This is a behind the scenes look into the training of Cindy & Sting.
A good Protection Dog has many skills. They are socially good with children, obedient, sharp, well mannered and environmentally strong.
As one may know, the bad guy doesn’t always come into your home empty-handed. That is why it is extremely important that a protection dog has the training skill to target the weapon hand. All of CCK9′s Elite Family Estate Protection Dogs are trained to target the weapon hand.
Cindy is a Female Belgian Malinois which we bred in 2009. She was not only the only female but she was also the pick of the litter out of five pups. Cindy is the mirror image of her Father Ducko one of CCK9′s old Personal Protection Dogs. Cindy will be bred in 2013 to Hollands KNPV PH 1 Dutch National Champion Spanky.
Sting is a 19 Month KNPV line German Shepherd which we imported at 8 weeks from one of Holland’s top KNPV kennels. Sting is also the direct son of Gandhi, our very own KNPV PH2 German Shepherd.
Please note that NO FOOD, BALLS, TUGS, SLEEVES, or E COLLARS were used in training. Just a simple concept of communication and desire.
This is a video of two CCK9 Protection Dogs working on the street. At Command Control Canine we work every dog on the street every day. We believe you must work the dog in the environment it’s going to be placed in.
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.
With the membership “For the German Shepherd Dog” the United Schutzhund Clubs of America is an organization that is dedicated to protecting and preserving the German Shepherd’s working heritage through Schutzhund training. Schutzhund, which is translated as “protection dog” originated in Germany so that breeder could evaluate and pick the highest quality dog for their breeding programs. In Germany still to this day a German Shepherd dog can not be bred without a Schutzhund title. The three titles are Sch H I (novice), Sch H II (intermediate), and Sch H III (master level). Schutzhund still continues to function as a breed test but it has grown into an extremely popular sport, especially in North America. The purpose of Schutzhund is to demonstrate the dog’s intelligence, utility, endurance, ability to scent, courage, trainability and many others as well. The three parts of Schutzhund are obedience, tracking and protection, the whole sport has many rules and regulations that must be followed.
The following are just some rules and regulations of the Schutzhund sport. To begin with, the minimum age requirements for entry into the different degree levels are as follows, SchH A -18 month, SchH 1 -18 months, Sch1-1 11 -19 months, Schl-l 111 – 20 months, FH -16 months, and B -12 months. When only one judge is present a maximum of 10 (12 in the USA) dogs may be entered in the trial. If the amount of entries exceeds this, then the trial must be extended another day or more judges must be brought in. Only dogs that are in good health can be in a trial, also the dog must pass a test of impartiality and sureness. Another rule is that a dogs are only allowed to be in one Schutzhund degree for each trial. Also if a dog has been awarded a degree, a four week (two weeks in USA) waiting period must occur before the dog can be put into the next higher degree. When it comes to the event the participant must follow the instructions of the judge as well as the trial committees’, without any disagreement. Also the handler must show the dog in a sporty and faultless manner, poor sportsmanship will lead to expulsion from the trial. Regarding score and ratings, the highest maximum score in each phase is 100 points, therefore the highest score for all three phases is 300 points. Again, these are just a few of the Schutzhund rules and regulations.
Proper obedience training is important for any working dog. Sit, heel and down are standard exercises which any well trained dog will know, but for trained protection dogs, obedience doesn’t stop at basic exercises. Many intermediate and advanced obedience exercises are a combination of two or more basic exercises. Two examples of this are the “sit in motion” and “down in motion”, which are essentially a combination of either heel and sit, or heel and down.
The “down in motion” exercise essentially goes as follows: the dog is instructed to heel by the handler. As they move together, the handler instructs the dog to down. The dog immediately stops heeling and enters a down stay, as the handler continues walking. While this may sound fairly simple, untrained dogs will often be confused between the down command and the heel command, and won’t be sure which action to take. Obedience is about having your dog consistently and confidently performing the expected actions, time and time again. The “sit in motion” exercise is identical, except for it uses sit in place of down.
