Posts Tagged ‘Guard Dog’
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
When taking on the responsibility of owning a guard dog, it is important to be educated about their health, especially the different types of health problems they could develop. Dogs have two small glands located on both sides of their rectal opening, they are called anal glands. Each gland is filled with a small amount of sickly smelling brown liquid. Each time your guard dog urinates or defecates, a small amount of pressure is applied to the anal glands, and a tiny amount of the fluid is released. Each dog has their own unique scent that is produced from the anal gland. If you have ever wondered why dogs tend to sniff each others rears, it is because they are smelling the other dog’s scent. It may seem strange, but this is how your protection dog will learn to identify other dogs. This behavior is as normal to dogs as the behavior of humans shaking hands when meeting someone new.
Although it is not common, it is possible for anal glands to form a infection. This happens when the anal gland liquid is not released sufficiently, and bacteria begins to build up. When this infection is left untreated it can turn into an abscess. This abscess can then rupture the skin, which will obviously lead to more complications. It is often believed that dog anal gland problems can be linked back to the quality of pet food that it is given. Cereal fillers are often used in inexpensive dog food brands, and they tend to make the stool soft. If the stool is not able to press firmly on the anal glands, it will not provide enough pressure to release the fluid. That is why you should take the necessary actions to buy a higher quality dog food, that will produce a firmer stool. This will not only help to prevent anal glad problems, but it will more than like be a better food for your guard dog.
If your personal protection dog, for example your German Shepherd does however develop a anal gland infection, there are many signs that you can look for. This infection will make your guard dog very uncomfortable and being able to see the abnormal signs will be simple. One sign is that your dog will be scooting or dragging his rear across the floor. Another sign is if your guard dog keeps licking or chewing near his rectum. Also if your dog’s stool becomes soft and mushy. If you notice a foul or fishy smell from your dog’s rear, this is also a sign that they may have a anal problem. When you notice one or more of these signs, it is a good idea to take the guard dog in for a check up with their vet. If the infection has not progressed too severely, then the vet will most likely manually express the anal glands. This type of procedure is a job that is better to be left to professionals.
Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
Consuming food or as many refer to as eating, is something that all living things must do to survive. All animals have different ways of eating, and to some people the eating behavior of a guard dog, or any other dog for that matter may seem a little strange. However, to the dog this is the most comfortable way of getting the food into its stomach. “Bolting”, it the term used to describe the normal swallowing pattern for a guard dog. There are certain steps that a dog goes through while bolting. First, the dog picks up a piece of food with its teeth, and then tosses the piece of food onto the top of its tongue with a short, quick thrust of its head. Next, without being chewed the piece of food is rolled to the back of its mouth. When the food reaches the base of the tongue, the food is upward and backward into the esophagus by a reflex of the tongue. After this, the piece of food is finally carried to the stomach.
If a piece of food is too large to be swallowed, the dog will then make it so that it is a swallowing size. The dog will hold the food with its paws and using its front teeth will tear it into smaller pieces. If it is too tough to be torn by using its paws, the dog will resort to another method. The dog will cut it into small enough pieces by using two specialized jaw teeth, called carnassial teeth. These teeth have large shearing surfaces that act like scissor blades, which can cut through practically anything. The can cut through tough surfaces like hide, gristle, muscle, and even bone. Although dogs have powerful jaw muscles that are useful for cutting food into swallowing size, they are use very little for chewing the pieces. This is because dogs have a small amount of teeth and they are not equipped for mastication.
Many guard dog owners believe that each breed should be fed differently. However this is not true because the eating behavior of a certain dog, is the eating behavior of the whole species. It is simply because all dogs eat the same. When feeding your protection dog there are some general considerations that can be made. Dogs are not required to eat food like humans, because dogs do not have hands. Their jaws are suited for biting and cutting, not chewing. Dogs rarely gag because they have few gag reflex nerves at the back of their mouth. Dogs also have very few taste buds on their tongue, but have an amazing sense of smell. Overall when feeding your guard dog it is important to realize that they eat much differently from us and the way they eat is normal for them.
Friday, December 10th, 2010
A guard dog, could potentially become a large part of your life and family. So it is important that you know what you are getting yourself into when purchasing the dog. Most dogs are territorial and watchful over their families, however there are some breeds that are more naturally suited. Some breeds are genetically born with the right amount of guard drive that takes to be a good protection dog. A dog breed called the Argentine Dogo has the potential to be a great one. Originating in Argentina, the Argentine Dogo was developed in the 1920s, by a doctor who desired a dog that could pack hunt and also provide protection for a family. The Argentine Dogo is a mutt that results from the crossing of dogs like the Irish Wolfhound, Pointer, Bull Terrier, Great Dance, Spanish Mastiff, Bulldog and the Great Pyrenees. It resulted in creating a strong, and fearless breed. The Argentine Dogo possess characteristics that make it a wonderful guard dog. They are considered to be playful, social, and very good with children. This breed is sometimes reserved with strangers until learning who is accepted by the family. It is a very intelligent breed and is fairly easy to train. They can excel if they are trained firm and consistent. As well as making an wonderful guard dog, the Argentine Dogo could make an amazing guide dog for the blind.
