Posts by Phil Dodson

    Obedience has not really affected his drive. I had to do something. She is really easy going with it. No real stress is put on the dog while performing it. I just insisted due to his attitude toward her when she was giving him commands. I only allow her 2 to 3 minutes prior to and after the session. I must have her in control if we are going to go further into training.

    Dan I had him stay and her give the command to go on guard as he initially would not alert on her first and sometimes up to third command. Since I started it he goes on command now the very first time, so hopefully I have cleared that hurdle. I think I will know for sure when we start scenario training.

    Will try to get a photo soon.

    Had a female call me about protection training a month ago. She had her training done in Colorado just outside the army base there before her husband being assigned here in Alabama. I assessed the dog and although he showed the drive needed, his bite was weak and he did not alert to me on command wearing no equipment almost as if it was a friendly game. Further conversation revealed all work was done in a suit with most bites done chasing the trainer. I did some more work with the team to get an idea what I was going to do.

    I began by informing her I would begin agitating her dog utilizing no equipment but first I wanted obedience done prior to my arrival to the site and once again after the session was over as his obedience was horrible and she had been told by the trainer too much obedience would hurt his drive. I had her stake him out, stand behind him after making him sit and stay. I used the Koehler method to start his agitation training with no equipment but a stick. As soon as I appear she tells him to go on guard and he does the rest. Once I am out of sight, I have her calm him down, make him sit and wait for my next approach.

    Since I have started, his aggression has gone up like crazy! He lunges at the end of the chain with K-9s showing and a serious look to boot. I gave him a bite to see if his bite had improved. He bit so hard I screamed at her to get him off my arm instantly. He outed right away and as I ran out of sight he barked all the while. I am really proud of him. I am still getting a little closer until I can agitate, strike him with the switch, feed him the rag, and run out of sight. I also have her teaching him the out command using the two ball method and that is working fine as well. I do not see any problems with him outing off of the equipment in the future.

    This has by far the most fun I have had since retirement. It is a change from training Police Dogs which I have two in training starting January. Will keep the group updated on their progress.

    No replies on my last question about sleeve so will ask another. Has anybody seen the sleeve being sold on Ray Allen and Elite K-9? It is a duplicate of an arm and hand sleeve I believe made out of rubber. What are your opinions on it? There are currently no reviews on either site.

    When you introduce a dog to the sleeve, do you give it to him at first as a reward after the bite or do you make him out from the very first bite. As a police dog trainer I personally let them have the sleeve until I was satisfied with the grip. Once I was happy with the grip I immediately taught the out and only on rare occasions during the rest of their career was the sleeve ever slipped again.

    As my prospect is being trained for PPD, would like opinions.


    Don't know enough about PPD training to give an opinion. However we did a similar exercise in dog school in the military. We would stake out the weak dogs and have the handler attacked. The dog would go crazy to get at the bad guy beating down his handler. Once released to chase and bite, their drive to chase and bite for the most part improved greatly.

    I still used it on occasion when training patrol dogs who needed a little lift now or then.

    Thanks for the responses so far. I really want to read into this further regarding the training and utilization of a PPD. As most of you know in a prior post I received a serious verbal threat not to long ago from a person my PSD successfully tracked down and sent him to prison.

    In addition I am reading up on local and state statutes on the owning of a PPD as well.

    Can anybody here steer me to some good readings on PPD training books besides Koehler? My pup is easily going to make a good prospect.

    Despite department policies requiring us to carry badge and weapon off duty I never complied once during my career except court and range qualifications. After retirement as a retired officer I can carry as long as I have my ID, again I didn't.

    One evening last year I was departing Wal Mart with my wife when I was confronted by a b/m who asked me "Do you remember me"? I stated "no" and continued to walk to my vehicle. He then stated "You need to know me, as you and that dog put me in prison for three years"! I turned and stated if you have a problem with me let's settle it now as I didn't want to back down. Later I realized it was stupid of me to have said this.

    He advised me you better remember me as I will remember your sorry ass! The next morning I went on base and purchased a Kimber compact 45 and now carry it every place I go.

    As I always took my Police dogs with me on/off duty, I thought purchasing one for personal protection (defensive) purposes only, would be in my interest as well, as I don't want to shoot anybody. I was involved in 2 during my career.

    As many of you know I worked and trained MWD's and PSD's for 38 years. I have a question for you PPD handlers and trainers. First I am by no means anywhere close to being an expert on PPD dogs, I base most of my knowledge off of Koehler and articles from the internet,so please hear me out.

