By using appropriate performance testing and selective breeding, American Sentinel K9, LLC strives to provide individuals and families with safe, stable protection dogs and guard dogs that have the genetic components required by bandogs to develop into highly effective family companion guardian K9s with minimal proper training, and truly excel when advanced training is provided.
The concept of the American Sentinel as a breed began in 1990. H. Lee Robinson, the founder of the American Sentinel Bandog, obtained both a B.S. in Animal Sciences in 1993 and Master's in Animal Sciences in 1997. During these years, Lee also developed extensive knowledge on working dogs and selective breeding. By using performance testing, health testing, and knowledge in genetics, Lee began pursuing his goal for the American Sentinel Bandog program. Understanding the concept of gene flow (the movement of genes from one population to another) provided us with the knowledge to produce our foundation dogs from carefully selected high performance working dogs. From there, the course of genetic drift (altering the frequency of genes within a population) was simply guided by objectively testing and selective breeding for many generations to refine the American Sentinel as a breed.
Photo: Lee holds a gift he received from Mr. Mahlon "Pat" Patrick, who received the 2000 ADBA Dogman Hall of fame due to his exceptional breeding program that lasted 40 years. After purchasing five American Sentinels from American Sentinel K9, LLC, Mr. Patrick gave this award to Lee as a thank you for excellent service, and stated "the American Sentinel is the only dog of any other breed that displayed the same level of drive and intensity as the dogs I use to breed." Mr. Patrick has his dogs companions and guard dogs/protection dogs.
American Sentinel K9, LLC supports our right to defend our selves and others.
The Declaration of Independence acknowledges certain unalienable rights, rights we are born with, and specifically mentions our rights to life, liberty (freedom), the pursuit of happiness. The Bill of Rights also acknowledges many rights, among the list is the 2nd Amendment, which is there to protect all the other rights stated in the document. A quality dog not only serves as a great companion, but also helps protect these rights. The loyalty offered by a good dog is unmatched, which is why they are often referred to as "man's best friend." It takes both experience and education to develop a true knowledge and understanding of a subject.
It is our goal at American Sentinel K9, LLC to produce the best bandogs in the history of the world, and certainly the best in existence today for our goals. We also listen to our clients to help them find the right dog for their situation. It is our goal to treat our customers the way we would want to be treated. While customer service is important to us, with all our responsibilities we do stay extremely busy. As a result, it is generally best to review the information on our website before contacting us regarding what is available; however, make sure you speak with us before sending in a deposit for a puppy so we can discuss your personal needs and expectations. This allows us to make the best recommendations for your situation.
H. Lee Robinson, Masters in Animal Sciences, biology/genetics professor, & K9 breeder
H. Lee Robinson, M.S. is the owner and training director at American Sentinel K9, LLC. Before working to improve the quality of working dogs in the United States, Lee pursued accurate information on the various philosophies, theories, and practices as they pertained to animal behavior, anatomy & physiology, husbandry, genetics, and reproduction. Lee's research and personal interests with working animals led him to study bandogs and their use as protection dogs, guard dogs, and hog catch dogs in the early 1990's while obtaining a Bachelor's Degree (1993) and a Master's Degree (1997) in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois.
While pursuing his education, Lee also gained experience in animal behavior, training, and reproduction by working with professionals in the animal industry, including various trainers versed in obedience and protection dogs and also worked with the Center or Reproduction of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden's, after becoming certified in Artificial Insemination.
Every dog bred at American Sentinel K9, LLC is performance tested and hip x-ray tested, and we offer one of the best health guarantees in the bandog industry. In addition to the above, Lee has produced and trained hundreds of working bandogs. For these reasons, American Sentinel K9, LLC is able to offer a level of education, experience, and service that other bandog breeders cannot match. Thank you for reading.
