Question about Personal Protection Dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Question about Personal Protection Dogs

Greetings,

I created an account here to ask some advice. I decided a couple of months ago to buy a dog. Since this decision I have visited with a number of dog breeds but I really fell in love with German Shepherds. I am fairly active: I camp a decent amount, I walk and go for jogs in the various parks around town (I live in Portland, OR which is very dog friendly). In my household it's just me, my girlfriend and 2 older cats. I am sorry if some of this seems like needless information, but I want to give as much information as possible.

I am somewhat lost about whether I ought to get a young puppy, an older puppy, or fully trained dog. I had assumed I would buy a puppy but then I saw a few respectable kennels that sell fully trained older dogs. There seem to be a number of (obvious) advantages to this but what concerns me is that most of these places seem to place an emphasis on personal protection. Now I am not opposed to having a dog trained in personal protection, but is a dog that has underwent training like this something that a novice owner such as myself could handle? Are these suitable for personal companionship? Are these dogs still safe to be around people (as much as say a dog that hasn't underwent the training)? Are their personalities all business-like after they undergo training? Any and all advice is greatly welcomed.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 07:23 PM
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I'm no dog expert, but I would think/hope that you would want a dog for more than just protection. If all you wanted was to protect yourself, I imagine you'd get a gun or carry around a knife. As far as buying a fully trained older dog, you lose all the time you would have spent with the dog as a puppy, training it, taking care of it, bonding with it. Getting a full grown dog makes sense if you don't have the time or the desire to have a companionship, but the way you worded your post makes me think that this isn't the case. That said, raising a puppy is a lot of work that maybe you don't want to do, but again, so is taking care of an adult dog.

In my (admittedly limited) personal experience, dogs that are protection/attack trained rarely have noticeable temperament changes, especially towards their owner. As my experience is limited to a few family friends who raised their puppies that way, I have no experience with the way a grown protective dog behaves and can't really comment on that.

You mention advantages to buying the fully grown puppy and the only one I can think of is the immediacy of protection, which forces me to ask how much danger are you in that that immediacy is necessary or are you just unwanting/unwilling to go through the training process with a puppy?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 09:32 PM
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Have you looked at shelters or rescues? There are GSD rescues, they have puppies, to older dogs.

Jessica

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 09:45 PM
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Depends on the individual dog and the training. Personal Protection Dogs can be a real scam. Sometimes the dogs are not really what is advertised and sometimes it's the training, and worse case scenario it's both.

Now of course there are some people out there that really know what they are doing but there are many out there that don't. True Personal Protection Dogs cost ALOT of money.

Now some of these dogs are lovely even tempered animals (usually big black and red males since that appeals to their clientele) that will alert bark on command and that's about it. They probably wouldn't actually bite in a true protection siutation. These dogs give people some kind of mental security and are usually great with the kids, the cat, and the family Chihuahua.

At the other end of the spectrum we have Cujo, who's got a pretty scary temperament and will take out anyone with the slightest provocation and might more aptly be described as a junkyard dog.

Now there are great benefits to getting an older dog with training. I got a SchH3 male as an adult. He's a terrible personal protection dog (too social and stable, and not much natural suspicion ) but wonderfully trained and joy to have in the house.

In the end, know what you're getting. I think the majority of the time a Personal Protection Dog is marketed that way to get more money. Can't charge nearly as much for a lovely pet dog. Look at the dog in person. You should be able to get a feel pretty quickly for if the dog is easy to handle.

Bianka vom Eisernen Loewen IPO3, CGC, TC 1-3-08
Cade vom Eisernen Loewen IPO1, CGC 3-25-09
D'Artagnan (Tag) vom Eisernen Loewen BH 2-2-10
G Aiko von Burkndeiros SchH 3, IPO3, FH, TC, KKL2 9-17-02 (Retired)


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mockindignant View Post
Greetings,

I created an account here to ask some advice. I decided a couple of months ago to buy a dog. Since this decision I have visited with a number of dog breeds but I really fell in love with German Shepherds. I am fairly active: I camp a decent amount, I walk and go for jogs in the various parks around town (I live in Portland, OR which is very dog friendly). In my household it's just me, my girlfriend and 2 older cats. I am sorry if some of this seems like needless information, but I want to give as much information as possible.

I am somewhat lost about whether I ought to get a young puppy, an older puppy, or fully trained dog. I had assumed I would buy a puppy but then I saw a few respectable kennels that sell fully trained older dogs. There seem to be a number of (obvious) advantages to this but what concerns me is that most of these places seem to place an emphasis on personal protection. Now I am not opposed to having a dog trained in personal protection, but is a dog that has underwent training like this something that a novice owner such as myself could handle? Are these suitable for personal companionship? Are these dogs still safe to be around people (as much as say a dog that hasn't underwent the training)? Are their personalities all business-like after they undergo training? Any and all advice is greatly welcomed.
IMO a PPD is not suitable for a novice dog owner seeking a companion.

As far as getting a puppy or an older dog already trained..you'll need to train either one yourself even if the dog has been trained, YOU still have to be trained and know how to command your dog. Since you have cats, if you rescue or purchase an older dog make sure it has lived with cats before. An older dog would be great option because puppies are a lot of work. Then you have the butthead teenage years to look forward to. With an older dog you already know what you're getting in terms of behavior.

If you want a puppy then you should start researching the different lines and find out what best matches your lifestyle.

A puppy will not be suitable for protection work until it is fully matured, at least 2 yrs of age. GSDs are big enough and "scary" enough that most people aren't going to mess with you. People started crossing the street when I walked my pup when he was 5-6 months old just because he looks so big and scary. I'm sure there are also added legal risks to having a PPD.

-Brandi


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 10:28 PM
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I would agree with the above - a PPD is NOT for beginners! Even with a well trained one, in the wrong (inexperienced) hands it is sort of like giving a loaded and armed gun to someone who never held one before!

Almost any GSD will certainly serve as an effective deterrent to any of the bad guys naturally.

As far as the dog itself, you couldprobably compromise between a puppy and an adult by looking for an older puppy from say 6-12 months and get a dog that is for example house broken and partially trained but still a young enough puppy to let you enjoy all of the goofiness of a GSD puppy (w/o the "land shark" stage!).
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