"Train Like A Champion" Interview With Team No F.E.A.R. Working A.P.B.T.
This week we spotlight owner and trainer Philip Beauvais of Team No F.E.A.R. Working APBT. Team No F.E.A.R. is responsible for creating super-champions such as Punisher, Boogieman and Destiny in the areas of conformation, weight pull, competition obedience, agility, dock diving and dog sport.
Growing up in New York, Philip had always been around dogs. His father would purchase semi-trained Doberman’s for protection, which back in the early 80’s was the dog of choice and throughout the years his father would help go through more advanced training with some of the dogs.
When Philip was 10, it was love at first sight when his family got their first pit bull. He loved the drive and tenacity side of the breed. It was around this time when he first started being around pit bulls and would start to learn and understand more about them.
A few years later when his family moved to Florida, it was then when Philip owned his first pit bull and was fully responsible and a full caretaker of the dog. Philip started learning and teaching basic obedience and developed a strong bond and today has fueled his passion to continued working with pit bulls.
Why Pit bulls over any other breed to work with?
I didn’t feel I had the bonding experience with other breed as I did with the pit bull. To me they seemed they were very loyal and social. I loved the power and strength behind the dog, It was pretty much love at first sight once I got one.
Philip, Tell us about Team No F.E.A.R.
In 2011 a group of guys in the Houston area working with different organizations came together to start a protection program with pit bulls. In the protection world, pit bulls are frowned upon. German Shepherds & Belgium Malinois primary run the protection world. Pit bulls are said not to be true workers, have the physical capabilities and are not strong compared to what other breeds have in the protection sport world.
We were tired of the bull breed dog community being outcasted and looked down upon. So we came together to create a team that would compile pit bull dogs that would represent in all different venues of sport and protection and try to excel with these dogs.
Let’s talk about your roster — Tell us about your current dogs:
Punisher, an APBT, that’s 5 years old with over 50 titles won. He’s trained, titled and compete in weight pull, agility, obedience, rally obedience, dock diving, different protection sports, he’s titled in PSA, IronDog, great stable temperament all around great dog. He’s also a certified therapy dog,
Destiny, she’s 2 year old, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, from imported parents from Hungry, from Slug-A-Bed Kennels. She’s a ball of energy with a heart bigger than her body. She’s primarily a weight pull dog. She’s titled in confirmation, got points in legs and obedience, titled in rally obedience, 2014 APA National Champion, and overall body pound champion.
2nd place in ADBA weight pull nationals with a handy cap. 2nd place in UPF Nationals and the list goes on…
I’ve heard and read a lot about Boogieman. Tell me about him.
Boogieman was owned by my partner Clay which is also one of the founders of Team No F.E.A.R. One of our original dogs, very similar to Punisher, over 60 titles won. However he left the world at an early age due to an accident (the accident was not competition or training related).
Boogieman was an overall excellent dog with high drive. He loved to please his owner to keep him happy. He won several national champions and placed several times at different nationals. Just a great overall dog with a great temperament and well respected throughout the world.
Let’s go back and discuss Punisher. Talk more about Pun.
When I first got Punisher I wanted to do protection & obedience work with him but I didn’t know about dog sports. Punisher is in fact my first competition dog. Around 8 months old I started doing obedience work with him. A little later I started looking into protection work and from there the whole dog sport world opened up for me. It was a new beginning to me at that point.
He’s been a great dog from the beginning and am very proud of what he’s accomplished so far. Every goal we've set we were able to accomplish them. He’s a well built overall machine to say it at best.
What titles are some of your prized highlights?
Body Pound at 2012 @ ABKC Nationals; 76 and over
K9 Body Building National Champion with over 100 dogs total.
He took 3rd in UPF Weight Pull Nationals last year.
3rd ADBA Nationals
Winning 2012 Iron Dog Nationals
What does training look like for your dogs.
Training depends on what we’re gearing toward for example weight pull training itself is more year-round compared to protection training. When it comes to weight pull, training is year-round and I’m mainly concerned with building strength, a lot of dragging (using a drag sled) using heavy weight with short reps helps build strength and cardio.
Also spring pole work which he does a couple of times each week roughly 20-30 minutes. I also have a carpet mill which is pretty much a manual dog treadmill for more strength building and speed. I prefer using a carpet mill over slat mill because of their nails with weight pulling. He’ll do the carpet mill a few days a week.
Also he’s hitting the weight pull track a few times a week. High reps, lower weight builds endurance and strength. We’re also swimming from time to time which is also great. In addition to playing fetch and tug with him in my back yard.
Let’s discuss safety. What tips can you give those out their training their dog to ensure proper safety to help there dog avoid injury.
Using improper equipment. In weight pulling for example I see dogs pulling heavy weight or even a car off of wearing just a collar. You definitely need the right equipment if you are getting into this with your dog. There are great dog harnesses out there you can purchase that are designed for 1) the dog’s safety and 2) the type of weight pulling your dog will be pulling. So make sure your dog is pulling with the right equipment and also in the right environment such as in the grass or carpet. I’ve seen dog’s pulling weight on the concrete which can definitely effect the dog’s nails and wear down pads on their feet fast.
Also learn to be in tuned with your dog. Know when your dog is stressing. Know when you have to back off the dog. In weigh pull, you want to build the mind and let the body follow. Always encourage the dog but never discourage the dog.
Massaging also is good after a strenuous work out. Personally giving the dog’s muscle a massage helps soothe them. Always watch the dog from exercise to exercise.
What is a good age to start training a dog?
With Destiny I started pulling with her at 8 weeks old. At first it was just with chains that barely weighed a pound attached to cans with rocks inside it to produce noise to get her familiar with the sounds and something being behind her but it wasn’t heavy at all. At this early stage it’s just about building the mind as I stated earlier. Building confidence in her. Knowing in her mind and eyes that she'll never fail on not being able to pull it.
Tell us about their diets? What are they fed?
Do you give your dog any supplements?
My dogs are on a prey model raw diet. I feed them 3-5% of their body weight on a daily basis. My meals are fine tuned and have taken me months to get them perfected for my dogs. I can’t necessarily say one way to feed your dog. Each dog is different. How I feed them also depends on what my goal is and what they’ll be doing. I’d recommend looking around at different prey models and raw diets to try.
I currently use MVP K9 Supplements. Muscle Builder, Weight Gainer, Ignite & Chews . The Ignite definitely on workout days. I also use fish oil, B12 for weight pulling to help build nails. It’s a big process for me to prep meals especially when preparing for nationals and a big competition.
What do you see people doing wrong when it comes to there dog’s feeding?
Trying to cut their dog’s weight. For example with weight pull it’s a body percentage game so you want to have the lightest dog in the class. When people try and cut weight, they cut the food back so the dog is just losing weight but also losing muscle mass.
Now on the other side for those just having a dog there’s a fad going around on just trying to have the biggest bully bred dog on the block and in doing so they’re feeding them a cheaper low-quality dog food to pack on the mass but it’s because it’s a cheap grade food dog isn’t getting it’s proper nutrients to stay healthy looking. So invest in a higher-grade of quality dog food.
Yourself, your team and your dog’s are champions in the eyes of many others. To help educated new and current pit bull trainers on proper raising and training, what closing advice can you leave them?
Have fun with your dog. Build a bond with dog. To many people get hung up on winning everything. It is a competition and I do love to win as well but it’s not at the cost of my dog not enjoying things. Have a good time.
Well said. Let people know where they can contact you.
FB @ TeamNoFear WorkingAPBT
FB PunisherandDestiny Beauvais
IG @ TeamNoFearWorkingAPBT