Contact Information


After reviewing our website, feel free to contact us. Thank you!

American Sentinel is the breed name for our dogs. "Bandog" is not a breed, it is a job.

Phone: 601-573-3449

Hours: (central time)

Mon-Friday:  4 PM - 9 PM

Saturday:  8 AM -9 PM

Sunday:  1 PM - 9PM  

Common Questions

Question 1: "What is a bandog?"

Not only is American Sentinel K9, LLC the most proven bandog program in the world, but it is also one of the oldest bandog programs in the world, and the only program owned by someone professionally versed in Animal Sciences. As a result, a lot of people contact us with basic questions about bandogs. If this is what you seek, instead of contacting me, please review our articles "The History of the Bandog" and "The Swinford Bandog" by clicking on the link below. Thank you. 

Is your question listed?

Please review the questions listed here and below before contacting us. We will gladly take your all or eMail, but due to time constraints, this may be the quickest way to find your answer. 

2. "What is an American Sentinel?"

The American Sentinel concept began in the early 1990's, and the project of the breed's development began in 2000. The goal of the American Sentinel has been to use performance selection in order to produce a breed (a line/strain) of dogs that excel in applications suitable for working bandogs,  dogs that excel at protection work or catching dangerous wild game. A  breed is not a species, nor is it a category of taxonomy. Instead, a  breed is term that is used to describe a group of individuals that  display the traits described in a "breed standard." Nothing more. Breeds  should display a degree of uniformity, and have less genetic variation  than what is seen in the general population of canines. Some breed  standards focus on physical appearance, some focus on function, and some  focus on both. We breed working dogs that fit the characteristics  described within the American Sentinel breed standard, which addresses the physical and mental requirements required to excel at catch work and protection work. 

3. "How did you create the American Sentinel?"

The people that ask this question are typically under the impression that the American Sentinel  is produced by cross breeding certain breeds of dogs, and simply put,  that couldn't be further from the truth. As a result, to list what  breeds we used to create the American Sentinel   would be misleading; therefore, I prefer not to list the breeds used.  If however you are asking because you wish to get a better understanding  what the American Sentinel  is, then I would recommend that you look at the traits of my dogs for  your answer. I, H. Lee Robinson, have been teaching genetics for  approximately 20 years, and simply put, genetics is a branch of biology,  not chemistry. A breed is defined by alleles and traits, not  percentages of various ingredients used in a "secrete recipe." Different  breeders could start off with the same family of purebred dogs and end  up producing very different dogs depending upon their knowledge of  genetics and what selection criteria they use. I obtained two degrees in  Animal Sciences (a B.S. & a M.S.)  to learn about genetics and behavior, worked with some of the top  trainers in the world, researched the work of some of the world's most  notable breeders of canines, selected some of the finest foundation  stock available, trained and evaluated many generations of dogs, and  created a well respected international breeding program. My breeding  program began in 2000, but my personal labors on this project are over  two decades. I have invested an extensive amount of my time, education,  training, work, and money (well over $200,000 if you add it all up) into  the development of the American Sentinel. So, the answer to this question is...the American Sentinel  is not a product of cross breeding, but instead is a product of using  my knowledge and experience along with performance selecting to produce a  population or "family" of dogs that display the traits we consider  desirable.

It is a goal of mine to  educate the public about performance selection in order to improve the  health and working ability of canines. Kennel Clubs have foolishly  promoted the idea of breeding selection on the basis of pedigree alone  when they should be promoting quality performance selection to a working "breed's standard." A quick lesson here is...

Conformation should suggest sound structure, but it doesn't actually confirm it.

A pedigree suggests what a dog is suppose to be, but it doesn't always determine it.

Only performance measures truly tell what a dog is, and testing requires the dog to work.

For this reason, identifying what breeds I used would not properly  describe my dogs. In fact, the question "What breeds did you use," is  one of the major reasons bandogs today are far too often of low quality, because many amateur "bandog  breeders" think they can just copy some published "breed foundation  recipe" instead of using performance selection to produce great results.  Honestly, only an ignorant breeder would think success was that simple.  I want breeders to successfully improve the health and working ability  of canines today. To accomplish this, we need to properly promote the  use of performance selection to capture the desired traits.