    I have trained some dogs for females using exclusively Koehler to get their dogs to bark at the door, strange noises around the house, in vehicle, etc: when commanded to at suspicious characters, but would not go beyond that stage as I did not want the liability.

    So my question is a personal protection dog is used primarily to defend you correct? At least this is what I have assumed after studying the subject. Then why on many videos I have observed lately of personal protection dogs, I mostly see the PPD chasing down somebody in a bite suit 100 yards away, jumping out of a vehicle, chasing down and biting a person running away, jumping chain link fences to bite somebody on the other side. I have even observed a few of the dog clearing a residence and biting somebody until the handler comes inside to pull him off. Lastly I saw one video where the handler choked the dog off the quarry.

    Perhaps you could enlighten me on this. Not being sarcastic, I am purchasing my first dog since retiring last year and would like to train him in personal protection as I have already had one threat on my safety due to my previous occupation, and I no longer require a PSD. Thanks


    Yes Dan I first met him in my home state of Washington where he retired while in the military during the late 80's. He was judging an obedience trial. We hit it right off when I told him I was a MWD handler stationed at Ft Lewis, Wa. While talking I asked if he minded signing both books. He stated no. I was so excited I ran back to the car like a little kid and retrieved them. We ended up talking for about an hour.

    My method is based on tracking thru drive as well as from the very first track with agitation from the quarry all the way thru the course will involve finding the quarry and engaging him on most occasions.

    Those are 2 great videos indeed. Hard surface tracking has come a long way since those videos were produced. Many trainers today are actually starting the dogs tracking on hard surface first. I am looking at doing it myself with my new pup coming in next week.

    I prefer the bite and hold as the majority of my tracks are at night and we are usually on top of the perp before we know and can have time to react a lot of the time. Also tracking off lead at times they get a little ahead and will make contact out of sight of the handler. We were confined to serious misdemeanors or felony tracks only. We were fortunate however in that our neighboring county utilizes bloodhounds exclusively to do their tracking so we use them exclusively for lost persons, Alzheimer patients, etc:

    I taught 2 people using Koehlers book to teach tracking just for fun. It is time consuming but the dogs turned out as well as any dog I have taught using my own method or others I observed. My tracking book and guard dog training books are both signed by him as well.:)

    I forgot to add once we hit the business area we at first go back on line and start our tracks on concrete from vehicles, gas stations, fast food joints, etc: with the dog having to locate the track himself at times or having the handler start from a known point. The majority of these tracks will be mostly hard surface with some being all hard surface.

    When the dog is proficient at this we go back to off lead tracking with a ratio of 1 in every 5 tracks done on lead. Also all wooded training tracks from this point on are done on lead.

    Yes Sergio any other surface than vegetation. I start tracking for PSD with the bite as motivation. Once the K-9 is performing well in the woods on non distraction tracks I take them on to a road way on grass. I initially start the dog on grass allowing him to settle into the track. Once he is working it well I slowly begin moving toward the edge of the road. I continue onto the middle of the road then walk down for about 50' then curve back to the grass and allowing the dog to continue on to the end of the track. We continue this method for about a half dozen or so short hot laid tracks.

    Once he is performing this with little to no problems we lay the track using the same method but this time crossing the road then continuing on until the find. We next continue lengthening the track and age up to 30 minutes on the concrete before returning to grass until we start having him find the quarry on hard surface. Initially these tracks are done downwind which is the only time I care what direction the wind is blowing during the course. I also only on occasion lay tracks at 30 minutes as we are able to respond on most occasions to a call quickly 10 minutes or less so we train using this time frame for most sessions.

    When he has become proficient at this phase we next move into quiet neighborhoods to begin urban tracking where he will deal with some distractions as well as get introduced to other surfaces as well. Once they are confident, I begin off lead tracking prior to taking them to rest of the city for training.

    Since urban tracking takes a toll on the team on Fridays during the course I return them to the woods for those non distraction vegetated tracks so they don't forget the basics. In addition once a year I pull my teams off the streets for three days and go back to the woods for the same thing to clear up any problems they may have gotten during the year. The dogs really seem to enjoy this time.

    How do you teach hard surface tracking? Tracking is my favorite task to teach during a Patrol Dog class taking up the majority of the class itself. I also teach mostly off lead tracking. Just curious to see how others teach hard surfaces.

    Agree 100% Sergio! If you are ever going to use a muzzle in any type of training in which the dog must face an adversary, then he (quarry) should always be in civilian clothes, no suit, sleeves in my opinion!