GUARD Dog: HOW DO YOU SELECT ONE
With the rise of the working dog industry some people have the completely wrong and quick-fix idea to have a litter of puppies and raise them for a year them sell them as guard dog and make tons of money.
This concept is however far from reality even with the best genetics and bloodline of the animal, there is definitely much more to selecting the dogs which can be trained in a way that we feel completely safe around them in our homes and with our children.
Just imagine an untrained, un-evaluated guard dog in a typical western home with kids playing video-games babies crying etc. Do you really expect the dog to stay completely neutral to this hustle and bustle of our routine lives? No off course. Most of the dogs have the genetic makeup and natural instinct that tells them to bite any moving object. Therefore having such an untrained animal in the house is just a recipe for disaster.
Selection of a canine / guard dog that will enter into a protection dog program should be based on several factors. The main areas that selection testing will be based on are Temperament of the animal and, Drives.
Temperament is normally a straight reflection of nerve strength and character of the K9. How does the dog deal with stressful and shocking situations? Does the animal flee at the first chance or does it go into aggressive attack mode? Basically we are looking for a dog that shows curiosity for some time but then recovers from a startling situation.
“Well selected” dogs can deal with new surroundings and the stressors of an energetic family and house hold. Training for protection is also nerve-wracking for the canine. The weak-nerved dogs will not be able to deal with the pressure. Therefore it is of immense importance that the dogs selected to be trained as guard dogs pass the temperament test.
The animals prey drives are also critical to learn and perform protection work. Less prey drive and the dog will not defend you from the bad guy at all. Too much prey drive and every little moving thing will stimulate the dog into a biting fever and the dog will become completely out of control. It will become a ticking time bomb incapable of taking everyday lives stresses. Defense drive is also critical for the dog to perform protection work.
Pack drive is also important as this is how he fits into the family. Dogs such as an Alpha dog of the pack will always be a little headstrong and not have much willingness to please the handler or family. Alpha dogs are leaders and not necessarily the type of dog to fit into a family situation. Dogs that are too far down in the hierarchy are too submissive to do a good job. Middle of the road (almost an Alpha dog) is what fits in best for protection work.
We are isolating and then evaluating each drive discretely. We need to be sure that through training we are able to predict the animal’s reactions in different scenarios. Surprises in this work are usually unpleasant.
In our experience selection is also critical because selecting the correct dog for the work
and by knowing all the strengths and weakness of each dog enables us to develop the right training program for him.
Settling for anything less than this could be a great liability to you or even get you or your family hurt.
Tags: Dog Drives, Dog Selection, Family Dog, guard dogs, Security Dogs