The American Sentinels  are defined as a family of dogs with a high degree of mental stability,  physical health, athleticism, fight drive, prey drive, defense drive,  power, confidence with strong nerves, endurance, heat tolerance, a  desire to please their master, and a short coat. Meanwhile, American Sentinel   should NOT be high in rank drive as dogs that are high in rank drive  are more prone to challenge their family, which is undesirable in a  family protector. 

4. "What is the difference between an American Sentinel and a bandog?"

 When properly used, the word "bandog"  is an adjective that describes a job, not a breed. The question "What  is a bandog," is like asking "What is a guard dog?" Or, "What is a catch  dog?" Many "bandog breeders" fail to understand this and mistakenly refer to the bandog as a breed, when it should be a job description. Additionally, nearly every "bandog program" has their own goal, and there are many "recipes" for such dogs, and therefore the diversity of such said "bandogs"  is rather extreme...ranging from healthy and athletic working dogs to  non-functional unsound and unfit pets. While there are some quality bandog programs out there, buyer beware, as most "bandog breeders" do not understand what a true bandog is, and without that understanding they cannot produce true bandogs.  As a result, consistency does not exist in the "bandog." 

This is why we refer to our dogs as "American Sentinel Canine," as the American Sentinel Canine is the "breed name" we use to describe our lines of working bandogs. We are developing the American Sentinel Canine as a modern breed that meets the high performance standards established by the legendary bandogs of history. Our dogs represent the "old world bandog," and should not be confused with the inconsistent and non-functional "bandogs" that are so commonly produced by pet breeders today. 

Question 5: "How can I tell if a breeder is producing real bandogs or not?"

ASK FOR CONSISTENT PROOF!!! There are some bandog programs out there that have high standards, but unfortunately most "bandog breeders" are parasiting off the name and do not work their dogs. Such breeders seldom even know what a true bandog  is suppose to be, much less own one, and are even less likely to  consistently produce such. A breeder cannot consistently produce working  bandogs  unless they CONSISTENTLY work and test their stock, and then only  reproduce the individuals that work well. I have seen several programs  make false claims about their dogs being of "working type" when said  breeders do not test the performance of their dogs. If they claim their  dogs to be protective, ask for proof. If they say their dogs can do catch work,  ask for proof. And, finding one specimen in a hundred (owned by some  client that had a brief evaluation) after putting hundreds of dogs on  the ground doesn't make a working bandog  program. They need to be able to provide CONSISTENT PROOF for such  work...including not just the dogs being bred, but also their relatives  too. For this reason, ASK FOR PROOF. If a breeder is not willing to  provide you with evidence that they consistently work THEIR dogs, I  recommend you disregard any claims they make. I say this because it is  far more common to find a "bandog  breeder" that says they work their dogs than it is to find one that  really does so...much less does so consistently. Look for quality work.  Grips should be full. Dogs should be athletic and conditioned. Do NOT be  fooled by unsupported claims. 

Question 6: "I got a dog from "So-n-So." Can you evaluate him to see if he is a real bandog or not?"

A bandog  is a job description of a dog suitable to be released for the purpose  of catching quarry. It is not a breed; therefore, no one can say if a  dog is or is not a bandog by looking at it. One has to test the dog's drives, confidence, nerves, and structural soundness to answer that question.  

7. "Should I train my American Sentinel?"

If you want to breed American Sentinels  that are registered with the ASCR, then you will need to prove the  working ability of your dogs. If you do not have any desire to breed American Sentinel,  then I recommend doing whatever it is that you want to do. Training the dog begins by understanding you need to maintain control over your dog, but doing protection work can be very beneficial when it comes to  enhancing your dog's potential. Catch work can be potentially dangerous,  so know that before you get involved in such. Should you wish to get  involved in either, know the laws in your area and be sure to only work  with professionals. If you do not wish to train, that is fine. Your dog  should have a basic instinct to be protective in a clear threat, but  know that good training will improve the dog's effectiveness. 

8. "Is an American Sentinel different from other protection breeds?"

