Think You Want a Guard Dog?

think again..........

I would not place a dog for Protection purposes.  Our rescue site is not the location to find a good candidate for a protection dog.  Without proper training a guard dog is a poor choice for most people.   The temperament of a protection dog must be within a certain range, the dog  must be predictable, the dog must be well socialized, and you MUST be able to call the dog off.  A large percentage of dogs that are "bred" for protection don't qualify.  No person without experience in protection training should ever attempt to select a dog for such a job.  The liability it too great.  Additionally, a huge number of dogs are destroyed every year because their owners wanted them to be "protective" and didn't provide the proper training and socialization. 

I would recommend anyone wanting a protection dog,  go to a reputable guard/attack dog trainer, learn about the liabilities, and responsibilities of owning such a dog.  Then if  he/she still feels that she needs a protection dog,  be prepared to pay the several thousand dollar price for it and provide adequate housing to protect the general public from it.

Submitted by Tasha Wood

There is no way to know for certain if your dog will react aggressively when you are personally threatened. The only way to know for sure a dog will react aggressively to an attacker, is to purchase an attack trained dog,  usually for several thousand dollars, and we are not even getting into the  liability issues. Such a dog would have to be secured at all times, probably behind a double fence, and never out off leash. 

An inexperienced handler, coupled with a young child,  is a recipe for tragedy.  Extensive dog behavior knowledge and experience are crucial. 

Most of the time, just having a medium to large size dog with you will make a stranger look for someone who is easier prey, and dogs can be taught to bark on command if that is what you want. 

I would suggest that anyone  worried about their safety when alone,  take a self-defense classes to empower, YOURSELF, and not rely on a dog to protect  you.  It is not fair to expect a dog (a complete other species) to understand and act appropriately in completely human situations.  This is why many dogs every year are euthanized (biting when they didn't understand  the situation).

Yes, many dogs will, in a pinch, defend their owners, but this kind of  action cannot be predicted until the incident occurs. Many, many more bite when they shouldn't, not when they should.

Please think very carefully about the reasons for getting a dog. As I  said, the mere presence of a dog is comforting, and will dissuade some would-be attackers, but getting a dog specifically to protect you is not a good idea. An alarm system does a much better job. (I know a Seattle  police detective whose house was robbed while his large Doberman was home inside!) 

For liability reasons, rescue groups do not adopt out aggressive dogs, or dogs who have been known to bite.

Submitted by: eileen (ravensgate border collie rescue)

Here is a cool link to a site that has a lot of information on K9 Police Units (mostly German Shepherds):


Page last updated on 05/06/07 09:12 AM