Not too long ago, I was doing a “meet & greet” for a pet store that used to refer allot of business to me. They had a German shepherd puppy there and a man approached me. Now understand that my town is very affluent and many of the people there are fairly educated.
This guy wanted to buy this dog and train it in protection work to look after his wife and kids when he was away on business. He was an IT professional. When I told him what was involved in training a personal protection dog in time and money, he almost had a heart attack.
In any case why not train a dog for personal protection. I can do it, and have done it with my own dog; however I turn down many clients who ask for it.
First of all it takes the right dog. Temperament and ability are absolutely essential here. Many so-called guard dogs are weak nerved dogs with fear aggression issues that will lash out at any one or any dog that gets close. Many police dogs are trained to bite by using defensive drive instead of prey drive. It looks impressive but it is not making a strong nerved dog. Secondly, a great deal of training. About 3 years’ worth. Most of these dogs go through Schutzhund training and are “titled” dogs. And third, a handler who has the knowledge and is capable of handling this kind of dog and keeping up the training. It has been said: “It’s easy to teach the right dog to bite. But teaching the same dog to “out” requires lifetime upkeep.”
Most dogs will naturally “alert”. My Miniature Long-haired Dachshund “Fritz” is great at this. When the doorbell rings you can’t shut him up. If a mosquito fly’s by in the back yard, he knows about it. That is what most people need. They just need to be alerted of a potential threat.
My recommendation is a good temperament German shepherd dog that puts on a good show. Meaning, when someone comes to the door or near the backyard fence he barks with a deep scary bark. He may look menacing and play the part, but is a pussy cat inside.