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PPD Training and proofing
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
Ankle Biter
 
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PPD Training and proofing

I am interested in hearing about training and proofing for PPDs. I'll start and feel free to comment, suggest or describe your own philosophy.

The definition of my PPD is:
1. a family companion pet that is loose in the house and obeys house rules
2. is crate trained for times when necessary, without distress
3. is able to be left around small active horseplaying children without aggression
4. is suspicious of all people not in the "circle of trust"
5. ignores/coexists peacefully with other animals inside and out of the house
6. is properly sized to be handled by all family members
7. has enough work drive to be trained effectively
8. is confident and environmentally stable (not skittish)
9. will play with toys without handler aggression and is not excessively possessive(fetch, tug, etc)
10. comes to the door obediently to greet guests
11. is mistaken for a service dog when in public

PPD specific training includes, but not limited to:
1. Bonding (spending alot of social and relaxing time with family member and friends, in car,on trails, wherever)
2. Obedience (everyday, every opportunity to train, agility, various environments)
3. Protection Training:
Mostly full suit, as dog is encouraged to find targets of opportunity, not just the arm/sleeve
Situational/scenario based training with additional focus on your common hobbies, locations, how you spend your time and where you have assessed threats (hiking attacked from woods, carjack, home invasion, burglar, ATM withdrawal)
4. Stability training: dog gets worked up and denied the bite; watches other dogs on bite; decoy shows verbal aggression, but no physical aggression, benign decoy behaviors (greeting and shaking hands); at some point the decoys attack and dog is allowed to respond

PPD behavior should be escalating force:
Level 1: Obedient stare down
Level 2: Bark
Level 3: Bite and retreat when threat is reduced (incapacitated or disengages)
Level 4: Deployment with call-off and return(Very optional, for very rare PPD situations, as this could cause unwanted liability or undesirable behaviors)

Proofing should include a combination of unanticipated decoy attacks in various scenarios, use of hidden sleeves, and muzzle only work.

I think that a PPD is a constant work in progress and that the training and proofing cycle is never-ending. The balance between protection skills and bitework need to be maintained, as they perishable.

Our process: This is our first protection trained dog. We started working with her at age 2 and worked through some of the maturity issues. We were trained as a handler, bonded with and trained under the supervision of professionals (both breeder and trainer) at a remote training facility for 8 months prior to taking her into our home for good. All family members trained to varying degrees. During the 8 month period we had several extended home stays in order to assess areas of improvement that guided our collective training plan. In order to concrete the bonding with the family, we are avoiding exposure to the breeder and trainer for 3 months. We have not performed any bite training yet at my home site (trying to limit stress due to change, and have the dog embrace its home before being called upon for defense of it), but that is planned. In the meantime, we use the tug to work on physical fitness, targeting and "out". Plans are to resume structured protection training in March with goals to start proofing activities at our home by June.

Thanks for reading and looking forward to your comments.
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: PPD Training and proofing

"is properly sized to be handled by all family members"

For me I guess it depends on what the size of the family members are. This could be a bit of a sweeping gesture if you have a large range of ages in the children. Is the dog suppose to obey them with the same regard as the adults?

This was one reason why I trained my dogs on non-typical search commands. I didn't want the kids "abusing" the dogs with silly or nonsensical searches. Even though I told them not to, they still tried when they thought no one was watching.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: PPD Training and proofing

Sarah,

Know thyself.

"is properly sized to be handled by all family members".

I believe to be important planning criteria. I expect that my 5ft, 110 lbs wife (with proper training) will be able to train and handle our PPD. Seeing that she is not an especially gifted handler (too big a heart makes her soft) I planned on a dog that was in the 40-60 lbs range, rather than in the 90-110 lbs range. Handler confidence is important to successful training and a dog that can be physically controlled when necessary lends to that. My daughter is 8 years old and of similar petite stature, and while I would not at this time let her handle and command the dog in protection, she can work obedience with the dog in a controlled environment.

The dog will perform the best with the handler that has spent the most time properly training with the dog.

Even though my daughter is trained and socialized in the use of firearms, I would never just hand her a gun and leave her to make life or death decisions. We have set the course for responsible use and awareness of the seriousness of consequences.

Nor do I want my daughter at this time, armed with a PPD capable of catastrophic damage, without training and understanding. I hope my PPD will be with us for 10 years or more, and within that time my 8 year old will at some time prove that she is ready for the increased responsibility.

Yes, bigger dogs tend to be more intimidating in general and act as a deterrent. I feel that a smaller focused dog with alertness and intensity can be just as intimidating, especially in well known protective breeds.
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: PPD Training and proofing

Good deal. Sounds like you have thought things through. Most folks don't. Wish everyone displayed such due diligence.
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: PPD Training and proofing

I guess I am reaping the benefits of both military service and current work as an engineer. Lots of planning and thinking about things before actually doing them, LOL.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: PPD Training and proofing

LOL, believe it or not that was kind of obvious. I do, of course, mean that as a compliment. Good luck to you and your dog.
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: PPD Training and proofing

WTF?

Is everyone here losing their minds?
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: PPD Training and proofing

WTF?

Is everyone here losing their minds?
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: PPD Training and proofing

Please be especially careful with Expectation #3. Children playing with lots of running, squealing and who knows what else in close quarters with a high-prey dog could be problematic. Adult supervision reduces risk, especially with kids who are not part of the home group (e.g. friends of).
Enjoy your dog.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: PPD Training and proofing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee H Sternberg View Post
WTF?

Is everyone here losing their minds?
I agree with Lee. The totality of your requirements are unreasonable for a dog. However if you pay enough money I'm sure you'll find plenty of breeder/Executive Protection Dog Trainers who'll claim they have just the dog for you
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