Trained Protection Dogs


July 26, 2009, 09:41 AM
Does anyone own or have experience with a professionally trained personal protection dog? What is the best way to find a dog/trainer/school? If you purchased a trained animal was the benefit worth the cost? It goes without saying that the dog must be friendly to children and other dogs (I own a lab). I am considering a German Shepherd but would be interested in your thoughts on other breeds.

I'm looking for an additional layer of protection for the family while traveling on business and working nights.

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July 26, 2009, 09:53 AM
any kids? for me a really decent protection dog needs a level of aggression that i might not want near a small kid. or at least i would need to be very confident in the guy/gal who trained it. perhaps me get a pup and let it grow up with my kids then get it trained. my current mutts regard my kids as some weird weak appendage to the alpha that need to be tolerated and looked out for. they would fight over who got to sleep with them at first but now eack kid has "their dog" and the pecking order boundaries are worked ou. my mutts are as much for reptile defense as peoples defense. i have had issues with copperheads both dogs have been nailed one twice. they both hate em and go nuts if they sense one. one of my mutts that is gone got nailed in the face getting between a snake and my oldest. i saw her do it and she was always my favorite . watching dogs herd kids is a hoot.

July 26, 2009, 09:58 AM
Something most people forget is a small dog. We have a westie and a leaf cant blow across my front yard without him telling me. Funny thing I can notice a difference in his bark if its a person, his mom, or something else

July 26, 2009, 10:18 AM
I have a german shepherd, though she's not a trained protection dog. IMO unless you're willing to put major work in maintaining the training yourself, it's probably not worth it. Most larger breed dogs like german shepherds, if they have a good temperament and are trained properly (not necessarily trained for protection work, but overall trained to have good confidence etc.) will be naturally protective, and you can get involved with a local schutzhund club to further build drive and do some bitework. If you get a GSD, stay away from the American lines, they are bred for looks not for temperament.

My understanding is most of the websites you see advertising trained protection dogs are shady, or downright scams.

July 26, 2009, 10:26 AM
Thanks Lebowski. You really answered my underlying question about the extra cost of professional training. I have looked at some of the websites you are referring to and wondered if they could be legitimate.

July 26, 2009, 10:49 AM
A well-trained guard dog won't be aggressive unless you command him to, or under certain conditions known as triggers.

Some trainers require that you take part in the training, so that you can build a relationship with the dog. I recommend those, because the last thing that you want is a 75-pound German Shepherd Dog that has been attack trained...and isn't completely comfortable and trusting with you.

A good guard dog isn't cheap. The cheap ones can be very expensive.

July 26, 2009, 11:37 AM
I think you're correct to think along the lines of a GSD or such for a PPD. All the ankle biters in the world are great at making noise but when you need real protection, you need real protection.
I trained a couple dogs in a K9 academy and while similar is not quite the same as PPD training.
The cost of these dogs starts with the genetics. Any dog that is going to be trained for aggression work needs to have superb temperament to keep them from becoming a tremendous problem child. These kinds of dogs generally come from parents who have demonstrated their temperament in Schutzhund or other competitions. Never any guarantees but odds go with it. You'll be buying a pet with the special options package. You can't let any member of the family defer to it because, "OMG HE"S AN ATTACK DOG" You willl be buying another member of your family. His skills and training will have to be kept up to date just like anybody else's. I've heard someone say that a well trained PPD is one who is trained to ACT like a bad boy, up to and including bite work, but really is just a loveable furball. And that's what he'll be most of the time. The best one's have a 5 position toggle switch between their ears and their level of alert can be adjusted with commands.

A dog that is "naturally" protective is all well and good but it means he is making decisions that you may or may not agree with. As Tuner suggests, there are triggers that can be trained and used where he is allowed act on his own.
Whether it's worth the cost or not, I don't know. I trained my own, but my ex would have likely thought it was one night when she was out for a walk.

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