We approach the beginning of aggression training very carefully. We do not want to live with aggressive dogs in our daily lives. We do not wish for our dogs to bite people randomly. We only want it to occur in a very controlled, very specific environment – the protection field.
The cues for Protection work are:
- Helper in scratch pants
- Helper has a stick
- Protection harness
- A blind
Many Helpers agitate puppies to get them to react. We do not like this. We prefer for the dog to activate the helper and, literally, scare him off the field.
Imagine you come out on the filed with your puppy. The Helper steps out from behind the blind and stares at the puppy or shifts his weight forward. The instance the puppy barks, or steps forward or even stares back at the Helper, the Hepler steps back in fear, walks away, or even runs away. As a result, in a few sessions, you dog will come out on the filed full of power and confidence.
We will show you in consequent videos on how to achieve this.
Day 1 – Scare the Helper Away
It is critical to understand that in our System we do not work out of fear. We try to empower the dog and help the dog feel strong and mighty.
In the beginning, there are clear indicators to the dog that the Protection work starts, such as a specific harness or a collar. Additionally, we have an activation action to make it very clear to the dog that Protections begins. We lift the dog up by the harness for a second and say loudly “Helper.” After that command, the Helper appears from behind the blind.
The reason we are bringing the puppy onto the field is due to the puppy not knowing how to walk well on the leash yet. We do not want to create a dog that is dragging us onto the field – 01:58 sec.
Tobias steps from behind the blind and creeps up towards the puppy in an unfriendly manner. He is looking for any action from the puppy. Tobias is very patient. When he moves the whip, he gets a reaction.
02:03 sec – the dog steps forward, and the Helper runs away. Please note how quiet the Handler is.
02:20 – sec the dog is becoming bolder.
02:39 – sec the puppy explodes.
Please do not let your Helper scare the puppy by walking up or agitating too much. The dog needs to understand that when he is active – the Helper moves or leaves.
The Handler supported the puppy a little bit but not too much. It helped Zack’s confidence.
It is important not to overdo it and expect too much. Confidence takes time to build, and we want a confident dog!
Please trust us when we tell you – this is the second time this puppy does Protection. He has good memories of the first session and feels powerful.
00:05 sec – the Handler brings the puppy.
00:08 sec – the Handler “activates” the puppy by lifting up by the harness and saying “Helper.”
00:26 sec – the puppy chases the Helper off the field.
You can see the power building up in the little guy. The whole session is less than a minute!
In this session, you can see that the Handler encourages the puppy much more. We have to be careful not to create a dependency on the Handler support.
Session #3 begins the same as before. The dog is much more powerful, and you can see that the Helper is much more dominant.
00:31 sec – the Helper is much more aggressive but still not scaring the puppy by proximity. It is like a dance, a step forward, and a step back. If the Helper just keeps coming forward – at some point, it might become too close for the puppy’s level of confidence. We do not want to shatter it!
00:36 sec – must be a good level of communication with the helper. Every time the puppy steps forward, the Helper steps back and eventually runs away again. A win for the puppy!
Please do not rush the process. At this time, we will continue with sessions just like this twice a week for 3 months.
Concurrently, we will be teaching the puppy how to Bark and introduce a bite pillow to teach Out. Once the puppy is about 7-8 months old, we will start putting this all together.