Would Your Dog Protect You From an Intruder?

We don’t need to get into all of the reasons to own a pet dog. Dog ownership is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have. But let us be abundantly clear: home defense is not a job suited for an untrained pet dog. That may seem obvious to those familiar with protection dog training, but we often hear people say things to the effect of, “My dog is a German Shepherd/Rottweiler/Pit Bull/Mastiff, so he’ll protect me anyway.” It’s simply not true.

Meet Brinks, one of four German Shepherds owned by Bonnie and Kirk of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Brinks has every reason to be protective: she recently had puppies and is known to be protective of the family’s children. Bonnie said that out of all the dogs, Brinks would be the one to show aggression to an intruder. But when Oklahoma’s NewsOn6 put people’s pets to the test in protection, the results were disappointing:

Rogers County Deputy Kyle Baker walked into the home, checked out the TV and wandered around, and there was not so much as a bark out of Brinks. Bonnie said she was, “Kinda surprised.”

Bonnie was disappointed, but it’s better she learned this lesson in a drill and not when a real threat was at the door. The decoys tried other tactics to get the dog to show aggression:

Then we put Bonnie and her youngest inside with her to see if that brought out more of Brinks’ protective instincts. Even though Brinks went to the couch with Bonnie, she didn’t bark or display aggressive behavior and, in fact, she got behind Bonnie when Deputy Baker got close.

We weren’t surprised to read this. When clients bring dogs with Schutzhund or French Ring titles for training, they are as surprised as Bonnie to see their dog hide behind them in a realistic evaluation. There is major difference between a dog that will go after a bite sleeve in certain circumstances and a dog that will jump over obstacles in a dark house to get to an armed attacker.

Both Bonnie and Kirk said they were surprised, but both figured Khemo would react differently, so we put him in with mom and baby to see what happened. Again, though, it was the same result. Khemo didn’t show a protective side, even when Deputy Baker approached mother and child. Bonnie and Kirk were, again, disappointed. “Yes, I would like to see the guy get bit. It’s mean to say, but I’d have felt a lot better,” Kirk said.

Their disappointment is understandable, but so is Khemo’s response to the situation. Nowhere in this article does it say that Khemo was selected from a litter of dogs because she displayed the kind of drives needed for protection. The article doesn’t mention any careful upbringing or extensive training in a situation like this. Expecting Khemo to handle a dangerous situation would be like expecting your Comcast technician to deliver your baby. The job requires a lot of experience and training.

There are different drives that motivate dogs to bark. What many people assume to be an aggressive bark is usually the result of fear. The dog is barking out of discomfort, not out of boldness. As soon as an attacker males a move, the dog will drop its “tough guy” facade and run, cower, or like one of the dogs in the investigation, actually lick the attacker’s face.

Even if Kirk had gotten his wish that Khemo bit the attacker, the result would be a quick, unrefined bite- not the kind of deterrent needed for a 200 pound man intent on committing a crime. Dogs in the wild may be used to fighting with their mouths, but a home-raised pet has no experience with unlocking the power of the canine jaw. When we test dogs that have not been trained to bite properly, the few that latch on at all will release at any sign of motion, yelling or striking. The one dog in this investigation that did bite an intruder lightly nipped the leg of the threat and that was all. Compare this to protection dogs who are trained to stay on the bite even if they’re lifted off the ground or fought with. From big dogs like Asterix to our smaller German Shepherds like Rex, our dogs bite with enough power to pull a grown man out of a chair.

The news anchor ends the story by giving hope to people depending on untrained pet as a security system. She says, “We can’t test for every scenario. Had our victims been yelling, giving orders to the dogs to attack or exhibiting real fear, who knows what would’ve happened.” At Protection Dogs Plus, we do test for every scenario. Every day we give the dogs new challenges: armed and unarmed attackers, passive and active threats, indoors and outdoor situations with single or multiple attackers.

If you’re serious about home security, please do more to prepare for a home invasion than hoping for the best-case scenario. We offer fully-trained adult dogs as well as training for your adult dog or puppy.

Source: http://www.newson6.com/story/20049010/would-your-dog-protect-you-from-an-intruder

Kidnappings Threaten Travelers to Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and More

Rex is quick to handle carjacking and kidnapping scenarios in his protection work. (Video)

Kidnapping is a major part of our protection dog training curriculum, but we don’t just teach our dogs to be the best protection for kids and adults in their homes. This type of crime is a real concern for travelers and executives, and we train our dogs to perform at any moment and in any environment.

Central and South America are closely associated with kidnappings, and according to Castle Rock International, the places you are most likely to be kidnapped in are Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, the Philippines, Nigeria, the Chechnya Region of Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Haiti.

