There are a lot of ways to train a dog to protect you, property, or a certain space or area. There are fantastic protection sports out there that we can all learn from. But at the end of the day, these systems are far more involved than what the average person needs in a protection dog.
Don’t get me wrong: I am a fan of dog sports and have the deepest respect for them and how they apply to personal protection. I love French Ring as a practical protection training system as a dog, for instance; the same with Schutzhund and KPNV. But these are entire systems designed to challenge dogs to perform at unheard of levels in tracking, guarding, and general obedience—and then fearlessly find a man and bite him. Very few dogs are able to reach the top levels.
The people who come to me don’t need their dogs to do everything involved in these systems, and they don’t have the time. What they need is a dog that will bite under command, withstand environmental pressure, and abort before biting, or be fast to release a bite and return to the handler.
That’s why I developed the Nitro K-9 Ring of Fire program. I have taken what I feel are the best elements of French Ring, Mondo, and other systems, and then condensed them into a prey and defensive drive protection system. It uses these core drive principles from the above systems to achieve the perfect protector in less time and without the stress of competition.
The Ring of Fire is a comprehensive system, but it is meant for the real world. It is designed specifically to achieve the perfect protector in less time and without the stress of competition. It focuses on utility and reliability. For instance, we teach modern tactics and practical street application. We avoid equipment fixation and teach practical disarmament techniques. We isolate and activate the correct drives that are needed to be successful, and prevent these drives from coming out in undesirable ways. I believe a dog should recall at all times and out instantly upon command.
The Ring of Fire is not about breed, pedigrees, or papers. It is about ability. It is not a sport. There are no points. Your dog can do it—or not.
All dogs are required to have Level 1 and Level 2 certifications or comparable training before admittance into our program. If you have a puppy and come to us for training, we can start doing some foundational work, such as imprinting the bite.