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Protection/Dog Sports

Protection Training

In today’s world, everyone is seeking the most efficient yet safe way to protect their family and property from the threat of violence and theft. At Sierra Canine we strongly believe the safe solution is a properly trained protection dog. A properly trained protection dog serves many purposes. Firstly, they are your family’s companion and pet. Secondly, they can be the most effective way to protect the things that are most important to you.

Here are a few statistics that stress the possible threat that all of us face on a daily basis. These are FBI and United States Department of Justice national statistics.

  • 88% of burglaries are residential in nature.
  • One burglary occurs every 10 seconds.
  • 86% of burglaries occur when people are home.
  • 80% of break-ins occur through a locked door.
  • 73% of burglars said that they would still rob a house if it had an alarm.
  • 38% of assaults & 60% of rapes occur during home invasions.

Protection training can be as simple as training your dog to alert you when someone is at your door, window or behind your fenced yard or as complex as training your dog to defend you or someone you love against an individual who poses a real and present threat. I often tell people that a well trained protection dog can be called “back” or “off” if that threat diminishes or disperses, but a bullet can’t! You cannot be sent to prison if your dog attacks an uninvited intruder in your home, but you can in certain circumstances, if you shot an unarmed uninvited intruder in your home!

As stated above, there are many different levels of protection training. If you are interested in having your dog protection trained, we first would need to discuss your goals or what level of training that you hope your dog can achieve and then your dog’s temperament and drive would have to be evaluated. Not all dogs are capable of doing higher levels of protection work and realistically, very few pet quality dogs possess the necessary drive and nerve to do any at all. There is a definite difference between true protection dogs and sport protection dogs. I find it quite humorous what several dog training companies here in Northern California are passing off as protection trained dogs when these are merely Schutzhund or other sport protection dogs. Unfortunately, this is common practice in the dog training world. Below you will see sample videos of both, dogs in the early stages of protection training and dogs in the early stages of Schutzhund training. If you have any questions about the difference in the two, please contact us and we would be happy to educate you.

This dog has received a high level of foundation training for police service and personal protection work. This scenario demonstrates the dogs ability to enter a building containing extreme environmental obstacles/stressors and engage a passive suspect. You’ll see that the dog enters without hesitation, hitting his target with a full bite and not releasing while engaged with the suspect. The dog maintains excellent control by releasing his grip on the first command and returning to his handler.

These are the first couple training sessions with this dog focusing on bicep targeting, and engaging a decoy with a hidden sleeve.

This is another video of a dog engaging a suspect who is wearing no visible protective equipment. In this video the dog engages the suspect while wearing a muzzle. He then returns to his handler on command and the muzzle is removed so he can reengage and bite the suspect who has a concealed piece of protective equipment under his sweat shirt. The suspect simulates behavior that a real suspect would exhibit if actually being apprehended.

The following video is an example of equipment proofing a police service dog or personal protection dog. The dog is wearing a muzzle and on command engages the suspect. This demonstrates that the dog is willing to engage a plain clothed suspect wearing no visible protection equipment while also maintaining control and returning to the handle on command.

I was contacted by a young man a few years ago seeking training for his four month old German Shepherd. During the course of a year or so, I trained this Shepherd and his owner in basic and advanced obedience as well starting the puppy in bite development and taking him all the way to targeting bite locations on a bite suit. This puppy went to be K9 Bruce with Perry Police Dept. in Perry, Fl.

Working Dog Sports

Working dog sports or protection dog sports have continued to grow in popularity with local clubs popping up just about everywhere. Schutzhund was the first working dog sport to make its way to the United States from Germany nearly four decades ago. It was the pinnacle of dog sports for many years and still remains very popular today. Since the arrival of Schutzhund, many other working dog sports have made their way from Europe and have grown immensely in popularity. These include French Ring, Belgian Ring and basically a combination of the two, Mondio Ring.

Regardless of what goal you have for your dog, personal protection or participating and maybe even competing in one of these sports, their foundation in grip work or bite development is all the same.

Sierra Canine can start your dog with building confidence and drive, and then make all the progressions through each prey item to help you reach your ultimate goal. As previously stated, all of our programs are customized to your goals and budget. We can help you with anything from certain obedience exercises for these dog sports to starting a puppy and finishing them until they are on a sleeve or bite suit.

This is a 15 week old German Shepherd out of Adlerhimmel German Shepherds. This is foundation protection training for a working dog sport. Here we are working on developing drive and a full grip. We are also desensitizing this puppy to different objects used in working dogs sports as stressors.

This is another video of foundation training for the working dog sport IPO/Schutzhund. You see this puppy running the blind for the blind search exercise, and also working on coming to the handler in a front position. In addition you see him finishing into a heel position at the handler’s side as well as some imprinting work for focused heeling. We started working with this puppy at 8 weeks of age. In this video he is 14 weeks old.

Jager vom Drescher Haus is being trained for police service work, here he is only 12 weeks old. This video demonstrates the training steps of introducing environmental stressors, objects and obstacles that he could face in the future during police service work in apprehension of a suspect.

This is Sierra Canine’s Rush at 11 weeks of age. This video demonstrates training to desensitize the pup to potential environmental stressors. One pool contains water, the other, a variety of empty plastic bottles filled with pebbles. You’ll also notice gun fire.

This is Minka of Kreative Kennels at 14 months of age working on her IPO 1 Blind Search exercise.
Owned by Jamie Kerr.

This is Orion vom Kistha Haus(Rye) at 5 months of age. This video demonstrates foundation focused obedience using a marker based training system. There’s no correction at this stage of training.

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