Case Studies – Protection

Protection Case Studies 

             Relevant videos of dog’s training will be added. Tips and ideas shall be part of the footage contributed so that it helps your progress and understanding of the content of the books.

                                                            Please subscribe so that you are notified when this occurs. In the meantime, please feel free to read some of the testimonials below

Ability To Communicate With People Makes You One of The Ultimate People To Learn From

I just wanted to drop a note to say thank you and to congratulate you on running an excellent dog training seminar. I feel privileged to have been one of the first to attend your seminars which I am sure will become a regular event for everybody who wants to learn all about dogs and dog training. The information you provided was very in depth and sometimes very technical, but you put it across in such a friendly and open way that everybody could understand it, you also made sure everyone understood the concepts before you moved on. Your knowledge and experience is second to none and your .

The “hands on” part of your seminar makes the 3 days very enjoyable and certainly is a great way to reinforce what we have just learnt in the lecture room. This allowed us to communicate things about our own dogs training and reinforced the concepts you had shown us. Your methods and techniques are proven and really highlight how to communicate with dogs in a very clear and precise way. I highly recommend your seminars to anybody that wants to learn about dog training and I look forward to attending many more of your sessions in the future.

Steve Lamplough
Melbourne Australia

Knowledge and Enthusiasm In Breeding and Training Dogs Are Limitless

I first met Kris at a Schutzhund trial here in W.A. and was immediately impressed, especially in someone so young, with his knowledge and experience with canines, (particularly Dobermanns and German Shepherd Dogs ). Since then I would consider Kris as a very good friend and through him I have met, on several occasions, the dog trainers from A.D.T. who also impressed me with their knowledge of protection and obedience training.

I have recently established a security company specializing in canines here in Perth and help and advice that Kris, Jimmy and Boyd have freely given has been a major factoring my company’s success. On a personal level I have found Kris to be someone of high ideas and standards quite frank and honest, which is becoming increasingly rare these days. It is these qualities that have established him as a professional and credible dog person.

I have met Kris’s family and have found them to be supportive and understanding of his ways. Tonia his wife is a pillar of power. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Kris and Von Forell Kennels to anyone as his wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm in breeding and training dog are limitless.

Dennis Gallacher
Western Australia

Not The Type of Person That Keeps All That Knowledge To Himself

My name is Peter O’Dowd, I worked for the Department of Justice as an Operations Manager with the Security & Emergency Services Group. One of my portfolio responsibilities is managing the K9 section for the Security & Emergency Services Group. Through this portfolio I met Kris Kotsopoulos from Von Forell Kennels. I have now known and had business dealings with Kris for the past five years. In this time I have developed the greatest respect for Kris as a businessman, but most of all as a person.

My respect for Kris as a person has come from listening to him talk about K9’s, as he has a wealth of knowledge in breading and training. Kris is not the type of person that keeps all that knowledge to himself but is always willing to pass the knowledge on to anybody having behavioral problems with their K9’s. This knowledge is freely passed on because of his love and respect of K9’s. In my role of sourcing K9’s for the Security & Emergency Services Group, I have always found Kris to be professional, reliable and honest in all business dealings.

Peter O’Dowd
Victorian Corrections

Most Informative Seminar’s I Have Ever Attended

This is a well over due thank you for your help from both a personal view as well as a professional perspective. From the first time you came to New Zealand and held a seminar for Dogsport NZ Inc. I’ve been impressed with the intense passion you show for not only the sport but the whole package, from your immense knowledge and understanding of genetics and bloodlines within both the German Shepherds and Doberman breed. The research that has gone into the raising of puppies though to adulthood alone highlights the attention to detail and the lengths you have gone to in your attempts to consistently produce a superior working dog. It’s a shame more breeders don’t put the work into this area, there would be huge numbers of puppies over the years that have never reached their potential purely due to people’s lack of understanding in this area alone.

Hopefully in the very near future Dogsport NZ will have you out here again to hold another training seminar; personally I feel the first of your seminars I went to was for me one of the most informative seminar’s I have ever attended. Currently we have a number of members that would benefit greatly by getting you to conduct a seminar, from helpers of varying standards (including myself) to handlers that would like to compete at a very high level within the sport. Also helping some of our members understand more regarding imprinting, socialization and behavioural modifications.

Even explaining to members the value of the correct diet programme for the working German Shepherd, something I know you have done a great deal of work on. Kris I feel your  passion and enthusiasm as well as your phenomenal desire to understand and succeed in every aspect of your obsession can only motivate and excite our members. On a professional basis on behalf of myself and the Government Department I work for here in New Zealand I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for helping to set up our Detector Dog breeding programme, after several litters there is no doubt that your breeding recommendations as well as your information on the socializing and imprinting has played a vital role in the future of the programme.

Finally I’d like to thank you for the hospitality you have shown on my numerous trips to Melbourne, the many hours you have taken out of your busy schedule to talk and share your innovative and smart training ideas. Your time has been very much appreciated.

Pete Crocker
President Dog Sport New Zealand

Tricks and Trades Can Be Copied, Imitated, and Impress Some People, But Being Cannot Be Faked

Talent is nothing without coaching. Anyone who is involved in a high level of competitive sport understands that having a great coach is just as crucial as having talent. I am very fortunate because I have two such coaches.

