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  • K9 and patrol vehicle protectiveness/barking

    Hi, I have a question regarding your K9's and their patrol vehicle protectiveness and also barking. I am a new handler and I have been on the street with my new dog for only two weeks. He seems to be a great dog, he did great in school and excels in training with obedience, bitework etc. I am very excited to have him as my partner.

    My question and/or concern is that when I am contacting people on the street, he seems to be completely alert and watching me from the patrol vehicle as I speak with a person (usually a dirtbag), which is great. However, he is rarely barks if at all when people walk up to his vehicle and stare at him. This is done mostly by other officers who dont know any better and I tell them to back away from him whenever I see them doing this. There has also been a few occasions when a citizen has approached my vehicle very closely and asked me a question, and he still doesn't bark.

    I work in a very busy city with lots of activity and he will be used a lot. Another example of this is occurred the other day, I had two parolees flee from a stolen vehicle into an open garage, by the time I got my vehicle stopped, I ordered them to exit the garage with their hands up or they would be bitten by a police dog, unfortunately both surrendered immediately when there was potential for a first bite. I removed my dog from the vehicle and held him on leash as other officers arrived on scene to handcuff. He was very alert but he still did not bark at them even though I was building him up with bark and alert commands.

    I guess my question is, is this normal for a new street dog, will he eventually become protective of his vehicle and will he bark at key times like at passive suspects and or locations which suspects may be hiding? Is there anything you suggest? I have been working with him and his toy with barking and he is doing great, I just want him to apply naturally at work on the street. Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by ofcbaum View Post
    Hi, I have a question regarding your K9's and their patrol vehicle protectiveness and also barking. I am a new handler and I have been on the street with my new dog for only two weeks. He seems to be a great dog, he did great in school and excels in training with obedience, bitework etc. I am very excited to have him as my partner.

    My question and/or concern is that when I am contacting people on the street, he seems to be completely alert and watching me from the patrol vehicle as I speak with a person (usually a dirtbag), which is great. However, he is rarely barks if at all when people walk up to his vehicle and stare at him. This is done mostly by other officers who dont know any better and I tell them to back away from him whenever I see them doing this. There has also been a few occasions when a citizen has approached my vehicle very closely and asked me a question, and he still doesn't bark.

    I work in a very busy city with lots of activity and he will be used a lot. Another example of this is occurred the other day, I had two parolees flee from a stolen vehicle into an open garage, by the time I got my vehicle stopped, I ordered them to exit the garage with their hands up or they would be bitten by a police dog, unfortunately both surrendered immediately when there was potential for a first bite. I removed my dog from the vehicle and held him on leash as other officers arrived on scene to handcuff. He was very alert but he still did not bark at them even though I was building him up with bark and alert commands.

    I guess my question is, is this normal for a new street dog, will he eventually become protective of his vehicle and will he bark at key times like at passive suspects and or locations which suspects may be hiding? Is there anything you suggest? I have been working with him and his toy with barking and he is doing great, I just want him to apply naturally at work on the street. Thanks.
    You are extremely fortunate, the last thing you want is your dog barking in the vehicle, 1. It will make you deaf........and is very anti-social 2. It wares him out (searching) 3. Very bad for the temprement.

    Extend your bark on command to someone else. Have another handler show him his reward (whatever it is), no aggression just have the officer wrap his fist around it like a clenched fist and you give the command (I use 'speak' but dragged out a little at first 'Sssspeeak!). When you dog gives voice tell him to 'Finish', and reward and praise. On completling exercise very low key have your assistant just approach and stroke the dog with a 'good boy', (the finish is almost as important. getting a dog to speak once he's grasped what you want is easy, but just as important is shutting him up). At first reward after every 'finish' and repeat. After two days of casual practice with most dogs they will be doing it. The clenched fist is the start of the hand command. So your do will give voive not just by verbal command, but also by hand signal..................it should have been taught on your basic course, include it with you daily obedience routine.

    You make it plain that officers approaching your vehicle and taunting your dog is paramount to abuse, I've nicked (arrested) a number of youths for it whist attending incidents....have none of it.............
    Last edited by Eurodog; 08-17-2008, 02:25 AM.
    "That's funny, he's never done that before!"

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    • #3
      Good stuff Euro!!!!!
      It took me over a year to get my dog to bark for anything!!!! An important thing to remember when working on this is that it is the decoys job (whether in aggression or with the toy) to get the dog to bark, not yours. Give your command once then let the decoy do the work!!! All you should do is praise when he barks (or even gives you a whine at first!)
      I also agree that the barking, over protective of the car thing is annoying and wears the dog out for no reason.
      Good luck, keep us updated on your progress!!!
      And be ready to have some really mad decoys!!!
      5 years later I still have decoys talk about how much weight they lost trying to get my dog to bark for aggression!!!!

