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Just starting to research Dutchie/Mal breeders in Florida, moved back about a year ago. Anyone have any recommendations or "steer clear"s? We're near the Tampa Area so North south east or west is pretty doable. Thanks!

George
 

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For the sake of those that may see this in the future, Fortress K9 is definitely on the "steer clear" list. I purchased a malinois x by the name of "Gabriel" from him a few years back with the intention of using him as a service dog and was sold a 2 year old dog that was so traumatized he attempted to bite my roommate because she accidentally dropped a notebook next to the dog. I was told he had "never acted like that before" and attempted to return the dog and was told to leave their property. He was so bad I was considering BE, and had to re-home him to someone who lived alone because I was a college student that did not have time to rehabilitate a traumatized dog when I really needed a service dog. I am friends with the woman I rehomed him to and he is STILL traumatized from living with Joel, roughly 3 years later- he is quite literally afraid of his own shadow and flinches when a stranger tries to touch him.
 

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For the sake of those that may see this in the future, Fortress K9 is definitely on the "steer clear" list. I purchased a malinois x by the name of "Gabriel" from him a few years back with the intention of using him as a service dog and was sold a 2 year old dog that was so traumatized he attempted to bite my roommate because she accidentally dropped a notebook next to the dog. I was told he had "never acted like that before" and attempted to return the dog and was told to leave their property. He was so bad I was considering BE, and had to re-home him to someone who lived alone because I was a college student that did not have time to rehabilitate a traumatized dog when I really needed a service dog. I am friends with the woman I rehomed him to and he is STILL traumatized from living with Joel, roughly 3 years later- he is quite literally afraid of his own shadow and flinches when a stranger tries to touch him.
Can confirm this claim made above,since the guy has awful training methods and no gov entity who knows what is looking at works with him...his methodology is nothing more then a laughing stock for most trainers and same can apply to breeding
 

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Can confirm this claim made above,since the guy has awful training methods and no gov entity who knows what is looking at works with him...his methodology is nothing more then a laughing stock for most trainers and same can apply to breeding
Yeah his training is a joke, the dog didn't know any of the obedience commands I was told he knew. Hero is the only dog that hasn't failed out of his service dog "training" program as far as I know. I hate that I gave him any $$, my SD trainer at the time had recommended them to me and I was not involved in K9 at all yet so I really had no clue what to look for and was desperate enough to ignore the red flags. Learn from my mistakes and do your due diligence, do not just rely on other people's recommendations. This supposed "service dog" was so traumatized he hid behind my couch for the first 2 months I owned him whenever I let him be free in the home and would attempt to run away if he saw someone walking down the sidewalk towards us. I have no clue WTF Joel did to the poor thing, but that is NOT the attitude of a humanely trained animal. It also speaks volumes to me that when I attempted to return the dog, he was NOT happy to be there or see them and wanted to run away. He was 2 when I got him so this was not a case of fear periods or any other excuse.

He also had this dog listed on his homefront K9 webpage as well as his regular PP dog website, even after the dog was sold to me. So he was either attempting to pass this unstable mess of a dog to an unsuspecting veteran or someone who really needed protection. His excuse for the issues was that the dog wasn't REALLY a "fortress K9" dog just a dog he sold to me, except he raised it and trained it so I really don't know how that makes it any better..I really have no clue how he is still in business.
 

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Yeah his training is a joke, the dog didn't know any of the obedience commands I was told he knew. Hero is the only dog that hasn't failed out of his service dog "training" program as far as I know. I hate that I gave him any $$, my SD trainer at the time had recommended them to me and I was not involved in K9 at all yet so I really had no clue what to look for and was desperate enough to ignore the red flags. Learn from my mistakes and do your due diligence, do not just rely on other people's recommendations. This supposed "service dog" was so traumatized he hid behind my couch for the first 2 months I owned him whenever I let him be free in the home and would attempt to run away if he saw someone walking down the sidewalk towards us. I have no clue WTF Joel did to the poor thing, but that is NOT the attitude of a humanely trained animal. It also speaks volumes to me that when I attempted to return the dog, he was NOT happy to be there or see them and wanted to run away. He was 2 when I got him so this was not a case of fear periods or any other excuse.

He also had this dog listed on his homefront K9 webpage as well as his regular PP dog website, even after the dog was sold to me. So he was either attempting to pass this unstable mess of a dog to an unsuspecting veteran or someone who really needed protection. His excuse for the issues was that the dog wasn't REALLY a "fortress K9" dog just a dog he sold to me, except he raised it and trained it so I really don't know how that makes it any better..I really have no clue how he is still in business.
(y)youre absolutely correct madam...he is know to have same horrendous methodology for his ''protection trained dogs too''...he is still in bussiness because the average customer knows no better and a good salesman gets them easily...Sorry for youre experience,must have been so hard spending a good amount of money for a absolute garbage literally scared of its own shadow.That trainer who reccomended him to you was probably part of his scammers crew,such bad luck considering that florida has some good trainers too....I just wanted to point it out that nowadays,especially in US the ''im a veteran and you should trust me'' card is extremely common in shady vendors..Always make sure to have a contract when you buy a dog and before ever considering that particular breeder,check out his reputation when things dont go right...Lawsuits are scammers worst nightmare...Glad youre doing way better now that youre in k9 sector deeper yourself.
 

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(y)youre absolutely correct madam...he is know to have same horrendous methodology for his ''protection trained dogs too''...he is still in bussiness because the average customer knows no better and a good salesman gets them easily...Sorry for youre experience,must have been so hard spending a good amount of money for a absolute garbage literally scared of its own shadow.That trainer who reccomended him to you was probably part of his scammers crew,such bad luck considering that florida has some good trainers too....I just wanted to point it out that nowadays,especially in US the ''im a veteran and you should trust me'' card is extremely common in shady vendors..Always make sure to have a contract when you buy a dog and before ever considering that particular breeder,check out his reputation when things dont go right...Lawsuits are scammers worst nightmare...Glad youre doing way better now that youre in k9 sector deeper yourself.

I won't say any more about him as that would be more along the lines of defamation than describing the facts of what happened, but I'm sure you can deduce how I feel about that situation.

The most difficult part of the process wasn't the money lost, although that was a blow. Bonding with a dog that was inherently incompatible with my lifestyle (I lived in a college dorm at the time!!) and losing the hope of some relief through a trained service dog combined with the feeling of failing the animal was the hardest part for me. Honestly my trainer didn't work with him directly much at all, she had simply seen his dogs out and about and I guess at least two of them appeared happy and obedient enough that she was duped as well. she felt horrible about it and made things right by finding him a new home for me so I didn't have to have him PTS. I had not asked for a "protection" dog and I cannot emphasize enough how dangerous of a situation it was to have this animal living around so many people, I had to bring him out with a muzzle every single time I took him out. I even got in a car accident with him at one point and had to focus more on keeping him from biting people trying to help us than the damn car accident. Not only is his business model scamming people but it is putting the general public in danger as well by misleading his customers about what kind of dog they are really getting.

You are absolutely right, I should have agreed on a contract that offered more protection for myself, at the bare minimum. Thankfully, I learned more since that experience and found a great GSD breeder in michigan and now have an amazing service and detection dog from her, I couldn't be happier with my current dog, he is exactly what I was looking for.
 
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