I remember when I first started my career in Schutzhund, I was a rough diamond with a thousand sharp edges, too ready to prove, too stubborn to listen. Kris Kotsopoulos and Jim Tokis recognized my burning desire and took me under their wings. Thinking back, in the three years I spent with them, they are a lot more than just coaches to me. They are my mentors, who harnessed my talent, showed me the ways to bring out the best of my dogs, and more importantly, they taught me the only way to be a winner, is being a winner in your heart.

Tricks and trades can be copied, imitated, and impress some people, but being cannot be faked. Jim and Kris truly understand how to bring out the best of each handler and dog, not only in his physical skills, but in his mindset and attitude, to be the victor he dreams to be. They offered me a precious gift that I now have in the rest of my life. I highly recommend their system and teaching.

Felix Ho
Belgium

Wealth of Information on Working Line German Shepherds

My name is James Craig and I am a police officer currently working within the Public Order Response Team. I first discovered Von Forell Kennel whilst investigating working line German Shepherds for the Police Department with a vision of expanding the current Police Dog Unit.

I contacted the Von Forell Kennel and Kris Kotsopoulos in early 2009 and I found him to be a wealth of information on working line German Shepherds which included handling, attitude, dog temperament, environment and genetics just to name a few. After much discussion I visited the Von Forell Kennel facilities in Melbourne, Victoria in June 2009 myself and witnessed Kris Kotsopoulos working a wide and varied range of working dogs at different stages of there development. Whilst at the facility I was pleased to experience an extremely high level of professionalism from both Kris and Tonia Kotsopoulos and the facility to be first class.

Since this initial contact and meeting I have kept regular contact via telephone and email. Kris is always happy to answer any questions and enquiries that I may have in relation to my project and offer me sound advice in relation to working line German Shepherds.In September 2009 I was given the opportunity by to handle and work Von Forell Silo prior to him joining the South Australia Special Operations Group in Port Lincoln, South Australia.

I worked Von Forell Silo for approximately two months and found him to be an absolute credit to Kris and Tonia Kotsopoulos and the Von Forell Kennel breeding/training program they have implemented. I keep regular contact with Kris and Tonia Kotsopoulos at Von Forell Kennel and have no hesitation in recommending the Von Forell Kennel. Their passion for working dogs along with there professionalism and knowledge is outstanding and I look forward to a long and ongoing relationship with Von Forell Kennel in the future.

James Craig
Constable 2705 Public Order Response Team Tasmania

One of The Most Knowledgeable People I Have Ever Met

I first met Kris Kotsopoulos from Von Forell Australia about 20 years ago. In that time, what was originally a training / club association has now become a great friendship based on mutual trust and respect. Whilst our breed preferences differ we have a mutual passion for working dogs; both training and breeding. Kris is one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met when it comes to the subject of working dogs, their training, breeding, raising etc.

Kris has been an enormous help to the establishment of Seeuferhause Rottweilers (my rottweiler breeding Kennel). Despite not having intimate knowledge of the rottweiler bloodlines, through his exceptional understanding of dog behaviour / genetics, he has been able to provide guidance on the potential pairings that will bring about the results we are looking for.

There have been many informal discussions that we have had over a coffee or dinner that have been more fruitful than any lecture you could attend. Given this extraordinary value that he willingly gives in a few short social hours I can only imagine the wisdom and knowledge that he will impart to participants in his developed educational seminars; the mind boggles!! I certainly look forward to those related to breeding, puppy socialisation and learning sequences.

Kris is an exceptional individual that I would liken to a perfectionist in every facet of his life; extraordinarily successful in business and his private life, those standards of excellence quite clearly transcend his efforts in the dog world. Kris is a most successful breeder of German Shepherds and Doberman’s. His reputation for excellence is widespread. Even his detractors have had some influence in their lives from the work that Kris has carried out over the years.

I have no reservation in referring Seeuferhause Rottweiler puppy clients to Kris for assistance with training needs and or dog equipment requirements. Kris is the only trainer that I would trust to develop my dog’s full potential and one of the few who I trust implicitly with all matters regarding my breeding program.

Kris and his wife Tonia Kotsopoulos are two people on mission and those who are fortunate enough to be part of that journey will benefit greatly.

Laurie Boutzetis

A Great Understanding and Knowledge of How The Dogs Mind Works

In November 2009 we completed a “Clear Canine Communication” Workshop with Kris Kotsopoulos from Von Forell Kennels. Throughout this workshop Kris explained and demonstrated the fundamentals of dog behavior, training and animal learning systems. This is was an excellent introduction and refresher to the dog training world. Recently I attended a Decoy/Protection Dog Seminar with Kris as a follow up course to the previous workshop. This seminar was directed at helping a decoy, read the dog’s behavior utilizing all the  different drives dogs use in this type of work. As a decoy this is critical information necessary in training dogs correctly.

Kris has a great understanding and knowledge of how the dogs mind works. His ability to convey and demonstrate this is excellent. In an effort to display this information Kris uses powerful presentations and plenty of hands on work with various Decoys and a variety of dogs with varying character traits.

This 3 day Workshop / Seminar is a must for anyone who wishes to start their decoy career or any experienced decoy to further their knowledge and skills.
Kris and Tonia have created a very friendly, inviting learning environment. The seminar and conference room is very well presented and comfortable, with large screens making it easy to view the presentations.