Animals do not define behavior or genetics. Definitions are just words. Many people can understand words, but can they recognize what is going on? Animals cannot tell you what they are thinking, they display behavior and phenotypes that are defined by their experiences and genetics. We have to take what we see the animals display, and define our observations with words. Experience provides the "display" component. Education provides the "definitions" component. By developing our education and experience, we build upon the knowledge acquired by those that came before us, and develop our own understanding...and only after a true understanding begins to occur is the proper application of true knowledge possible. Many newbies simply have not yet invested the time, research, education, and/or experience to really develop the knowledge that they often think they have, which creates unnecessary hurdles in their achievements. (For more details on animal behavior, click here.)
In my private and professional studies, I began to realize the best performing domesticated animals were produced by people that 1. accepted limitations of man's abilities and 2. removed delusional mindset often created by wishful thinkers. Throughout history, the best breeders of performance animals yielded to reality and accepted the practices of natural selection. Natural selection is based on the concepts of survival of the fittest. What I mean by this is...Simply because we want something to be so, doesn't make it true. If we want success, we cannot be kennel blind or just wish something into existence. Producing quality takes work...and a lot of it. Desire is not enough. To get the best, we have to select for the best, and to do that we have to place the performance of the desired task above all other criteria.
People have purposefully mutated many breeds of dogs and then try to justify it by stating they are "breeding to the standard." Have you ever noticed that registered "working breeds" are almost always owned and bred by people that do not work their dogs? It is delusional to think one can produce working dogs without actually working them. One cannot simply speak performance into existence. We are not gods here, and hoping is not going to cut it. When breeding working dogs, we should put stability, ability, and health over all else. Ironically, many "working dog" breeders purposefully produce dogs towards a mutated standard knowing the dogs are unable to perform the most basic aspects of life. If you doubt this, look at the Neapolitan Mastiff, Chinese Shar-pei, or the English Bulldog, neither of which is a functional dog anymore. These are just two of many examples of dogs ruined by poor breeding. Such dogs are plagued with genetic diseases caused by traits that are described as desirable in poorly written standard, turning working breeds into gargoyles and nothing more than shadows of what they once were before technology began replacing them. Breeders of such animals lie to themselves and justify such practices, meanwhile they deny the truth that sits in front of them. The overall well being of such canine companions is completely ignored. Dogs obviously do not wish to be imprisoned within mutated bodies and genetic disorders.
People have also continually tried to find short cuts to replace performance testing, but the truth lies in what works. There are no short cuts to replace performance testing. Be it milk production in dairy cows or the speed of a greyhound, actual performance testing for the desired task is the only way to truly and objectively measure performance. If you want to include other tests, such as some lab tests, fine...but do not let those tests replace good old fashioned performance selection. It should be noted that the healthiest breeds on the planet were produced by performance testing, and that is because when it comes time to work, only the strongest and healthiest specimens routinely win.
Breeding selection within the gene pool in nature is controlled by "natural selection." Although breeding animals within captivity is technically called "artificial selection," by using performance criteria to select breeding stock we are able to model the process of "natural selection" and achieve our goals...even when our goals are different than what would be best in nature. In the wild, the selected task is survival in nature, but in captivity the selected tasks are often set by the breeder. Breeders should ask themselves, "what is my goal?" If one desires performance, then they need to breed for it! "Beat'em in the brood box" so to speak. If you desire to produce performance animals, don't select for head size. Selecting for head size will get you head size. Selecting for blue will get you blue. Selecting for hip scores will get you hip scores. Selecting for loose skin will get you loose skin (and likely skin disease as well). All the above methods are selecting for a form or a type, but not a function. The answer to producing quality living beings is very simple...to get performance, you have to start by selecting for performance. This is the practice at American Sentinel K9, LCC! The American Sentinel Canine line of bandogs perform as family companions and as guardians...hence the reference to the "family companion guardian."
