The KNPV: A Dutchman's View
This article was written by a Dutch citizen who is friend of mine (BOB Neijts). Bob has been a member of the KNPV for 15 years. He has titled dogs in the KNPV and is an avid supporter of the dog sport. While the English may not be exactly correct I chose not to change the article because if is written in the way that the Dutch people think about their dogs and their dog sport.
Bob currently lives in Bonnaire Dutch Netherlan Antillies, which is an Island off the coast of South America. He works for the Dutch Government and will remain out of Holland until 1998. Bob has taken several Malinoise with him to the island but has a hard time working in his dog sport because of the heat and lack of helpers. He travels back to the Netherlands a couple of times per year. He was instrumental in arranging for me to get permission to film the KNPV National trial.
The KNPV is an organization which is 90 years old. The start of the KNPV was at a protection dog trial in 1907. It has started as an organization to bring people, who train their dogs, together and establish a good quality of working dogs. In the early days they would let their dogs do anything to proof their courage like jumping off a bridge. To he able to judge all the dogs in the same way they started to train a fixed program which resulted in the KNPV of today. The KNPV has not changed very much over the years. They always tried to hang on to the old training program. Now days slowly the KNPV head office is beginning to realize that some of the exercises will never he used in actual life. Also they start to think about the safety of the chg. Still this only has resulted in changes to the high jump. All the other exercises like the one with the helper trying to get away on a bike is still in practice. It seems like a normal exercise as you see all these Dutchman on their bikes but it will almost never happen that you send your dog after somebody on a bike because of the danger of the dog biting somebody else. It also can be a very dangerous exercises for the helper and the dog.
The KNPV is one of the two organizations which certificates are recognized by the government. The big difference between the KNPV an the other organization (The Dutch Association of Service Dogs) is that only the KNPV allows civilians to become members.
The main goals of the KNPV are:
- To promote the use of certified dogs as service dogs for Police, security company, rescue-organizations and so on.
- To train dogs to be certified for one of the five certificates of the KNPV
- To train people to become handlers, instructors and judges and helpers for exams competitions and demonstrations.
- To promote the breeding of suitable dogs for the KNPV certificate.
There are five different titles in KNPV:
- Police Dog 1 (PH1),
- Police Dog 2 (PH2),
- Object Guarding Dog (objectbewking)
- Search and Rescue Dog (Reddingshond)
- Tracking Dog (Speurhond)
The PH 1 title is the most common one. It is the foundation of all of the other KNPV titles. These other titles are a diversion or compilation of the PH 1 title or they add a specific element for special needs. This PH1 is the certificate the government demands if you want to work with your dog as Police Service Dog or as a Surveillance dog for a security company.
Object Guarding is the certificate designed for dogs who are going to be used as guard and or service dogs You need at least this certificate to be allowed by the government to use your dog for police and or security services. It is very often done by people who want to keep training and don't want to sell their already titled PH1 dog.
Search and Rescue Dog is a more specialized certificate and requires a dog who will be able to search' locate and find victims underneath wreckage of houses and buildings. Just a handful of people train their dogs for this title.
Tracking Dog is a very specialized title. The dog has to be able to work out a human track (on a reliable basis) and also must be able to discriminate a specific human scent out of a line up of human scent samples.
Holland is a dog loving country. Specially in the southern part of the country where there are a lot of clubs. Not only KNPV but also IPO VH and agility. If you leave one training field you are already on the border of the next.
Holland and it's KNPV has always been different from all the other countries training dogs (like Germany, Belgium and France.) The KNPV always hung on to the old fashion way to make sure that you have only good and tough dogs In all the other countries the training programs have changed a lot over the years, not so with the KNPV. This as a more dark side like I mentioned above, but also a bright side. A very good thing about this is that the KNPV never changed the rules and exercises so that also the inferior dogs could get a PH1 title. No! The KNPV always supported the breeding of good qualified dogs. In other countries it happened that they changed the program to fit the type of dogs being bred instead of breeding dogs who are able to do the program. Everybody knows where this leads to: “destruction of the dogs working abilities. When that happens they have a problem which is even bigger than what they started with. Now they have only dogs with a lack of working abilities. This is about the same reason why the KNPV doesn't worry if a dog is registered or not registered.”
The KNPV wants working dogs not the show dogs. They have seen it happen that as soon as the breeders only look after the exterior of the dog the good characters will fade away. To get rid of the working abilities is no problem, to get them back almost impossible!!
This more or less old fashion thinking or maybe stubborn behavior of the KNPV gave us the good quality working dog we see today. Strong, hard biting, dogs with a lot of drive and spectacular high bites which are so famous for the KNPV.
There is a very big difference between the KNPV and the IPO and VH. Not only in the program but more so in the members. Most of the people who train IPO already owned a dog before the became a member of a club. Most of the times they start with a puppy course or come to the club when they have difficulties handling their dog and then train in IPO.
The members of the KNPV are almost all already into the dog training and try to find a pup or young adult who is capable of doing the KNPV program. Most of the times people in the KNPV don't keep their dogs. Either he is Ok and gets titled, and than sold, or he is not OK and gets sold straight away! This attitude makes the KNPV members sometimes a little rude in the eyes of all the other dog loving people. The main reason is that they want to get the dog titled as soon as possible. Luckily most of the KNPV members are very nice people.
Before a dog is sold they have tried everything within their power to get the dog through the PH 1 exam. But once they know he will not succeed the decision is easily made and the dog is history After all you can't keep every dog who is not capable to get titled. It is like a soccer player who has shoes that are to small. He will get rid of the old ones and buy new shoes which he can perform better with. The main thing is that all the members, young or old, train their dogs to get titled and not just to train them and have a good time with their dogs. Also The KNPV itself is very clear about that. The reason why they come on the training field is clear. “TO TITLE THEIR DOG.”
Lagoen Hill 36