Finally a huge thanks to Tonia for the constant supply of food and refreshments. I would like to thank Kris and Tonia for their professionalism, inspiration and knowledge that they have shown Elaine and myself. The kindness and support we have received is outstanding.

Excellent weekend, highly recommended.

Scott and Elaine Edwards
Newcastle Australia

My name is James CRAIG and I am a police officer currently working within the Public Order Response Team. On the 9th, 10th and 11th of April 2010 I participated in the Von Forell K9 Education, Decoy, Helper, Protection Dog Workshop Instructed by the Managing Director of Von Forell Kennel, Australia.

The workshop was structured in such a way that it gave all participants a precise insight into the functions of the decoy, helper, and protection dog. The advanced depth of information contained within the workshop was found to be both up to date as well as being presented in a clear and logical manner making the education process for all participants a satisfying learning experience. The Von Forell Decoy, Helper, Protection Dog Workshop was presented at Von Forell Kennel, Canine Education and Training facility which was found to be first class and catered for all participants individual and educational requirements.

I would recommend any organisation or individual wanting to expand there own knowledge and capabilities to consider the Von Forell Education Program.

James Craig
Tasmania

The Practical Side of The Training Was linked Perfectly To What We Were Learning

I would just like to say a very heartfelt Thank You for the seminar that I have just attended in Protection and Decoy work. The information was delivered in an open way with opinions welcomed, encouraged and explored.  The theory was easy to follow and well explained and the practical side of the training was linked perfectly to what we were learning. I enjoyed the way you imparted your knowledge, the openness in the way you encouraged us to question you and the clarity in the way you explained things.  I know that 3 days in that environment has made me a better trainer and reiterated that dog training really is ALL about the dog.

When you train with the dogs best interest and see things from the dogs perspective, you become a better trainer, handler and you end up in a better position to impart your knowledge and to help the dog decide on the best way for it to learn.  The live demonstrations were done well and it was fantastic to see the dogs learn each time they came out to work. I am looking forward to staying in touch with you, building on what I have learnt and putting it all into real life training.

Thank you once again.

Brent Dry
Melbourne Australia

Your Willingness To Share It Openly Can Only Encourage a Wiser Dog Community

I would like to express my gratitude to you for putting on such an informative and professional seminar. Your knowledge and experience is invaluable and your willingness to share it openly can only encourage a wiser dog community. It was fantastic to see the dogs on demonstration improve greatly with your gentle guidance to the handlers, helping them to communicate to their dogs on a clearer level and building the dogs confidence and relationship in each particular exercise.

As the only female participant that can be a male dominated area, I was pleased to find that my opinions and knowledge was excepted as eagerly as my male peers. The openness in discussion and the joint frame of minds in doing what is in the dogs best interest should be the bench mark for a positive future for all interested in canine behaviour. What an awesome weekend that was full of inspiring knowledge, good fun and what I hope to be long respectful friendships with all involved.

This testimonial only covers a fragment of my enjoyment over the past 3 days.

Catherine Saunders
Melbourne Australia

My Only Beef Is That The Course Was a Touch Short, Another Week Would Be Great!

I am writing briefly to say quick thanks for the decoy workshop you hosted in late march at your training facility. As someone who was completely “green” (for want of a better word), in relation to working dogs, and dogs psychology etc, the course was invaluable in broadening my knowledge base of the working dog, and greatly assisted my handling skills with a noticeable difference almost immediately.

The course was relaxed, an open discussion forum, and quick, and proactive learning was both encouraged and received. Items on the agenda were addressed clearly and concisely and each point was discussed in detail till each student had an understanding of what was involved. Being able to back the theory side of things up with a practical component, and also referring back to older video footage when needed so the students  can see what’s happening from a third person point of view was also fantastic.  My only beef is that the course was a touch short. I’m quite sure I could have spent another week there working the dogs and talking shop, as could we all. I would strongly recommend Von Forell courses to those that have an intense desire to work their animals, form bonds and mutually beneficial relationships between both animal and handler. The trip alone is worth the visit simply to view the training facility. In a word – Fantastic!

I look forward to attending further courses both on my own, and with Cicca, and your insight and advice on how to proceed with my own goals has been invaluable in helping me move forward much faster than I originally anticipated.

I look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship.

Christopher Grice
Western Australia

Was Absolutely Superior To Anything I Have Experienced In This Field To Date

This is just a short note to express my gratitude for your hospitality over the weekend whilst attending your ‘Decoy One’ seminar.

Kris’ presentations were equally visual and academic, and I especially appreciated the way vintage footage of some of the world’s most famous working dogs was utilised to facilitate parts of the learning.  The short formal theory and discussion sessions followed by the intensive practical workshops and demonstrations really made the days fly, and allowed us all to put into action and understanding the material we had just covered in a relatively immediate fashion. Though I have attended many seminars on the subjects of canine behaviour and training before, I feel that the format that Von Forell Kennels used was absolutely superior to anything I have experienced in this field to date.  I am sure that none of the attendees expected comfortable leather chairs, a giant plasma screen, or a dedicated conference area to be provided for them.

Even though I have been training dogs professionally for just shy of a decade now and came to the seminar with a great deal of experience, I found that I was constantly finding new approaches and ways to employ the skills I already have.  It speaks volumes of the curriculum that experienced professionals, rank amateur handlers, and pet dog owners alike all seemed to benefit significantly from their participation whilst having a brilliant time. Apart from the presentation and format, the thing that struck me most was the overall vibe among the attendees; everybody seemed to be ‘on the same page’, which truly engendered a vibe much more akin to that which I have experienced at the personal development seminars I have attended!

