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Upcoming Instability: Who Should own a Protection Dog?

Potential for Upcoming Food Shortages in U.S.

 

The New York Times and The Washington Post have quoted John Tyson (Tyson Foods) saying that the food supply chain is "breaking" and "vulnerable." So far we have already seen a 25% decrease in meat moving through the supply chain this week. This is only the beginning of May. What happens with a resurgence in the virus after states reopen businesses? What happens if we continue to see decreases in infections but the virus returns with a vengeance this fall as many predict? What happens if as states reopen we see crowds as we did last weekend in California? The answer is we don’t really know what will happen. As unfathomable as it seemed not too long ago the risk of our society becoming unstable seems to be more and more a possibility. In turn, we see an upsurge in security-related sales.

For the first time, we’ve had to ask ourselves who should own a protection dog? In the past, we always thought everyone could benefit from one of our dogs. That it was unfortunate that not just anyone can afford one. Well the Covid-19 virus has changed our thinking.

We now receive calls from people who want the added security of a protection dog but don’t even like dogs. Even stranger, we’ve taken calls from people that hate dogs but are thinking about buying one anyway. This would be hard to imagine just a short time ago. If you hate dogs you don’t spend tens of thousands of dollars to buy one. That’s no longer the case. 

If you hate dogs and call us it’s going to be a very short conversation. If you’ve never owned a dog, or maybe never met a dog you’ve ever liked, but you’re thinking about purchasing one then we can talk. While never having never met a dog you liked is suspect, sometimes it actually makes sense.

Let’s say you’ve never owned a dog. Let’s say your only experience of dogs is being jumped on when you walk into your friend’s house, then sexually assaulted by their dog’s nose only to then be assaulted by the smell of dog everywhere. Then not liking dogs can actually make a lot of sense.  

We propose the question; “if you could own a dog that had impeccable manners (everywhere and at all times), and you had complete off-leash control of your dog, would that change your experience?” Unless you’ve crossed over into hating dogs it’s easy to answer yes to the question.The next question we ask is usually “could you imagine such a dog being enjoyable to be around?” Might you enjoy their companionship? For most people, these questions get answered favorably. Where potential candidates get separated from a fully trained dog being a good idea versus not when it comes to sacrifice. Are they willing to make sacrifices?

Our clients who have owned dogs previously to purchasing one from us usually find our dogs to be so easy to own. If you’ve never owned a dog, there are certain sacrifices that need to be made. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to sleep in until late morning that may be a problem. Dogs usually wake up when the sun rises and they hear activity. They can wait a couple of hours but eventually nature calls. They will need to go out. Do you want to go away for the weekend? You’ll need to make sure the boarding kennel has room. There are doctor’s visits just like with children. There’s dog food to buy. Sometimes water to wipe up after they drink (some are sloppier than others).

There are lots of ways today to decrease the time required for pet care. There are mobile groomers who come to your house. Dog walkers. Services that come to your house weekly to pick up your dog’s messes in the yard. There are kennels that offer pick up and drop off services. Even mobile vets make house calls. While taking care of a fully trained dog has never been easier these are all needs that must be thought of, and addressed, in some fashion.

We aren’t scandalized by people interested in purchasing dogs with no prior experience. Nor are we deterred by people who aren’t dog lovers.If you’re not particularly fond of dogs that is not an issue either. There are plenty of people who really don’t like kids but find themselves becoming parents. They may still not love other children but they usually love, cherish, and care for their own, and it can be similar with dogs as well.

The one last piece that we feel strongly about is this: can you imagine having your dog with you all of the time? If you’re willing to make sacrifices but aren’t willing to have that type of relationship then we propose don’t do it. Or you certainly can’t purchase one from us. The reason is simple.Our dogs, like most people, want to love and be loved. They thrive on personal relationships with others. They will also be there to protect you. Protecting is probably not what their everyday life will look like. Interacting with you, and your family will likely be what takes up their time. Like you, they too deserve to be happy. To have close, personal, fulfilling relationships. Why not let the dog you were thinking of buying go to someone else who will really enjoy them?

For those who hate dogs but want the added security: buy another gun, add to your alarm system, go jump in a lake, just don’t call us!

Covid and the Castle

Your home is your castle. You want it protected, and your family within it. Most people are surprised to learn that their home may be where they are most vulnerable. If someone were to break into your home you are boxed in. How are you, and every member of your family, going to protect themselves? What about when you’re at your worst? Maybe sleeping, in the midst of an argument, doing a project, family members in different parts of the house. Even concealed carry within the home has limitations in everyday life. It has always been our belief that you need as many layers of security as possible. Those layers should function on three levels; to deter, detect and defend. 

