Copyright 2013. Slee Canine Training & Security. All rights reserved.
Type your paragraph here.
A Listing and Description of Tasks With Which to Enhance Your Canine's Security Potential, Creating a Nearly Foolproof Guard or Sentry
THIS IS A SECTION DEVOTED TO TRAINING TASKS AND INFORMATION WHICH ENHANCE THE GUARD OR WATCH DUTY INSTINCT IN YOUR DOG, AND HELPS IN ALL AROUND TRAINING EVEN FOR THOSE DOGS WHICH WILL NEVER BE USED FOR ANY KIND OF WATCH OR GUARD DUTY. AS A MATTER OF FACT, IF YOU WANT A DOG WHICH WON’T PERFORM THOSE DUTIES, MANY OF THE ITEMS IN THIS SECTION WILL HELP ACHIEVE THAT END AS WELL. IN THE “SECURITY DOGS” SECTION, YOU WILL FIND OVER 60 BREEDS OF DOGS WHICH CAN BE USED FOR WATCH AND/OR GUARD DUTY. IF A TOTALLY PASSIVE DOG IS WHAT YOU NEED, THEN YOU MAY NOT WANT TO CHOOSE ANY OF THESE BREEDS, ALTHOUGH, THERE ARE BREEDS WHICH WILL ATTACK EVEN A BEAR TO PROTECT YOU OR YOUR LIVESTOCK, YET ARE VERY GENTLE, PREDICTABLE AND RELIABLE WITH CHILDREN. IF YOU HAVE A DOG WHICH HAS BEEN FULLY TRAINED IN GUARD/WATCH DUTY, YOU MAY FIND TASKS HERE WHICH THE DOG HASN’T BEEN TAUGHT, WHICH WILL FURTHER ENHANCE OR REINFORCE THAT TRAINING. THERE ARE MANY FINE TUNING POINTS WHICH MANY TRAINERS PROBABLY OVERLOOK, WHICH, IF EXPLOITED BY THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT, MAKE ALL THE TRAINING IN THE WORLD ABSOLUTELY USELESS AND A WASTE OF TIME. THIS IS NOT A SECTION ON BITE WORK, BUT THE TRAINING INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS PAGE IS JUST AS CRUCIAL AS THE BITE WORK ITSELF, AND WITHOUT ACTUAL BITE WORK BEING DONE, THESE TASKS AND TIPS WILL MAKE ANY DOG A BETTER WATCH AND/OR GUARD DOG. OTHER TIPS ARE ALL AROUND, DOG RELATED SECURITY TIPS. BACKYARD DOG TRAINING RECOMMENDS KNOWLEDGE OF LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS PERTAINING TO HOME, PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL SECURITY/PROTECTION.
ALWAYS CONSULT WITH/USE A PROFESSIONAL TRAINER WHOM IS FAMILIAR WITH THE LAWS IN YOUR AREA FOR ANY TRAINING WHICH COULD BE RISKY OR HAZARDOUS.
1. DOMINATION TRAINING-This is a task which, when properly done, will put the dog under your direct control, in his mind as well as yours.
The first thing which should be done when obtaining a dog, whether a puppy, a young dog or an adult, is to instill within him that you are his master, and control every major aspect of his life. Even though the whole picture contributes to that; affection, care, training, manners, discipline and understanding, there is one task which gets the whole idea of the human being the master, firmly ingrained in the dog’s mind.
This task simply entails putting the dog onto the ground into a prone position, and making him stay there until he quits resisting, relaxes and is comfortable. Put your body over top of his, but of course, do not put any more weight on him than it takes to hold him down. The idea is not to harm him in any way, but to make him understand that you are the master, and can physically immobilize him. This goes along with the natural mind set of the dog, which may have originally sprang from the wolf, although some scientists have evidence to support the theory that the wolf was not the only original canine. Dogs of today could be a mixture of the wolf, dingo, coyote, jackal and/or some other wild dog. So there are some varying characteristics. In a wolf, coyote or wild dog pack, each member has a rank on the proverbial totem pole, and a specific function within that pack. Each animal knows that it is subject to a higher ranking member’s wishes, and that idea is taught from birth. A certain amount of the ranking evolves naturally, but unless the top dog, every dog will bow to another’s wishes. The top dog himself is subject to authority, that being the responsibility of caring for the rest of the pack, his decisions being the result of that responsibility. When a lower member gets out of line, they are dealt with harshly by an animal above him, including biting and maybe death. For these reasons, all canines expect to be under subjection.
When you do this, the dog realizes that you can immobilize him, which also means to him, somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind, that you can destroy him. It is no different than us humans, say, when we lose a fight, or observe how strong, tough, and an excellent fighter someone is, perhaps a martial arts instructor. We either know that the other person can dominate us, or find out that he can, and respect that person on account of it. Linked together with affection, care, manners, training, discipline and leisure time, the dog learns that you will not harm him, only that you can. If this technique sounds rather medieval, that’s because it is, since we’re dealing with an animal which has been around longer than man has, and has a “medieval” frame of mind. Some dogs are like some humans, always trying to be the big dog, so this task may need to be repeated from time to time, maybe frequently. But after a while, the need will disappear.
