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Basic protection training

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by Ddski5, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    So I have been having difficulty finding an instructor or a club to do some basic protection or even some challenging IPO skills. Just want to get involved in something more challenging than what we are doing now.


    I was out running and training Ragnar and I saw this guy doing some nose work with a group of people and two Mals. They all had Cajun Search and Rescue shirts on. I stopped and talked to them. He is the same guy I saw out there last month working 4-5 Mals with a bunch of people with bite sleeves.

    So I pressed him with some questions on basic protection training and he got out his bite sleeve attached to a rope to see if Ragnar could be worked with. Yes, Ragnar went after the bite sleeve that was attached to the rope. This was a given to me. Ragnar will go after a big tug rope or dangling sleeve with a vengeance if you let him. He has a high prey drive. That did not impress me like it did him. What impressed me was that Ragnar did it in front of two Mals with little issue.

    So the guy turns to me and says yes he would like to work with Ragnar with basic protection work. He said it starts with building prey drive towards the arm sleeve and then we go from there. We did not go into it too much more because he was finishing up the nose work.

    He does not belong to any clubs and he does his own training. Hell, I don’t think there are any clubs around me to belong to. The ones I called in Covington and New Orleans never called me back after several attempts.

    He seemed legit?.?. I always see him out there working Mals and GS.

    Is there anything that you look for in a trainer to determine if they are legit? Any key things to watch for that show incompetence?

    At this point, anything new and challenging we can do may be worth it.?.?
     
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  2. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I would like to find such a situation, hopefully a no money exchanged type setup. I remember with my first Doberman I was always trying to find someone to be my helper. I was interested in someone to be this agitator – doing something similar to what that guy did with Ragnar. Based on my reading on the topic years ago, the agitator should not be someone who you expect your dog to accept as a friend. I know this might be different than what you'll hear from IPO people and other dog sports people.

    You would be putting a lot of trust in the person who works with your Dobe. They need to know what they're doing, or at least the important basic concepts. You don't want your Dobe to be pushed to the breaking point. You do want the helper to be without ego and to do everything they can to build your Dobe's confidence. If you have a good protection candidate, the dog will have lots of confidence and not just prey drive but defense drive and fight drive. Even so, it may be possible even with most good dogs for a helper to set back the dog's training by being too assertive in the unfamiliar scenarios of protection training. You need the helper to do things like fall down like the dog totally defeated them. This takes maturity and knowledge. Don't let anyone push Ragnar to the breaking point.
     
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  3. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I would ask if he has put any titles on his dogs. Do you want to do IPO or actual personal protection training?
     
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  4. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    That is awesome and especially so close to home! I’d ask about titles. That’s proof that they know their stuff. I kinda don’t like that he doesn’t belong to any club, but if the guys has titled dogs, I would proceed. Some people want to continue training without the “hassle” of a club setup and I can’t really find fault with that. Do they do an evaluation or was today’s demo enough? Also ask about liability around bite work. The club we go to only teaches bite work to actual members, not students, but that could just be a Canadian thing. How exciting!
     
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  5. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    Titles would be nice but more important would be what certifications he has for helper work. Sounds like he knows what he is doing. Hope you have fun training.
     
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  6. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Initially, I just wanted basic personal protection, teach Ragnar to alert, watch, growl and hold. I have a difficult time getting him in a situation that he gets protective, he hardly ever growls or barks (unless to other dogs) so how do I positive reinforce something he does not do?

    I looked up this guys name and Facebook and it seems he is really kinda backstreet. He runs in the rodeo circuit, and breeds and trains Mals. Kinda looks more on the line of a BYB doing BYB protection training.

    I am thinking about calling the local Sheriffs office and asking their K9 deputy if he has any knowledge on him. I would think those kinda guys tend to know each other somewhere somehow...

    At least this guy did more spontaneously with no charge than the Camp Bow Wow protection trainer did. That guy did more talking and staring into Ragnar’s eyes than anything else- then gave me an education pamphlet and a bill. To save my daughters reputation and prob job, I paid the guy but won’t go back.

    I am really up to doing anything new or challenging- be it personal protection or IPO.

    Between my girls soccer and training with Ragnar, if there was an IPO club around, my wife would never see me. I tend to get caught up into things and just wont leave it along.

    @Oh Little Oji- I don’t believe it will be free of charge but it will not be near as much as to what Camp Bow Wow charged. Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I don’t know, may check it out and see what happens. Hell, I’m usually out and about there anyway 4 times a week at least. and he says that he goes to all the places I go- I try to go to 4-5 different fields/fairgrounds/pastures to change scenery.
     
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  7. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Good idea. I found a guy who used to train our city’s police dogs. I never thought to check there and fortunately he had a company vehicle that I spotted while driving. It would seem that searching for anything German Shepard related will bring up the right kind of trainers.
     
  8. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Notable member

    I can't find the 2019 Crufts Demo of Police Dogs but this one is from last year. I like how they go over how they start training the puppies (starts around the 2:00 mark). Maybe Off Topic???? Sorry...

