Selection Tests for Personal Protection Dogs Part II
Drives are also critical for the canine to learn and perform personal protection work. Not enough prey drive and the dog will not defend you from the bad guy or even bite the sleeve when stimulated. Prey drive is used to build the dogs bite to grip the sleeve on the decoy. In addition, prey drive builds confidence in the dog as he is the one pursuing the prey not the prey pursuing him.
Too much prey drive and every little moving thing will stimulate the dog into a biting frenzy and the dog himself will have a hard time to turn on and off. I like to think of too much drive as similar to a kettle sitting on the burner. When the water boils, steam builds up, the pressure valves opens and the kettle whistles. If the Kettle did not have a pressure valve and the steam built up the kettle would explode. This is the same as too much prey drive in a dog. Too much steam builds up and then. BOOM!
Defense drive is also critical for the dog to perform personal protection work. If he’s too weak in defense, he will either run away from everything or he will bite at every single person. He will perceive every little thing as a threat. His bite will not be full as he is always half way to fleeing from the “bad guy”.
Pack drive is also important as this is how he fits into the family. Dogs that are high on the scale such as an Alpha dog will always be a little stubborn and not have much willingness to please the handler or family. Alpha dogs are leaders and not necessarily the type of dog to fit into a family situation. Dogs that are too far down in the hierarchy are too submissive to do a good job. Middle of the road (almost an Alpha dog) is what fits in best for personal protection work.
With all of these particulars you can quickly see how difficult it is to find the right dog to make not only a great family companion, but a true protection dog. With 25 plus years of professional experience in the protection, police, military and sport dog world I have learned that selection of the right canine is critical to success.
I am not going to lie, I’ve made mistakes before and selected the wrong dog. Since most of the time it is was my own money wasted, I learned my lesson quickly to pick the exact right dog for its intended job.