This is a video of Ombra at 4 Month doing Man scent tracking on a long line. Ombra is a bi-color German Shepherd import from one of the top working line German Shepherd Kennels in Germany. Ombra is not for sale as she will be held back for our breeding program, once she completes our Executive Protection Dog program.
Please note: that this track was 400 yards, and was only the second time that Ombra and Julia had done a track of this kind on a long lead. Also please note that Food was never a reward, just a simple concept of communication and desire.
A happy dog is a dog that is physically and mentally stimulated. Your Personal Protection Dog needs to work and be exercised on a daily basis. I don’t know how many times I seen or hear about someone with a good working dog that only takes them out of the run twice a week to their local club to stimulate the dog. To me this is definitely not enough. We work our Protection dogs seven day a week. In fact a relaxed day for us would be to walk our dogs five miles, three time a day. I personally walk my talk, I will literally walk five miles a day, and it is not an uncommon sight to see me walking with four or six dogs in the city.
One of the best ways to stimulate your protection dog is to have him follow you on a bike, you can cover a long distance at a very fast-paced, in a short amount of time. It is important however when riding with your protection dog that you have him on the curbside, for the safety of the dog. The following is a video that we shot in Holland with a experience KNPV handler and his Dutch Shepherd at a local KNPV club on a bike.
This video is a demonstration of the basic obedience exercises within the KNPV PH 1 Program. Note that handler must do a series of turns through pylons, first on lead, then off lead on examination day.
We filmed this video on one of our many trips to the Netherlands in one of the Local K.N.P.V Clubs. The handler in this video is an experienced KNPV handler, notice that when he is handling his Dutch Shepherd that he exercises the three main points of doing obedience, calm assertive energy, communication, and a loose lead.
As a German Shepherd protection dog owner, it is important that you start socializing your puppy with people and places at a very young age. Although the socialization of a protection dog puppy is a bit different from the way you would normally socialize a domesticated dog, it is just as important that your dog is comfortable with it’s environment, and the people in it, at all times.
Bringing your puppy to places where other dogs are, will help him become more familiar and socialized with different types of dog breeds. It is alright for your puppy to interact with other dogs, but you must make sure that no other adult dogs try to scare, or bully him in anyway. It is extremely important that your puppy always feels safe during these trips so that in the future they are not uncomfortable about interacting with other dogs.
During the process of socializing your German Shepherd puppy we suggest taking him to places where many activities and crowds are present. Consider taking them to a park, a small town, or anywhere else involving people and activities. Your puppy not only needs to become accustomed with people and crowds, but to strange noises, objects and activities as well. It is important that while in these places they learn to pay attention to you and your commandments.
If your German Shepherd puppy seems to be afraid or uncomfortable with a certain person or object, it is your job to help the puppy feel comfortable. Try taking your dog slowly up to the person or object and gently place your hand on it. With a a calm but assertive voice reassure and encourage the puppy to sniff out or investigate it until it no longer seems afraid. When the puppy sees that you are comfortable, they will feed off of your energy and feel the same way.
Remember, it is very important to let your puppy become part of your life. Allow it to go with you when you go places, and let it interact with others that are in your life. Not only do you want your German Shepherd puppy to be social and friendly to animals, but also to other adults and children. As with any person the more your puppy interacts with children, the more they feel comfortable being around them. German Shepherd puppies are some of the most kid friendly animals on the planet.
Get your puppy out and about in the world allowing them to learn new areas, sites and sounds. Protection dogs are trained to assist their owners in any way possible. They are there to not only provide protection but to also be a loving member of the family.
It is very important to work and train your protection dog in the environment that it is going to be placed in. For example, if you are selling dogs for the military your dog should be trained and housed in a field environment. If you are selling personal protection dogs for family home estate security then the dog should be trained on the street to prepare it for the world it will be working and living in. Just as soldiers are trained under working conditions protection dogs need to be also trained in their working environments. Being street trained is so important on many levels because there are many things that can distract your protection dog from its job of protecting, such as weather or street noise. A good dog has to be trained in all weather conditions, from extreme temperature differences to extreme weather conditions. In fact when one is training their dog in obedience under bad weather conditions such as a thunder storm, this removes the stress of the obedience, as one knows obedience is the only unnatural form for any dog. Street noises such as a passing police car or fire truck can be a very distracting thing for a dog but if you train the dog on the street from the beginning with these distractions they will become use to them and learn to ignore them in the future. When you get the dog comfortable with its environment, not only will it be a great protection dog it will also have good street smarts as well.
Unfortunately a lot of companies out there that are supposedly buying and selling protection dogs are really just selling there customers sporting dogs. These dogs have never worked or trained in a street environment in their lives. Most of these dogs are trained on a groom field or at the club house, and then brought home to be put in a kennel environment. We train all our German Shepherd, and Belgian Malinois puppies from a young age on the street each and every day. Not only do we make sure that all of our dogs are comfortable with their future working environments so that they can be the best when coming to protect you and your family we also make sure that each protection dog is social with other people and good with there own kind.
