MANY people are under the impression that a correctly trained personal protection dog is no different to a security dog, guard dog or stereotypical scrapyard dog, this could not be further from the truth.
A well-trained personal protection dog should be of a bold and confident nature, sociable and accepting of people that pose no threat to its owner, owner’s family or property.
This dog should have the ability to accompany it’s owner to the office, out in the car, shopping, or even on a boat. In all of these situations the dog should remain stable, alert and obedient, as a personal protection dog’s first role should be that of a well-mannered obedient pet.
The dog should have been well socialised prior to training and should have been trained in a variety of venues and different situations, slowly learning what will be expected of it in its future role, as a pet, companion and protector.
Once a dog has been matched to its new owner, specific training in different environments can be tailored for that particular dog to fulfill a client’s exact requirements.
In America, the term K9 bodyguard is sometimes used to describe a personal protection dog and I have also seen them described as 24/7 security with fur, however I always refer to them as my dog, my pet, my friend, my protector, as they are pets first and foremost.
Over the years I have trained and supplied many protection dogs to people from all walks of life. Some people not originally understanding the benefits of owning such a dog and others who through bad experience of crime, sometimes violent, felt a need for increased personal security.
Many of the dogs that I was (I am now retired) able to supply and train were sold to families with children thus dispelling another myth that trained dogs and children cannot be mixed.
It is essential to advise clients as to what type of dog would be suitable for their requirements and to try and match a trained dog with the right family or individual. It is vital to ensure that dogs trained and supplied to families are the right dog for them, their family and their lifestyle.
Once the match is made, training the future owner and their family how to correctly handle their new dog so they are able to communicate the correct commands and are shown how to work the dog in different ways and in varying situations, is essential.
This training is as important as the initial training received by the dog and should never be skipped as it is a valuable time for the early bonding to occur and if mistakes are made by the new handler, they are made whilst under supervision and can be quickly rectified.