Last week I received a call from a trainer who works at a local shelter. He called to ask me a few training questions; I’m always happy to oblige since the work that shelters and rescues do is so important.
The deeper into conversation we got, the more I began to cringe. While the trainer had only the best of intentions, he failed to understand the naturally balanced relationship between mankind and mankind’s best friend, the dog.
During the discussion he explained his attempt to become the “pack leader” over a dog that had a variety of behavioral problems. One method he employed was biting the ear of the dog. Another ritual he adopted as a training technique involved “alpha” rolling the dog, like wolves in nature. He is correct in his desire for control but his misunderstanding of the dynamics of the human/dog relationship means he’s going about it the wrong way.
I’ve heard other people advocate this type of training and I’ve come to the conclusion that dogs understand their role in the human world better than humans understand it. Simply put, they don’t view humans as other dogs. Actually, it’s a good thing. Considering the complexity and intricacy of canine interactions, it is arrogant to think that humans are able to accurately replicate it. Given that dogs are masters when it comes to body language, they view human attempts at imitating canine behavior as abnormal at best. When a dog bites another dog’s ear there is much more going on than meets the eye, more than we understand.
Observing wolf behavior highlights the differences between wolves and dogs. Dogs are not wolves. The ways in which wolves interface should not be applied to our own interactions with dogs; nor should the way dogs interface with each other. The differences are apparent. While wolves do all that they can to avoid humans, dogs readily leave their littermates to join them (the reverse of the pack instinct). Dogs will even defend their two-legged companion against another dog. They are fully committed to defending their human handlers whereas in nature pack leaders often have to defend their position from members of their own pack. These behaviors, a few of many, demonstrate that dogs view us differently than they view their own kind.
So when asserting yourself with your protection dog or canine companion, please keep in mind that he or she does not see you as another dog. Dogs see us as something they think is even better: a human.
One of our recent clients is the owner of a small computer shop in a very nice part of California. She called me after having her shop broken into afterhours, resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars of equipment as well as a broken back door. Her alarm system did not deter the person or persons who broke in. We were happy to help and after determining her needs and evaluating her situation we delivered a balanced, strong nerved guard dog.
A few weeks ago I posted a blog called “Guard Dogs: Defined”. The flood of calls and emails I received surprised me! Obviously, there is a void in the amount of information available on this topic. I’m happy about such a positive response and would like to address some of the questions in case anyone else is wondering about the same thing.
Businesses, especially businesses with valuable inventory, use guard dogs as an alarm system. It would take a very stupid burglar to break into your business after hearing the serious bark of a guard dog on the other side of the door. Their most likely response is to skip your business all together and move on to a locality that presents less obstacles (such as a huge, snarling, barking and possibly hungry German shepherd who has been awoken from a sound sleep). They are also used to protect outdoor assets, such as in a fenced construction site.
As I have said before, beyond training and genetics, balance is part of what sets a guard dog apart from an elite personal protection dog. Guard dogs lack the social skills and perfect manners that a protection dog is genetically equipped and trained to have. They are highly territorial and trained to protect their (really your) space. Protection dogs specifically protect YOU and your family though part of this includes eliminating threats in your environment. For instance, if someone were to break into your house as you slept, the dog would prevent the opportunity to harm you.
My client who owned the computer shop was under the impression that a personal protection dog was the best choice for her. However, she didn’t personally feel threatened, it was her business she was worried about. There is a large price difference between a guard and personal protection dog. While protection dogs run between $18K to $35K and above, a guard dog only costs about $3,500-$5,500. I did not want my client to incur the extra expensive so after explaining the difference she happily took delivery of a guard dog. In fact, she said her dog cost less than the security alarm system she had installed!
It is possible to rent a guard dog though for most home and business owners this is a much costlier way to go. It does provide a good solution if you have a short-term situation but if you want to protect your business for an extended length of time, buying is definitely the way to go. Most businesses have worked the numbers and are increasingly purchasing dogs rather than subcontracting with a security company. Additionally, rented guard dogs always come with a patrol officer. This really drives up the cost. Whenever I’m consulting with a client I’m always upfront about the rental alternative. We do not rent dogs, they are only available for purchase at CCK9, but I want our clients to know every option.
