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Kris & Tonia Kotsopoulos
(03) 5798-5388


Purebred Registered (ID: 3100324018)
5 Star Breeder

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Von Forell Australia - Kris & Tonia Kotsopoulos

6 Reviews | Review Me
Breeder Specialties

German shepherd

About Us

“We believe that our dog breeding and training results can provide us with a mirror to see ourselves as we are, to see what we truly know and what we don't know, to see ourselves honestly, directly, and immediately - because everything matters.” Kris & Tonia Kotsopoulos.

Kris Kotsopoulos has been involved in breeding and training dogs since 1980. He has worked with first-time dog owners through to the most demanding Law Enforcement Canines, their handlers, and World Championship Competitors. Kris and his wife Tonia are breeders of Dobermanns and German Shepherds under the kennel name “Von Forell Australia”.

Their dogs; breeding and training philosophies have been incorporated into many breeding and training systems. Utilised by breeders, dog trainers, World Championship competitors and Law Enforcement Agencies worldwide.

Under their name “Von Forell Instinctive Training Systems” – Kris provides training workshops that are designed to give you a clear directive of how dogs learn, what drives them, how to improve learning due to purposeful directives, and how to shape behavior for a focused, dynamic and harmonious performance.

Furthermore he explores the idea of why correct breeding selection amplifies your training outcomes because of the circular relationship between "cause and effect".

Having devoted the last 36 years of his life to research, development and education of dogs, paired with extensive work in the area of animal welfare, Kris has now expanded his professional horizons by sharing his knowledge with the community as a consultant for a range of government agencies, breed clubs and animal welfare groups.

Over the past three decades, Kris has traveled the globe in order to learn from the World’s leading International trainers, breeders and animal behaviorists. As a result of his enthusiasm and dedication for greater knowledge, Kris has acquired an in-depth understanding of raising, developing and training dogs for a variety of purposes.

Through the skills and successes he has achieved, Kris has gained a sound understanding of what motivates animals to behave the way they do and just as importantly, how to apply scientifically based learning systems to achieve specialised goals. Kris currently shares this knowledge by operating both national and International training and breeding programs, seminars and workshops, each individually tailored to meet the needs of the general community, other trainers and government agencies globally.

Kris has implemented a variety of learning systems ranging from basic family obedience, to the most demanding competition, police, prison and professional security animals with an emphasis on true, open and uncomplicated behavior with stimulus control. He is truly committed to breaking down barriers that exist for dogs and dog welfare in our community, and believes that consultation with breed clubs, animal management officers and animal welfare groups will help achieve this goal.

Von Forell’s Australia & “Instinctive training systems” unlocks innate behavior (full genetic potential) and focuses it where you want it to go.

“Purposeful, meaningful relationships between handlers and their dogs to create extraordinary dogs and extraordinary handlers due to sound breeding and training.”

Our Breeding Environment

What Separates Good Dog Breeders & Trainers ?

We have often been asked, “what separates good dog breeders and trainers from the rest” ?

Breeders and trainers are required to have a passion to do better because this fuels the need to know more.

The extraordinary people we know seem to possess an intuitive understanding that the only way to reach something higher is to focus their attention on the multitude and seemingly insignificant, unimportant, and boring things that make up breeding and training dogs.

Those mundane and tedious little things that, when done exactly right, with the appropriate kind of attention and intention, combined with deep practice distinguishes every great breeder and trainer from those who are satisfied to simply get a result.

Von Forell believes that our breeding and training results can provide us with a mirror to see ourselves as we are, to see what we truly know and what we do not know, to see ourselves honestly.

We know one thing for sure;

If our information about what needs to be done is limited, our results will reflect that limitation. So, if our results are to transform - we must transform first.

If we are unwilling to change, our dogs will never be capable of giving us what we want. The first transformation that needs to occur is for all of us to truly understand the traits both mental and physical that produce amazing dogs. Once we fully understand the relationship between genetics and environment, our results will take on a new meaning and expression.

