Today, I and one other trainer took two of our German Shepherds into town to train for some real life situations. They are currently enrolled in the Elite Protection Dogs custom training program. While in town today we primarily focused on walking, this may seem like quite a simple task but it’s a crucial part of protection. In many situations like a neighborhood setting it is imperative that our dogs learn how to remain focused at all times. There are countless distractions that occur every moment, like the noises from the street, people passing by or even other animals. We use our specific training methods to teach the dogs how to acknowledge these factors but to always keep their direct attention to your needs.
One simple exercise that we use is simply walking down a relatively busy street. We will pick a starting point and then begin walking with the dogs like any owner would. The streets we use here in Buffalo are somewhat residential and are likely similar to those in Florida, or even California. During the exercise if we come to an intersection where it’s required to stop before crossing, our dogs know not to continue without us. In addition, they learn to walk right beside us the entire time without the use of a leash. As the exercise continues we will choose a store and use a voice control to tell the dog to sit and stay. The dog remains exactly where you leave them, while you go into the store, understanding that you will soon return. After returning to your dog another voice commands signals them that it is time to continue walking and they willingly do so. This entire exercise is a great way to expose the Personal Protection Dogs to real life situations, teaching them how to remain focused and ready to protect you at all times.