     
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  9. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Expect to have some unwelcoming sentiments under the surface, and some people skeptical that Dobermans can hack it.
     
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  10. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    This is why if my wife wants to see me, she has to come out to training. She try’s to make it out 3-4 times each week, so she has been getting better, I used to never see her during the winter months. Even when we train in th training building, she would complain it was still to cold. :rofl:
    Usually around 50 degrees in the building in the winter months. Better than outside.
     
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  11. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I called and talked to one of the Sheriff’s dog K9 trainers. He has been training Police K9s for 14 years. Basically he completely tried to discourage me from doing any protection training with Ragnar. He was not a fan of trying to mix the two mentalities of protection and then a friendly family dog. He said he has seen too many family dogs make mistakes after they become protection trained. That they have a difficult time and are unable to differentiate the environment and/or situation and act out on an innocent family member or bystander that has done something to trigger the dog.

    In his opinion, you can have one or the other kind of dog but does not think you should mix the two mentalities.

    I have thought about this often and have wondered that if I open that world up to Ragnar, it would be like teaching him skills that cannot be unlearned or truly controlled. We like to think we have full control through obedience but if a good friend surprises me from behind or a drunk idiot does something loud or stupid??

    I don’t know, this is completely new territory for me. Those of you that do IPO and protection. Could you fully trust your trained dog from being triggered by any outside influence without your consent?

    Is a trained dog fully capable of witholding a growl or bite snap on a little girl that seemed to unknowingly startle your dog at the local soccer fields or in a public restaurant that allows dogs. I know that we are always watching the environment with our heads on a swivel, scouting for what ifs and danger areas but if that one situation occurred?.?.? Is it worth opening that world open to your dog if this is a possibility of happening?

    I can understand his point of view of the matter. Too many people out there wanting to own a badass without fully understanding the consequences of owning a badass.

    I don’t know, definitely has me thinking because I take Ragnar everywhere I go. The store, friends house, soccer fields, outdoor restaurants, etc...
     
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  12. crypticintent

    crypticintent Jr Member

    That is one thing I am very thankful for. My wife is as much into training the little girl as I am. We are more interested in the flyball and or agility route to burn off excess energy (rather than IPO) but we split training duties and are together during every session with our trainer for obedience.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  13. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Very good thoughts and a good main question you pose.

    I have not put an IPO title on a dog, and I know you asked specifically for opinions from those who have. I've talked here about what keeps me from getting involved in dog sports. I have, however, done quite a bit of reading, researching, pondering and some dabbling in protection work.

    You know, the official answer you hear and read is that a well-trained dog in IPO or protection work is actually more reliable and safe. The comparison to a skilled martial artist is made. The dog's protective drives are channeled and the dog is taught specifically when to bite and when to not bite.

    In most cases, the dog is taught to bite only the forearm. The dog is not ever allowed to bite any other part of the body, including the face. Now this varies, and sometimes dogs are taught to bite other parts of the body. I'm sure there are people who train dogs to bite the crotch, the face or the throat. I don't personally know about the wisdom of doing that last part. I know the book The Koehler Method of Guard Dog Training explains, as only Koehler could, exactly why biting the forearm, was best. He also posits that the dog should be trained to go for the arm that is wielding a weapon.

    There is also a book called Manstopper, written by Joel McMains. He is a Doberman lover! I also recommend The Home and Family Protection Dog.

    Yes, in all these written works, the reader is strongly cautioned to think very carefully before engaging in any protection work. It is laid out that the dog owner carries a heavy burden of liability. If your dog bites someone and it is discovered that you did some protection training with your dog, it will probably hurt you in court – or at least the lawyers will try to make it hurt you.

    I am not surprised to hear that a law enforcement guy discouraged someone from protection training. This reminds me of years ago with my first Doberman when I was super hungry to learn about protection work. I scoured all the libraries in the various places I lived. One early morning before dawn as I was on the way to work and had stopped at a convenience store to pick up breakfast, I saw a K9 sheriff in there. I actually asked him where I could find information about protection training, because I was finding that information on the topic was very scarce and limited. His response (and I'm sure he was not prepared for such a question) was that it is really not that hard or complicated.

    So yeah, it does give a thinking person pause, the thought of sort of crossing that barrier by actually encouraging and training your dog to be aggressive with a human and to bite them. It gives you a sense of: Man, what if my dog ever misuses this skill? What if I have turned on a switch that cannot be turned off? Have I just made my dog a time bomb?

    My position is that if, in your best estimation, you have a Dobe with a stable temperament that has not been too messed up by bad experiences or training AND you give it good solid training in protection it should be a good thing not a bad thing.

    Really, if you have done work in your Dobe's life promoting their suspicious nature and have done things like training them to alert on command and to alert on a specific person on command you have done a lot already – and you thus have taken your Dobe pretty far toward what you might be worried about. If you have done these things, then the only basic element you have not included is the actual trained biting of a human – which if you have a Doberman with solid pedigree (in my opinion, especially a working pedigree) your Dobe already has got covered.

