Protection Dogs Part 1

Author: John Lockett|Print|Return

There are basically 3 types of protection dogs. In part, this article will attempt to break down the types of protection dogs and their jobs. In part 2 of this article, I will go into the top 6 breeds known as protectors and the job I would give each breed.

Estate/Property Protection Dogs

This dog's job is to guard property and not allow anyone but it's handlers on said property. If you go back to the 60's through the early 80's, I would say this type of dog was the most dangerous of the protection dogs. Why have I come to this conclusion? Here's why. These dogs generally work in teams of two or three and are kept away from everyone except their handlers. When the dogs did have interaction with strangers it was for aggression training. By doing this, the dog would come to believe that all strangers are a threat and it's been taught to respond to their presence aggressively. This type of training stimulates a dogs "Defense Drive" which is fear based and not all, but most of these types of dogs, are active aggression fear biters. They do this so the dog will view all outsiders as a threat and attack anyone it finds on the property. In the 60's, 70's and 80's this type of dog was used primarily used for junk yards, car lots and warehouses. This is where the term "mean as a junk yard dog" comes from. Note this dog is not a house guard dog. Any of the guardian breeds can be used for this type of work, but, some breeds are more suitable than other because their aggression is defensive based. This means it's easer to trigger a defensive response because they were bred with a lower defense threshold. Here's some defensive based breeds just to name a few. PLEASE UNDERSTAND, I'M NOT SAYING THIS IS THE ONLY JOB THESE BREEDS CAN PERFORM, MANY MAKE GOOD HOME AND PERSONAL PROTECTION DOGS!! Examples of these breeds are most mastiff breed like the Bull Mastiff, Cane Corso and Fila as will as non mastiff breeds like the Rottweiler, Doberman and many of the Bandogge type dogs. These breeds make very good property dogs and tend to excel at this job because of their defensive nature.

Personal Protection Dogs

this dog's job is to be a body guard for its handler. The personal protection dogs work as a team with their handlers, never going more than 6 to 8 feet from them. In most cases, this dog is used as a family pet/guardian and defends against: home invasions, muggings, car-jackings, as well as sometimes protecting its owner's property. That being said, a personal protection dog has to be very balanced in temperament, well socialized and have a much higher defensive threshold than the property protection dog. I will explain why: this type of dog has to not only respond quickly to protect it's owner, but, it also has to be smart and have a balanced temperment so it can learn and understand what a threat IS and ISN'T. Here's a quick example: You're walking you dog and a stranger walks up and starts to introduce himself, at the same time reaching out to shake your hand. A well trained personal protection dog should not view this as a threat and try to bite the stranger. He should watch the stranger but not attack. If you where walking with one of those Property Protection Dogs, the man would not have been able to come within 30 ft with out the getting aggressive. With proper training any of the guardian breeds can be taught to do this job, but the breeds I like most for personal protection are working line: German Shepherds, Mals, Dutch Shepherds, Dobermans(working lines) and Rottweilers.

Police/Military Dogs

The police and military dog should be the best of the best. What do I mean? I'm talking about genetics as well as training. This dog should have been bred to first have super strong nerve, allowing him to go into new environments and interact with new people totally sure of himself, displaying no fear. Second this dog has to be very high in predatory drive: Prey drive, the almost controllable desire to chase and kill. Hunt drive: the desire to use it's nose to track it's prey. And last but not least Fight Drive: the willingness to enter into a battle with a bigger, stronger fighter, understanding it could get hurt with the eagerness it showed in prey drive to stay in the battle. Most of these dogs are dual purpose: meaning they are certified apprehension and detection dogs. These dogs have spend hundreds of hours training in many different environments and venues. There are only three breeds that consistently reproduce with all the attributes I decribed and it shows by the fact that they make up 98% of the Police and Military dogs on the planet. The Working Line Germen Shepherd, Malinios and Dutch Shepherd.

I wrote this article in response to the calls I get, where people want a protection dog but have no idea what a protection dog is or the jobs each type of protection dog performs. There is a lot more to protection dogs than I explained here, but, I just wanted to give you, the reader, an overveiw of the three types in this article.