Posts Tagged ‘Sporting Dog’
Monday, December 13th, 2010
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.
Thursday, October 14th, 2010
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Thursday, October 7th, 2010
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.
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
Although most dog sports are essentially built around the same basic principals, each sport is unique in its own way. One of the exercises that makes French Ring sport different from other competitive dog sports is its retrieval exercises. There are three types of retrieval exercises, but only dogs competing in French Ring III, the most advanced level of French Ring titles, are expected to perform all three.
The first of the three exercises is known as the thrown retrieve. In this exercise, the handler throws an object, and the dog is simply expected to retrieve the object and return it to the handler. The throw must cover a distance of at least 5 meters, and the dog is only given 5 seconds to complete the exercise. Due to the time restrictions, the dog must move quickly, but it is also important that the handler be able to throw appropriate distance. Throwing further than 5 meters will obviously cost you time as your dog is required to run farther than the minimum 5 meters. Practise and coordination are required by both the dog and the handler.
The thrown retrieve exercise is performed in all three levels of French Ring. In French Ring II, a new retrieve is introduced, which is known as “seen retrieve”. The seen retrieve involves the handler and dog heeling down the field. The handler drops an object in plain site of the dog, and they continue moving. Finally, they stop, and the dog is instructed to run back and retrieve the object. In French Ring III, another variation of this is introduced, known as “unseen retrieve”. The unseen retrieve is essentially identical to the seen retrieve, except that the object is dropped without the dog seeing it.
Retrieval exercises are certainly nothing new to dog owners. It is certainly not uncommon to see dog owners from all walks of life teaching their pets to play “fetch”. French Ring tries to go a step further by incorporating elements of obedience and agility into the exercises. Of course, it’s important to remember that French Ring is just a sport. Sporting exercises are wonderful entertainment for handlers, dogs and spectators alike, but one should never confuse a sporting dog for a true protection dog. If you want a true canine protection, you need a dog that has been trained for protection, not for sport. A sporting dog should never be sold as a protection dog, regardless of whether it’s a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd.
Thursday, August 12th, 2010
French Ring Sport is a European dog sport that originated in France during the 1900′s. It shares a common history with Belgian Ring Sport and has a similar set of rules. Although the idea of dog sport began as a way to test the working ability of participating dogs, French Ring and Belgian Ring have always been somewhat of a spectator sport, intended to impress on-lookers with feats of canine agility and bite-work. This has lead to the development of some of the most physically demanding exercises of all dog sports.
One of the toughest exercises in French Ring is known as the palisade. It is considered an advanced agility exercise, and is only required for Ring II and Ring III titles. The palisade is essentially a vertical wall that the dog is expected to scale. The palisade must be jumped twice in a single exercise: once over, and once more to return to the handler. The minimum height for a palisade is 1.7m (5.5′), but an additional 2 points are awarded for extra 0.1m of height added to the palisade, for a maximum of 2.3m (7.5′). To put this in perspective, most municipalities impose a limit of about 2m (6.5′) on fences surrounding residential property.
The palisade in French Ring is built from horizontal planks of wood stacked one atop another and held in place by two wooden posts. During training, an incline is sometimes added to one side of the palisade to allow the dog to descend easily rather than dropping the full height of the palisade to the ground. This incline is, of course, not present in official competition.
To train a dog to scale a 2.3m palisade is certainly an impressive feat, but one should keep in mind that impressive feats in sport do not always translate to effective protection in real life. A dog that can take on a palisade with a smooth wooden top may have a great deal more difficulty attempting to scale an uneven chain-link fence. Respect should be given to those who put in the immense amount of dedication required to train their German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois for French Ring, but true protection work should be left to dogs who have been properly trained for protection work in the real world.
Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
Schutzhund is a dog sport that is practised by canine enthusiasts in Germany, the United States, and many other countries worldwide. It began in Germany as a way to test the ability of working German Shepherd dogs during the early 1900′s, but has since grown into a popular sport with dedicated followers from all over the world. To the average spectator, the sport of Schutzhund may be indistinguishable from real protection work, but when it’s time to invest money in a dog who is expected to protect oneself and ones family, knowing the difference between a sporting dog and a protection dog is invaluable.
