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Hey guys! I am planning on getting a German Shepherd puppy during the summer of 2018. I have a few ambitions that I've been researching, for preparation of getting a new puppy. I am really interested in Personal Protection training. However, everywhere I look it seems unclear to me how exactly one can go about doing this? I am not interested in sports such as Schutzhund work. I actually want my dog to be trained in real Personal Protection. Are there any valid programs that I can buy and follow through on my own? Such as a DVD program or something. I am aware that after a certain amount of training, a helper would be needed for bite work and such, which should not be a problem. But still the question remains, can I do this myself? Is it possible for me to read up on the training, research steps, and effectively train my German Shepherd to be a Personal Protection dog? Or is the only option to ship my puppy off to some Protection school for a year? I just am unable to find a lot of information about Personal Protection training. I really would want to do this myself if I can. One more thing, I fully understand that genetics of the actual dog plays a huge role in it being able to be trained in Personal Protection. The breeder I am getting my puppy from is a very legitimate one, which I fully trust in breeding the best dogs and testing the right puppy for my needs. The question which I need advice on is specifically the issue of Personal Protection training. Any experience in Personal Protection training is welcome and appreciated! Thanks!
 

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"I am really interested in Personal Protection training. However, everywhere I look it seems unclear to me how exactly one can go about doing this?"

"I actually want my dog to be trained in real Personal Protection."

"Are there any valid programs that I can buy and follow through on my own? Such as a DVD program or something."

"But still the question remains, can I do this myself? Is it possible for me to read up on the training, research steps, and effectively train my German Shepherd to be a Personal Protection dog?"
The quotes above make this answer obvious - NO!

Even assuming the dog comes from a breeder with the right genetics, and that individual pup has the right temperament and nerves, and you don't do anything to screw it up along the way - it's obvious that you're not experienced with ppd dogs and those definitely require a very experienced trainer.

Also if you want a ppd skip the puppy. All puppies are a crap shoot whether they'll work out as intended or not. Buy an adult dog trained in ppd. No need to wait 2-3 years for your pup to be a ppd dog and you're guaranteed to get what you want. Your ability to handle it, however, is not guaranteed.
 

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I don't see how you could do this on your own even if you have the perfect pup. You'll need a decoy or two or three. You don't want your dog thinking, "OH Hi Dave. Time to play the bite game again?" You will want an expert to catch the timing mistakes you ARE going to make, to watch for conflicting commands, etc. That takes another set of eyes that knows what to watch for.
 

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When you get your puppy, the first thing to do is let him grow up and see what his temperament is. See what his natural level of suspicion is and how secure and confident he is. Never mind all the bs about how schutzhund is a game and this is a real dog, I don't care about points, I do "man work" And all that other crap you'll hear from the safety of someones back yard.

Assuming you get a nice dog who's suitable for everything you want, you really need to be careful who you take him to for training. Trying to do it on your own runs the risk of making your dog a mess that thinks everything is a threat, which is the same problem you have to worry about training with a whole lot of PPD, real dog characters so be careful.
 

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I would focus on teaching rock solid obedience. A well trained dog is a good deterrent and can also help alert to going-on's you may not be aware of. Learn to be situationally aware of your surroundings to help avoid problems, and if necessary take some level of self defense courses.
 

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How do you know your breeder is a very legitimate breeder for PPD and what is your trust based on. My experiences is that 80% of dogs bred today are not capable of PP work. The individual dog is more important than the breeder, but you can send me a pm as i don’t want to say anything negative on this forum.
 

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10,000-15,000 or more.

That's how much you're going to spend on the low end of things if you want a real personal protection dog done right. If people don't flinch at that number we can have the conversation. If they flinch I won't even bother.
 

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Baillif,
I agree....actually I think you are a cheapskate. 15 grand " might " get a trainers' junk dog. They go up from there. 5 grand will barely buy a good prospect with no training. I have people ask me about PPD and I tell them that for Ten grand you could get pretty good self defense training for yourself and not have to buy dog food or special insurance. You could be almost as good as Steven Segal walking down the street. LOL

As far as percentage of prospects....American GSD probably 0 %. Dogs bred from import working lines with extensive titles on both sides deep in the blood line, maybe 10% in the hands of good trainers. If you have to ask price, you can't afford it.

