Why train!!!!

  • Last week I was assessing four dogs including a Neo, Rottie and 2 GSD's, re suitability for PPD training at my kennel.

    Suffice to say - all four were not even in the ball park.

    Now, there is nothing unusual about the results of that assessment.

    If nothing else - perhaps they might do many things differently, next time they invest in a pup..

    However, one thing they did do correctly, was to do the assessment, because in doing so they recognized the importance of training.

    Over the twenty years I have been training, I have lost count of the number of owners, usually of the more exotic guardian breeds, who see training as a dirty word, almost a weakness. (instead they believe in raw primitive instinct)
    Now that really makes me laugh, because having a dog who will consistently engage in ANY environment requires training.
    Whether you want to use the words conditioning, testing or proofing, rather than training, matters not a jot - it's still preparing your dog to ALWAYS engage, which is training.

    Of course this is why ALL military and police forces world wide - TRAIN.

    Those who believe that purely relying on there breeds built in protective radar, will more often than not encounter the following: (ASSUMING the dog has got some natural ability)

    No exaggerated aggressive behavior, yet the handler knows there is a serious threat
    but because the dog hasn't been qued to attack passively on a verbal command - (dead handler)

    Inconsistent reaction to a threat. (dead or injured handler)

    Extremely slow in sparking up. (dead or injured handler)

    Confused dog. (dead dog)

    Easily put off by external stresses. (as above)

    Not engaging at all. (dead or injured handler)

    Not outing. (possibly a dead petty criminal and a euthanized dog post encounter)

    Distracted by other dogs. (dead or injured handler)

    Dog taking flight. (hospitalized handler)

    Innocent third party bites in the heat of battle. (law suit).

    The above list is not meant to be fully comprehensive.

    Why train - indeed!! :thumbsup2:


    The post was edited 2 times, last by Gee ().

  • Hey Gee, I understand your complain. Its pretty hard to explain to the common folk, the diference between a working dog and a pet.

    I dont know how many times ive heard the phrase: ''I dont need to train my dog because it is a (Insert Breed here)''

    I dont like to argue with such people, at the most Ill invite them to bring their pup to the club and get it ''tested''. 9 out of 10 will decline the offer ;) maybe because deep down they know their dog isnt all they claim it to be.

    P.S. What breed is a ''Neo''?

  • Neapolitan mastiff.

    For me genetics is more important than training because it comes first, without the right genetics no amount of training will achieve anything. Training is important, but depending on which culture/environment the dog is in, "life experiences" may suffice in lieu of training if the genetics are right. Obedience training is most important with strong aggressive dogs.

  • I agree that genetics is the MOST important factor in a PPD but I would never rely only on ''life experience'' for my dog, no matter how good his genetics were.

    But you are correct Dan, it depends on each individual life style.

  • I think you misunderstood what I meant by life experiences. In the US having your dog bite someone, even under reasonable circumstances, could mean the end of your dog. In other parts of the world, depending on the circumstances, a dog bite is no big deal, and such circumstances are more likely to happen. So a dog with the right genetics put in that situation will react to some degree. If it gets a bite and drives off the threat/wins, it will be a huge boost in confidence for the dog and more effective than doing many sessions of bitework with protective gear.

  • Strange analogy but I see well bred, well trained PPD like vitamins pills. The people that need them can't afford them and the people can afford them don't need them.

    By far the most common dogs that see real violence are untrained, unpapered mutts...it always was this way.

    Even the term PPD is really just a modern marketing term. I don't think the word gets used much by remote villagers and urban ghetto dwellers where shit is real 24/7.

    Upper middle class white people in safe neighborhoods paying $10 000+ for super trained, very civilised dogs with grand pedigrees that sit politely while the master is sipping tea at the country club, then yeah then its a thing.

  • Hi Guys,
    A dog with correct genetics, but no training = an unknown quantity.

    No matter the breed, know one knows how ANY dog will react to stresses etc until you go there.

    I am not saying an un trained dog won't protect it's owner, I am saying you will never know the capability/limitations/thresholds/weaknesses of that animal.

    An example might be - the dog did eventually fire up, but by then you are in a coma.
    That same dog with training may well have sparked up much sooner/qued to a verbal command, after all it did engage, the genetics are there, but the training wasn't.

    A dog with correct genetics and good training = reliable protector.

    Dan - it's not about good genetics over training, it should always be about combining both. I am sure we agree - having one without the other is about as useful as a chocolate tea pot.

    Sergio - I couldn't agree more.
    A Neo is another breed ruined by the show ring, it's a big loose skinned Italian Mastiff, who only a few decades ago was considered the "Guard Dog Per Excellence".

    Peter good to hear from you, I like your vitamin pill analogy, lot of truth in that.
    There is of course another option, which I believe we are ALL proud off - raise and train your own, much more fun getting your hands dirty eh, and a whole lot more rewarding than throwing the price of a car at a potentially over hyped mutt. :thumbsup2:

    Safe training guys.


  • Talking about mutts, training, genetics and breeding your own. I was more than happy with this one of mine (posted here previously);

    A lot of purebred big ped dogs have showed a lot worse than this to their owners heartbreak.


    His next and final bite work session, absolutely no need to "train" this dog to protect, its an involuntary response (previously posted);

  • Yep, like his attitude, primitive cur.

    Part of the training process is encouraging the genie to come out of the bottle. (which is what you are doing there)

    It then depends how far/refined you want to take it, of course the intelligence of the dog in front of you, will also dictate what can be done lol. (re control/refinement etc)

    Would hazard a guess - with that particular dog, your intention was not to refine.


  • Thanks, that's all the training that particular dog will get.

    But totally agree, dogs can't train themselves and they need the control and experience to become effective tools by systematic, humane, regular, intelligent training.

    To me decoys are the biggest limiting factor, there is not a lot of money in it so experienced, fit decoys are just not very common anywhere in the world from what I can tell.

  • To say that people who can afford protection dogs do not need protection dogs is not so. Everybody does need protection and everybody does use what they can afford. But there is a trade off either way. Protection effective dogs in lesser neighborhood and villages are usually less social where people who can afford it will buy more sophisticated dogs meaning the dogs are more sociable thus more versatile thus more useful because the dogs like that can accompany their master to much more social situations. Since such dogs are more discriminative and more command responsive then dogs which are not trained but are just naturally protective. Such dogs are however more expensive and often give owner false sense that they have something they do not have.
    Now I am not trying to put down naturally protective mix breed dogs. They are very valuable and can be very effective. and we can learn from them about genetically based natural protectiveness.