Over The Top Dog Sports Through The Protection Sports Association with Jerry Bradshaw, Ep #15
The Protection Sports Association (PSA) is the brainchild of Nick and Joe’s guest today: Jerry Bradshaw. Jerry was already a highly accomplished trainer before starting the PSA and wanted to create an organization that added a little more challenge to the dog sports industry, so PSA was born. PSA trials are some of the most intense, taking trainers and dogs years to become level 3 certified. In this conversation, you’ll get to hear Jerry’s explanation of why he started the Protection Sports Association, what the goals are of the organization, how dogs are trained, and what the results are in most cases. You’ll even learn how to start your own PSA club in your area. This is a far-ranging but engaging conversation, so don’t miss out!
Why Jerry started the Protection Sports Association when other training approaches already existed
There were many successful and highly lauded dog training approaches already in existence when Jerry decided to establish the PSA. What was the reason he felt an additional dog sports organization was needed? First, he says he thought he could organize one that was better run and better organized than most, but he also thought he’d be able to bring a level of competition and skill to the training industry that had yet to be seen. He didn’t disappoint. The Protection Sports Association trials that happen all over the world are some of the most intense, challenging you’ll find. In this conversation, Jerry discusses what goes into PSA training and competitions, and why it’s vital to adequately equip both dogs and handlers for the dangers and situations they may one day face in real life scenarios.
There’s a unique camaraderie among PSA competitors
In most dog sports organizations there’s an incredible amount of politics and rivalry that goes on behind the scenes. It would be a lie to say those don’t exist at all within the Protection Sports Association, but it’s truly uncommon. Jerry points out that there is a very unusual sense of camaraderie and friendship that grows among PSA participants and competitors, so much so that the sport has been able to avoid much of the politics that is typical of dog sports. Find out how Jerry goes about ensuring that those who win are truly deserving (rather than friends or favorites of the judges), how he finds and enlists judges with character and integrity, and why PSA is a necessary addition to the dog sports industry, on this episode of The Dog Show, with Nick and Joe.
Could your dog make it through a PSA 3 trial?
It’s inevitable in every one of these interviews that someone is going to ask whether a champion dog in one dog sport would be able to enter directly into another. When it comes to the PSA, Jerry says he’s seen dogs from other sports do well, but they never enter the PSA with an advantage of any kind. That’s because the PSA approach throws all kinds of challenges and obstacles at the dog and its trainer that they have never seen before, and those obstacles change with every trial. There is absolutely no way a trainer can anticipate all the hurdles his/her dog will face, so the focus has to be on the overall discipline and obedience of the dog. It’s fascinating to hear everything that could happen in a PSA level 3 trial, so be sure you listen – and assess whether YOUR dog would be able to make it through successfully.
Pressure is different for each dog, so all dogs need significant training
When training dogs for protection, law enforcement, or military use it’s important to expose them to the possible pressures they will face when they are in the field. The Protection Sports Association approach is aimed at doing exactly that. Jerry says that no breed or particular type of training is adequate to prepare every dog for every type of pressure they could possibly face. Each dog experiences pressure and stress differently and requires patient, consistent training to make them a reliable tool in their handler’s arsenal of weapons. Jerry has incredible insights into what makes for effective dog training and he shares his philosophy on exposing dogs to pressure on a number of levels, on this episode.