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Facebook for Dogs

Mathias Dögel is one of the most successful dog business entrepreneurs of the 20th century. “Working-Dog”, launched in 2003, is a central hub for everything to do with dogs, and presents the long history between owners, breeders and dogs via multimedia. There are more than 300.000 members and over 2.5 million dogs registered across the globe. Working-Dog is now the largest portal in the world for dog enthusiasts and breeders and is translated into over 20 languages.

Mathias Dögel at an IGP competition

Teamwork is important for Mathias, not only on a business level, but also as a professional dog sportsman. Mathias breeds Belgian Malinois (kennel “vom working-dog”) and competes successfully in IGP nationwide as well as worldwide.

When we asked him for an interview, he was keen to answer our questions.

What dog sport are you competing in?

I start with my dogs in the IPG sport (IPO). Occasionally I also do exhibitions with my dogs. Even if this is not regarded as a sport, it is still a considerable effort to prepare dogs for the show business. In general, I have great respect for all achievements, no matter in which dog sport.

What are your achievements/titles in this sport?

My biggest success was the Vice World Champion title at the FCI World Championship 2013 in the Czech Republic, Roudnice Nad Labem with my female Holle vom Holzhäuser Flur.

In 2017 I became German VDH Champion with my female "working-dog bradana".

So far I have qualified 5 times for a world championship.

How did your training team help you with your success?

I've been training with almost the same people for 15 years. My environment is decisive for my sporting success. There are different people who support me in the track, the obedience and in the protection service. I think I have a very professional environment. I also drive many kilometres myself to solve problems in the training of my dogs. 600km for a journey to a training are not uncommon.

How often do you train per week?

I usually take a 3-month break at the turn of the year. That's December to February. From March on it slowly starts again with two to three trainings per week. In the season I train almost daily. Not always all units but every day training with the dog takes place. I love to look for a track early in the summer around 5 at sunrise. During the day, then spontaneously times a unit of obedience and in the evening protection training.

Why do you think a good training/support team is so important?

I think you need a good network of professionals. One person alone can rarely solve all problems. Every dog is different and I am not a friend of training models, as they are often propagated on seminars or in certain teams. In my eyes, the type of training must always be based on the type of dog and not on the concept with which I was successful with the last dog.

What is Working-Dog and how did teamwork contribute to its success?

Working-dog was launched by me in 2003 in a very simple form. The idea was to visualize pedigrees on the internet. Today working-dog has grown into the largest portal for dog sportsmen and dog breeders in the world. We have more than 300,000 members from all over the world. The platform is translated into over 20 languages. I think working-dog has developed into a helpful tool to professionalize dogsport and dogbreeding. Meanwhile the working-dog company employs about 40 people all over the world. This would not work without cooperation and agreements. I'm looking forward to the coming years and think that working-dog is still at the beginning of its development.

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