Is personal protection dog training really what I want? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Is personal protection dog training really what I want?

In 4 weeks I will be bringing home a German Shepherd mix. Mostly German Shepherd, some Border Collie or other shepherding breed mixed in.

Anyways, I'd love to have a dog that can defend me if need be. I don't care about having a guard dog, as my house isn't that important as long as all of my animals are safe.

But if I move to a bigger city in the next few years like I plan to, I hope to still live alone, and I would love to have a dog that would be capable of defending me if there was ever an issue to arise while we're out walking or at the barn or something where I will be alone in an isolated area.

I don't want a liability, I don't want a dog that will just attack willy nilly (which I do know is NOT the case with a properly trained dog), and I don't really care about having a dog that I can send off to catch someone.

Is it possible to have a personal protection dog that is JUST trained to defend on command, either on or off-leash? To jump over any obstacles and come to me and then defend, with or without "proper" bitework techniques? But only on command or when an attack happens, not just to anybody who acts a tiny bit shady? Again, I know this just involves proper training and tons of socialization and so on... but yeah.

Of course, I would be working with a qualified professional with this, and they would know my goals and so on... but is this something that is even potentially a "thing"... or does all protection dog training have to include everything in order for it to work well?
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 12:51 PM
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It is possible. But it takes ALOT of work, commitment, and dedication.

Usually the dog either has it or they don't. If they have "it" you'll spend the majority of the time incorporating obedience and control work, proofing the dog, and generalizing.

With that said, just having a GSD will deter 99% of would be criminals. Remember, you don't have to outrun the bear, just the person running next to you. It sounds mean, but it's true - given the choice, criminals will choose the house without a dog, or the house with a small dog, before they choose the house with the GSD barking @ the other side.

Yes - there are "experiments" and people saying that an untrained dog may not defend you when the need arises. I believe that most criminals are not going to try and find out unless they are targeting you personally.

So, IMO your path of least resistance, and thus the easiest is to get a GSD and spend as much time as possible socializing him, introducing him to people, getting him nice and confident, and obedient. Don't make enemies if you don't have to and then get a gun if you really need to feel safe.


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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Well, if she turns out not to be suited for it, of course I won't push it, and go for what does suit her, and just keep her as a "deterrent" as you said. And of course, tons of socialization, confidence building, obedience training, etc.

Thanks for the opinion.
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 12:56 PM
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To sounds like you just don't want to do the work to get a full protection dog. The problem with not going hardcore into bite work and having proper bitework technique is that while training, your dog gets pressure tested, which is very important if a true attack is happening. There aren't many dogs that naturally will bite a human and will continue biting if that human fights back. Remember...a trained human, that is expecting a dog attack, can disable a dog. Without knowing that your dog will continue to bite when the attacker is punching/stabbing/kicking/chocking the dog, what's the point of having the protection dog if it will just run away the moment any kind of pressure like that is put on it.

Don't take this the wrong way...but especially because of where your dog comes from, there is no guarantee it will be good enough for this type of work. If you've ever seen a dog in drive during bite'd understand how hard it is to control them without proper obedience.

Anytime someone says they just want a PPD dog it worries me...mostly because of the amount of training thats necessary and because they probably don't completely understand how hard the training is. And its the training that tells the handler that the dog is ready and will do what is expected.

You should also know that if your dog is bite trained, and bites someone off your property, and you can't prove 100% that the person was going to hurt you. You've just lost your dog, and your house. If this is something you really want, you really have to be confident in the training that your dog receives because it does become a huge liability.
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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I want to do the work and continue the training and so on and so forth, but I don't have a need to do the full out protection dog training, which is why I'm wondering if it's even worth it.

I just don't know that much about it myself, which is why I said I'd go to a professional as soon as we're out of the basic obedience training, and so on and so forth.

And of course, I don't want a dog that could be a liability and bite someone that wasn't actually a threat.

I understand training and I understand obedience and dog behavior, but personal protection dog training and schutzhund and that realm is new and foreign to me, which is why I'm trying to learn.

As for the bitework, I guess I was thinking maybe not have a dog that will bite, but a stronger deterrent in a dog that will bark and chase off someone on command, not one that will bite. But I see what you mean about putting pressure and the dog caving to that pressure.

I do eventually want it, with this dog or an already trained dog from a qualified professional breeder/trainer in future, and I want to learn as much as possible, even if that want never pans out.
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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And it's beginning to sound like a fully trained personal protection dog ISN'T what I want/need at this time.

A month or two ago I was dead set on it. I wanted it so much. But the more I was reading into it, I'd be like "well, I kinda want that, I don't need that at all, I don't see the point of that in my situation", etc etc etc.

I still want a dog that would be able to pull at a leash and bark on command though. Not do a thing in regards to biting, just bark and maybe growl type of thing... just as a deterrent. With no expectation of anything else.

One that could jump over a stall door to protect me would be nice/movie-like... But I don't think I'm going to really have issues, and if I ever think I might, she'd just be with me the whole time, not off doing her own thing.
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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 01:23 PM
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My puppy isn't trained in any type of formal protection, but from how he behaves, I have little double he would protect me if I was threatened. But, that said, his sheer size and intimidating "look" back off most people. Sounds like that is all you need.

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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. This'll save me money. I was planning on putting down several thousand at minimum in training... and while I'll still consult with a professional if need be, or if I plan on doing any kind of schutzhund or sport work, I won't be putting down the big bucks for a professionally trained personal protection dog.

So now, to wait the 4 more weeks and then enjoy her. This actually takes a load off of me, I was so worried that various training methods would "ruin" her for protection dog training, that I wouldn't get the right kind of toys, etc etc. So... now that I've decided to forgo it, I feel a lot better about bringing her home.

Thanks everyone.
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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 01:31 PM
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I'll say this, too - when you're on your own in a big city, it's really nice to have a dog you can bring everywhere with you. Some places will even bend their rules when your dog is well mannered. Have fun with your puppy
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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 01:46 PM
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Hi, when my pup was around 6 months I started training him for personal protection as I had someone enter my house uninvited (before I got my GSD and which is one of the key reasons I chose this breed). I was worried that it would make him more aggressive but the training is all treated as a game to the dog. I didn't take it to the full extent of training but I went enough that I felt more safe having my dog trained. He is now 2 yrs, and tho I didn't continue with his training, his bark is enough to deter any intruders and gave me more confidence in being "protected".
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