Gnashing teeth, saliva flying through the air and eyes blood red and bulging as the dog tears into its adversary, leaving nothing behind except a pile of bloodied bones. This image of a veritable “Cujo” is evoked in many as they hear the term “Protection Dog”.
Many people carry with them a preconceived notion that these dogs are vicious killers, aiming for the face or throat to seriously mutilate or kill any man, woman, or child that gets in their way. A sad truth that attracts many an unscrupulous individual to the industry, while driving those who could benefit immensely from the service of a trained K9 away in fear.
What is an Executive Protection Dog?
Executive Protection Dogs are expertly trained K9s that are conditioned to keep you and your family safe. They are trained to perform tasks such as search and clear a property, find intruders and alert their handlers and, if a threat presents itself, these dogs can be trained to bite and subdue. They are taught to target their bite, most often targeting the weapon arm, in order to subdue their attacker.
These high performing K9s can travel with their owners, are safe in public, and live as part of the family. They should not, in any case, aim for the face or throat, but instead should be taught to bite and hold their attacker – not kill, mutilate or maim their adversary.
Why Executive K9s are Badass
- They are capable of decision making – A properly trained K9, in the face of adversity, is capable of making split second decisions. When the proper K9 is selected, and the fundamentals are painstakingly put into place over the course of years, the dog is able to determine threat vs. non-threat and react accordingly. While fine tuning this process doesn’t happen overnight, it does add a level of security to your home protection, greatly decreasing the chance for mistakes.
- They remove you from the home protection process – I know many of my clients comment that, in the event they are presented with a threat, their dog simply buys them time so they can get their gun. I don’t disagree. However, these highly efficient sentries are able to manage the threat so you don’t have to. Instead of stalking through your dark house at night, trying to track down an intruder, you can move yourself and your family to safety while your dog runs your search.
- You don’t have to aim – While many of my followers are likely a great shot, I can admit candidly that I have terrible aim due to a complete lack of training. Compound that with the fact that most crimes don’t happen in broad daylight when I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but instead would be more likely to startle me out of a deep sleep, and I wouldn’t trust myself with a firearm much at all. But my K9 doesn’t need me to aim. She does it for me.
- Their senses are better than yours – Dogs possess a sense of smell that us as humans can’t possibly imagine. They can detect disease, are able to sniff out minute changes in our body chemistry, and, with a couple hundred million scent glands as opposed to our measly five million, they can smell an intruder before they even step foot on your property. Coupled with the fact that they can hear roughly four times the distance we can, and you can be confident their threat detection is far superior to yours. Check your ego at the door and call a spade a spade.
- They are your partner – Your K9 is not only your protector – it is your companion, your partner and your friend. Well trained K9s live as a member of the family. They can snuggle up with your children, play ball in the yard and provide years of companionship you won’t get from a firearm….well, some of you.
K9s Aren’t For Everyone
It’s no secret I have an affinity for the working K9. However, I can tell you without a doubt, a security K9 isn’t for everyone. As a method for home protection, they are incredibly effective. But don’t think that simply because you saw a movie, watched a youtube video, or read a few books, you are able to raise and train one of these high performing K9s.
If you lack experience handling and training dogs with intense power and drive, you should look to a well respected trainer with an extensive background raising and training high level working dogs. But keep in mind, even with a fully trained security K9 comes a very intense responsibility.
- They need regular exercise and training – We select very specific breeds of dogs for executive security work with very specific personality traits. Simply stated, we want K9 athletes that have exceptional work ethics and a high drive to work. This means that they need consistent exercise and follow up training to keep them maintained and happy. Regardless of how well trained they are, if you confine them for the bulk of their days, I promise, they will get frustrated and will likely take it out on your house.
- Insurance companies don’t like them – Many homeowner’s policies won’t cover protection dogs. Far too many unscrupulous trainers have sold protection dogs with little to no training and accidents have happened. As is typically the case, the irresponsible have ruined it for the responsible. You’ll need to check with your carrier before bringing a protection dog into your family.
- They are expensive – A well trained dog will set you back a pretty penny. Fundamental training is critical to ensure a safe protection K9 that will perform exactly to specification. These fundamentals can take years to implement correctly. Because of the time commitment to each individual K9, the price point for purchase is high. Not to mention, you will incur ongoing expenses such as food, supplies, training and veterinary care – items that many people neglect to take into consideration before bringing a dog home.
- They are a liability – Because these dogs are trained to bite, they come with higher liability than your average pet dog. With a protection dog, you are held to different accountability standards if your dog does bite or an accident occurs. For this reason it is critical for you to select a K9 from a reputable trainer and ensure the training is to your specifications. Don’t skimp on costs or work with trainers that cut corners. There is far too much at stake.
While protection dogs aren’t for everyone, they can provide an unparalleled level of security to responsible owners who are ready for the commitment. If you think you are interested in adding a K9 to your home protection arsenal, be sure to do your research and select a reputable trainer. Don’t go for a high volume kennel or the lowest price point. Instead select a trainer that spends time with each individual dog, offers explicit guarantees, customizes the training to your specifications, and will be around for support for the life of the dog. Choose a trainer who spends time getting to know you so they can pair the perfect K9 with your lifestyle, and be sure the follow their direction implicitly. Find an expert and trust them, you’ll be glad you did.