We do most of our dog training in Northern Virginia; however, I just got back from spending 5-days working with the police dogs from Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Brevard County. It was an awesome experience being able to help train these amazing dogs and their handlers.
We were able to get a lot accomplished with these already really well-trained machines! We worked on things such as “targeting,” this is how you (the decoy aka guy in the bite suit) teach the dog to bite specific target areas. For example, many dogs prefer to bite an arm because that’s how they were trained before the police departments received them. So, we KNOW they will bite arms; however, we want to teach them that they can bite ANYWHERE. Believe it or not, these are things you have to TEACH the dog, they “generally” will not do it naturally. So, we use a wide variety of techniques in order to make them bite a leg, chest, back, etc. By forcing them to bite these areas and not allowing them to bite arms, they quickly realize, “Oh, I can bite this person anywhere,” and the game becomes more fun for them. Not only does it become more fun for them; however, it becomes more of a reliable/solid dog for us.
Additionally, we taught the dogs to “out” at a faster speed. Many “patrol dogs” do not like to let go once they bite somebody; however, for legality reasons it is very important to have a dog that lets go when the handler tells him to. With modern technology and everyone having a video camera, the last thing a police department wants is for their dog to bite suspect and the video show the K9 constantly screaming to let go and the dog keeps biting. That would not be good for business! 🙂 So, the importance of a solid/reliable “out” is almost just as important as the bite its’ self. So, we worked on a lot of drills to teach the dogs to “out” faster.
Overall, working these patrol dogs in Florida was a highly enjoyable experience where I was able to meet a lot of awesome dogs and people!
If you are in Northern Virginia and you are interested in personal protection for your dog, contact us! I would highly recommend reading my blog on “What It Takes To Be A Protection Dog.”