Archive for the ‘Protection dog training’ Category

Toys for Protection Dogs

Friday, January 13th, 2023

Most dogs enjoy having access to and playing with toys. Toys allow dogs to express natural behaviours in a safe and non-destructive manner while enjoying themselves. Toys can be very useful when providing enrichment to protection dogs, and they offer high value in supporting training and overall wellbeing.

One of our favourite toys for protection dogs is the Kong. While Kong is actually a company, it is best known for making a red rubber chew toy with a hollow centre. Widely known as simply “the Kong”, this toy is beloved by dogs and their owners alike. It is near indestructible, and highly versatile. Many owners will use it in the same way as a ball to play fetch with, and it can also be filled with cheese or liver paste to act as a form of edible enrichment a dog has to work hard to access. Protection dogs love Kongs, and we highly recommend them.

Chewable toys are good as well. They can provide a healthy and non-destructive outlet for dogs who enjoy biting or otherwise using their mouths, and often have a calming effect. Younger teething dogs will benefit from being given access to chew toys, as will bully type breeds such as Cane Corsos. If you are crate training a dog, we would recommend leaving it with favoured chew toys. This will help build positive associations with spending time in a crate, and in turn make it easier for a dog to settle when left alone.

Flirt poles, snuffle matts, and treat puzzles are also good options. They are both fun and intellectually or physically demanding, so require a dog to use its intelligence or natural behavioural drives. These are very fulfilling types of enrichment, and often result in tired but happy dogs.

For more advice on what toys would be best for your protection dog, please email [email protected]

Training Standards for Protection Dogs

Monday, January 2nd, 2023

Rigorous training underpins everything we do at Protection Dogs Worldwide. Whatever its natural temperament, an untrained dog should not be relied on for family or personal protection. Our training standards are high but considered, and ultimately work towards creating the ultimate family or personal protection dog.

The highest standard of obedience is the foundation of everything we do and seek to achieve. If a dog is not fully obedient, then we do not believe that it can progress to more complex training such as protection work. A family or personal protection dog needs to be relied upon to follow its owner’s commands in stressful situations while remaining focused on a threat. A protection dog must always release on command, and remain fully under control. Ultimately, this comes back to obedience which we place a heavy emphasis on.

Once we are content that a dog is fully obedient, we are able to undertake more advanced training. This will be varied and can be tailored to a client’s needs and circumstances, but will include bitework, protection scenarios, and acclimatisation and socialisation. We ensure that as well as responding appropriately to the kinds of threats they are likely to encounter, our dogs are properly socialised and well adjusted to everyday life both in and outside of the home. Family and personal protection dogs need to work in the real world, so we ensure that whatever we are training is properly tested and proven outside of sterile training environments.

We offer different tiers of trained dogs from a basic level of protection all the way up to the Elite and Director’s Dog classifications. Our training standards produce internationally sought after family and personal protection dogs. With clients around the world, our dogs speak for themselves. To find out more about our training standards or purchasing one of our dogs, please email [email protected]

Different Types of German Shepherds

Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

The German Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds across the world. It is an intelligent, versatile, and deeply loving and loyal dog. It has proven itself as an equally effective guardian, service dog, and companion and will always be beloved by many. The German Shepherd is a surprisingly diverse breed, and presents in a number of varieties. This blog will provide a breakdown of the most common German Shepherd variants, and explain what this might mean for current or prospective owners.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of German Shepherds: working and show-line dogs. Working dogs were bred and developed to perform specific tasks so will be intelligent, energetic, and highly driven. Aesthetics are less important than working potential with these dogs, so how they look can vary. Broadly speaking, though, working German Shepherds are leaner and smaller, have straight backs, have shorter coats, and come in a number of colours with black and sable mixes being very common. A working German Shepherd will likely require more exercise and enrichment than a show-line dog. It will also thrive and be at its happiest when given a job.

The Czech German Shepherd is perhaps one of the best known and most popular line of working German Shepherds. Originally bred in Czechslovakia to be a military working dog, the Czech German Shepherd has an excellent temperament and is remarkably intelligent. Compact and generally sable or black, Czech German Shepherds are well represented in military and police working dog circles in the UK, as well as protection sports. We have found them to be some of the best and easiest dogs to train for family and personal protection work, and highly rate them.

Show-line German Shepherds are generally larger dogs with sloping backs, short hind legs, and thick glossy coats. The most common and widely accepted coat colours are tan with a black saddle over the mid-back, and occasionally all black. Temperamentally, show-line German Shepherds are relatively docile and while still intelligent lack high work drives. They can make excellent pets, but are not what we look for in a prospective family or personal protection dog. They are also somewhat prone to hip injuries.