 Yes. There are different types of aggression. Review our article on animal behavior  to get more understanding on the different types of aggression, but  briefly speaking, there are three major differences between our dogs and  most traditional guard dogs/protection dogs. Nearly all quality  protection dogs display reasonably high prey drive and this is true for  our dogs as well. Defensive drive should also be present to at least  some degree, and again, this is true for our dogs as well. Most trainers  are aware of both of these drives. The differences with the American Sentinel  however can cause some difficulty for some trainers that are  inexperienced with working non-traditional breeds of protection dogs.  These three differences are...

  1. The American Sentinel  tends to be much more capable physically than traditional protection  breeds, but this generally speaking is not a problem for most  experienced trainers.
  2. Our dogs have less rank drive than  traditional protection breeds, which can be a problem for some trainers  that lack experience with family dogs and are primarily versed in  training patrol type dogs, where defensive training often begins with  dominant posturing instead of active aggression.
  3. Our dogs  have higher fight drive, so using active frustration tends to be an  effective method to use when starting our dogs. Once a proper foundation  is established in training, the dogs will work effective through any  challenge, but understanding what motivates these dogs in the beginning  allows the trainer to be more efficient in the dog's development.

9. "Does protection training make my dog more dangerous?"

 Not if done correctly. Firearms are "dangerous" when they  are in the hands of those that do not understand them properly, but  they are not dangerous when they are properly used. Protection training  is somewhat comparable to that analogy. Training with firearms should  make you a safer person around firearms and training with your dog  should also improve your management of your dog by enhancing your  knowledge and also by improving the communication between you and your  dog. Your ability to read your dog's expressions should improve as you  gain experience in training. If you fail to understand what is going on  and why, then you should stop training and ask your trainer to explain  to you what is going on. If your trainer cannot explain to you what they  are doing, or if you are not able to understand what they are doing,  then we recommend that the training is placed on temporary hold until  this can be properly corrected. Also, since our dogs are low in rank  drive, you really should have no legitimate reason to be concerned about  your dog ever challenging or threatening a trusted member of your  family unit. Your protection trained dog may however require more from  you in terms of restraint or obedience when it comes to managing them  around those outside of your circle of trust. 

The idea that  protection training makes a dog more dangerous is true when one is  irresponsible, works with the wrong temperament of dog, or works an  unprofessional trainer. All dog owners need to practice responsible  ownership and good judgement with their pets. With good management,  there is no legitimate reason for a protection dog to be "dangerous."  Irresponsible ownership, incompetent ownership, and a lack of  understanding canine behavior is what makes a dog dangerous. When people  say, "he just snapped and never did anything like that before," an  experienced dog person knows that either the dog was put into a very  stressful situation OR the owner failed to see the warning signs.  Training does not teach a dog to bite; dogs already know how to do that.  Instead, proper training should should focus on teaching the dog not to  engage, but when and how to engage. 

10. "I am starting a bandog program. What advice can you give me?"

A) Define your goal, be responsible with your dogs,  accountable for their care, learn basic canine behavior, how to train,  and basic genetic principles. 

B) Read the first question at the top of this page. If you think your  success will depend upon what breeds you use, don't even start. What you  need to focus on are the traits, not the breeds. Also, starting a  program with a foundation from traditional breeds requires a significant  long term investment, and it will be years and perhaps even a decade  before you will find yourself consistently producing what you  desire. So, instead of starting a program from scratch, I would  recommend you contact a reputable breeder that consistently produces the  types of dogs with the traits that you like and work on continuing  their program. In doing so you will become part of a successful program  rather than trying to start something new from ground zero. 

11. "Do you health test or guarantee your working class dogs to be free of genetic disorders?"

 We health test our dogs, and our dogs are very healthy. While health testing is beneficial, almost all of our success with healthy offspring is a result of significant performance testing and selection. This is because I work my dogs and I pay attention to their movement and their recovery time from such work. The most fit breeds of dogs are working breeds that are selected on the basis of performance. I know some people say they can't see structural soundness without health testing, but when one understands canine movement and pay attention to detail, they can see things other people do not see. While common in many mastiff type breeds, hip dysplasia is very rare in our  program (seemingly less than 5%); however, for our client's peace of mind we guarantee against hip dysplasia or other genetic disorders on our working class dogs for 2 years with a full replacement as long as the dog has  never been bred, although the client is responsible for any necessary shipping costs.

