Re: Personal Protection dog training????
It's actually ironic that you ask about having problems with PPDs once they're trained, because I just got beat up on another similar thread by some people over my thoughts, even though these folks have never met me, or seen any dogs I've trained. All they wanted to do was argue over every little thing, and I just don't have time for childish nonsense. I mention this only because I've never seen your dog, so can only make general statements, you know what I mean?
I have a near 9 month female myself, and right now I am not doing anything related to PPD with her because of the very reasons you state, even though I've been doing obedience with her since she's been 9 weeks old. It sounds like you are just getting started with your obedience, so you are prudent in walking with caution in regards to protection training.
My philosophy has always been to get solid obedience down, while at the same time exposing the dog to as many worry-free experiences with human adult and children as possible, as you are doing. Since you're just starting obedience, you've got a ways to go before your should even begin PPD training, so you should also use this period to watch as your dog matures, as it will undoubtedly develop it's own "feel" for certain types of situations, and you should watch to see how it "deals" with them, and re-shape behaviors if necessary. Know that her perceptions of things she has now may change, too. With my own dog, I want to make sure she has what it takes to NOT use her protection training when she's not supposed to, because any dog can be taught to protect you in one way or another, even if it's the wrong way, you know what I mean? So, teaching NOT to be protective is important.
In my book, there are two types of PPDs. One does nothing on its own, in the way of protection; it only responds to commands. The other is a dog that protects on its own. And, the type of dog you want must be decided before any type of protection training is started. Based on your comments, I'm going to assume you're interested in a PPD that protects only when you tell it to. With that said, I would suggest that you ensure that your obedience work includes the use of high distraction at some point, to help teach your dog some self control, and to pay attention to YOU in preparation for your PP training.
Within the two types of PPDs, there are variations of each type. You might want to start thinking about what you want, and your environment. Do you want a dog that will fiercely battle to protect you, or do you want one that only scares people away?
I have not seen PPD training interfere with typical obedience training. Well, maybe it's more like I wouldn't let it. In fact, PPD training IMPROVES obedience training in a way, because such a dog must be held to a much higher standard of obedience than the typical companion dog, you know what I mean? But, if not trained properly in obedience and/or protection, you could end up with a dog that makes mistakes, eg. being protective when it's not warranted, which is not a good thing.
I recommend that you research as much as you can on the subject on your own, and take everything you hear from PPD trainers, or any other type of dog trainer, including me, for that matter, with a grain of salt, because you never know if that trainer is a know-it-all, who just knows how to talk the walk, does that make sense?
As far as gunshots (I saw your other post), maybe you can try firecrackers as a substitute to start. That should at least give you an idea as to the nerves your dog has when encountering sudden, loud sounds similar to gunshots. I used New Year's Eve as my test, when my dog was 5 months. That's quite young for such a test, but I was careful as to how I exposed her to the noise, and it all worked out. July 4th is coming up, maybe that's something you might consider doing to see how she reacts to at least the sound of firecrackers.
I hope you understand that I cannot advise you on a forum like this, but I am indeed trying to give you as much info as I can that might help you arrive at an educated decision.
Hope this helps.
Obedience, Behavior, Personal Protection Training
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Maya vom Hinterland - whelped July, 2008