Posts Tagged ‘family protection dog’

Toys for Protection Dogs

Friday, January 13th, 2023

Most dogs enjoy having access to and playing with toys. Toys allow dogs to express natural behaviours in a safe and non-destructive manner while enjoying themselves. Toys can be very useful when providing enrichment to protection dogs, and they offer high value in supporting training and overall wellbeing.

One of our favourite toys for protection dogs is the Kong. While Kong is actually a company, it is best known for making a red rubber chew toy with a hollow centre. Widely known as simply “the Kong”, this toy is beloved by dogs and their owners alike. It is near indestructible, and highly versatile. Many owners will use it in the same way as a ball to play fetch with, and it can also be filled with cheese or liver paste to act as a form of edible enrichment a dog has to work hard to access. Protection dogs love Kongs, and we highly recommend them.

Chewable toys are good as well. They can provide a healthy and non-destructive outlet for dogs who enjoy biting or otherwise using their mouths, and often have a calming effect. Younger teething dogs will benefit from being given access to chew toys, as will bully type breeds such as Cane Corsos. If you are crate training a dog, we would recommend leaving it with favoured chew toys. This will help build positive associations with spending time in a crate, and in turn make it easier for a dog to settle when left alone.

Flirt poles, snuffle matts, and treat puzzles are also good options. They are both fun and intellectually or physically demanding, so require a dog to use its intelligence or natural behavioural drives. These are very fulfilling types of enrichment, and often result in tired but happy dogs.

For more advice on what toys would be best for your protection dog, please email [email protected]

Training Standards for Protection Dogs

Monday, January 2nd, 2023

Rigorous training underpins everything we do at Protection Dogs Worldwide. Whatever its natural temperament, an untrained dog should not be relied on for family or personal protection. Our training standards are high but considered, and ultimately work towards creating the ultimate family or personal protection dog.

The highest standard of obedience is the foundation of everything we do and seek to achieve. If a dog is not fully obedient, then we do not believe that it can progress to more complex training such as protection work. A family or personal protection dog needs to be relied upon to follow its owner’s commands in stressful situations while remaining focused on a threat. A protection dog must always release on command, and remain fully under control. Ultimately, this comes back to obedience which we place a heavy emphasis on.

Once we are content that a dog is fully obedient, we are able to undertake more advanced training. This will be varied and can be tailored to a client’s needs and circumstances, but will include bitework, protection scenarios, and acclimatisation and socialisation. We ensure that as well as responding appropriately to the kinds of threats they are likely to encounter, our dogs are properly socialised and well adjusted to everyday life both in and outside of the home. Family and personal protection dogs need to work in the real world, so we ensure that whatever we are training is properly tested and proven outside of sterile training environments.

We offer different tiers of trained dogs from a basic level of protection all the way up to the Elite and Director’s Dog classifications. Our training standards produce internationally sought after family and personal protection dogs. With clients around the world, our dogs speak for themselves. To find out more about our training standards or purchasing one of our dogs, please email [email protected]

Different Types of German Shepherds

Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

The German Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds across the world. It is an intelligent, versatile, and deeply loving and loyal dog. It has proven itself as an equally effective guardian, service dog, and companion and will always be beloved by many. The German Shepherd is a surprisingly diverse breed, and presents in a number of varieties. This blog will provide a breakdown of the most common German Shepherd variants, and explain what this might mean for current or prospective owners.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of German Shepherds: working and show-line dogs. Working dogs were bred and developed to perform specific tasks so will be intelligent, energetic, and highly driven. Aesthetics are less important than working potential with these dogs, so how they look can vary. Broadly speaking, though, working German Shepherds are leaner and smaller, have straight backs, have shorter coats, and come in a number of colours with black and sable mixes being very common. A working German Shepherd will likely require more exercise and enrichment than a show-line dog. It will also thrive and be at its happiest when given a job.

The Czech German Shepherd is perhaps one of the best known and most popular line of working German Shepherds. Originally bred in Czechslovakia to be a military working dog, the Czech German Shepherd has an excellent temperament and is remarkably intelligent. Compact and generally sable or black, Czech German Shepherds are well represented in military and police working dog circles in the UK, as well as protection sports. We have found them to be some of the best and easiest dogs to train for family and personal protection work, and highly rate them.

Show-line German Shepherds are generally larger dogs with sloping backs, short hind legs, and thick glossy coats. The most common and widely accepted coat colours are tan with a black saddle over the mid-back, and occasionally all black. Temperamentally, show-line German Shepherds are relatively docile and while still intelligent lack high work drives. They can make excellent pets, but are not what we look for in a prospective family or personal protection dog. They are also somewhat prone to hip injuries.

If you are interested in purchasing one of our trained working German Shepherds as a family or personal protection dog, we would love to hear from you. Please email [email protected]dogsworldwide.com

Exercising Your Protection Dog

Friday, December 2nd, 2022

All dogs should be exercised regularly, ideally twice a day. In the UK, the most common way to exercise a dog is to take them for one or two walks a day, more often than not on a lead or free running them in a park or some other open space. These are good ways to exercise a dog, but far from the only options. Exercise is so beneficial and important to all dogs that it cannot be neglected. As protection dogs are almost by default more active and energetic than a usual pet, their individual need for exercise will usually be somewhat higher than normal. This blog will offer an overview of how you can exercise your protection dog, as well as demonstrate why it is so important.

It is best practice to let all dogs start their day by going outside to use the toilet, and we would recommend that this is part of a reasonably long walk. Exercise tires dogs out and allows them to outlet pent-up energy. A tired dog is a happy dog, and early morning exercise often results in dogs being calmer throughout the day. Morning walks should not be rushed, are an excellent opportunity for your protection dog to receive much-needed mental engagement in the form of multisensory stimulation. These walks can set your dog up for a good day ahead, and are highly recommended. Another walk in the evening is beneficial too, and can help settle your dog before bedtime.

