Decoy & Patrol Training

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Developing a protection dog, regardless of the discipline, comes in two stages. First, the foundation must be laid in which we develop the basic drives that impel the dog to bite, and the interaction among these drives. Further, in the foundation work, we must introduce the dog to the various kinds of equipment we will use to maintain his training including sleeves, bite suits, and muzzles. The dog must learn how to properly target an attacker with courage, intensity, and decisiveness. Thus, foundation training includes teaching the targeting of the vital grip areas. How we use both civil agitation, as well as equipment, to teach the dog to be man-oriented is also a significant issue that must be explained. This is critical for police dogs and personal protection dogs. Further, we need to develop the dog’s reactions to all manner of distractions during bitework that may frighten him off the grip and render him, at best, ineffective in a street situation, or, at worst, a liability to the handler deploying his dog.

Second, the dog’s skills must be developed. These skills begin with the out on command, guarding, hold and bark (if desired), redirects and out and returns, and the call off. Further skills, such as area searching, tactical building searches, felony vehicle stops, and passive bites, should also be discussed and demonstrated.

Being a good decoy is not just about “catching” dogs safely. It is more about understanding the training progression from foundation development to training skills. A decoy must know how to bring out the behaviors in the dog, because in patrol training, for the most part, and especially in the foundation work, it is the decoy and not the handler who is the mechanism for conditioning the behaviors.

Every movement the decoy makes, how every training drill is set up, teaches the dog either something we want the dog to learn or teaches a habit that may be counterproductive to effective street deployment.

 

For the full article see: http://www.tarheelcanine.com/2013/01/decoy-patrol-training/ by Jerry Bradshaw

Selecting a dog trainer

It is critical to make a clear distinction between a handler and a trainer.  Being a K9 handler no matter for how many years, does not necessarily prepare someone to be a dog trainer, able to diagnose and solve training problems.

An dog trainer should know, inside and out, learning theory as it applies to K9s, both operant and classical conditioning, understand how to reduce complex trained behaviors to essential components, and be familiar with canine behavior in general.

A dog trainer must be able to explain a particular training progression, and all the essential variables involved, and how to manipulate them during the progression of training.

A dog trainer should be able to make proper, reasoned, and skillful adjustments based on actual experience. Dog training is both a science and an art.

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Dog Trainer Aliana Myburgh

Handlers think because they were able to train successfully with their dog, that they are an expert in something other than, just their dog.  A good trainer has a range of experience, perhaps training multiple dogs from start to finish, and having gone through a respected trainers course, where both the science of training is learned, as well as having the opportunity to practice on real dogs in training.  They should be trained as a trainer, and be able to adapt to training progressions.

Broad experience and a lack of ego is critical. The most insecure and unskilled trainers are the ones who are the most “dominant” and use appeals to their experience and authority to gain compliance from their groups rather than results. If they disagree with you they should be able to explain why they disagree.

If the dogs in the training group are poorly trained or unproductive, find another place to train. Do not let mere convenience screw up your dog.

Training should be designed to promote goals in training. Your trainer should be able to explain goals (in the short run and in the long run.)  Goals should be mostly focused on preparing you and your dog in a scenario based context for the real life situations you will likely encounter.

As each dog/handler team has different experiences, different strengths and different weaknesses – training exercises, drills, and scenarios should be designed to make adjustments for individual dogs in the training group. If you see every dog (rookie K9 to 5 years on the road) doing exactly the same training in every phase you are wasting your time with that training group. Good trainers make adjustments for skill level and handler skill. They design scenarios and drills to build on strengths, remediate weaknesses, and teach lessons.  If these adjustments aren’t being made, training is poorly designed as “one size fits all.”

For more productive training time, try joining a smaller group that will allow for more time to talk through training, individualize training, and to debrief performances to learn how to design the next training exercises and to build upon successes, or remediate any deficiencies exposed.  Smaller groups also allow for varying training environments, meeting up at different places to train etc.

Check whether the group has skilled and trained decoys, whether they insist on proper targeting training. (Just because a guy can put on a suit and take a bite does NOT make him a decoy. Good decoys have gone through extensive training and learned proper catching technique, driving technique and how to properly read a dog. )

Every dog doesn’t need to be trained with the same cookie cutter approach.  A good training director will be able to help you realize why these differences might exist.  All training should be a mixture of component training, full scenarios, drills, and fundamentals. Training should be well thought out, and challenging and inspire you to get better.