Another consideration is the environment that the dog will be guarding. It is important that much thought is put into potential dangers for the dog itself. Automotive shops, for example, need to ensure that anti-freeze or other chemicals aren’t lying in the open. If the dog will live outdoors, a doghouse needs to be stationed to protect and keep the dog warm. Guard dogs are known for their toughness but have needs like any other dog.
I specialize in training elite personal protection dogs. However, given the state of the economy and rising crime, we are increasingly asked to provide guard dogs. We put a lot of effort into training or locating guard dogs that have balance. After all, our clients are paying for dogs that are obedient and present less liability. Otherwise, they would just pick up an aggressive dog from the local pound.
So know the difference and assess your needs. We ask A LOT of questions in order to determine what is the best fit for you. Always feel free to call us with any questions.
The work that we do at CCK9 is unique and very special. As a rule, we usually do not release videos showing training. However, in this case we have made an exception. Our most recent litter of Belgian Malinois puppies are everything we were expecting and more. They are the product of breeding Cindy and Ducko, both Level III personal protection dogs. The above video shows Brutus taking a bite and holding onto a bite suit. He is only 5 weeks old. The other pups from this litter are also highly intelligent and are learning at the same level. As we have said before, genetics are a major factor in producing top notch, highly intelligent protection dogs. We took into account the genetics of both of the parents and grandparents in planning this litter. All will be suitable to train for our Level III program.
Without a doubt one of the most asked questions we get has to do with how protection dogs behave toward children.Without hesitation, the answer is “terrific”.Children and dogs have a fantastic connection with each other.
One of the most prominent differences between canines and wolves is that while wolves shun humans, dogs embrace them.This relationship is especially emphasized when one observes how dogs behave around children.Children are high energy, excitable and have a high-pitched, non-threatening voice.These qualities remind dogs of when they themselves where puppies, having fun in the whelping box with their littermates.Thus, dogs rarely see children as threatening.The feeling the dog has is much like how most humans feel when they see a baby.
Dogs have such a strong desire to bond with children that they will not hesitate in situations where they otherwise would.For instance, dogs are naturally leery of new surfaces and may hesitate at first to step on asphalt or sand.However, if a child is in a sandbox the puppy will step onto the sand without delay because the puppy’s desire to bond outweighs the risk of experiencing an unknown surface.
This relationship is highlighted every time we have a new litter.Our German Shepherd puppies, Dutch Shepherd puppies and most recent litter of Belgian Malinois puppies start to socialize with children very soon after birth.The puppies love the interaction and are happy and exhausted once the children leave.These same feelings continue into adulthood and are part of the reason that protection dogs are excellent for families with children or for specific child protection work.In addition, since dogs do not view children as threats, you never have to worry about your personal protection dog becoming defensive if your children are roughhousing or playing together.
We have zero tolerance for aggression toward children; none of the dogs we sell would ever feel defensive toward a child. Actually, their instinct to guard a child is higher than for an adult.This is why personal protection dogs are an excellent choice when considering security options for your family.CCK9 offers a popular child protection program. The second best thing to a mother’s protection, our dogs will safeguard your child in all situations.In the few instances where your child may be alone or you may be distracted, the child protection dog will be alert to any danger.If a predator or unknown person should attempt to touch or accost your child or children, the dog is trained to get in between them and bark in a threatening manner.In addition to other commands, our dogs are trained to assist in child rescue if there is ever a need.
Considering the security that trained dogs can and are eager to provide, it’s no wonder that dogs are called “man’s best friend”.
On a recent trip to Italy, I had the opportunity to visit the town of Pompeii.As you probably remember, this Roman town was buried in a volcanic eruption during the first century AD.The lava has been cleared away and the remaining town is remarkably intact.Many of the houses still remain, most with floor and wall mosaics depicting scenes or patterns.In the entrance of the first house I entered was an intact floor mosaic depicting a large black dog on a chain.The Latin inscription read “Beware of the Dog”.Several other homes had the same mosaic depicting a guard dog in their front entrance.Obviously, dogs played an important role as protector in the Roman culture.Most unfortunate, there was also a cast of a dog that had lost its life in the eruption.
