The Administrator from the Great White North, eh?
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Northern British Columbia
Re: Can rescued/adopted dog make great protection dog?
pupresq is right on, and the guy you talked to is also right. To make a protection dog, you need to start with the right genetics then add in the right training. As to whether the dog will bite for real, and not just a guy in a suit in training, has to do with how civil the dog is. A civil dog is one that will bite a person even without protective gear. Many dogs can be trained to bite a sleeve, or bite suite, but will balk at biting a person for real. Even they know the difference between training for fun, and taking on a real threat in real life.
Even among the dogs tradionally used for protection work, like German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, Rottweilers, bred for the work, only a small number will be civil and suitable for real protection work. So he is right that the chances of finding a dog from a rescue or in a shelter that has what it takes to be protective is very slim. A protection dog needs to be very stable in the head, very amenable to training, and extremely well sociallized so that they can differentiate between harmless people acting a bit weird, and bona-fide bad people posing a real threat. In addition, as the owner of a protection dog, you will need training to be able to maintain the training that the dog has received, and to learn how to handle your dog. This will require regular work, and one must be ready to commit the time and energy, otherwise the dog will lose the training that you paid so much for.
Most big dogs that bark will be a great deterrent, and that may be all you need. Just walking down the street with a large dog by your side will act as a protective shield. I mean, why take chances against someone with a dog when they could much easily target someone without?
If you want a Malinois or a Dutch shepherd, be aware that they are working dogs and will need some regular training and activity to keep them sane and happy. It would be fun for you to try to train them yourself for PP or for Schutzhund, but even then, don't count on your dogs to protect you, even a well trained PP of SchH may not protect when the threat is real, but you will have a lot more confidence and a great bond just through the work you will do.
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Keeta BH, OB1, TR1, AD
Rottweiler/Hairy Dog mix?? 2004-2015