Category Archives: Press

Robb Report

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Unique personalities

Just like the families these shepherds go to.

Robb Report Magazine

Protect and Serve

Harrison K-9®‘s highly trained, purebred European German Shepherds are the Pick of the Litter.

The testimonials from clients of Harrison K-9 Security Services tell you everything you need to know about these exceptional protection dogs. And they go a long way toward underscoring the commitment of the 35-year-old company that is recognized as a pioneer of its industry and the originators of placing highly trained, purebred dogs in the homes of families for protection.

Consider the story of Dana, a European German Shepherd purchased a few years ago by an Ohio family with a home in a rustic and remote part of the state. Shortly after Dana’s arrival, the family’s two-year-old daughter wandered off into the woods. They looked everywhere for the girl, then called for the help of law enforcement with helicopters and a mounted patrol as the hours stretched into the night.

“We eventually found our daughter two miles from our home, sitting by a stream with Dana by her side,” says the girl’s mother. “I honestly believe that had Dana not been with my daughter she would not be with us today. Dana protected her from the bears and mountain lions that could have harmed her in those woods and kept her from falling in the stream and drowning. She stuck by her side the entire time. Even when the police found our daughter, Dana stood in front of our daughter until she saw that my husband and I had arrived on the scene.”

A dramatic tale and one, thankfully, that does not come along that often. More typical, perhaps, is the story of Tessa, a European German Shepherd who lives with an Arizona family. Not long ago, the family’s young daughter, suffering a cold and a high temperature, fell out of bed and had became disoriented.


A Harrison K-9® is always ready to play as well as
protect.

“She couldn’t call for help because she had lost her voice due to the cold. And since our bedroom is at the opposite end of the house, we didn’t hear a thing,” says the girl’s mother. “But Tessa heard. She kept nudging my husband and then me. We thought she needed to go outside, but then she started running from our daughter’s bedroom and back to us until we understood that something was wrong and we were able to help our daughter.”

There are dozens of such stories from the files of Harrison K-9®. The South Carolina Company has carved out a reputation as one the foremost suppliers and trainers of protection dogs, loyal companions to clients that range from families and business executives to entertainers, professional athletes and law enforcement agencies throughout the world.


Women can feel safe and secure in their own homes
when their husbands are away

“Thankfully, most of our clients never encounter life-or-death situations,” says Harrison Prather, who was first exposed to the world of working K-9s while serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. After discharge, he earned a degree in business administration and founded Harrison K-9® in 1975. He has since gone on to train dogs for law enforcement agencies around the world and the U.S. government.

Some of the canines trained by Prather and his staff have been used in counter-terrorism efforts and other covert operations in the U.S. and abroad. “Our clients have peace of mind, knowing that they and their loved ones are looked after by a faithful and intelligent creature that will be right there for them no matter what might happen.”

WHY BUY A PROTECTION DOG AND WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

When it comes to deterring crime and protecting the sanctity of a home, there is little argument that trained security dogs represent one of the most effective methods available. According to case studies by Harrison K-9® along with research from numerous law enforcement agencies:

Canine hearing abilities pick up suspicious sounds earlier than alarm systems.

Barking typically alerts homeowners and neighbors before any theft or harm can be done.

Most criminals are deterred by the prospect of a dog attack.

It’s much more difficult to disable a dog than disable an alarm system.

Choosing the ideal protection dog represents a major investment with a lot at stake. That’s why Prather advises potential clients to take a number of matters into consideration.  Foremost, he suggests that you should buy only from trainers who employ “positive reinforcement” training, not the electric collar training used by many trainers.

“Dogs that are trained with the threat of electric shock are


A Harrison K-9® will watch over your
children
even when you cannot

substantially different from those who benefit from one-on-one training,” he says. “You can just see it in their eyes.”

He also recommends that you should only choose a trainer who will allow you to inspect their facilities, if you should choose.

“It’s essential that you know the conditions under which your dog was raised,” says Prather. “You need to know that they have had adequate room to run and have not been subjected to the tiny ‘rabbit runs’ that some breeders use.”

EXCLUSIVE SCHUTZHUND-TRAINED AND TITLED DOGS


A Harrison K-9® is a companion even the
youngest member of your
family can enjoy

In the canine world, the legendary and rigorous Schutzhund training regimen occupies a lofty and rarified position. Fearful that too many German Shepherds were being judged simply by their appearance and not for their working ability, dog owners launched Schutzhund (German for “protection dog”), as a sport in the early 1900s. While several other breeds now compete in Schutzhund, German Shepherds still dominate the field and they must pass numerous tests to determine if they are suitable for a wide variety of tasks, from police work and specific odor detection to search and rescue. In addition to testing for strength, endurance and agility, Schutzhund awards titles to dogs that demonstrate their skills in numerous areas, including courage, a strong desire to work, intelligence, trainability, perseverance, a strong bond to the handler and protective instinct. Only a very small percentage of dogs that set out for Schutzhund titles ever succeed in winning them.

One of the many things that set Harrison K-9® apart from others in its field is that it sells only European German Shepherds and only European German Shepherds that have been Schutzhund trained and titled.


Courage to pursue the bad guy is
taught to all Harrison K-9®s.

Training staff works on “take-down”
in protection

European German Shepherds are more expensive to import and train, but they represent the best of the best,” says Prather, who points out that while many other dog trainers say they specialize in European German Shepherds the claims are often hollow. “Our dogs come from the absolute purest bloodlines and have won titles that put them at the very top of their breed.”

Harrison K-9® imports its dogs from a single supplier in Germany, who is among the most prominent in his field and provides dogs exclusively to Harrison K-9®. Also of importance: The supplier sends Harrison K-9® only those dogs that have been raised in homes in Germany, not in kennels, which makes them readily adaptable to the additional training they receive once they arrive in the U.S.

CUSTOM TRAINING AT A STATE-OF-THE ART FACILITY


A Harrison K-9® shows his ability to navigate through difficult obstacles.

 

 

 

 

After they arrive in the United States, Harrison K-9®‘s dogs undergo a minimum of three months additional training at the company’s multi-million dollar, 25-acre facility in Aiken, South Carolina.