The overwhelming sense of community, open-mindedness and support among participants was entirely unique to me in this context, and I am happy to say that I think most of us (if not all) will be keeping in contact with each other and making the effort to train and learn together into the future, despite the distances involved.

Kudos to you both, and definitely count me in for any future learning experiences you have to offer.

Brad Griggs
Melbourne Australia

The Training Is Clear, Concise and Logical

We would like to make the following comments and observations:

  1. The training is well-constructed, and well thought-out, and can find immediate practical application in your own training.
  2. The training is clear, concise and logical, and fits our current knowledge in science.
  3. Students are encouraged to contribute, and the interactive lectures are intense and highly rewarding.
  4. The knowledge that students bring can be expressed freely, and those without knowledge are gently encouraged to participate.
  5. The facilities are excellent, and reminiscent of some wonderful places in Europe.
  6. Notably, Kris and Tonia are direct, welcoming, and generous with their time.

Again, we would encourage all dog trainers to receive the excellent training available at the kennels.

Harry & Seth Pywell
Western Australia

I Have a New Found Respect For People Like Yourself

I would like to thank you for coming over to Perth and run one of your Decoy Dog Workshop’s in February this year. I have been around dogs all my life but have had the impression that I am confident with dogs and know what they can do, from a pet at home to working dogs in security. Well after your workshop I have a new found respect for people like yourself and the dogs you produce for work and breeding, because I understand that any dog can be trained to do almost anything as long as they have the correct genetics and training from their early stages in life. The workshop has opened my mind to the endlessness of what we can achieve with our dogs if we start off on the right path, and follow the correct training principals to achieve our goals, which is where I am intending to go after your workshop. I know my dog is not what I am looking for (for Security Work) and I am now on the lookout for a dog that is more suited for this work where we can provide Functional and Professional standards of work for our dogs.

The workshop has also given me more insight into the training of these dogs and how simple it is when it’s done with experienced trainers, with also the correct tools for training. I will be looking forward to any other workshops on offer, when I am able to attend.

Fantastic workshop and will recommend these to everyone!

Robert Stevens
Western Australia

An Inspiration For Anyone Who Would Like To Expand Their Knowledge and Understanding

Prior to attending my first Workshop at Von Forells’ in December 2010, I was unaware of the huge challenge we face in Australia breeding and training a true working line of dog, whether it be Shepherds, Dobermans or any other canine chosen for its service capabilities. Kris’ workshop brought into perspective for me how wide the gap truly is and how hard he is working to bridge that gap, especially between breeders and trainers. His emphasis on education of breeders, trainers and dog owners is second to none and inspiring for its honesty and unbelievable ocean of experience and knowledge. To be able to see some of his dogs in action was a real eye opener and allowed me to understand the differences between prey-driven dogs and confidence-based aggression.

In February 2011 we were fortunate enough to have Kris come to Western Australia and run a Decoy Workshop where we could utilise our own dogs. Once again his vast knowledge and training methods surpassed anything I have experienced previously. Having Kris take the time to work my own dog and point out his weaknesses and strengths was invaluable. The division between show lines and working lines becoming even more apparent to me – owning a show line shepherd myself.

However having Kris take the time to work with him and over the course of 2 days take him from uncertainty to a higher degree of clarity than he’s had previously was truly an honor and proof that a trainer of Kris’ caliber can make all the difference to even the non-working lines.

Kris’ workshops are an inspiration for anyone who would like to expand their knowledge and understanding of bringing together genetics and training to produce a quality working dog that can be utilised by all factions of society from households to the military. I shall certainly be seeking Kris’ guidance when the time comes to choose my next shepherd.

Thank you Kris for your dedication to the dog world and on a personal note thank you so much for taking the time with myself and my dog and showing me that with the correct handling my dog can produce so much more than he already has.

I look forward to the next workshop.

Tuhi Davies 
Western Australia

Specifically Designed a Course To Facilitate Us As a Group

We needed an effective solution to the problem of controlling and understanding our dogs. Right from the start, Kris Kotsopoulos, Director, of Von Forell Australia impressed us with his efficient, professional manner.  His approach inspired confidence whilst generating the results we were looking for, in a minimal time-frame. Kris specifically designed a course to facilitate us as a group so that we can manage our progress in a way that would benefit our direction, allowing immediate results.

Kris covered all necessary aspects of canine training that we required in a manner that enabled results faster than I would have ever expected. Because of Kris’s many years of experience and worldwide expertise, he has been able to provide us with the best result. His helpful approach and ability to impart his knowledge to us along with his instructor friendly workshop, confirmed to us that we’ve partnered with true leaders in the global canine industry.

George Woolley JP
Director Eagle Security Services (TAS) Pty Ltd – Tasmania

Don’t Worry About What Your Telling The Dog, Look At What The Dog Is Telling You

My name is Tessa Stow and I am a qualified Vet Nurse with 25 years experience.  I have for the last 10 years taught puppy school in Veterinary Clinics and have trained pet dogs for the public. I have attended many courses, for positive training, as well as many Veterinary seminars on behaviour and training.  I have read any book I could get my hands on to full fill my passion on learning dog behaviour, psychology, and training.

