At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we do everything from personal protection dogs (bite dogs), drug dogs, basic/advanced obedience, and behavioral issues. So naturally, people see our numerous videos on YouTube of our trained dogs doing bite work and they call us or email us to because they want their dog to do it, as well!
Here’s the problem, everyone assumes because they have a German Shepherd, Doberman, Pit Bull, Rottweiler Cane Corso (etc) that they can be an amazing personal protection dog. This could literally could not be further from the truth. We train 65 dogs per week at our facility, and out of an entire moth, we may see ONE dog who is capable of performing this task.
The chances of you getting a (insert almost any breed here) German Shepherd from a regular rescue, breeder, or shelter and that dog being able to be a personal protection trained dog is probably about 2% (a general guess, not statistical based).
What people do not realize is places that employ personal protection or police dogs, get them from breeders who breed SPECIFICALLY for that. Even when they breed specific for that, maybe only half of the litter has what it takes to be amazing at this type of work. So your chances of getting a dog from a regular breeder/shelter and that dog be able to do this type of work is VERY slim.
Unfortunately, I have to tell people every single day that the dog they bought for family protection and have to spend the next 14 years of their life with will NEVER perform the task that they intended it to do. So, do your research and read the blog below to ensure you are getting the RIGHT dog for what you want.
A myth about personal protection dogs is that they need to be aggressive, this isn’t true whatsoever. Myself and my trainers all have bite-trained dogs and they love people, love kids, love other animals, etc. They should be very stable dogs that can know when to bite (on command) and know when to be a great family companion, as well!
Another myth is when people say, “I know my dog will protect me if it really came down to it.” Research and studies have shown that this could not be further from the truth, either. About 98% of dogs (unless specifically trained to do so) will look to you for comfort and help in a threatening situation. Sorry to disappoint you, but better that you know the truth verse have a false sense of security. There have been a lot of studies done on this, this is just one of MANY:
It takes a lot of work, training, scenarios, and discipline to get well rounded, friendly, and socialized dogs to bite people; therefore, it’s abnormal for a dog TO bite someone.
Personal protection dogs have to have set characteristics that are usually only found in dogs when they are bred to have these characteristics: high confidence, very HIGH prey drive, high energy, good nerves, etc.
You can read about how you can pick the perfect dog in my blog on “How To Pick A Dog From The Litter.”
Know that if you are wanting a personal protection dog, you have to be prepared to invest a lot of time, training, scenarios, pack leadership, confidence, and obedience training with this dog.
Ensure you do a lot of research, talk to a qualified trainer, a good breeder, and ensure you do a lot of research on the subject before making this 15-year commitment. Again, most high-drive working dogs ARE NOT a good fit for about 90% of people. I generally am quick to tell people that they do not NEED a personal protection, get an alarm system and a gun for the house instead.