“We use over-sized kennels and all of our dogs get to go out and train and play every day,” says Prather.  “We have half-acre turn-out pens they run in daily and a full staff of professionals that each take a dog home with them every night and socialize them around their own family and friends. When you buy a dog from us you can be sure that it has been trained to fit right in with family life.”

One key point that differentiates Harrison K-9® from its competitors– its training staff, under the direction of vice president, November Holley, is almost entirely female. And there’s a good reason for that.


The staff at Harrison K-9 Security Services, LLC.

Harrison Prather,
Founder and CEO
Harrison
K-9 Security Services, LLC

“With a female training staff we can to make sure that all of our dogs can be handled by you and your family,” says Prather. “Our staff handles with positive training and attention to each individual dog’s personality. You can be assured your family can handle our dogs whether they are children or a family member that would otherwise be intimidated by a large dog. Most training facilities use men for training, because men can intimidate dogs and force them to do the training, whereas female trainers must use their handling

skills and take the time to bond with the dog to train and control an animal that weighs almost as much as they do. Wouldn’t you want a dog that has learned to behave around people, learned loyalty and devotion, and has learned how to be handled by the ‘little’ people in your life, versus a dog that has to be forced into training and only a man can make work right?”

UNIQUE DOGS MATCHED TO UNIQUE CLIENT NEEDS

At any one time, there are usually 35 to 40 European German Shepherds in training at Harrison K-9® and waiting placement with clients. The large inventory of dogs is necessary, Prather says, because his company goes to extraordinary lengths to match clients with the ideal protection dogs for their needs.

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing,” says Prather. “Each dog has a unique personality and skill set … just like the people they go to live with.”

And those clients have a wide variety of needs.

“Some of our clients have safety and security expectations which extend beyond the norm,” says Prather. “Our celebrity clients sadly must contend with unwanted attention from overzealous fans who threaten their personal safety or the safety of their families. We have worked with people who face these situations routinely, and given them peace of mind through our expertly trained protection dogs. A canine might not be the first security measure which comes to mind for most people, but our clients have found that this is a highly effective choice, and one which presents benefits far beyond alarm systems, monitored surveillance, or personal body guards.”

Prather and his staff spend a significant amount of time interviewing potential clients to determine which of their dogs will fit in best and perform the tasks expected of them. There is a long list of circumstances that must be considered: Does the client own any other animals– cats, dogs, horses? Will the dog accompany the family on trips, or travel often by private plane or boat? Does the family keep several homes– in the country, in the city– and will the dog be expected to adapt quickly to a variety of environments.

One recent client, confined to a wheelchair and on intravenous medication, was seeking a dog that could be a constant companion around the house.

“We settled on a dog with the ideal temperament for that particular client and then trained the dog to walk alongside the wheelchair, always on the opposite side of the I.V. drip,” Prather says. “Whatever the circumstances, we can find the dog that will be most suitable for them.”

Yes, the price for such bespoke treatment– an average of about $40,000 per dog– tops the cost of many show dogs or winners at Westminster. But the European German Shepherds trained by Harrison K-9® aren’t after blue ribbons or trophies.

“They are dedicated to the people they serve without exception,” says Prather. “And there’s no way you can put a price on that.”

For more information about Harrison K-9 Security Services, call 803.649.5936 or visit www.harrisonk9.com

 

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“Some of our clients have safety and security expectations which extend beyond the norm,” says Prather. “Our celebrity clients sadly must contend with unwanted attention from overzealous fans who threaten their personal safety or the safety of their families. We have worked with people who face these situations routinely, and given them peace of mind through our expertly trained protection dogs.

PR Newswire

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European Shepherds Hand-Picked

For Pedigree, Intelligence, and Temperament

PR Newswire

Harrison K-9 Security Services to premiere their $230,000 family guard dog on CNBC tonight.

 

AIKEN, S.C., April 14, 2015 — What is the best way to protect your family at any time and any place? The answer is a Harrison K-9 security dog. Tonight at 10:00 pm Eastern on CNBC’s show “Secret Lives of the Super Rich,” you will get the chance to see Harrison K-9 in action with four of their dogs.

The four dogs being featured are Lilli, Juna, Yola, and Julia. The price tag on Lilli was $80,000, but the top shepherd named Julia sold for $230,000. The price is determined by the dogs’ intelligence, beauty, training and bloodlines, which for some dogs, that can often trace back as much as 100 years.

“There’s a German Shepherd show in Europe, you can equate it to sort of the Miss Universe Pageant,” said November Holley, who is the president at Harrison K-9. “Julia placed in the top 50 dogs in the world.” The dogs understand a combination of English, German and hand signals. Just days after the “Secret Lives” shoot, Lilli, Yola and Juna all sold.

About Harrison K-9

Harrison K-9 Security Services, LLC has provided the finest European German Shepherd protectors and loyal companions to families, business executives, entertainers, professional athletes, and law enforcement agencies for more than 40 years.

Harrison K-9® European German Shepherds are trained to exact specifications at their facility in the United States. Only then do they qualify to be called a Harrison K-9®.

Their training includes advanced obedience both on and off leash, personal and family protection, tracking, In-home search for intruders, and other special skills. Training is tailor designed for each individual family’s needs.

All Harrison K-9® dogs undergo protection training. Their twenty-five acre compound in Aiken, South Carolina includes an agility training area, an indoor training building, and a wooded park area for city or suburban training. A lot of the training is done off the property in nearby areas. By the time a Harrison K-9® Shepherd leaves its training center, it has encountered almost every environment and situation in which it may find itself when in the “real world.”

To find out more about Harrison K-9, you can look them up on Facebook, Twitter @HarrisonK9_LLC, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus, or their website www.harrisonk9.com. If it’s not a Harrison K-9, it’s just a dog.

To watch video click link below or cut and paste to browser:

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/13/

“Harrison K-9® European German Shepherds are trained to exact specifications at their facility in the United States. Only then do they qualify to be called a Harrison K-9®.”

