Protection Dogs Worldwide The Ultimate Personal & Family Protection Dogs
One of the most common questions were receive both via email and social media is for advice on how people can train their own protection dog. Our advice will always be the same: training protection dogs requires high levels of skill and experience and should only be attempted by professionals. Amateur attempts at this kind of training can be dangerous for both dogs and humans, so are never a good idea.
It is often assumed that protection dog training is centred on a bite and release when in reality this is only a small part of our work. Before we can even consider training a dog in bitework, it must first have passed rigorous temperamental assessments, reached high levels of obedience, and been well-conditioned to a range of environments and stimuli. Without these, the value of any bitework training and capability development are at best questionable.
Protection dog training involving bitework is often dangerous, and requires a high level of skill to conduct safely. The trainer wearing a bite suit or sleeve is, perhaps surprisingly, more important in this process than the handler. Mistakes on their part can result in the undoing of months of hard work and severe injuries, both to them and a protection dog. Rather than taking chances, it is always better to leave protection dog training to experts such as ourselves.
Protection dog owners can still undertake much of their own training which would be common to any and all dogs, though. Anybody can safely conduct basic obedience training with minimal professional input, and the global pandemic has proven that this is eminently possible virtually with tools such as apps and Zoom. While there are certainly some types of training you should never undertake yourselves, there is still much that can be safely achieved.
Dog ownership is often a wonderful experience, but it is one that comes with a number of responsibilities. Responsible dog ownership does not need to be a chore, especially when proper guidelines for doing so have been laid out.
At a most basic level, responsible owners will ensure that their dog’s needs are met. “The Five Freedoms” are a globally recognised set of principles on animal welfare, and are likely the best and easiest starting point. They are:
The Five Freedoms are an excellent starting point for all animal owners, and break down dogs’ complex care needs into an easy to understand formula. In a home environment, this means that your dog should have regular access to food and water, veterinary treatment, prevented from feeling or distress wherever possible, and allowed to be a dog.
Responsible ownership follows outside of your home too. All dogs should be microchipped with your contact details in the event that they become lost, and wear a collar with a tag showing your mobile phone number. Dogs should only be allowed off-lead in public if they have reliable recall, and are friendly with other dogs and humans.
Training can go a long way in promoting the highest quality of life possible for your dog. Effective training offers a range of benefits including helping your dog better conform to you and your lifestyle, keeping it mentally engaged, and increasing trust and bonding. Little training often is usually the best approach, and can offer remarkable results if provided consistently over a prolonged period of time.
Schutzhund is a popular protection dog sport with adherents around the world. Originally developed in Germany to test whether or not German Shepherd Dogs could be put to work in police settings, it has become the sporting gold standard for what a working protection dog can be. Officially Schutzhund is known as IGP, with one of its previous names being IPO.
All dogs can participate in Schutzhund, but the sport has historically been dominated by German, Belgian, and Dutch Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermanns, and Mastiff-type breeds. It should be stressed that temperament is more important than breed, and even some surprising breeds have successfully competed in this sport.
Schutzhund has three parts, each of which are individually scored. They are tracking, obedience, and protection. Each part must be passed if a dog and its handler are to be awarded a title. Even before formally competing, prospective dogs must pass an initial screening test known as “BH-VT”. Schutzhund attempts to set the standard for what protection dogs can be at the highest levels, and is not a sport to be casually undertaken. It can be very rewarding, but demands significant work and commitment from handler and dog alike.
While we respect the value and following of Schutzhund, it must be noted that sports and family protection dogs work very differently. Sports dogs train to perform to a very specific standard in a ring, and this is their primary reason to exist. In contrast to this, family protection dogs need to live in home settings and meet real world threats and challenges. A sports dog could theoretically protect on demand, but would more often than not be difficult to live with.
Schutzhund is a fantastic sport and can be a useful form of enrichment, but is not a substitution for realistic protection training. If you would like to discuss bridging the gap between sports and protection training, we would be happy to hear from you.
Prospective clients and customers often ask us to help them when choosing a family protection dog. This may be their first dog, and it is a new experience for the whole family. Because of the number of dogs we hold, both individually and as breeds, the choice can seem overwhelming. However, this does not need to be the case.
Much like humans, dogs are individuals with personalities and characteristics that transcend breed. Irrespective of breed, we hold dogs that are or more or less friendly, playful, or relaxed. A dog’s personality is always more important than its breed, and our priority is matching a dog’s temperament with their ideal family. For example, if you have children, you may be interested in a dog which is more playful and outgoing than introverted. Given how well we know our dogs and their personalities, this is something we are happy and able to advise on.