I found it increasingly frustrating that no-one could teach me what to do when positive training alone did not work.

I was fortunate enough to meet Kris a few years back when I was looking for a Dobermann. I always kept an eye on his website and recently discovered his dog training seminars from puppy socialisation to Law Enforcement work and everything in between. I attended a National Decoy, Helper, Protection Dog seminar as an observer.  I must admit I went with a perceived idea of how these dogs may be trained or what I was going to get out of this 2 day course, because I am knew nothing about this type of training. The first thing that interested me was that there was NO teaching the dog to be aggressive. Aggression is not what this training is about.  That became very clear very quickly. In fact two of the dogs had been trained elsewhere and were aggressive, Kris was teaching their handlers how to tone down / remove aggression and work on prey drive.

I learnt more about dog behaviour, dog response, prey drive, and dog psychology than in any book, or seminar I had been to.  Why?  Because he showed you with the different dogs and handlers. And always had question time after each session.  It was very interactive. Understanding the differences in bark and facial expression, and tail position to read a dogs mood, was a good tool to learn. Even if you do not work in the Enforcement / Security area you can see what will drive your dog and just make it fun at home to full fill your dogs need for using his prey drive, (a part of his natural instinct which we put a big limit on in pet dogs, no wonder they get frustrated!)

The few corrections I saw were very slight, not like what I have seen with check chains.  Not one dog responded with any sign of fear or pain. It just changed its behaviour and was rewarded. The calmness Kris shows around the dogs was also a great thing to watch. No handler was allowed to get frustrated or mad with their dog. “Don’t worry about what your telling the dog, look at what the dog is telling you” That will stay with me.  We all need to be able to really read our dogs. Fulfil their drives, and train fairly and calmly.

Thanks Kris, It is great to tap into the knowledge of someone with your experience, and patience. Looking forward to the next seminar.  The Kinglake pub is a great place to stay and eat too!

Tess Stow
Melbourne, Australia

Something That Has To Be Seen

I have now done a couple of Kris’ seminars / workshops and I still learn something new and with a greater understanding of the concept and application every time. Kris has honed his skills and is now quite gifted in how he presents, explains and demonstrates these very complex but significant areas of drive development and yet for the simpler and broader sense general training for your dogs.

Kris is an approachable person who takes the time to carefully listen, respond and present the topics at hand to make sure everyone has a good general understanding before moving on. Kris will give much of the time available to people and myself to further understand and build on their knowledge.

The way Kris works the dogs is something that has to be seen as he can build up dogs with a little sensitivity to a confident and even powerful dog by the end of the weekend. While working the dogs he explains what he is reading from the dog and in which direction; as a helper he needs to move and work to keep the dog in a particular state of mind to be more productive and confident, whilst maintaining a clear head to learn.

Brendan Knijf
Western Australia

Quantum Leaps In My Training Are Now At Hand

I am sure we can all agree working dogs are those that have been selectively bred to assist us in the many diverse roles which we ask of them.  In appreciation I would like to humbly thank all breeders and trainers past and present for the wealth of genetic and intellectual material that will allow me to move forward into the future. During the Von Forell workshop I developed a deeper understanding of the working dog but compassion is the foremost view that I derived from my time at Von Forell.  Until now I believed the traditional view that a dogs abilities were a direct product of both it’s genetics and training.

It is possible however for a new synergy to be achieved in a dogs performance using a system of Drive Fulfillment whereby the sum of genetics and training far exceed the outcomes previously thought possible. Sincere thanks to Kris and his team for opening my mind to these new methods and helping me on my way to becoming an extraordinary handler for extraordinary dogs.  From my new viewpoint I now take sole responsibility for the genetic potential of my dogs and will never again assign performance issues to any animal or it’s breeding.

As the saying goes a good tradesman never blames his tools.  This for me will mean working closer with breeders, detailing specific outlines of my needs and providing constructive feedback to ensure that I do not place unreasonable demands upon my dogs genetic capabilities. I have learnt to set clear goals with staged development suitable of the individual nature of each animal that will provide absolute confidence moving forward into their working career. Quantum leaps in my training are now at hand and I eagerly await a future were all working dog enthusiasts can pool together to evolve our methods for the complex demands of the 21st century.

Many thanks to all at Von Forell for your vision and compassion within the working dog community.

Matt Cooper
Tasmania

Where Do I Begin?

Hello Kris,

I’ve just found the time and the energy to write to you in an effort to express my emotions of that overwhelming, exciting and fantastic weekend I shared with you and the crew at Pets Resorts Australia. Mate where do I begin? firstly It was a pleasure meeting you in person and seeing you in action, the way you handled the dogs was beautiful your experience is phenomenal, you are the guru and that was evident in the seminar as well as in the field.

I personally think you’re on a good thing promoting seminars like these Nationally and Internationally educating people on what a good working dog is all about. Breeding – Selection and training. I so understand your philosophy as do the loyal owners of these working dogs even though early in the day I overheard a couple of people saying that it was over their head and seemed difficult, but by Sunday we were all in tune with the aim of the weekend.

I’m so looking forward to the next time we get together again (mainly so I can pick your brain) for you to teach us and show us the next chapter of raising and working these amazing animals. Keep up the good work and keep excising that Greek mind of yours.

Dimitri
 Nsw  Australia 

I Learnt More Over a Period of 48 hrs Than I Did In 12 Months of Researching The Internet. 

