Personal Protection

Training the Surprise Attack

In protection training, a dog needs to be able to handle a surprise attack or "pop out" in which the someone suddenly appears out of nowhere right in front of the dog and is directly confronting the dog. On the training field, most dogs will look great as they are fully aware of what is going to occur and, in fact, they realize what is going to happen as soon as you drive up to the training field. However, how a dog will react off the training field, when completely taken by surprise, is a completely different story.

Getting the Dog Accustomed the Muzzle

The muzzle is something that is an essential tool for protection training, but can also be useful for the average house pet. Many dog owners complain about their dogs chewing and tearing up everything in the house and a muzzle can be a simple solution until the dog is trained to not chew on inappropriate items.

Marking Targets

A skill that is often neglected in many personal protection and police dog training programs is the ability to point out or "mark" a specific target. Why is such a skill in a important? Imagine you need to alert your dog on an assailant in public and there happens to be several other innocent people standing around. If you do not have the ability to mark a specific target then the dog has no idea which one of the several people in front of it is actually the "bad guy". In an age of frivolous lawsuits, you can not afford to have your dog make the mistake of choosing the wrong target.

Training Part 2: Noise Desensitization

In the first article on environmental training, we discussed how to overcome the fear of certain locations. Now we will look at how to overcome the issue of fearing sounds and desensitizing the dog to loud noises.

Training Part 1: Locations

Environmental training is extremely important for any protection dog. A real life self-defense altercation is unpredictable as no one knows when or where it may occur. It is imperative that a dog's ability to protect is not hindered by fear of certain environments. A dog may look great on the training field where it is comfortable, but many dogs become nervous of certain sounds, small confined areas, slick floors (tile, marble, vinyl), etc., especially when it is in a new and unfamiliar area.