Posts Tagged ‘family protection dog trainers’

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]

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.

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.

How to be a More Responsible Dog Owner

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

Dog ownership is often a wonderful experience, but it is one that comes with a number of responsibilities. Responsible dog ownership does not need to be a chore, especially when proper guidelines for doing so have been laid out.

At a most basic level, responsible owners will ensure that their dog’s needs are met. “The Five Freedoms” are a globally recognised set of principles on animal welfare, and are likely the best and easiest starting point. They are:

 

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst
  • Freedom from discomfort
  • Freedom from pain
  • Freedom to express natural behaviours
  • Freedom from fear and distress
 

The Five Freedoms are an excellent starting point for all animal owners, and break down dogs’ complex care needs into an easy to understand formula. In a home environment, this means that your dog should have regular access to food and water, veterinary treatment, prevented from feeling or distress wherever possible, and allowed to be a dog.

Responsible ownership follows outside of your home too. All dogs should be microchipped with your contact details in the event that they become lost, and wear a collar with a tag showing your mobile phone number. Dogs should only be allowed off-lead in public if they have reliable recall, and are friendly with other dogs and humans.

Training can go a long way in promoting the highest quality of life possible for your dog. Effective training offers a range of benefits including helping your dog better conform to you and your lifestyle, keeping it mentally engaged, and increasing trust and bonding. Little training often is usually the best approach, and can offer remarkable results if provided consistently over a prolonged period of time.

What is Schutzhund?

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

Schutzhund is a popular protection dog sport with adherents around the world. Originally developed in Germany to test whether or not German Shepherd Dogs could be put to work in police settings, it has become the sporting gold standard for what a working protection dog can be. Officially Schutzhund is known as IGP, with one of its previous names being IPO.

All dogs can participate in Schutzhund, but the sport has historically been dominated by German, Belgian, and Dutch Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermanns, and Mastiff-type breeds. It should be stressed that temperament is more important than breed, and even some surprising breeds have successfully competed in this sport.

Schutzhund has three parts, each of which are individually scored. They are tracking, obedience, and protection. Each part must be passed if a dog and its handler are to be awarded a title. Even before formally competing, prospective dogs must pass an initial screening test known as “BH-VT”. Schutzhund attempts to set the standard for what protection dogs can be at the highest levels, and is not a sport to be casually undertaken. It can be very rewarding, but demands significant work and commitment from handler and dog alike.

While we respect the value and following of Schutzhund, it must be noted that sports and family protection dogs work very differently. Sports dogs train to perform to a very specific standard in a ring, and this is their primary reason to exist. In contrast to this, family protection dogs need to live in home settings and meet real world threats and challenges. A sports dog could theoretically protect on demand, but would more often than not be difficult to live with.

Schutzhund is a fantastic sport and can be a useful form of enrichment, but is not a substitution for realistic protection training. If you would like to discuss bridging the gap between sports and protection training, we would be happy to hear from you.

How to Choose a Family Protection Dog

Monday, February 28th, 2022

Prospective clients and customers often ask us to help them when choosing a family protection dog. This may be their first dog, and it is a new experience for the whole family. Because of the number of dogs we hold, both individually and as breeds, the choice can seem overwhelming. However, this does not need to be the case.

Much like humans, dogs are individuals with personalities and characteristics that transcend breed. Irrespective of breed, we hold dogs that are or more or less friendly, playful, or relaxed. A dog’s personality is always more important than its breed, and our priority is matching a dog’s temperament with their ideal family. For example, if you have children, you may be interested in a dog which is more playful and outgoing than introverted. Given how well we know our dogs and their personalities, this is something we are happy and able to advise on.

Another practical consideration we often advise on is the extent to which a dog is likely to shed. Although almost all breeds shed to one degree or another, this will not be to the same extent. If you do not want a family protection dog that is a high-shedder, then a Cane Corso, Giant Schnauzer, or Dobermann would likely be the best option. The Belgian Malinois is somewhat of a shedder, but less so than a German Shepherd if you are happy for some kind of medium.

If you are interested in purchasing one of our dogs, please do not hesitate to contact us. A suitability assessment will always be conducted as part of any potential sale, and this will give you ample opportunity to choose the best suited family protection dog for you and your household.

Czech German Shepherd Dogs

Thursday, October 28th, 2021

The German Shepherd Dog is an extremely popular breed, especially in working circles. Breeders have developed multiple “lines” for both show and working purposes. One of which is the ever popular “Czech” German Shepherd.

Czech German Shepherds were bred and developed in then Czechoslovakia during the 1950s, primarily using East German working bloodlines. Their breeders’ objective was to produce a working dog which accentuated the best of the German Shepherd Dog’s characteristics. Their success is proven by how over sixty years later, Czech German Shepherds are still widely employed in protection, police, and military roles.

Temperamentally, the Czech German Shepherd is relatively similar to its antecedent. It has a high work drive, is courageous, and readily takes to all sorts of training. Aesthetically, they can be slightly smaller and lighter-framed, and generally have sable rather than black and tan coats. Other colour variants are present, but sable and sable-mixed coats are most common.

Protection Dogs Worldwide is one the country’s leading elite family protection dog trainers and suppliers. We are able to import European Czech German Shepherds, and make several trips a year to the US. To find out more or discuss how we can help you obtain a Czech German Shepherd, please email or DM us on any of our social media accounts.