Dear Kris,

I would like to take this opportunity to express my very deep gratitude for your assistance.

In August 2012 I had the pleasure of purchasing an 8 week old German Shepherd Via Von Forell Kennels. From my initial contact with Kris he was extremely patient, professional and helpful. I love my dark sable Kaos, he is very intelligent, confident, loyal, self-assured, shows no fear towards foreigners or foreign object.

He is showing intelligent traits far beyond my expectations. It is one thing to have a great shepherd with solid genes, and another to be able to bring out their potential. Being fairly new and not having much experience with larger dogs, I attended Kris’ seminar in Dural NSW, where I learnt more over a period of 48hrs than I did in about 12 months of researching the Internet.

Many thanks for on going support, and the follow up phone calls making sure I was doing all the right things.

John Elias
 NSW AUSTRALIA 

So Much Knowledge of Working Dogs and How To Get The Best From Them

I attended Kris Kotsopoulos’ from Von Forell Decoy / Drive Fulfillment seminar in August 2012. There were people attending from all different backgrounds from the experienced to the novice. I got the feeling that everyone had a great weekend and learnt a lot…I know i did! Kris is a man with so much knowledge of working dogs and how to get the best from them…

Every time I am with Kris I walk away with a small ingot of Gold (a piece to the puzzle that helps my training). The venue was first class thanks to Glen and David of Pet Resorts Australia and the seminar was divided up really well between theory and great practical demonstrations.

I really like how Kris could read each dog and bring the best out of them in such a short time. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would have to rate the whole weekend as a nine…to get ten it would have to go for another day! Kris’s seminars are awesome.

Stephen Williams
 Newcastle Australia

A Tremendous Amount of Improvement

I participated in a “Decoy Seminar / Workshop” held at the Pet Resort Australia in Dural. I enjoyed this seminar immensely mainly due to the fact that it was very well presented in theory and then backed up by practical demonstrations on several dogs which clearly showed and outlined the theory. The fact that the dogs that participated, did not belong to Kris and he had never worked any of them before, underlined and proved Kris’s methods work.

It was clear to see how each practical block changed the animal’s behaviour in small increments, and at the end of the two days every participant was able to observe a tremendous amount of improvements. I would like to thank Kris for his continuous efforts and commitment to help and guide dog trainers so that they improve their training skills and outcomes.

A special thanks to Kris for his openness, honesty and easy to understand training methods and most of all his willingness to show, explain and teach it to anyone that wants to listen. It is something everyone should take notice of as I have not yet come across anyone in this country who is willing to share such valuable information in such detail.

I would recommend Kris and his training methods to anyone, dog owners and trainers. I am looking forward to participate in upcoming workshops.

Bruno Grutzner
NSW Australia

Complete and Utmost Honesty. A Trait That Is Rarely Seen In The Dog World

I attended a decoy training seminar that was presented by Kris Kotsopoulos of Von Forell Precision Training. The seminar was held at Pet Resorts Australia, Dural NSW. The workshop was based on TRAINING and MENTAL TACTICS for WORKING DOGS. The information and knowledge that I received from the weekend was tremendous. All instructions were clear and informative. Kris very openly answered all questions that were asked by all through out the weekend. They were answered with his complete and utmost honesty. This, in my opinion is a trait that is rarely seen in the working dog world and something that I had never en-counted until I participated in this great event.

All of Kris’s decoy work was timed to perfection and precise. His training tactics and methods were something that I had not seen anyone employ here in this country before. This to me shows Kris’s extreme dedication to dog training here in Australia to keep all us working dog enthusiast’s up to date with the training methods which are used all over the world.

I cant thank Kris enough for all the knowledge that I obtained over the weekend. I highly recommend this seminar and the many others that Kris and Von Forell present.

Loz Bezzina
NSW Australia

Kris Gave Me Immediate Solutions To All My Problems

I am a German Shepherd owner and I live in Cyprus. I had the privilege in attending a seminar held by Kris Kotsopoulos held by the Rottweiler Club of Cyprus. I enjoyed the seminar so much that I also had some private lessons. I wanted to say that I would definitely recommend to all dog owners, whatever the application they wish from their dog to seek assistance from Kris as his knowledge on the animal behavior is impressive to say the least.

Kris gave me immediate solutions to all my problems. Kris is very patient and eager to help people understand not only how to train their dogs but also the reason you do a certain exercise in order to create the correct meaning/feeling of the exercise for the dog. He teaches you how to “read” your dog and be able to react and counter accordingly in order to not damage your dogs character or associations. He believes that many owners give their dogs the incorrect information without even know it. I know that I did.

If you truly want to achieve greatness with your dog, I recommend visiting Kris. Your will come away with far more than you anticipate.

Iacovos Iacovou
Cyprus

I Can’t Wait For Kris’s Next Seminar, I Will Definitely Be There

One weekend with Kris is not enough, so much to learn in so little time. Kris has a wealth of information that really needs to be absorbed over time and fully understood to allow all handlers and decoys a chance to put into practice all they learn. I recommend Kris’s seminars to anyone wanting to work a high drive dog in any sport or anyone just wishing to understand dogs better. No matter how many seminars you have been to, whether from Kris or another trainer, you will always take away some vital piece of information that will increase your knowledge and make you a better, more informed trainer.