As a protection dog owner, you have taken the responsibility of doing anything possible to ensure that your dog is happy and healthy. This responsibility is not always something that everyone takes to heart. Sometimes people get so caught up in their own lives that they forget about their dog’s needs and well being. It is very important for you to understand your protection dog’s needs in order to fulfill them successfully. The basic need of your dog which you should most definitely know are food, water, and shelter. You should be well aware as a protection dog owner that your dog needs to be fed regularly and have water available for them at all times. Also your dog needs exercise, bathing and grooming, these are all necessary in order to ensure that your dog has the proper nutrition and stays healthy. Another need that is necessary to keep your protection dog healthy is stimulation. Your dog’s brain needs to be stimulated often, in order to keep them satisfied and balanced. What many people do not realize is that your dog need the mental stimulation by watching everything around them, this can be done by simply taking them for a walk.
Consistency, it is something that is essential for your protection dog to have, in order to feel safe and secure. Your dog needs to feel like part of your family, meaning that you must think of it as such. You must include them in family activities. It is important for you to assess your current situation before bringing a dog into your home, because it is not fair for them if you neglect them due to your busy life. Your protection dog needs to socialize with other dogs and people starting from when he is just a puppy. A responsible dog owner will provide their protection dog with medical care, including taking them to the vet regularly for shots and check-ups. If you ever have to leave your dog for something like a vacation, it is crucial to consider ahead of time what you will do with them. If you choose to board them, visit the kennel in person to make sure that it is a clean, safe, inviting environment, so you know that your dog will be taken care of. More than anything it is important to know that one of the most important needs of your dog is love. It is essential for you and your family to give your dog as much love as you possibly can. Treat your protection dog in a way that is kind, loving way and in return they will learn to love and respect you.
Not many will know the answer to this question, most will not even know what an ouch tolerance is. One of the common definitions for tolerance is, the act or capacity of enduring, and this definition coincides well with ouch tolerance. Ouch tolerance is when your protection dog gives a yelp after giving them a leash correction when disciplining them. If your dog steps out of line, by no means never should you hit, kick or yell at the dog. Instead discipline them by giving them a leash correction, which in turn triggers their ouch tolerance. A scale is used to determine your dog’s tolerance, it ranges from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest. Every dog has a different threshold, in terms of their ouch tolerance correction. If your dog has a low tolerance, this does not mean that they are weak. All this means is that your dogs is handler sensitive, and for some a dog with a lower ouch tolerance works better. This is especially true for elderly people who own a protection dog.
While training a protection dog, the dog’s ouch tolerance can usually be determined. When you are training your dog on a leash, you can detect it best. This is because you will be able to tell when your dog yelps or how much it takes them to yelp after correcting them on a leash. Training your dog on a leash can occur by simply walking down a street. There are certain pieces of equipment that are often necessary for this kind of training. A prong collar is often used because it has a better effect, unlike a flat collar that has little to no effect. Prong collars are used in the learning face, obedience, basics obedience, and intermediate face of the obedience training. A very lazy and unbeneficial way to train your protection dog is the electric collar, or more commonly referred to as the shock collar. It is important to correct your protection dog accordingly, whether its is a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, or Dutch Shepherd. For example, if they do not sit when you come to a stop sign, it is not the end of the world. If a protection dog has a certain ouch tolerance, you should take this into consideration for your correction level; for example, if your dog has a ouch tolerance of a five, then the correction level should be a three. There must always be a constant communication between you are your dog, and it is important to treat your dog fair, but firm.
Many would agree with the statement that man’s best friend has always been known as a loyal and loving companion. Dogs have always had the natural tendency to protect their owner, that is why for years they have been trained to become trustworthy protection/guard dogs. These dogs are intensively trained to constantly be there looking out for your family and ensuring their safety. The dogs know that their owner will protect them from harm and in return do the same for them. Often great guard dogs are born and not just trained to become one. Certain breeds are simply meant to be protection dogs, such as the Belgian Malinois, because they are born with a solid temperament and the natural instinct to protect. To create a dog into an excellent protection dog, constant training needs to be started from when the dog is very young. Many techniques and different types of equipment is used during the training of these dogs. For example, The German Poachers Coat is a piece of equipment that is used in the training to make a ordinary dog into a phenomenal protection dog.
The German Poachers Coat is a 3/ 4 length bite coat that is worn by a decoy during a defense exercise. It is an old fashioned design, which is made to permit easy movement. This coat is also used in leg transfer training as well. In training we primarily use three types of bite suits, the French Ring, KNPV bites, and the German Poachers Coat. We do not use any sleeve tugs or towels in our training, instead we use interchangeable sleeves. We use these because they allow you to use different metals, which keeps the dog challenged during training. All of our protection dogs are trained in defense meager starting from a young age, we do not train our dogs in pray. This is why it takes a very special dog with strong nerves to do the type of training to ultimately become a protection dog. The decoy (helper) must be very experienced to withstand the compression of a strong dog on the poachers coat. Our dogs are trained not only to bite the legs, but to initially target the weapon hand. When a strong dog engages, the decoy will feel the pressure but not the pinch. The German Poachers Coat is a very valuable piece of equipment when it comes to training a strong, civil, functional protection dog.