If you’re considering beginning dog protection training, get in touch with knowledgeable dog trainers for proper guidance. The process of training your pet has many do’s and don’ts, so it’s important to know the suitable age, time, and techniques to start an organized training program for your dog.
The ideal time to begin preparing your pet to guard you and your loved ones is between 6 and 8 weeks of age. However, that doesn’t imply you can’t train an elder dog to perform the same task. An elder dog may require more time to learn. It would probably be a convenient and much simpler process if your pet is devoted to you and is willing to learn how to protect his beloved humans. Let’s go through all the aspects before beginning with dog protection training.
In this article:
What is the ideal age to start dog protection training?
The ideal age to start this training is when your pup turns 6 months. If you would like a strong defender, your pet’s parents should exhibit the qualities you are looking for in your dog. Your pet’s genetic background has a significant impact on its form. Therefore, you should pick a dog that possesses the genetic make-up to handle this challenging task.
Obviously, this training might seem a little difficult at this age. But, start early! It is necessary to develop prey instincts. Your pup has to understand that catching prey is exciting and you will encourage him at every step and offer him a treat for his hard work.
Dog protection training
Testing and Drives
The first and most important requirement for giving protection training to a dog is obedience. A dog should have earned a basic degree of obedience so that you could continue focusing on dog protection training. It involves stand, sitting, spinning, coming, retrieving, etc.
However, it’s essential to maintain obedience training since protection training requires a canine to be capable of performing effectively without a leash.
Your pet should undergo an assessment for human aggression after passing an obedience exam. The dog must be seated next to the owner throughout this assessment in the heel posture.
The examiner would walk up to the owner, make contact, and say “hi.” The examiner would take a step back and next time go closer to the dog, letting the dog smell his hand before petting him.
If a dog fails this exam, he cannot proceed since he will be a threat to everybody dealing with him. However, if a dog passes the exam and exhibits no symptoms of hostility (barking loudly, rejection, biting), he continues with the further steps.
Prey drive is a trait that most dogs possess to a certain extent. This impulse is evident; sometimes, pups exhibit prey drive whenever they run after a ball and toss it.
Your pet chasing a remote-controlled toy or a bird is also exhibiting prey drive. A dog can perform comfortably and safely during this drive. Prey drive exists in even the happiest labs!
Start with a specific target to attack
Prey drive is the starting point while teaching a juvenile dog to perform protection tasks. By introducing a bag, pipe, or biting jacket as the “target,” it is possible to train a dog when and how to attack. Dogs enjoy this technique since it resembles their favorite game of tug of war.
If the drive decreases whenever the dog feels exhausted, it’s a positive signal of the kind of motivation you’re witnessing in that dog. We’ll see shortly that a pet’s defensive urge would stay even when it is exhausted. In terms of barking and body movements, the canine’s tail would most likely be raised or wiggling, and his howl would get louder and more persistent. It shows that he is calm and enjoying the process.
Flyball or talking to your pet might help to increase prey drive. How can you test your dog’s prey drive at home?
How can you test your dog’s prey drive at home?
The dog is supposed to wear a plain buckle strap, walk along with a 6-foot leash, and following to the release (or loose) cue. A ball or bag is tied to a strong string as a temptation by the examiner. After tossing that object in the sky, he’ll chase and catch it in his mouth.
The dog must hunt it down and hold it down to the object, showing a strong prey drive. Your dog would not be ready to proceed if he won’t hang onto the object, pursue it, or even exhibit any curiosity about it since its prey drive doesn’t seem to be strong enough for protection training.
Let’s suppose your pet succeeds and proceeds to the third exam. It would now perform a threat detection exam, sometimes referred to as a defense drive exam or a proof of bravery.
Defense Drive at dogs
The defensive drive of a dog is the natural impulse to protect itself or its master when there is a danger. Your pet’s body posture and barking may completely transform, which is completely opposite to prey drive. His tail might be closer to the ground, his body hair might rise up to give the impression that he is taller, his fangs might snarl, as well as his barking could be powerful and loud.
When does the defend drive appear in dogs?
While it can appear in pups as young as 4 to 5 months of age, defense drive will not completely develop until a canine enters adulthood. For most dogs, it occurs between 18 and 24 months of age. Others may wait until they turn 3 years.
Your pet should not be forced into protection training. He would not be capable of bearing the pressure until he’s mentally mature enough. The ideal age to introduce defense training is between 11 and 14 months.
Hostile and head-on scenarios when the hunter (or examiner) comes straight towards the dog boost their defense drive. Similarly, the dog must use a robust flat-buckle strap containing solid metal fasteners attached to a 6-foot string with a release cue.
The examiner would act aggressive and dangerous to the owner and dog by yelling, pointing at the dog (verbal and physically) and pretending to slap the owner. It determines the dog’s bravery! So what qualities are you seeking in your pet this way?
Your pet is required to either maintain his position (in front of its owner or beside him) or to growl and jump at the examiner. It’s important to remember that even when your pet barks at strangers at your house entrance or from your garden, it doesn’t always imply he has a defensive drive. These barriers provide dogs confidence. However, in most cases, as soon as the obstacle is removed, the dog loses its bravery.
When a pup turns 6 weeks old, you may start introducing him to protection training. Since you are trying to teach your puppy for the first time, then you must understand that this training is thorough and challenging and would probably demand a significant time commitment from you as well as your pet in order for him to properly learn the skills required to succeed.
That’s why it’s best to teach a dog as soon as possible. You’ll actually invest less time in the future addressing problematic habits.