protection dog

Pet dog training vs Protection dog training

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.

Bratty dog vs well behaved dog

I love the nature vs nurture idea and it comes into play in what I want to talk about today. What do I mean by nature in dog training? The nature is genetics. Its when the dog comes from good stock with you having to do anything. I used to wonder how some dogs were so muscular only to realize their father was also muscular. Nature plays a big role in protection dog training. Some dogs have “it” and some dogs don't. Sometimes I hear people say that they want their dog to be protective. The problem is that som dogs don’t have a prtective instinct. Sure they bark at strangers, but thats mostly out of fear not protection. The other part to this equation is training. A protection dog can only truly protect on command through training. This is the nurture side of the same coin.

Nurture is how you raise your dog. What type of environment? Is she socialized well? Does she have any fears not due to genetic disposition? I focus mostly on nurture when training dogs. It's the only area I have control over. I can't control what a dog was born with.

I seen a friend with their dog. It was a pit bull that was well behaved and even easily capable of being off leash within a short period of time. His dog was 7 months old. His roommate claimed she was a dog trainer and said the dog needed no training. As much as i feel a dog trainer is needed, I agreed. If my friend just wanted a well behaved dog the dog needed no training. This dog was laid back and calm. I would trust a kid 6 years old and above to be around this dog. My friend began to explain to me that this dog was not like his previous dog. This dog was naturally calm and not pushy whatsoever. His last dog was a brat and if you gave her an inch she would take the whole football field for a touchdown. How do you recognize each?

Laid back dog

Has ears slightly backwards and flat against head

Eager to please

Looks at you a lot for approval

Moves slow a lot

I don't want you to confused this with a dog who has been punished a lot. These dogs can show the same signs yet it's because their natural drive has been suppressed. You would have to know a dogs history to know for sure.

Bratty dog

Pushes head on you to make you pet them

Usually the first one to eat from mother and pushes other puppies out of the way

Possessive over toys, people, and other objects

Rushes out the front door

Never takes in information from the owner

When you correct they tend to redirect as if to say “how dare you”

These are just some ways that you can easily spot this behavior.

I wrote this post with the beauty of variety in dog’s personality in mind. I love it how different breeds have different tendencies. Since society has been modernized we forget that all dogs have a purpose. Some dogs are not made to sit in an apartment with little exercise. Other dogs have a tendency to chase things. This could be the difference between a well behaved dog and a “bratty” dog. The dog might just be displaying natural tendencies that is not beneficial to us in our modern society.

Get a professional dog trainer to help you figure this out.