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      • #4
        Thanks for the info. I am not overly concerned with the lack of barking because I know there are certainly advantages of having a dog that barks minimally. My main concern was when there are those times when a barking K9 would be beneficial, such as when a suspect may be considering fleeing or fighting but may not be in a position to visually see the K9 to make him think twice. It would also be nice to have my dog bark at a location where a suspect may be hiding to alert me when conducting building searches. I have no problem visually reading him when he indicates on something such as a closed door or otherwise, but sometimes I may not be near him when he is searching a large structure to read him. I've been told this is something that comes with experience and confidence with the dog, is this the case?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ofcbaum View Post
          Thanks for the info. I am not overly concerned with the lack of barking because I know there are certainly advantages of having a dog that barks minimally. My main concern was when there are those times when a barking K9 would be beneficial, such as when a suspect may be considering fleeing or fighting but may not be in a position to visually see the K9 to make him think twice. It would also be nice to have my dog bark at a location where a suspect may be hiding to alert me when conducting building searches. I have no problem visually reading him when he indicates on something such as a closed door or otherwise, but sometimes I may not be near him when he is searching a large structure to read him. I've been told this is something that comes with experience and confidence with the dog, is this the case?
          Stress...................no, it comes from a comprehensive Standard from the start, sure a dog grows in confidence with exerience, as you will, but he will not train himself.

          Look it's not your fault and there is not much you can't get around with training if you have a good dog. What you are telling us is that if you where to search a building for a suspect, and for arguements sake the dog locates him barrackaded in the toilets on the second floor, your dog would not indicate that he had located a possible suspect? Let me tell you from the start, I have no axe to grind, but this is basic stuff and in my humble opinion to allow you to go operational with your dog without the basic skills is not just unprofessional, it's criminal.

          As with other colleagues on the Forum we I am sure will advise you as best we can, but you have to understand there are a lot of variables, the largest of which we haven't seen the dog work and have no idea of the training Standard you have been given. You must address this as soon as possible, are you a member of a K9 Unit or on your own? If your stuck on your own speak to the trainer who provided your course (dog) and ask him what to do about it.........................
          "That's funny, he's never done that before!"

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          • #6
            See what time brings you. My dog barely barked in the car for the first 2 or 3 months....then as he gained confidence and matured he became more protective over the vehicle. Granted there are times you want him barking and its an advantage for your safety but most of the time ( like Euro said) is just gonna make you deaf. I have tried to limit the barking to when people approach the car....the only reason I allow this is that sometimes, especially on traffic stops, I dont see everyone who is approaching from the rear or sides of the car. If im in the car or out of the car I want to know if someone is approaching the vehicle.

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            • #7
              My first dog would bark at anyone near the car or anyone I was contacting near the vehicle. Had a fetish for people riding bikes. For the first couple of weeks, I thought it was great! I got this big mean dog that is going to kick your butt.. But after a few weeks, totally annoying. I could not talk on the radio without him barking. Doesn't look good at social events when your trying to explain that you have complete control of your dog, yet he is going ape right next to you.

              With my dog now, I didn't do any traning with barking in the car, and actually did a lot of corrective action about it when I first got him. We spent a little more time working on barking commands. Like Eurodog said, make sure the foundation is there first.... The dog barks during building/ area searches and such. Then take the training to the vehicle. What I have now is a dog that is very alert in the car yet is quiet. However, during those times such as high risk stops, fights in progress, or fleeing people, I just have to give him a command and he begins to bark. Saves my ears.

              Gotta remember.... your dog is like a rookie cop in training. Sure he got the basics in the academy, but when out in the real world... has no clue what's going on. Give him some time, stay consistent in your training, and you'll be amazed what your dog is able to do. Good luck.

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              • #8
                I would give my Tim Horton's fast pay card away to get my K9 to stop barking in my vehicle.

                FOr those of us that are unfortunate enough to have had this problem, all a bark collar , e-collar did was associate normal things with pain ..and now he hates motorcycles, trucks, skateboarders, etc. He didn't associate the shock with the bark..he associated it with whatever the last thing he was looking at.

                I lost quite a bit of my hearing...many noticable tones in particular.. I couldn't talk on my cell, and the radio was a hit and miss.

                I won't tell you what my corrective action was after nearly 4 years....but his barking has toned down somewhat.

                I'd say consider yourself lucky.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the info

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                  • #10
                    I appreciate the info. Our K9 school was only a month and although it was intense training, you can only cover so much in 4 weeks. It is the same school attended by the majority of K9 officers in the state of California (at least the majority of Northern California).

                    We did not cover barking at all in school. I asked one of our trainers (who is very competent and knowledgeable, he worked two or three dogs in his police career and now makes a living training cops and their K9's) about barking when indicating a hidden suspect etc, and he advised that it comes with the dog's experience and training.

                    Right now in training, he does not bark at the location of a hidden suspect. He instead paws at the area if the suspect is hidden behind or under something, or he will stand on it. His breathing also changes. So visually he is very easy to read when he indicates on something.

