Home Security -  Home defense: get a dog or a gun? (1146 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host12/7/11 6:15 PM 
To: All  (1 of 28) 

Is a gun that sits silently in a drawer and costs pennies per round to shoot a bad idea for self defense?

But a dog that requires walks, veterinary care, licenses, may not be allowed in certain neighborhoods and may annoy the neighbors at all hours is a good idea for self defense.






Excerpts from other discussions:

Dogs can be a deterrent provided that they are adequately trained to raise the alarm. Small dogs kept inside the house, especially at night, can act as an early warning system against potential intruders. Many burglars say they are least likely to case a home that has a dog. Even if you don’t have a dog you should probably purchase an “Beware of dog” and place the sign at strategic places.

Common sense about burglary prevention
Your smart, professional burglars case their jobs carefully and hit empty homes. The ones who hit when you are there have to be considered dangerous. If you are emotionally stable, have good judgment, and are prepared to commit some time to learning how to shoot and when deadly force is justifiable, I would urge you to strongly consider the armed defense option, but you need a holistic approach — locks, alarms, safe, dog, guns, and neighbors.

  • Edited April 15, 2018 9:27 am  by  EdGlaze
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From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host12/7/11 7:49 PM 
To: All  (2 of 28) 
 957.2 in reply to 957.1 


Dogs and Personal Security: An Introductory Guide
by David F. Austin


I. General Information on Choosing a Dog

II. Dogs and Home/Neighborhood Security

A. Ask the Experts about Home Security
B. Another Expert, and Four Roles for Dogs
C. A Consensus on Dogs and Personal Security
D. Profile of a Protective Family Dog
E. Legal Issues

III. Buying a Puppy

IV. Before You Bring Your Puppy Home

V. Dobermans
A. Why a Dobe?
B. Avoiding Health Problems

VI. Large Short-Haired Alternatives: Bullmastiffs and Rottweilers

VII. Longer-Haired Alternatives: Akitas, Belgians, Bouviers, GSDs

VIII. "Rare" Breeds: American Bulldog, Beauceron, Caucasian Ovcharka

IX. 'Second-Hand' Dogs

X. Neutering, Health and Temperament

References and Sources


A: Incidence of Hip Dysplasia in Featured Breeds

B: Choosing a Protection Dog

C: Some Local (NC Research Triangle) Resources


From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host12/7/11 7:54 PM 
To: All  (3 of 28) 
 957.3 in reply to 957.2 

Is a Dog More Effective for Home Defense Than a Gun
Carnaby Fudge
January 29, 2005

Depends on whether or not you have a bulletproof dog.

All joking aside, it depends on the dog and the potential bad guys (and how they're armed) that your dog might encounter. There are other self defense situations besides home defense, of course.

In the course of an argument I was having with some gun-grabber types in Britain, one of them suggested that a home-defense dog would be a reasonable alternative to a gun. Since gun-grabbers trot out that old statistic about members of a household where there's a gun being more likely to die from gun injury than a potential burglar, I did some digging, and it seems that you are about a billion times more likely to be killed by a "dog in the home" than a potential burgler is. Here's a taste from this website

A survey by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta ("CDC") concludes that dogs bite nearly 2% of the U.S. population — more than 4.7 million people annually. (Sacks JJ, Kresnow M, Houston B. Dog bites: how big a problem? Injury Prev 1996;2:52-4.) Almost 800,000 bites per year — one out of every 6 — are serious enough to require medical attention. Dog bites send nearly 334,000 victims to hospital emergency departments per year (914 per day).


The chances that the victim of a fatal dog attack will be a burgler are one in 177; the odds that it will be a child are 7 out of 10.


Dog attack victims in the U.S. suffer over $1 billion in monetary losses every year. ("Take the bite out of man's best friend." State Farm Times, 1998;3(5):2.) That $1 billion estimate might be low — an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that, in 1995, State Farm paid $70 million on 11,000 claims and estimated that the total annual insurance cost for dog bites was about $2 billion.

and so forth. Seems like having a "self defense dog" is pretty risky to me. And a dog isn't an inanimate piece of metal like a gun is. A gun won't go off unless somebody causes the trigger to be pulled. A dog can potentially do what it wants, when it wants, with no outside input. Now I'm sure they'll ban "self defense dogs" in Britain pretty soon, or at least require justification for owning a dog of any kind, and "self defense" will not be deemed reasonable justification.

Har har.

