When it comes to training your dog to fight, it’s all about timing.
If you want your dog, say, to perform a “karate takedown,” or hit a “grab and run” move, you want to have a certain amount of training.
In fact, training to be a good dog fighter can be more complicated than just “training” your dog.
It can involve “training,” “training for,” or “training against.”
A dogfight is not a simple exercise.
And it’s not always easy to determine how much you need to train, how much it’s worth, and how many rounds of training it should have.
And while the goal of training is to make your dog more skilled at a particular sport, there are some things you can do to get the most out of your training.
For a beginner, it may not be worth it to spend more than about $20 a day on training.
“It’s not the best money you could spend on training a dog, but it’s certainly not the worst,” says Dr. Peter J. Pankhurst, an animal behaviorist and founder of Pank-Schmidt Veterinary Clinic in Seattle, Wash.
For the more experienced trainer, the rewards of training a specific dog can be great.
“I like to do something called ‘dynamic training’ — that is, I teach a dog the exact opposite of what you would teach your dog,” says Pank, who also runs the Dogfighting Academy in Atlanta, Ga.
The dynamic training process involves the dog training a trainer, who will be there when the dog is training, helping the dog, and doing things like guiding the dog when the trainer is out of the room.
“The trainer will come back to the training area, give the dog a cue, and then go back to work,” says David E. Koehler, a certified animal behavior specialist who teaches canine training at the University of Virginia.
Koesler has a few tips for training a new dog, some of which apply to both beginners and those more experienced.
Know your dog’s personality.
Picking the right dog is going to be subjective, so make sure you have the right personality for the dog.
Train with a dog you know.
You’ll want to work with a good trainer to learn how your dog responds to a certain situation.
“If you don’t have a trainer with whom you can train, you may have to find someone else,” says Koeshler.
“You may need to work for an hour or two and then give the training a break,” says J.D. Lee, a registered clinical social worker who runs The Dog Training Academy in Washington, D.C. Lee is a trained animal behavior expert, who has a number of dogs under his belt.
“As long as you’re patient, you’ll see improvement,” he says.
Keep it simple.
“A lot of people say you need a lot of training to become good dogfighter,” says Lee.
“That’s not true,” says D.J. Smith, owner of the D. J. Smith Dog Training Center in Portland, Ore.
“Most people do fine, but if you have a dog that is really strong, you can teach that dog that he can be a little bit more powerful than the other dogs.”
Train the dog you like.
“This is a big one,” says Smith.
“Your dog is the dog.”
“You want to get a dog who has been through a lot, a dog with a lot in the way of training, who likes to be trained, who wants to be in a fight,” says E.J.-G.
Schreiber, a retired U.S. Army captain who trains dogs at the Center for Dog Training in Denver, Colo.
“In my experience, people that like to be on a leash, people who like to chase and be chased, those dogs are going to enjoy training,” says Schreib.
“But if you’re looking for a dog to go in a crowd and jump off of a cliff, that’s a very different breed.”
Have fun with it.
“Be very patient,” says S.K. Rachleff, a licensed dog trainer and owner of Rachly’s Training and Dog-Friendliness Program in Minneapolis, Minn.
“When you get to that point, you are going for the kill.”
Work with your dog first.
“Make sure you’re not trying to train for something that isn’t a dogfight,” says Rachley.
“And make sure it’s a fun fight.”
Try out different exercises.
“Sometimes it’s easier to just work on things with your dogs, because you don,t have to train them at the same time,” says L.D