"Oh How Things Have Changed In Two and a Half Decades."

Tim Tonsor.

Oh How Things Have Changed In 2 1/2 Decades


  I have been thinking recently about how things have changed in the working dog World the past twenty five (25) years. It’s been a long journey for a lot of us that have stuck it out for that long. I got into canine for the same reasons that most of us do and by the same path many of us have taken. After getting out of the Marine Corp in 1987 I started as a Police Officer in North Carolina. I was lucky after 6 years and convinced my department that I could make more of an impact on narcotics seizures if they would give me a dog. My first dog was a Belgian Malinois imported from the Netherlands. A malla what? I was often asked. In the early 90s there weren’t but a couple of vendors bringing dogs in from Europe so the breed was mostly reserved for the USAF who were by that time making buy trips to Germany and the Netherlands for the Department of Defense. Police agencies were still using the German shepherd dog as their go-to canine. As things evolved and the Malinois began to make their mark, the breed became more prevalent for police work in the U. S. With the advent of the Malinois, people had to learn a whole new way to work a dog. You see there is this thing called “drive” that a lot of people just did not understand and drive is what gives the Malinois their magic. And thus entered the era of the Malinois.

  I was still a Police Officer when 9/11 happened. Before 9/11 I could count on one hand the number of working canine vendors that there were in the U. S. After 9/11, anyone that could spell dog was now an Explosives Dog Master Trainer willing and ready to sell you a ten thousand dollar dog. The ones that were doing it the right way are still in business and they thrived during those days. It was shortly after 9/11 that I decided to sell my stock in police work and go out into the big wide World of Government contracting. Detection dog trainers that were knowledgeable and experienced had a new career path if they chose to lay it on the line and see where it would take them. The U. S. was going to war in both Iraq and Afghanistan and dogs were needed. People in the special operations community were quick to recognize that the dogs used to patrol the garrisons and bases in the U. S. just did not have enough in nerve and drive department. They did not have the stamina to take on the tasks required to work with these units in the cities of Baghdad, Mosul, Kandahar and Falluja. They knew that they needed something more, so they took a page from the book of U. S. Law Enforcement……enter the Malinois. The brut with the heart of a lion and the nerves of a terminator. These dogs were used, at first by contractors, to pave the way in the war teaching the military how to use these dogs to accomplish their mission. A lot of the tactics being used on SWAT Teams and Special Units in law enforcement were the same tactics used on the battlefield. These tactics soon evolved and enemy tactics evolved and they evolved quickly. As time went on these units adopted their own “organic” canine operations. There was no better dog to handle the task of tracking down insurgents, biting armed terrorists, finding weapons caches and just generally scaring the shit out of everyone that faced them. Currently almost every special operations unit within the U. S. Military has their own dogs. Although their trainers and procurement people may be embedded civilians, the Handlers are our men and women in the U. S. Military.

 With the demand of the Malinois being so high across the globe, the quality is harder and harder to find. In the early days if you bought five (5) malinois from Holland four (4) of them would be exceptional dogs. Now, you may find one (1) in five. As with any type of commodity, when demand goes up, quality goes down.

 If you have read my story so far you are doing pretty good, now comes the real story. Vohne Liche Kennels has been there from the start. We were among the first kennel in this country to import from Europe. The first to train dogs for passive alert in narcotics and explosives. The first to place Handlers, Trainers and Canines in SPECOPS units in both the U. S. Military as well as for other Governments. We understand what it takes because we have lived it and helped write the history of the Belgian Malinois for special operations. But more importantly, we have helped write the history of working dogs in security and police work the World over. As my parting statements/questions, I ask you this. Why would you go anywhere else to buy a working dog knowing the history and dedication that has been Vohne Liche Kennels? No one can match what we have done and no one can match what we continue to do. Come see us, we will show you the right way to do things. The special operations and law enforcement community can’t be wrong. Look at our list of references. Why would you go anywhere else? If you can’t find it here you simply can’t find it.


 Tim Tonsor

 Sr. Contracts and Business Development Manager

 Vohne Liche Kennels