By the time a Harrison K-9® Shepherd leaves its training center, it has encountered almost every environment and situation in which it may find itself when in the ‘real world.’

The Plaid Horse

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European Shepherds Hand-Picked

For Pedigree, Intelligence, and Temperament

The Plaid Horse

Providing extensively-trained, elite Security K-9s for affluent clientele in the U.S. and abroad.

Aiken, South Carolina, widely known as equine country, is also home to Harrison K-9 Security Services, LLC, an elite entrepreneurial venture established in 1975 by Harrison Prather (known in the business simply as “Harrison”). The twenty-five- acre, world-renowned facility has catered to an exclusive clientele for over thirty years, offering a form of security far superior to any alarm, deadbolt, or bodyguard – the Harrison K-9.In fact, a Harrison K-9 is a superior security system that needs no batteries, cannot be bribed, and loves you more than you love yourself!

Harrison K-9 Security Services is considered the premiere outfit in the U.S., providing extensively-trained, elite Security K-9s for affluent clientele such as entertainers, celebrities, professional athletes, and high-ranking government officials in the U.S. and abroad. Harrison’s K-9s are equally as efficient at being excellent family companions for individuals that simply seek to secure their private properties.

There has been a surge of interest recently in the horse industry in this unique form of security. Owners, trainers, and contestants competing in horse shows often find themselves alone late in the evening and in unfamiliar surroundings with people they’ve never met. A Harrison K-9 gives these individuals the security of knowing that an exceptionally-trained canine is supplying the companionship and protection that only a Harrison K-9 can provide. To quote a cutting horse competitor: “I am always on the road and I often arrive alone or late at night to a show. Having a Harrison K-9 gives me peace of mind. I know my K-9 is watching me – well-behaved around multitudes of people, but vigilantly dedicated to me.”

These outstandingly bred K-9s come from the treasured bloodlines of Europe and are hand-picked by Harrison K-9 for pedigree, intelligence and temperament. They complete their foundation training in Europe and must prove themselves to be proficient on the field of Schutzhund / IPO trials, the standard by which working K-9s are judged internationally.

While these K-9s are being campaigned in Europe they are also being exposed to the family and extended family environment. “Each K-9 that we bring into the country is raised in a home with small children, older couples, and in busy households,” says Harrison K-9 Vice President November Holley.

The first requirement is a social and friendly European German Shepherd, which results in a K-9 that is capable of passing rigorous working K-9 tests, but has a gentle, family-oriented side too. Once selected by the staff at Harrison K-9, each K-9 undergoes a rigorous three-week evaluation. All graduates proceed through precision training in order to earn the official title of a “Harrison K-9”. Harrison K-9 has designed a training and selection course so unique that it tests the skills and abilities of some of the best European German Shepherds in the world. This specialized training allows the staff to effectively match clients to the K-9s that are most appropriate for their lifestyles. But such careful consideration comes with a price – the average cost of a Harrison K-9 is $25,000 to $50,000 USD. While it is certainly an investment, it’s one that people – especially those with young children and those who travel a lot – are willing to make. Harrison says “It’s important to remember … 99% of the time, a Harrison K-9 is just a warm and friendly family companion, a trusted side-kick and most definitely one that you can rely on.”

“The first requirement is a social and friendly European German Shepherd, which results in a K-9 that is capable of passing rigorous working K-9 tests, but has a gentle, family-oriented side too.

This specialized training allows the staff to effectively match clients to the K-9s that are most appropriate for their lifestyles.
While [the price] is certainly an investment, it’s one that people – especially those with young children and those who travel a lot – are willing to make.

The New York Times

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99.9% Family Pet, but...

They know what to do if necessary

New York Times

For the Executive With Everything, a $230,000 Dog to Protect It

When she costs $230,000, as Julia did, the preferred title is “executive protection dog.” This 3-year-old German shepherd, who commutes by private jet between a Minnesota estate and a home in Arizona, belongs to a canine caste that combines exalted pedigree, child-friendly cuddliness and arm-lacerating ferocity.

Julia and her ilk have some of the same tracking and fighting skills as the dogs used in elite military units like Navy Seal Team 6, which took a dog on its successful raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.
In fact, Julia was sold by a trainer, Harrison Prather, who used to supply dogs to Seal Team 6 and the British special forces. But then Mr. Prather switched to a more lucrative market.

“Either rich people discovered me or I discovered them — I can’t remember which happened first,” said Mr. Prather, the president of Harrison K-9 Security Services in Aiken, S.C.

He and others in the high-end dog training business say prices have shot up thanks to the growing number of wealthy people around the world who like the security — and status — provided by a dog with the right credentials. Moguls and celebrities now routinely pay $40,000 to $60,000 for a well-bred German shepherd that is certified as an expert in the sport of Schutzhund, which means “protection dog.” The price can go much higher if a dog does well at an international championship, as Julia did.

“She’s a top deal,” Julia’s owner, John Johnson, said as she escorted him around the grounds of his 15-acre estate outside Minneapolis. “She’s won awards. She looks at you, she’s got the most beautiful face.”

But $230,000?

“It’s a lot of money,” he said matter-of-factly. “It’s the speed, the smartness, the quickness — and you would not believe the roughness that she has inside. She’s like a little pit bull when she bites. She has that model face, and then opens the gums up and lets you have it.”

Mr. Johnson said he got his first protection dog after receiving personal threats while he was running the Northland Group, a debt-collection company in Minnesota that he founded and eventually sold three years ago. Now he has six protection dogs, all German shepherds, and normally takes a couple in his car whenever he goes out.

“It’s for both security and companionship,” he said as Julia nuzzled his leg, looking like a gentle enough companion. But when an intruder emerged near the tennis court of his estate, all it took was one command, “Packen!” (the bite command from the German word for “seize”), to send Julia racing across the lawn.

She sunk her teeth into the intruder’s arm, which was encased in padding for a demonstration, and hung on even as he lifted her off the ground in a vain attempt to shake free of her. She let go only upon being commanded and then stood guard over her new prisoner, barking and threatening to bite again whenever he made a move to escape, which he wisely did not try.