Another practical consideration we often advise on is the extent to which a dog is likely to shed. Although almost all breeds shed to one degree or another, this will not be to the same extent. If you do not want a family protection dog that is a high-shedder, then a Cane Corso, Giant Schnauzer, or Dobermann would likely be the best option. The Belgian Malinois is somewhat of a shedder, but less so than a German Shepherd if you are happy for some kind of medium.
If you are interested in purchasing one of our dogs, please do not hesitate to contact us. A suitability assessment will always be conducted as part of any potential sale, and this will give you ample opportunity to choose the best suited family protection dog for you and your household.
One of the most common questions we respond to is which breed makes the best protection dog. While potential owners are often looking for a single answer, this is not something we can readily offer. In our experience, several breeds make excellent protection dogs, but the best protection dog for each individual is more dependent on personal needs and dogs’ temperaments.
An important first step is establishing what makes a good protection dog. Although it is often assumed that aggression is necessary, this is not in fact the case. What humans perceive as aggression in dogs is actually more often than not nerve, and nervous dogs lack control and reliability. Far more important are temperamental stability, courage, and trainability. These three attributes are what separates an untrained guard dog from a high-performance family protection dog, and they cannot be understated.
The breeds we have found to possess these qualities have generally been the German Shepherd Dog, Malinois Belgian Shepherd, Cane Corso, Giant Schnauzer, Dobermann, and Rottweiler. Even then, individual dogs must be carefully screened at an early stage to establish whether or not they have the potential to complete family protection dog training. Genetic issues such as predispositions towards anxiety and low work drives should be avoided, and this is not an area we can compromise on. Occasionally, find individual dogs from other breeds who may be appropriate, but these are somewhat rarer and usually require far more work before they reach the standard we require.
Finding the best protection dogs is an ongoing process for us, and one we refuse to take shortcuts on. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Security dogs fulfil a range of functions including guarding, personal and family protection, and search and detection. There may be overlap between these roles, but they can also stand alone as discrete entities.
Technically speaking, any breed can be used to work as a guard dog. Guard dogs work independently, that is without a handler controlling them. They are often left alone in particular areas to act as a deterrent against would-be intruders and attackers. Rather than physically intervening to bite and apprehend an intruder, they are more likely to bark and attract attention to whatever is happening. This does not require specific training, and reactive dogs often do well in such roles. Perhaps surprisingly, common guard dogs include small companion breeds such as the Chihuahua and Pomeranian who are generally stereotyped as being “yappy”. Also common are mastiff-types and German Shepherd Dogs. It is often irresponsible to use a guard dog, especially without supervision. One should always be fully in control of their dog as this is a minimum level of responsibility expected of all owners.
Personal and family protection dogs are trained and generally work off of commands from their handler and family members. Individual temperament is of paramount importance; these dogs must have a strong nerve and be totally reliable. High levels of anxiety can prove dangerous and prevent a dog from acting as required in a given situation. Alert and closely bonded to its family, a personal protection dog can switch between acting as a guardian and companion at a moment’s notice. These are the kinds of dogs we specialize in training, and have been supplying to customers in North America for some time now.
Search and detection dogs are most commonly found in military or police settings, and are trained to identify the presence of people or specific substances such as narcotics or explosives. Gundogs are often used for such roles along with German, Dutch, and Belgian Shepherds. They do not need to be trained in bitework, and it is rare to find such dogs in family settings until after they have retired.
As the modern-day descendants of an apex predator, it is natural that dogs have retained wolves’ capacity to chase and bite. Through selective breeding and the development of breed standards, humans have been able to benefit from this and utilise dogs for a range of security taskings. A large number of breeds are now used for family and personal protection work, but some are more appropriate than others. This blog will offer an overview of the breeds commonly used for protection work, and aim to rank them from best to worst.
Perhaps the best breed for family protection work is the German Shepherd Dog. With pastoral roots and traditional responsibilities for herding and guarding livestock, its intelligence, work drive, and courage make it highly versatile. The German Shepherd Dog also has an “off switch”, so while highly driven is equally comfortable relaxing in home environments and enjoying the same kind of life a family companion would. The strong bonds they form with their families make them legendarily loyal, and they are perhaps our favourite breed to work with.
Also popular is the Dobermann. Another German breed which was originally developed by a tax-collector who sought a protection dog to accompany him in his unpopular line of work, it has proved popular and successful. Intelligence and courageous but playful, Dobermanns are a capable deterrent against would-be intruders and attackers, but known for being good with children as well. Temperamentally balanced working Dobermanns are becoming somewhat of a rarity, but the ones we select are truly outstanding.
