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Decoy/Helper School

Purpose:  To build a network of decoy/helpers in support of our franchise system and our Mobile Support Team (MST).  To educate the decoy/helpers with knowledge, comprehension and application levels of learning so they can assist in the development of Foundation Dogs® and help with finishing the Foundation Dogs® for use as protection dogs and special security dogs including military/LE K9.

Foundation dogs® begin their training at 7-8 weeks old.  Developing a puppy at that age requires special training and care in load management and bite development.  Most decoy/helpers are only trained to work green dogs.  A green dog is a 12-14 month old dog with a hidden training record to avoid scrutiny.  They are specifically selected for their ball drive, bite strength, and ability to handle pressure and still bite. These dogs are then acquired by resellers who work them on traditional scent training (cocktail method using toy reward) and they attempt to apply obedience in a way that does not reduce the dogs desire to bite.  Traditional decoy/helpers are meat for these green dogs prior to being sold to, usually, a government agency.

Foundation Dogs® begin their training young, 7 weeks old.  Because of the Foundation Dog® training techniques and method, Foundation Dogs® are ready to be deployed as young as 7 months old and have lead the world in virus detection and as service dogs that also protect.  More and more they are being sought after as military/LE K9s because of their training and ability to be used in multiple ways.  This increase in demand has amplified the view of the decoy/helper field and exposed this hole in training.  This is the reason Top Tier K9 has developed a decoy/helper school.

Other research has shown that the vast majority of decoy/helpers have no formal training as a dog trainer, they are often times dog handlers who like to put on the suit/sleeve and work a dog.  They are taught through “trial and error” usually through bite clubs and sports clubs.  Their depth of knowledge is limited to dogs that are in sport and some are exposed to police K9.  Few, very few, maybe 2% have an application level of learning for bite, drive, and pressure development in the puppy realm.  That is the primary focus of the Top Tier K9 Decoy/Helper School.

Formal training and testing on equipment and its proper implementation based on the dogs current state.  Reading a dog’s body language in the proper application of pressure, and relief of pressure to help ensure the dog always wins and progresses through a logical approach in it’s bite development and its development in prey drive and defense drive to become the best dog it can become, without submitting the dog in any way.


As the demand for Foundation Dogs® increases, Top Tier K9 is dedicated to ensuring our franchise locations have access to trained decoy/helpers who are professionals and focus on what’s best for the dog.

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