Domination training will likely not produce instantly visible results, but over a short amount of time, the fruit of that labor will begin to appear. You could liken it to a human beginning an exercise regimen of one sort or another. The results of working out will not be instantly noticeable, and for the first few days, there is usually some discomfort and soreness, but after a short amount of time, you will feel better and others will notice the subtle change in you (note: you should not do the task in such a manner so as to make the dog sore, but it may make the dog a bit awkward for a few days or so, depending upon the dog, because if much older than a puppy, being subdued in such a manner will be a new experience for him. When one of us humans lose a fight, we might expect for the other guy to keep beating on us, and when he doesn’t, we respect him more. The idea is not to break the dog’s spirit, but rather to harness it. Just like “breaking” a horse before you can control and safely ride him).
This technique works especially well in conjunction with the word no, and may need to be used not only more than once, but in various situations for a very stubborn & rebellious dog. If the dog wants to fight other dogs, give a sharp, firm NO, and immediately put him down and hold him there until he submits.
This will not make the dog submissive to others, but will make it easier to train him to listen to you, the master, and only you (and perhaps other members of the family, or one or two others of your choosing, in case of emergency or sickness).
All this said, because DOMINATION TRAINING puts the dog under your subjection, it will make it much easier to train your dog, especially when it comes to off leash work.
2. FOOD CONTROL-There is a lot to be said on this subject, and I don’t know how much emphasis other trainers put on this area, but it is extremely important. There is more than one category pertaining to this issue, so I will put a subtitle over each.
FEEDING THE DOG
Who feeds your dog, and what is he fed? One answer to each question is probably, and obviously, you the master, and commercial dog food.
In a wild pack, every member is a contributor to the supply of food, in one way or another. Since your dog probably does not have to hunt for food, that makes you have to shoulder that responsibility. Again, in a wild wolf pack, the pack leader decides when everybody eats. Since the higher members eat first, on down to the lowest, in order, that means that there is some waiting involved, thus discipline. With the wild Dingoes of Australia, the hunters eat as soon as a kill is made, then run back to the dens and puke the food up, in order that the pups can eat first, then go hunt some more. The pups do not go on their first hunt until several months old. The coyotes hunt in packs, and eat a lot of small game, so it may be more of a kill your own food deal with them, but they also share. And there are scout dogs, which go out ahead of the pack to search for prime food areas. No matter which canine it is, there is a certain amount of not only stalking and waiting, but also a nature mandated policy of work to eat, or in other words, earn their keep. I showed these things in order to enable you to better understand the nature of your dog in this area. I do not believe that all dogs are descended from the wolf, because some dogs show variations of wolf behavior and not all dogs have the same tooth/other bone structure as the wolf. Most basic characteristics are similar to the wolf, but there are some variations, even between members of the same species, which differences would have gradually evolved over time, due to the animals being in different environments. For these reasons, I suggest patterning training methods as though you were training a wolf, because that is the standard measure, yet watch for and analyze variations in behavior traits, and adjust training methods accordingly. One example is the jackal, which has characteristics similar to a wolf, but not exactly so. A canine is a canine, but there are some differences. It’s like a human is a human, but some are white, some red, some black, some have round eyes, some have slanted eyes, and behavior traits vary, though the basics are all the same.
2A. FEEDER DISCRIMINATION-Primarily, only you, the master, should ever feed your dog. Secondarily, you should have a couple of other very trusted people whom can feed your dog, in case you should ever be temporarily incapacitated, such as an illness or vacation. In the worst case scenario, should you ever have to find a new home for your dog, or if you should die, someone needs to be able to feed your dog. It has been documented, that a dog has went 2-3 weeks and has had to be force fed by strangers, because they were so loyal to a deceased owner, or because the owner went on an extended vacation. This is of the utmost importance for a guard/watch dog. More than once I’ve read or heard about a place being robbed, because someone fed the dog, which befriended the dog, killed the dog, or put the dog to sleep for awhile. Other than poison, the worst thing I’ve heard about happening, is someone grinding up glass into almost a sand like material, and mixing it in with hamburger. Apparently it is a slow, painful death for the dog.
2B. EAT ON COMMAND-For an extra security and control feature, your dog should eat only upon command, even with his food bowl sitting right in front of him. You can train this task so well, that you place his bowl full of food in front of him, go do other things for 45 minutes or more, and when you return, he has not yet touched his food. Since dogs like to eat, training in this area can help produce an extremely loyal, obedient, devoted and disciplined canine. Every control feature ingrained into your dog, helps with the overall picture of training and discipline. Once you attain to this, you should be able to train your dog to do absolutely anything which that breed of dog is capable of doing.
