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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This aspect of dog training seems really interesting. I'm getting my dog pretty good at basic obedience, sit, stay, heel, down, retrieval, kennel, and the like. I see a lot of bite work pics here, and it seems like this could be a good direction to take my dog.

I have a few questions. Perhaps this thread should be stickied.

First, what exactly makes or breaks a dog for this line of work? I ask, because there are those of us so ambitious to take a dog from the SPCA and start training from scratch and see where we can stop. I love challenges... I'm a homebrewer, comedian, musician,

Obviously, one would imagine a strong love for its owner, high energy level, strong jaws, enough muscle to anchor those jaws, the "game" attitude of 'yea, I see a challenge, let's do this' but after that, what qualities will or will not be in a dog cut out for this line of work? Is a quiet dog a good protector? What about a dog that barks a lot?

Is it typically difficult to find great trainers for this type of work (obviously this is dependent on locality, but generally speaking)? How much time and money would one be willing to fork down to satisfactorily get a dog ready to protect a home with any real degree of success? How much up-keep is there, training-wise to keep a dog ready?

What tips, suggestions, comments, criticisms or concerns do you have about my general premise?
 

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you only need one thing........courage on man.

Really simple. Courage on man. It is amazing to me how a person can expect a dog NOT bred for protection to be able to protect, let alone be a manstopper. It is crazy.

Simple but really difficult to find. First you have to decide what you want. Alarm, threat, or manstopper. You are NOT going to find a manstopper in SPCA, I assure you. It would be like winning a lottery. No, winning the lottery would be easier.

In terms of trainers, there are many that are total garbage who pretend to know what they are doing. Many are agitators, not trainers. They should be able to SHOW you with YOUR eyes the finished product. If not, forget it. AND if they only show you on a sleeve, FORGET IT! The last time I checked, a rapist do not have one arm that looks like a protection sleeve. The trainer must be well versed in FULL suit work and MOST importantly, hidden sleeve work (civil work). Makes me laugh when I see PROTECTION trainers that train only with sleeves for PP work.

To fully train a dog, it is very expensive and takes dedication. If you want to buy a trained dog, 7-15 grand, and you would have to invest in monthly upkeep.

For some, this is a cheap investment......insurance.

Honestly, I think people should NOT do bite training. You cannot learn this from videos and books.
 

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Where are you from? Best thing to do is to meet people in your area and get introduced to a club. Visit some trials. Speak to club members, visit training sessions and go to more trials, get to see the dogs - talk to the handlers, if you're interested in protection work. Get to know what it's about upclose from people who do it, if you are serious about learning more and eventually training/handling.
 

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I agree with Peter. It has all do do with what is inside the dog (nerve, drive and courage) rather than size, athleticism, strongs jaws (that was a funny one), muscles, and other physcial attirbiutes.
 

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a pp trainer I respect

Lucillano Oliva. He is a bulldog guru, especially in personal protection. Trust me. He told me one thing that I never forget.

"I can train a dog for a lot of things. I cannot train courage. " Kind of says it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Awesome responses so far... keep em coming.

-I just said the strong jaws and muscle thing b/c I was thinking in terms of what you guys call that man-stopper ability... I think if you have a 100 pound dog with a Chihuahua's head/mouth on it, it's only going to be so effective, no?

-Maybe too broad a question for this forum and a better to ask in person type of question, but how does one test if their dog has the kind of courage that makes it a good personal protection dog? Obviously, a dog that rolls over on its back at the sight of an adult man is no good, but a dog that becomes vicious for no reason is bad.

This line of questioning is going toward probably what everyone here was thinking about before they got into training of this nature.

"I see them doing that. I would like to be able to train my dog to do that, if that's even possible."

I live in Virginia Beach, VA, hoping to move up to the Northern VA region. If you all are so inclined to respond, what brought you into training your dogs this way?
 

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Training with the RIGHT dog is a blast , they have fun and so do you, its addictive. I got into it to keep my drivey dog (boris) out of my hair. Ihad a female and thought she could do the work as well. She is for another venue but i train boris for schutzhund.