Training for this exercise, like training for most things, should be down in small steps. It is very important that your dog know both the hell and the down command separately before you try to combine them into a down in motion. Start by only taking a couple of steps before and after the down, and gradually work your way up to longer distances. As you do the training, consider having someone nearby to aid you. Many dogs will want to continue heeling after the down command, and clever dogs may even sneak in a few steps while your back is turned after the down. Having someone nearby will help you to ensure that the dog is acting as instructed while your back is turned.
The “down in motion” exercise is commonly included in dog sports such as Schutzhund. The obedience exercises in many dog sports offer excellent examples of the basic obedience requirements of protection dogs or guard dogs as well. However, it’s important to remember that dog sports are only sport. While obedience exercises are useful in a wide number of scenarios, advanced protection training for personal protection dogs should never be done in the context of sport. If you want a true protection dog, it has to be trained for real protection, in the real world.
CCK9 has just launched its new sister company. We are now offering one-on-one dog training to the private sector. That’s right; we come to you, in the privacy of your own home. We will be offering basic obedience, to advanced off-leash obedience, to problem solving with you and your dog. We will be training all breeds, big or small.
Police forces all over the world use specially trained police dogs for a variety of purposes. Every role in a police force is important, and each helps to enforce the law and protect citizens in its own way; however, tactical police work is often considered the most physically and mentally demanding of all tasks. Engaging a dangerous criminal requires an incredible amount of bravery and team-work. The end goal of any confrontation is to end the situation with as few injuries and casualties as possible.
When you introduce a poorly trained canine into a dangerous situation, it can make an already bad situation much worse. Proper training can mean a huge difference between a dog that endangers lives versus a dog that can save them. The single most important part of training a dog for tactical police work is to make sure it is trained to handle real danger in real situations. One aspect of this is to train for work with gunfire. During a confrontation, there is a very real chance that guns may be used by both the suspect as well as police officers. A poorly trained dog will immediately become confused and disoriented by such a situation, and will become a danger to all involved. On the other hand, a properly trained dog will be unaffected by the noise and commotion, will stay on target, and will be able to disarm the suspect efficiently.
Of course, there’s more to working effectively with a tactical police dog than having a dog that’s trained properly. The officers involved must also be able to work efficiently with the dog. The handler is responsible for ensuring that the officers involved know what to expect, and how the dog has been trained to react to different situations. This is especially important when introducing canine units into police forces who may not have any prior experience working with police dogs.
Canine protection is not a game. It takes a well-trained police protection dog, be it a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd, to work effectively with a police force and to help ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Humans and canines have had a long history together that stretches back for thousands of years. The domestication of dogs was a long process that likely began with wild canines following groups of nomadic humans in order to scavenge scraps of food from them. As ancient nomadic tribes developed into agricultural societies, they began to realise the potential to use the natural behavior of dogs to their advantage. Thus, herding dogs came into existence, and the first working role of canines in human society was established.
Although similar techniques can be applied to herding a wide variety of livestock including goats, sheep and cattle, the term “sheep dog” or “shepherd” is the most commonly used term to describe herding dogs. The roles of herding dogs can differ depending on the circumstance. In some instances, the dog is required to move the livestock by “driving” them; in others, the role of the dog is to keep the livestock from wandering too far from their grazing area. Regardless of the precise role of the herding dog, it remains that the act of herding plays off of the natural predatory instincts of the canine. Of course, many breeds of dog have lost these instincts over thousands of years of being bred for other roles. However, any dog can be tested for herding instincts in order to determine their suitability for work as a herding dog.
It should be noted that while both are often referred to as “sheep dogs”, there is a difference between dogs that are trained to herd versus dogs who are trained to guard livestock against natural predators. To add to this confusion, some dogs are expected to perform both roles. For a guard dog, the guarding instincts for which they have been bred will make a good fit for guarding livestock. However, many guard dogs today are taken from traditional shepherd breeds such as the German Shepherd, or Belgian Malinois. Dogs from these breeds are likely to still have strong herding instincts, and may be a good fit for herding livestock.
