Copyright 2013. Slee Canine Training & Security. All rights reserved.
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AGE AND/OR TEMPERAMENT
Although it is best to have fundamentals for specialized tasks ingrained in your dog when young, so that when old enough to be taught the finer, more detailed points of any given task, it will be much easier & quicker, never give up on a dog for your desired application, no matter how old he is. There is often more than one path to the same destination when it comes to dog training. You may have already unknowingly instilled some of the right basic skills in your dog thru training tactics, behavior corrections, and actions while playing with the dog. If you have an older dog and want to train him for an advanced, more specialized purpose, have two or three trainers whom train in that area evaluate him. They may not want to take the extra time it often takes for an older dog, but if they're real, they ought to be able and willing to either give you a few tips, or direct you to someone whom can help further. If you run into a trainer whom thinks that older dogs are not worth the time, or that only purebreds are worth the time, I'd find another trainer, because your dog deserves better.
MY VIEW ON DOG FIGHTING
Slee Dog Training & Security does not participate in nor condone any form of animal abuse, including and especially dog fighting, and encourages the public to report any such event to the proper authorities. I do use certain physical corrections as needed, harsh if needed, excluding anything which could be construed as abuse, meaning that there is no striking the dog with fist, foot or any object, nor any type of violent movement. The most harsh method used is a shaking by the scruff of the neck if need be or putting the dog down onto the ground in an immobile position. An exception would be a stray, aggressive dog which decides to attack another dog or a human. In that situation, very harsh methods may be called for, to the extent that the aggressive dog stops the aberrant behavior.
Dog fighting goes over & beyond what even the most savage nature of the canine is. A wolf or wild dog pack (the dingo, for example, not domesticated dogs gone awry, as those are a whole different scenario many times) does not kill every intruder which trespasses upon their domain, including a wolf/dog from a rival pack and will, in fact, often let the stranger pass thru their territory, and will sometimes share food with the stray.
When a lower ranking member of a pack challenges the pack leader for control, the loser probably dies more often than not, but that is within a pack, not from without. When an arranged dog fight occurs, it is almost always between 2 dogs whom are nowhere near being within the same pack, so there is no basis for arguing pack challenges in the "sport" of dog fighting.
For these and other reasons, I consider dog fighting to be cruel, unnecessary, and against what nature dictates, and are for the arrest and punishment of people whom engage in that.
Note that there is a difference between ritualistic, or play, fighting, and a real dog fight. It is something like the difference between people sparring and engaging in a real, all out fight when each person is trying to kill the other.
When people fight, the damage is normally minimal and temporary. Although dogs have the ability to show what appears to be moral restraint when trained properly, they have none when trained to kill the opponent, and dogs can do a tremendous amount of damage when restraint is absent.
The methods which I use have the same basic foundation as probably any other trainer's, but I have adapted them to be better able to train dogs that are older than a couple of years old and have either never been trained much, or have been allowed to slide, which causes a dog to become stubborn, inattentive, unruly, "unmanageable" and so called untrainable. The methods I use work on puppies and younger dogs also, the format being adjusted accordingly.
My motto is "No Dog Untrainable". I do not believe that any dog is untrainable nor unmanageable, although there are limits on training some dogs certain tasks. For example, a six year old Doberman Pinscher which has never been trained thoroughly will probably never qualify for most (or any) types of police work, but given the proper care, discipline and foundation of affection and training, can still be trained as a good personal protection dog (although those and other guard types will protect w/o much or any training in that area). In some cases, it may be a fine line between pass and fail regarding police or professional work ability. Any dog can be obedience trained and made manageable, but the more set in it's ways it has been allowed to become, the longer it will likely take.
Every one seems to want to have their dog fully trained by a year or so old, but with some breeds and for some purposes, that can be fatal to the performance longevity of the dog, and may inhibit the full potential.
I do stress for people not to write off a dog which is older or a dog that others have had no success with. At times it is a personality conflict between human and dog. As far as older goes, the U.S. Military took on adult dogs, during WW II, to train for a variety of tasks. Not all passed the prerequisite tests, but 14 weeks later, those who did went to war. I've taken dogs that other people were just about ready to shoot, and they've turned out to be acceptable to fine, dogs.
