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Categories: Protection Training - Adult Dogs

Q. Do you recommned anybody to train my dog in Protection?
Hi Ed,

I am moving to Indy from Texas. I have a SchH3 female that I adore. She is very smart and very loyal and very affectionate. I had her bred to a breed certified male SCh and she has had 4 great puppies, all with her smarts and demeanor. I want to get one trained specifically for protection ( as in elite protection) and perhaps tracking/rescue( I am firefighter). The only one I can find nearby that looks like I can trust is Al Gill, but he is too busy with police work. Can you recommend someone?

Thanks,
Ed

A. Thanks for writing. I NEVER recommend people for this because I don't believe in it. I recommend that you go to my web site and read the article I wrote on my philosophy of dog training. I think you will get some good ideas there http://leerburg.com/philosohy.htm

Professional trainers NEVER take the time to do something like this at a speed that allows dogs to learn at a pace that does not stress it. The result is they use too much FORCE because they have time constraints.

Do the foundation work yourself. That's how it is suppose to be done. Train the bite development in Prey - all the work in the first 12 to 14 months is done by the handler - anyone who says differently needs more training.

There are 2 training videos I recommend people get to start the protection training process.

Training Drive Focus and Grip & Preparing Your Dog for the Helper

I produced both tapes based on the training of Bernhard Flinks. He is a German police K9 handler and top Schutzhund competitor..

The beauty of this training program is the handler does all of the foundation work in protection training himself. With young dogs this can start at 8 weeks and go to about 12 to 13 months of age. Older dogs receive the exact same training as young dogs they just proceed through the program quicker. These videos teach handlers how to do prey drive work with their own dog through drive exercises. Dogs learn the foundation of the exercises that they will need to know when they meet the helper for the first time. I compare this to a father teaching a child karate. He is not really fighting with his children, he is teaching them the moves to use in a fight.
I recommend starting with "Training DRIVE - FOCUS and GRIP" It is one of my best training videos. It's the first is a series of tapes done with Bernard.

It is the foundation of Bernard's training program It teaches handlers how to build a relationship of trust and understanding with the dog. Bernard is the only instructor I have ever seen that places so much emphasis on building a bond between the handler and dog.
The Drive and Focus video teaches you how to build drive in your dog. Every dog inherits a genetic level of drive, this varies from dog to dog. The training in this tape shows how to bring your dog up to its own genetic level of drive. The tape then teaches the dog to show self control while in drive. If you think of it when a dog shows self control when he is in drive this is in effect working under extreme distraction and that's the foundation of obedience training.
Every dog MUST learn to control it's drive if it is to become a competitive Schutzhund dog or a Police Service dog or a Personal Protection dog or a Competition Obedience dog. The later videos in this series will train the dog that heeling, sit, down and come are drive commands and not compulsion commands.

Through this training we show how to work at building a calm solid grip from day one. A solid grip shows a clear mind. We teach the dog to be comfortable in maintaining the calm grip in the presence of the handler. If a dog cant have a solid grip in the presence of his handler he has a problem with the handler. We show how to address this issue. We also teach the dog in the first steps of the OUT command.

It takes 3 to 5 weeks to work through the training in this video. When the dog has finished this work he is ready to move into the training in the second video. (Preparing Your Dog for the Helper).
  
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This is another DVD that is done with Michael Ellis. It teaches trainers in a step by step manner how to use a toy as a reward in training your dog. It teaches dogs to OUT when asked and to bring the toy back when its released and it is all done with motivational methods.

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