If you follow me on instagram you will notice little clips that I post of me learning to work a dog in a bite suit. It just happens that I met good people who introduce me to the sport world. Working with dogs in the sport world greatly helps my pet dog training.
The reason being is that a dog is in the highest drive possible when they love to bite and see a decoy to bite. These dogs still require the greatest control when they get on the field for a trial. For instance, the dog has to listen to their handler with no leash, collar, or even ecollar. These dogs are off leash with alot of space to run, but they choose to obey their handler. It is a beauty to see. If you are interested you can youtube any Ring sport trial or PSA or IPO trial and see what exactly I’m talking about.
How does this make me a better dog training besides the obvious? Well If you have heard dog trainers who are strictly pet dog trainers talk about a well behaved dog, you will hear some sort of
“ you want the dog to be calm and in a low state of arousal”.
At first I agreed with this as I knew nothing else. Now Im not sure as I see dog owners taking this mindset to far. I now see dogs who supress their natural drives. They are calm and docile, but I can’t get them to play or do much because they have been punished too much for getting excited.
I love to see a dog who is in a higher state of arousal, yet will still listen to their handler. That is the real challenge in dog training. I want to keep my dog highly motivated. This is protection dog trainers seem to be great trainers overall. I’m only in my beginning stages of protection work, but I’m already in love.
Also their is a reliability factor that comes into play with protection sport dogs. Depending on the sport no praise or correction is allowed during the routine. This means your dog has to perform the behavior no matter what and will not receive a reward or a firm NO to get them going in the right direction. This is the reliability needed in off leash to train a dog. Most dog owners will not want to do the work necessary to achieve such great results. That’s fine. It all depends on how far you are willing to go. I can tell you one thing. The people that are really doing great in these sports EAT!!! SLEEP!!! AND BREATHE!!! this stuff.
I find myself implementing some techniques that I learn in protection to my pet dog clients. It works. I will continue to grow and dedicate myself to dog training at the highest level to help my clients and those in need.