Dog Manual

Attack And Protection

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.