2C. FOOD LOCATION DISCRIMINATION-Your dog should eat only out of his bowl, and not pick food up off of the ground to eat. If you want to be very particular, you can train your dog to also eat out of his bowl only when it is in a certain spot. Some breeds are so inclined to follow a pattern, that they have a tendency to automatically not eat unless the bowl is in a certain spot anyway, if so be that you almost always put it in a certain spot.
2D. FOOD TYPE DISCRIMINATION-If you want, your dog can be trained to eat only certain foods, such as either dry or moist dog food, or a certain diet if you feed natural foods off the table. In the VETERINARY GUIDE book by G.W. Stamm (listed under the Dog Books section-look under menu on the home page), there is a diet and proportions, consisting of human foods. I recommend training them to eat only from the master, and still allow a variety of foods. One reason is, if you run out of dry/moist dog food and don’t have the time or money, for a day or two, to go to the store, your dog can still eat. I like to mix natural foods in with the regular dog food, and I may start my dogs on an all natural diet one of these days. Our first family dog my family had when growing up, was fed both dry dog food, and a lot of table scraps, as we lived on a farm and grew our own vegetables, plus butchered our own cattle and hogs. That dog, Lady, was a mixed breed dog, healthy as anything or anybody, and lived to be 14 going on 15. My Grandpa actually had her put down, she didn’t die, because she was nearly blind and just couldn’t get around because of it. But she was still fairly mobile.
Another thing which can be very important, is to train your dog to refrain from drinking any liquid which is not 100% pure water or milk (or either of those which is not pure excepting certain supplements, protein mixes, etc), especially antifreeze or anything else which could poison your dog or make him sick or knock him out. Simply lace the water with the forbidden substances, one at a time, let the dog sniff it, and just before starting to lap it up, yell, stomp, make a loud, startling noise, etc., right after giving a sharp, firm, angry NO! Make sure he refrains, and immediately give the dog praise, encouragement and some affection, for obeying your command to refrain. Give the dog several chances to go up to the bowl, each time making sure he doesn’t drink, and always praise for a refrain. And just as important, as soon as that training is done, give the dog some fresh, pure drink, and let him drink, so that he knows that the error is in drinking anything with the smell of the forbidden substance. When the dog drinks the pure stuff, praise and pet.
Something that is probably always overlooked, is to train the dog to not eat bodily excrement from a cat. To a dog, that is a tasty snack, they love it. Cats can eat things which will kill a dog, and it is possible that a dog could get sick or even die after eating that “snack”. Not only that, but someone could lace cat waste with a toxin, in order to kill/incapacitate your dog, so as to be able to rob your place, or maybe just to spite you. Criminals are getting smarter all the time, especially the younger ones, so it pays to pay attention to small, but important, details. As the saying goes, it’s the little foxes that spoiled the vine.
2E. MEAL TIME-For the utmost watchfulness, feed your dog once a day, and in the morning, if you want your dog to be the most alert and watchful at night. If he is plenty watchful/alert with a full belly, and there’s a chance that an intruder/would be burglar/assailant may be able to feed your dog (such as while he is in training not to accept food from others), you may want to feed him a small portion right before his watch duty period begins. You will have to experiment some in order to find the right combination of meal times/amounts.
2F. FOOD REFUSAL-For the utmost reliability of a guard/watch dog, train him to refuse food from anybody except you, the master, other members of the immediate family, and 1 or 2 very trusted people outside of the immediate family. This will make the dog a better guard dog in several ways: it will make the dog more wary of strangers, or anybody whom is less than a regular, frequent visitor. It will not make the dog more apt to bite, just make the dog more wary. It may make the dog more apt to bark, but a dog which is going to bite, will probably bite no matter how much a stranger feeds it. I once found a dog wandering around Wabash, about 20 years ago, a German Shepherd or something similar, which was lost and apparently unable to quickly find his way home. I led him around by the collar and asked around, finally finding the owner’s home. I remarked that he must not be a very good guard dog, whereupon the owner smiled and, after putting the dog on his chain and saying something to the dog, said to me, “Go over & pet him now”. I started over there, and the dog bared his teeth and growled, whereas before, he had been friendly and appreciative of me taking him home. I’ve never forgotten that. Saying this, you might think it doesn’t matter whether or not another person can feed your dog. But training food refusal also gives you more control over your dog, making him much more obedient to you. And if other people can’t feed your dog, that means that they also cannot incapacitate your dog thru poisons, sleeping potions or by making friends with your dog. This will help prevent many a home burglary/home invasion. I have heard of people grinding glass into near powder, mixing it with hamburger and giving it to a dog, causing the dog a slow, painful death. There are also sick people in the world whom like to watch things die.
A variation of that is to train your dog to not pick food up off of the ground and eat it. That could be especially important if your guard dog is a patrol dog. Besides being poisoned, your dog could get sick if they eat the wrong thing. This training is a very viable control feature. Incidentally, while in the process of this, it is also important to train the dog not to eat cat excrement, a tasty treat to a dog, quite ironically. It could be laced with poison, plus, a cat can eat things which makes dogs sick.
