Cozmo’s protection work is well under way after a bit of a delayed start.
I had planned to start the imprinting stages of training around four months after getting all of the kid’s shots and vaccinations. I had made contact with the individual I had planned on training with but found out that due to personal issues he was on hiatus from training.
My next move was to track down another local trainer who was trained by the same person under the same theories and philosophies that I was. I was able to locate this trainer online but unable to make contact as email addresses and phone numbers were old and not valid. As fate would have it, I ran into this trainer (Nor Cal Valley K9) about six months later (March 2013) by coincidence and the rest is history.
In September 2012 Cozmo was nine months and I was beyond ready to get protection training started. While I want to implement some Schutzhund fundamentals I am not interested in competing in Schutzhund or belonging to a training club. Finding a trainer who understands how to train a true protection dog versus a sport dog is not easy to do.
A dog that has the drive and the genetics to be a protection dog or a police dog can easily do sport work. A lot sport dogs are trained for trials and competitions and are solely equipment focused. Therefore not all sport dogs are trained or equipped to be protection dogs.
In September 2012 I eliminated trainers and clubs I was familiar with but not interested in. I researched some trainers that were unknown to me and made phone calls. Over the next six months Cozmo and I made trips to different trainers and fields looking for the right fit. I had come to the conclusion that the right trainer for my needs and wants was going to be a four hour round-trip drive. The weekend I accepted this fact and commitment was the same weekend I ran into my past, and new trainer.
Training has been slow and steady and I am pleased with Cozmo’s progress. Over the past month things have begun to click and Cozmo has become much more serious and intense in training. His protective instincts and increased confidence at home are also noticeable.
The kid is still green in “training” but if you plan on stopping by to visit me, please call ahead and don’t ring the bell. Cozmo is not a big fan of unannounced, impromptu visits.
*Originally posted October 28, 2013*