Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Protection Training

Gateway K9 Training is one of the few training businesses in the area that offers any sort of protection training, and I wanted to share some insight on this training.

First off I must begin with the fact that we are extremely selective on who we will take into our protection programs.  If you just want a junk-yard dog, who will bite anyone within it's reach, please go somewhere else.  We offer training, not animal abuse.  A truly trained dog is under full control of his/her owner at all times, and is 100% safe and stable.  If we do not believe that you will keep control over your dog, and don't have good intentions for your dog we will direct you else where.  The same goes for your dog.  If we do not believe your dog has the temperament for protection training, we will not train them.  This is not only for our legal safety, it's for the safety of all those who might come in contact with your dog, including you.

With all that aside, let's talk about what protection training is.  Not to be confused with Schutzhund, which is an actual sport based on bite work, tracking and obedience, protection is top notch obedience combined with any act of defense from the dog.  When we say top notch, we're talking about your dog being able to perform an off leash down at the drop of a hat, before the hat hits the ground.  You must have control over your dog at any given moment.  Imagine your dog at full speed, chasing his favorite toy.  You should be able to yell out, "COME!", one time and have that dog flying back in your direction. 

After obedience comes the actual defense part of the training.  Before the training begins you have to determine what level of defense is actually needed for your situation.  Statistics show that most intruders and would be criminals are deterred just by the sight of an intimidating dog.  So in 90% of homes a large black lab who doesn't even know how to hurt a fly proves to be all the protection that is needed.  The first level of defense that we actually train is more of a vocal defense.  Barking and growling on command.  I can't tell you the times that just telling my dog to growl has deterred questionable people from approaching me.  Most criminals do not want to mess with a dog who looks and sounds mean.  From there we can train a dog to actually corner a person, all the way to an actual bite.  Again 99.9999% of owners only need the first level of training.  Actual bite training is usually reserved for our police and military clients. 

The length of time training will take varies greatly with each dog.  Obviously the level of ob
edience varies from a dog who just needs to sound vicious from that of a dog who is needed to perform greater task.  Every dog learns at a different rate, and every owner as a different schedule and a different amount of time that they are willing to reserve for training their dog.

Good candidates for a personal protection dog would be any breed who is well socialized, not nervous in new situations and who loves to play.  The obedience portion of training should begin around 8 weeks of age, while protection training should never really begin until the dog has reached maturity.  For more information on our training programs please refer to our website at http://www.gatewayk9training.com/ or email me at emily(at)gatewayk9training(dot)com. 

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