Find a GOOD trainer who is good at what you r looking for, specializes. Do not go to a weightpull guy to teach you schutzhund, go to what know their venue. Go close by , b/c it gets expensive i live 20 mins away and boys,$ goes fast!
 

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I'm in it with what most people think of as the "wrong dog" for this work. He's not drivey, in fact he's lazy as hell, and is proving difficult to train. But to me that's the best part. I have to work harder and I have to become a better trainer to be able to get him to work. What he does have going for him is a history of protecting his owner (he was dropped at the shelter after the owner's boyfriend started beating on her and he jumped up and bit the boyfriend . . . it's the Akita in him . . . so is the a-hole attitude! :lol: ) so I know he's workable. For me it's been an amazing journey and I have learned more about training and dog behavior while training him for the past 4 months than I ever had before.

This dog was hand picked for me by my trainer so that I would learn how to deal with a dog like this, and how to bring out the working attitude in a dog like this. But he's not the dog for everyone, especially if you want a dog who's easy to train and who you can begin competing with quickly. I just wanted to add that to show that it's more than a drivey dog that can do this work, but it depends on your level of commitment, and how hard you want to work, to get to the point of having a protection trained dog. I'm doing this to learn how to train dogs . . . if I was doing it to title dogs quickly I would have gone with a drivey bulldog or a shepherd. Instead I have the lazy as hell, bad attitude, pit bull/Akita mix who WILL get the titles, it just won't be quickly OR easily, but the pay-off will be amazing.
 

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why I got into training.

I used to do CKC ob with my dogs as a kid. Fun stuff for a kid to do with his dog. So, I always liked dogs.

Like many young men with raging hormones and not much common sense, I wanted a tough bully, mastiffy, dog. I guess it was the macho thing. Who knows. My only saving grace was my grandfather who bred pits in 1940's and 50's. He loved dogs. I guess I got that love for dogs from him but unfortunately, I did not get his brains. :lol:

I went through dobermans, giant pit bulls (to me a 70lb pit was a giant), mastiffs, and a bullmastiff.

One day, while my mom was home, we got broken into. Needless to say, I got rid of the pit bull that was "supposed" to be a guard dog.

I got into rotties and this animal was well trained. I bought him this way for 10 grand, over 12 years ago. Well, being a czech import, he was very sharp and he ripped open my mother's hand while feeding it. Good with me though. That day, he got put down.

I made EVERY mistake in the book. Then I got into the ABs. Friendly and able. then I joined a schutzhund club. I did not like it. And really, my dog did not have much potential. I got rid of him and got another. He was a shitter too. I was mortified and angry. :lol: :lol:

I finally joined a ring club since I was very interested in suit work. I realized that I needed another dog. Now, this was number 3. I was sick and tired of the crap bulldogs that ring and schutzhund people made fun of. I wanted something NO malinois people woudl say, it lacked drive!

I got ice from the most titled female and male breeding I could find at the time, from Gary Johnson. She took a long time to mature.

I almost gave up but hooked up with Lucillano Oliva at a PSA trial in Las Vegas. Much of what I learned about bulldog training and upper body decoying is from him. The guy is gifted. Not many are. He has trained more bully breeds to title in PSA and personal protection tournaments than ANY trainer. This is the guy who bred my male Chucky. He is truly not a sport dog, but he does do the routines. :lol:

Looking back, if I had to do it all over, I would have hooked up with a training club much much sooner. I would have saved on buying so many dogs! I think your training partners are THE source of finding the right dog to train. So many times, like me, you get sucked in by looks. Then after a year, you end up saying, "damm I need a new dog."

sorry for the ramble. :wink:
 