Just because someone has 20 years’ experience or spent time as a K9 handler, does not make him a good trainer. 20 years of bad training is still bad training. Experience and authority are not arguments for being right.

For the full article visit – http://www.tarheelcanine.com/2013/12/conducting-quality-in-service-training/

by Jerry Bradshaw

The Alert on Command

The alert is probably one of the most important exercises to teach a personal protection, security or police dog, yet is something that is misunderstood and neglected by many trainers. Trainers will typically start the dog by giving the alert command, followed with the decoy agitating, causing the dog to fire up and bark, and the dog is then sent in for a bite. The problem with this sequence of events is that the dog learns that his cue to get aggressive is the agitation from the decoy rather than the command word of the handler to alert. What happens when you need to send your dog on a passive suspect? The dog gets confused and fails to engage because there is no movement! The correct way of training an alert on command is as follows:

The decoy always starts out passive and the handler alerts the dog on the passive subject. Once the dog shows aggression, the decoy reacts to the aggression either by pressing the dog in defense or by fleeing in prey. The dog learns that his aggression makes the decoy move!

If this is done well, you can point your dog at anyone, give an alert command, and expect aggression and focus. This teaches the dog aggression on command, rather than on the context (movement or threat). If you can put the dog in an aggressive mood on command, he will be ready to react immediately and not be caught off guard.

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For the full article see Component Training in Controlled Aggression by Jerry Bradshaw

Why we use Back Ties

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A Back tie is a very useful method of achieving a number of things;

  1. It allows the handler to move and give commands and encouragement from different positions relative to the dog, thereby creating independence in the dog as well as neutrality to the movement of the handler. If the handler is always behind the dog, the dog becomes dependent on this security. Also if the dog is used to the handler only being in one position around him, he may not react reliably when the handler is in his mind “out of position”.
  2. It allows the decoy to work without worrying about the quality of the handler. If the decoy wants the dog to experience a full grip he is in a better position to allow the dog the opportunity at a hard, full strike if he is back tied and knows exactly how far the dog can come out to the end of the line. Similarly if he is teaching the dog to adjust to a full grip, he can deliberately offer the dog a partial grip, followed by tension and quickly setting the dog down to allow him to adjust to a fuller grip.
  3. By replacing a nylon back tie with a bungee line, you can improve the speed of the dogs’ strike. If you provide progressive resistance the dog will adjust by coming in harder and faster as he gets close to the decoy. The dog over time becomes conditioned to do this and when you remove the resistance it results in a faster, harder and more powerful strike into the decoy. The bungee line also teaches the dog to bite and hold firmly, because if he doesn’t, he is pulled backwards off the sleeve.
  4. When training outs the back tie allows you complete control of the dog’s behavior during and after the out. Using the 2 line system you can keep the out clean and more easily prevent other unwanted behaviors. It allows you to instantly correct an out, maintain a clean out, keep the dog from dirty bites and enforce the guard position.
  5. Lastly it allows you to teach a reliable stay during a frisk or a handcuff, or stays in general and is very useful in developing distance on stays.

 

For the full article on Back Tie training for Patrol Dogs see

 

http://www.tarheelcanine.com/2012/07/advanced-back-tie-training-for-patrol-dogs/ by Jerry Bradshaw

DON’T BECOME A STATISTIC

South Africa has some of the highest crime rates in the world with an average of 51 murders, 142 sexual offenses, 363 violent robberies and 687 residential burglaries per day.  These are only the reported crimes; thousands of others go unreported.

Farm murders in particular have been a massive problem with white farmers falling victim to brutal and barbaric hate crimes and racism.  There has been 357 attacks and 74 murders between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017 alone.  Being a white farmer in South Africa is now considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

There is an ever increasing need for added security and protection.  With the countries unemployment being at 26.5 percent the crimes continue to get worse and with a corrupt government and poorly trained police on the streets South Africans are having to take their safety and security in their own hands. Protection and security trained dogs are proving to be one of the most valuable tools

 

when it comes to safety.  Not only are they your early warning systems and deterrents, but if need be can and will engage immediately to stop a threat and protect the family.  They are highly effective weapons without being deadly and best of all, can never be used against you.

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