One of the finest lessons I learned runs parallel with the thoughts of a great dog man, Bert Sorrells, who for decades produced one of the finest lines of working dogs that existed. Bert Sorrells' knowledge of working dogs is extensive, and he is well known for producing dogs that excel in truly competitive performance measures. According to Mr. Sorrells,
"If you want to produce dogs that perform, you breed dogs that perform. You can't make excuses for why a dog fails, and then try to justify breeding it. This will only produce more dogs that fail. If a dog is consistently a strong performer though, you can make allowances for things you don't really like if you wish to breed this dog. The difference between excuses and allowances is determined by performance. Excuses are made for losers. Allowances are made for winners. For a breeder that desires performance, it doesn't matter how the dog over comes the challenges to perform. All that really matters is if the dog is a consistent performer or not. Breeders that consistently produce dogs that consistently perform do not make excuses for dogs that consistently fail. Dogs that don't perform have to be removed from the breeding program (gene pool) regardless of how much we like certain things about them. And, dogs that consistently perform well can be bred (given they have appropriate temperaments) if we wish to breed them regardless of if we like everything about them or not. Breeders have to decide what traits they are going to select for. If a breeder measures performance as a trait, and selects on this basis, then the breeder is more likely to produce dogs that perform."
This is what we strive to do at American Sentinel K9, LLC, as I agree with Mr. Sorrells completely. He also stated that you have to decide what performance features you desire to obtain and be clear about that goal. During our discussion he referenced to desired selection measures being set by the "traits," and for performance dogs the expression of these traits are to be measured by performance criteria in order to maintain objectivity just as if we are doing scientific experiments. Sure we should see and observe...and we know what we know...but we shouldn't let our knowledge lead to speculation...and we should accept the performance truths as they present themselves (assuming data is fairly represented). Bert knows dogs and knows what he is talking about. The use of this thinking though shouldn't be used just because he stated it though...it should be used because he is right.
The pressures placed upon a species by natural selection determines how a species "evolves." If a dog fails the test, it is "not breed worthy"...and it does not matter why the dog fails. Don't excuse the failure. If a dog does perform and it doesn't matter why the dog succeeds, then the dog "is breed worthy" if you choose to breed it. If you select for non-performance goals (blue coat, head size, hip scores, etc), don't expect to produce performance dogs as these traits don't ensure performance. And, if you want performance, then performance measures need to be your selection pressures...not anything else. Would you breed a dog for a "big head" or a "blue coat?" Although there is nothing wrong with these traits per say, balance must be maintained and measured by performance. If these traits exist in your performing dog, that is fine, but to produce performance dogs you can't select a dog just because a dog expresses a particular physical feature within its phenotype. And if we start looking for "other traits" besides performance then we will often loose our objectivity into accepting the truth as it is presented. This type of thinking is why many show breeders have ruined or are ruining so many working dogs. It is happening today because the strong voices of ignorant show breeders influence many uninformed people...and without in depth thinking on such issues the blind quickly follow the blind assuming that if these things are popular they must be correct.
Performance selection will remove for any reason of failure...be it temperament, angulation, tendons, ligaments, muscles, drives, cardiovascular, respiratory, and the most important nervous system. Performance is obtained by a combination of features. To "test" for all of the needed features for performance we would first have to be able to... 1. Recognize all of the contributing factors of performance instead of simply looking at the performance results (the sum result) AND 2. Have a test for ALL (hundreds, if not thousands) of each individual component. Obviously, this is not only impractical, but it is impossible. Instead just select for performance and you will end up combining working gene pools together and improve the dogs rather than "improving" the paper work. If you want a bandog that works, get one from a breeder that tests their stock as protection dogs, guard dogs, or at catching wild hogs.
Keaten became involved with the American Sentinel program around 2009. While Keaten has been a hunter nearly all his life, since 2009 he has also developed a lot of interest in the protection side of the bandogs, and has really expanded his knowledge and skill set as both a handler and trainer in this regard.
Keaten began by working some of our seasoned trained dogs to learn the mechanics of bitework, and once he understood these components, he then began working young development dogs under our guidance. He has also studied animal behavior extensively and over the years, he has developed an excellent understanding of canine behavior. Learning what motivates a dog, the foundations of training, and obtaining experience working many dogs, Keaten has developed a great deal as a handler, and also developed a lot as a training decoy for working protection dogs and guard dogs.
Keaten currently owns and handles Rebel, Kovu, Valkyrie, Grendel, Rogue, and Freya, all of which are American Sentinels. He also has a few Jag Terriers and hog bay dogs that he uses for hog hunting.