Is there an increased risk of being a victim of a violent crime in the midst of this Covid -19 crisis? A lot of people think so. Gun sales have skyrocketed and ammunition is scarce. Is crime going to increase as a result of desperation? So far crime has actually decreased in most communities. This decrease is thought to be the result of people off the streets. At the same time the crimes that are taking place seem to be bolder. We don’t have a crystal ball so we really don’t know what the future holds. We are hopeful given the trajectory of people being infected seems to be flattening. We are also hopeful in President Trump’s plan to reopen the economy sooner rather than later in order to avoid consequences worse than the virus itself. If these two changes prove to be true, they are an unexpected light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel. At least unexpected so soon. Yet as inspiring as they are they may not stave off increases in crime.

It seems to us, and many security professionals, that the greatest threats may lurk 6 to 12 months from now. Not every business will reopen. The odds are not every hard working employee will have a job to return to. How many new jobs will be available? Will they be available in every sector of our economy? What might you be willing to do without enough money and children to take care of? Helplessness and hopelessness breeds desperation. This worse case scenario may never come to fruition. Then again, you don’t need rioting in the streets to be the victim of a home invasion. Has your risk of being a victim of a violent crime increased or decreased this year over last? We think the answer is obvious. What are you doing differently to address that increased risk? 

Keep in mind an increased degree of risk should influence urgency, not strategy. Strategy in how to deter, detect and defend is a question of the type of threat that concerns you. Statistically you may have the lowest possible risk of being a victim of a violent crime yet if tonight you’re faced with a home invasion your degree of risk is immaterial. Again, risk determines urgency. The type of threat should determine strategy.  

In the best of times there are always people looking for soft targets in every community. Just Google “home invasion” and the community you live in. We’ve seen for ourselves within New England bedroom communities violent home invasions take place with horrific consequences. In one case it was a matter of four teenagers randomly choosing a street, then two houses and then literally playing “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” in choosing which house to invade. Their intention? To experience committing a violent murder like they did in a video game. We were asked to help the family members who survived. That’s an example of looking for a soft target, yet in this case with very casual motivation but extreme intention. We’ve also dealt with surviving family members of an even greater act of violence simply because their home had a valuable silverware collection that could be sold. Or recently a client’s husband murdered by a disgruntled employee. An employee who actually had every reason to be appreciative rather than disgruntled. What happens when we dramatically increase need, decrease options, and people feel hopeless and helpless?

How many layers of security do you have in place? How will they work in the worse case scenario of everyone sleeping or you being distracted? It’s not just a matter of owning a protection dog, but certainly an import piece. Your alarm may detect (if on) but will likely result in law enforcement arriving after the fact. A gun is a viable means of defense but unable to detect, and unlikely to deter a violent criminal once in your home. Also, do you really want to kill someone who is so desperate to feed their family that they are willing to break into your home? For many people the answer may be a resounding yes! It’s something worth thinking about. If you used a gun and a dog could have managed the situation how will you feel? How will you family feel? Outdoor sensors, lighting and cameras are great at early detection. They may even offer some level of deterrent but offer nothing in the way of defense. That’s assuming they are on and being paid attention to. A protection dog by CPI uniquely provides for all three (deter, detect and defend).

In summary, we recommend as many layers of security as possible. You should judge the means of deterring, detecting and defending based on the types of threats that concern you. We suggest thinking in terms of security and it’s usefulness when you’re at your most vulnerable point. For most people when at home it’s showering, sleeping or everyday distractions. Then using this time of increased risk to actually do something about it. Remember, guns don’t replace dogs, nor do dogs replace guns. Neither replace alarms and cameras. You need as many layers of security as possible.



Covid-19: We are Open for Business

Canine Protection International as well as Naked DogTraining are open for business. The State of New Hampshire and Commonwealth ofMassachusetts considers both businesses to be “essential”.  

Dogs in Training (dogs purchased or sent to us for training): As far as our training schedule it is business as usual. The only change is clients are no longer allowed inside of the training center.

Visits: Visits by existing clients are available (we have your dog), by appointment, and will be done outdoors. We require everyone to wear gloves and masks (we provide them).Dogs can not be pet (can transfer virus on coat). If weather does not permit being outdoors (rain), and the visit can not be rescheduled, clients can follow us to a parking garage to be out of the elements.

