Ok, sorry for the long wait, I have been away from my email and net access.
1. Is this your first working dog?
If that answer is yes then I would recommend a German Shepherd. My reasoning behing that is "most" shepherds are more compliant and finding a good one is much easier. I love Malinois but for a first dog I don't recommend them as they can be a little much to handle for a first time handler. What I mean by that is if you get a hard dog he will most likely end up eating you or someone you know. It's best to learn the rules of handling a working dog with one who will allow mistakes.
2. I never recommend any dog/puppy less than 10+ months. A year is better but try to stay under a year and a half for a longer serviceable life. The reason is at 10 months you pretty much can see what the puppy will be as an adult. I like them at least a year because I will not put any of my dogs on a sleeve before 12 months. I want bones to develope at least to a year.
3. Socialize the dog a lot! Take them to Petsmart, TSC, Home Depot, Parks, Mall, Events with a lot of people. You can hand people treats and let them feed your dog if you like. I prefer not to but if you don't posion proof them there is nothing wrong with it. You need a social dog BEFORE you start any type of bite work!
4. Most of your steps leading to bite work are play. You get tugs, bite pillows, thick rope, and play a lot. (15 minutes every day). Focus on one obedience exercise at a time. Master the current exercise before you go to the next. (Sit, Down, Come, Heel, Stand, Out, Speak) The words or language you use are irrelevant because your dogs response is conditioned to the sound not the actual language. Most of my dogs have been in German but I have done Slovic, Mandrin<I don't recommend, and English. Alternate languages are used by police mainly because they were imported and it supposedly will keep a bad guy from trying to give commands to the dog. As a side not the release command is generally Out which completely destroys that reasoning...lol. K-9 handlers are typically not dog trainers though so it's not a big deal.
5. This is good and bad news. You can't teach a dog bite work on your own. You MUST have an experienced helper/decoy <universal term, to assist you. The helper actually teaches the dog bite work the handler is what I refer to jokingly as the dumb end of the leash because you are a post. If you allow the dog to advance to the helper, unless told to, you are most likely going to hear a plethora of profanity and insults because that is how people get hurt. The helper is in control!
So that was kinda long winded. Here are a few recommendations. 1. Buy a video to see what you are getting into because this is a lot of work. Leerburg.com has several good videos for purchase and a lot of free streaming videos. You can find a Schutzhund club and watch them for a while or join and learn how to train a dog. You can go to seminars which are a lot of fun and you take your dog to these so you get some one on one time. If you live near a kennel that trains for bite work go to them. Anyone who wants to sell you a dog should offer plenty of time for you to ask questions and demo the dog. You can message me and I will give you my contact info if you would like to talk this over. I hope this was helpful and feel free to ask anymore questions.
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