A Twitter thread by @radicalhag
What a gorgeous pup! This guy is breeding, training and selling the finished dog but I’d have to say he knows his stuff watching this. Plenty of prey drive, obvious defence, which means the dog’s genetic response to a startle leans toward aggression…
..rather than fear, and a high startle threshold, which you want in a protection dog. Note most of this is play but he makes a few noises, raises his voice here and there, whistles the whip and the pup doesn’t flinch – she’s totally focused on the sack.
Body language is all forward and confident. At this stage the pup is playful but the temperamental capability for defence is there – she’s fearless, and what we call bounceback – recovery from startle – is immediate.
Same dog 6 months later doing off lead fun obedience – terrific attitude. Great to see them using a clicker – there is no need to coerce or punish a fantastic dog like this. He’s punting his kennel a bit but I like what I see
Using operant/classical techniques on dogs gives you fantastically precise training tools – you just have to invest in some theory. And the dog enjoys it, so you end up with a happy, sociable, responsive dog like this who will nevertheless go to bat for you. Hard.
This dog is nearly ready to go to work – this might look strange but is a very advanced exercise. The dog will have been trained on a soft sleeve, hard sleeve and hidden sleeve, and now the trainer needs to…
..ensure that the sleeve equipment is not a discriminatory cue triggering the dog to bite (we’ve all heard of the trainers who got this wrong and the dog who will only bite someone wearing a bite suit). So the assailant wears no protective gear and the dog is muzzled.
A dog like that bites down with a pressure of about 800psi. If he bites low on the arm he can amputate your hand. So it’s crucial to protect the assailant. This dog passes the exercise with flying colours – the absence of equipment does not deter him from biting.
After the indoor exercise he is taken on the road, hopefully to a location he’s unfamiliar with, to repeat this, and again he does the exercise perfectly, and is willing to rip a fake hand off the assailant once the muzzle is off (this is dangerous for the assailant…..
..and I suspect those handlers might be a bit agitation-happy. Agitation is provoking the dog into an aggressive response. It has to cue him in case the handler is incapacitated, but you don’t overdo it.) But great work from the dog.
Back to the original channel and here’s a dog in the early stages of multiple assailant work. The dog is under great control – does a perfect stay in the car, comes in and attacks when called, “outs” (lets go) instantly on command.
It’s a good piece of scenario work – an attempted rape which gets stopped in its tracks. A bit later in its training I’d want to see two things different:
1) the dog should come in automatically if the handler is down or disabled, eg with a hand over her mouth. The so-called..
..multiple assailant knockdown is the one case where a dog is allowed to break a stay.
Also, at about 1:15, the dog knocks the first assailant off the woman and then stays on him and takes him to the ground. This is a bit of ‘excess prey’ – we want the dog to work closer to the.
..handler and tackle whichever assailant is currently going for her. It’s no use the dog fighting one bad guy all the way across the garage if the other one has the woman and is dragging her round the corner. If she’s down, the dog should stay above her body and bite within..
a range of a few feet. The goal here is to protect the handler, not arrest the bad guy. But that’s really advanced and I’m sure this girl will get to it – she’s fantastic.
This is IPO – sporting protection work which gives a very good demo of the kind of control the dogs are actually under.
It also shows the distance and speed they can manage. You don’t outrun one of these.