When I was in the Schutzhund sport the drop out rate was simply astounding. I was pretty green myself. I had help selecting dogs, training and competing. We're it not for my own competitiveness, hard headedness and flat out drive I would have stopped too. I guess I was matched with the dog. most of the drop out came on the protection field. Many good trackers and obedience dogs simply could not handle the stress and pressure of protection training.

For example part of the training involved the " stick hit". It demonstrates the ability to work through some pain. Initially this was with a willow or bamboo hard stick, directed to the dogs' withers. During the Sch lll exercise the dog got four stick hits. The helpers were very specifically trained how to do this, green horns not allowed to do this. Many dogs checked out here the first time. This is not a whack to disable the dog by any means. Yeah it will leave a red mark on your leg as was demonstrated occasionally. Dogs that passed the Sch lll level were pretty solid protection dogs capable of even more advanced training for LE. However the animal rights people got into it and demanded a padded stick and less force. It became more of a " thump". Like a big good boy pat you might give the dog. The result is softer dogs we see today and the distain of Sch dogs in LE. they much preferr specifically trained dogs.....the price goes with them.

You could liken this to football, hockey or baseball training. Football, nothing like having to go 2 on 1 with every player on the team in blocking drills....you being the 1. If you didn't get angry at being run over by the 50 pound heavier linemen by the second or third hit, guaranteed you would be third string. If you weren't the first one up on the last pairing your slot was in jeopardy. 3 on 1 behind the goal in hockey, baseball..you better be able to throw 100 fast balls over the plate in practice or someone else was pitching, a dropped ball or muffed play was good for a lap around the field. You got hardened real quick or you didn't make the team. Not so today.

PPD are serious animals, not Sunday afternoon play things. When these guys do their job, bones get broken and skin gets ripped. As we used to say " when the dog comes out, negotiations are over". The only difference between the dog and the bullet is that I MIGHT be able to call the dog back.
 

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From what I've seen, most of the people who have $50,000 trained PPDs never use them. They are just there for the trophy.

People who really need protection, either hire a bodyguard, buy a gun and learn how to use it, manage their lifestyle to avoid dangerous scenarios or all of the above. If you have $50 K to throw at a dog that you will probably never use, well... go for it. Doesn't bother me.

Which begs the question- why are PPDs so much pricier than a working police K9? A K9 is very likely to be used, and quite frequently, in his working career. He might very well fight a bad guy. A PPD is almost never used, I can't remember hearing a story of a celebrity and their PPD getting in a fight with an attacker, with the PPD staying in the fight and taking down the attacker. I have, on the other hand, frequently heard of police K9s tracking down a suspect and also staying in the fight with an armed suspect even when injured... perhaps it is simply opportunity and tells us nothing about the quality of the dog, but it does make me wonder.
 

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From what I've seen, most of the people who have $50,000 trained PPDs never use them. They are just there for the trophy.



People who really need protection, either hire a bodyguard, buy a gun and learn how to use it, manage their lifestyle to avoid dangerous scenarios or all of the above. If you have $50 K to throw at a dog that you will probably never use, well... go for it. Doesn't bother me.



Which begs the question- why are PPDs so much pricier than a working police K9? A K9 is very likely to be used, and quite frequently, in his working career. He might very well fight a bad guy. A PPD is almost never used, I can't remember hearing a story of a celebrity and their PPD getting in a fight with an attacker, with the PPD staying in the fight and taking down the attacker. I have, on the other hand, frequently heard of police K9s tracking down a suspect and also staying in the fight with an armed suspect even when injured... perhaps it is simply opportunity and tells us nothing about the quality of the dog, but it does make me wonder.


How much are police k9’s? From what I have read about military working dogs (several books on the subject) is their cost of training would likely exceed the PPD numbers I see listed in this thread. Maybe the police k9’s are cheaper?

I do believe that there is less liability in PPD’s vs MWD’s in the sense that PPD’s are going to peoples homes typically to be used as a family pet as well. Many MWD’s could never be placed with a family due to the drive and liability.


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How much are police k9’s? From what I have read about military working dogs (several books on the subject) is their cost of training would likely exceed the PPD numbers I see listed in this thread. Maybe the police k9’s are cheaper?

I do believe that there is less liability in PPD’s vs MWD’s in the sense that PPD’s are going to peoples homes typically to be used as a family pet as well. Many MWD’s could never be placed with a family due to the drive and liability.