Dogs have been an integral part of human history since they were first domesticated during the Paleolithic age.The earliest evidence of a dog helping a human was found in a cave in France.Prints and other evidence dated 26,000 years ago indicate that a child, holding a torch and accompanied by a dog, navigated the corridors of the cave.This is the earliest evidence known of what could be described as a guide dog.
Dogs have received the most esteem for the roles they have played in war, both in history and more recently.The Egyptians, Greeks and Persians built entire battalions of dogs suitable for combat.The mural depicting the Battle of Marathon celebrates a protection dog at the side of his or her master, engaging the invading Persians without hesitation. The Romans apparently never left home without their canine warriors; each legion was assigned its own company entirely made up of dogs.Napoleon, centuries later, sent his dogs into battle first.
Dogs’ loyalty to their handlers has been capitalized on throughout history.A discreet method of exchanging communications before phones became available, a dog with loyalty to two handlers would be sent from one to the other carrying messages.In addition to conveying information, loyal dogs have been trusted with dragging fallen soldiers to safety and transporting loads across great distances.
In the past, dogs were sent into battle wearing chainmail and a spiked collar.Warfare has changed, but even today they serve the same heroic function- only dressed in Kevlar. Dogs serving a variety of functions are not absent from current engagements in the Middle East.Mostly used for explosive detection and patrol, German Shepherds are utilized though Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds are increasingly becoming more popular.
Canines have helped humans, and vice versa, for many thousands of years.As companions, protectors, and heroes their importance cannot only be seen in the past but will, for a long time, be valued in the future.
Recently, we were interviewed for an article in the April edition of Best Life Magazine.In the article, the author weighed the pros and cons of a variety of different security measures including protection dogs and guard dogs.Obviously, you know my opinion regarding the superior form of home and personal security.
Other sorts of security included employing a human bodyguard, guns, and installing an alarm system.Confidentiality helps one maintain an edge with all security initiatives.The same is true with protection dogs.Though personal protection dogs, and especially guard dogs, are a strong visual deterrent to crime it is still important to maintain the upper hand by not casually disclosing his or her abilities.
Command Control Canine Ltd takes our clients’ privacy very seriously.Fortunately, so do our clients.We recently delivered four Level III personal protection dogs to the home of a well-known rock star living in New York.The dogs will begin touring with the musician shortly.During the delivery, he asked us to sign a series of confidentiality agreements instructing us not to disclose his name or image.We were happy to sign the forms but disappointed that it wasn’t assumed we would be discreet.Given his position, requesting written assurance is understandable and a matter of course in much of what he does.
All of our clients, famous or not, receive the same treatment.Our policy is simple.Under no circumstances do we reveal the names and/or specific, identifying occupations of our clients.We never market our dogs using a celebrity’s name; our dogs stand on their own merit.It’s a celebrity obsessed world, but your personal safety is more valuable than any advantage that name recognition may give us.
We train and supply personal protection dogs to increase your safety.Trust us when we say we’ll do nothing to jeopardize it.
Our most recent litter was the result of breeding two extraordinary Level III Belgian Malinois, Cindy and Ducko.The offspring turned out to be everything we expected and more.
We start our pups in training at 5 weeks of age.It is at this point that they are introduced to wearing a collar and lead.To make sure they are well socialized, we take them everywhere- crowded streets, to the store, parks- so they are exposed to as many people and different surfaces as possible. The pups are also exposed to children and other animals. This sets a great foundation for the future since we have zero tolerance for child or animal aggression.
Today ushered in their first experience on the agility course!Their performance could not have been better.They enjoyed it and we enjoyed it knowing that, just like their parents, these pups will be well suited for high-end personal protection, military or law enforcement work.
Contact us if you have any questions or are interested in obtaining a Belgian Malinois for your home or business.
I have had many clients who have purchased a protection dog from me after having been the victim of a violent crime.These are some of the best deliveries because I know that their chances of having anything else happen will now be minimal.Plus, the victim will often say that getting a protection dog has made them feel safe again.It’s great to know that our dogs are helping some of our clients in ways that go beyond just providing security.