If you are interested in purchasing one of our trained working German Shepherds as a family or personal protection dog, we would love to hear from you. Please email [email protected]

Exercising Your Protection Dog

Friday, December 2nd, 2022

All dogs should be exercised regularly, ideally twice a day. In the UK, the most common way to exercise a dog is to take them for one or two walks a day, more often than not on a lead or free running them in a park or some other open space. These are good ways to exercise a dog, but far from the only options. Exercise is so beneficial and important to all dogs that it cannot be neglected. As protection dogs are almost by default more active and energetic than a usual pet, their individual need for exercise will usually be somewhat higher than normal. This blog will offer an overview of how you can exercise your protection dog, as well as demonstrate why it is so important.

It is best practice to let all dogs start their day by going outside to use the toilet, and we would recommend that this is part of a reasonably long walk. Exercise tires dogs out and allows them to outlet pent-up energy. A tired dog is a happy dog, and early morning exercise often results in dogs being calmer throughout the day. Morning walks should not be rushed, are an excellent opportunity for your protection dog to receive much-needed mental engagement in the form of multisensory stimulation. These walks can set your dog up for a good day ahead, and are highly recommended. Another walk in the evening is beneficial too, and can help settle your dog before bedtime.

More specific exercise is better than one or two walks a day, though. As protection dogs often have a high prey drive, tapping into this natural tendency is something they will find exciting and enjoy. Building exercise into activities such as playing fetch with a favourite ball or toy or chasing a flirt pole is very effective, and often breed or role appropriate. If a dog enjoys chasing things, then being allowed to do so in a controlled setting is one of the best ways their physical and mental needs can be met in a safe and non-destructive way. More specialist activities such as agility, sled pulling, and water sports can all be good options as well.

High-energy dogs often enjoy free running in open spaces. This is a very good option as it would allow your protection dog to exercise as hard as it wanted, and let it make its own choices rather than have its movements fully dictated by a handler. However, we would recommend that this is done responsibly. Free running should only be allowed in private or fenced off areas away from members of the public.

If you have any additional questions about how to exercise your protection dog, feel free to DM us on any of our social media accounts or email [email protected].

What Breed of Protection Dog Should I Get?

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

While some customers come to us knowing which breed of protection dog they want, this is not always the case. Many customers enter the process of buying a protection dog having never owned any kind of pet before, so are open to the possibility of any breed we offer.

The first question customers should ask in such instances is what are their particular needs? Do they have young children which means they need to be at home more, or are they single and more active? Do they have allergies to breeds which shed? Apart from protection, do they have any other types of work or activities they would like to undertake with their new dog?

Protection Dogs Worldwide aims to have the most tailored offer possible, and all of our initial consultations focus on establishing what a client’s needs are, as well as their lifestyle so we can match them with our most suitable dog. Beyond breed, our dogs all have their own unique quirks and personalities, and we take our responsibility to find them an appropriate home where they will flourish very seriously.

We avoid stereotyping breed characteristics, but a Cane Corso or Rottweiler is often an excellent fit for families with young children seeking a loving dog which is equally comfortable working or sat on a sofa enjoying life as a pet. A German Shepherd is likely a better fit for active households looking to enjoy outdoor activities or participate in high-level training, while a Dobermann or Giant Schnauzer often sits somewhere in-between. If you or a member of your family are allergic to dogs that shed, a Giant Schnauzer would be more appropriate than the high-shedding German Shepherd.

If you have any questions about choosing the most appropriate breed of protection dog for you and your family, then please contact us by DMing on any of our social media accounts.

Bonding with Your New Protection Dog

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022
Bonding is one of the most important, yet overlooked parts of owning a dog. Unless an owner is properly bonded with their dog, then their relationship will never be as good as it can be. Bonding sets the foundation for a strong relationship, and in the case of working dogs trust between owner and animal. While bonding should occur naturally if a dog is being handled and looked after well, it is still worth giving this matter some thought rather than take it for granted. As dogs learn associatively, the first responsibility on owners when facilitating bonding is to ensure that their dog associates them with positive experiences. Put more simply, if your dog expects good things when it comes into contact with you, then it is far more likely to like you and enjoy spending time in your company. A very simple bonding exercise is calling your dog over to you, and when they respond rewarding them with a favourite treat or toy. It is very important that you never call your dog to punish it, as there is a risk it will subsequently associate hearing its name with receiving a punishment. Training and working your dogs are excellent long-term ways of developing a bond, especially if your dog has a specific role such as protection and guarding. We often advise customers on long-term training programmes as part of our aftercare offer, and are happy to do so with a view towards promoting bonding. To find out more, please DM us on any of our social media accounts.