I can’t wait for Kris’s next seminar in WA, I will definitely be there. Thank you for all the information you shared and for supporting other dog trainers and enthusiasts to increase their knowledge and love of high drive dogs. Thanks for a great weekend, really enjoyed it and Morf wanted to continue the fun today (though my knee didn’t!!).

Kim Rance
Western Australia

Worth Every Cent In Both Time & Effort !!

I’m writing to tell you what a fantastic experience this two day workshop has been for us – a real eye-opener. Our understanding about the nature and training requirements for protection / working dogs has taken a massive leap forward. As the private owner of Von Forell German Shepherd puppy, it was clear from the responses around us that other owners, breeders, and trainers on the course were similarly affected.

Perhaps the first aspect of protection dog training to impact us was the fact that a protection dog is a certain type of dog, one that is programmed genetically, then brought to engagement through specific training and care. The protective behaviours are then just a natural extension of the integrity and spirit inherent in the dog from the beginning. The magic begins in the breeding and selection process, and then just carried through to maturity by respectful handling and shaping of the dog within it’s specified environment. You can’t expect just any dog to fulfill this expectation. It’s a “horses for courses” scenario, and accepting a highly spirited dog is part of the package. It’s the drive factor that is all important, and accepting the responsibility that handling that drive as carefully as a high-powered vehicle is a requirement.

The advantages of the Von Forell Precision Training Systems was abundantly clear. Any concern that this was painful or harmful to the dog at all was quickly dispelled through clear explanation. The next powerful awareness was a greater understanding of the true nature of dogs, and how the selection and breeding processes need to reinforce the relationship the general public has with the concept of dog ownership and responsibility. Rather than a “them” and “us” mentality, support for dog ownership and interaction with dogs needs to happen at a community level.

This begins with some pretty basic education about the motivation governing a dog’s behaviour. Our community are expected to take on board basic road rules and respect for moving vehicles. This isn’t much different, however it is chronically lacking. The difference between innate, positive drive principles and unwanted defensive aggression, and public confusion of the two, are a prime example.

Thirdly, our five month old German Shepherd had an absolute ball !! He was so motivated with enjoyment that he was charging to the car this morning in anticipation of repeating yesterday’s activities with the trainers. To see dog after dog leaving the arena with heads and tails held high, their hard-won tug-toy or training-sleeve prizes gripped firmly in their jaws, was a joy to witness. The dogs engaged in the training as a positive experience, and all came away extended in some direction.

Worth every cent in both time and effort !! Thanks so much for the availability of the course, and all your valuable research and advice.

Sharon & Alexandra Lazidis
Western Australia

You Truly Are My Coach

It is with pleasure that I report on Kris Kotsopoulos, Von Forell Precision Training Workshop Western Australia 2012.

Canine Education and Training was proud to host such an exciting and educational weekend. Dog training enthusiasts came together from a number of training and breed clubs. The workshop included everything from theory, pictures, videos and live demonstrations with over 18 dogs.

There where 30+ attendees including National Schutzhund champion, behaviorists, chief training instructors, breeders, trainers, pet owners and dog lovers.

The fact that EVERYONE got a lot out of the workshop is testament to Kris’ ability to clearly deliver such world class information. During the practical demonstrations Kris coached up to 7 decoys. By the end of the weekend they had all improved and grown in their ability to read behavior, reward behavior and understand key motivators behind all the behavior.

I would like to thank Kris for spending time with me and offering such great insight and advice.

You truly are my coach.

Seth Pywell
Western Australia

It Was Appreciated By All Who Attended Including Myself

I would like to thank you for the very informative Decoy /Clear Communication

workshop for C.E.T. –  Canine Education and Training , Western  Australia.

I am sure it was appreciated by all who attended including myself. I have gained a wide insight of how to further train my dogs, and on the breeding, genetics and selecting of working dog lineage. We could all see how much more our dogs developed under Kris’s expert handling and guidance …it was great for him to teach us how to read the dogs and not to push them to far to bring out the fear and avoidance factors.

I myself found the whole weekend very worth while and would not hesitate to recommend it to others, and am looking forward to attending the workshop
(meeting/rendezvous) next year. Thank you very much Kris for your time and knowledge

Alan McKendry
Perth Western Australia

Kris Teaches At The Level of The Very Best Highly Intuitive Coaches

Thank you Kris for the weekend of highly entertaining and informative dog training work shop. The well presented and planned classroom formal sessions prepared our group of West Aussies systematically for the hands on sessions with our dogs. This work shop catered for an audience of diverse backgrounds and breeds in such a way that Kris improved EVERY dog and EVERY handler- which is no mean feat.

As a professional horse trainer for over 20 yrs I have been coached by a myriad of Olympic, World Cup and international equestrians (also having instructed riders and trained horses to World Cup level) and I have been in dozens of equestrian clinics and training days. From this experience I can assure you that Kris teaches at the level of the very best highly intuitive coaches.

Thank you Kris for taking the time to travel out West, and a huge thank you for breeding such incredible dogs. My Dobermann Von Forell Leila is by far the best out of the 6 Dobermanns I have owned, (including her),  on so many levels and this work shop has helped developed Leila at an extraordinary rate.

Do one of these workshops- get the most out of your dog!