    Of course, almost all dogs possess a level of bite inhibition. This makes them suitable as pets, and reliable and useful to mankind. Specifically training and promoting biting people breaks down bite inhibition and, yes, may carry with it a risk.
     
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  14. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    @Oh Little Oji "Breaks down bite inhibition." I will have to think on this. It does seem that people who are in this sport raise their puppy with this purpose in mind and possibly even limit corrections on a teething pup so as not to curb the action.

    @Ddski5 Interesting that the Sheriff's K9 trainer discouraged you. The guy I mentioned previously (city K9 trainer for 35 years before retiring) is now a behaviorist and he did not discourage us from doing this. I figured if anyone could talk my hb out of this it would be him, so I pressed him. Just the opposite, and it wasn't because he was selling his services because he no longer does this work. People at our evaluation session, at another training facility, asked whether the dog changes from being a pet and the trainers said no, if anything the dog is a better pet because the dog has a targeted outlet. A few of them even have young children - not teens, single digit age kiddos.

    So this part is still confusing to me. We had advice early on from a non-club working breed trainer (with titled Rottweilers who were super sweet when we were there, and not so much when we were unexpected) that we should not want to do Schutzhund because all dogs are naturally protective and this training changes their personality, yet I'm hearing otherwise from modern day working breed trainers. Would be great to hear from @Tropicalbri's @Silent Dobe @Drogon @Doberman Gang and @AresMyDobie on how they see the situation.
     
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  15. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Yes, definitely.
     
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  16. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    For biting puppies, it is always the correct and redirected. Teaching biting me is off limits but you can bite this. Dogs naturally want to chase and bite things, this goes back to hunting and survival instinct. They must have a high prey drive to get fed. There will be times in the wild when a dog will chase its prey and not catch. This may be more often then when they do catch their prey. This means that prey drive must be high enough and the rewarding feeling of chasing things must be in place for survival. This would include the desire to bite things in order to kill and eat its prey.
    Level of drives vary in all breeds but this is why you hear working people talking about high drive dogs and what they may be looking for in a dog.
    As for personal protection, this can be confusing because many people have come to me saying they aren’t interested in sport but want their dog trained in Protection. Most don’t understand what they are asking for. Most dogs trained for personal protection, or what is actually called civil work, are not going to be good pets. These dogs are trained to do a job and some of the training can put extreme pressure on the dog. Most people just want there dogs to be trained to alert them to strangers and scare off an intruder. Probably never having to engage in a fight.

    To train protection at my club you are required to also do obedience. A dog must understand control and a threat to do any bite work. As for people who claim Schutzhund training changes the dogs personality, these people do not understand the training or the high level of obedience that these dogs train for. It is also why some dogs may not be suited for the work.
     
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  17. Drogon

    Drogon $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    I agree with this.

    It really depends on the dog and the training. IPO/IGP/ Schutzhund training is very different than personal protection training. Some dogs are prey driven some are driven by defense some have a good balance of both. I trust 98% of the dogs in our club. There are a couple that I don't want to make eye contact with. One is a Malinois the other is a Dogo Argentino. I'm' pretty sure the Mal will bite me but not maul me. I could see the Mal biting my leg. The Dogo is another story. I'm never sure if he would bite me or run away with his tail between his legs. I can see the fight or flight battle in that dog.
    After coming home from IGP (the current name) my current dog, Fury, needs a cooling off period. He is high as a kite for a couple hours. My last dog Drogon was fine as soon as we got home. They're very different dogs. Drogon was mostly show lines from show dogs with IPO titles. Fury is a working dog from working lines. Fury loves to work and enjoys biting. Drogon did the work and it seemed like he did it because I wanted to do it, not because he wanted to do it.
    As a puppy I never discourage biting or jumping. I'm not sure if that is the correct approach or not. You'll never hear me say 'no bite' and I'll never correct my dog for jumping on me.
    We have a couple of trainers with small children at home and there's no concern but their dogs are not 'serious dogs'. IGP is just a game to them that they like to play.
    I could go on and on but bottom line is that it depends on the dog.
     
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  18. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    This is a great point, many dogs I see in the sport think of it as a game. As I always say, they are playing with a human tug toy. Prada could be guarding in the blind, get a grip from the helper and fight, take a couple of stick hits and pressure. Then, out the sleeve and run over to the crowd watching, and get love and petting from a complete stranger. Not Blaze, Blaze is serious all the time, doesn’t really care to meet people and is all about the fight. He rarely slows down unless he is asleep. Not a fun house dog and I have never had a stranger want to meet him or pet him, he has a scary demeanor that keeps them at bay.:rofl:
     
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  19. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Okay so it seems as if what I am looking for may be an IPO club that we can just participate in. Go, train and have fun. The protection aspect could come secondary to training and the fun of training.
     
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  20. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Great information here and good distinctions made.

    I agree most people who aren’t in it don’t know what IPO/IGP is and that PP is totally different.

    Looking at it as a sport/game/human tug toy is pretty much what we’re going for. An outlet for the dog that is enjoyable to him and to us compared to neighbourhood walks of sniffing and marking that seems to please only the dog (and even then only marginally).
     
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