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Question about protection dogs.

Discussion in 'Woof Memorial Critter's Corner' started by msoprano, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. msoprano

    msoprano

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    Do protection/guard dogs HAVE to be alpha dogs? I know that a protection dog should have certain attributes, but wouldn't those same qualities cause it to bump heads with other canine family members who think they run the show? Thanks.
     
  2. Cody Jarrett

    Cody Jarrett

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    Not all dogs can be trained for protection. You generally want to pick a dog from a good working bloodline. What's most important is that the candidate be calm, smart and obedient. No crazy dogs. Any alarm dog will bark and a threat dog will put on quite a show. But I assume you're talking about a "man stopper." I have a Czech German Shepard which was trained for personal protection. The dog is not alpha within our home. His place (and he knows it) is the lowest in the family. He may not challenge any family member for any reason, not even his food bowl. When he was a puppy we started some basic dominance training to ensure this was drilled into his head. You must remember that every dog's job is to test the alpha members of the pack at an early age. It's part of who he is and where he will eventually sit in the hierarchy.

    We have another dog; a little terrier/collie mix. believe it or not, she is the alpha female. She runs the pack. She established herself when the shepard was a puppy and he will not challenge her.

    The reason I suggest getting a dog from a good working bloodline is because they are generally also bread for temper, smarts and obedience. this is a very big part of the K9 experience. Most trainers will require you to train and show intensive obedience control before training for trouble. You must be able to "out" the dog without hesitation.

    Remember, to your dog it's a game. The training and even the eventual protection. Crazy dogs should not be trained for protection. The best dogs aren't angry, they're excited to play this game. They get the bad guy and then they get a reward. Good luck.
     

  3. msoprano

    msoprano

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    Good stuff. So their status with other dogs in the household doesn't have an effect on their willingness or ability to perform protection work? I'll bet its pretty funny to watch that collie mix boss that big shepherd around.
     
  4. Cody Jarrett

    Cody Jarrett

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    Once trained for obedience, most K9 trainers will evaluate the dog for protection. Not all dogs are up to the job. A good trainer knows what to look for in a younger dog.

    Of our 3 dogs, only one is trained and he works magnificently. Their willingness to perform protection work comes from repetative training and reward. It's a confidence game. We work the dog slowly, letting him continually win the confrontation. At first it's a stranger who sneaks up on him where he's tied out and runs scared when the dog sees him. This builds his confidence to the point where he acts defensively when he sees the intruder. He gets lots of praise when he runs the intruder off. We then take him off the tie-out and put him on-leash. Now we encourage him when the stranger appears, giving him the "on" command. He's learning his job in the pack as a defensive dog, as a protector. Soon he graduates to taking a leather roll from the intruder (who gives it up and runs away scared). After he masters this we move to a jute cuff. He wins again, biting the jute sleeve and keeping it. He never experiences a loss. He learns that he'll ALWAYS win. At some point the intruder begins to stay and struggle with the jute cuff, letting him win again... always on command. He begins to associate the command with the bite. A good trainer wants the dog to learn to bite with the full mouth, not the canine teeth in front. Once he has this mastered we move to "outing" the dog. This involves giving your "out" command with a leash correction to stop the bite. Once the dog will turn on and off by command, you can start to work him off-leash. Eventually, with lots of practice he becomes a "heat seeking missle" when turned on. The process I explain above takes many months and lots of repition to get right. Even after he's trained you must periodically work him to ensure he still has it down.

    A good K9 works on command but will also attack without a command... when you're attacked. One time the trainers asked me to bring my dog in 7:30 on a winter night. As I walked up the long dark driveway through the woods they sprung out and attacked me. The dog reacted on his own with a swift and decisive bite.

    Note... my dog did not understand the difference between a real attack and strange kids wrestling with my kids in the yard. To the dog, a stranger attacking is enough to be triggered, although he should not react with your kids regular friends and family. Be careful. Lawyers love this stuff and home owners policies hate it.
     
  5. msoprano

    msoprano

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    Talk about layered defense. You have alarm dogs, a protection dog, and firearms. I'll bet you and your family sleep just fine at night.:thumbsup:
     
  6. Cody Jarrett

    Cody Jarrett

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    Not too well. Our little guy was abducted, molested and killed some years ago. That's why we got serious about home security.

    http://archive.recordonline.com/archive/2004/04/25/bmavery.htm