Physical Condition of a protectino dog trainer - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Physical Condition of a protectino dog trainer

I have been thinking about a 2nd career. I am not interested in being a dog trainer, but training protection dogs is appealing. I was curious about the physical requirements of a trainer. I have had problems with my wrists for the last 6 years and I am still not 100%, and I have not run in a long time due to a fall many years ago. Should I be looking elsewhere?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 12:36 PM
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I'm not interested in being a dog trainer but training protection dogs is appealing.

well paint me confused but I believe you may be thinking of a helper/decoy...?? if so, yes you should be looking elsewhere but first, visit a club or a trial to see for yourself and understand why. not only do you need to be in good physical condition but the role also requires a vast about of training knowledge and experience. a bad helper can ruin a dog. it's more than running around in a suit allowing dogs to bite you. I don't mean that in an insulting way at all....but from the outside many don't understand how complex it is.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 10:29 PM
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You dont just take a 6 month course or something..its a craft that takes some experience seeing, working and training a lot of dogs.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heredia View Post
I have been thinking about a 2nd career. I am not interested in being a dog trainer, but training protection dogs is appealing. I was curious about the physical requirements of a trainer. I have had problems with my wrists for the last 6 years and I am still not 100%, and I have not run in a long time due to a fall many years ago. Should I be looking elsewhere?
You are training dogs when you are in a suit or wearing the sleeve. You aren't just there to get bit. The things you do or don't do will have an effect on the dogs performance.

Suitwork is pretty demanding physically. Maybe not so much on the wrists though but I have taken some pretty gnarly wrist hits before. There isn't much protection there.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 11:51 PM
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I guess the question lingers , do you want to be a trainer or a decoy.

I don't see why someone needs to be crazy fit to be a trainer.

It can be handy to be strong enough to be able to over power a dog, but there are many tools/techniques which make it easier for a person to control a dog with out using physical force.

You don't need to be able to alpha roll you dog in order to harness it's instincts and power to protect you.

To create a protection dog you need to have a good knowledge of dog behavior, a good dog and ability to train it, and people to practice on and teach you through experience of working your dog.

Personally, I think anyone can do what ever they want but success depends on knowledge, time and skill invested. I don't think it is rocket science. Granted I'm not a trainer so easy for me to say.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 12:04 AM
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crazy fit wasn't mentioned

but good physical condition and physically demanding are both very accurate. these are powerful dogs... hit after hit takes it's toll. heavy suit in all weather conditions. running, bracing, turning, catching, falling, fighting... it's not easy. as far as being on the other side of the leash, restraint is necessary and I would not feel confident doing so with weak wrists.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. I have been looking at classes to become a trainer, not a decoy. The training videos on youtube frequently show dogs lunging at the decoys and the trainers restraining them. Also the trainers do a fair amount of running with their dogs.

I'm no longer a young man and with several lingering injuries I'm trying to determine if becoming a trainer is realistic.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 09:20 PM
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A good decoy is a trainer.

Brutal honesty time.

You will never make a career out of just working peoples sport dogs or making personal protection dogs. There are a handful of people out there doing it right now. The biggest market for it is Europe. You will not make enough money to support yourself off it alone unless you are one of the best in the world.

To make a good days money you would have to be able to work 10-20 dogs a day and that is brutal physical work even for someone in shape. Having to do that for 5 days in a row or more is very hard.

You have to learn the sports, how to train for the sports, how to move in a suit and sleeve, how to train. You're already by your own admission an older person. You are probably not even worth the investment of time to teach at this point.

There is way more money in pet training and way less physical work involved.

Even personal protection work is tough and the suit and sleeve work will break you down. There is a physical cost to doing this sort of work over time.

Last edited by Baillif; 12-21-2015 at 09:29 PM.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 09:42 PM
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I've been pretty lucky I haven't been too seriously injured yet. I have had arm bites through a suit so bad I couldn't take bites to that arm for 3 months so it could heal. I have a weird spot on my elbow that hurts to put on a table from a bite that hit there through suit. I've had 8 stitches and a ligated artery that was pretty much my worst one. I've taken a peck to the forehead while getting out of a hide with a dog escorting that bled pretty good. I have some knots that are in spots that have been hit before that I don't think are going to go away. I have friends who have torn ACL's sometimes both ACLs while doing suitwork. It is dangerous work. Most people retire from that sort of thing before they are 40. The suit work itself is hard on the joints (hips and knees mostly).

Last edited by Baillif; 12-21-2015 at 09:47 PM.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2015, 10:15 AM
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These guys look like there are in pretty good shape.

https://www.facebook.com/dudesworkingdogs

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Madeline Ronan Heart (Maddie) Dec 1997 -- November 22, 2013 Rescue GSD, Sable
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