By Joel Monroe &
Please direct any questions or comments
to Joel Monroe firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental training is extremely
important for any protection dog. A real life self-defense altercation
is unpredictable as no one knows when or where it may occur. It
is imperative that a dog's ability to protect is not hindered by
fear of certain environments. A dog may look great on the training
field where it is comfortable, but many dogs become nervous of certain
sounds, small confined areas, slick floors (tile, marble, vinyl),
etc., especially when it is in a new and unfamiliar area. Training
to overcome these environmental fears is an essential part of any
good protection training program.
During protection training, when most
dogs are very nervous of the environment, their natural tendency
is to want to either not bite and avoid the situation or bite and
let go. It is imperative that a dog is not allowed to consistently
do such things. The dog must never be allowed to think that avoidance
and weak biting is ever an option when called upon to protect.
Though there are certain tactics a
trainer can use during bite work training to help overcome a dog's
environmental fears, there are also many things the owner can do
beforehand to get faster results and insure greater success during
bite work training.
In this article, we will discuss how
to overcome the fear of a certain locations. Use either food or
a toy depending on which your dog has a greater interest in. In
this example, we will use food because it is the easiest method
for a novice dog owner to understand since it requires minimal knowledge
of any other aspect of dog training.
Let's say a dog is nervous about entering
into in a small bathroom. Give the dog some treats with the dog
standing outside the doorway of the bathroom. Then take one step
into the bathroom and draw the dog forward so it must stand under
the doorway in order to get and eat the treat. Take another step
in so the dog must now take a step into the bathroom in order to
eat the treat. Repeat this pattern over and over until the dog is
completely in the bathroom. You will notice that the dog may be
apprehensive and slow when stepping forward, but that is OK.
After the dog is completely in the
bathroom, take the dog out and repeat the whole thing again. You
should notice that the dog will move forward slightly quicker in
order to get the treat. Some dog owners will say their dog is too
nervous to even eat the food in this situation. Don't feed the dog
anything but water for 48 hours and then you will see a dog that
moves forward very quickly to get that food.
Once the dog is willing to enter,
practice obedience in the bathroom. Make sure to reward the dog
with food or toy when it performs the obedience correctly. Keep
the obedience simple and avoid corrections. Drawing the dog in with
treats and doing obedience should be repeated until the dog is completely
indifferent about entering a being in the bathroom. Now it will
be much easier for the trainer to employ his strategies when doing
bite work in the bathroom.