Posts Tagged ‘Sporting Dogs’
Friday, November 12th, 2010
Starting in the early 1900’s Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging (K.N.P.V.), translated as “Royal Dutch Police Dog Sport”, was created to test the breeding potential of working dogs to ensure their bloodlines remained strong. This program has provided trained working dogs to police, military, and rescue organizations. Certificates that are offered in this organization are among the most coveted and respected in world. Dogs that undergo this training are demanded of great character, physical strength agility and stamina. There are many different exercises and training programs that the dogs go through in K.N.P.V.. Points are given in each each part of the K.N.P.V., each part of it consists of different exercises with over 50 exercises in all. An example of one of these training exercises is the bicycle exercise.
The K.N.P.V. bicycle exercise is an essential exercise that evaluates the dog on how it will handle an assailant fleeing on a bicycle. The exercise reviews the dog in five different areas; waiting & obeying command, way of pursuit, way of stopping, out, non biting and guarding. Each area starts out with a decoy (playing an assailant) fleeing on a bicycle, each area of this exercise has a max score of 5 points. The handler will give the dog a command while the decoy is fleeing on the bicycle and in one of the areas of the exercise the dog must bite the decoy in an attempt to stop him. Early in K.N.P.V. this part of the exercises the dogs were trained to bite the decoy on an arm or upper body but after some time they had to change the bite location to the legs because too many decoys were being injured falling off of the bicycles. The total points scored in the complete K.N.P.V. bicycle exercise is 30 points out of the complete 440 points for a perfect K.N.P.V. score.
Even though K.N.P.V. is a sporting title and not all of the exercises relate to a personal protection dog, there are a lot of exercises that do relate such as the bicycle exercise. If you were robbed or injured by an assailant and he tried fleeing on a bicycle your personal protection dog could possibly attack or stop the assailant.
Thursday, October 14th, 2010
We at Command Control K9 are very excited to announce that we have teamed up with CaféPress & ForDogTrainer.com. Please feel free to browse through are merchandise store, for T-Shirts, Hats, Mugs, Leash, Collars, and a variety of dog training equipment. All of our products are 100% satisfaction guaranteed, and your orders will be shipped to you within one business day.
Thursday, September 30th, 2010
We’ve all seen someone jump at the sound of a balloon popping, or the classic prank of bursting a paper bag next to an unwitting friend, but few people realise the importance of understanding our reactions to loud noises, and how working dogs might react to these noises. There are many people who have never heard the sound of a gunshot in their lives. They may understand what a gun is, and that it makes a loud noise, but hearing that sound for the first time is almost guaranteed to be a nerve-wracking experience. Now imagine how a canine might react, having no knowledge of what a gun is, or what it might sound like. The sound of gunfire immediately provokes fear and confusion in many animals. However, conditioning working dogs to remain focused during gunfire is something that hunters and police officers have been doing for centuries.
The sport of KNPV recognizes the need for a dog that can remain calm during gunfire, and includes exercises which are designed to test a dog’s reaction to gunfire. The most basic exercise is simply training the dog not to bark during while using firearms. The most natural reaction for a dog to have in response to loud noises is to bark. This makes training a dog not to bark during firearms exercises exceptionally difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible. However, good training is only one side of the equation. It is extremely important for a dog to have strong nerves, as it will make a calm and controlled reaction to frightening noises that much easier to achieve. It is for this reason that police protection dogs are specifically bred to have strong nerves.
It is commendable of KNPV to include exercises, such as not barking under gunfire, which test the needs of working police dogs. Of all dog sports, KNPV comes the closest to mimicking real life scenarios with its exercises. However, one should always remember that KNPV is just a sport. True protection dogs should be trained for protection work in the real world, not for sport.
Monday, September 21st, 2009
The Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging, abbreviated as K.N.P.V. literally means “Royal Dutch Police Dog Organization”. The dog sport K.N.P.V. is among one of the most prestigious dog sports in Europe. In fact, the only place one can get their dog title is in Holland, and there are only, 800 to 1000 dogs that receive the K.N.P.V. PH1 title each year. Out of that 1000, only 1% are German Shepherds. The majority of K.N.P.V. dogs are of the Belgian Malinois breed.