Julia’s was a controlled ferocity, which trainers distinguish from the anger manifested by ordinary dogs. When two dogs try to intimidate each other, they stiffen, growl, bare their teeth and stare intently. Protection dogs are trained to continue looking around and protecting their owners, not establish their own dominance.
And, when commanded, they are supposed to switch instantly from attack mode to pet mode.

“The dog has to get along with children,” Mr. Prather said. “The client is often a guy on his second family. He travels a lot, leaves his wife alone with the kids in a large house — maybe 30,000 square feet, so big you don’t even know what’s going on at the other side of the house. He wants peace of mind and a dog that his wife can handle. We don’t sell tank-stoppers.”

The price tag for a protection dog has risen because of increasing demand in the United States, Latin America (especially Mexico), the Middle East, Asia and other places, said Mr. Prather and Wayne Curry, the owner of Kraftwerk K9 in Rochester, Wash.

“I’ve turned down offers of more than $200,000 for one of my champion dogs,” said Mr. Curry, who added that he knew of a dog that had sold for more than $400,000 because of its bloodline and breeding potential. (Although Julia’s offspring most likely would have commanded top prices, Mr. Johnson said he had no time to breed her and instead had her spayed shortly after buying her in January.)

To clients who can afford the $50,000 price for a typical well-credentialed dog, there are lots of ways to rationalize the price.
“When you compare the costs of a full-time bodyguard versus a dog, the dog makes a lot of sense,” Mr. Curry said. “And the dog, unlike the bodyguard, can’t be bought off.”

Mr. Prather said one client, a well-known entertainer, came to him after first trying to ward off a stalker by hiring bodyguards.

“The stalker stabbed one of the bodyguards, got out of jail and started showing up again,” Mr. Prather said. “Then they got a canine, and they haven’t seen the stalker since. People just have an innate fear of animals with sharp teeth. We don’t want to be on the menu.”
Mr. Prather’s dogs are trained for three years in Germany before they go to South Carolina, where they receive further training and are put to the test of family living. Before her sale, Julia lived for four months in the home of November Holley, the company’s vice president and head trainer.

“I’ve probably trained a thousand dogs, and she’s the best I’ve ever seen,” Ms. Holley said. “The total package. Did absolutely everything you wanted, no questions asked. Good with kids, good with horses, good with cats. A perfect lady in the home.”

Julia also proved her mettle as a babysitter, Ms. Holley added. “If my daughter Kailee was outside in the woods, I’d say, ‘Julia, where’s Kailee?’, and she’d go out and find her. She was like a person.”

At her new home in Minnesota, Julia has a part-time trainer, Jeremy Norton, who also works as a firefighter in Minneapolis. Mr. Norton agreed that Julia was a special dog, but he smiled a bit uncomfortably when asked to explain the $230,000 price.

“It’s in the eye of the beholder,” he said. “That’s as politic an answer as I can muster. I mean, Julia’s nice, but that’s half my house. There’s no way to wrap your head around that.”

A version of this article appeared in print on June 12, 2011, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: For the Executive With Everything, a $230,000 Dog to Protect It.

“The stalker stabbed one of the bodyguards, got out of jail and started showing up again,” Mr. Prather said. “Then they got a canine, and they haven’t seen the stalker since. People just have an innate fear of animals with sharp teeth. We don’t want to be on the menu.

Mr. Prather’s dogs are trained for three years in Germany before they go to South Carolina, where they receive further training and are put to the test of family living.

Before her sale, Julia lived for four months in the home of November Holley, the company’s vice president and head trainer.

Hudson Mod

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Only the Finest Purebred

European German Shepherds

Robb Report Magazine

Hudson’s Top 10

 

Guard Dog
Harrison K9 Security Services Aiken, SC $200,000

With Training not unlike the SEAL Team Six K-9 who stormed the compound to take out Osama Bin Laden, Harrison K9 trains only purebred European German Shepherds in protection, tracking, and obedience. Why go for hired muscle when you can get teeth and a pedigreed addition for the family to boot?

Harrison K-9 Note: Harrison K-9’s range in price from $40,000 and up. But remember, you get what you pay for. View our purebred European German Shepherds in our Showcase and choose your own Harrison K-9 today!

Why go for hired muscle when you can get teeth and a pedigreed addition for the family to boot?

Forbes Life

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Asko is an Angel!

All the while his vibrant eyes beam up at me, He is Ready to Protect me

Forbes Life, Feature Article Holiday Issue

Asko is an Angel! Well, all right, Asko is a dog, technically — a huge, panting, 110 pound purebred German shepherd. But still: When he sits, he leans into my leg, rubs his cheek against my knee and pushes his fanny toward the heel of my foot. His tail does a happy windshield wiper wag. He gently nudges my hand, licks my fingers and, though we met only a couple of hours ago, he obeys my every command. All the while his vibrant eyes beam up at me, dancing with loyalty and love. An absolute angel.

And then, bless his heart, when I point to that young woman across the room, he rushes toward her and tries to rip her arm from its socket with a ferocity forged in the fires of hell. Angel Asko is a devil dog, too.

The combination of angel and devil makes Asko a valuable pooch. This weekend a well-to-do family from White Plains, New York, will claim Asko as their own. Asko’s price tag: $42,000.

That sum, impressive as it is, places Asko in the middle of the pack for Harrison K-9s, some of which sell for as much as $55,000 and none for less than $25,000. For years Harrison Prather, founder of his eponymous K-9 service, trained German shepherds for military and police work until he glimpsed a new challenge in an unmet market niche: wealthy owners who needed a dog not only for security and protection but also as a safe and reliable family pet. Prather went upmarket, and today Harrison K-9 sells an average of 130 dogs a year, each trained to the specifications and needs of its new owners at the 25 acre compound of Harrison K-9 Security Services outside Aiken, South Carolina. Customers come from Europe, the U.S. and Latin America, and include an impressive number from the worlds of entertainment, politics and professional sports (almost all of whom, alas, deal with Prather on a guarantee of anonymity).