Another variation of food refusal is to train your dog to wait to gobble down his food, until you tell him he can. This is another effective control feature. I remember an episode of Magnum P.I., in which Higgins grounded Magnum to the estate property, enforcing it via the two Doberman Pinschers. If I remember correctly, Magnum tried to bribe them with food but failed. A buddy of mine had a Doberman for a family dog. Amongst other things, she wouldn’t eat until she was told she could eat, waiting as long as 45 minutes, sitting in front of her food bowl, licking her chops.
Not only should this be trained with food, but with water as well. Lace the water with antifreeze and other poisons, one at a time, letting the dog smell it, but not allowing him to drink. I also train mine not to drink out of mud puddles which do or may contain oil from the road, fluids from vehicles, etc. Very important.
A 24 hour emergency veterinary poison hotline is 888-426-4435, and accessible at www.aspca.org/apcc. A book called Dog Owner’s Veterinary Guide, by G.W. Stamm, Distributed by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 122 East 25th Street, New York 10, copyright 1952, has a great section on poison remedies. Milk will work for antifreeze, if caught in time, perhaps for other poisons, by diluting the toxin within the bloodstream.
These tasks will: let you exercise more control over your dog; make the dog more wary of strangers whom try to feed the dog; keep your dog from either being poisoned or made into a friend by intruders/burglars; cause your dog to be more loyal, obedient, devoted, watchful and easier to train.
3. Whether you have one dog or several, if you keep a dog outside, anytime that the dog is not on the chain, put the end of the chain inside the doghouse, especially when out on a walk, gone to town, or in for the night, so that anyone whom is around will think that the dog is inside the dog house.
4. If you have two or more dogs which are kept outside, switch them back and forth between dog houses either occasionally or frequently, however is needful. Doing that will make them more alert and watchful. Dogs, like us humans, have a tendency to become complacent if following the exact same routine day after day. A way to keep the dog(s) on their toes and keep them in the same house or spot, is to have friends or neighbors sneak around your property from time to time, making unusual noises, walking up towards the dog suspiciously, etc., when you are there, just to refresh the watch/guard instinct. You always want to be there, so that you can reinforce certain commands, such as when the dog is to stop barking or calm down, and to praise the dog for being aware, noticing the “intrusion”, and alerting you to the presence of an “intruder”. The best professional guard dogs are constantly refreshed by the handler using helpers acting like an intruder or assailant.
5. Make police reports anytime that you learn of someone teasing or antagonizing your dog, or showing up on the premises when you are gone and feeding or making friends with your dog. The teasing (agitating) can ultimately cause an unnecessary dog bite on an innocent person, causing you problems with the law, and the feeding/making friends with your dog is often a forerunner of a theft, break-in, or some other type of mischief. Making a report can save you a lot of legal hassles in the future. If it’s logged it can be referred to if need be.
6. BOUNDARY TRAINING-Training your dog to stay within certain property lines, whether it’s your whole property or a portion of it, does several things, all important. Since dogs are territorial, it shows the dog more clearly what belongs to you and/or what your domain is, which also becomes his domain. This, in turn, will make him more protective of both you and your property/domain, which makes him more wary/aware of intruders. Training this properly and fully will make it less likely that the dog will go out into the street and bite someone (consult your local laws/ordinances for what is acceptable within the confines of your property). This makes it less likely that the dog will chase anyone/anything off of the property and get hit by a car. This training also keeps the dog off of other people’s property, which helps keep your neighbors and other people in the community happy with you. This task does the same thing as the invisible fences, and even with the invisible fence, some traditional training such as described is still necessary. A dog can jump thru the invisible line of electricity. I have an electric collar, which is nice for certain tasks, but a device should never be a replacement for solid, traditional training methods & technique, but rather as an aid/enhancement, for the utmost in performance potential. With certain dogs, such as the Norwegion Elkhound, which is a long range elk hunter, an invisible fence is probably needful, but in addition to training.
7. BARK DISTINCTION-Learn what your dog’s various barks, whines, growls, grunts and other sounds mean. For example, some barks are to alert the household of a visitor, while another bark is to warn of potential danger. Some whines indicate that the dog is having a problem, such as being cold, too hot, sore from an injury, etc. Some whines mean that the dog wants some attention from you, while other whines mean that the dog is full of energy and wants to go do something, while yet another whine is a forerunner of a chase or attack. Some growls mean for a stranger to go no closer, while another growl is saying he wants to rough house & romp. There are many sounds that a dog makes, and each of them mean something a little or a lot different than another.