That said, every dog we breed has had their hips x-rayed  by our vet and is rated as "excellent," "good," or on the upper end of  "fair" by our vet, with most being excellent or good. I do not breed  dogs with fair on both sides, low scoring fair, and certainly never  breed dogs with poor hips. I have the x-rays to prove this when needed.  We do not test thyroid, entropian, elbows, etc because we have never had  a reason to. 

12. "Do you ship dogs?"

 Yes, we now have dogs in 10 countries and over 35 states.

Domestic  shipment within the continental US is not a problem and we do that  regularly. In most cases, domestic shipment of an 8-9 week old pup is  around $450 dollars by the time one pays for the air fare, the crate  (with required bowls and bedding), and health certificate.

Unfortunately,  exporting to other countries has become much more difficult in recent  years. If you are interested in having a dog or pup shipped to another  country, you need to check the requirements on importing a dog to your  country.  

13. "Why do you crop the ears on your dogs?"

I am unaware of any mammal, much less a predator in nature...canine,  feline, or whatever...that has a floppy ear. The erect ear hears better  by  channeling sound into the ear canal. Cup your hand like a satellite  behind your ear lobe and form a cone with your hand and pay attention to  how much more you can hear. This works for the dog as well.  Additionally, a floppy ear is more prone to both bacterial infections  and fungal infections as moisture gets trapped in the ear and it doesn't  ventilate properly to dry out. The cropped ear prevents this. We  however don't crop the ears on all the dogs. Most dogs need to be  cropped around 8-12 weeks of age. Some can be done much later if the ear  is thin or perky...but heavy, thick ears are less likely to stand and  need to be cut too short to form a satellite. As a result, we don't  always crop such ears. Also, cropping ears is costly, especially when  one keeps several dogs from a single litter. 

14. "Can you crop the ears on my pup?"

If the pup is young enough, we can arrange for our vet to crop your pup's ears. The fee is $250. 

15. "Why do you dock the tail on your dogs?"

 Our dogs are bred to be protection dogs, family companion  guardians, a type of stable minded gladiator so to speak. I do NOT do  short tail dockings. I like the longer dock because it allows for the  dog to still use its tail for communication and also to protect its anal  and genital regions; however, I do not like living with large dogs with  full length tails for several reasons.

  1. In a natural setting, a full length tail is fine, but in a  domestic setting a long tail is more easily injured. Not only can the  tail can get slammed in a door, but even wagging a full length tail in  confined spaces often damages the tip repeatedly getting whipped into  things, causing it to become injured and bloody.
  2. Criminals  often work in groups, and a second person can grab a full length tail to  manipulate a dog that has apprehended a first person.
  3. The claim  that docking a dog's tail interferes with its balance is pretty much  nonsense for a gladiator type of dog. Perhaps in light framed, high  speed coursing predators, such as with greyhounds or cheetahs that  corner at high speeds the tail may have some rudder like benefit, but  for heavier framed gladiator type of predator this argument does not  seem to hold much merit. For example, in the feline world we can see the  stocky built bobtail and lynx cats both have short tails. Both bobtail  and lynx cats are known to have exceptional balance in trees and  outstanding combative gladiator abilities, but neither is a high speed  courser. My dogs are not built like racy greyhounds or cheetahs. My dogs  are to the canine genus what the bobtail cat and lynx are to the feline  genus. Our dogs excel at protection work and also dangerous game catch  work, and balance has never been an issue because our dogs are selected  on the basis of performance, which includes athleticism.

16. "Can I get one of your American Sentinels with a full length tail?"

I do not advise it, but if you insist, then yes, but ONLY if you have first pick on a breeding and ONLY if you are willing to commit to picking a given pup when the pups are 5 days old.

I dock the tails the first week of their life because  they hardly feel it at that time, and this also requires them to develop  their nervous system properly. I don't want the dogs to learn to use a  tail and then take it away. Instead, I prefer for them to develop their  nervous system the same way a bobtail cat or lynx would. As a result, to  get a dog with a full length tail, you have to select and pay in full  for a certain dog before the pups are 5 days old. I am not going to  leave the tails full length on an entire litter so you can purchase one  pup.