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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.