One of the most important aspects of a good protection dog is good nerves. If you’ve ever seen a pet get spooked in a loud thunderstorm, you know how loud noises can often throw an animal off-guard. Even most humans jump at the sound of a large bang. For police officers, recognizing the sound of gunfire, being able to remain steady and calm, and being able to act quickly and effectively to neutralize the threat are all life-saving necessities. The exact same is true of protection dogs.
In French Ring sport, there is an exercise intended to test the nerves of a competing dog, and how it performs during gunfire. In this exercise, the decoy/helper is given a gun that fires blanks. The dog is instructed to take a bite on the decoy, and the decoy fires the gun twice during the approach. The decoy fires once more during the bite, and then freezes, at which point the dog lets go and begins to guard the decoy. The judge then signals for the decoy to attempt two escapes, during which the dog will take two more bites to prevent escape. Finally, the judge signals to the handler to disarm the decoy and end the exercise.
It is important that protection dogs be trained around gunfire, and this exercise certainly accomplishes this. However, French Ring dogs are being trained with a fatal flaw that could end disastrously in a real-life situation. The third shot fired by the decoy is made after the dog has already taken a bite. In a real-life situation, this would be fatal to the dog. A criminal with a gun is not simply going to fire blanks into the air during a real confrontation; he’s going to aim at the dog biting him. A true protection dog should always be trained to target the weapon-arm as a first priority. Waiting for the handler to disarm the opponent is simply absurd, and could quickly end in death. The sooner that the gun is out of the criminal’s hand, the more of a chance there is that all involved will survive without serious injury.
The Belgian Malinois, and German Shepherds that compete in French Ring exercises are certainly impressive, but when it comes to true, functional protection work, you need dogs that are trained for real protection in real-life scenarios.
Hundreds of years ago dogs were only kept on farms, and were not permitted within the confines of city life. Today, it is a very different story; dogs are seen accompanying humans in all places and filling a variety of roles in human society. While different dogs perform a variety of different jobs, they all have one form of training in common: obedience training. Obedience is the key factor that has allowed us to integrate canines into our society so effectively. Without obedience, there is no control, and without control, your dog cannot reliably perform its job. Schutzhund emphasises the importance of obedience training in all of its exercises. Sch3 titled dogs are required to show exemplary obedience. Unfortunately, other sports such as KNPV allow for obedience that is just good enough to pass. While protection work and agility are certainly very important, obedience should always come first.
Unlike protection work and tracking, which take advantage of the natural tendencies in canine behavior, obedience training is very unnatural for a dog to learn. Because of this, training obedience can be very stressful on a dog if not done correctly. When we deliver our personal protection dogs, we tell all of our clients to perform quick ten-minute obedience exercises with their dog each day. This not only improves the dog’s obedience, but also helps build a strong bond and sense of leadership between the handler and the canine. In a ten-minute training session, the dog should be able to complete a sit, down, come heel and stay, about 20 times each. Keeping the sessions short and quick helps reduce the stress on your dog. Remember to use a strong and commanding voice during these exercises. Done five times a week, this becomes 100 repetitions of each command; over a month, it becomes 400. Keep doing the math, and you will find that this leads to a happier, more balanced dog with very strong obedience.
I am very fortunate to have the luxury of walking my dogs each and every day on the street. I walk my dogs at least five miles a day, and not a day goes by that I won’t someone won’t pass us with their own dog. Although my dogs don’t pose as a threat to those who walk past us, people always react the same: they immediately stop, and tighten the lead. This reaction is the exact opposite of what one should do. By doing this, one only builds suspicion in their dog. One must use common sense when walking their dog. This means having a loose lead and to have movement, not to stop. Remember: a loose lead shows control, a tight lead shows no control. To some, this is common sense, but common sense is often not so common.