Learn how to:
- Select the optimal breeds, temperament and physical and mental characteristics for protection work.
- Master the obedience-training techniques that form the foundation of protection training.
- Use the methods of the Dutch Police Dog (KNPV) program, which produces some of the finest police and protection dogs in the world.
Dr. Resi Gerritsen and Ruud Haak, leading dog trainers from the Netherlands, share their proven, comprehensive program for training dogs for personal protection. Their cutting-edge techniques and work with the International Red Cross, the United Nations and the International Rescue Dog Organization (IRO) have placed them in world demand.
In this fully revised and updated edition of K9 Personal Protection, Resi and Ruud start with the basics, including how to select the right dog for protection work, how to properly raise a protection dog from a puppy and how to correct a dog’s bad behavior. Next, they cover fundamental obedience training for protection dogs, such as training for heelwork, the recall, the send away and more. Finally, they present a complete program for training reliable protection dogs, from basic exercises and decoy techniques to the exercises of the KNPV program.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
It's impossible to imagine life today without professionally trained guard, sentry, and police dogs. Dog sports like Schutzhund and Ringsport also champion reliable protection work, and there are many privately owned companion dogs that work as protection dogs.
The successful training of a reliable protection dog doesn't start, as is often thought, with bite work, but rather with a good education and obedience exercises. People who don't agree and who don't have a good relationship with their dog and have not valued obedience training, sometimes start training very young dogs to do bite work and thus spoil their dogs forever. The dangers that accompany bite work are so great that we emphatically advise against starting this type of training with dogs younger than 12 months. If a dog starts bite work at too young an age, he will invariably be a frightened dog or a totally aggressive dog that is impossible to control. Therefore, bite training should begin only when the dog is physically and mentally ready for it. As mentioned, the proper age for bite work is almost never younger than 12 months and often as old as 18 months.
While you wait to implement bite work into your training schedule, thoroughly teach your dog obedience exercises until he is a year old. During this period, you can also start training him to perform the preparatory protection exercises, as mentioned in Chapter 17, “Raising for Protection.”
Every dog that is safe in and suitable to our communitiesdefinitely including reliable protection dogsmust have mastered certain basic skills. For instance, dogs must: not pull the leash; on command: sit, lie down, stand, stay, and come; and display normal behavior with humans and other animals. To help you ensure your protection dog has these basic skills, we clearly describe how to train for them in the Obedience section of this book, before we write comprehensively about protection training. As in the real world, obedience comes before protection.
We have also presented the PH-1 test of the Royal Dutch Police Dog Association (KNPV) because it is intended to assess dogs trained not only for the police service and police tasks but also for their potential to be reliable protection dogs. In Chapter 16, “Decoy and Dog,” we discuss, among other things, the behavior of the decoy and that of the dog, as well as the important warm-up and cool-down exercises that don't take much time but prevent injuries.
However, before you get into the details associated with training, start at the beginning of this book with Chapter 1, “Conditions for Success,” and Chapter 2, “Breeds for Protection Work,” in which you will find a discussion about the most likely breeds to train for protection work based on our comprehensive training experiences with those breeds.
Table of ContentsPart I: Raising and Training
1. Conditions for success
2. Breeds for protection work
3. Training methods
4. Our association with dogs
5. Education and exercises
6. Stopping bad behavior
Part II: Obedience
7. Training for heelwork
8. Training the sit
9. Training the down
10. Training the stay
11. Training the stand and touching
12. Training the recall
13. Training the send away
14. Practical obedience
Part III: Protection
15. The Dutch Police Dog Test
16. Decoy and dog
17. Raising for protection
18. Basic exercises for protection
19. Training for protection