Melanie Cuomo
Western Australia

Kris Is An Exceptional Lecturer With His Wealth of Knowledge & Experiences

I attended Kris Kotsopoulos from Von Forell Precision Training Decoy Workshop on the 10th / 11th Nov 12, 2012 it was a weekend well spent learning how to improve my dog training skills. In our class we had a wide range of dog people from the novice owners to people with 20+ years with training experience. All who attended the workshop found it to be very educational & enjoyable. Kris is an exceptional lecturer with his wealth of knowledge & experiences & would highly recommend anyone involved in dog training no matter what level or type of dog training or dog owners to attend one of his workshops in the future, I know I will be!!!!

Pat Jones
Western Australia

I Cannot Recommend It Highly Enough

For anyone considering attending a Von Forell Precision training seminar, I cannot recommend it highly enough. My knowledge of Von Forell was somewhat limited and I guess my initial thoughts were that it would be geared to protection training only but the information gained from Kris’ professional presentation (and honest answers to questions from the participants throughout the sessions) was extremely thought-provoking and I came away from the weekend with a greater perception of what makes our dogs tick and dog training in general.

The practical side was fantastic and it was great to watch and participate, with running commentary from Kris so we knew what body language each dog was displaying. All in all, a great weekend and thank you for giving us the opportunity to attend your workshop. Hope to see you again in WA in the not too distant future.

Heather Barron
Western Australia 

Once In a Lifetime a Person Walks Into Your Life & Changes Your Outlook & Totally Opens Your Eyes To a Whole New Perspective

After being involved with in training, breeding and showing dogs for over 20 years under both Sablecraft working lines and Madrodish show lines it was a pleasure to attend the WA 2012 Von Forell Precision Training workshop.

Once in a lifetime (if you are lucky).. a person can walk into your life and change your outlook and totally open your eyes to a whole new perspective… I was fortunate enough to experience this at this weekend’s training seminar in Perth WA (Nov 10 -11 2012)

Not only was I impressed, to watch a room full of people awakening to Kris’s philosophy with regards to canine training and motivators of behaviour. To see the practical demonstrations come to life on the field was a fabulous experience. I feel honored and privileged to know Kris and to have been lucky enough to train with him and further to that to spend time with him personally discussing all aspects of genetics, breeding, imprinting, early development of puppies.

Adopting his training and breeding philosophy and incorporating Von Forell bloodlines into our current breeding program at Sablecraft, gives WA its most exciting working shepherd litters to date. Kris’s generosity has made all this possible.

Rod and Trish Humphries –

Kris’ Workshop Has Changed My Whole Perspective On Breeding, Training & Raising Dogs

Kris’ workshop has changed my whole perspective on breeding, training and raising dogs. He has so much knowledge and he clearly answers any questions you throw at him without hesitation.

The decoy side of the workshop has given me a better understanding on reading behavior which allows me to promptly reward for the correct  behavior. The workshop is for anyone that wants to progress with their dog and a must for all breeders and anyone working with dogs.

Thanks for the awesome two days and looking forward to attending more workshops!

Chris Wyrewenaden
Western Australia

When I See You Work Kris, You Have An Amazing Sensitivity

I have just come back from a mind bending two days of dog training bliss. It has been several years since I have had the opportunity to attend any training seminars or workshops and am very glad that I made the effort to get to Dural NSW. The timing was right, the money was there and the time off from work was negotiated, it all fell into place.

The organization of the two days was second to none, professional and friendly all round with well spaced breaks to accommodate brain overloads. The balance between sitting and taking in complex tutorials and then going out to the training field to see it all in action was a stimulating mix and kept me focused even through fatigue from travel.

I only wish that I could have traveled with a dog and been on the training field myself, that would have rounded out the experience for me.
It has been about 17 years since I have trained with Kris and others from his genre, we were all a lot younger then!

I must say though that now when I see you work Kris you have an amazing sensitivity to your training and an ability to translate and pass on what you see and feel through the dog. It made me tear up to see you working those pups and bringing out the best in the little ones with a gentle touch and at their level.

There was also a wonderful cross section of dogs, in breed and learning levels to watch and see improve over the two days. The improvement in the handling was also very obvious and even though there was some laughs it was a team environment all the way and very supportive.

The blend of old, young, professional trainers and breeders created a dynamic base to interact with and bounce off ideas.

I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to attend and learn once again from Kris and encourage all those out there who train with working dogs both civilian and services to take the next workshop available.

Thank you Glen who made it all happen, brilliant!

Kylie Bright
Victoria Australia

I Found The Entire Weekend Absolutely Enthralling

I recently attended a Von Forell seminar in Sydney Melbourne Australia. I was not quite sure what to expect from my weekend of learning about drive and working dogs, and to be honest was a little nervous.

From the minute I arrived at Pet Resorts Australia, Dural, I found myself being warmly welcomed by the presenter Kris Kotsopoulos and was among a friendly and enthusiastic group of people who were geared to learn! To my delight I found the entire weekend absolutely enthralling and learnt far more than I can put into words. Without even realizing; I developed not only my knowledge of dog behavior and training but also my practical handling skills and my confidence.

All of my questions were answered eagerly and with a wealth of knowledge, and I was made to feel more like family than a student.

I would recommend attending seminars by Kris and Von Forell for anyone who wants to learn more about dogs (and themselves). I traveled from Canberra for this seminar and would readily cross the country for another.

Sally Ferguson
ACT Australia

For additional testimonials, please visit the Von Forell Australia Press Room.