Update: Of course, my "a resident is more likely to be killed by a dog in the home than an intruder is" statistic is totally stupid, since the absolute risk is pathetically small. The same is true for a gun in the home. The point was only to compare two stupid statistics. However, the risk of injury due to a dog in the home is significant.

Note: This post comes from an argument I was having over at Tim Lambert's website.

  • Edited 8/7/2012 6:04 pm by EdGlaze

From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host12/11/11 5:20 PM 
To: All  (4 of 28) 
 957.4 in reply to 957.3 

Dogs of Defense:
K-9s for Home Invasion Protection
by Joel Ryals
August 15, 2011

This is the first article in a follow-up series to our previous series, Dogs of War. In Dogs of Defense, we’ll focus on dogs for personal protection.

Today we’ll begin by asking if there is a need for trained protection dogs. The next article will discuss whether there’s a danger associated with “weaponizing” a dog, followed by an article that considers breeds, trainers, and the responsibilities of the owner of a trained dog.

Later articles will discuss the safety of those around a trained protection dog and how to maintain that dog’s peak performance. We’ll also illustrate methods of integrating a protection dog into a home defense plan, as well as how U.S. laws relating to service dogs can be used to keep your family safe.

Should You Own a Personal Protection Dog?

Any security minded person, especially in today’s society of ever rising crime rates and increasing violent crimes, should seriously consider owning a protection dog.

  • Do you own a gun? You should seriously consider owning a protection dog.
  • Do you have a family to protect? You should seriously consider owning a protection dog.

While there are many other valid reasons to own a protection dog, let’s examine the above questions in more detail.

Crime Rates and Security

Increasingly, we find ourselves in an ever more violent and criminal society. Economic depressions tend to increase this trend as more people find themselves out of a job and desperate to find money and goods to take care of themselves. Of course, many others simply commit violent crimes for the pleasure they receive from seeing others suffer.

Home invasions are one of the most dangerous crimes, often resulting in violence against the victims. Violent crimes in general have steadily increased for more than 20 years. According to the Bureau of Justice statistics on violent crimes, you have a [very high] chance of being a victim of violent crime at some point in your lifetime. So do your children.

Many people think that a security system will protect them from violent crimes within their homes. I can tell you, as a Military Police Officer and Sheriff’s Deputy, there is little chance that law enforcement will respond quickly enough to stop a crime from occurring.

Others claim that their martial arts training will protect them. Sadly, this is woefully inadequate in most real world encounters. Are you prepared for multiple attackers taking you by surprise at night when many still have difficulty clearing their mind enough to respond appropriately? This does not even consider the fact that most of these violent encounters involve weapons on the part of the attackers.

But the most popular response to protecting your home from violent crime is having a gun readily available and being trained to use it. I’m an advocate of the second amendment and strongly encourage anyone who can own a gun to do so and learn how to effectively use it. But is having a gun enough?

  • Edited 12/11/2011 5:26 pm by EdGlaze

From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host12/11/11 5:21 PM 
To: All  (5 of 28) 
 957.5 in reply to 957.4 

Firearms for Home Defense: Their Limitations

Home invasions are fast paced and chaotic. You won’t know if there’s one attacker or many. Depending on the layout of your home, you may leave your family vulnerable by unknowingly allowing an attacker to bypass you while you clear other areas of your home. There is a high probability that you may find the attacker between you and your family, even if they are on the other side of a wall, restricting your ability to shoot due to the threat of over-penetration.

If you have a family, your home defensive plan probably looks something like this: We are alerted to a threat, your wife gathers the children and calls the police while holding a firearm as a last defense, in case something should happen to you. You grab your handgun or shotgun, and begin clearing your home to ensure that there is no threat.

Now let me ask you a question: With you by yourself, are you really prepared to take on several attackers with weapons of their own? Please put away the bravado for a second and for the sake of your family, really think this one through. Are you willing to rest the safety of your wife and children on your ability to single handedly clear your home if there are actually attackers present?

Think about that long and hard, because if it ever happens to you — and the chances are increasingly greater that it will — you do not want to make the wrong decision here.

Here is another question to think about: if a special operations team were going to enter your home and clear it, would they send one guy, or a team with a K-9 force multiplier? Can an individual highly trained operator conduct this task at peak performance alone? Unless you are one of these few men, then soberly consider your own limitations and what failure means to your loved ones.

Family Protection: When You’re Gone

Let’s pretend that you are Rambo, capable of taking on vast hordes of Vietcong, zombies and home invaders with ease. You have millions of rounds of ammunition, several strategically placed mini-guns and you even decided to set up some claymores under your porch; just in case. No one is getting into your home and harming your family on your watch.