One of the ingredients that make a good guard dog are good nerves. The build of an Argentine Dogo can sometimes be intimidating, this is only because they are very muscular. In order to maintain its strong muscular structure, this breed needs to have plenty of physical exercise. The Argentine needs to be socialized with people and dogs from an early age. Training for this breed could sometimes be challenging because they are constantly intrigued by smells and sights around them. In order to successfully train them, you must keep their attention at all times. They are also strong-willed and independent, they will thrive though if their owner is equally consistent and confident.
Of course, one cannot assume that any dog of a favorable breed will be suitable for work as a guard dog. Every dog is different, and choosing a suitable guard dog happens on an individual basis. However, the basis of a good guard dog is good genetics, and nerves, the German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherd have some of the best bloodlines, which have been bred for years to be the very best.
Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
Bringing a new protection dog into the home can be a wonderful experience, and a great addition to the family that adds both loyalty and protection. However, it may take some time for family members to adjust to a new dog in the home. More so than the humans in your family, pet cats may have the most difficulty adjusting. However, making the right preparations can help ensure that your pets and your protection dog can live together peacefully.
The first step is always to educate oneself on canine and feline behavior. If you can predict how the animals in your home are going to react to one-another, then you can make the right preparations to ensure that initial introductions go smoothly. First and foremost, understand that canines are social creatures. When introducing your new dog to your cats for the first time, you must ensure that you have complete control of the situation at all times. Under no circumstances should the animals in your home be left alone to sort things out for themselves.
The initial introduction between your new dog and your cats should be done in an environment where you control the safety of your dog and your cats at all times. The use of a dog crate is extremely helpful. To a dog, the crate is a comfortable and relaxing place. Keeping your dog in its crate while inside the home will help it to associate the smell of your cats with comfort of its crate. It is important that your cats recognize the new addition to your home as a safe companion, and not a threat. With time, you can allow your dog into the home while on a leash. Take your time, and don’t rush the process. Remember that you must be in control at all times.
Some cats may insist on instigating problems even after all the precautions you take. Be aware of your pets’ behavior, and how they seem to be handling the new situation. Fortunately, given time, the majority of pets should be able to live in harmony with your new dog. Whether you have a new German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd, taking it slowly and remaining in control are key to ensuring a peaceful and happy bond between your protection dog and your pets.
Tuesday, September 14th, 2010
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.
Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
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.
Thursday, August 19th, 2010
The Bullmastiff is a large and powerful breed with a muscular build. It is a molosser type breed, and came about as a cross between the English Mastiff and the Old English Bulldog. The head and muzzle are broad and relatively square. The ears naturally fold downwards, and are usually left as-is. Cropping of the ears occurs rarely, if at all. The coat is short and fine, with fawn, red and brindle being the most common color variations. White markings are sometimes seen on the chest.
The Bullmastiff temperament is usually described as independent, calm, and docile. They are not generally agressive, and are mostly friendly towards humans and other dogs. In comparison with other breeds, they do not bark often, but may bark on alarm. Several health problems are common among the breed, with hip dysplasia being the most common due to the dog’s size. Hip dysplasia occurs in approximately one quarter of all Bullmastiffs.
The Bullmastiff was originally bred in England during the late 1700′s to early 1800′s. Their original purpose was to help guard the estates of gamekeepers. They were trained to tackle and hold down intruding poachers, but were not trained to bite them. Both their large size and gentle temperament reflect this. Today, their large and lovable nature lends itself well to life as a family pet. Despite originally being bred as a guard dog, they are not usually used for that purpose today. Though their large size is intimidating, they do not have the nerves or temperament required of guard dogs today. More common working breeds such as the German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd are better suited to guard work, while the Bullmastiff is best left as a pet or companion dog.
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Schutzhund is one of several European dog sports established in the early 1900′s as a way of testing the capabilities of working dogs to ensure that only the best were bred and allowed to work in police and protection dog roles. Having originated in Germany, the German Shepherd dog is the breed of choice for the sport, although other breeds such as the Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd are permitted to compete.