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Peter - i understand what you are saying about expecting the larger, bullier mastiffy dogs not to be gaurd dogs or working dogs, but generally you can't judge drive and temperment on phenotype. You'd have to check out Jose's yard, Wil Barbosa's, SRK (Steel Rail Kennels) and a few others if you want to see real working bully abs with the proper temperments. Just thought I'd add that. In no way should people only consider working standard AB's where it comes to manwork. Huge misconception that I think is propagated through the hardcore working dog ppl. There are bullies who are just as agile and drivey as standards. I think it's a misconception that most bully(J-type) AB's are huge and mastiffy as well, because they aren't. Depends on the line. Most breeders are going for a more compact, 80 pnd AB, not the 120-140 pnd bully AB that most ppl think the J-line is notorious for. Well in fact the johnson dogs are mastiffy and far too tall (27"+) most bully ab's are around the 22" mark, breath well, and several lines still have much drive, especially the one's with Sure Grip infused in there. Sure Grip is the saviour for all bully ab breeders who want to maintain drive I think - because you can go both ways with their lines - bully or standard, but always drivey. Off topic a bit - but I think a lot of bully AB breeders would do well by adding some Sure Grip to their blood.
 

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redbull said:
Peter - i understand what you are saying about expecting the larger, bullier mastiffy dogs not to be gaurd dogs or working dogs, but generally you can't judge drive and temperment on phenotype. You'd have to check out Jose's yard, Wil Barbosa's, SRK (Steel Rail Kennels) and a few others if you want to see real working bully abs with the proper temperments. Just thought I'd add that. In no way should people only consider working standard AB's where it comes to manwork. Huge misconception that I think is propagated through the hardcore working dog ppl. There are bullies who are just as agile and drivey as standards. I think it's a misconception that most bully(J-type) AB's are mastiffy as well, because they aren't. Depends on the line. Most breeders are going for a more compact, 80 pnd AB, not the 120-140 pnd bully AB that most ppl think the J-line is notorious for. Well in fact the johnson dogs are mastiffy and far too tall (27"+) most bully ab's are around the 22" mark, breath well, and several lines still have much drive, especially the one's with Sure Grip infused in there. Sure Grip is the saviour for all bully ab breeders who want to maintain drive I think - because you can go both ways with their lines - bully or standard, but always drivey. Off topic a bit - but I think a lot of bully AB breeders would do well by adding some Sure Grip to their blood.
Buddy, here you go again. You assume I have neve seen those guys's dogs. I have seen many dogs, especially bully ones, on the west coast. Have YOU? YOu judge without seeing the dogs. YOu assume working temperment. Trust me. YOu will learn the hard way......like me. I like bully dogs. The thing is, I also don't want to get my ass laughed out of a working club. DRIVE. REAL DRIVE. Not flirt pole goofy going for a ball drive.

I know more than you assume, Redbull. In fact, I asked on the bully board for any working bully stud. I received one reply. Nice dog and really good looking.

dude, I travel to SEE and WORK the dogs, not learn about them through the phone and internet. I just don't trust a breeder's opinion. Maybe after so many bulldogs, I have gotten cinical.

I know you are stoked about your pup. But I really don't think you understand drive yet.

Trust me. When you breed for looks, ability suffers. That is common sense. The reason everyone on earth wanted to breed to Ironman Tyson was that he was bully and DRIVEY. A freak. Same would happen if another came along like him. There is virtually none left alive. TRUST ME. In fact, that is what all the bully breeders told me. Get it?

PS. Suregrip, Symmes, I met him at several shows. NICE guy. He did much for the working dogs on the west coast, mainly bringing in rip n woody. hell, both my dogs lines go back to woody.
 

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LOL " here I go again?" I'm not going anywhere. Just stating that judging temperment and drive according to looks (phenotype) doesn't make any bit of sense at all.

And the dogs I am talking of are on the east coast. OH, SC, NY, CT etc.

