Adams K-9 was an idea I came up with while I was still a police canine trainer. I was 1 of 4 canine teams within my department and was responsible for the dog selection. In addition to selecting the dogs, I also trained all our dog teams. The most important part of police dog training is the foundation work, and obedience is the most important component of the dog team. When we refer to obedience, I am talking about control of the dog and the dog’s manners. A misbehaving police dog is going the get the department sued. Control spills over into all other aspects of the police dog’s jobs; tracking, scent detection and biting criminals.
Part of the selection process involves testing dogs on their intensity to fetch the toy, use their nose and bite that bad man. Tentative dogs are rejected. These dogs have extreme prey drive, which means if it moves they want to chase it, catch it, and bite it. The trainer’s and handler’s job is to teach the dog they cannot chase, catch and bite anything unless given permission to do so. We trained the dogs to sit/stay when they saw people running and to stop in their tracks and return to the handler when in pursuit of a suspect.
Adams K-9 came to be when I realized that the way we train the police dogs could help a lot of pet owners. Often times I heard people say, “I wish my dog listened that well.” They actually can! I took my methodology for police dog training and created an easy-to-learn technique for training family dogs. This means that yes, you can have a dog as well trained as a police dog in only a few weeks. It does take commitment on the family though.
The foundation training we teach is sit, down, wait, place, heel, follow, and come. We feel every dog should know basic manners: stay off the furniture, no jumping, quiet on command, no biting, and to be housebroken. All dogs should be crate trained. As the dogs learn, we add distractions just like we did with the police service dogs. Ignore the distraction and obey our commands. This is the foundation to having a happy, loving dog as part of your family.
Once the foundation work is done it’s up to the families to follow through on the training. My recommended homework for pet owners includes:
- Reading Material
- Changing they ways you interact with your pet
- Practice, practice, practice
- Participate in Group Polishing Class
All dogs can be as well behaved as police service dogs with a little structure, consistency, and of course some fun outdoor stuff. The fun outdoor stuff is the by-product to the foundation training. The fun outdoor stuff is playing disc, going on hikes, traveling, going to the cabin or lake. This is the recipe for the perfect dog. The dog your friends tell you is so well behaved. To set your dog up for success, teach rules, train and have structure so your dog can experience life with the family.