What about when you aren’t there? “I will always be there,” you reply with confidence. Really? You don’t go to work? You don’t travel for your job? You don’t take overnight hunting or fishing trips with the boys? Will you really always be there?

What about when your wife takes a trip to the mall alone in the evening. Some dear friends of ours just had a terrible experience where the wife was kidnapped in a car, driven around for several hours, and then dumped back off at the mall. Terrible situations like this happen. Are you sure they will never happen to you?

How can you, as a loving protector, ensure that your family will be safe in your absence? The real answer is that you can never fully ensure it, but you can certainly take steps that give you and yours a much increased level of protection.

The Constant Companionship of a Dog

If you have a trained protection dog in your home, you have a team of defenders instead of being alone. Your trained protection dog can indicate the presence of an intruder, often before they ever actually enter your home. Your trained protection dog can be left at a key location to prevent anyone from circumventing you and reaching your family. Your trained protection dog can distract the first attacker, allowing you to focus on the second.

When you are away, your protection dog can warn your wife and children of an intruder. The dog can be commanded to bark, warning off would be attackers. The dog is now the teammate of your family, able to assist them if the need should arise.

When you wife goes out to the mall at night, she can take along the dog. Often the presence of a dog is enough, but, even if that doesn’t deter them, the bite will certainly be worse than the bark.

Force Multipliers

Force multipliers refer to the idea of using something relatively small or simple to give you a significant advantage in a fight. That is what a dog brings to the table.

Should you own a trained protection dog? I strongly believe that you should. We’ll explore this question further, along with the process that you should use to evaluate your specific situation, in the upcoming articles in this new series.

Because so many questions arise immediately when this topic is brought up, I wanted to use this opportunity to provide an overview of what the articles in this series will contain. If you have any questions that do not seem likely to be covered in the series, feel free to ask in the comments below or contact me directly.


From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host12/11/11 5:32 PM 
To: All  (6 of 28) 
 957.6 in reply to 957.5 

Dogs of Defense:
Safety of Protection Dogs

by Joel Ryals
August 30, 2011

The first area of concern voiced by practically anyone that I discuss the idea of protection dogs with is safety and rightly so. The news media does a very good job of vilifying certain dog breeds as dangerous simply because they are a specific breed.

Movies also do a very good job of creating images of Pit Bull Terriers and Rottweilers being used by drug dealers in their homes. Often for the sake of reducing the number of bites on fleeing suspects, the police have done a fairly good job presenting certain dogs as highly dangerous too.

This is not to say that specific breeds don’t require certain considerations when deciding to use one for protection, but let us be careful about buying into the media’s version of things. Unfortunately, many of the dog trainers out there today have bought into these misleading marketing plans. It’s important to find trainers that are actually training and not simply sitting behind a keyboard.

With that in mind, let’s consider the most important aspect about dogs when it comes to safety.

Predators Bite

The question I want to pose is: are dogs, in general, dangerous? First, allow me to remind those who may have forgotten that dogs are predators. That means that naturally, they kill things and eat them. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are on average about 4.5 million dog bites each year; 885,000 dog bites each year require medical attention; and about 31,000 people undergo reconstructive surgery due to dog bites each year. These numbers sound high and frightening until we consider them in light of the population. Dogs bite 1.45% of the population of America each year; .28% require medical attention; .01% require reconstructive surgery.

Why do I bring up these statistics? For the simple reason that I want people to understand that dogs bite. They are predators and people cannot claim that their dog does not bite. At best, you can claim that they have not yet bitten, but that isn’t very reassuring in light of the above statistics. The vast majority of dog bites occur from dogs that have no history of violence or prior bites.

You Must Have Control of Your Dog

What this means for you and me is that we must be responsible dog owners. It does not mean that we shouldn’t own dogs, but it places upon us a certain obligation to ensure that our dogs are safe and under control.

Just as the gun owner must be responsible with their firearms, so the dog owner must be responsible for his dog. It’s not required that every gun owner take training courses, but it is highly recommended. Law Enforcement and Military personal are proficient with their weapons because they have been trained to be proficient. There are many terrific firearms training courses available and you should avail yourself to one of them if you are going to own firearms, especially for defensive purposes.

