We are starting Personal protection as well. My guy is 5 months old. He does NO bite work at this point and will not do so till into the New Year.
His training is the Phoenix system. They wear prong collars (which are honestly IMO less damaging than chokers but thats My opinion) They learn under minor stress and they are corrected of the task isn't done properly but ONLY after knowing full well what you are asking to do. When asked to sit and he sits (GOOD SIT!) then gets up and walks away.. he is corrected (which is a quick snap on the lead) and put back to his place. If we are going over and obsticle and he is scared, gentle tugs on the lead and positive reinforcement are crucial! If he completes the lesson (jumping over a barrel) after the jump he is told (GOOD JUMP!) with petting for more positive reinforcement. He is doing very well with all of this. He has graduated from Obediance 1 and he did really well. He can sit, down, wait, slow, come, heel, up (which means jump up onto whatever), off (jump off what your on or get off me) Leave it and We are working on left, right. His home tricks are... shake paw, high five, fetch.. BUT when told to leave it he will not go get it. Just sit and look at it. (typical stuff lol)
(I posted some of this on another post about personal protection up to this point just incase some didn't read my last post I wrote it all in here as well.)
We went today to watch the advanced class (which teaches bite work, scent training, drug sniffing, article sniffing, other calls ie... away, back things like that) No one happened to be there so we watched bite work with the owners dogs and some of his workers dogs. He asked if he could put my little guy through a bit of a test and I said sure. He sat and watched the other dogs work through there bite training... he was a bit upset when they started barking all at once and he didn't get it. The dogs are taught stability as well as recognition of threats. The trainer had the bite suit on.. he would walk up to the people and bump into them a bit... put his arm around them... hug them... the dogs are supposed to leave him alone. In which they do. He would yell at them and they would yell back and the dog would proudly start barking. Very loudly and continue to bark until he walked away. The dogs would only attack on there own IF he physically grabbed them and gave mean intent. Then they would go over and bite him on the arm and not release till given the command. (this was done without holding the leash and the owners being 15 feet away since I forgot to write that) The other demonstration was the owners holding the leash's. Which had the same outcome. The one dog had to be corrected a few times as she does not like raised voices. And during those two exercises he would walk past the dogs with the suit on... shake hands with the owners, hug, talk.... walk past walking another dog things like that.
After all that was done... he put my dog and I against the wall, between a girl and her dog and a young man and his dog. (both other dogs are trained in PP already, but upgrading is always important there... teaching is never finished I'm told) He had no suit on and walk walking around.... coming near my pup and I... making strange noises and looking all angry at us. He would come closer and try reaching out around the pup. Whom was infront of me (I was told before we started the exercise to not be upset or correct him if he hid behind me as a lot of dogs do at his age) This continued for about another minute or two. Then he did it to one of the trained dogs. The dog obviously barks. So my pup in seeing this... was confused at the whole process. There owners giving a WATCH command and the dog would bark when threatened. Then (good watch!) after it was carried through. When it came to my pup again... he was still on the quiet side but I used the WATCH IT command. And he started mouthing at him when he went to reach around him. And he stared the whole time at him this time.... it was like... TA DAAA!! I know what I'm supposed to be doing now!
Which in my head I thought for sure he was going to run behind me and hide. So with that said..... he said that it won't take to much for him to "come out" if we wanted to go into personal protection in the future. After his mean intent was gone he came over and put his hands by my pup and everything was fine again. I would rather have a dog who is all show than a dog who is all go on the bite aspect of pp training. I spend a lot of time alone, I travel a lot alone, I walk in very unpopulated dark lit places alone a lot. So I need a companion who will protect me. EVEN if he would never really bite someone.
But since I am in Ontario Canada, He is going to make sure I fully understand that in all probability if my dog bites someone even if I'm getting assulted or raped... my dog will probably be put down for protecting me. So to me I am not sure if this is really something I am willing to do. I would probably die for my companion... instead of him dying for me. They don't stress enough that the stability of your dog is the most important aspect of pp. If you don't have a stable dog then you don't have a solid foundation. Which I believe that.
Just wondering your opinions on this post and the training methods. ALSO we will be getting into some sent work/search and rescue as my bf is a firefighter and we live in a very small town, and it might just come in handy one day. You never know. Hope to hear thoughts or concerns... thanks in advance.
(oh and we still arn't starting pp till next year even if he was great at coming out of his shell right now, he's not mentally old enough for work like that)