I had 2 trainers test my dog. They want to take my dog for 3 to 4 weeks for training in their kennel. Should I do this?
Hello Ed; Thank you for producing such informative videos, the information you present has not only helped me to understand the drives and drive developement for protection work but has also saved me thousands of dollars on worthless trainers. It has given me a better dog, I have owned protection dogs before but he is by far the best.
Jasper is now 20 months old and nearly finished with his training, he has a strong prey drive and a solid defensive drive with good nerve. The trainer I have been working with recently lost his defensive helper (due to a move). The trainer had suffered a stroke several years ago, he wants to help finish my dog but I doubt he can do much more. Because of his stroke he can not properly hold the sleeve, as a result the dog targets his hand instead of his arm.
Jasper is not yet finished as his grip is still a little weak when placed into a strong difference situation. He shows no hesitation on his attacks though. The problem is that he will not advance on the helper or bark when told to "watch him" unless the helper provokes him. How do I get him to show aggression on command without him waiting to be provoked? He readily barks for his tug and sleeve when playing at home or in the field but when it is serious he will watch and wait.
Recently I had him evaluated by 2 well known trainers in my area and both did and said the same thing. They said they would test his prey drive but instead of acting like prey (moving laterally) they came straight in to him which provoked him in defense. They claim he needs to be started over since he did not react in prey! They also say he is "handler addicted" and that in order to have a confident and stable protection dog he needs to be boarded with them for 3-4 weeks so that he can receive intensive training with more than one handler. They claim this is the only way a dog gains confidence! Is this true or a line of bullshit just to get me to buy their (expensive) program?!! He has a strong pack drive and respects my position as his alpha, on our property and on our hikes when he is off leash (the areas we hike in are remote and rarely ever run into other hikers), he never lets me out of his sight. Ed, these people even use this as an example of poor self confidence on the part of the dog! I don't think he lacks confidence since he has never shown any signs of avoidance and is very forward in his work. What do you think?
No, you should never allow trainers that you are not very familiar with to take your dog. This is a big mistake. It is very common to take dogs and work them solely in fight or flight - this is terrible work. Worse yet many of these guard dog trainers do TABLE TRAINING. That is barbaric training. You can read about this in the articles on my article page on my web site. I also discuss it on my web discussion board. Do not go back to these people that want to take your dog for several weeks. They are either amateur's or crooks. You are 100% correct - they did not test the dog in prey drive, the dog is not weak because he chooses to keep his eye on you while you hike.
I would suggest that you get The First Steps of Defense, the video that shows how to move a dog from bite development into the more serious work. All dogs that are going into more specialized training (Police Service Work, Schutzhund Work or Personal Protection Work) need to go through this phase of training before moving on. This will teach you how to train the dog to react to your voice commands when he does not see the helper.
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