There are many Schutzhund exercises that fail to properly train and prepare a dog for real life scenarios, but one of the worst, by far, is the Bark and Hold exercise. In this exercise, a decoy will hide himself behind a two-sided structure known as a blind. The decoy wears a bite sleeve over one arm, and holds a stick in the other. The dog is trained to corner the decoy inside the blind, and bark aggressively for a length of time. Eventually, the dog is given the signal to take a bite. During the bite, the decoy will strike the dog with the stick in an attempt to distract and disorient it.
Amongst true protection dog trainers, this exercise is given another name: Bark and Die. As grim as this may sound, the reality is that Schutzhund dogs are being trained to make several mistakes in this exercise. In a life or death situation, these mistakes could have terrible consequences. The first big mistake is that the dog is trained to stand and bark in front of a man holding a weapon. The idea behind this is simply absurd. The reality is that an armed criminal is not going to stand idly by while a protection dog barks at him; he is going to attack. The second big mistake is that once the dog takes a bite, the weapon arm is not targeted. Targeting the weapon arm is absolutely essential, as it prevents the criminal from fighting back. A real criminal will not be softly hitting the dog with a small stick; he will be attacking with a real weapon. In a dangerous situation, these mistakes can not only cost the dog its life, but could also cost the lives of the human beings it’s protecting as well.
Whether you’re looking to purchase a German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd or Belgian Malinois as a protection dog, it is vital that you understand the difference between a sporting dog, and a real protection dog. Schutzhund is just a sport, and a dog trained in Schutzhund simply cannot be depended on to protect the lives of you and your family.
Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
In the world of dog sports there are many varied organizations and events. One such event is known as the Bundessieger show, and is held at different locations within Germany each year. The show is organized and conducted by the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV), which literally translates to “Association for German Shepherd Dogs”. However, several organizations hold their own test competition, known as the Bundessieger Prüfung, in preparation for the national event.
The Bundessieger show has close ties to the German dog sport Schutzhund, and is, in essence, a National Championship competition for Schutzhund. Be careful not to confuse the terms Sieger with Bundesieger. The Sieger show, also organized by the SV, is strictly a conformation beauty show, and is not associated with Schutzhund or sporting dogs in any way.
Much like standard Schutzhund trials, the Bundessieger show focuses on three main areas: tracking, obedience and protection. The exercises themselves remain largely unchanged from standard Schutzhund exercises, but the setting of the Bundessieger show provides an added challenge to competing dogs and handlers. Bundessieger events are held within a stadium, with a relatively large audience. Handlers must ensure that their dogs do not get confused by the noise and large crowds present at the event.
It takes both a well bred dog as well as a skilled handler to be successful in the sport of Schutzhund, and to win the Bundessieger championship is an extraordinary feat. However, one must always remember the difference between working dogs and sporting dogs. No matter how impressive a German Shepherd sporting dog may be, the fact remains that it has been trained only for sport. The work of a true protection dog or guard dog requires training in real-world scenarios, for real danger.
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
The Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging (KNPV), roughly translated as “Royal Dutch Police Dog Sport”, is an intense dog sport that developed in the Netherlands as a way to test the breeding potential of working dogs to ensure their bloodlines remained strong and capable. While a variety of breeds are permitted to participate in KNPV, the sport is largely dominated by the Belgian Malinois. Although the breed does enjoy a fair bit of popularity in the area, its widespread use as a sporting dog for KNPV is a result of the Belgian Malinois’ ability to prove itself in KNPV trials time and time again.
Breeders put an incredible amount of time and effort into keeping their bloodlines strong and training their dogs to perform their absolute best. Whether they are training working dogs for police work, or sporting dogs for KNPV, it is important that training begins while the dogs are still puppies. A breeder must also determine the capabilities of his puppies very early on. While KNPV sporting dogs often produce very strong litters whose pups go on to be full-fledged police dogs or protection dogs, it is important to realise that the type of training they receive must be centered around the work they will be doing from the very beginning. Training a Belgian Malinois as a sporting dog will make it unsuitable for work as a true protection dog, even if it were to be cross-trained. It takes a huge amount of skill and expertise on the part of the breeder to ensure that their Belgian Malinois puppies are living up to their full potential and continuing to improve their bloodline.
Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
The Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging (KNPV) is a dog sport originating in Holland that uses a number of exercises in an attempt to mimic situations encountered by police k9 units. One such exercise is centered around a search for small articles.
The KNPV small articles search takes place in a square section of grassy field. Three small objects, such as a key, a ring, a bullet casing, or a coin, are placed on the field. The dog then has 10 minutes to search the field and retrieve the objects. The handler is permitted to give basic commands instructing the dog to search, stay or release the retrieved object. A retrieval time of under 3 minutes is required to obtain a perfect score, while the dog is also graded on general obedience, the manner in which it searches the field, and how it handles the objects during the retrieval stage.
The intent of this exercise is to train the dog to act in a manner that mimics a police search for evidence. Unfortunately, the way this exercise is performed by the KNPV presents a number of problems when compared against what would be required of a search conducted by actual police forces. One of the biggest problems is that the dog is trained to mouth the object, pick it up and bring it back to the handler. In a real police search, investigators wear latex gloves to avoid disturbing the evidence any more than absolutely necessary. To have the dog mouth a piece of evidence might completely ruin it. The correct action for the dog to take would be to indicate passively by sitting next to the found article. Secondly, because KNPV is a sport, the exercises are performed with specific regulations concerning the search area. During a search, an officer can almost never rely on evidence being simply dropped in a perfectly square patch of grassy field.
The most important thing to remember is that KNPV, like all other dog sports, is just a sport. Police dogs, protection dogs and guard dogs alike need to be trained to handle real situations from the very beginning. Training for sport just isn’t good enough for work in the real world.
Thursday, September 17th, 2009
The sport of Schutzhund originated with the introduction of the German Shepherd into the German police forces during the early 1900s. Prior to this, the only working role for a dog was to guard or herd livestock in rural areas. In urban areas, dogs were treated as pests, and regarded as being both unclean, and unwelcome. As the role of the shepherd dog became obsolete in an increasingly industrialised society, and bigger urban centers saw an increase in violent crime and attacks against police officers, German Shepherd breeders saw an opportunity to introduce the German Shepherd as an aid to police officers. Unfortunately, due to the social stigma of being accompanied by what was then seen as a “filthy” and “vicious” animal, even police officers themselves were reluctant to bring working dogs into urban society. The sport of Schutzhund was arranged as a way to prove a dog’s worth, loyalty and obedience. It also provided a means through which they could uphold breeding standards. Only dogs who performed admirably in Schutzhund were permitted to breed.
The term Schutzhund itself means “Protection Dog” in German. While many of the activities are no longer relevant to protection work today, all of the activities can be divided into either tracking, obedience, or protection-related. Protection exercises involve the use of a decoy. Unlike other dog sports, where the decoy outfit covers the entire body, the decoy in Schutzhund only wears heavy padding on one arm, with the rest of the body being protected only by loose and durable clothing. While this ensures that the mobility of the decoy is not impaired, it creates an unrealistic scenario in that the dogs can only be trained to bite one arm.
Although I have respect for the sport Schutzhund, it is only a sport. There are too many companies that are selling Schutzhund title dogs, and selling them as protection dogs. A Schutzhund title dog, working on a groomed field, biting on a sleeve, is not a true protection dog. If one wants a true protection dog, then one must purchase a dog that has been working in the real world. We at Command Control K9 train all of our protection dogs in the real world. We not only get our dogs to bite on a bite suit, we have them do building searches, vehicle hijacking, targeting the weapon hand, food refusal, guarding surrounding premises, man scent tracking, bite on elevation and muzzle work. The Dogs not only know how to bite, but also know how to fight.
The bottom line is a sporting dog will not protect you and your family, whether it is Schutzhund title dog, French Ring title dog, or K.N.P.V title dog, even if one were to cross train.
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