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Categories: Training Police Service Dogs

Q. What do you expect from a good (working) puppy to show you before you treat him as a mature dog and not as a puppy?
Hello Ed,

I work in the Israeli swat in puppy program for special forces.

We have few malinois puppies in different ages, and we have some disagreement between us about the best age to put real pressure from a decoy on the puppy/dog,

I'll be glad if you can answer from your experience with puppies and young dogs, what are you expect from a good (working) puppy to show you before you treat him as a mature dog and not as a puppy.

What are the cues we need to see to say it's not a puppy anymore, and we can treat this young as a mature dog.

Thanks a lot,
Sharon

A. I don’t believe that there is any one quality you need to see in order to begin working the puppy as an adult dog. I want to see confidence in all areas of the puppy’s interactions with his environment and with people. In training, I want to make sure the dog is working in bite work with a full grip and only moving forward. Around the house, I want to see the dog becoming territorial and I like a puppy that walks around with tail UP all the time, acting like he owns the place.

A submissive puppy or a puppy that doesn’t have a lot of natural self confidence will need more foundation work to be successful as a working dog (in our experience).

It’s really a hard question to answer in an email. I hope this helps.
  
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