This interview was conducted in April 2016 by Evan Harbalis – Von Ultimate Kennels (VUK)
About Marek Cerny
I would like to start with a little introduction of Marek Cerny. Marek Cerny has won the Czech Nationals with his German Shepherd dog Extreme Orex Aykmar winning 1st place in 2014 and 2015. Marek with Orex also participated in the WUSV and their accomplishments so far are:
WUSV 2015 Finland, 3rd place - (96, 96, 95) 287 points - age 3 years
Qualification WUSV 2015 1st place (97, 96, 95) - age 36 months
WUSV 2014 France, 8th place (93, 98, 94) 285 points, BEST OBEDIENCE WUSV 98 points - age 28 months
Qualification WUSV 2014 1st place (97, 97, 98) - age 25 months
IPO1 (100, 92,100)
IPO2 (97, 99,100)
IPO3 (99, 99, 99)
VUK: Tell us a bit about yourself.
MAREK: My name is Marek Cerny and I am 38 years old and I live in a town called Jasena in Czech Republic. I come from a small family with one sister who is married and has 2 children. I am not married but I am in a relationship with Veronika Coufalova. I breed German Shepherds under the kennel name Aykmar and I am a full time dog trainer.
VUK: Did you always have dogs around you growing up?
MAREK: I was raised on a farm where we had all different types of animals and dogs. I owned my first un-pedigreed German Shepherd when I was 11 years old and his name was Ron and he was a Benn Bozenka son. I bought my first pedigreed German Shepherd when I was 16 or 17 years old.
VUK: What attracted you to the sport?
MAREK: When I was 17 or 18 years old, I read the Pes - přítel člověk a magazine and there I read that the WUSV was going to be held in Hradec Králové in Czech Republic. At the time there wasn’t anyone in my area that was involved or doing the sport of IPO. The only information I had about IPO was reading the Pes - přítel člověk a magazine. Upon reading about the event for the WUSV, I quickly made reservations to ensure I don’t miss out on the event. I attended for 4 days and I liked it so much I watched and learnt and that is when I made the decision I wanted to do IPO and the rest is history.
VUK: When did you first compete at a National level?
MAREK: The first time I competed at a National level was around the year 2000 at the MM ČKNO (German Shepherd Nationals for IPO) with my dog Aykz Gartu.
VUK: When did you first compete to an international level?
MAREK: I first competed internationally with my dog Ayk Aykmar he was the first dog I bred from my kennel Aykmar. The kennel Aykmar comes from my first competition dog named Ayk z Gartu and Mar for Marek and there I formed the kennel name Aykmar. I competed internationally with Ayk Aykmar in 2009 WUSV in Germany and in 2010 in Spain. At the 2009 WUSV in Germany I was paired with Jurgen (Jogi) Zank to go on the field for our obedience routine. Jurgen (Jogi) Zank’s dog (Eric vom Sportpark) was one of the best dogs at the time. When I meet with Jogi at these international events he tells me, years ago “I didn’t mind going out on the field together in the WUSV events but now these days, I would not want to compete alongside with you and Orex”.
VUK: I heard you became ill a few days before the WUSV in Finland. What happened?
MAREK: That’s a long story, but to cut a long story short, a few days before I left for Finland I was in hospital because I couldn’t even walk. I had cramps and couldn’t move for 2 days. Till today I don’t understand why that happened. They ran a lot of tests but they couldn’t find anything wrong, no blood test could determine what was wrong. I had Dr Jiri Tichy on our drive to Finland driving behind us with half a suitcase of intravenous fluids and an IV stand in case I got sick again. Since then, I have not been sick not even for one day.
VUK: I have known you for several years now and watched you compete at the Czech Nationals a few times now, you look so relaxed, what is your secret?
MAREK: I get nervous, I don’t know how to explain it but, my life working with my dad was very hard I was carrying big rocks to build walls around the rivers. We carried rocks rain, hail or shine, I had aches and pains I didn’t want my Dad and other people to know that I was in discomfort. I believe this has helped me keep my emotions intact. People have asked me if I am a solider because of the way I walk and keep everything together.
VUK: How did you develop your system? Was it mostly your own trial and error or was it someone you mentored from?
MAREK: I learnt on my own, by watching and learning bits and pieces from different people and that’s how I developed my own system. I watched videos, looked at others work, but I did not mentor off anyone. I was experimenting on my own dogs as I worked on my own until I figured what worked and what didn’t. I think my genetics played a role in this, my grandfather worked a lot with different animals I think I inherited the passion from him. When I was young I use to train pigeons and in my area I was the 5th best where other people have been involved in training pigeons all their life. This is how I began training dogs, I was looking for answers how to do things correctly and develop a system that worked to get the best results.
VUK: Do you use the same system on all your dogs?
MAREK: Yes I use the same system on all my dogs. Only the dogs that can keep their nerve are the ones I take to big events. My system is only for emotionally strong dogs.
VUK: I have visited you many times in the last few years and watched you train in obedience whether it’s Extreme Orex Aykmar or any other dog you have, I have never seen you use obedience boxes for training – why is this so?
MAREK: I do not work with obedience boxes and I don’t want to understand them, because in trials and big events those boxes are not there. I have seen people that use them and when I saw them at trials and world events they could not even heel their dog straight. I have seen people and watched all the videos on the internet with the people that use this system. My brain cannot absorb it and I do not understand why people use them as none of this can be used in a trial environment. Even in tracking people do circles etc, I do not do any of this and I don’t teach my dogs to walk backwards for me it’s all about training my dog only for IPO world events.
VUK: Do you use a clicker in your training?
MAREK: No I do not use a clicker as I have the same thoughts as the obedience box with the clicker system.
VUK: A lot of people have described Extreme Orex Aykmar’s obedience as breathtaking, why do you think this is so?
