The Five Most Important Considerations When Buying a Protect
Man's Best Friend has been a trusted protector of our
homes for thousands of years. Their keen senses and
awareness, along with a pack mentality, have made dogs a
valuable asset to man in his effort to keep his home secure.
In today's world, home protection dogs are more valuable
than ever. They can deter break-ins, assaults, and give
real world protection in situations where lethal force is
not an option.
Of course, a trained protection dog is not a panacea
and they are certainly not for everyone. Weighing your
options is very important and there are many things to
consider before your purchase.
The cost of a trained dog can be astronomical. A trained
protection dog can cost as little as $1500 and as much as
$50,000! While the old adage,"You get what you pay for," is
generally true, the more expensive dog is not always the
better one. Investigate costs from reputable trainers and
compare your needs to your budget. Decide what you can
afford and discuss this with your vendor. Some may even
offer financing or payment plans.
Some breeds are better suited for protection than others.
While a Chihuaua may put on a defensive display that rivals
a dog ten times its size, the reality is he cannot defend
you or your home. The German Shepherd and the Belgian
Malinois are excellent choices for protection dogs. Their
temperment and drives are suited for working, they are
larger and more deterring, and will offer many years of
faithful service. Giant breeds can be very intimidating,
but are prone to health problems and in general lack the
trainability of the other breeds. In all cases the dog
should be purebred from quality working lines. European
imported dogs seem to offer the best results as they are
mainly bred for working ability and not for the show ring.
If a vendor does not offer a replacement guarantee, they
probably do not have your best interests in mind. Matching
people with protection dogs is a process, and does not
always work right the first time. A replacement guarantee
offers peace of mind, knowing that you will get the right
dog for you.
What other pets do you have? Do you live in a studio
apartment or a 5 bedroom home? Do you have children and how
old are they? Are you ready to commit 10+ years to dog
ownership? Reputable vendors should ask these questions and
many more. They should try to find out as much as they can
about your environment and needs to determine the dog most
suitable to you. By putting a protection dog in an
environment its not suited for, you are asking for trouble
sooner rather than later.
What is the dog trained to do? Will the dog bark only, or
has it been trained to bite should the need arise? Is the
dog obedient off the leash, or on leash only? Know what the
dog is trained to do in all situations. If I am being
attacked by two people will the dog know what to do? When
you don't know the limitations of the dog, you could be
setting yourself up for a bad day.
About the Author
Sean Muratet is a professional police and protection dog trainer, and the owner of North Alabama K-9 Services.