want to take advantage of you. Using people is fine, but misusing them is not acceptable. I never want to be guilty of the sin of misusing someone. I pay my teachers. I pay my workers. I pay for the dogs I bought. If you have some set of skills or resources that benefit us, feel free to tell us about what it is you offer if you would like to make a trade for my time, my work, my money, or my dogs, then we welcome you to approach us...but when you do so, please remember that we both need to win. I do NOT want you to lose, nor do I want to lose. Often times various expenses come up. Please think about your expenses and my expenses before you approach us with your idea. I am not a young man that just started breeding dogs, and I am very familiar with many of the expenses that occur in this line of work, so if you are unaware of such expenses, please be understanding as I explain them to you. I am also aware that just as I had expenses, work, education, money, and time invested in our program...so do you...but trades cannot be made on an "IOU" basis prior to the establishment of a sound trusting relationship. If you want me to trust you, I have to see evidence in our relationship that establishes validation of such trust. Until that occurs, trades need to occur simultaneously...not based on promises such as, "If you give me this now, I will do this for you later."
For "my time:"
Many breeders and pet owners contact me wanting advise on how to train or breed their dogs. Honestly, I do not wish to charge a "consultation fee" for minor questions, but if you wish to repeatedly contact me and take hours of my time away from my goals for your benefit, knowledge, problems, or goals...please consider the possibility that a consultation fee may be worth considering. Trainers are paid for their time. If you find this unreasonable, I recommend reviewing Google OR reviewing our website. You may find all you need to know there. Thank you.
For "my work:"
I am often asked about my kennels, leashes, collars, posts...if I make them. The answer to all these is, "Yes, I did." That said, I am not a licensed contractor. My kennels were designed by me. I designed them the way I did to address the husbandry requirements I need met. That said, I do not have drafting plans on them. I had a vision, and put it together. If you want me to explain the set up to you, I would have to draft it out for anyone to follow. My collars, leashes, back ties...etc...those are available on my website under the "Built2Last" tab on the left.
For "my money:"
Yes, I have actually had people ask me if I would finance their kennels or dog purchases...saying they would give me monthly payments to pay off their debt. No way. I am not in the banking business. If you need a loan, take that up with people that loan money. I have my own bills and financial goals. I cannot be responsible for yours.
For "my dogs:"
I am often contacted by people asking for a free dog. Some want a dog to breed to...
promising me a puppy. To them I say, if wanted to expand my program with new blood, I would contact someone with exactly what it was I was looking for.
promising a title. To them I say, buy a dog. Get a title. If the dog was good enough to title, you got a good dog, which is what you paid for. After you get a title on one of my dogs, then I may give you a second dog should you want one...but that depends on a few things. Was the title you got a respected title with significant demands that help validate our program? Is there video of it? If so, then great...we can entertain this. If you have never titled a dog before, then I cannot even consider giving you a dog until after the title on one of my dogs is obtained. If you have titled a dog before, then you know the value of a good dog.
Deposits can only be listed after some type of "win:win" terms have been met...be a deposit, a legitimate title meeting the requirements, or a replacement of a previous dog as per a previous contractual agreement.
In short, there is no such thing as "free." We may however be able to provide you with some type of service with minimal "out of pocket" expense should you have something else worthy of trade besides financial payment. Whatever it is you seek from us, we hope we can provide you with what it is you are looking for, but require that whatever agreement we come to is a "win:win." There is no free lunch for us or you...not here. If either one of us feel like they are getting the "short end of the stick," then we should not enter any such agreement. We do not want a "lose:win" or a "win:lose." We want "win:win." We want success for everyone.
Thank you for your consideration.
American Sentinel K9, LLC - Creator of the American Sentinel as the premier family K9 companion guardian. The American Sentinel is the most tested and proven bandog in existence today, and performs very well in protection applications or as a canine hunter of dangerous wild game, such as wild boar.