Will Schutzhund training help my dog become a good personal protection dog?
Schutzhund over here in England is frowned upon by the establishment. My nearest club is about 1.25 hours away, but they are very friendly and welcoming folks. My question is this. How related are Schutzhund and personal protection? Will going through Schutzhund be of benefit to my dog as a protection dog or should I simply set down the path, at a suitable age of course, of protection training him? Although again over here finding good helpers will be difficult outside the Schutzhund establishment, and they do not approve protection training except within the Schutzhund sport. If you know of any good trainers in the UK I would be grateful for a contact.
This is a very common question. All dogs (schutzhund dogs, police service dogs, personal protection dogs, ring sport dogs) need to go through the same early stages of bite development training. This is basically prey drive development. You can read about these drives in other articles on my web site. Look under training articles on the table of contents.
During prey drive development the young pups or young adults will learn the skills of how to bite within the atmosphere of a game environment. This all starts with games of tug. It progresses into games where the young dog bites and plays tug but it learns that there are rules to the game (i.e. bark before you get a bite and tug). You can learn all of this work through my tapes.
When the dog begins to mature (at 18 to 30 months of age) the dog is exposed to defensive training. Here is where the training will go in different directions. Schutzhund training and personal protection training have different goals and therefore the training is different.
Many schutzhund trainers will cross train their dogs to personal protection dogs. But it requires extra work. They must do muzzle training. They must do extensive defensive training off the schutzhund training field. This usually involves night time work etc. etc.
So the answer to your question is that schutzhund training and personal protection dog training have the same beginning, but differ in the last stages. Schutzhund training does not hurt a dog whose final purpose is to be a personal protection dog - as long as the schutzhund club does a good job of adding defensive training at the right time. Some clubs work their dogs too long in Prey Drive and this results in a dog that is difficult to switch over to good personal protection work because the dog becomes "locked in prey."
Again, if you want to learn more about this work, you need to look at these tapes. There is 4 hours of non-stop information on these videos.