Prey Drive & Aggression are the FUEL in Protection Work.
So often trainers begin Protection exercises without teaching the dog critical aspects of the attitude. We want for the dog to be powerful, confident, proactive and not dependent on Helper’s agitation. The main problem is that dogs become dependent on the Helper to activate them. When they come to trial – there is no activation, and some dogs performance is deflated. Let us guide you how….
In this course, you will see dog learn Prey and Defense drives and how to switch back and forth. It establishes a solid foundation for further training.
We are working with 2 types of drive: prey drive and defense drive. Prey drive is an instinct in a dog that guides him to find, pursue and catch prey. It helps develop full and powerful bites. Defense drive is very self-explanatory. Dog’s need and desire to defend himself and/or the prey.
We will help you establish both drives separately and then combine them. This is the most efficient way of training.
In our system, we like controlling the dog’s expectations and his mindset. We have start signals for each of the sections (Obedience, Protection, and Tracking). While we are training the dog, the protection harness is the cue for protection work. Of course, we cannot use it for a long time since no harnesses are allowed at a trial. Therefore, our other start signal is the world “Helper.” The Handler is the one that activates the Helper by saying this word. Not the Helper activating the dog/Handler team. It is imperative.
Once the Handler says “Helper,” the Helper usually comes out from behind a blind and begins working with the dog.
Temporary blinds can be a signal for Protection. Many fields have permanent blinds. Also, when you are practicing with your club, usually Obedience is first, and Protection is second so the dogs would not get tired. Your dog has clear expectations of what is ahead. Once you are preparing for higher levels of competition, your dog needs to be prepared to do any sections in any order. This makes it very important that he is in a mindset for Obedience and not looking for a helper while on the field. State of mind is critical and can be controlled by start signals. Start signal for Protection is Handler saying “Helper.”