Everything is TrademarkedBy Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, March 23, 2022
The anxious female turns her head toward her tail, holds her breath as she contracts her torso, and pushes. Like a fish gliding through clear water, the tiny fluid-filled pouch slides into the space between a cushioned back end and a fluffy tail. The mother's sharp teeth break the protective sack surrounding the newborn causing a warm, wet soup to form around the space. With her back molars, the mother cuts the white tube that once formed a physical bond between them.
Lying still in a lifeless heap, the puppy pauses to breath, resting from the hardship of its birth. In a burst of renewed energy and a mysterious guiding sense, the puppy crawls toward the mother's warm underbelly, finds a swollen milk gland, latches on, and drinks the nourishing sustenance that will shield its wiggling body from invisible illness as it grows. A new day shares in the miracle of life once again.
Anyone can call themselves a dog breeder. Place two dogs together at the right time and puppies arrive shortly thereafter. That doesn't mean any real thought went into the process. Dog breeders come in all shapes and sizes with skill sets ranging from "never birthed a litter before" to "having birthed thousands over a lifetime". Dog breeders can place together two dogs they bought from other breeders, or they can work tirelessly throughout the years breeding their own stock generation after generation. The dog breeding field is so vast with such varying diversity that it is hard to keep track of who is who. The average puppy buyer has no clue how to navigate the immense dog breeding world.
In addition, being a dog breeder doesn't say anything about one's character. Unscrupulous people can breed beautiful, well-tempered dogs just as well as those with integrity. Consumers beware of the many breeders throughout the country claiming to have wolf-look-a-like dog breeds without any wolf content. Many hopeful families living in states that ban wolf dog ownership have had to surrender their dogs when neighbors complain. The "filled-to-capacity" wolf sanctuaries can attest to extensive wolf dog buyer's remorse. Where are the wolf dog breeders and why have they not been held accountable for the puppies they brought into the world?
With the advent of online direct-to-customer dog sales, puppy mills have been able to disguise their nefarious breeding practices by spending good money to set up a beautiful website showing only the one or two dog breeds they want to highlight on that one site. In order to conceal the unthinkable living conditions in which their breeding dogs live, puppy mills have created websites touting excellent customer reviews, health guarantees, USDA licenses, and even “no puppy mill” promises. The same people can have multiple well-put-together websites featuring a lot of different dog breeds. What they fail to mention is how many different dog breeds they house at the same facility. These website appearance features are specifically designed to lure conscientious consumers into buying more puppies. Finding this out is nearly impossible as the Internet is so broad.
From time to time, families interested in buying a DireWolf Dog have something else in mind. Instead of wanting a family pet, they want to breed. A man from Alaska wrote he wanted to help the Dire Wolf Project by getting two dogs, a male and female, and breeding them together. Other potential owners simply don't tell us their breeding plans, hiding their true intentions in a well-written application. About a year later, we notice a litter of puppies proudly proclaimed on their Facebook page. Oftentimes, the family will state they wanted the puppies for their friends and family members. But, another six months later more fluffy puppies arrive, cute as can be.
We can't stop people from breeding dogs. While we screen our customers as thoroughly as possible before we approve them, we cannot police their lives, nor do we want to. The Dire Wolf Project believes in a free society; free from excessive government regulation and oversight under a free economy. We agree that in order to live in a free society, we must abide by common rules set up by a fairly represented democratic republic. Currently in the United States, this means that dogs are property. Dog owners have a right, within the law, to breed their own dogs anytime they wish. Non-breeding contracts do not stop a person from breeding and require constant oversight and costly litigation. Again, we are not in the business of policing people. People are free to make their own choices regarding their own property.
However, we do want to protect our good name and reputation. The Dire Wolf Project has built a lasting legacy of superior quality and service. We strive to breed only the best dogs, focusing first on health and longevity above all else, then a unique large breed companion dog temperament. We do not compromise our ideals for anyone. Our owners are dedicated individuals with the knowledge to understand the ideal concept of strongbred™ breeding. It is why we have such a high standard for our breeding practices. This type of customer loyalty isn't experienced overnight. It must be nurtured over a long period of time with many satisfied customers continuing to return for their next dogs. If we do not protect the years of hard work it has taken to get where we are now, we will dilute the brand and any two dogs with National American Alsatian Registry certification could be bred together as American Alsatian dogs. This is how the American Kennel Club (AKC) may operate, but we refuse to allow just anyone the privilege of claiming their dogs are part of the Dire Wolf Project.
Since we cannot stop someone from breeding their dogs together, we must protect the only thing we can: our good name. Trademarking the name of a dog breed was unheard of before Lois Schwarz came along. Lois recognized early on that others would try and take her work from her. She needed a way to make sure others could not steal her intellectual property. While it is unconventional, the United States government recognizes brands that have been in the marketplace for at least five years. Now, not only has the breed name (American Alsatian) been trademarked, but we also trademark our unique way of breeding (strongbred), as well as the company names that make up our lasting work.
Other breeds have now claimed breed name trademark, and we applaud them for taking such an interest in protecting their work, as well.
If you are interested in learning more about the specific intellectual property we hold, you can read through all of our copyrights and trademarks on this page: Legal Notices
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Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.