Raising the Perfect Dog; The Secrets of Law Enforcement K9 Trainers

BOOK: Raising the Perfect Dog; The Secrets of Law Enforcement K9 Trainers

Copyright © 2010 Nicholas White

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 1460972015

ISBN-13: 9781460972014

eBook ISBN: 978-1-61914-442-2



Title Page


Copyright Page




1. Choosing the Perfect Dog


2. Crate Training


3. Confidence-Building


4. Socialization


5. Being the Pack Leader


6. The Use of a Verbal Marker for Training


7. Teaching the Basic Commands with Verbal Markers


8. Pros and Cons of Different Training Methods


9. Do’s and Don’ts of Training


10. Importance of Physical and Mental Exercise


11. Troubleshooting Common Problems


12. Summary


About the Author



irst off, thank you for purchasing my book. I hope you truly feel that the information I am about to give was worth more than the purchase price!

About me: I run one of the most successful dog-training businesses in the state of Virginia. We currently have four training locations and are rapidly growing. My experience started when I was very young, working with our dog Deputy, a German shepherd mix, when I was about 14 years old. I spent every day working with Deputy, teaching him anything and everything I could. From the basics (sit, down, come) to barking on command, rolling over, playing dead, to setting a treat on his nose. Right then, I knew I had found my passion. Fast forward about four years—I joined the U.S. Marine Corps and worked with our military working dogs. Out of the Marine Corps, I was immediately hired by a federal law enforcement agency in Washington, DC, and then worked alongside our apprehension and bomb-detection dogs for more than three years. By this time, I had more than enough skills, experience, training, and knowledge to open my own business, Off-Leash K9 Training. Currently, it is one of the most successful dog-training businesses in the state of Virginia. We currently have four training locations and we’re growing. I have spent more than 10 years in trial and error, seminars, schools, and working with hundreds of dogs ranging from household pets
to military working dogs to figure out what the best methods were for raising a happy, confident, friendly, and well-trained dog. So this is 10 years of my life, experiences, and knowledge compiled together to bring you the best book on raising a happy, confident, friendly, well-trained dog. You will notice throughout this book I make many analogies comparing dogs to humans; there are so many similarities and behaviors that we have in common that it is almost frightening. I’m sure you too will begin to see some of these in your own dog that you can compare to your children or even yourself. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it, and I am certain that if you follow the guidance in this book, you will have a happy, confident, friendly, and well-trained dog!


n order to raise the perfect dog, you have to pick the perfect dog—that is, the perfect dog for you. Many people ask, “What is the best dog to get?” Unfortunately, I cannot answer that, only you can. The question you should ask yourself is, “What am I looking for in a dog?” Are you looking for a very energetic dog that needs a lot of exercise, attention, and work (German shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Lab, etc)? Or are you looking for just a good dog to have as a companion who is completely happy just lying around the house all day? Or are you looking for something in between? Are you looking for a hunting dog, a protection dog, or just a companion? All of these are questions you have to ask yourself; your answer will help you decide what dog is perfect for
There is no perfect dog. The Belgian Malinois is a very high–energy, high–maintenance dog and therefore is not meant for everyone. Pugs and poodles aren’t meant for everyone, either. So it really depends on what you are looking for. Also, look at the expectations you have for a dog, then ensure the dog you pick is capable of meeting them. Meaning, if you want a dog to do protection, do not get a beagle; if you want a dog as a running partner, do not pick a bulldog. There is not one that would be perfect for everyone, but there is a dog that would be perfect for you and what you want.

Once you decide on the dog you want, now you have the task of finding a good breeder for that specific type of dog. You should go to a good, qualified breeder, not who many refer to as a “backyard breeder.” These are often people with no knowledge, training, or handling of dogs who just so happened to have two dogs, one got pregnant, and now they are selling the puppies. These puppies can have a wide variety of problems, such as temperament, nerves, aggression, and medical concerns. I always recommend finding someone who is an American Kennel Club (AKC)-certified breeder; meaning, their dogs have been tested and come from good, proven lines, genetically and medically. An AKC breeder should have your puppy’s family lineage for at least a few generations back, often further.

If you are against breeders because you think they are just in it for the money, you are mistaken. Often they make very little profit off their dogs after they pay for food, medical care, and shots. Keep in mind, you cannot put a price on the eight weeks of headaches, loss of sleep, and messes made in the house by the litter of pups. I love dogs, however, for the very little profit per dog, it is definitely not worth it for me to take care of six to 12 puppies for eight weeks.

Now that you have some great breeders lined up, ensure the breeder can deliver the specific type of dog you are looking for. A big misconception people have is that if they have a German shepherd, a Belgian Malinois, or a Rottweiler that we can turn him or her into a great protection dog. That is far from the truth. Generally, protection dogs are bought from breeders who breed specifically for this type of work; meaning, they will take two high-drive, high-confidence, good-nerved dogs (usually former protection dogs) and breed them together. Not every dog out of their litter will be successful in this line of work. So, ensure the breeder you are using is breeding for what you are looking for in your dog. If you want a Lab to be used as a hunting dog, ensure you are getting a Lab that is bred from a working line. People breed for families/companions, for looks and show, and for working lines, so you have to ensure the breeder you choose is breeding not only the breed of dog but also the type of dog that you are looking for.

Once you’ve really narrowed it down to a specific breeder, do your research. Breeders are like any other business in the world, you cannot take their word for it just because it is their business. Ask for references, talk to other people who bought the same type of dog you are looking for and contact them. See if their dog is what they expected, if they had any problems, how their dealings were with the breeder. Remember, getting a dog is around al4-year commitment, so it is important to ensure that you are getting exactly what you want. A good breeder will ask you as many questions as you ask them, so red flags should go up if you can just show up with the money and take their dog without any questions from either side. Generally the breeder will have an application with a questionnaire, they will want to meet with you in advance, and they will want to find out as much about you as possible. Also, they should tell you that their dogs are not available until they are eight weeks old—this is another good indicator to look out for. Up until eight weeks, the puppies are still with their mother, learning to interact with their siblings, learning vital things such as bite inhibition (what is acceptable and unacceptable play, etc.). Great breeders want to ensure their dogs are going to great homes.

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