When I select a dog for myself or client, I ask “What training program and lifestyle do I need him to handle?” Next, I have to ask “what genetics do I need?” The dogs hard wiring matters because training does not change his temperament. His temperament gives you and I the ability to train him. Lastly, “What is my purpose for him?” Do I need him to be obedient and protective, handle everyday life? Or do I need him to work for me and track human odor, area search or detect odor on people for police?
Breeds I Prefer
I prefer the following type of breeds; Dutch Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd, German Malinois and Rottweilers. For obvious reasons, these are protection breeds that can-do obedience. Usually have a good amount of willingness to please or serve a person. Other breeds that work well for my purpose too are Labradors, Spaniels and some Hounds. They excel at tracking and detection work.
I always look for good bloodlines with good people behind them. As a former breeder, I have formed strong relationships with breeders near and far. This matters to me because I am looking for puppies to test that have formed their temperament which will be around age 16 weeks and up. I am not for a commercial breeder who sells mass quantities of pups at 8 weeks or younger. Generally, I prefer KNPV lines, French performance lines and some blended lines when I am selecting shepherds. Hounds and labs I am still searching for good lineage.
Registered dogs (AKC, UKC or FCI) are a bonus, but not a requirement for me. Naturally if my client wants a registered dog then my criteria is pedigree and registered stock that dates back more than 6 generations.
Puppy and Dog Temperament Testing
I test pups and adult dogs similarly. I am testing to determine what type of temperament has developed passed the age of 16 weeks. The difference is a pup will respond with less focus and control than an adult. When the temperament is developed his drives are present. Drives are how I train a dog, so I am looking for hard wired drives at various calibers. The hard-wired drives I am looking for are:
1.Social ability, is natural willingness to stay with and obey the rules of the pack. Degree of interaction with humans and own kind. Desire to belong. 2.Prey drive, active and passive prey behavior: hunt, chase, catch, kill and eat; satisfaction with food, ball and tug play interaction with human. Stimulus specific response. 3.Defense, the dogs desire to protect himself. Fight/flight response to social situations. The dog will either bite or run upon social conflict. Not stimulus specific. Lies within the dog.
The caliber or intensity I want depends on what I am training the dog for: service, police or protection. Naturally my all-around criteria for all dogs I select are intelligence and responsiveness.
Foundation Training Puppy
After I have selected my puppy for training I begin the day I bring him home. I have identified his temperament and begin motivation training. A puppy under the age of 6 months, I start with food. It is his strongest motivator. By 8 months of age, this is no longer the strongest motivator and a secondary motivator is used, play interaction with me and a ball or tug. I am using his natural desires and abilities. Puppies require continual training until mature.
Green Dog Training
Young adults 12 months and up are green, but on their way to being highly trained! They are health tested between 12 and 28 months of age for: dysplasia, DM, and other. At this point I focus on developing a strong relationship through creating a set of rules in our daily play. These games are both mentally and physically stimulating for the dog in training. I strongly believe our dogs are willing to protect us out of obedience and by 18 months of age he has a solid obedience foundation off leash.
For Working Dogs
At about 8 – 12 months of age retrieve drive and odor imprinting for patrol or narcotics dog training happens. I only continue work dog training with the strongest candidates, they begin intensive training which will continue until they are fully trained and mature. Usually the state or government agency ( third party ) finishes and certifies the dog and handler team.
Highly Trained Dogs
Highly trained dogs are adult dogs that have completed more than 48 weeks of training with me. A dog with this level of training has completed foundation training and level one trained skills. They are then eligible for training level 2 and 3 in obedience and protection for everyday life. All my dogs are intelligent and responsive, so they will adapt to you and your needs.
Selecting the Right Dog For You
Selecting the right dog is important for me and you. Our training depends on his ability given to him by his bloodlines. If you are interested in a trained dog from me please take the time to fill out my dog purchase application. I will need to know a little about your training and lifestyle you expect with your new dog.
I can help you select and train the right dog for you even if it means purchasing a dog from elsewhere. Sometimes I have puppies, and re-homes in training for sale. These green dogs in training, will require you to take over their training to finish.