Protection Dog Training
We take a great deal of pride in the level of training that we give our dogs and are constantly striving to improve every aspect of what we do so that the protection dog we supply to you is trained to the highest possible calibre.
Below is an outline of how we select and train the dogs, but if you have questions about any aspect of the process or would like to speak to us in more detail about what we do, then please don't hesitate to get in touch.
What is a Protection Dog?
A personal protection dog (also known as a family protection dog) is one which is capable of actively defending its owner or family when it senses a threat to those people. Its training will have included a wide variety of scenarios that allow it to deal appropriately with acts of aggression and it will not flinch in the presence of loud noises or weapons.
The above said, in any normal circumstance, a protection dog from us will appear like an extremely obedient household pet and will be entirely safe around the family.
A protection dog is not the same as a guard dog or Police dog and the ones that we supply are very social and don't behave like snarling, aggressive animals. In fact, quite the opposite, a dog from us will be quiet, confident and strong and is less likely to bite or cause trouble than an untrained animal.
Not just for Show
Any protection dog that we provide will be able to offer real protection and our extensive scenario based training ensures this.
We train using various types of equipment including sleeves and full body suits in order to ensure the safety of our trainers. However, we use a very specific set of methods to be certain that the dogs don't become fixated on the equipment which would lead them to only engage opponents wearing it. Unfortunately, we have seen quite a number of dogs over the years that are equipment fixated and while it may look impressive in a training field, it is naturally, totally useless in the real-world.
We will always fully demonstrate the effectiveness of any dog that we supply to you and we are happy to discuss any aspect of our training.
The Right Dog
Selecting the right dog for the training is as important as the training itself.
Contrary to popular belief, nearly all untrained dogs wouldn't actually protect their owners. When tested, we have found that the opposite is true and every day dogs choose to run away from, or submit to a threat during a family protection scenario. Confidence and strength of nerve are essential character traits of each of our dogs and we use a number of methods to effectively test for this.
Great consideration is given to each individual customer's lifestyle to ensure that the dogs we present to them are a perfect match. For example, a large, boisterous, male dog is unlikely to be suitable for a family with small children, while a business man who wants the dog to be with him throughout his working week will need a higher energy dog so that it can cope with the demands.
Every part of our dogs' character is scrutinised. It is absolutely paramount that the drives in each dog are well balanced to ensure that they fit in well with their new home. For example:
- Too suspicious - there will be a conflict of interest between handler and dog
- Too defensive - the dog is more likely to behave aggressively in public
- Too strong mentally - would result in the owner having a lack of control over the dog
- Too prey driven - could lead to innumerable problems both away from and in the home
An ideal dog is one that has:
- Just enough drive to 'want' to work but, not so much that it 'has' to work
- The ability to defend when called upon, but not the need or desire to constantly seek out trouble
- The strength to cope with the physical and mental challenges of the work, but not so strong that it feels it has to rule the household
- The ability to work defensively, but also be able to switch off instantly when required and be stable and calm around its family
The selection process is a complicated and lengthy one which requires a great deal of skill, but it's one that we pride ourselves on doing extremely well.
It is worth stating that all of our dogs are trained by us, they don't arrive fully trained by others to unknown standards. We select them ourselves and we train them ourselves. That way we can be 100% certain of the quality of what we are supplying to you.
The training can take many months (every dog is different) and throughout the process we monitor both their progress and well-being.
It's very important to not drive a dog until it can't cope. Very sadly, we have seen the effects of this, where other trainers have failed to understand the psychology of successful training and the result is an ineffective and more importantly, unhappy or even broken dog.
A few crucial aspects of our training include:
- Variety - just one type of training will not create a rounded result. We vary our methods and the type of training from day to day to ensure that we cover every desired type of behaviour and to avoid the animal from just reacting to a fixed routine
- Tailored - every dog is different and requires its own, specific training. One size definitely does not fit all and recognising what is required, is extremely important
- Location - we work with our dogs in a wide variety of locations (training fields, city centres, on buses and trains, etc.) and surrounded by a lot of different stimuli (playing children, noisy traffic, buskers, football matches, etc.). In addition, all of our dogs spend time in our trainers' own homes living in real family environments
- Observation - we spend a lot of time watching our dogs. Even on "down days" we take note of how each dog behaves to what is going on around it and how it generally plays and socialises
- Customer interaction - we take the time to understand our customers' needs and lifestyles and adapt our training to ensure that the chosen dog is capable of fitting in with the way that they live. Just as importantly, we provide each customer with the training and understanding to be certain that they are comfortable with the dog and are able to control it in every circumstance