Every conscientious trainer will
refuse to train dogs for attack and protection if he is not familiar
with a dog's environment. No honorable trainer can ever be blamed for
making such a decision, because the responsibility is too great and the
work so many sided that correct training requires time for studying not
only the dog's character and behavior but that of the owner as well.
Great damage may result with a dog trained in this work, in the event
that the owner loses control over the dog. ATTACK work is highly
dangerous, and a dog trained for it, in the hands of an unskilled
owner, is just as bad as a loaded gun in the hands of a child!
It seems as though the laws of this country militate against the dog
owner regardless of whether the damage done by the dog is the fault of
the dog, the owner or the one bitten by the dog. To be specific, the
law says: "Every dog owner is responsible for damage done by a dog
regardless whether intentionally or unintentionally." All too few cases
are known wherein the dog owner has received a favorable judgment
before a court. Still, I must mention one case in which I was involved
and in which justice was done.
'Stick 'em up."
Dog attacks the right arm.
Attack without command in the absence of the guide.
Former method of Attack and protection. Many dogs were used too early,
without being under control and lacking in obedience.
Modern attack and protection work eliminates the out-moded "armor-suit"
of the "criminal," and dogs arc trained to attack the right arm which
is especially protected.
At midnight on one New Year's eve during the prohibition era, I was
attacked by three intoxicated men in Boston. Being on my way home I had
my Bodo with me, but he happened to be investigating some hydrant about
one hundred feet away. Like a true "blitzkrieg," he went into action
without command, and although he had been out of practise in attack
work for many years, in a fraction of a second he brought those three
men to the ground. He meant business and no mistake as shown by the
fact that two of the culprits needed a ride in an ambulance and
subsequent hospital treatment.
Fortunately Bodo was well known to the police as a great lover and
protector of children, and eleven eye witnesses, combined with this
excellent reputation, earned only praise for him from the judge at the
court session in Roxbury, Massachusetts, when the complaint against him
was dismissed on account of self defense. To this day I have kept the
summons of this case in my files as a reminder that there is justice
where justice is needed, and that even apparently hardened judges
appreciate a trained dog.
Now beside the danger connected with a protection-trained dog, all such
training is expensive. At least two persons are required, the trainer
and an assistant who must assume the role of criminal. And both must be
highly skilled because the old fashioned system of using heavily padded
suits for the criminal was outmoded long ago and is used now by only a few amateur
trainers. It is true, too, that the dog trained with this type of suit
will attack without reason everyone wearing a similar coat. Moreover,
few dogs are really suited to this kind of work. In this country we
want the COMPANION dog, not the attacker. Protection trained dogs
imported from Europe some years ago left in the public mind an
unfavorable impression against one particular breed, and this aversion
still has not been wholly overcome.
COMPANION" DOG trials 1928 to 1935 were held every year until 1936 when
the American Kennel Club recognized Obedience Tests. The author's
school awarded the
qualifying dogs these diplomas, the "CD" title and trophies. The rules
were similar to
the present AKC rules and regulations except that more exercises
including tracking and
trailing were required for the "CD" title.
For all the reasons above stated, credit must be given to trainers who
refuse to undertake ATTACK-PROTECTION training. They realize,
apparently, that there are at the present time many unskilled trainers
who have entered the sport for commercial reasons alone; that they have
enjoyed very little experience, and that in consequence more harm than
good will be done by encouragement of such training work.