In order to be successful at the art of producing an authentic family/personal protection dog, one must understand firstly how to build a civil canine. A civil canine should be fearless of man despite any pressure, pain, or distraction endured while protecting its owner/family. Today, the Sports industry is promoting Sport dogs as protection dogs; however, there are numerous reasons why a Sport dog should not be classified or misconstrued as a genuine or bona fide protection dog. Listed are a few identifiers to protect yourself against fraudulent misrepresentation. No matter how optimized a companies websites maybe, how good there video production is, or how educated they may seem, all could prove to be very deceiving. Therefore, understanding how to test dogs before initiating a purchase can save you a lot of frustration, disappointment, time, and money.
Please note the following:
1. Handler training for focus heel with a ball or toy can create inherent threats. Why? Because a dog that intensely focuses on toys or balls can be dangerous to children who themselves play with toys and balls. To a dog of this disposition, toys become primary and protecting handler secondary. “Toy drive” becomes an obsession for the dog in a very similar way to being what is referred to as “cracked out”. The canine craves the “toy” and not the “threat”.
2. If in a demonstration or video you witness a dog running off leash and hitting a decoy equipped with no other protective gear OTHER THAN a sleeve, MOST likely, it is not a protection dog that you are viewing. If a decoy feels safe allowing a dog to chase and bite what is presented to a dog (arm, biceps, etc. ) then the dog is equipment focused or even target focused. A target-focused dog is taught to bite a particular part of the body (bicep bites are becoming more popular). Ask yourself, “Why would a bite need to be presented or “staged” for a well-trained protection dog? Real protection dogs are not caught they catch (find there own bite). Remember, in a real life situation, one would flee or turn to fight but not turn and catch a dog.
3. Agitation is used as another deceptive tactic. Many trainers demonstrate dog aggression by agitating the dog. At times, the dog is stimulated thru the use of a whip. Although this component of training is sometimes necessary it will not produce a complete protection dog. Certainly, more is required. Typically, a dog will bark aggressively if agitated and stimulated; nevertheless, a completed protection dog will bark aggressively upon command or upon the perception of a threat without the need for added stimulus. A protection dog will also engage if a person/handler/threat is standing completely still. Again, in a “real-life” scenario, who will present premeditated agitation to a dog? The most dangerous man can be one who is standing still and pointing a gun prepared to attack.
Many trainers themselves are not even aware of the notable distinctions or differences between a Sport dog versus a Real protection dog. The market is saturated with fraudulence and inexperience. Sport dog training can be entertaining, but is it a reliable form of training for an owner or family that needs added protection and has absorbed the financial investment associated with owning a real protection dog? Awareness is a key ingredient to success!