MAREK: I notice when I go on the field I can hear the silence and you can hear a pin drop. Last year when I was at Finland WUSV when I went on the field for obedience all the people with the stalls closed and came to the stadium to watch Orex in action. When the kennel owner of von der Mohnwiese (Georgios Grammozis) first saw Orex he said that Orex is from another planet. When Orex was 27 months old he placed 1st at the MM ČKNO (German Shepherd Nationals for IPO) then 2 months later I competed in France at the WUSV I placed 8th but had the best obedience.
VUK: What elements of Extreme Orex Aykmar’s obedience come from his genetics? What was it from his genetics that you could not train into him?
MAREK: What Orex shows in his obedience is mostly from his genetics and some of my training system but I think a lot of it comes from his genetics and from his grandfather. He shows his dynamics in heeling and drive for the work because he wants to work. This is from his genetics that’s something I cannot put into him, I only guide him in the direction I want through training. This is why everyone from around the world with the best German Shepherd kennels want to breed to Orex because they can see his genetic potential and power.
VUK: How many breeding’s has Orex had?
MAREK: Up until April 2016 Orex has had 96 breeding’s.
VUK: What is the one thing you find that you do differently to the majority of other trainers? Why do you do it that way?
MAREK: I don’t know how to explain it, I do everything different to others. At big events I sit back with a coffee and watch how they train. I see them in a small training session make so many mistakes and I cannot understand how they can do a good job on the field when they have just made so many mistakes. My system is that the dog must work hard and I am hard on myself because the dog has to work, what can I tell you? We have been together for one week doing a lot of training so you have seen how I train in tracking, obedience and protection.
VUK: What do you think is the number one problem in dog training and handling?
MAREK: People that train their dogs see how some top trainers train their dogs and are successful with it and people try and replicate this but they do not know why they do it and they think they will be as good as the other person doing it. People also think if I buy a dog from the Aykmar kennels I will also be successful and go to the Worlds because they own an Aykmar dog and be like Orex but they don’t understand why they do it. Some people that have been breeding German Shepherds for decades and until today they cannot produce a good pup. I do not do this, I breed once, twice or three times and if the female does not produce anything of note, she is placed to a good home. I get another female that makes me happy and brings me puppies that have the genetics and the will to want to work.
VUK: Have your training techniques changed over the years?
MAREK: I have changed the trend and I try to stay one step ahead of the competitors so I can become the best, I always keep evolving.
VUK: Which bloodlines do you like?
MAREK: Falk von den Wölfen is the bloodline that has given me success (This is the sire’s line of Orex and also the Sire line of your female Yanica vom Haus Pixner) and I like this bloodline and I will keep using this bloodline. When I competed with Orex at the Worlds the owner of Falk von den Wölfen– Thomas Lapp came up to me and told me that he can see Falk in Orex and he shows a lot of willingness to work. Before I even competed with Orex I put up a few videos on working dog and people from around the globe were asking me to breed to Orex and he still hadn’t been shown anywhere.
VUK: I see you breed to a lot of German bloodlines and not so many Czech bloodline dogs? Why?
MAREK: I have changed my mind about Czech bloodlines because the most serious problem is the health of the dog and that’s why I only keep the German bloodlines. The health of the German bloodlines were one step ahead from Czech bloodlines, when they were doing x rays in Germany we were still not doing this in Czech, and that’s why I stay away from the Czech bloodlines because of their health issues.
VUK: What are the character traits you want to see in a stud dog?
MAREK: When I look for a stud dog to breed to my females I want to see him in obedience and also when he calls him, how he runs on the recall and I want to see him jump the one metre hurdle, how he jumps it, that’s the things I want to see. For me the best thing is and this is why I do It, I breed with older dogs and I see how they look, how he wags his tail because if you see how he wags his tail, you will see in the tail the health of the dog. I prefer the dog to be older but I have bred to younger dogs like Kent von der Wolfskralle because I just came back from the Worlds and the female was right at the end of her heat cycle. Kent lives on the border of Czech the owner wrote to me and told me that “Kent did not have many breedings but ever since you bred to him, another 15 people want to breed to him”. He believes because I bred to Kent everyone else should - I am not sure but that’s how it seems to me. I bred Yanica vom Haus Pixner to Kent and I got some very good pups out of that litter but of course Yanica is an amazing female.
VUK: What are some of the traits you want to see in your puppies?
MAREK: I want to see the dynamics of the pup, I don’t want pups like the show lines that have a slope back, they must have a straight back. The pup must have their tail straight, not down and that’s why malinois show themselves better because they don’t have the issue of a slope back. That’s why today people don’t want large bone and big head because these dogs don’t have energy for the work, this is what I don’t want in my pups. I want my pups to have a square back, tail straight like the way old dogs use to be and the way they use to work. When I take them to do bite work I want them to have a lot of energy, to bark straight away with enthusiasm, they have to have this quality, that’s what I want all my puppies to show.
VUK: Now that you have sold your broad bitch Yanica vom Haus Pixner to me, who will be your next broad bitch? A Yanica daughter?
MAREK: Yes, the female that I have chosen to take Yanica’s place is a Yanica daughter named, Geoffy Aykmar.
VUK: How may litters have you had?
MAREK: I have had 14 breedings to date.
VUK: How many breeding females do you have?
MAREK: I have 4 breeding females and I only breed them once a year, I never breed them twice in a year. The 4 breeding females I have are: Vicky von der Mohnwiese, Chavie Aykmar, Emma Aykmar and Geoffy Aykmar and of course Yanica vom Haus Pixner.
VUK: Thank for you for taking the time to conduct this interview and good luck at the 2016 Czech Nationals, like always I will be there to cheer you on.
MAREK: Thank you, I enjoyed it and see you soon.