Handling Instruction: Handling instruction for local clients are available with great precaution taken. The initial verbal instruction of handling principles, commands and use of training equipment (usually done sitting at a table) is now done by video conference using either Facetime, Messenger or WhatsApp. The next stage of instruction where we demonstrate handling skills with a dog is also conducted through videoconferencing (us demonstrating with a dog the training principles spoken of previously). When it comes to the owner handling instruction is conducted outdoors. Everyone wears masks and gloves (provided by us). We do not share handling equipment. If we need to handle your dog we will snap our leash on to their collar and step away. You then approach to remove your leash without touching ours. For remote training the dog will wear two collars so we never share the same remote. These protocols will remain in place for a period of time after the risk is said to be over.

Out-of-StateDeliveries:  All new out-of-state deliveries, follow-up or handling instruction (for dogs sent to us for training) are postponed until after Covid-19 peaks and the number and rate of infections are greatly reduced. The exception to this is for high-risk clients, or those in crisis situations. We will make an exception if there is a safe way of travel. These deliveries are expected to require driving. We are prepared to travel as far west as Kansas City, and as far south as Miami. However there will be an additional charge for such deliveries.

Sales: We continue to purchasing dogs as well as selling fully trained ones. For those dogs we have purchased but still in Europe: we have arrangements in place to transport dogs across closed borders. What we can’t overcome are the embargos put into effect in Europe by the airlines in order to limit transport to essential goods. We have many airlines and airports to choose from as soon as the embargos are lifted or additional airlines begin to operate. As of the week of April 5 it looks promising to have some of the airlines reopen and beginning to transport cargo as soon as next week.

As of April 13th if we do not have shipments scheduled we will begin remote training sessions (linking our training room to theirs through video conferencing) with our trainers in Europe. Our European trainers are very talented and usually do foundational training while dogs are waiting to be shipped. In these circumstances we will begin having our formal training being conducted in Europe. This approach will enable us to have training progressing rapidly in spite of dogs not yet being able to be shipped.

Build-a-Protection-Dog

On May 17th we will stop offering our Naked Dogs by CPI, leaving two categories of fully trained dogs: Executive Protection Dogs and Elite Family & Estate Protection Dogs.

We will be changing our Executive Protection Dog program from including the Protective Escape to “turn on” and return to the AggressiveAlert. This change in exercises does not diminish the ability to have your dog “turn on” in a moments notice. It does change the time required by us for training. As a result we are reducing the cost from $25,000 down to $18,500!

These changes mean functional protection for our clients at a more affordable price. It also enables us to start our “Build-a-Protection-Dog” option.

Build-a-Protection-Dog

Often clients want more than just our Naked Obedience and Aggressive Alert but don’t necessarily want pay for everything included in our EliteFamily & Estate Protection Dog program. Those clients now have an option. Choose the options that have value and add them to the Executive Protection Dog program.  

These training options will include:

Advanced Biting Skills          $1,250

Protective Escape                $1,850

Secure                                  $5,000

Advanced Fighting Skills      $5,000

Advanced Control                 $3,000

On-site (home) instruction  $1,250/day (plus expenses)

The purchase of a dog in our Elite Family and EstateProtection Dog provides a 10% savings over ”building a protection dog”. For the next 5 days our pricing for Executive Protection Dogs will change to $18,500but the program will remain the same. That means $25,000 in value at the new price of $18,500.

Shock and Awe

Okay, pictures of dogs strategically biting that “special place” seems sensational and over-the-top. I get it. That's the reason we call it “shock and awe”. It is over-the-top, sensational but also very strategic for a few reasons. First, this strategic targeting is something we use to reserve for smaller dogs. It improves physical leverage, something you want in a violent encounter. However, there is also a second, and maybe even greater benefit. It inflicts immense pain and no doubt takes the aggressor’s mind off of assaulting you, the owner.

The benefit of this type of strategic biting is obvious if faced with a threat. However, there is also an everyday benefit to this “shock and awe” approach as well. Sound strange? Really, a benefit in everyday life? Well before I go into that benefit its helpful to first understand what most people experience from their “protection dog”.

Most people purchase a protection dog but in reality it's a dog just trained for dog sports. It pretty much the standard in our field. Then owners try to turn their protection dogs “on” (instruct to show aggression) shortly after their purchase only to find out their dog doesn’t turn on whatsoever. They then call the dog broker or training center where they purchased the dog. The standard response is "Your dog obviously knows the difference between a real threat and an artificial one. Our dogs are trained only to repsond to real ones.". Imagine purchasing a gun, bringing it to a range, trying to shoot it and it doesn’t fire. Then being told when you go back to the gun dealer if it was a real threat the gun would have worked! Absurd with a gun right? Well its just as absurd with a protection dog. Here’s the point: what level of confidence do you think you would have after instructing your protection dog to “turn on” and he or she did nothing? An easy answer: no confidence.