8. Accustom your dog to loud, unexpected noises, such as firecrackers, gunfire, the backfire of an engine, loud exhaust, noises of farm/other machinery and the like. It keeps the dog from becoming timid when it is around those noises. You can teach them that certain things which make noise can harm them, and to stay a safe distance away, yet still condition them to not be afraid of the noises. Accustom your dog to various types of people, especially people whom are loud and boisterous and particularly those whom make a lot of body movements when they talk. If you don’t, your dog may take certain things as a sign of hostility/threats from certain people, and react in a guard mode when not necessary. That is one reason why guard type dogs sometimes attack a member or friend of the family; a couple of people start play fighting or rough housing, and the dog does what comes natural. It’s not the dog’s fault at all. It’s the people’s fault, for not becoming informed of the breed’s characteristics. People (smart people) don’t buy machinery or guns, and start using them without reading up on how to use the equipment safely and what the hazards are, yet most people don’t take time to learn about the dog. You can get around that training if you have good enough control over your dog, but it’s usually necessary in order to obtain that good of control over your dog. I’ve seen dogs who would fall over each other to get even a visitor’s attention, but when the owner said a certain word, you would stay glued to the spot that you’re at, and froze in the position in which you are, until the owner commanded the dog(s) to be nice again. Depending upon the application, you may not want the dog to get used to irregular body movements. I heard of one large Doberman in particular, whom was used by a cop in Kokomo, Indiana, to break up barroom brawls. They say that the dog would do most of it by itself, lining all of the subjects up against a wall and making them stay there while the cops finished breaking up the fights. This is something you would decide upon with your professional trainer. A friend of mine had a family dog, a female Doberman, whom was trained to go into a crowd, locate anyone whom had a knife or gun, and disarm/subdue/ detain the suspect. In a situation like that, there would likely be a lot of frenzied movement by bystanders, attempting to get out of the way of the assailant(s), so the dog would need to be trained to discern dangerous movements/positions/stances from harmless ones. An older friend of mine used to help a former sheriff’s dept. deputy train his German Shepherds. If you were running or acting hostile/suspicious, the dog would go for you. But if you stopped what you were doing and just stood there, the dog would not harm you, but rather he would either circle around you or wait and watch, looking for the first sign of continued aggression or hostility. Joe said he’d wait until the dog had his back to him, then smack Rich, the cop, then just stand there with his hands in his pockets. It drove the dog nuts, but he never bit Joe during that mode of training. Actual bite work with a sleeve is an entirely different matter. ALWAYS REMEMBER-A DOG CAN DETECT EVEN THE FAINTEST SIGN OF HOSTILITY, EVEN IF NOTHING VISIBLE IS APPARENT, FAR BETTER THAN A HUMAN CAN. They may not always show that they know, but they know. This is especially important to remember when around certain dogs, such as a Doberman Pinscher. Ones that attack do not always give any indication that they’re going to attack, no bark, no growl, no snarl, they just do it.
9. ROUNDHOUSE-Training your dog to run/trot around a building on command is a very useful security task for home security, security guard work, police work and other security oriented duties. They can be trained to run around a building in either direction, at a fast pace or a slow pace, hugging the building or at a certain distance away from the building, all the way around or part way around, and then stop and wait. You can train them to go around fast, or to hunt for intruders as they go. They can be trained to do whichever is needful. If needed, one could be trained to go partway around a building, and then stop & wait, or go partway around, turn around & come back. The possibilities are many.
9A. Home, Personal, & Professional Security/Safety-There are many applications for this task in home security, that I can think of. You may think of others, or alter some of these to suit your own situation and needs. Note that certain breeds of dogs have particular attributes within them, which, when using the right breed of dog, and coupling that breed’s attributes with the right type of training and tasks, his abilities can be taylor made to specifically fit your needed application. Note also, that any professional training task can be used for home security and vice versa.
