Are You Buying A Dog To Protect You From Criminals? – Dog Training – Dog Trainer – Behaviorist

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Sam Basso
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What type of home situation is appropriate for owning a personal protection dog?

Are you considering getting a trained personal protection dog? Before you consider ever getting a protection dog (PPD) and training it to bite people, you should carefully evaluate whether this is the right thing for your life. There are times when it is a good addition to your personal protection plan. But for most cases, and for most people, you shouldn’t ever go this route, even if they people you want protection from are criminals! There’s more to it than just that. In fact, even though I get inquiries from time to time, I rarely talk to someone that should go this route. That is why most PPD’s  like this are typically owned by law enforcement or professional security companies. They treat the animal as another “tool”, such as a loaded gun, and they take the necessary precautions to prevent acecidents. Most people are too lax in their lives to supervise a PPD.

So, what criteria do I recommend to help determine whether a candidate would be appropriate for deploying a trained PPD? In other words, what kind of person is desired and what isn’t? In my opinion, there are certain criteria that must be met.

First need is an adult master that is a well adjusted person with a balanced life. They have a job, outside interests, and good relationships with family and friends. This person is intelligent, has good character, demands excellence, coordinated and fit, and is a talented and competent person. PPD’s are typically smart, dominant, athletic and need challenges in their lives. If ever deployed to protect the master, will have to be put into a highly complex tactical situation that could be a life and death struggle if the owner is attacked by a determined, highly dangerous, and intelligent criminal. The owner has to be smart enough to know how to deploy proper and legal tactics in order to save his or her life, while not endangering the public, and trying not to endanger the life of the PPD. An unbalanced, or even an untrained, person is going to do something stupid. No responsible breeder or protection trainer is going to want to sell their services to someone that will end up being a liability or danger to the public.

Second, the master must be the kind of person that would be competent and willing to use a gun to protect themselves. If this person wouldn’t be safe with a loaded gun, then they wouldn’t be safe with a trained PPD, either. Just as you have to learn how to use a gun in a responsible and legal manner, you have to learn how to responsibly and legally deploy a trained PPD. The master must also live in a household where it would be safe to own, and even use, a gun to protect the lives of their family. Guns, like protection dogs, need responsible handling. You have to remember that any dog that is powerful enough to fight against, and defeat, a human attacker is a very strong mentally and physically. Many people are not physically or mentally strong enough. The smallest dog you could consider for the job would be about 65 lbs. I have found that most adult women can barely hold onto the leash when a 65 lb PPD is in full fight mode. I’ve personally witnessed it. Children can’t control a dog like that at all. Adult men are stronger, but a PPD over 90 lbs is going to be a challenge for a typical, healthy, strong 180 lb adult human male. If you aren’t in good physical shape, with fast reflexes, and experienced in deploying a dog in fight mode, then don’t go any further. This is why it is important for the handler / owner to have participated in the training . It is foolish when you don’t have the training and conditioning yourself.

Third, the master must be someone that is even tempered, not given to be intoxicated, or be vengeful, go into a rage, pick fights, nor have close personal relationships with disturbed people. It also can’t be someone that gets the idea that now you can start terrorizing and bullying others. Ever see these young punks with aggressive pit bulls in harnesses, walking down the street? That’s trouble for everyone, and one reason pits get banned in certain communities. The right kind of person won’t be so gullible that they will let the abusive husband, or crazy wife, come back home to live or be with the kids. They can’t be someone that gets intoxicated. Just like it is a huge danger for a person to carry a gun while intoxicated or high, it is dangerous for a person to have a PPD if they don’t live a sober life.

Fourth, the master should be a responsible person who obeys and respects the law. That means the master can’t be a lowlife, or associate with people, in their personal lives, that are criminal, disreputable, immoral people. Such toxic people cause problems. If  you are involved with problem people… drop them like a bad habit, or you’ll bring more trouble into your life. The owner must also make a good income. PPDs are expensive to obtain, train, house, and manage. The owner must also be someone that spends time with the dog, not someone that expects it to protect them when they don’t have a good relationship, a family pack. People who are never home, who don’t have time, shouldn’t get a gun or get away from the problems in their lives instead. A responsible person takes their ownership very seriously. They must also have good control, relationship and supervision of their friends, kids, and other pets. Kids will leave doors open (allowing the dog to escape and attack an innocent passerby), or take the dog for a walk in public without an adult present (and losing control of so it bites an innocent stranger). Adult friends will roughhouse with the dog (and be attacked). Some goofy adults will try to get the dog to attack people for fun and sport (and cause a bad bite on an innocent person, and cause you to go to jail). People with those kinds of friends shouldn’t own a dog at all, regardless of the type or breed!

If you aren’t sure if a PPD is right for you, then don’t get one! Consider getting a gun, and learning how to use it instead. A dog isn’t the right tool for many situations. Better yet, why are you in such a dangerous situation? Why not move? Why not call the police? Why not get new friends? Too many people stay in dangerous situations when they could much more easily get away from the problem altogether. Self defense courses, including all the martial arts, ALWAYS teach you to run away from a fight if possible. Fighting is always a last resort. You have to prove in court that firing a gun was a last resort, or YOU will go to prison. And deploying a dog to protect is also ALWAYS a last resort. Maybe you really just need a change in situation, not a dog.