So, you want a personal protection dog. I often receive calls from prospective clients asking, “Do you train personal protections dogs?” Since my background involves police service dogs, naturally I know how to train dogs to chase, bite, and hold bad guys. It’s not necessary for personal protection dogs to chase, but they do need the courage to guard and protect. The first thing I ask is if their dog barks at strangers passing by and the answer is, “No he’s too nice”. In my opinion, dogs cannot be too nice. My first police dog was very social and loved to meet strangers, yet he naturally guarded our home and tracked down many criminals over his career as a police service dog. If people were invited into our home he was fine, however, someone knocking on the door and coming into our yard, he would bark aggressively.
As crime increases or as the media’s coverage of crime increases, people are looking for ways to protect their property and family. The sales of guns have increased over the past several years. People purchase guns to protect themselves. The problem with guns is that they are the target of thieves who break into homes. If you own a gun I bet it’s kept in your nightstand or somewhere in your bedroom. It’s the first place thieves look. Criminals cannot buy guns so they steal them from people who legally possess them.
The alarm companies are busy as ever, but they have little deterrence to crime as well. By the time the police arrive on an alarm call the criminal is already gone. In addition, false trips are extremely high in the alarm business. Here is common scenario of a home invasion. The criminal trips the alarm, the alarm company calls police dispatch, dispatch takes the information and enters it into their computer, a police officer is dispatched to your home, the police respond, and by the time they arrive they find a break–in and the suspect has already gone. It is not unusual to have a 5-15 minute delay between the time the alarm is tripped and when the police arrive.
The #1 deterrent to crime is a personal protection dog. I have been a police officer for 23 years and I have never taken a report of an assault, robbery, or home invasion where the victim owned a large dog who barked. A big barking dog is all you need for a personal protection dog. A personal protection dog is a large breed dog that has the natural instincts to guard and protect the home and family. These are the farm dogs of yesteryear. The dog that lived with the flock, herding, and protecting the farmer’s interests.
I routinely get calls from people who want their German Shepherd (GSD), Rottweiler, or Pit Bull protection trained. Personal Protection dogs are born for work. There are lethargic GSD’s, Rottweiler’s, and so on that will never do protection work. What we do at Adams K-9 is put control into the personal protection dog. It’s all about obedience.
The first step in having a personal protection dog is to do your research and find breeders who are breeding dogs to maintain their work ethic of the farm dog. These breeders train their dogs to herd, pull carts, and compete in agility, Schutzhund or some other dog sport. They are dog sport enthusiasts who work diligently in finding and breeding quality working dogs. These are the same breeders that are producing our Police Service Dogs.
Once you bring you’re new working puppy home it’s time to socialize your pup. Socializing includes learning to be comfortable around strangers, dogs, and a variety of environments. Group puppy class is a wonderful beginning. As your pup matures you will notice they will start to woof at people who walk by your home. As the dog matures the barking will become more intense. Training is a must and it’s all about control. The dog needs to learn quiet, come, heel, place, down, sit, and alert.
In addition, your dog will need plenty of exercise. Working dogs have energy that needs to be burned off. If you don’t exercise your dog they will find destructive ways to burn off their energy. Dogs that dig, chew, and are destructive are most likely not getting enough psychological stimulation and exercise.
Finally, dogs need discipline. Dogs want their Master to set the rules. If you don’t communicate what is and is not accepted, your dog will take on the role as leader and rule maker. Letting a large, high energy, dog set the rules is a recipe for disaster.
Working dogs can be a lot of fun. Find an activity that’s fun and burns off your dog’s energy. You set the rules and guidelines for your dog and make sure you can control him. Control is necessary, not only in the home but away from the home as well. Your dog should listen and behave wherever you take him.
I have been training police service dogs and protection dogs for many years. It’s a sport that we both enjoy. There is a misconception that protection dogs are dangerous. On the contrary they are better trained than any other dog. Dogs who are dangerous are the ones whose owners neglect training, leave the dogs tied outdoors, and allow them to set the rules of life.
If you are interested in a working dog, make sure you have the time and resources for training, exercise, and discipline. It’s a great hobby and I am proud to say I have never been a victim of a crime.