This sport originated in Holland as a way to train and test dogs for police service work. However, while K.N.P.V title dogs are certainly impressive, they are hardly fit for police or protection service today. While the exercises closely resemble those required for true protection work, they can hardly compare to real world experience.
K.N.P.V. is only a sport. A sporting dog will not protect you and your family, whether it is French ring title, Schutzund title, or K.N.P.V. title, even if one were to cross train to true protection.
Monday, May 25th, 2009
In the protection dog industry you’ll hear a lot of discussion about K.N.P.V., also known as the Royal Dutch Police Dog Sport. The sport originated as a certification program for civilians to train dogs that would then be made available to the Dutch police. Like Schutzhund titles, K.N.P.V. has migrated from its original purpose and is now a popular, enjoyable sport for some dog trainers.
The frustrating part of this is that trainers are willing to sell K.N.P.V. titled dogs under the guise that they are true protection dogs. Nothing could be further from the truth. A sporting dog will not protect you or your family; I cannot stress this enough. Consumers, understandably not knowing the background or methods of K.N.P.V., are susceptible to thinking that the training methods employed for K.N.P.V. sporting dogs are the same as what we do. Genetics, too, play a strong role in whether a dog will be a prey dog (sporting dog) or personal protection dog. It’s important to know the difference before purchasing a protection dog.
Having the opportunity to travel to Europe to work with the top K.N.P.V clubs as well as the Royal Dutch Police, I have first hand knowledge of the training techniques used. Watching K.N.P.V. training in action really drives home the differences between what they do and what we do. For instance, the “revieren” command instructs the dog to search for a box or person in the woods. The dog is released off leash, locates the box or decoy, barks frantically and often aggressively bites the object. Obviously, when we train protection dogs to do scent work we would not want the same results. Protection dogs do not attack the object or person found; this is never acceptable under any circumstances.
Another K.N.P.V. exercise involves searching for an article. Protection dogs are often trained to do this as well. Our Level II and Level III protection dogs are also capable of article search and it is available as a custom command. In K.N.P.V., the dog is deployed off leash, finds the article, and returns to the handler with it. This seems like a great idea if you’ve lost your keys but if the dog is sent to find a gun would you want him or her to return to you with the article in its mouth? Not only is this dangerous to the handler but to the protection dog as well. True protection dogs will locate an article- on or off leash- but are trained to indicate by sitting next to it.
Food refusal is another exercise where protection dog and K.N.P.V. sporting dog training differs. K.N.P.V. dogs are pattern trained to refuse food. The trainer will throw a piece of hot dog or other food to the left, right and in front of the dog. Each time, the dog must have the control not to eat or smell the food. Unfortunately, this doesn’t truly poison proof the dog; it pattern trains the dog. In reality, people do not attempt to poison a dog in the manner described. They may throw food over your fence, hand feed the dog, or poison the dog in an infinite amount of other ways. It is important that the dog is trained never to accept food from anyone other than the handler or individuals that the handler has introduced to the dog as safe. Poison proof training involves focusing on the relationship between the handler and dog, not the food itself. We have a special method for training food refusal and it is guaranteed 100%.
Another dog sport called French Ring Sport trains their dogs to perform aggression alert while walking backwards. Unfortunately, there are those in the personal protection dog industry who are selling sporting dogs who perform this impressive looking but erroneous skill. Teaching a protection dog to walk away from a threat gives a negative psychological message. Protection dogs should never back away from a threat or hesitate to defend their handler regardless of the situation. Their purpose is to engage in defense even if the person they are protecting is running from the situation. Sporting dogs (prey dogs) lack nerve and will back down; their genetics and training dictate this behavior. Training them to walk backwards is needed to obtain a title but has no use in the real world.