Of all the people we have ever worked with, Keaten has without a doubt has remained the most dedicated person we have worked with, and we are blessed to have him on our team.
Bandog - Hog catch - American Sentinel - Keaten Temple
Before you purchase a dog from a breeder, please take the time to be sure you are funding an ethical breeder that maintains clean and healthy conditions for their dogs, and are not supporting someone that keeps dogs in small plastic or wire crates 24-7. Healthy working dogs need exercise and proper care. With the interest in "Bandogs" on the rise, many programs come and go, but do not invest the proper time or care to keep, develop, train, and test their dogs appropriately. My program was established in 2000, but my training began even before then. As long as the good Lord enables me, it is my intent to continue my program for several more decades and to offer them the best care I can.
A quality breeding program must maintain access to a significant gene pool of quality specimens from which appropriate breeding selections can be made, not just one or two good males being bred to average quality females. Undedicated kennels often only keep a few males but many lower quality females for quick breeding, and they do this because they know most clients only look at the male. This mistake restricts breeding decisions and genetic selection. Over time, such kennels typically fade away in just a few years as they find themselves being unsuccessful. Very few kennels last more than 5 years...disappearing as quickly as they pop up. Our program began in 2000, and has remained focused, dedicated, and well established...simply getting stronger ever year.
A kennel truly dedicated to bettering a breed must maintain access to both a number of quality of males and females. Very few facilities have the time, staff, and/or resources to do this with even one breed of dog, much less several breeds of dogs. Beware of programs that have more than two breeds of dogs, for when one's goal is to improve a breed, every potential kennel space becomes occupied with a dog that helps the breeder obtain that goal. When dealing with working bandogs and APBTs ("pitbulls"), the labors become even more compounded. Every dog we keep plays a role in furthering the development of the American Sentinel Canine bandog breeding program. Testing and properly selecting the best candidates prior to breeding is a necessity. Only after testing a dog's ability to perform a desired task should breeding programs determine which specimens are bred. Our program sticks to our clearly defined goal to produce the ultimate family companion guardian...focussing on companion oriented protection dogs and guard dogs, although they also excel at catching wild hogs as well. Few programs have an adequate number of dogs to have a qualified gene pool, understand genetic principles, and have clearly defined goals. Even fewer programs test their dog’s ability to perform at a given goal. By developing our understanding of genetic principles, animal physiology, and animal behavior; by being able to maintain a large number of quality specimens of each sex; and by testing and selecting these dogs on their ability to perform exclusively at clearly defined and specific goals,
American Sentinel K9, LLC is able to make breeding decisions that are truly in the best interest of the breed's development; therefore, we are able to solidify our success at producing stable, loyal, powerful, athletic, family companion K-9 guardians that are suitable for active family settings. Our dedication to fulfill all these requirements is why the American Sentinel Canine is the finest Bandog type program in the world. If you doubt this claim, research the various programs out there and find another such program that does this. Don't look for hype, look for facts. Don't look at claims, look at the work. Look at the education, training, facility, duration, foundation, depth, and success of the various "programs" that are out there and typically what you will find will consist of claims, but little facts and even lesser proof when it comes to displaying their bandogs work as protection dogs, guard dogs, or as hog catch dogs.
Over the years, American Sentinel K9, LLC has grown extensively and maintained a high quality breeding program in an independent fashion; however, to further our success and the future of the American Sentinel we have expanded and have developed a few "extension programs" with select individuals. This expansion allows us to select, maintain access to, train, and develop even a larger number of quality dogs, further solidifying the success of the American Sentinel program. If you are interested in becoming an extension of our own program, feel free to contact me at AmericanSentinelK9@gmail.com.
American Sentinel K9, LLC .... American Bandog .... American Bandogge Mastiff .... American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT)
American Sentinel K9, LLC - Creator of the American Sentinel as the premier family K9 companion guardian. The American Sentinel is the most tested and proven bandog in existence today, and performs very well in protection dog applications or as a canine hunter (aka..."catch dog") of dangerous wild game, such as wild boar.
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