In Schutzhund, dogs compete to earn titles which are awarded for sufficient performance various trials and exercises. Based on their score, dogs are given grades of excellent (V), very good (SG), good (G), satisfactory(M), unsatisfactory(U). During the protection exercises, dogs are also graded on their nerves and ability to handle stress. For this, judges award the dogs a grade of insufficient (nicht genugend), present (vorhanden) or pronounced (ausgepraegt).
Before a dog and handler may compete for Schutzhund titles, preliminary trials must be passed. Three certificates are offered at this level: Begleithunde (BH), Wachthund (WH) and Ausdauerprufung (AD). However, only a BH certificate enables a dog to participate in more advanced Schutzhund trials. The BH certificate shows basic obedience while WH is intended to test low-level watchdogs, and AD is simply a physical endurance test.
Once a dog has obtained the Schutzhund BH certificate, it may compete for proper Schutzhund titles. The basic title is the Schutzhund 1 (SchH1) which tests tracking, obedience and protection. There is also a Schutzhund 2 and 3 title which offer the same basic tests, but with intermediate and advanced levels of difficulty. There also obedience (OB1-3) and tracking(TR1-3) titles, again offered in three levels, which focus purely on either obedience and tracking.
Even though Schutzhund was originally intended to train and test dogs for their ability as a working police dog, its adaptation into a sport has made it somewhat ineffective for this purpose. One should always remember that Schutzhund is just a sport. If one wants a true German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois protection dog, one must train for real world scenarios; this includes working in water, and targeting the weapon hand, neither of which are covered by Schutzhund.
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging (KNPV) is a popular dog-sport based out of the Netherlands. The name literally means “Royal Dutch Police Dog Association”, and it was founded in the early 1900′s as a way of testing the ability of dogs for their suitability for breeding and work as a police dog. As with any sport, the rules and exercises are clearly defined to ensure fairness among competitors. After over a century, the rules and titles involved in KNPV have changed and grown considerably, but the basic concepts remain.
In KNPV, a team consisting of a dog and its handler compete to obtain varying levels of certification. Points are awarded or deducted based on performance in various exercises, and certificates are awarded to dogs who are able to obtain a high enough score. The most basic title in KNPV is known as Politiehond 1 (PH1). Competing dogs must first obtain this title before attempting any of the more challenging titles, and in Holland, a dog must have this title before it can work as a police dog. Obtaining this title involves completing exercises in obedience, scent work, water work, and protection. A score between 302 and 347 out of 440 possible points is enough for the dog be awarded Certificaat A, which lasts for one year. A score above 348 awards the dog a full PH1 certificate, and a score above 402 awards the dog a Certificaat Met Lof (certificate with honors).
After completing PH1, it is up to the handler to decide whether or not to continue training for a more advanced title. Possible titles are Politiehond 2 (PH2), Object Bewakinghond (ObjBW), Speurhond (SpH), and Reddingshond (RH). PH2 includes the same exercises as PH1, but at a more advanced level. ObjBW is considered a specialised Guard Dog title. It includes many of the same exercises as PH1, but does not include water work, and has a stronger focus on guarding. SpH is a very specialised title that focuses on complex tracking and scent work exercises. The exercises are judged harshly, and only about 20% of dogs attempting this title are able to obtain it each year. Finally, RH is a specialised title that focuses on search and rescue operations with exercises that simulate the rescuing of a drowning person, or a person trapped under rubble.
KNPV is both incredibly important in maintaining the quality of working breeds such as the German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois, as well as promoting standards for the training of police dogs, protection dogs, and guard dogs. However, as honorable as the sport is, one should always remember that KNPV is just a sport. A true protection dog should be trained for real world scenarios, and not for sport.
Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
The guard dog has a long history of working with humans. In fact, guarding livestock was one of the first working roles given dogs. Since then, the work of a guard dog has expanded to include guarding property, personal belongings and even families. Given the importance of these things, one should always strive to have the best dogs from the best breeds watching over what’s important to them. However, there has always been debate over which dogs are best for the job.
Before aeroplanes and automobiles, transportation was limited. This lead to a wide variety of different breeds being developed in many different regions, all for the purpose of creating the best guard dog. Today, the world feels just a little bit smaller, and the same breeds that used to be found only in very specific regions can now be found all over the world. What many people don’t realise is that the breeds themselves have continued to change over the years. In the world of canine breeding, genetics can change dramatically from generation to generation. Many breeds that were once excellent guard dogs have now been given the role of house-pet as they were unable to keep up with the strength, intelligence and nerves of other breeds. The best breeds for use as a guard dog today are the German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherd, in that order.
Of course, one cannot assume that any dog of a favorable breed will be suitable for work as a guard dog. Every dog is different, and choosing a suitable guard dog happens on an individual basis. However, the basis of a good guard dog is good genetics, and the German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherd have some of the best bloodlines, which have been fine-tuned for years to be the very best.
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