If you think that someone may be sneaking around the house or some other building, the dog can be sent around to investigate, and either scare or apprehend the intruder. One dog which would be a good choice for either violent or non-violent intruders is the Bull Mastiff. They are good at putting a man down onto the ground and holding him there until the master arrives, without harming the person, unless they really need to. A Bull Mastiff can take severe blows from a club wielded by a strong man. They are good patrollers/guard dogs, and make fine pets. The Doberman Pinscher was bred to be a guard dog, and according to reports, has been trained to patrol certain perimeters continually, all on their own, and possess excellent night vision. Maybe you just need your dog to do a quick run around in the evening before going in for the night, to make sure everything’s secure. Dogs can be trained to alert you if they notice something wrong such as a gate not latched, a door ajar, livestock out, a strange vehicle sitting, etc. Security guards may have trouble with mischievous kids or partiers hanging out in unauthorized places, whom run at the sight of a human. A dog can outrun a human and could be taught to detain either an individual or a group, without harming them, or simply scare them off. I’ve heard of Australian Shepherds whom, at family gatherings or such, would herd the children into a tight group, part of their natural instinct. I’ve read of Doberman’s (and I’m sure other breeds) being trained to patrol an area or building, and upon seeing an intruder, rather than attacking, running to a certain place and pushing a button which sends a silent alarm to the police or other security personnel. There is a breed which will suit every purpose. A police officer responding to a break in or burglary sees the suspects run around a building to escape. He could send the dogs around one way, and himself go the other, and sandwich them in. Notice that I said dogs. I heard a story awhile back in Wabash County, where an officer was attempting to serve a warrant and the guy ran out the back door and into a woods. The German Shepherd was sent in after him and did catch him, but the guy was over 6 feet tall and around 270 pounds, all muscle. The guy killed the dog with his bare hands and got away. Two dogs would likely have nailed him, or perhaps a dog of heavier build, such as the Rottweiler, Bull Mastiff, Komondor, Great Pyranees, Kuvasz, Bouvier de Flandre and others. Security work entails more than just problems with humans. Dogs which are livestock herders could be taught to go around a fenced in area in order to look for livestock which has gotten out, and herd them back. Quite a few dogs can guard/herd livestock against both human and animal, and perform guard duty of the premises as well, such as the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Shetland Sheepdog, Old English Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, the Briard and others. Maybe you have a Newfoundland and a drowning person is on the opposite side of a pond. The dog could probably run around the pond quicker than swimming across it, and could certainly do so quicker than you. What if the quickest path to an avalanche victim is too precarious for a human but not for a dog, and a big circle around is that path due to danger of a bigger avalanche occurring? Send the dog. A police officer(s) responding to a call with several culprits all dashing off in different directions could send several dogs each in a different direction, around buildings, ponds, woods, groups of cars, etc., and stand a better chance of catching them all. The possibilities are many. It just takes the right dogs for the application and the right training. These are just a few examples of uses, and there are many, many others. Just be creative, do some research, get the right dog, and roll up your sleeves.
10. HEEL TO WALK (SLOW)-When training your dog heel to walk, train him to walk at all speeds, of course, but also to walk slowly, such as if you were window shopping, just dawdling along. Not only is this practical, such as for window shopping or when coming to a patch of ice, but it has security implications, and is in line with a dog’s nature. A dog, as well as a cat, when stalking prey in order to get close enough to pounce and grab, will slowly stalk, sometimes only a step every few seconds to a minute or more. How does this involve security? For one thing, when on a security patrol, seeing as how the dog(s) is your partner, you surely don’t want your partner to rush thru the brush or dash for the culprit too soon, alerting them to your presence and enabling them to get away, obviously..So when you have to sneak, the dog needs to sneak. This could be a matter of life or death for a cop on a drug or gun raid, or for a homeowner whom has snuck up on some trespassers, only to find that they are discussing breaking into the house and robbing it, killing if necessary. Numerous possibilities. If you couple training your dog to stalk slowly, with sound/movement discrimination training (discerning what sounds/human movements are suspicious and coming from potentially dangerous sources), you could possibly, with the right dog, have a dog to be feared by even the ninjas themselves. Seeing as how Bull Mastiffs patrolled for and apprehended poachers by themselves, German Shepherds have excelled in guide dogs for the blind, Dobermans have spotted snipers & alerted the handler silently, Saint Bernards save the snowbound all by their lonesome, and the Dalmation can pull loads, herd sheep, stand guard, track & point, retrieve, catch rats, calm horses, clear the road for horses, and protect horse, coach and people, there are dogs which can be trained to probably even spank a ninja. By training in a stalking mode and with people helping, acting as culprits and making various sounds & motions, that automatically gives the dog the extra wariness and disciplined agility it needs to be as stealthy as a cat, and the sixth sense it needs to determine when it needs to be that way. The mind set of a dog (an adult) when teaching this, and other tasks, is comparable to a 5 or 6 year old child (mental capacity). A child naturally runs & plays with the other children, but when playing hide & seek with the other children, the one seeking cannot find nor catch the other ones by running around at full speed. But when you teach the child to be sneaky, walking slowly and crouching, or in a tiptoe manner, he gets the correct mindset. Thus it is with a dog.
11. SPOTTER-Spotting is in a bit different category than the watch dog mode. Spotting infers to a longer distance than just the immediate vicinity around the house/farm. Watch duty is being alert for intruders/predators which can be immediately dealt with. Spotting would be something such as, you have a herd of sheep in a pasture. The watch duty is done by the dogs which are close to the flock, keeping them herded together, constantly looking around for any predator/rustler which can be confronted after a short dash, and which is already past the point of just scoping out the herd (or house). That predator is nearly ready to charge & attack. The Dobermans which spotted snipers in the Philipines during World War II were probably fairly long range workers, scouring the area out to around 400-500 yards or less. They would have looked for humans/movement in trees and brush, went so close, crawled even closer, and silently indicated to the handler where the sniper was hidden, the handler staying well out of range/view of the sniper and watching the dog thru field glasses. If I were training the dog, I’d teach him to make one movement if a firearm were detected, and some other movement if none were. There’s no doubt it can be done. Instead of one word meaning for the dog to do one action, and another word meaning for the dog to do a different action, in this case, when the dog noticed a weapon, he’d make a certain movement, and when he detected none, but did notice an enemy, he’d make a different movement. That may sound far fetched, and/or it may be a bit advanced for most practical applications, but I know it can be consistently taught. The guide dogs for the blind are taught to orchestrate various actions for far more subtle things it detects than what I’m describing. And part of what compels a dog is what it’s sixth sense discerns. Dogs and other animals have a far more acute sixth sense than we humans. I use to hunt groundhog on a regular basis. There have been times, I’d be out in a bean field walking around unarmed, and get within 10 feet of a very wary, adult groundhog, which would just sit on it’s haunches and look at me, almost mocking me. I’d be out later, armed, against the wind, and that same groundhog wouldn’t let me get within 80 yards of him before he’d go hide. And that was me being very sneaky, crawling & staying hidden. Dogs have just as an acute sixth sense.