Dogs are no different. This really applies to any dog, whether trained for protection or not. It’s not required that you get training for and with your dog, but it is highly recommended and you are taking a great risk if you fail to do so. I can say with assurance that if you train with either Dunetos K-9 or Baden K-9, you’ll leave with a stabile, confident dog capable of assisting you in the defense of yourself and your family. We’ll be discussing training for the actual act of protection in more detail in the next article.


From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host12/11/11 5:33 PM 
To: All  (7 of 28) 
 957.7 in reply to 957.6 

Socializing Your Dog

Socializing your dog refers to exposing your dog to various situations with other people, animals, and distractions such that they see these things as normal and non-threatening. This is actually one of the CDC’s recommendations for avoiding errant dog bites. All dogs should be socialized.

If you are going to use your dog for home protection, you need to ask yourself if you want your dog to be friendly with other people in your home. Remember, according to the article on home invasions, people we know and are comfortable with commit 11% of home invasions. However, if you choose not to socialize your dog around strangers in your home, then you’ll have a greater responsibility to maintain control of that dog when there are people present. Stabilization training will be even more important for you.

Other areas where it will be important to socialize your dog are around people outside of your home, riding in your vehicles, or any place you might ever have to take your dog. Also consider if you want to socialize your dog around other dogs or animals. (You should seek guidance before taking your dog to dog parks and the like.)

Keep in mind that the intent of socialization is to familiarize your dog with these surroundings. You should not feel obligated to allow everyone who sees your dog to pet it, and in fact, I recommend that you do not allow strangers to pet your dog, although it is a good idea to allow your dog to be frequently petted and approached by children. If your dog is familiar with children approaching and doing what children do, you can have much greater assurance that there will be no errant bites on these little ones. However, as a general rule, you should never allow your children to approach strange dogs. Children are the primary victims of dog bites, and they are bitten primarily in the face.

A socialized dog is much more pleasant to be around and much safer for your family, guests and those you may interact with outside your home with your dog at your side.

Stabilizing Your Dog

Baden K-9 and Dunetos K-9 focus very heavily on training a dog to be stable. Stabilizing a dog is part of the training process in which you train to have control and for the dog to obey all commands under great stress and various environments. Stabilization builds confidence in the dog and will help to train him when it is ok to do certain things and when he must not do other things. If you are going to have a protection dog, then you must train him appropriately.

One of the things that you will discover if you train with a competent trainer (and sadly most trainers are not competent for protection level training) is that properly training a protection dog actually makes them safer than if they had never bitten. While stabilization training applies to much more than simply protection work, it is absolutely essential if you are going to have a protection dog. If your dog is stable, you will have control. You will also be able to command them to leave certain things and to attack certain things at your discretion.

I highly recommend you find a competent trainer to start your dog on protection and work with stabilization. Currently I only know of two facilities conducting stabilization. Both Dunetos K-9 and Baden K-9 use the same philosophy and techniques to train dogs in stabilization. Baden K-9 has developed and refined this process over 30 years of dog training. If you can travel or are in the North East, I highly recommend you contact them. If you can’t travel, you can contact Dunteos K-9 to have a mobile training team come to you.


It is important to understand that it’s easy to make a dog bite. It is much harder and takes more time to socialize and stabilize that dog. No dog is going to be valuable to you under stress if they are not stabilized and socialized. These two capabilities go hand-in-hand.

So back to the original question: are protection dogs safe? They are as safe as you make them, and they are much safer than untrained dogs. Don’t deceive yourself into believing that an untrained dog will not bite someone. They often do.

If you are going to train a protection dog, ensure that you train with someone that is capable of training stabilization. This will ensure that you have a safe, controlled dog that is capable of any task you may require of him.


From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host12/11/11 5:43 PM 
To: All  (8 of 28) 
 957.8 in reply to 957.7 

Dogs of Defense:
Considerations for Purchasing a Protection Dog

by Joel Ryals
September 26, 2011

If you have made it this far in our series, hopefully you are seriously considering a protection dog. In this article we are going to address the selection of a dog and the training of that dog.

These are going to be the two most important aspects for you, as the owner, when determining what kind of dog you want and how to prepare both yourself and your dog for home protection.


Sadly, many Americans have fallen in the fallacy that bigger is better. Many would argue with everything they are worth that a .50 caliber bullet is superior to a 9mm for personal protection, even for a 90 lb. woman who can barely hold the handgun. Are .50 caliber handguns bad? Not necessarily, but they have certain characteristics and limitations that must be considered when purchasing them for self-defense.

If a person can hit their target under stress consistently with a 9mm, then they are much better off with that handgun then a .50 caliber that they can’t control. The same thought process must be applied to the purchase of a protection dog.