Have I seen the dogs? Well yes I have been talking to more than just the breeders of these dogs and will be visiting their yards myself very soon. Visiting Wil Barbosa next month (I'm working on his website as well), Jose very soon, several times before picking up my pup. I guess by your statements - you are calling Jose a liar too LOL..TFF.. There are a few SRK dogs in NYC yes (a lot of barbosa blood in his dogs, some fas, and some tyson blood - and guess what - it all stems back to that old MGK blood - heavy Sure Grip - pure working lines), and also Monster Island, who mostly carries barbosa blood, with a bit of tyson blood. They are far from gentle teddy bears LOL. These dogs have attitude, and drive to spare and are extremely athletic. I must be dreaming again though LOLOL. The people I talk to have been in the game far longer than anyone on this forum. They breed the type of dog that they like (drivey, lots of balls, athletic) but again - they must only be lying to make a sale - considering most of the breeders I am talking to (like Wil Barbosa) rarely have a breeding. They spend most of their time dreaming I guess. But honestly, I am not purchasing a dog from either of them - I am bartering - and they know what I like in a dog and want from a pup, so on that front there's no reason for them to lie. They aren't getting money from me. I don't like to pay cash for things much now. If someone has what I want and am looking for, then I'll provide them with something they need or are looking for, and that way everyone is happy and gets what they want.

Anyhow, I'll always feel this way hehe, my opinion's not going anywhere. I guess it's impossible for anyone to sit on both sides of the fence.
 

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Redbull congrats on your new puppy coming but i think the reason peter is saying ths is b/c it seems quite frequently you change your opinion on the Ab on what you "like" you just said, "Anyhow, I'll always feel this way hehe, my opinion's not going anywhere. I guess it's impossible for anyone to sit on both sides of the fence," BUT way back when i remember SO many posts about you only liking standard Abs and preaching about Kisko and then it went to Hybrid and now its Johnson preaching about Jose. The AB should NEVER change in your eyes, you like what you like and shouldnt change with your socks.
Internet and pictures and info doesnt always work should see for yourself b/f putting a deposit on any dog, I have got lucky and been burned. I would say this to anyone about any breeder.
 

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Ahh yeah I know what you're saying.
I've always liked hybrids, I was preaching about Kisko cos he's related closely to Diablo through Sultan hehe. To be honest - I wish I could resurect and own Sultan today!

I've also preached about how much I love an extremely driven standard AB, after meeting one in person and interacting with her for a while.

I love all AB's weather it be standard, hybrid or bully. They all have their pros to me.

But after getting lots of exposure, I really prefer the drivey bullies overall, but not for any one specific reason, just overall I like them the best.

I will always like all bulldogs though, but it's hard to focus on all of them, there's too many!

For example, I still really like the RB's as well, and will likely own one of those one day as well. But my point is this: the RB is pretty bully, yet there is a PSA 1 / FR Brevet RB out there. Right there is case in point as to why people SHOULDN'T judge ability by phenotype, only because the majority of the general public want these dogs for their cute 'bully' looks - that is no reason as to them being unworkable. RB's are bred to work, as are a few lines of bully ab's that heavily trace back to that old MGK blood. It's up to the general public to work them - you can't force them hehe. I think the overall concensus of the bully AB world is that they are against manwork - thinking that it breeds man-aggression in, which I think is completely not the case. Even with people thinking that way (minus the obvious ppl liek Jose) they will still keep drive and tenacity in play when breeding. Not most, but some really do pay attention to this still in the bully world.
 

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redbull.

Good luck with your pup. I hope to see you in a trial one day. Sport or PP. I really do and I wish you much luck. I would love to see a bully dog I would love to take bites from.
 

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Thanks. I know exactly what I am looking for now and I'm pretty sure this breeding will produce what I'm expecting, but I'll have the option to skip it if needed without losing my pick/order. He's got one's coming up sooner, but I'd rather wait it out for this one since Jose's boy Meathead has now replaced his main stud Cockblocker - who was just sold to Megabulls in Europe. Manstoppers + Megabulls still work together though so the block will still be used at times, but Meathead is definately his top stud now - and that new bitch Black Velvet is too much hehe. She's intense. Looking forward to that breeding. Just wish I had more space for 2 dogs again, but I'm only going to plan on owning 1 dog now and focus on him (unless I get one of those lil shorty bull females to keep the boy happy and give him another doggy companion)
 
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