Is a Protection Dog Right for You?By Robert Siciliano Mar 16 , 2010 | 10:35:00 amPosted in: Burglary & Loss Prevention, Personal Safety, Pet Safety
As mentioned in a previous post I’m a big believer in furry beasts as a layer of protection. My 60lb German shepherd last fall is now a 75lb GSD due to a lazy winter and a busy Daddy who hasn’t taken her out enough.
“Lola” the furriest of all beasts is all bark, love and very territorial. When anyone walks within 100 yards of the property she’s barking. If the door bell rings or someone knocks on the door forget it. All mayhem breaks out. If I or anyone enters through a door and she is even a little surprised she goes nuts.
In the event a bad guy was to walk through my door my feeling is he’d end up “sausage.” A dog is another home alarm system. It’s an extra video security system too. They often see and hear what you can’t day and night. Whenever my dog starts barking the first thing I do is check the video surveillance system monitor to see what she’s cracking about.
In the Boston area, it is reported that a German Shepherd thwarted a home invasion.
The key to getting a protection dog is to understand what a protection dog is and isn’t. First and foremost a protection dog doesn’t mean that the dog is a non stop-snarling-growling-aggressive-ready to pounce-rabid animal. Most protection dogs are relatively sublime, but aware. They respond to the call of duty when they sense a reason to.
A real protection dog is one that is trained for such a purpose. Certain breeds are more trainable and often go through a technique called “schutzhund”. German Shepherds, Malinois and Dobermans are breeds that come to mind. Generally, these dogs have what’s called “prey drive.” Prey drive is the instinctive behavior of a carnivore to pursue and capture prey.
Without prey drive the dog doesn’t have much motivation to do much, never mind put themselves in harms way.
My neighbors have these 2 little “Toto” dogs that think they are 125lbs Rottweilers. And frankly, I don’t get to close to them because they act the part too. They snarl and hiss and bark when their “Mom” walks them and they have razor sharp teeth. It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
Ultimately you want a dog that is safe around you and children. Just as important the dog needs to be safe around strangers too. The dog needs to be sensitive to who or what is good, and when there is a threat. A dog that bites for no reason isn’t a protection dog; it’s a lawsuit and a burden.
Do your research to determine what’s best for you and your family. No matter what dog you get, show them respect and they will watch your back.
Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Security on Fox Boston
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