Helfertreiben als Basis für den IGP Schutzdienst?

The so-called helper activity as the beginning of protection work training has long polarized the IGP dog sport world. Some swear by it - others demonize it.

But what exactly is behind it and how did this idea come about?

The basic idea comes from Peter’s teacher Helmut Köhler and is now around 40 years old. At that time, Helmut asked himself the legitimate question of whether it would be better to start the protection work with an exercise in which the focus is on barking and this is easier for the dog

If a dog is chasing prey and wants to grab it, he will never be loud or threatening - he doesn't want to scare his prey and chase it away, but rather he wants to be inconspicuous so that he can catch it.

Now, when a dog stands and barks, it should bark loudly at the bad guy - it should threaten him so that he doesn't dare to move.

The behavior is definitely contradictory to a prey motivation.

Helmut Köhler had cleverly thought about when dogs bark best. This is always the case when the doorbell rings, someone walks past the garden fence, perhaps in the car when someone approaches threateningly or in similar situations. So always when the dog is guarding his territory and he has no expectation of prey. Then he barks forcefully and threateningly to prevent the other person from coming closer or even from encroaching on his territory.

Through constant confirmation, the desired behavior is of course reinforced and at the same time we promote our dogs' self-confidence.

Critics often raise concerns that this would make the dogs dangerous. Even after 40 years of helping, we cannot confirm this - we would even like to strongly contradict it.

Through this exercise you will learn targeted behavior - coupled with triggering stimuli - that is appropriate to the situation. It is important that the dog is never driven into a defensive form of aggression, but rather always works in an active, comfortable zone.

By helping out at the beginning of the protection training, our dogs enjoy barking, they find an answer to stress, they enjoy dealing with the protection helper and it greatly promotes their dominance and self-confidence 💪🏻


If you are interested in the entire idea, you will find detailed step-by-step instructions in our book: “Together Successful, the Path to Masterful Protection Service”

click here for the book

or on our video platform

click here for the video