Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
My opinion is that a PP dog needs to have a good sense of discrimination, needs to know who is a bad guy and who is just a guy minding his own business. The only way for a dog to learn discrimination is to meet as many people as possible, from an early age. Introduce him to people of every age, sex, appearance and color... kids running and playing like kids do... teenagers being teenagers... bicycles, joggers, strollers, horses, skateboards, other dogs, policemen and other uniforms, men in hats, men with beards, babies, etc. etc. etc.
Only then is a pup going to learn that most people are just fine, so he doesn't need to fear or feel defensive over the benign day-to-day activities of normal people.
Then, at a certain phase of maturity and training, you will introduce a "bad guy", and the dog learns to recognize what a real threat looks like. Because he already knows what isn't a real threat, your dog is not going to go off half-cocked over every stranger walking by.
It is, of course, very important that the dog have the correct temperament for this kind of work. Confident, clear-headed, stable, strong-nerved and biddable. If the dog is the least bit insecure, nervous, or fearful, he's not a good candidate as a PP dog. He'll look intimidating from behind the fence, but you can't count on him to protect you when push comes to shove.