Common Breeds for Protection Work

Thursday, August 18th, 2022
Dogs have always been used for protective and guarding purposes. The wolf’s formidable bite was harnessed from its first domestications, and has remained in use since. A number of breeds are used today for protection work, some of which are more suitable than others for different settings. Perhaps the best, most common, and most versatile protection dog is the German Shepherd. It is highly intelligent, courageous, and loyal. Its remarkable trainability and work drive have established the German Shepherd as perhaps the world’s premier working dog breed. As such, it is found in military, police, and private security settings all over the world. Less common and similar but still respected is the Malinois Belgian Shepherd. Offering handlers much a German Shepherd’s intelligence but with a higher work drive, the Malinois Belgian Shepherd is best suited to military and police settings. While some Malinois Belgian Shepherds are able to adapt to home environments as family protection dogs, they are the exception rather than the rule and not a breed we routinely hold. Dobermanns, Rottweilers, and Cane Corsos are excellent at protection work too. Their respective presences are as intimidating as they are legendary, yet they also combine this with intelligence, affection, and trainability. Poor breeding – especially in show lines – has made it harder to find individual dogs from these breeds suitable for high-level protection work, but our extensive pre-purchase screenings allows us to identify the best dogs possible where working lines have remained high-quality. The Giant Schnauzer also deserves honourable mentions. Despite being somewhat rarer in the United Kingdom and North America, we have developed strong protection capabilities when working with young Giant Schnauzers. We expect to see them become more popular in coming years as they are rightly recognised as a leading working breed.

Should I Train My Own Protection Dog?

Monday, August 8th, 2022

One of the most common questions were receive both via email and social media is for advice on how people can train their own protection dog. Our advice will always be the same: training protection dogs requires high levels of skill and experience and should only be attempted by professionals. Amateur attempts at this kind of training can be dangerous for both dogs and humans, so are never a good idea.

It is often assumed that protection dog training is centred on a bite and release when in reality this is only a small part of our work. Before we can even consider training a dog in bitework, it must first have passed rigorous temperamental assessments, reached high levels of obedience, and been well-conditioned to a range of environments and stimuli. Without these, the value of any bitework training and capability development are at best questionable.

Protection dog training involving bitework is often dangerous, and requires a high level of skill to conduct safely. The trainer wearing a bite suit or sleeve is, perhaps surprisingly, more important in this process than the handler. Mistakes on their part can result in the undoing of months of hard work and severe injuries, both to them and a protection dog. Rather than taking chances, it is always better to leave protection dog training to experts such as ourselves.

Protection dog owners can still undertake much of their own training which would be common to any and all dogs, though. Anybody can safely conduct basic obedience training with minimal professional input, and the global pandemic has proven that this is eminently possible virtually with tools such as apps and Zoom. While there are certainly some types of training you should never undertake yourselves, there is still much that can be safely achieved.

The best protection dogs

Monday, August 8th, 2022
In a crowded marketplace where social media often dictates customer preferences, it is worth considering what makes the best protection dogs. At Protection Dogs Worldwide, we believe that we have developed a winning formula which we would like to share to help inform potential customers’ decisions. Most importantly, we believe that the best protection dogs are balanced animals and demonstrate the correct levels of temperamental stability. This will always trump factors such as breed or size. There is an increasing tendency for dealers and breeders to overly focus on single distinguishing physical features such as size or colouration. While this may be popular with consumers, it tends to lead to a proliferation of unhealthy and poorly bred dogs who suffer from a range of conditions such as hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, and untenably high levels of nerve and anxiety. Part of our commitment to training and selling the best protection dogs entails carefully screening all puppies we consider taking on to ensure they temperamentally suitable, and this is not an area we ever have or ever will compromise on. Diverse, realistic, and relevant training is also important when considering what makes the best protection dogs. Although common, only training to bite a decoy wearing an obvious pad on the same arm in the same sterile environment without distractions does not make for an effective protection dog. Instead, training should replicate the environments and scenarios a dog is most likely to face. They should also be conditioned to stimuli such as crowded public spaces, other animals, and home appliances, especially during the early stages of puppyhood. Protection Dogs Worldwide has always taken this view, and as such we firmly believe that our dogs are some of the best prepared for real protection work in the real world once they have joined their families. The best protection dogs of all have their training carefully tailored to their future families and settings. While not part of our standard offer, this is a premium service we offer to customers seeking a more bespoke “Elite” dog. Our “Elite” offering allows us to match your protection dog and its capabilities to your family, home, and lifestyle to the highest levels possible. No detail is overlooked with our “Elite” dogs, and our commitment to them and their owners continues well after purchase.