Which videos would you recommend for me start a good foundation first?
Dear Mr. Frawley,
My name is Chris Srackangast and I have been a student of your website for many months now. I had a dog that I trained about twelve years ago using the old Command Performance by David Dikeman (yank and crank). It worked beautifully and I always had a well mannered dog that everyone loved. He tolerated kids but did not especially love them. HE obeyed me and knew the rules and I got lucky in that regard. I did not realize though that I broke his spirit with my harshness. (I got exposed to protection training from what I will call a back yard trainer who thought it was cool that he could teach an animal to be vicious.) The way he treated his dogs was the way I approached treating my dog. Zero tolerance for any deviations from the regiment. My dog however, was not suited for that type of emotional harshness and I above all did not know what I was doing! To this day I have regrets about how I treated my Sheppard lab mix. (On one occasion he snapped at me for trying to play with his bone…I was 22 and in a very hard training program in the navy; I chased him around the house on all fours just like a dog snapping and snarling. I am admitting that was a very stupid thing to do, not because he was a big dog and dangerous; he was just a pup. But because I think it made him respect me or rather feared me. Later in life he grew to respect me but I had to mature a little myself and calm down a bit.) I am a strong advocate of crate training and never had any problems house training my dog.
The reason I am telling you all this crap is so you will have a little ground work on me. I have since had to put Nico down almost a year ago and am looking into another dog. I am buying a very dominant breed called a Cane Corso and want to do things differently this time. This includes teaching my two boys how to handle a dominant breed. (Almost every Sheppard owner has tried to talk me out of getting this type of breed and as I started hanging out at the Schutzhund clubs I realized that that was not for me nor was it for the breed of dog I am planning on getting.) Nothing against the sport but I realized early on that it was mostly a big game to the dog and the owners of the dogs truly believed that their brave Sheppard would protect them at all costs! I am not even educated enough in the sport or in protection work. But I feel I could look at the dogs eyes and see their demeanor when not in training mode and tell that they were not the real deal. I was disappointed.
Now Cane’s are known for their dominance and bravery but they can be chicken just like any other breed. They are known for being independent but having a high prey drive to please their master’s. This is important for me to know because I learned they can get their feelings hurt easily. They do not respond to a harsh command like a Sheppard would and keep their self confidence as well; at least not from a young age I am told. I have researched this breed and spoken to countless breeders as well as the bloodlines amongst arena. I have discovered there is a lot of politics involved and I hate it. But I know what I want and believe I have found a breeder that will produce a litter that will give me what I want. (I was not impressed with the bitch however I was very impress with the father.) The bitch was skittish around strange people and my children but confident when let out to play with other dogs, where the Sire was strong and confident in all accounts.
What I am interested in is this:
1) A well rounded confident animal that knows the difference between friend or foe and would be actually able to protect my boys and not run at the first sign of aggression but also not easily intimidated into a fight with a less secure dog.
2) Choosing the best male pup in the litter to accomplish the above for protection work and family pet. (middle of the road is ok… I have to feel confident that as long as my boys know the rules the dog will be safe around them and their friends)
3) Learning to raise a good dog by encouraging his confidence and not breaking his spirit.
4) Last but not least I would love to buy all of your videos but like a kid in a candy store I only have about one dollar. I am looking at your “Bite training puppies,” “Your puppy 8 weeks,” “Establishing Pack Structure,” “Basic Dog Obedience,” “Training Personal Protection,” ”First Steps of defense." I know not to do this too early in the pups training but I strongly feel a good education is a good foundation. “How to raise a working pup,” “The first steps of bite work” and “the power of clicker/marker training.” I would love to buy all these at once but one; I cannot afford them all at this time especially since I would not be getting a pup until Feb. of next year, and two; I do not want to purchase videos that would be redundant on the same key points.
Which of these videos would you recommend for me start a good foundation first?
Please forgive the lengthiness of this email, I know you are a busy man,
The first comment I would make is to think twice about buying a puppy out of a skittish female. Not only does the mother influence the puppies genetically she influences their view of the world for their first 8 weeks. I think a good, stable and confident mother dog is paramount. I would NEVER take a puppy from an insecure female no matter how much I like the male. The fact that this female was worried about strange people and children is a huge red flag to me. Ed wrote an article on how to pick a puppy.