While training, we often reenact situations and scenarios that are most likely to occur in reality.In fact, I listen closely to our clients who have been in violent situations and tailor the training around the crime with the addition, of course, of a protection dog.As you can image, adding the dog makes the outcome completely different!
Sometimes I hear other trainers say that they never allow their dogs to “interpret a situation” and that their dogs will only become defensive on command, when you tell them to.I understand the motive behind this and agree to a point.It’s true, it is very important that the handler has complete control over a highly trained and possibly lethal protection dog.However, I have found through the years and from my clients that, when put in extreme circumstances, sometimes it is okay to allow the dog to come to your defense without receiving a verbal command.The key is to train the dog to understand not only verbal direction but physical cues as well.It can be done.
One of my female clients who had been the victim of a vicious assault by a stranger spoke in detail about how the crime was committed against her.In training I keep what she said in mind.In her circumstances, a stranger struck her from behind, in the back of the head, in an effort to incapacitate her.Lying on the ground but still conscious, she described the state of shock she went into. She explained that she was not able to speak immediately after being hit.Fortunately, she escaped but even as she dialed 911 her speech was extremely slurred and she was confused as a result of the head trauma.
This is a perfect example of when a protection dog needs to understand that his or her handler needs them to come to their defense. Although the victim would not have been able to give a verbal command, our dogs are trained to take physical cues from their handler.In this situation, the protection dog would have jumped into defensive mode and targeted the wrist of the hand holding the weapon.The dog would have continued to bite until the person left.This crime would most likely be prevented all together if the protection dog had been present since the dog is a visual deterrent alone.
Another situation would involve someone breaking into your home as you sleep.The dog must protect you even as you are awakening and not able to fully comprehend the danger you are in.Given the dog’s superior sense of smell, an unknown person shouldn’t even make it a few feet past the front door.
I know that this treads a fine line since, obviously, you don’t want your protection dog to defend you when, say, someone bumps your shoulder.So we at CCK9 focus on the difference and train our dogs to come to your defense when your body language demonstrates exceptional fear. Also, without a doubt, your protection dog will always respond to verbal commands indicating that you are not in danger.
So it really is to your advantage to have a protection dog that is able to interpret if their handler has or will be assaulted.With a properly trained dog, this ability doesn’t mean a loss in control or that you aren’t in charge.It just means that your dog is prepared to come to your defense when you need them most.
When it comes to protection dogs, most customers normally request a male dog. The military, law enforcement and clients seeking K9 security dogs overwhelmingly feel that males are the most physically imposing and effective visual deterrent.Therefore, the majority of dogs that I train are males in order to meet this demand.It is unfortunate, however, that the special attributes that a female brings to the table aren’t widely known.All in all, female protection dogs are extremely capable; they just have an image problem.
Marketing over the years has misaligned female dogs as weaker and less able to defend their handler.Nothing could be further from the truth!Once females have been introduced into their new family they almost always bond closer to their family than their male counterparts.More affectionate and less independent, watching over and protecting their owner is a much deeper emotional affair.The intensity of their bite, when in defense, is actually greater.
It has been my experience that female protection dogs are much easier to train and learn at a faster rate.They are adept at integrating into their new family and swiftly blend into any situation they are consigned to.They are fantastic at blending with family pets and children. Size really isn’t an issue since there are plenty of females that are physically formidable.Command Control K9 is able to provide any size or build that you desire, male or female.
One of my own personal protection dogs is a female.CCK9 produces exceptional dogs and Emma fits the CCK9 profile of everything an outstanding protection dog should be.Yet there is a certain ‘protective tension’ that can be felt when she is at my defense.Teeth bared, saliva, stiff stance, intense growling, just as spectacular as my male personal protection dog but with a slightly more hot-blooded twist. She’s a protection dog with the added benefit of being like an over protective mother all rolled into one.
So when you call us to talk about ownership of a protection dog, whether it be a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd, please keep an open mind when considering gender.You’ll be very happy with one of our males but the benefits of the female canine should be recognized.