Aggression and Personal Protection Training

Aggression and Personal Protection Training


Mike D’Abruzzo of K9-1 Specialized Dog Training LLC in Peekskill, New York, has been specializing in aggression cases and formal personal protection training since 1998. He told me that most of the protection training he does is an outlet for otherwise aggression cases that need a job to do and “a place for owners to control the aggression even more so than to use it.” He has an impressive background of training dogs for the military, private security dogs, and he was a trainer and handler for narcotic and explosive detection dogs for FEMA in the aftermath of 9-11.

I really enjoyed hearing about Mike’s work with aggression and the stories of how he’s helped owners with “problem” dogs overcome the obstacles of living with them.

  1. We joined Mike’s class a few months ago
    Our dog was “crazy” She is now a well behaved dog
    Once we understood our Leadership responsibility the rest came easy!

  2. Bonnie: thank you for the podcast with Mike D’Abruzzo. He mentioned in his talk some links to studies on dominance behavior. I was curious if you posted these?
    Thank you,

    • Thanks Rip. Here are the articles Mike discussed in the podcast:

      L. David. 1999. Alpha Status, Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs. Canadian Journal of Zoology 77(8):1196-1203. (En Español – Posicion Alfa, Dominancia y Division del Trabajo en las Manadas de Lobos – Translation by Marcos Randulfe.)
      Mech,L.David. 2000. Leadership in Wolf, Canis lupus, packs. Canadian Field-Naturalist 114(2): 259-263.
      Peterson, R. O., Jacobs, A., Drummer, T. D., and Mech, L. David. 2002. Leadership Behavior in Relation to Dominance and Reproductive Status in Gray Wolves,Canis lupus. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 80:1405-1412.
      Mech, L. D., and H. D. Cluff. 2010. Prolonged intensive dominance behavior between gray wolves, Canis lupus. Canadian Field Naturalist. 124(3):215-218.

      The reason I emphasize these studies is that I can’t control the aggression of protection dogs in all settings without basing my foundation exercises on an interpretation of natural behavior (these are also reflected in studies on actual dogs as well). These are exercises I use to reflect the studies:

  3. Thanks Bonnie & Mike for a great podcast! I found it very interesting.

  4. Thanks Bonnie and Mike! This was so interesting for me, and I love when ethology is incorporated into training dogs. It’s not all about the click/treat, but sometimes us R+ trainers need that reminder. I’d love a webinar with Mike.

    • Hi Allison – thanks for your comments and thoughts! Good suggestion for a webinar with Mike!

  5. Thanks Bonnie and Mike this was fascinating. I would love to learn more.

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