Two dogs in particular which would make good spotters, in addition to the Doberman, are the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Afghan Hound, both of which have excellent eyesight, and can hunt by sight.
12. Learn what the various stances and postures mean. A lowered head and tail tucked between the legs means submission, but doesn’t mean that the dog won’t bite. An abused dog will do this, but may still bite when approached. That posture does not always indicate abuse, however. It could mean that he has been disciplined a bit harshly, either verbally or physically. It could mean that he has done something wrong, and knows or thinks that you already know about it, and is kissing up to you. Both wolves and coyotes are that way when crossing another pack’s domain, seeking permission to continue on their way.
I’ve known of dogs which, when the hair on their neck stood up, were just very wary, not being ready to attack. But if the hair all along their back stood up, watch out. A dog with a low, slinky posture, slowly walking towards another dog or a human, is going to either bite the other, steal some food or an object, maybe both. Two dogs pacing in a circle and watching each other means that unless one gives in, a fight is about to occur. I watched our family dog and a groundhog do this when I was about 9 years old, in between a terrible fight. They would fight for a while, then back off a few paces to rest. Then they’d get up and pace in a circle until one or the other attacked. A dog standing stiff legged, wearing a bright eyed, benign expression with loose lips, watching another dog or human, is wanting to play. A dog standing stiff legged with tensed muscles, wearing a glare, with tightly drawn lips, staring at another dog or human, is getting ready to attack as soon as a move is made by the quarry, if that move is anything other than backing off or being submissive.
A dog which is wanting to mate another dog will place his chin on the other dog’s back and root around that dog’s neck with his snout. A dog which wants to subdue, maybe kill, another dog will come up from behind like that also, but will go for a bite to the neck, right at the base of the skull. Both of these things may occur with the same two dogs, at different times, depending upon the dog’s attitude.
These are just a few examples that I can think of. It pays to study your dog and his characteristics, habits, mannerisms, etc. If you don’t own a dog, but are in an area where there are dogs, it still pays to learn certain things about dogs, for your own safety.
The reason that it is important to learn what the various stances & postures mean, is that it enables you to know what a dog is saying, thus either adding to security or even avoiding unnecessary conflict with other dogs.
13. It is important to note, that if you have 2 or more dogs which will fight each other, and it’s usually over a bone, food, quarters or attention from you, that if you have established a proper foundation of affection/training/discipline with each dog, let another dog or a human trespass on their domain or become a threat to you, the master, and your dogs will forget about their differences amongst each other, momentarily, and band together to drive out the intruder. An experienced helper with a sleeve or bite suit can use this to your advantage, by being an intruder, causing your dogs to band together, and with enough of this kind of training (coupled with other disciplinary training), help you to get your dogs to get along better with each other. Three of my six dogs will fight either of the other two at the drop of a hat, and if I left those three in a pen and left, there would probably be two dead and one injured when I got back. Two things to note about that: one, I don’t let them fight, and because of my training, they know it displeases me, although I have had to pull them apart a few times; two, when out in the field training/playing, they get along well, because there is no domain issue. They’re not perfect, and I’d never leave any two of those three together and go to work or shopping, but I am pleased with the results I’ve obtained, especially since all are males and not neutered, one is a Doberman(a very dominant breed to begin with), one is 10 years old, the original of those six, and half Lab, half Rottweiler, and the other is a half crazy (but loveable to people) Chocolate Lab mix.