“We have a pretty high-profile lifestyle, we’re recognizable and we’ve had security problems in the past,” Hecker says. “We’ve got three different houses, and the dogs go with us everywhere, on our plane. We seldom use a bodyguard anymore. We don’t need guns, plainclothes personnel-none of that.

“We needed a dog that could separate his protection duties from day-to-day life,” says Dennis Hecker, a Minnesota entrepreneur who owns a pair of Harrison dogs. With children ages 5 and 12, as well as grandchildren from a previous marriage, Hecker was particularly concerned that any guard dog be sensitive to the rhythms and demands of his family.

“At the same time, we have a little girl who wants to play with her dogs constantly. She crawls in their cage and rubs their belly. We call our grandson ‘crocodile guy’ because he likes to get them down and pry open their mouths. They’re totally sweet.

“Then, if we give the right command, the dog turns into Norman Schwarzkopf I mean, you take one look at him and you’d have to be just dumb as hell to even…

Hecker chuckles. He doesn’t need to finish the thought. I’ve seen Asko~ teeth.

HARRISON PRATHER RECALLS WHEN he was first bitten, so to speak, by the passion for German shepherds. He was in the Army during the Vietnam War. One night at the enlisted men’s club, a brawl broke out. MPs arrived to break it up and decided to join the melee instead.
“Nobody’d pay attention to the MPs anyway,” Prather told me. “Everybody knew they wouldn’t do anything. It was a free-for-all.

“And then a canine team showed up. One man, one dog. And everything stopped. That was my first exposure to working dogs. I was thrilled by what they could do. 1 said, ‘This is my calling.”‘

After mustering out and graduating with a degree in business from the University of South Carolina, Prather apprenticed with a handler who specialized in training military and police dogs for tracking and patrol work. Eventually he started his own security dog business, and before long realized that whole aspects of the dogs’ nature were being ignored.

“Anybody can train a dog to be vicious,” he said. “They’re born and raised to bite. They naturally have that power. What you want is to control that power. Power without control is nothing.”

We were sitting in his wood-paneled office tucked at the edge of a stand of Pine and Hardwoods. Hung on the wall behind him was an oil painting of Honcho, now deceased. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without that dog,” he said, flexing the gold band of his Rolex. “Honcho showed me the possibilities. He was huge-like an oak stump with legs. Head the size of a basketball. But he was so gentle. A gentle giant.”
Honcho’s been dead for 17 years, but Prather pays tribute to him by producing gentle giants in the Honcho mold. Harrison K-9s come from a single source in Germany, where they’ve been certified by Schutzhund clubs-kin to the American Kennel Club, but more tightly regulated in the German manner, with Teutonic guarantees of quality control. By the time the dogs are selected and flown to Aiken, they’ve lived for at least two years with German families and been trained in the fundamentals of obedience.

Once in the compound, Prather’s trainers mold them to a client’s specifications. They can be taught to track your kids, case

your house, run an obstacle course, even to avoid poison food set out by a malefactor — everything but pick up the dry cleaning. The buyer of one recently sold dog, for example, wanted him to serve as both companion and guard to his invalid mother. To accustom him to his new situation, the trainer worked from a wheelchair, a simulated IV trailing alongside.

Prather instills the gentleness in the giants by hiring female trainers almost exclusively. The training is directly overseen by November Holley, a diminutive blonde and mother of two who’s worked for Harrison K-9 for 13 years. The feminine touch is essential to training the dogs, she told me.

A woman can’t bully a dog like this,” Holley said. “I’m just not physically strong enough. These dogs are as big as me-one gets up on his hind legs, he’s looking me in the face.” So she trains the dogs to respond to commands without brute force-verbal and manual signals that wives and children can use when the dogs are in their new homes. “If I’m going to get him to do what I want,” she said, “I need to be able to count on the dog’s intelligence and on the bond I have with him-just like the client will.” For the same reason, the trainers often bring the dogs home at night to play and sleep with their own children.

“We won’t sell you a dog that’s going to be around your kids unless the dog’s already been around our kids,” she said.

TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY
, the dogs are trained to be “wimp-proof” It’s not a technical term; I just made it up. But I know what I’m talking about. At my daughter’s insistence, several years ago our family bought a fluffy dog — a creature just large enough to get wedged between the pads of one of the paws of a Harrison K-9. Our relationship, owner to dog, has been fraught. Although chances are good that I could take this 15 pound bichon frise in a fair fight, he will do nothing I ask him to do, only what I ask him not to do. He senses my own uneasiness with discipline and force. He thinks I’m a wimp.

Would a Harrison K-9 have the same problem-or rather, would I have the same problem with a Harrison K-9? Holley offered to put me through a truncated version of the training that every new owner undergoes. The program normally lasts two days. Sometimes the clients fly to Aiken to train with their new pet across the open fields and through the woody thickets of the Harrison K-9 compound. More often the dog is delivered to the client’s house by a pair of Prather’s trainers, who introduce him (or her) to the new family and teach its members the commands and signals the dog relies on. (Bringing the trainers to your house is pricey: $ 1,900 a day, for two trainers, plus expenses-although, as Prather says, “price has never been a sticking point with our clients.”) My training began with “leash work. The leash, however, was attached to a bucket of rocks. “You’ve got to get comfortable with the commands before you work with the dog,” Holley told me. “Other-wise the dog will just get confused while you’re trying to figure them all out.” At her request I treated the bucket like a dog, tugging its leash and walking around its inert bulk and speaking sternly to it in German. All commands-there are only a handful of them-are given in Prather’s version of German, and each is spoken in tandem with a hand signal, for emphasis. “Blieb!” I would bark, thrusting palm outward: “Stay!” And the bucket stayed. But then so did Asko, when we were introduced. I petted him. We walked around, stopped and started. Within half an hour, he would sit when I said “Sitz!” (tapping my hand on my left leg) and lie down when I said “Platz!” (right hand swept downward in front of his nose). His tail did its windshield-wiper wag. At this point in normal, nonaccelerated training, Holley said, the dog would be left overnight with the new client and his family. “They’ve seen how gentle he is,” she said. “They’ll play with him, sleep with him. And then, the next day — well, I want you to fall in love with the teddy bear before I show you the alligator.” This is when I met Nika, an apprentice trainer who appeared in a padded mugger suit, her left arm heavily armored in a reinforced sleeve. I noticed she avoided eye contact with Asko, which seemed to put him on edge.

