First, you can expect to wade through plenty of confusion and misconceptions. Unfortunately, this will be the case. There are tons of opinions and preferences online as well as in individual trainers. So…how do you decipher truth from error? The person/s you find needs to be a professional trainer, not an “armchair quarterback.” We like to think that you will find Conifer Canine a trustworthy source of information and credible training.
Second, you can expect a dog with higher drives. He is not a pet; he is a worker. He will act stronger than a pet and take a stronger handler than a pet. A dog who takes on an attacker will have to be super strong, confident, and have a keen mind. These kind of dogs operate on a much higher level than mere pets. Many people expect a protection dog to be a Shih tzu at home, nicely refined and pampered and if it just so happens that an intruder invades the home, this pampered pooch will save the day and be everybody’s hero. Sometimes people do get lucky. However, most the time you need to think “protection dog” from the get-go. He can be mannered and obedient. But he’ll want to chase squirrels and tennis balls and nearly anything else that moves. He’ll bark more intensely than most pets. His obedience training may take more time and effort. If you take that drive away, you also remove the necessary drives for protection work/training.
Third – at least with our training – your dog will be taken to the highest point of its potential. The individual you send to us for guard dog training may not be the best prospect and therefore shouldn’t be trained to bite (we’ll be up front with you on this during our free evaluation before training begins). If you’ve done your homework (this article and our DogBlog is a start), put forth the time and money (true protection prospect puppies will be in the $2K price range) into a solid dog, and are willing to continue making that investment, chances are high that your dog will succeed. Just don’t purchase a $600 Belgian Malinois and expect a trainer to magically transform that dog into a trustworthy protector. He may make a nice pet; just not a good protector.
Fourth, expect your trainer to communicate proper handling skills to you upon completion of the dog’s training. A protection dog – should his services be needed – will be greatly hindered if you as the owner/handler don’t know how to work with the dog. You will need to know what commands to give and when. You’ll want to be sure, prior to signing on, that your trainer of choice can/will spend the needed time with you. This is the only way to effectively transfer the dog’s training from a training facility to your own home. Far too many new clients have told us that their former trainer didn’t tell them anything – sometimes not even giving a list of commands! At Conifer Canine, you’ll not only receive a packet of information and be given tips/advice on how to properly handle the dog, you will have opportunity to work your dog under the supervision of a certified professional. This ensures that you and your dog know how to work together in the event of an emergency.
Lastly – if you have a real protection prospect to begin with, and follow the advice given from your professional trainer – you can expect a dog who will react confidently and efficiently in the event of an attack on your person or home intrusion. All of the above points will play into this final product.
Our other DogBlog articles will give other helpful information on setting a proper foundation for building a solid final product.
Finally, feel free to contact Conifer Canine with your protection and guard dog training needs.