Calm Dog Temperaments
With American Bulldogs & Bandogges
Lower Police & Civilian Liability Issues
Something that everyone and especially fellow professional
dog trainers should take note of... CBRK
dogs are totally safe dogs in groups of strangers,
showing no agitation or anxiety, not even in very loud and
boisterous public crowd environments. This high stress
circumstance is one in which more than one Police K-9 handler
knows to keep a firm hand on the leash.
It's not my intention to in any way denigrate police dogs
- not in the least! I love police dogs and respect
the very serious, necessary and effective service they and
their highly professional Law Enforcement K-9 handlers perform.
This in part is why I wish to
breed a better type of working dog. Most protection
trained American Bulldogs and Bandogges are naturally more
"mellow" and laid back than most (not all) protection
trained German and Belgian Shepherds. This makes the dog
easier to control and allows them to reliably perform the
same jobs with greater safety, less force escalation, and
much lower liability concerns. These are valuable characteristics
for working dogs, whether you're a civilian handler, a police
K-9 officer, or simply a parent that wants a protection
dog to help keep your family safe.
CBRK dogs will bite the "bad
guy" if it's necessary, they are naturally calm, stable
minded and patient dogs. They do not require "special
handling" or a secured kennel facility to keep them
out of trouble when they're not on duty. Our
dogs are always on duty and never nervous or "edgy"
under any circumstance... not even being pet or
hugged by strangers. Many working dogs employed by civilian
families and police agencies present serious risk of liability
with high prey drives that do not make for naturally stable
dogs in public.
Dog Prey Drive .vs Pack Protection/Defense
Understanding the Difference & Why It Really Matters
These traits are precisely what characterizes the typical,
well bred, properly socialized and trained American Bulldogs
and with a few exceptions Bandogges also. While they do
have good prey drive their more dominant drive is
that for pack protection. CBRK
would argue that less dominant prey drive and more
dominant pack protection drive is of great advantage
in any Personal Protection, guard or police K-9,
but we recognize it's a debatable issue for full-time military
and police dogs. However, it is a self-evident fact that
for a family companion guardian dog certainly
nothing else is appropriate.
drive by definition is to chase and kill. Prey drive
is the instinctual drive that causes animals to chase and
kill smaller animals in order to feed themselves. As a professional
dog trainer, as a dog breeder focused on Personal Protection
dogs and as a former law enforcement officer I can tell
you, inappropriate activation of a dog's prey drive is the
primary cause of most inappropriate and the most serious
inappropriate dog bite incidents. Even thoroughly trained
high prey drive dogs can be difficult to control - even
for professionals. A dog with highly developed prey
drive is not something we really want to see in the
back yard with the kids and their friends, no matter how
dangerous it may make a dog to the "bad guy" -
the "bad guy" the average family protection dog
will likely never encounter during his entire lifetime.
protection drive on the other hand is a drive to protect
and defend and to most passionately protect and defend
the females and puppies in the pack; i.e., mom and the
Left, Camo as a puppy with my son. Today as an adult and
a very serious Personal Protection dog Camo is the exact
same with the kids.
The pack protection drive is not activated without the
presence of a threat. Well socialized dogs do not generally
perceive the existence of a "threat" in normal
human interactions and environments it has been socialized
to interpret as normal. A child running across the yard
has no chance of activating the pack protection drive in
a dog that is familiar with children running and playing.
By comparison dogs with high prey drive such as the Belgian
and German Shepherds look great in Schutzhund demonstrations
but are much more likely to attack children at play, other
dogs, etc. In the American Bulldog, Bandogge and other Mastiff
breeds it is the pack protection or "defense drive"
that has been refined by breeders since ancient times.
A Working Dog Scenario, Fictional
Behaviors Owners & Professional Handlers Can Get
With Socialized & Trained American Bulldogs & Bandogges
Imagine a truly happy, joyful dog who loves to be part
of the group. He has a good attitude, always ready for fun
and games. You rarely put a leash on him and you don't even
own a muzzle.
Strangers walk up and pet the dog through the open window
of your car. You don't need to watch him carefully - or
watch the strangers either, because he's there watching
them. You're a police officer and this dog is your K-9
partner. Your department phased out their kennel and associated
expenditures years ago. This dog lives in your house with
you and your family. You have no containment strategy beyond
a standard back yard.
Off duty the dog attends
children's birthday parties, where he's been dressed in
costumes, worn lipstick, been harnessed to wagons and of
course been teased by those children that sometimes tease
dogs when no one is looking. The dog's most abhorrent behavior:
Petty Larceny - the occasional theft of ice cream cones
from owners standing less than four feet in height.
This is also a dog you have regularly taken to a nearby
retirement home and a children's hospital, because he is
so gentle and so well behaved he is also a Certified Therapy
Now imagine you're on the job patrolling a visiting carnival.
From a distance you witness a man snatch a small child from
her mother's hand, fleeing quickly into a crowd. The dog
is already running as you reach for your radio and give
pursuit. He wasn't on a leash. You issued no command. He's
a different kind of dog, working as much by instinct as
by training. He saw what you saw and self-initiated. That
same innate understanding of human beings making him safe
around nice people, makes this dog the worst nightmare
for those with ill intent.
Your dog is out of sight
when he catches that man, more than 100 pounds of high density,
war dog muscle slamming him to the ground with the force
of a freight train. If the man surrenders the dog sits on
him calmly awaiting your arrival, no biting or furious shaking
required. If the man resists he's met by an aligator-like
death grip. This man does resist. However,
no matter what that man does to him, that dog will never
let him go, and he will also use no more force than
necessary to hold him.
When you finally reach the scene you issue the recall.
The dog just immediately releases your suspect. There's
none of that progressive disengagement stuff common with
so many prey driven dogs. You didn't need to make yourself
off balance and vulnerable to the perpetrator by
yanking at the dog's leash, harness or collar to pull him
off. He sits down and stays down as you put cuffs on Mr.
Bad Guy. Far from resisting any further Mr. Bad Guy eyes
the dog nervously, glad you're there to take him into "protective
custody" from the dog.
Your dog is cool as a cucumber, just sitting there
bleeding. He gently kisses the recently rescued little girl
to comfort her - as if he did not just chase a man for 45
minutes through a busy, tightly packed urban neighborhood;
as if he did not just sustain multiple knife wounds and
stop a capital crime.
Such dogs exist in every breed used by police, but they
are unusual. However, this is the reasonably expected temperament
of basically all American Bulldogges and well bred Bandogges.