“Nika’s the bad guy,” Holley said.

Suddenly Nika fell to a feral crouch and made a feline hiss. At Holley’s instruction, I hissed too, to Asko: “Pass auf! (“Watch!”)
I was trying to sound more like Hermann Goring than Colonel Klink. And sure enough, Asko thrust to the end of his leash and danced a semicircle in front of me, his new pal, and directed a series of bloodcurdling barks at Nika. The leash was taut as a trout line. By the look of it I’d harnessed a hurricane, but Asko never strained beyond my control. When I barked “Aus!” (“Let go!”) Asko fell silent and retreated immediately to my side.

We repeated the exercise, Nika slowly advancing each time, until finally Holley let me yell “Pack Ihn!” (“Grab him!”) I let go of the leash, and Asko’s fangs were at once buried deep into Nika’s sleeve. Nika raised her arm, and he dangled blissfully. “Aus! “I yelled, and he was back next tome, looking into my eyes for approval. I petted him. He whimpered.

The final proof of my complete command over Asko came when Nika, now fully established as the bad guy, approached him. “Blieb! ” I said several times, and Asko stayed put. Nika cuffed him around the jowls. “Blieb!” 1 repeated. The firehose swung to and fro. Nika cuffed him again Asko looked up at me, awaiting instruction (please please please can I eat her?).

“Blieb!” Asko stayed, and Nika withdrew. In a final friendly gesture, she tossed him her protective sleeve, which he dug into with unmistakable satisfaction. After a time, Nika led Asko, the two of them once again good friends, back to the kennel.

The sense of confidence that comes from commanding such a superbly controlled animal is difficult to describe, especially for someone who’s used to being bullied by a bichon. The confidence must be especially welcome to a father or mother who can plausibly envision circumstances in which such an animal would be necessary or useful — as I, having neither riches nor a high profile, cannot. Of course, when my daughter starts dating…

“It’s just a sense of complete assurance,” Dennis Hecker, the Minnesota entrepreneur, told me. “It’s even better knowing that in a confrontation you’d rarely have to escalate from “Pass auf!” (Watch!) to “Pack lhn!” (Sic’em!)

“The dog all by himself is enough of a deterrent, psychologically and physically,” Prather told me. “This primal fear goes all the way back to the days of the saber-tooth tiger, when we humans were on the menu. These bad guys, they know the cops won’t shoot’em. They know the alarm system’s just a noisemaker. But they see that dog, and they think, well, there’s a lot of other big houses I can break into­ a lot of other rich people I can get at.”

…And a lot more clients for Prather to do business with

A Harrison German shepherd is a wonderfully warmhearted, kid-friendly companion. It is also 110 pounds of teeth, muscle, and passionate loyalty. Who better to look after the family while you’re away on business?

Cigar Aficionado

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99.9% Family Pet, but...

They know what to do if necessary

Cigar Aficionado

Harrison K-9®Protection Dogs

Harrison Prather, founder of Harrison K-9 Security Services, says that the dogs they train are “99.9 percent family pets, but should there be a problem they know what to do.” For the past 36 years, Prather has been training German Shepherds of high-pedigree in his 25- acre South Carolina facility to act as docile companions to familiar adults and children, but to attack interlopers on command. The dogs can even sense danger, according to Prather, picking us on such cues as strange behavior and the smell of adrenaline. “They know what’s normal and what’s not.”

Such companionship coupled with peace of mind comes at a price: from 35,000 to 200,000, depending on training and lineage. What you get is a dog born in Germany and guaranteed to have a detailed pedigree. The country’s meticulous standards for record keeping, that notes sound health and temperament for the last 60-70 years of its breeding.

Some of the secrets of producing dogs who act well in situations of play and peril lie in their training. The dogs live in family situations in Germany and the United States before they are sold and are trained in real life venues like homes and offices. Women teach Harrison K-9 dogs to insure that they can be handled by small people. Male trainers tend to teach through intimidation. Females train through positive reinforcement. This means that the dog will respond to commands, not just size. It also instills confidence, not fear, in the animal. “I’m not selling killer animals,” says Prather. “We can’t sell crazy.”

New owners are also trained, either at the Harrison K-9®facility or at their home. The dogs, who learn to respond to 15 different German commands, will warn off suspicious people by barking. If more persuasive means are necessary, they will bite and hold, but only when told to do so or when threatened, and will release on command. The pets can also track a lost child and will search an area before you enter.

Great effort is also expended to ensure their dogs and their future families make good pairings. “We care as much about the dogs as the clients,” says Prather, who is an occasional cigar smoker. “I’m sort of like a matchmaker.”

Female trainers train through positive reinforcement. This means that the dog will respond to commands, not just size. It also instills confidence, not fear, in the animal. “I’m not selling killer animals,” says Prather. “We can’t sell crazy.”

Haute Living

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Man's Best Friend

is also his best protection

Haute Living

Man’s Best Friend is Also His Best Protection
Harrison K-9 Security Services provides the ultimate security device that is safe and fun for kids and families.

Statistics show that home break-ins are on the rise, and the pattern of when a home is burglarized has changed. In the past, a break-in usually occurred when the home was empty during the day or while the family was away on vacation. According to recent studies, that is no longer true. Today’s intruder, in many cases, is not a single burglar, but a group of criminals working together. They have no fear of entering a home when the family is sleeping at night and may accost anyone who is awakened by the noise. There is also the home-invasion criminal who breaks in at any time of day with no concern for who is home; some of these offenders will deal with unexpected family members in whatever manner required in order to achieve their criminal objective.

