From the beginning, require strict obedience. You may have to shout at your dog, or he may respond to a whisper. I have known dogs to become cowards when addressed for a while in loud tones. Your dog always should walk at heel, on the left side, because the average person wields a weapon with his right hand, and in case of attack the animal can leap directly at the right arm and hand without crossing between your adversary and you.
It is better to start the work indoors, to avoid distractions. Lead the dog around the room, never permitting him to move ahead of the knee or drop behind the heel. Hold the left hand alongside the trouser leg, using it as a guide for the leash, which will be worked by the right. Thus the dog does not associate pressure on the collar with hand movements. I have known dogs to become hand-shy, much as many of them are known to become gun-shy.
When the dog ceases to pull on the lead and begins to follow correctly as you turn, teach him to sit. Stand the dog on your left, hold the leash in the right hand, place the left hand immediately forward of the hips and, while holding the collar up, press the fingers in and the hand down. Always give the command, "sit," as you apply the gentle pressure to his back. Make sure the dog remains seated when friends approach, for they never appreciate a "jumper." Shortly you will find him sitting without command whenever you stop walking. If the dog tends to leap at visitors, when you halt with him at heel bring the right foot back of your left leg and press down on his back. Use the side, not the toe, for the object is to surprise and not to injure him.
If the dog starts to get up, take a step toward him and give the command "hold!" The splendid action photograph at right shows the author's police dog clearing the hurdle in training for a movie job. Branches placed by the crossbar teach him to jump hedges
To show him what "lie down" means, place your left hand on his back, pull out his front feet, and push him down.
For training in wall-jumping, start with a low barrier and gradually increase the height. When the wall gets too high for jumping, the dog will pull himself over as shown above.
To teach a dog to lie down, bring him to the sitting position and lay your left hand over his back directly ahead of the saddle. Pull out the front feet with the right hand and press down with the left, repeating "lie down" several times during the action. When your dog understands the meaning of "lie down," you may teach him to remain in place for indefinite periods. Have him lie down, then take two steps backward, and as you repeat the command, walk backward in an ever-widening circle until at last you are moving in a complete twenty-foot circle around the dog. If he arises, take a step or two toward the dog and emphasize the command. Repeat this performance until you disappear from his view. When sitting, the dog should be alert for your return. While lying he should relax. The obedience course completed, put your dog "over the jumps." Start with a crossbar two feet l ;high. First, step across
;the bar yourself. The dog will follow. Then stand aside, and lead him over. He'll try to walk across, but, find-
This cocker spaniel is getting a lesson in climbing a ladder. After a simple climb, the ladder is shaken to give him confidence in mounting unfirm structures ing the bar slides uncomfortably down his chest, thereafter will jump. Gradually raise the jump at six-inch intervals, calling him over as you stand alongside.
After a few rehearsals, lower the bar, remove the leash, and the dog will jump when called. From here move to the wall jump if you wish, starting low and adding boards. When the wall's height passes the dog's ability to leap upward, he will run up the side, grasp the upper edge with his paws, and pull himself over. Now he's beginning to learn wall-scaling.
Climbing ladders should be included in the training of any protective dog. Not solid ladders, but those which tremble and shake. For this purpose, it is a good plan to construct a small platform, with six-foot ladders leading up and down on two sides. Coax the dog up, permit him to rest on the platform, lead him down. Thus he acquires confidence. After a few trials, shake the platform gently, then vigorously, as he climbs and descends.
A dog so taught will protect your home, but what about safeguarding your person? One final step, and he will be ready.
Tie the dog to a chain, preferably in a corner. Tease him with a sack" until he grabs it. Let him pull it from your hand, so he will think he has won the battle. As he tugs again and again, threaten him with a stick. Now wrap the sack around your right hand and arm, making sure the flesh is adequately protected, but keep the sack loose so the dog will grasp only its folds. Push your arm into his mouth as he growls, permitting him to pull briefly.
When he becomes quite confident of his fighting ability, remove the chain and tie the dog to a leash, which you hold as an assistant "rushes" you. At first, the attacker backs away when the dog resents his appearance. Finally, the dog and his prey close in, the latter waving his stick as the dog grasps his protected arm.
Sonny, an alert police dog, rests between jumps.
At the height of the dog's excitement, call him off, pulling the leash at the same time. He should respond, slowly at first and later instantly, at your command.
Protection training teaches the dog to bottle Intruders. At the start, chain him in a corner and let him tug at a sack held in your hand while you threaten him with a stick. Later, wrap the sack around your arm.