We have found that clients who have a real sense of what their dogs can do have a deep feeling of security. As most threats today have a gun they have no need to yell, flail their arms or use any other exaggerated gestures. As a matter of fact most threats are pretty passive in appearance. Make no mistake, that passive appearing threat can literally take your life.  

Once you understand the typical threat, occasionally turning your dog on to passive threat just makes sense. It is something we teach clients to do during our three days of handling instruction. It’s simple. No one needs to get bitten or even be at risk. We have found this use of a protection dog is the most common way for clients to feel safe and secure. Something we all want in our everyday life.

Another way to have further confidence in your dog is to participate in our quarterly maintenance programs. We work with you, and your dog, one day every three months for three years. While it is not necessary to do so for your dog to be fully functional it certainly instills confidence as an owner, and furthers your dog’s advanced fighting skills.  

I also have to say when it comes down to it, without a doubt, having your dog taught to strategically bite the crotch takes confidence in your dog to a whole other level. I know it does for me. The dog in the pictures is Bodhi, my personal dog. I'm not saying its necessary but knowing you have “shock and awe” at your disposal at a moments notice sure feels good.  

Bodhi

The Recipe for our Elite Program

What exactly is an Elite Family and Estate Protection Dog? We’ve created a Training Program Comparison Page to help illustrate the differences within our programs. Those are “big picture” differences. What actually goes into creating all of those exercises? What goes into taking that training and making it functional? How does it get integrated into everyday life? The answer is very simple; a lot of work.

As a culture we are bombarded with information. Dogs barking and biting on video all seem to look the same. When we started this business over twenty years ago there were really only three credible choices in who to purchase from. Now everything is judged by the appearance of your website and flashy photos on Instagram. Everyone is selling European imports. It appears everyone is the same.

Everyone is not the same. As we have always differentiated ourselves by our training, our dogs continue to stand head and shoulders above others as a result of their training. Our Elite Family and Estate ProtectionDog program is the crown jewel in our training.

This is the most recent work sheet our trainers use to track their progress. The recipe for our elite program. As our training evolves so does the work sheet. This is what must be taught AFTER they arrive in the U.S. and in ADDITION to their European training for dog sports. The program takes on average 3 months, but can sometimes take 6 to 9 months depending on the dog.

When you are purchasing a dog from CPI you are getting two unique things; functional results and benefit of a lot of work.

Adapting our Training to Your Security Concerns

If you are likely to freeze instead of giving your dog a command in a threatening situation we need to know. If you’re likely to just scream, that’s important to know as well. Maybe you would be likely to face the attacker head on? We need to know how; punching, kicking, grappling, gun drawn?Your dog can be prepared by us for all of these responses in advance of his or her delivery.  

Let’s say you feel most vulnerable getting out of your vehicle at night. We can prepare your dog so that the command “with me”(informal heel) applies to your vehicle. If you have an SUV your dog can jump out of the back and “heel” to the side of your door.

Need more? No problem. Use the “Secure” exercise. Your dog will run to your door, “turn on”, remain by your door until you get out of the car. Your dog will then remain by your side in the Secure exercise until told otherwise.

Monkeying Around: Custom Training and Teaching Tolerance

Your home may not have a spider monkey but most homes require some type of customized training. It may be for your pool, gated driveway, landscaping or a toddler going through the terrible twos.

In some cases its about us pre-teaching a specific behavior like the automatic wait (stay behind natural boundary) and applying it to your flower beds. It may be teaching rules regarding your swimming pool such as how to get in and out (dogs can drown trying to lift up their water weight the first few times). It may be where to sit, stand or lie down when you answer the front door.

In some cases its not a matter of teaching rules as it is tolerance. Such was the case with Micha the 1 year old monkey in the video. Whatever is unique about your family, home or property, we will prepare your dog for it.

Muzzle Attacks - Transitioning from Basics to Sparring

Transitioning from Muzzle Attack Basics to Advanced Sparring in Preparation for Real-Life Encounters

This training session was the transition from doing foundational training for muzzle attacks to using it for sparring. This transition allows us to see how the dog reacts to the decoy and how proficient he or she is in using the skills that they have learned. Muzzle training also enables us to set up real life scenarios without the need for protection equipment.

Muzzle attacks serve as a great tool for integrating protection skills for clients who do long-term maintenance training. It simply requires having your dog wear a muzzle for short periods in everyday life. In doing so, the muzzle does not alert the dog to a training session. The encounter with a threat is a surprise and outside of a training scenario. Therefore it is much more in line with a real-life threatening encounter.