More specific exercise is better than one or two walks a day, though. As protection dogs often have a high prey drive, tapping into this natural tendency is something they will find exciting and enjoy. Building exercise into activities such as playing fetch with a favourite ball or toy or chasing a flirt pole is very effective, and often breed or role appropriate. If a dog enjoys chasing things, then being allowed to do so in a controlled setting is one of the best ways their physical and mental needs can be met in a safe and non-destructive way. More specialist activities such as agility, sled pulling, and water sports can all be good options as well.

High-energy dogs often enjoy free running in open spaces. This is a very good option as it would allow your protection dog to exercise as hard as it wanted, and let it make its own choices rather than have its movements fully dictated by a handler. However, we would recommend that this is done responsibly. Free running should only be allowed in private or fenced off areas away from members of the public.

If you have any additional questions about how to exercise your protection dog, feel free to DM us on any of our social media accounts or email [email protected].

What Breed of Protection Dog Should I Get?

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

While some customers come to us knowing which breed of protection dog they want, this is not always the case. Many customers enter the process of buying a protection dog having never owned any kind of pet before, so are open to the possibility of any breed we offer.

The first question customers should ask in such instances is what are their particular needs? Do they have young children which means they need to be at home more, or are they single and more active? Do they have allergies to breeds which shed? Apart from protection, do they have any other types of work or activities they would like to undertake with their new dog?

Protection Dogs Worldwide aims to have the most tailored offer possible, and all of our initial consultations focus on establishing what a client’s needs are, as well as their lifestyle so we can match them with our most suitable dog. Beyond breed, our dogs all have their own unique quirks and personalities, and we take our responsibility to find them an appropriate home where they will flourish very seriously.

We avoid stereotyping breed characteristics, but a Cane Corso or Rottweiler is often an excellent fit for families with young children seeking a loving dog which is equally comfortable working or sat on a sofa enjoying life as a pet. A German Shepherd is likely a better fit for active households looking to enjoy outdoor activities or participate in high-level training, while a Dobermann or Giant Schnauzer often sits somewhere in-between. If you or a member of your family are allergic to dogs that shed, a Giant Schnauzer would be more appropriate than the high-shedding German Shepherd.

If you have any questions about choosing the most appropriate breed of protection dog for you and your family, then please contact us by DMing on any of our social media accounts.

Common Breeds for Protection Work

Thursday, August 18th, 2022
Dogs have always been used for protective and guarding purposes. The wolf’s formidable bite was harnessed from its first domestications, and has remained in use since. A number of breeds are used today for protection work, some of which are more suitable than others for different settings. Perhaps the best, most common, and most versatile protection dog is the German Shepherd. It is highly intelligent, courageous, and loyal. Its remarkable trainability and work drive have established the German Shepherd as perhaps the world’s premier working dog breed. As such, it is found in military, police, and private security settings all over the world. Less common and similar but still respected is the Malinois Belgian Shepherd. Offering handlers much a German Shepherd’s intelligence but with a higher work drive, the Malinois Belgian Shepherd is best suited to military and police settings. While some Malinois Belgian Shepherds are able to adapt to home environments as family protection dogs, they are the exception rather than the rule and not a breed we routinely hold. Dobermanns, Rottweilers, and Cane Corsos are excellent at protection work too. Their respective presences are as intimidating as they are legendary, yet they also combine this with intelligence, affection, and trainability. Poor breeding – especially in show lines – has made it harder to find individual dogs from these breeds suitable for high-level protection work, but our extensive pre-purchase screenings allows us to identify the best dogs possible where working lines have remained high-quality. The Giant Schnauzer also deserves honourable mentions. Despite being somewhat rarer in the United Kingdom and North America, we have developed strong protection capabilities when working with young Giant Schnauzers. We expect to see them become more popular in coming years as they are rightly recognised as a leading working breed.

Giant Schnauzers as protection dogs – Protection Dogs Worldwide

Monday, August 8th, 2022
The Giant Schnauzer is a rare, but highly effective breed we use for family protection work. Originating in Germany, the Giant Schnauzer was developed as a general purpose farm dog and intended to guard property, protect livestock, herding, and vermin control. Their versatility demanded high levels of intelligence which translates into the breed being very trainable and able to fulfil a variety of working roles to the present day. Although seldom found in modern working circles, the Giant Schnauzer is able to undertake protection work alongside more common breeds including the German Shepherd Dog, Dobermann, Rottweiler, Cane Corso, and Malinois Belgian Shepherd. At Protection Dogs Worldwide, we have seen Giant Schnauzers demonstrate exemplary obedience, courage, and trainability as well as remarkable levels of friendliness and playfulness with children. When considered with their hypoallergenic coat, the Giant Schnauzer is perhaps the ideal family protection dog. Giant Schnauzers need semi-regular grooming, but not as often as German Shepherd Dogs. Because of their size, they can be prone to suffering from hip and elbow dysplasia so should be carefully monitored for these conditions. Broadly speaking, though, they are a relatively healthy and have not suffered from poor breeding the same way that show-line German Shepherds and Rottweilers have. If you are interested in purchasing one of our trained Giant Schnauzer family protection dogs, please email [email protected] or DM us on any of our social media feeds.

How to be a More Responsible Dog Owner

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

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:

 

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst
  • Freedom from discomfort
  • Freedom from pain
  • Freedom to express natural behaviours
  • Freedom from fear and distress
 

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.

What is Schutzhund?

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

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.

How to Choose a Family Protection Dog

Monday, February 28th, 2022

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.

Which Breeds Make the Best Protection Dogs?

Thursday, October 28th, 2021

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.