There are benefits and detriments associated with large dogs. Large dogs are often stronger and may give you a psychological advantage, but they are also going to be less agile and slower.

Of course you do not want to have a Pomeranian or Chihuahua for home protection. It is important to balance the size and strength of the dog with its ability to move and negotiate the natural obstacles in your home or wherever else it may be protecting you.

For a home protection dog that is capable of giving you the greatest performance in the widest number of circumstances, you should look for an agile breed somewhere between 50 and 85 lbs. A dog this size will give you plenty of biting strength while maintaining the greatest agility and ability to move during a fight.


Agility is the measure of how quickly a dog can change directions or negotiate obstacles. Obstacles can be anything from jumping a fence to leaping into the back of a pickup truck, or even transitioning from carpet to tile in your home. When fighting with dogs, those that are most effective are the medium sized dogs that can change direction and react very quickly.

Dogs that are much slower, such as Basset Hounds and very large English Bulldogs, do not necessarily make good protection dogs. Although there are always exceptions to this rule.


This is perhaps the most important consideration for those concerned about the safety of those around them. Most of our nightmarish images of dangerous protection dogs come from the image of the junkyard dog or drug-house dog that has a very poor temperament. These dogs are dangerous and should not be used as pets or protection dogs.

This being said, there are dogs of practically every breed that have good and bad temperaments. Generally, but not always, females will have better temperaments than males. Just as you do not want an overly aggressive or posturing dog, you also do not want a dog that acts skittish at every movement or schizophrenic.

From the comments:
I think one of the most important things you can do is get the dog very young (6-8 weeks if possible) and raise it with your children. Encourage them to play with the puppy, and do not allow the puppy to be agressive with them, even in play. This will establish acceptable practice that will grow with your family. I have had German Shepherd’s Dogs, Malinois, Dutch Shepherd’s Dogs and Airdaile Terriers in my home in this fashion and never had an issue with aggression toward my family. It is important to establish and maintain discipline inside and outside your home, but if you do so, you should not have issues with dogs and children.

Look for calm and confident dogs. If you can find a puppy from a parent’s second litter, you can be fairly certain that your dog will have a similar temperament to its older brothers and sisters, but, again, this is not always true.

Another important aspect to remember is that a poor owner and poor training can take a calm and confident puppy and turn him into a skittish dog lashing out at everything he sees. Ensure that you read my 12 Pillars of Dog Training and find a competent trainer that can guide you through the training process for a protection dog.


From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host12/11/11 5:45 PM 
To: All  (9 of 28) 
 957.9 in reply to 957.8 


While this list is somewhat biased and certainly not all encompassing, several of the recommended breeds for protection dogs are the German Shepherd’s Dog, the Belgian Malinois, the Dutch Shepherd’s Dog, the Airedale Terrier, the Australian Shepherd’s Dog, the American Bull Dog, the Rotwieller (although it is difficult to find well bred animals in this breed anymore) and the Black Mouth Cur.

Remember to do your research. Do not select a dog simply because you like what they look like. Base your selection on the dog having desirable characteristics for you and your lifestyle.


After you select a breed, you should locate a competent trainer prior to purchasing your selected dog. First, determine if your trainer works with your breed of dog. Secondly, speak with that trainer about the characteristics and traits of that breed and if this will be compatible with your lifestyle. Thirdly, discuss the level of training you want to conduct with the trainer, and how much that will cost. This way you can plan for all expenses involved and determine what your capabilities are.

There are many trainers out there who would recommend against purchasing a dog as a young puppy, but I would have to disagree with that approach. The absolute best way for you to ensure that you have the best-trained and most closely bonded dog is to get him when he is a puppy. Eight to 12 weeks of age is best if you can manage it, but certainly aim for less than four months.

Having a dog that has only ever been trained by you, under the observation of a good trainer, will yield your best results. This will ensure that the home environment is fully familiar to your dog and that the dog has been socialized around your family, reducing the risk of errant bites.

There are several key aspects of training that you should look for in a complete protection-training package. These aspects can be trained in a single extended training package, or conducted over the course of a year or two depending on your budget and schedule.

Realistic Stress

One of the greatest flaws I have seen in training for protection work is also prevalent in many law enforcement and military training models: unrealistic training stress. What I mean by this is that the handlers must first take their training very seriously. If the handler is not serious about their training, then the dog will not be either.