Many of my friends and associates participate in K.N.P.V. and French Ring title dog sports. Like any other sport, they do it for the challenge and pleasure of working with dogs. It is amazing to see the variety of skills that canines are capable of mastering. If you are interested in getting involved there are many breeders that can supply a sporting dog. We also offer a service where we will vet sporting dogs for our clients. However, if you truly want a dog that has the right foundation training and the proper genetics to protect, then beware of any trainers that insist that their titled dog will come to your defense no matter what.
Titles are impressive but not nearly so impressive as a when a properly trained protection dog saves your life, protects your property or recovers a lost child.
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
One of the most frequent topics of conversation I have with clients involves Schutzhund titled dogs. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the difference between Schutzhund (sporting) dogs and true protection dogs, even within the dog industry itself. Both dogs vary widely in their training and genetics but one thing is fact: Schutzhund trained dogs, with few exceptions, rarely make excellent personal protection dogs. It’s a controversial statement to make but my years of experience have shown this to be true. Unfortunately, much to the detriment of a person needing true protection, companies are selling Schutzhund titled dogs and labeling them as protection dogs.
“Schutzhund” literally means “protection dog” in German. The sport, originating at the turn of the century, was used as a testing method for determining if a dog was suitable for breeding. Through the years the strong genetics once indicative of a Schutzhund dog have become diluted. Additionally, the training required to become a titled dog is contradictory to the methods protection dogs need to utilize when fighting off an attacker.
You have most likely seen photos or video of sporting dogs biting and holding onto a sleeve of a decoy pretending to be “the bad guy”. It can be a rather impressive display. However, true protection dogs should never be trained in this manner! Hanging onto the sleeve of an attacker gives him time to use a weapon against the dog. Unlike protection training, Schutzhund does not require the dog to target the weapon hand first. In fact, sporting dogs focus on the forearm. Our training method involves teaching our dogs to bite the wrist of the hand holding the weapon since this is fastest way to disarm him. True protection dogs will then inflict a series of deep bites to both the legs and the arms until the handler calls the dog off. If you were being attacked and your dog needed to come to your defense, which method would you prefer?
Other training techniques vary greatly. For instance, sporting dogs are trained to search and rescue by taking scent on the ground. Our dogs are also trained for search and rescue but, like wolves in nature, they take their scent from the air. Taking scent from the air is very useful for rescue since the terrain of the ground may be aged- an impediment for ground tracking. Dogs trained to take scent from the air are more productive and have fewer challenges in finding a missing person, especially along large expanses of ground.
It is rare to see a sporting dog with the genetics needed for protection work. Genetically, we look for dogs that have a ‘guard drive’, a strong desire to defend and the nerves to back it up. On rare occasion, I will run across a Schutzhund dog that is genetically equipped for protection but it doesn’t happen often, perhaps five times in my career. CCK9 does not sell sporting dogs; we only sell protection dogs. We take the safety of our clients very seriously and will not jeopardize this for the sake of sales or for the display of flashy titles. Frankly, I couldn’t sleep at night if I did.
I am often asked if Schutzhund trained dogs can be trained to be protection dogs and vice versa. The short answer is no. When placed in a situation where the dog needs to defend its handler, he or she will revert to their original training. Dogs resort to their foundation education under stress. For the most part, a titled dog will likely run out of a room with its tail between its legs; they lack the nerve and training. Cross training simply is not a good idea.
Sporting dogs definitely have their place and many find the sport enjoyable. The sport does have a dark side and I have heard of dogs being granted a Schutzhund title over a cup of coffee. It’s important that these dogs are purchased from reputable breeders. If a client of mine insists on a titled dog I will evaluate Schutzhund dogs for them- but only after making sure they know that the dog isn’t trained to protect. I always emphasize, however, how great it is to own a true protection dog. Not only are they balanced, stable and great with children and pets but ready and able to defend your family. Plus, you can take them anywhere- the park, shops, the airport, anywhere without worrying about the dog’s behavior or your own safety. Personal protection dogs truly are the best of all worlds.
The choice is yours. But do your homework before purchasing a protection dog. After all, if you ever have the misfortune of being attacked one thing is certain- titles will not serve to defend you.
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