Over the years we have noted individual tendencies develop from breeders all over the World. After exhaustive discussions with these breeders of influence, our conclusion is that individual breeding ideas begin to manifest. That is, the philosophy, vision and perceptions a breeder holds true as the ideal dog does in fact eventually become their reality. However, more often than not shortcomings of every philosophy manifest in all breeding goals way before the ideal presents itself.

If the breeder is unclear about the essential traits required to produce physically and mentally functional dogs, then this confusion will be expressed their confusion in their dogs they produce.

For example…. if a breeder admires aggressive dogs, they will in fact produce highly aggressive (defensive – sensitive) behaviors and if not kept in check they will inadvertently weaken the nervous system. The opposite is true for the breeder striving to produce highly prey driven dogs, which most often than not develop a type of hysteria. The truth is that neither is ideal as a biologically functional animal. Additionally, breeding physical type (beauty) purely for cosmetic reasons requires that all breeding stock undergo intense and rigorous emotional testing before ever qualifying to be bred for showing.

We at Von Forell realised many years ago that any of our breeding success or failures were directly attributed to our level of understanding of structure, behavior, genetics and genetic compatibility. Traits which we now know are all determined by rigorous testing.

Living in a country like Australia makes it incredibly difficult to source and test the appropriate dogs due to the limited gene pool and geographical isolation from the rest of the World. Hence extensive travel is the only possible way that enables anyone to source such dogs. Dogs of this quality rarely fall in our lap. We have to find them, test them, breed from them and hope they will reproduce their quality traits and hopefully limiting the undesirable traits, which by default all dogs and bloodlines possess.

Mother Nature seems to have an incredible effect on genes and that is to produce less than average results. There seems to be a natural tendency to atrophy or genetic decline. It amazes us as to how powerful natures ‘pull’ is in preventing us from achieving our breeding goals ultimately affecting our training goals and finally the emotional functionality within our families and the community.

Appropriate selection was therefore the turning point in our breeding and its final expression which has also steered our training to help all dog owners not just individuals who own our dogs. The moment we made a decision that we would personally test and select all the dogs that would contribute to the Von Forell gene pool is the time our breeding forged into the direction we envisioned.

Offering a mentally enriched environment is only but one part of the solution as the selecting of the most healthy, stable and robust dogs is also very important because the genes determine to a large degree how the dogs react to their environment . All that a sophisticated enrichment program can hope to achieve is to mask innate behavioral volatility. (Instability)

Dogs that naturally express positive environmental reactions to stimuli - in particular to aversive stimuli (stress) must be our primary goal when selecting for breeding. This positivity proportionally affects our training outcomes and finally the emotional interactive experience our dogs have with the community and our immediate family.

We have long questioned the wisdom of conventional breeding, training philosophies and methodology and ultimately developed insights into these disciplines that has provided Von Forell Kennels with a strategy to breed robust dogs that are stable and manageable by all who are fortunate to own them.

Life brings with it constant aversive stimuli (stress) and the reaction to life’s stressors dictates the quality of our life. The same applies to the breeding of dogs. The notion that a good environment can fix or repair a dog’s negative responses to stressors with a sophisticated counter conditioning program is ‘wishful thinking’. If it works it merely masks the behavior of the immediate subject and does nothing or at the very least provides little to the subsequent progeny even through potential epigenetic influence.

We at Von Forell believe that the time has come whereby the unification of new breeding philosophies and training technologies can be complemented by scientific learning that has been cultivated from deep behavioral analysis around the Globe. This learning has paved the way for breeding and training systems that least complicate dogs and their handlers because the driver is a quality dog that is left unnerved by stressful environments and the handler is educated in the art of animal learning and management.

Hence, our focus at Von Forell Kennels is on training, the relationship to breeding and the reflexive feedback loops that characterise the most important stable dog behavior orientated towards the ideal family companion coupled with sequential training systems that least complicate dogs and their handlers.

We aim to produce the most stable dogs that love life; enabling them to function harmoniously within your family.

If you are interested in quality Dobermans and German Shepherds then please pick up the phone and call us on +61 3 5786 5388 and we'll gladly help you achieve your required outcome.

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