It was a very sad day on June 17, 2016.
A protection dog died by no fault of his own today. I will call him Zeke to maintain privacy.
Stories like this give me nightmares. I am writing this based on my personal knowledge of the situation and the information provided to me by others involved in Zeke’s life.
Trainers and owners need to take Responsibility
The woman who purchased Zeke wanted a protection trained dog for her home and went through with the purchase against my professional opinion. She was right to want the security of a well trained protection dog in her home because her home had been broken into by armed men. However she was not a suitable candidate for handling a protection dog.
It takes a certain personality and discipline to own a protection trained dog. The dog’s personality is also crucial to the training results. Click here for more info on choosing the proper dog for the job.
There are a few different training levels and methods to consider for this purpose. Hence the importance of research to learn which is most suitable for your situation.
Sadly, Zeke was trained using fear and compulsive techniques according to other sources. From my understanding, the dog is pushed to the limit using fear until he bites out of compulsion and fear. In my opinion this is wrong and cruel.
Discipline and natural instincts is crucial
When picking a dog for protection training we want to select a confident and playful candidate. Mental and emotional health of the potential handler are important. Why a protection dog is needed must be justified.
The blind leading the blind
Zeke moved into a new home with a owner who had limited knowledge, training and experience with protection dogs. To make things worse, this dog was fearful and unable to cope with this transition that he would hide in closets to avoid the family.
Regardless of her limitations the new owner succeeded in making Zeke more confident in her home and the dog maintained his gentle manners with her young child.
The whole family and close friends were well aware of Zeke’s training and purpose. They took most of the necessary precautions because they knew the potential risk that came with Zeke.
Recipe for disaster
A person trained this dog using terrible methods to get a desired result. The trainer then sold him to another person who was riddled in anxiety and had other health issues.
The woman who purchased the dog who feared for her life in her home. She also had no experience or training with protection dogs before hand. That makes trainer and purchaser 100% responsible for this dog’s actions and his death.
His last day
Zeke had a new puppy friend with him on the morning of June 17, 2017. It is my understanding that as Zeke and his owner were leaving their home that morning with the new puppy. A close family member came rushing at the puppy who was under Zeke. In doing so the woman got bit by Zeke.
Zeke perceived a threat and he bit somebody! Worse, he compulsively bit a person out of fear for his new little puppy.
Zeke did exactly what his owner purchased him to do!, and paid a lot of money to teach him to do it! The owner had all the advice she needed to prevent this attack from happening. IT STILL HAPPENED!!!!
Zeke should have been muzzled on all walks as a precaution. The owner chose not take the one precaution that I had recommended unfortunately. Therefore Zeke had to be euthanized that afternoon.
The owner contacted me immediately after the incident begging me to come get Zeke in fear for his life. I was working and could not be there until later in the day. Meanwhile I spent my day looking for a safe home for this dog where he would be with people who had the competence to help him.
Finally I found a professional canine handler who could take him and retrain Zeke. By this time the owner had changed her mind about finding Zeke a home and in conclusion chose to take his life for having done her bidding. Is this harsh?…Damn right it is! Because unfortunately that was Zeke’s reality today.
There is no going back from protection training
So, I am apologizing for the people who did this because they were so ignorant and lacked the knowledge to understand what it really means to train a dog for protection.
R.I.P. Zeke. You would have been a great dog if you had been given the chance.
When you decide to train a dog for protection, you must be aware that there is no going back. You changed that dog forever!