Let’s face it, as technology grows leaps and bounds, our lives have become easier and more connected. From cell phones to automatic gates to advanced security systems controlled online, it seems we are all electronically linked in some way. Unfortunately criminals are connected too. However, there is a device that can protect the home and family that cannot be compromised by hackers, thieves, or technological glitches. Harrison K-9® Security Services, LLC offers world-class European German shepherds who provide safety and security while serving as the family’s favorite companion and loyal best friend.
Known worldwide as the pioneers of the K-9 security industry, Harrison K-9® has provided European German shepherds to prominent clients around the globe, including a top-secret “who’s who” list of dignitaries, celebrities, and C-level executives. Because anonymity is sacred at Harrison K-9®, they refuse to capitalize on their confidential client list. “We are recognized as the best at what we do and we do not advertise who our clients are,” says Harrison Prather, founder and CEO of Harrison K-9®. “They can expect to remain anonymous.” Having sold these top-of-the-line K-9s for more than three decades to families, famous entertainers, professional athletes, well-known television news commentators, and world government leaders, the company must be on the right track.

Harrison K-9® only imports European German shepherds from the pure and closely guarded bloodlines of Germany’s finest breeders. All of their K-9s are certified in the renowned Schutzhund competitions (the gold standard by which working dogs are judged internationally) and have achieved the equivalent of a master’s degree in tracking, obedience, and protection. Prather explains, “If a German shepherd cannot achieve a title in Schutzhund, there is usually a reason, and it is not a reason most people want in their homes and around their families.”

The training these dogs receive at Harrison K-9®’s 25-acre facility, located in Aiken, South Carolina, is just as fascinating as the concept of this business itself. Each dog’s training is tailored to suit the personal preferences and needs of the client that is purchasing the dog. Harrison says, “The abilities of the European German shepherd are endless, and these dogs are always up to the task of learning something new. Training can include locating the scent of missing children, avoiding poisonous foods, searching the home for intruders, and protecting the owner from car-jackings, just to name a few.”

Female trainers are another key to Harrison K-9®’s success. With a training staff made up predominately of women, these dogs are trained not only in advanced obedience and protection techniques, but also the demeanor most ladies prefer around their children and families and how to respond correctly in a home environment. This gives a Harrison German shepherd the edge over the competition because the dog can respond instantly to provide the protection for the family that the man of the house desires when he is away, while still maintaining instinctual knowledge of how to behave around the lady of the house, and be a gentle, best friend to the children. With a price tag of $35,000 to $60,000, these dogs do not come cheap, but peace of mind in regards to safety and security never does.

Harrison K-9 Security Services, LLC
803.649.5936
www.harrisonk9.com

Today’s intruder, in many cases, is not a single burglar, but a group of criminals working together. They have no fear of entering a home when the family is sleeping at night and may accost anyone who is awakened by the noise.

Monetary Intelligence

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A Lover and a Fighter

Protect your home, play with the children, & provide countless hours of companionship

Monetary Intelligence, 2009

A Lover and a Fighter:
Harrison K-9s Security Dogs are
Recognized World Wide as
The Top of the Line in Family Security!

Every so quietly a click of the latch and the sound of the sliding glass whispered in the quiet of the house-you’ve been targeted for home invasion. Then an explosion of barking and snapping teeth erupt in the night as your Harrison K-9 Executive Protection trained dog, launches a full out defense against the intruder who dares enter their domain. Home invasions are on the rise and these invaders are more vicious, crafty and skilled then the burglar of the old days. Just as technology has grown so has the ability of the average criminal. Luckily there is a device for you that can protect your home and family, play with the children, provide countless hours of companionship and, oh yeah-cant be bought, bribed, hacked into or stolen. A Harrison K-9®!

Harrison Prather, Founder and CEO of Harrison K-9 Security Services, LLC has been in the business of providing these outstanding K-9s to individuals and families all over the world for 42 years. His company trains the European German Shepherd in advanced obedience, Executive Personal Protection, tracking for lost children, and in-home search for intruders. Harrison, as he prefers his friends and clients to call him, imports these outstanding K-9 from Germany when they are around three years old. These German-bred dogs-which Harrison describes as the Thoroughbreds of the dog world-are judged on an International standard called Schutzhund, (Schutzhund literally means protection dog, in German) or the level of ability to which the dog can perform a series of demanding tasks with a handler directed by a certified judge.

This competition qualifies the dogs to a point, Harrison is careful to point out. He says, With our training methods we take out more of the Schutzhund protection than we leave in, we put a spin on the training that makes the dogs practical in the home not just on a competition field. He compares it to getting a job out of college: you might have the credentials necessary, but after you are hired, you still need training to meet the specific needs of your new employer. This is why, even after the Schutzhund training, these dogs head to his facility located in South Carolina-complete with practical threatening situations in cars, in the office, on backwoods paths, and in the home-and turns them into ever vigilant fighting machines.

Training is intense and one example of Harrison K-9s proprietary training methods is the Vigilant mode this is where the dog, once give the command sicher (secure in German) the dog will form a 360 degree three foot perimeter off-leash encircling the handler to protect him from any and all threats. This training is an example of some of the training Working K-9s went through in Vietnam protecting the soldiers back; and Harrison was exposed to while serving in the Army during the Vietnam war. When asked the validity of this training and how often he felt it was actually practical to use. He told us, Most people, in their private home, if the bad guy attacks them or their family are going to release the dog and allow him to do his job while they call the police or get their firearm. This training is designed for beyond the home, outside of the family’s natural element where sounds and people are different and you never know which one is the next threat to you and your family. The dog is quietly watchful and ever vigilant but in full control both on and off-leash.

Control is the foundation to describe the demeanor of a Harrison K-9. In fact, these dogs are specifically trained to exhibit immense control that is regulated at the discretion of the handler. Discretion and control remain with the handler, not the dog, says the instructional video on their website, www.harrisonk9.com, even when teased, hit, and disturbed, the dog will not attack the assailant unless the handler directs.

This control is born of confidence: once an animal feels confident in his abilities they don’t feel the need to display aggression to protect themselves. Harrison says. These dogs are not afraid of being hurt, nor do they fear dying, a dog of this level has no concept he can be defeated and does not feel he needs to prove himself with unnecessary aggression.

