K9 Chaperone – Our Story
We purchased two imported cropped and docked Dobermans from a dealer who told us that Dobermans have a sixth sense, they know when something is wrong and step up accordingly.
The dogs provided a superb visual deterrent and when we moved to a new house in an isolated position with no near neighbours, I was keen to test the dogs. I dressed up in brightly coloured clothes with a hoodie and hid in the bushes.
The dogs saw me and barked but retreated without the confidence to challenge me. They were afraid and it was clear that we had a problem and that they needed professional training.
I searched online, looking for a trainer who could help train my two Dobermans to become personal protection dogs and I found the K9 Chaperone website. I liked the ethos of their website and their testimonials were impressive. I called them and we had a visit from Richard Douglas. It was clear that he had a high degree of dog training knowledge and he explained the process of training dogs to a high standard and we were enlightened with respect to the long time scales, there was no quick fix and he suspected that our dogs just didn’t have the courage to progress to personal protection level, but felt he could improve the dogs with residential training.
Having had the Dobermans from puppies, we were reluctant to put the dogs into residential training for an extended period of time, we would miss them too much. They were part of our family and we also had two young boxer dogs who were energetic and typical crazy boxer dogs.
We felt that we had four wonderful dogs but none that could be relied upon to protect us, we joked that if an intruder came, all the dogs would run behind us and bark from there. After browsing the K9 website, we started to ask about fully trained K9 Chaperone German Shepherd Dogs and we were told that they had a GSD bitch called Layla.
She would be ready in 2 months time and would be trained to personal protection level. We met Layla and she astounded us with her incredible obedience and her wonderful temperament. We paid a deposit and kept in touch. For us, tragedy struck suddenly when one of the Dobermans developed chronic wobblers syndrome and following xrays and discussions with vets, we very sadly had to make the agonising decision to put him to sleep just 2 weeks before Layla was due to join us. The hardest and most painful thing we have had to do.
Debbie and Harriet arrived with Layla for the first day of the two day handover. We had been given extensive training notes in advance and these were as important as an instruction manual for a machine. The two day handover was to train us how to handle and keep training Layla and Debbie and Harriet conducted this so well, making the experience very friendly and enjoyable. On the second day, Josh arrived with Debbie and he had the unenviable job of dressing up as an intruder wearing a bite suit for the personal protection demonstration and training.
During the handover, we learned so much, we learned that despite having 4 dogs, we knew very little about how their minds work. Dogs think very differently to humans.
If one of my dogs was being aggressive towards a stranger’s dog, I would automatically try to calm it by stroking it and saying “Its OK, quiet”. Debbie advised me that by doing this, the dog was interpreting my comforting strokes as praise and I was unconsciously praising the dog for showing aggression, the opposite of what I intended. There were several other things that have helped me to handle my dogs more effectively. K9 Chaperone will keep supplying top up training and will even take all our dogs for top up residential training if we decide to go on holiday, which is amazing, we wouldn’t consider putting them in kennels, but to have them working with trainers for two weeks and returning home with new skills would sit very well with us.
We’ve had Layla now for 5 weeks and she has integrated so well, she is so good natured and has excellent manners especially with the other 3 dogs.
On the heel command, she is glued to my side, on the sit and stay command, she stays after one command until released and can be relied upon to be super obedient. Friends and visitors are astounded by her absolute obedience, her reliability to perform and her eagerness to please. They are even more impressed when we say she has only been with us for just 5 weeks! We are so impressed with Layla, that we are now in the process of ordering a second German Shepherd for delivery in 12 months time.
We would not consider buying a puppy, going through house training, chewing and basic sit and give a paw DIY training and hoping that they will become a good protector. To receive a fully trained personal protection dog who will bond so tightly with you in just a few weeks is an absolute dream come true. Well done to everyone at K9 Chaperone.
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