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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Family Protection Dogs, Food for Thought

Steeler, actually he's smiling or the force of gravity
is pulling his jowls downward!

So, you want a trained attack dog?

Hey, Burt Reynolds has one! So says a site I found on the web while looking up this subject. But he’s Burt Reynolds so he can afford a macho bragging right!

This blog posting has come to mind from months of poor economics possibly contributing to a rise in crime. I believe a combination  of both drive people to the sites on the family protection dogs. 

I have nothing against guard dogs when used as a tool in law enforcement, or other strategic placing, but when it comes to the family home, well that’s another story.  Years ago I might not have thought this way but over time after seeing puppy mills, back yard breeders, and puppy brokers, it makes me wonder, will a new crop of dog advertisements start creeping into the market because of the latest downturn in the economy and up rise in crime?

Most questions to me on this subject come electronically , so you can understand my reluctance to answer them specifically as I do not really know the questionnaire’s character. I can only imagine why one would want such a dog.

Before my ranting starts, I do understand that there are trials and titles for such dogs just as there are for other dog events, but these dogs are for sale on websites advertised for family protection. Again this is probably nothing new, but I am hearing more from the everyday Joe who is looking to purchase a cheaper version.   Attached to these more respectable dogs are hefty price tags. I’m talking anywhere from 35,000 thousand to $250,000 thousand dollars. I’ve also seen them for a mere 4,500, still too expensive for the average Joe.

 The sites where dogs were on the higher dollar end  did look legitimate and that dollar amount made me think they are legit as only a millionaire or big business could afford these dogs.  If however new sites spring up and the prices suddenly plummet, I would suspect something rotten in Denmark. 


It is true that a well trained dog in guarding will do what is asked of it, I do not doubt that for one second. What I am skeptical of are the people who are actively looking for an already trained, low priced attack dog for protection. This I feel can only lead to trouble.  

 In my quest to find out more on family protection dogs, most of the sites I visited brought me to pictures of a dog guarding children who were surrounded by a fresh field of flowers with no parents in sight.

             I’m sorry, but have people started leaving their children in fields all over the world? And if so, why is it not making the news under child abandonment?

Another site I found had a video of a crime about to happen which I suppose was to show a family protection dog in action. I found this to be an entertaining video of two men talking on a patio in the backyard of the owner’s home with the dog laying about ten feet from them.  The next thing I saw was the offending man stepping a half foot closer to who I assumed was the owner of the home, voices were raised an octave and BOOM, the dog attacked.  After that, the owner called off his dog, and the other man walked away.

            Is that not a law suit waiting to happen?  I can see the attacked man saying, “Your Honor, all I was doing was trying to sell this guy some vinyl siding and when I went to walk away the dog attacked me.”


Family protection dogs are touted on the sites I found as: “Protection for the whole family and better than any security system you could buy for your home as they are trained to act immediately on a command or act if the dog perceives the owner is being threatened.”

   To me the whole scenario of a family protection dog basically gives me an image of any unstable kid, (and most kids lack common sense, it’s a fact) unlimited access to an attack dog that on command can attack another child!  Am I the only one seeing the danger here?


I have to wonder when I watch the training videos, if there are newer, dumber criminals in the world today because the videos show the bad guys waving a long stick and yelling at the top of their lungs! Isn’t the purpose of a crime not to attract attention?

As for my home, there would be nothing to guard here. You will not find the Hope Diamond or a Picasso wall hanging. The only thing worth protecting would be the expensive guard dog I just bought for protection! 

            Hey, I’ve got a house full of Newfoundlands, hardly a breed you would consider a threat, but they are very loyal so who knows if they might jump into protection mode if they thought I was being threatened. 

            I once had an Ambulance driver here in the middle of the night trying to get into the house because of a mistaken push on the, “Help I’ve fallen and can’t get up” button, only to be met at the door by big black barking dogs! Needless to say she did not enter.  In fact, the public in general does not enter my yard unless invited!  The only person that has ever walked through my chewed up 'Beware of Dog' gate uninvited was a minister and I suspect that God was on his side that day! 

I know I am putting humor into what is a serious job to others and I get it, really I do. I get it for police work, search/rescue, the military, and bomb detection or if you want the grounds of your mansion which holds thousands of dollars worth Monet’s inside guarded. But please don’t advertise these dogs for the general public to protect their babies, that’s a parent’s job!

And for the adults out there, before you inquire about such dogs when you have six or seven kids in the home ask yourself these questions.

1) Is money not an issue?

2) Are you sure your children are mature enough to only use an attack command against an aggressive stranger and not against an annoying sibling?

3) What are you protecting in the home and is it worth the possibility of a law suit should the dog suddenly turn on the wrong person?

4) How much background do you know about where this trained dog came from and the company/proprietor selling it?

5) Wouldn’t you rather consider a nice new Van instead to drive your children away from these threatening situations or take the money and use it for a down payment on a house in a safer neighborhood?

6) What’s the cost for a course in self protection, some personal mace, and a BB gun?

Keep in mind that a dog can be shot and killed and while the same could happen to that surveillance camera you just installed, the camera would be cheaper and less heartbreaking to replace! 

Seriously though folks, my legitimate concern overall which is what put my mind to working in this direction to begin with is that you should watch for bad trainers in conjunction with bad breeders because if there is a money making scheme and a need, they will find a way to sell a cheap, poorly bred, and poorly trained attack dog making money off the unsuspecting public.  Customers may believe they have a legitimate guard dog because it cost them a few hundred dollars, which to some is a lot of money.  This can only lead to big time trouble.  

This is just paws for thought, my own two cents, so take it all or leave a penny!

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