<p>Other good breeds for this line of work are Rottweilers, Cane Corsos, Giant Schnauzers, and occasional Belgian Shepherds. They are all driven and intelligent enough to receive high-level training, but balance this with protectiveness and affection to allow them to thrive in family settings. Individual traits are most important, but breed is a good designator of how effective a protection dog is likely to be.An alarming trend we are increasingly noticing is the use of large livestock guardian dogs such as the Anatolian Shepherd and Tibetan Mastiff as personal protection dogs. It is true that such breeds are formidable and intimidating, but they are very poorly suited to personal and family protection work. These kinds of dogs were bred to be most comfortable in outdoor settings, ideally with herds of livestock. This generally makes them poorly suited to the everyday home settings personal and family protection dogs spend their time in. Also common but misunderstood and poor are pitbull-type dogs. Pitbulls and similar breeds may have been bred to fight, but they also inherently good with and friendly towards humans. The American Kennel Club describes the American Staffordshire Terrier as “good-natured” and affectionate to the point of “lovey-dovey”. Pitbull-type dogs’ reputations for ferocity are misplaced. While they can be trained for protection and bitework, they are often too friendly to be effective protectors.
The German Shepherd Dog is an extremely popular breed, especially in working circles. Breeders have developed multiple “lines” for both show and working purposes. One of which is the ever popular “Czech” German Shepherd.
Czech German Shepherds were bred and developed in then Czechoslovakia during the 1950s, primarily using East German working bloodlines. Their breeders’ objective was to produce a working dog which accentuated the best of the German Shepherd Dog’s characteristics. Their success is proven by how over sixty years later, Czech German Shepherds are still widely employed in protection, police, and military roles.
Temperamentally, the Czech German Shepherd is relatively similar to its antecedent. It has a high work drive, is courageous, and readily takes to all sorts of training. Aesthetically, they can be slightly smaller and lighter-framed, and generally have sable rather than black and tan coats. Other colour variants are present, but sable and sable-mixed coats are most common.
Protection Dogs Worldwide is one the country’s leading elite family protection dog trainers and suppliers. We are able to import European Czech German Shepherds, and make several trips a year to the US. To find out more or discuss how we can help you obtain a Czech German Shepherd, please email or DM us on any of our social media accounts.
As hunters with a natural tendency to form strong bonds and protective instincts, dogs have clear potential for security work. Over thousands of years, hundreds of different breeds have been developed, many for the specific purposes of guarding and protection. This blog will offer an overview of the breeds we consider best suited for family protection dog, as well as why this is the case.
The German Shepherd Dog is perhaps the classic and ultimate family protection dog. Courageous, intelligent, and fiercely loyal, it possesses all the attributes we look for. German Shepherd Dogs are highly trainable, so are able to adapt to multiple scenarios and settings. Given the strong bonds they form with their owners, they are also excellent with children.
The Malinois Belgian Shepherd is another good breed for family protection work. In fact, the Malinois is perhaps the best police and military working dog. The Malinois shares many of the same attributes as a German Shepherd Dog, but has a fawn coat, is smaller and more lightly built, and is slightly more energetic. It is found employed in security and protection work across the world, and its reputation for reliability is legendary. A true working breed, it thrives when it has a job.
Rottweilers are also excellent family protection dogs. Courageous and renowned for their guardianship prowess, their reputation alone is often enough to deter would-be attackers and intruders. The Dobermann has a similar profile. Both breeds are formidable, yet playful and deeply value time with their family. This makes them particularly suitable for homes with children.
The Cane Corso and Giant Schnazuer are two other breeds that we have found make the best protection dogs. Both combine size, intelligence, trainability, and protective instincts to provide the characteristics we are looking for. Certain other breeds are known for protection work, but are hard to find with the required temperamental stability. Poor breeding has reduced their capacity for protection work, and it is the aforementioned breeds who can be best relied on.
Rottweilers are one of the most popular dog breeds used for protection and guarding work. Originating in Germany, they are formidable guardians, and a breed we love working with. Here are five reasons why Rottweilers are one of the best breeds for family protection work:
1. Rottweilers were bred to protect. Developed as a guard dog, early Rottweilers shepherded cattle to and from markets. They were also responsible for looking after money which was traditionally strapped around their necks. To this day, Rottweilers are often aversive to being touched around their necks
2.Rottweilers are intelligent and highly trainable. A true working breed, they love to have a job and purpose meaning they readily take to all sorts of training. Incentive-based training works best with Rottweilers
3. Rottweilers love human company. As a member of the mastiff family, Rottweilers are bond strongly with their owners and are often known as “velcro” dogs because of their legendary loyalty. A Rottweiler will be a friend for life
4. Rottweilers act as a powerful deterrent. Their size and reputation are often enough to deter would-be intruders and attackers. With the strongest bite force of any dog, they are a force to be reckoned with
5. Rottweilers are highly adaptable. While originally bred to guard and herd cattle, they have excelled as family protection dogs and companions ever since. We have bridged that gap, and can provide you with some of the best family protection Rottweilers in the US