Might You be Buying an Obsolete Protection Dog?

Standing Still vs Moving
(Creating Distance)

You probably don't listen to music on 8 tracks or cassette tapes. Why would you do the equivalent with your protection dog?

The average threat takes place from 12 to 20 feet away. It takes a perpetrator 2 seconds to cover that distance. When you first become aware of a threat your brain requires 5/8 of a second to process it and formulate a response.  That leaves a little more than 1.3 seconds to respond. You still need to call your dog to your side and give the command to “turn on” (show aggression). Unless your dog is already by your side you’re out of time.

If you were so lucky to have your dog by your side when you are threatened, and your dog is traditionally trained, you have the time to turn him or her on. If you were properly educated you would know to keep your dog by your side as long as possible. Once your dog leaves your side you’re vulnerable to a second or third person. Seldom do attackers act alone.

Your dog is now lunging towards the threat while you’re holding him or her back. In other words, you’re standing still trying to hold back a 65 to 95 lbs dog as you try to evade the threat. Not easy, nor wise. In effect, you make yourself a target. 

Our Elite Family and Estate Protection Dog program have always solved that problem with our “Secure” exercise which allows for complete off-leash control when you have to turn your dog on to a threat. This allows you to move away from the threat, and create distance, all with your dog “turned on” at your side. 

We are now offering a viable solution to this problem within our Executive Protection Dog program.  As of August of 2018 all CPI dogs trained in our Executive Protection Dog program will be taught the “Protective Escape” exercise. That exercise enables you to have your dog turned on without pulling. That same command will instruct him or her to walk backwards by your side while remaining turned on.  Just another way we position you to have optimal protection.

Cameras Are Everywhere. Use Your Dog Wisely

 

The consequences of not protecting your family are clear. Today, protecting them may also come with consequences. Know how to protect your family while decreasing your liability.

There are security cameras everywhere and everyone has a smartphone. If you are threatened outside your home in all likelihood it’s going to be recorded. When it comes to bystanders with phones what are they going to record? Unless it is a violent threat it may not draw much attention. What is going to draw attention is you with your dog by your side showing aggression. If the perpetrator has been successfully deterred he or she may be backing away from you and your dog. 

Unfortunately, you now look like the aggressor and the perpetrator like the victim! Imagine if that’s when the police show up. They will get out with guns drawn – towards you.

This is exactly the same problem people face who have concealed carry permits and use a gun do defend their life. Even defending yourself with hands and fists causes the same potential legal consequences. Of course the answer isn’t to go unprotected in order to limit your liability. The answer must be having a viable means of protection while minimizing your liability.

Our solution is two fold. As soon as you are aware of the threat you give the command “Police” to your dog. That will instruct your dog to come to your side, turn on (show aggression) and remain by your side regardless of whether you move forward, backwards or sideways. What you do immediately after giving the command is just as important. You lift your hands in front of your chest, palms facing the threat while backing up and repeating “CALL THE POLICE, I’M AFRAID FOR MY LIFE, CALL THE POLICE”.  In doing so you are repeatedly supporting your dog protecting you by repeating the protection command “POLICE” and will be clearly communicating to anyone watching, or recording, who is the victim and who is the perpetrator.

A new standard command withon our Elite Family and Estate Protection Dog program.

Deter a Threat Before it Takes Place

 

How to use your dog for protection without appearing to do so.

In order to better understand the use of a dog for protection it’s helpful to take a look at self-defense with a handgun. In most states you can only defend yourself with a handgun moments before your life is about to be taken. If you remove your gun before that you are considered the threat and will be criminally charged. Thankfully dogs do not have the same status as handguns.  At the same time if you are seen as threatening an innocent person with anything, including a dog, there are consequences.

Our solution is the use of the covert command “knock it off”. This command covertly instructs your dog to come to your side, turn on and remain by your side regardless of whether you move forward, backwards or sideways.  By saying “knock it off”, it appears to everyone around you that you are telling your dog to stop barking, when in reality you are covertly telling him to “turn on”. After aggressively “reprimanding” your dog with “knock it off “ several times you helplessly apologize to the person. Inform them that your dog has bitten three people recently and its probably better to move away. This is the best way to turn your dog on, without looking like a threat in anyone. To everyone around you, you just have a barking dog that you are trying to calm down.

You diffuse a potentially volatile situation, without threatening anyone. A new standard command within our Elite Family and Estate Protection Dog program.