Furthermore, these dogs are not meant just to protect the family but also to be part of the family as a companion. While they can bark, bite and hold an intruder they can also be incredibly gentle. A quick glimpse at the web site shows children and babies hugging and leaning on panting dogs. You can tell the dogs crave attention, but you would never guess those teddy bear faces harbor a constant working mind on the lookout for the bad guy. Ninety percent of all of our dogs go into homes with small children and other animals. Harrison tells us, Gentleness is our top priority.

To cultivate these gentle tendencies, Harrison maintains a staff primarily of female trainers and handlers. The staff is trained from within the organization to assure everyone is training at the same level and quality. With female trainers on staff, Harrison is able to assure his clients that the dogs not only get a sense for their new owners and environments but that almost anyone, including children, can handle a Harrison K-9. Harrison tells us, My typical client is a family where the man travels and the women and children stay at home, leaving the dog alone with the wife and children. We often run into resistance with the wife and mother of the children as they fear for their child’s safety. This is a legitimate concern and seeing the dogs work with female trainers that are mothers themselves is a big reassurance.

Each dog is tailored to the individual needs of the family, with no two dogs being trained exactly alike, including considerations that pertain to cooperation with other animals, comfort with travel, and activity level of the family. Harrison tells us, We are often asked what level of training is this dog. These dogs do not come in levels like a computer program, each dog has a foundation of training and then each dog is modified to fit the clients personal lifestyle and family. Just like families do not come in levels and are individual; each dog is individual as well.

Aside from the dogs personality, their training can include locating the scent of missing children, and avoiding poisoned food. Harrison tells of a story about a client who, after setting up a night camera, found that during the course of one eight-hour period , while the family was asleep, the dog got up nineteen times and went around the house to inspect, then came back and laid down again in front of the children’s bedroom door. Nobody, no matter how much you pay them is going to give you the eyes and ears of a watchful Harrison K-9 German Shepherd, all the time 24/7 X 365 days a year. He says.

And this is what gives Harrison, who used to train K-9s for the U.S. Military and has been in this business for thirty-four years non-stop, his greatest satisfaction. Theres a lot of reward in knowing that you are doing some good, he says. My clients are looking for safe, reliable family security, and even though it comes with a price, the average dogs cost between $30,000.00 and $60,000.00 each. Harrison’s clients can see past the monetary cost to the value of peace of mind for their family and security for their home that goes above and beyond the call of duty. Ask yourself just how much is your family’s security worth. WWW.HARRISONK9.COM

“Just as technology has grown so has the ability of the average criminal. Luckily there is a device for you that can protect your home and family, play with the children, provide countless hours of companionship and, oh yeah-cant be bought, bribed, hacked into or stolen. A Harrison K-9!”

Moves Magazine

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Security with a Twist

The epitome of controlled aggression!

Moves Magazine,Athletes in Motion, Spring 2008


 About Professional Athletes – For Professional Athletes

The trail of ink ended in a swoosh signifying the beginning of an entirely new existence. The exclusive contract you have been inching toward since high school is now official. Random thoughts begin to surface as your neurons rapidly fire on the drive home.

Soon after you pull into the driveway your Blackberry starts to vibrate. Thinking its a close relative calling with congratulatory prose, you answer with a hint of hubris.

Little do you know an unwanted chain of events has established momentum. Now your business is in the streets and everyone needs a favor Russell, the gas station clerk, the mailman. All of a sudden what was supposed to be the most fulfilling day of your life is being turned inside out by mere acquaintances.

Refuge exists in the workout room, so you head there to relieve doses of spontaneous stress. Before the first set is completed your name crawls on the sports ticker informing the world of your financial business. Scenarios like this exist too often in the world of professional athletics. Fortunately, there are ways to protect you and your family from unforeseen acts of aggression. Gated neighborhood, elite alarm system, video surveillance, Remington its all there. Yet in this day and age criminals are craftier than ever. The aforementioned line of defense just isn’t enough to ward off a determined thief or would be attacker anymore, especially since your teams road schedule is accessible virtually any here

Welcome to the world of protection canines. Think of it as another layer of security with a twist. For the price of a European saloon, these canines are the epitome of controlled aggression. Equipped with conditioned response mechanisms, these European German Shepherds can compute dozens of commands on or off leash. With a lineage that is traceable up to 60 years, documentation ensures each owner is acquiring the most exquisite stock. But it does come at a price. Depending on the lineage, European training background and level of advanced training these canines receive prices start at $30,000 and can exceed $60,000. So who are successful professionals turning to?
When it comes to trained purebreds there is one specialist that supplies what discerning clients expect out of an elite dog: the right temperament and social skills to co-exist with the wife and children without compromising the ability to defend on moments notice. Welcome to the world of Harrison K-9 Security Services. Widely regarded as the pioneer of Executive Protection Dogs, Harrison K-9 Security Services has been in the business since 1975. Founded by Harrison Prather, Harrison K-9 is located on a 25-acre compound in South Carolina. All European German Shepherds come to Prather from Germany with extensive experience of Schutzhund a German dog sport and exposure to social family environments. Upon receiving top bloodlines, Prather spends the next three months taking the Schutzhund out of the dog and recalibrating its hardware, so to speak.

Training can include Advanced Obedience , Tracking to find a lost child, In home search for intruders, Anti- kidnapping training, and vehicle protection for carjacking. The more advanced the training the higher the price. Included in the package is a two-day handlers training course at the South Carolina facilities, a comprehensive video for reference and, for an additional fee, a trainer will travel to your residence for a two or three day course for further guidance. My client travels, has a young family and is worried about their security, Prather points out. The more money you have the more high profile you are. FBI statistics say that out of 2,000 kidnapping a day only 1,000 are recovered.

Harrison K-9 serves an international clientele made up of Who’s Who in Business, Entertainment, Fortune 500 Executives, Political Figures and of Course Professional Athletes.
For more information
(803) 649-5936
www.harrisonk9.com

When it comes to trained purebreds there is one specialist that supplies what discerning clients expect out of an elite dog: the right temperament and social skills to co-exist with the wife and children without compromising the ability to defend on moments notice. Welcome to the world of Harrison K-9 Security Services.