Training for a protection dog requires maturity and life experience, as your German Shepherd not only needs to have developed some of his natural guarding and protective instincts and obtained adequate size and physical ability to protect, but also have the understanding to discern threats and respond as directed or required in a threatening situation. Because there are complex behaviors, your dog should probably be about 2 or 3 years of age before training is initiated.
A protection dog is trained never to attack or protect when the owner is present and in control of the situation; that is, they have not indicated distress or provided a command to attack or protect. A protection dog must have good obedience to respond to direction to cease an attack, so that he can be called off if protection is not required, or if he misreads a situation. Protection dogs should also be well socialized and have excellent off-leash recall. The ability to read and determine when a situation is dangerous and a real threat is present is part of protection dog training, as is exposure to real-life situations. Because of these requirements, professional assistance in the form of a professional trainer and/or a club is usually required to complete protection training. Facilities and protective equipment, as well as knowledgeable assistants to train protection behaviors are required that are not readily available to individuals. Also, safety while training protection behaviors, such as attacking on command, requires protective equipment and trainers that can read a dog’s behavior, anticipate situations, and take steps to correct problems as they arise, to keep people and dogs safe.
Comprehensive training for protection dogs in conjunction with professional trainers and clubs is time-consuming and can take up to 12 months. It is also expensive, costing several thousands of dollars and requiring many hours of careful, controlled, expert training. This is not training that an inexperienced handler should initiate on their own. A protection dog will learn appropriate behaviors to deal with several real-life situations, including different types of physical attack with different weapons and in different situations on a handler or family member, abduction attempts, home invasions and even searches for a child or missing family member. These are skilled behaviors requiring independent thinking on the part of the dog and extensive training is required. Not all dogs have the aptitude for this complex job.
Kids are rough with him n he sometimes bites a little too much.
Hello Jerrad, I would work with teaching the kids to be less rough with him to begin with. As a German Shepherd pup may have a strong defense drive, so when he gets highly aroused he may be switching into that defense mode. This is often how things like Schlutzhund are started, getting a dog's drive really revved up with rough play like tug and bite bags. In your case, you don't want to encourage that drive in daily life, most likely. At the same time you also want to teach pup better responsiveness. I would work on things that build impulse control, Like Leave It, Come, Out, a long Place, Drop It, Off, and Down. Gradually, intentionally work pup up from being able to do the commands when things are calm, to being able to do them around distractions using a long training leash. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ Drop It – Exchange method: https://wagwalking.com/training/drop-it Depending on the type of biting, and whether pup is being playful but too rough, like what I addressed above, or is truly aggressive, you may also need additional training specific to the type(s) of aggression. Pup may also need to be desensitized to wearing a basket muzzle if there is a bite risk and pup lacks good bite inhibition. I would work with a professional trainer who can evaluate pup in person for this training. Without evaluating pup in person, I can't give specific enough advice on that part. Not all trainers are experienced with aggression, so be sure to ask a lot of questions and check into their previous client referrals and reviews to find someone with aggression experience. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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She gets too nervous when we go on walks and doesnt want to keep walking. she will walk behind me and try to jump on my back and whines the whole time. she also is very submissive and will not stand up for herself. i think it comes from her being a runt. will this get better over time or will she always be a nervous and submissive dog
Helllo, get the okay from the vet that Ember's vaccines are up to date and then enroll her in a puppy class. She can learn a lot there, and also gain confidence and independence. Training really does help a dog gain confidence. German Shepherds have the need for mental and physical stimulation as well and that is another reason to get Ember in training mode. The socialization she'll gain with dogs and people will be great, too. That's the best advice! So start training her at home 5-10 minutes every day: https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-german-shepherd-puppy. You can also work on teaching Ember to heel. She may concentrate on what you are teaching her as opposed to jumping and being nervous. Start with the Treat Lure Method, and then integrate the other two methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel. Good luck!
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To attack when I say
Hello, training your dog to attack is a dangerous situation. I am not sure why you would request this, but it is something that only a highly trained professional can do. I would research this further and speak to someone in the field of protection dog training. You need to be able to control your dog above all in every situation, so to start training Tiger to be happy and content, as well as respect you and have confidence, please take him to puppy obedience classes. Every dog deserves to be taught proper behavior. All the best to Tiger.
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