14. When choosing a location for the dog’s home, pretend like you’re someone who is checking out your place for a burglary or assault, both in the daytime and at night; have some friends do the same & give you some tips. Put the dog in a strategic spot. If he barks at the neighbors, put him out of their view until you can train him in bark control. If he won’t yet refuse food from strangers, it would be best to keep him close to the door in a lighted area when you’re asleep, or even inside. Note that even though I place much importance on food refusal, a dog which is in the guard mode, raised hackles, growling, focused on the disturbance, is like a human when in or about to get in a fight; the thought for food is nowhere in the mind, so during those moments, the problem with food is probably non existent. I have also seen dogs which, when aroused, alert & wary, would eat something that an intruder or stranger gave it, but would still go after them if they got too close. I’ve had more than one dog which certain people were scared of, and tried to make friends with when I wasn’t there. Those people you cannot trust. If they were sincere, and had any business near your place to begin with, they would approach you up front, and try to work out the problem. You can have a friend agitate your dog during aggression training, and then afterwards have the dog stay calm to be petted for a moment or two by them. Keep in mind also that, especially in town, if you have a younger, inexperienced guard type dog which could nail a mischievous kid or a friendly neighbor kid, you need to let your neighbors know not to get around the dog when you are away, and only with your permission when you are, and only when the dog is supervised by you. I’ve seen kids (and adults) whom would initially be nice to a dog, but would mistreat the dog if the dog didn’t warm up to them. A guard dog should be treated/handled in the same mind set as a firearm.
15. When out on walks with your dog, with him either on leash or off leash, and he looks and then intently stares at something (which you may or may not see), maybe stopping, instead of yanking him along or scolding him for not heeling, encourage it by letting him watch, and even use words such as “watch ‘em” or whatever word you want to use. If the dog is on alert, there could be something wrong. More often than not it is an animal or some people engaged in an activity which has caught the dog’s attention. By encouraging this, you are helping to enhance the dog’s watch and/or guard instinct. Once the dog responds to your choice of word, by going on the alert, you can get him to go on the alert by giving him that command, in conjunction with what or whom ever you want the dog to be wary of. To actually start the process of getting the dog to link going on the alert and/or barking, with a command, the suspicious object can be anything at all which puts the dog into that mode, a “hostile” buddy, a suspicious car, a cat, or even a weed waving in the wind. If it’s something common, like a cat, you ought to get the command ingrained quickly on various objects, then wean the dog off of barking at the cat or other common nuisance right away, or you’ll have annoyed neighbors and/or frazzled nerves. Once that is taught, you can get the dog to ignore even whatever originally made him to go on the alert, if need be. If the dog barks at certain things anyway, which many do, such as a cat, simply give your command as the cat approaches, praise him when he barks or goes to alert, quiet him down, and after a few repetitions of that, have a friend approach and give the dog the command, agitating as need be. The real trick is getting the dog to bark at one thing but not another. If you over correct for barking when he should be quiet, it can be hard to get him to bark at something that you want him to bark at.
When training to heel, the command heel means for the dog to walk at and remain by, your side at all times, not stopping to “window shop” or whatever. So if you want to enhance the watch/guard instinct, there has to be some give and take. I don’t let my dogs stop while at heel to relieve themselves, but I do let give them some leeway to watch for something which has made them to go on the alert or be wary, if just for a moment or so, and always in conjunction with a command every time, until they have linked that action with the command. Once a dog learns something, it comes natural. It is like children. They learn that there is a time and a place for behaving, and a time and a place for horseplay and rough housing. A dog will learn that when in certain circumstances, such as when on walks, he has some space with which to exercise his discretion, and at other times, such as during training for or at, dog obedience shows, he must conform to more rigid standards until given free time.
Note that many dogs, especially the guard types, even if not specifically conditioned for watch/guard duty, will, if having sensed a real danger to you, naturally go on the alert and investigate, then either sounding the alarm and/or taking care of the problem, though for full reliability and efficiency, even a guard type dog should be trained/conditioned, especially physically conditioned.
16. Command of WAIT-This is while walking along with the dog at heel, either on leash or off, and at some point you tell the dog to wait, and as you keep walking forward, to either side or even back in the direction from which you just came, the dog stays right there, waiting on you, until you return, or give him another command from a short or long distance away.
If the dog needs to stay there for any length of time longer than a few minutes, then he needs to be put to the down or sit, and then the stay. Anything longer than 5-10 minutes.
This task can be quite effective in apprehending intruders or suspects, when used in conjunction with ROUNDHOUSE. For example, someone is prowling for a window to enter in a house a block away. You approach and position the dog at the corner furthest away from the prowler and start around the house. Once you are ready to go around the next corner and lose sight of your dog, you command by hand or voice for the dog to go around the house in the direction opposite the direction that you are going, and go take care of business. That is one situation in which guard duty training for the dog would come in handy, especially if the suspect is armed. This is just one example of many.
This task and ROUNDHOUSE can also be used in a watch dog capacity only, to get livestock predators, or to play games with the dog.
As with any potentially lethal activity, be aware of what the laws are on stopping crime as a homeowner or security guard, as well as if you are a police officer. We are in a sue happy society now, filled with gold diggers and irresponsible people.
17. Command of STOP-This is simply walking along with the dog at heel, on leash or off, and as you stop, the dog stops, upon voice or hand command, or he can be trained to automatically stop whenever you stop. This has many security applications.
SLEE DOG TRAINING
Todd A. Slee
9750 S 450 W
South Whitley, IN 46787