All dogs are capable of learning basic obedience and some advanced tasks, no matter what the age or breed of the dog(note that proficiency may be another matter). But there are always certain limitations, whether an older dog or a very trainable puppy. These limits are dictated by the breed itself. For example, both a German Shepherd and a Rottweiler can herd and guard livestock, but a Rottweiler will never be able to clear near the height that a German Shepherd is capable of clearing. Likewise, though a German Shepherd was originally a herder and guard of sheep, the Rottweiler's heavier build better equip that dog to herd and drive cattle.
That is why it is important to obtain the breed of dog which possesses the abilities and characteristics which are suited for your particular purpose. Incidentally, the original purpose and uses of many breeds will likely surprise you, if you start looking into that area of dog knowledge.
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EACH TASK COVERS A WIDE ARRAY OF METHOD & TECHNIQUE, AND SETS THE STAGE FOR MORE ADVANCED, PROFESSIONAL AND/OR SPECIALIZED TRAINING. NO MATTER WHAT YOUR DOG IS GOING TO BE USED FOR, BASIC OBEDIENCE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT.
THE TWO MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A PET/WORKING DOG AND A PROFESSIONAL WORKING DOG, IS THAT WHEREAS A PET/WORKING DOG MAY DO EVERYTHING THAT A PROFESSIONAL WORKING DOG DOES, A PRO WORKING DOG NEEDS TO HAVE MORE DETAILED SKILLS WHICH PERTAIN TO HIS SPECIALTY INGRAINED (PREFERABLY WHILE YOUNG, FOR QUICKEST RESULTS LATER), AND; A PROFESSIONAL WORKING DOG NEEDS TO BE MORE PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY CONDITIONED, FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE LEVELS AND FULL RELIABILITY UNDER ALL POSSIBLE CIRCUMSTANCES. BUT NEVER WRITE A DOG OFF REGARDLESS OF AGE OR TEMPERAMENT.
OBVIOUSLY, A PROFESSIONAL WORKING DOG HAS MORE DETAILED SKILLS THAN A DOG WHICH IS ONLY A PET, BUT, AS AN EXAMPLE, A CATTLE DOG OR A PROTECTION DOG CAN BE BOTH A PROFESSIONAL DOG AND A PET. A PET/WORKING DOG, SUCH AS A PERSONAL PROTECTION DOG, MAY HAVE THE SAME SKILLS AND BE AS ABLE, AS A POLICE GUARD DOG, BUT THE PASS/FAIL LINE BETWEEN MAKING A POLICE DOG OR NOT CAN BE FINE, MAYBE NOT EVEN NOTICEABLE TO MOST PEOPLE, BUT THAT DOG CAN STILL BE AN EXCELLENT PERSONAL PROTECTION DOG. ANOTHER EXAMPLE IS, A GREAT HUNTING DOG MAY BE A FLOP AT SHOWS, BUT MAY STILL OUT HUNT THE GRAND CHAMPION. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PASS & FAIL DEPENDS UPON WHAT EACH INDIVIDUAL INTENDS TO USE HIS DOG FOR.
Backyard Dog Training teaches the owner to train their dog in basic obedience on & off leash, practical advanced tasks on & off leash (some of which reinforce/enhance the watchdog instinct), fetch & basic tracking, behavior modification & proper corrections, multiple dogs at once, domination training, sentry duty and guard duty (certain mimimum prerequisites must be met to qualify for guard duty training, including financial liability and specific obedience tasks).
If you are unable to do the training, I will train your dog for you, provided that you are willing to learn a few basics of handling a dog, if you are unfamiliar with that.
Backyard Dog Training's motto is NO DOG UNTRAINABLE and has had much success with unmanageable, unruly, obnoxious and untrainable dogs (so called).
I originally named this business Backyard Dog Training, and it is on record with the I.R.S. as such, because no matter where you may take your dog to train him, or whom else may train your dog for you, your home (generally your own yard) is where the majority of the interaction between you and your dog takes place.