                    That being said, if he is out of my sight and indicates on a hidden suspect without barking, then I risk missing the suspect. I understand the officers safety aspect of this. Is there a solution to this? Does this come with the dog's experience and training? Do I need to work with him to get him to bark at a hidden suspect quicker? Thanks

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I refer to my previous comments, in short yes you need to sort it out and have him bark on command. No, the likelyhood is that the dog may not just 'pick it up', and iof he does how do you control it if you have not trained it? Your dog does not know a bad guy from a hole in the ground at the moment, but you need to key him it. A bark on command, even with a 'bite and hold' dog is essential.

                      When you get a few operational building searches under your belt you will be aware that when searching premises it is almost impossible to keep the dog in plain sight at all times, by virtue of the way buildings are structured. When you first go into the building after first shouting a warning (never use the word bite or bitten, upsets the general public who over hear and delights defence lawyers!), you send the dog in to search at first remaining at the enterance where you have breached the building.

                      This initial search is sometimes called a 'burn' (well that's what we call it, no matter). The dog will generally run through the building quickly before settling down, and returning to you to a thorough search. Once you have secured the entrance then you can physically enter the building to conduct the search.......Now, during this initial 'burn' the dog's often catch the scent of the suspect right off and close him down. Generally this is out of your sight and can be quite some way if a large building, assuming the dog will not leave the subject (if he does you have another problem, but I assume that is OK), eventually you are forced to enter the building to conduct a search to locate the dog.......you see where this is going, and that is assuming there is only one suspect, if there is more than one......?

                      As one of my English colleagues said quite rightly on another thread on a similar issue, you have got to find them first................... Good Luck young handler...remember if it was easy everyone would want to do it.........
                      "That's funny, he's never done that before!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If your dog will bark for his toy, I would place a decoy behind a door that opens in, when he starts to scratch and indicate, have the decoy open the door far enough to let him see the toy but not get to it, and tease him into barking. The second he barks (timing is very important and you should use a good decoy) throw him the toy. After doing this a few times get him to bark and give him a bite.
                        He will figure it out....just takes CONSISTENCY and patience in your training!!
                        Good luck....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Let me guess, Whiskey Tango would be the initials of the vendor?

                          Here is what I would try: back up the training to teach him that an alert will produce a fight with the helper. Have the helper agitate your dog and then run into a room and close the door. Let your boy see this and chase him to the door. Your dog should go nuts trying to get into the room and eventually bark. This is the helpers cue to open the door and fight your dog. Repeat, repeat, and repeat... Your boy will learn that giving an alert will produce the helper. Just one thing to try, hope it helps.

                          What shift are you on? PM me as I work very close to your city.


                          Originally posted by ofcbaum View Post
                          I appreciate the info. Our K9 school was only a month and although it was intense training, you can only cover so much in 4 weeks. It is the same school attended by the majority of K9 officers in the state of California (at least the majority of Northern California).

                          We did not cover barking at all in school. I asked one of our trainers (who is very competent and knowledgeable, he worked two or three dogs in his police career and now makes a living training cops and their K9's) about barking when indicating a hidden suspect etc, and he advised that it comes with the dog's experience and training.

                          Right now in training, he does not bark at the location of a hidden suspect. He instead paws at the area if the suspect is hidden behind or under something, or he will stand on it. His breathing also changes. So visually he is very easy to read when he indicates on something.

                          That being said, if he is out of my sight and indicates on a hidden suspect without barking, then I risk missing the suspect. I understand the officers safety aspect of this. Is there a solution to this? Does this come with the dog's experience and training? Do I need to work with him to get him to bark at a hidden suspect quicker? Thanks
                          Last edited by loringc; 08-19-2008, 07:56 AM.
                          "If you're being chased by a police dog, try not to go through a tunnel, then on to a little seesaw, then jump through a hoop of fire. They're trained for that." --Milton Jones

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by loringc View Post
                            Let me guess, Whiskey Tango would be the initials of the vendor?

                            Here is what I would try: back up the training to teach him that an alert will produce a fight with the helper. Have the helper agitate your dog and then run into a room and close the door. Let your boy see this and chase him to the door. Your dog should go nuts trying to get into the room and eventually bark. This is the helpers cue to open the door and fight your dog. Repeat, repeat, and repeat... Your boy will learn that giving an alert will produce the helper. Just one thing to try, hope it helps.

                            What shift are you on? PM me as I work very close to your city.
                            I think that's a great idea, it sounds as if ofcbaum is on his own, from what he has said I think he will get little response from the provider.

                            What you suggest will work OK with a bite and hold dog, giving the frustration into a vocal responce to bite the subject. What we have been suggesting here is a non aggressive bark on command, which is the ability to command a response from the dog at distance which will aid in other areas of your work, and give the handler a degree of control....but for this exercise it will get him there..................
                            "That's funny, he's never done that before!"

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