The Mission of the Protection Sports Association (PSA) is to provide an outlet for civilian competition in canine obedience and controlled protection. In each successive level the dog-handler team is asked to negotiate obedience and protection routines that are increasingly complex, difficult in terms of pressure from both decoys and environmental distractions, and as well the handlers must strategize how to work through scenarios involving risk-reward trade offs. As the scenarios can change from trial to trial in the upper levels, handlers must be able to train components of exercises, and pattern training is a virtual impossibility. The higher the levels, the more surprise scenario components in both obedience and protection are presented to the handlers.
The Protection Sports Association (PSA) was conceived and born in 2001 and last year celebrated its 18th anniversary in October of 2018 at the National Championship weekend held in Canada. The sport was founded by Jerry Bradshaw of Tarheel Canine Training, Inc and Joe Morris, late of Capital Cities K9 in Baltimore, MD. PSA hosts trials, seminars, regional and national competitions during a trial season that starts in January and runs through the National Championship in October. There are four regions: West, Midwest, East, and Canada.
A sport dog has specific requirements that lead it to success on the podium. Sport dogs must be highly athletic with exceptional stamina to withhold the standards of protection sports. This means, this may not be the dog who does well in the family home who is unwilling to meet their dog's physical and mental needs. Look at this dog as a formula one car, versus the family work truck. You do not need to build this dog to accept every day life. His life comes with rigorous and regular "tuning" and is only carefully placed in controlled environments that continue to build his path to success. This dog is keen, obedient, and has an inert desire to learn new skills. Though this dog will be shown pictures of defensive work, his success is not entirely dependent on it. The truth is a sport dog will work 80% in prey drive the majority of his training. His desire to inherently protect is not as genetically necessary as a personal protection dog.
It's important to remember protection sports such as PSA are not breed specific. There are many dogs considered "off breed" showing success in protection sports. However, at the same token it is important to understand not every dog is destined for a career in protection sports. The biggest misconception amongst newcomers to protection sports is the belief that any dog of a standard protection dog breed will excel in protection dog sports. These breeds include the German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, Bully-type breeds, Cane Corso, and the Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd to name a few. Sadly, that couldn't be any further from the truth!
Dogs who offer the highest chances of success are bred with purpose out of parents that are proven and titled in protection sports. However, that's not to say dogs of unknown lineage do not offer any chance of success! Traits we look for in any protection sport prospect dog are: confidence, sociability, stability, prey and food drive, athleticism, and a desire to please just to name a few. Battle Born Performance K9 can help you determine if your dog has what it takes with one of our protection sport evaluations.