Protection Sport Association
A friend recently directed me to a dog sport I hadn't heard of, that enjoys quite a bit of support in local communities. It turns out that in my area, two different clubs compete for members.
The sport is called PSA for Protection Sport Association.
The club I will be checking out on Monday is Texas Protection Sports.
I went to a meet last Monday with their rival club and liked what I saw. The dogs enjoyed the exercises. None were mistreated. For the dogs it was a game, and they loved participating. In one exercise, a woman put her bull terrier into a car and told him to stay. She went around to the back where she was 'accosted' by a member wearing a protective suit. Her dog answered her cries and came around, and attacked her attacker. When she got free, she called him off a single word and he let go and sat at her feet. The dog thoroughly enjoyed this 'game'.
Now the important aspect of this training isn't to teach a dog to defend you. Most dogs will come to a family member's defense if the need arises. What it does teach the dog, is how to recognize actual dangerous situations, react appropriately, and obey the owner's commands.
Being able to call a dog off, is as important as having a dog defend you. You don't want the dog harming someone, because of a misunderstanding or a joke, and you don't want your dog killed, because it can't be stopped in a fight.
Paul from TPS sent me this correction:
Hello Jack, I got the link to this in your email. Hope you don't mind me posting this. You are a very talented writer and I am glad you enjoyed your visit to Khoi's club. If I may, make one correction though. They aren't our rival club and we don't compete for members. We are friends and this week our two clubs trained together to get ready for our trial. They are a great bunch over there and enjoy having them out. I know you didn't mean any harm by it, I just didn't want the wrong message being sent. Take care and maybe we'll see you on the field soon.