It is critical to train as you fight. If you encounter a trainer who uses a weapon in one hand but encourages the dog to continue biting the empty hand, find another trainer. Finally, realistic stress should also include fighting in the environments you will be most likely to actually fight in.

Home Defensive Evaluation

If you have the capability, have the trainer come to your home and walk you through a home defense evaluation. Where are your likely points of entry? Where does your family sleep? Where should your children go if there is a home invasion? What pattern should you use when clearing your house for threats? And finally, how do you integrate your dog into that plan?

This cannot be done to the fullest extent without the trainer actually being on the premises at your home. Try to find a trainer that will take the time and walk you through every aspect of home defense, and not focus simply on the dog. The protection dog is an added asset, but you should not rely on the dog without a weapon for yourself. You should also not rely on yourself alone when you have a dog. All of these aspects must be integrated together for the maximum effect.


Having the right dog and the right training can make all the difference in the world during a violent encounter or home invasion. Do your homework and think through your situation before making final decisions. After you have selected a breed and trained your protection dog, test your plan in a force on force manner.

Without getting into too many details, you should conduct a coordinated home invasion in which you put into use all of your assets to ensure that your plan is effective. This will help to point out weaknesses, which you can then plan for.


From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host12/11/11 5:51 PM 
To: All  (10 of 28) 
 957.10 in reply to 957.9 

Dogs of Defense:
Stabilizing a Protection Dog

by Joel Ryals
October 18, 2011


One of the primary benefits to introducing a young dog to bite work is that if you do have any issues during your training, they are much easier to take care of. Young dogs respond to correction much faster and the lesson is internalized much better than with old dogs. This is certainly not to say that you can’t train an adult dog in protection work, but we must clearly understand the benefits and problems with introducing a dog to protection work later rather than sooner.

The old adage that “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is not entirely true, but the principle is sound. My mentor at Baden K-9 calls this early training of the puppy, the foundation. Everything that you do with your dog will be made easier or harder based on the foundation you’re working from. Older dogs are not as easy to establish these fundamental foundations with.

This article will discuss some of the considerations when training a dog in stabilization, when and where this training should occur and a little of the why behind stabilization.

Stabilizing a Dog in Your Home

Arguably, the most important place to stabilize your dog is in your home. If you have children, or ever plan to have children, then you must ensure their safety in the home. Your children must be able to love on your dog and your dog must accept whatever love the children give. If you have a dog that is aggressive with or even suspicious of your children, you should get rid of that dog. There is no room in the life of parents with children for a dog that puts them at risk when its primary purpose is to protect them.

One thing worth mentioning here is that females will typically, but not always, be better in a family setting than males. There are many male dogs out there that are very loving toward children and a family in general, but they are fewer in number than the females. A competent trainer will take you through the process of working with the dog in protection and stabilization with a family.

The next decision you must make is whether you want your dog to be friendly or suspicious with everyone who comes into your home. Ensure that you discuss this with your trainer from the beginning so that the proper process is followed for your particular dog.

Non-Suspicious Dogs

If you are expecting your dog to protect your house from intrusion in your absence or to protect without command or guidance from other family members, then you do not want a non-suspicious dog. However, if you are going to be practicing hospitality in your home regularly and want your dog present during these events, then you want to train a non-suspicious dog.

Dogs trained and socialized in a non-suspicious way will allow most anyone to pet them at random. They will be comfortable with strangers approaching, even in the home, and they will generally be more relaxed about people they do not know.

But do not think that these dogs will not also protect. Quite some time ago, I found myself staying with a friend for a few months. I kept one of my dogs with me during this time. This friend assumed that because the dog was always in his home and never seemed aggressive to him, the dog would never bite. He proceeded to taunt this a bit. (I do not recommend doing what I am about to tell you, but rather understand that it is possible.) This arose concern in my mind as to what my dog would do if a “friend” suddenly turned hostile.

So while he was petting and loving on the dog and spouting these terribly offensive words (sarcasm intended there), I switched my dog from prong collar to flat collar and pulled the lead just tight enough that I knew he would be safe and then put my dog on watch. She glanced back very quickly to confirm that she had heard what she thought she heard — this was also the warning to my friend that something wasn’t quite right — and then she began to bark and attempt to bite this individual. I quickly commanded her to leave it and return to normal. She did so. However, he was not quite so bold with her after that.

A dog does not need to be suspicious to protect you and your family. But a non-suspicious dog may require more direction to protect than a suspicious dog. The flip side to that coin is that a suspicious dog will require commands not to attack.


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