Personal protection is a concept that has
become very popular in this day and age of robberies, home
invasions, car-jackings, kidnappings, and other violent crimes. When
you ask someone what personal protection means, you are likely to
get a whole range of answers including owning a handgun, becoming
proficient in martial arts, or installing elaborate security
Do these measures work? In some cases they might. However,
statistics show that even the most complex security system can be
bypassed. And, how many times have you read about a child finding a
handgun that was kept in the house, and tragically hurting himself
or a young playmate? Most people in law enforcement will tell you
that, in addition to being a safety risk, many victims often have had
their own weapons used against them.
However, the owner of a trained personal protection dog not
only has a loyal and completely obedient companion but also a
personal security system that can not be "bypassed" or "used against
them". That same
lovable pet who plays with the children and lies peacefully at your
feet, will, at a single command, become protective and willing to put
himself in harm's way for the sake of his family. A potential
attacker would think twice before tackling such an opponent.
A well-trained protection dog will protect your house or
family with a determination that no human can ever equal.
That being said....Personal protection dogs
are not for everyone and protection training should not be causally
Things to Consider
Do You Need a
Protection Trained Dog?
The first thing to consider is:
you really want a protection trained dog. A dog is a living being and has certain
needs that must be met. Even
the best behaved dog is going to be some extra work. So, you
need to be willing to have a dog in your life, and put up with the
little inconveniences that go with it. It is also important to
remember owning a protection dog carries with it more responsibility
than owning an ordinary house pet. How much time can you put
in to maintaining the dog's training? Be 100 percent sure that
you are willing and able to provide for the needs of a protection
trained dog. AND, Be sure of what level of training you are
prepared to undertake.
of Training Do You Need?
There are different levels of protection
training. Each person has to determine what level of training
will be appropriate for his or her situation and family.
Each person's self protection needs are different
-- An alarm dog is a dog
that has been trained or naturally has the instincts to alert the
owners of someone's presence on their premises.
All breeds are suitable for this type of work.
An alarm dog's primary function is to alert his owner to
threats. He may or may not stand his ground if the threat
proves to be intimidating.
-- Progressing to the next level of
self defense is a watch dog. Some people also call these
"Bluff Dogs". A bluff dog will
bark on command, pull and lunge on leash while acting aggressive and
may bite. This type of dog may not be serious enough in it's attack,
stop a DETERMINED assailant. However, most assailants don't stick
around long enough to decided if your dog is that determined.
To get this level of response (and control) from a dog
requires training. In fact, this level is what I would consider
the average trained protection dog.
Protection Dog or Guard Dog --
Now we come to the dogs that can be
used for serious protection. These dogs have the courage, the drive
and the training to stop aggressive humans. Fear does not
exist in them! At this point we are in
the realm of true guard dogs. Not only will these dogs
protect their owners, nothing will stop them. They have
the courage and drive to hunt the attacker even after he
attempts to flee the scene. This class of protection dogs ranges
from trained personal protection dogs on the low end to highly trained police or military
dogs on the upper end. This is a truly unique dog and not
every dog is capable of doing this, no matter how much training
he/she has had.
level of training you chose to take your dog to, it must be emphasized
that you must also acquire the special training necessary to effectively
control and use that weapon.
Is your Dog Qualified for
Training and are You Qualified?
Do all dogs have the aptitude for this kind of training? Not
necessarily. The dog must have the right mix of a stable,
confident temperament, as well as courage and tenacity.
Do all people have the aptitude for this kind of training? Again,
not always. A good candidate must be extremely responsible and
seriously dedicated to the commitment of training their dog.
Also, this individual must take this commitment seriously. It
is okay to have a personal protection dog, just like it is okay to
have a gun. But, just as it is inappropriate to carelessly
handle your gun, it is just as inappropriate to carelessly handle a
protection trained dog.
Many people express concern that
protection training will "change" their dog's temperament. If
training is performed properly, it will not alter the dog's character
Training is meant, however, bring out the dog's natural instinct to be
protective. The dog learns all of the necessary steps for defense. The training should
be enjoyable to the dog because to the dog, training becomes a game.
The reward of the game is his ball, his toy, or even food.
If the dog does not like "playing
the game", he should not be trained for this type of work. A submissive dog
who is "force trained" will turn into a fear
biter. Likewise, if the dog is too aggressive, it too should not be
There is a big misconception out
there about protection, mainly, because some trainers have no
idea how to properly train protection dogs. Protection
should start as a game, conditioning the dogs to "Bark" and "Bite" in a
rewarding way. A lot of trainers focus on defensive agitation and
this will only create a mean, unstable dog. Stay away from anything
negative. Protection should be a positive experience. Every dog is
born with protective instincts. The goal is to simply
show the dog
In this way, your dog becomes even more
stable than what he was without protection training. The dogs out there
that are biting people (like neighbors, kids, and mailmen) are often insecure
and or confused. Confidence is
the key to a dog’s stability and confidence building is what
protection training should be all about.
personal protection dog
A Trainer Who Can
Understand and Meet Your Needs...
Here at Sequoyah
German Shepherds, we train with
Tennessee Valley Working Dog
Association. Protection training is not something to undertake lightly though,
so, do your research! Make sure that the trainer you use
understands what you want from your dog.
family protection dog must be good with the whole family, especially
with the kids!
dog must be good with other animals that are part of the family!
family protection dog protects his territory against possible
intruders or strangers!
dog will not be deterred by any loud noises or any other threatening
gestures by the intruder!
Personal protection dogs must be
chosen well and properly trained in
order to be successful. It takes patience, perseverance, and
discipline in order for these personal protection dogs to accept the
responsibility of protecting. When he does though, he will not
protect out of fear or anger, he
will protect because he has been commanded to protect.
Most people hope that if challenged, their dog would protect them.
That isn't always true. Training for any situation is the only
way to know for sure.
There is nothing like the secure feeling that a trained personal
protection dog can give you and your family. When put
to the test, there is no guessing about what he will do and you
will find yourself with real peace of mind.