• Michael D’Abruzzo

    April 28, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Hi Caroline,  the most important thing to consider for this training plan is to work with mother nature and not against it.

    Since Quma is natutrally more apprehensive with people she will do best with defensive type protection training and not the typical prey type that you would usually see with malinois.  Genetics play a HUGE part when it comes to protection training (just like any working task) so if bite work doesnt come naturally and seem like the dog is loving it, it will be unreliable if counting on it for a real working purpose.  In general with work we dont train the dog to do apprehension work as much as we “give permission” to do what they want to do.   Therefore, it is unlikely she would enjoy or excel at any type of bite work that is mostly prey in nature like you see most police dogs do, where they go out of their way to engage in a fight because they enjoy the fight itself.  This is why the most important tests involve confidence around people and then fight drive with apprehension dogs.

    I train a lot of dogs like you are describing for “defensive type” protection work and the direction to go is not by trying to build up her prey drive, but instead building her confidence in her capability to protect herself and you.  This I can explain to you how to do.  However, the control work with her needs to be impeccable before you would do such training, because ultimately it teaches her how to be more assertive and aggressive toward a threat (which does build confidence).  But, if she is naturally more suspicious of people than the average dog than it can cause her to show aggression toward innocent people that she would otherwise shy from if given the opportunity.  Once you open that can of worms and she realizes what she is capable of it can cause other types of issues that you may need to deal with.

    Therefore, we need to first make sure that she 100 percent trusts your judgement and obeys in every situation on and off leash that she may be around people she is unfamiliar with.  Defensive protection training in many ways is much more serious business than the prey police type since we are dealing with the people the dog is unsure of and not the ones we are giving them permission to hunt.

    Not all dogs will be tank stoppers when it comes to any type of bite work, but you can discover any dogs full potential and build upon it with the right plan.