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This is one of the oldest and largest suppliers of K9's in California.
https://www.adlerhorst.com/canines/dog-prices/
 

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How much are police k9’s? From what I have read about military working dogs (several books on the subject) is their cost of training would likely exceed the PPD numbers I see listed in this thread. Maybe the police k9’s are cheaper?

I do believe that there is less liability in PPD’s vs MWD’s in the sense that PPD’s are going to peoples homes typically to be used as a family pet as well. Many MWD’s could never be placed with a family due to the drive and liability.


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We generally pay between $7,000 - $9,000 for a green dual purpose dog. The training, which we do in house is between 4-5 months, depending on the dog and handler to certify as patrol K-9. The training encompasses building clearing, hard surface tacking, obedience, aggression control, agility, area searches, evidence searches, etc.

When you figure in the cost of the dog, $7,000 on the low end and then add in 4 months of a handler's salary and my salary for training and running the Patrol School. Considering the cost of the dog and 4 months of a handlers salary, you are easily in the mid 20K for a certified Patrol dog. A dual purpose dog, trained in Patrol and Narcotics would be significantly more. A proven dog would be worth even more.

My current dog came from Adlerhorst, the vendor Steve linked. Boru was originally about $13,000 and was a PH1 dog. I got him for a reduced price, and he spent at least 6 months in training to certify in patrol work if not more. We had some issues to work out. He will be certifying in Narcotics detection next week and will be a dual purpose dog. On the PPD market, he would be worth significantly more. If you cold find someone willing to pay a large sum and handle him. IME, those two qualities do not always go together.
 

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My estimate didn't necessarily include the price of the dog, but yeah it was low end for what I would consider a number to screen out people that were not serious.

Malinois that will do the job tend to be had for a lot cheaper too. I've seen super nice dogs with some training already on them go for 2-3k.

Just basic OB here will run you 2500-3500 a 2 week puppy program is 1000. Personal protection will run way more and I'd never do it with the persons own dog unless it was the rare bird that actually had it in them. If the dog isn't the real deal I wouldn't bother.

Real personal protection will require the use of decoys and good ones will run you 50-100 or more per session. You can bet on having to travel to find those guys too.
 

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I️ agree with Slamdunc on prices for LE dogs generally speaking. And I am a vendor and broker for LE dogs in NJ, NY, And Pa.
This Tuesday I️ will do maintenance training on two PPD that cost 15,000 separately. PPD in general are more expensive because they are not regulated or have standards, and are marketed to a wealthy clientele generally speaking.
 

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From what I've seen, most of the people who have $50,000 trained PPDs never use them. They are just there for the trophy.

People who really need protection, either hire a bodyguard, buy a gun and learn how to use it, manage their lifestyle to avoid dangerous scenarios or all of the above. If you have $50 K to throw at a dog that you will probably never use, well... go for it. Doesn't bother me.

Which begs the question- why are PPDs so much pricier than a working police K9? A K9 is very likely to be used, and quite frequently, in his working career. He might very well fight a bad guy. A PPD is almost never used, I can't remember hearing a story of a celebrity and their PPD getting in a fight with an attacker, with the PPD staying in the fight and taking down the attacker. I have, on the other hand, frequently heard of police K9s tracking down a suspect and also staying in the fight with an armed suspect even when injured... perhaps it is simply opportunity and tells us nothing about the quality of the dog, but it does make me wonder.
This is my observation, too. Personal protection dogs are, in general, a lot of money spent for nothing.

My observation from owning several GSDs is that training them to protect me was not the problem. The problem was usually more along the lines of getting them to calm down and not eat the friendly visitors. I can't imagine how scary they would be if I trained them to be scary. As far as attacking people, they would go into "kill" mode if they sensed any danger, without me telling them to. No need for commands, because if it is that big a threat I might not be focusing on the dog, anyway.

Furthermore, if you launch a dog against someone who has not already attacked you, you could be up for assault with a deadly weapon, or worse. Then you get to court and the jury finds out you trained the dog to attack someone who had not already made contact with you, and you are done, both criminally and civilly.

I would much rather be telling a story to the cops along the lines of the guy hit me, or knocked me down, and my dog killed him on its own while I was helpless. And every GSD I have had would kill someone who attacked me - without training.
 
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