Kidnappings for ransom or extortion are more common than you might think. Some insurance companies offer policies to international travelers that will reimburse holders for costs associated with a kidnapping, from ransoms to mercenary teams.

At Protection Dogs Plus, we have our own idea of insurance against kidnappings.

Criminals take advantage of tourists and travelers who are already out of their element, and danger could lurk around the next corner or stoplight. A criminal’s opportunity presents itself in ways you might never expect. For instance, while some modern cars will automatically lock their doors when moving, many will automatically unlock them again in park, and other cars have no automatic lock feature at all. This inconsistency means that if you’re driving an unfamiliar rental car in a strange place, you aren’t likely to always remember to lock the doors.

When we’re training for carjacking scenarios, we’re also training our protection dogs for kidnapping situations like the one that befell Eduardo Garcia Valseca near San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico:

“A truck crashed into the back of their Jeep, pinning them. Masked bandits armed with pistols and hammers smashed the windows of their car and dragged them to the ground.”

One of our training exercises is to have a decoy attempt to pull the handler out through a door or window. Our protection dogs will rush to the door or window the assailant is accessing to fend them off. In many situations, just turning your dog on aggressively will deter a kidnapper from trying to gain access to the vehicle, and this protection continues when you leave the car and your dog stays by your side.

Kidnappers don’t always work alone. Our Guardian and Guardian Plus protection dogs are versed in handling situations like this one, from Nassau, Bahamas:

“As we all lay face down on the ground, we were being robbed by one man after the other tied up our tour guide. There was a lot of scuffling and a flurry of activity.”

The multiple attacker exercise allows you to decide whether to send your dog after the threat closest to you first, or the threat that poses the biggest danger at the moment (e.g. an armed threat).

As crime increases in popular destinations like Puerto Rico, we urge travelers not to take their safety for granted. Stay vigilant!

TX, NY, IL and AZ Have Cities with Most Burglaries (Yahoo)


Yahoo! Finance has compiled an interesting list of the American cities with the most burglaries. Since burglaries are one of the main reasons that people guard their homes with protection dogs, we thought it was worth discussing here. Protection Dogs Plus began in Texas, so we’ll start off with the Lone Star State’s crime stats:

Dallas is the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area, an area which had a gross metropolitan product of $374 billion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Of the 61,859 property offenses committed there in 2011, 18,727 were burglaries….the population of San Antonio had grown to 1.3 million, an increase of 16 percent since 2000. This increase is part of the overall population explosion that has been going on in Texas in the new millennium. This growing city experienced 80,868 property offenses in 2011, of which 15,334 were burglaries.

San Antonio seems to be doing a great job of bringing in new residents but not a great job of keeping out crime. Let’s head a couple hundred miles east and see how Houston is doing:

Houston…saw 108,336 property offenses in 2011, of which 68,596 were categorized as “larceny-theft” and 12,281 were motor vehicle thefts…27,459 were burglaries, which puts the city at the top of the list. So if you live there, lock your doors when you go out at night.

Locking your doors is never a bad idea, but let’s remember that criminals are no strangers to breaking and entering. There are a variety of ways to bypass door and window locks: cutting or breaking glass, lock picking, brute force and so on. Wouldn’t it be better if we could stop the bad guys while before they’ve even broken in? We think so—that’s why we train our protection dogs to block off doors and windows and show aggression toward would-be intruders. Our dogs have the bite to back up their bark, but most criminals in their right mind would be deterred from escalating things at that point.

When it comes to sheer number of crimes, this next city surpasses San Antonio, Houston and Dallas:

Chicago…saw a whopping 118,239 property offenses in 2011, of which 26,420 were burglaries.

Let’s also remember to keep things in proportion: the article states that Detroit saw 15,994 burglaries in 2011. That’s around 10,000 fewer than Chicago, but consider that the population of Chicago is almost 4 times greater.

Indianapolis: Among the 46,967 property offenses reported in 2011, 15,122 were burglaries. There were also 26,588 offenses categorized as “larceny-theft” and 5,257 motor vehicle thefts.…In 2011, Columbus (Ohio) experienced 49,043 property offenses, 15,169 of which were burglaries.

One reason that guard dogs are so sought after in places like Texas is that neighbors are often miles apart and there are no friendly eyes to keep watch over properties. But the statistics from larger cities like Chicago and Indianapolis speak to the fact that neighbors are by no means guaranteed protection. You have to question if neighbors would intervene or even notice a property crime in progress. In 2011, Los Angeles, California saw 17,264 burglaries and New York City saw 18,159.

Since we’re located in New Hampshire on the Massachusetts border, we have a great opportunity to prepare our dogs for a variety of settings. When we sell a protection dog, it doesn’t matter if they’re going to Washington, D.C. or Sugarland, Texas, because our dogs have done protection work in both the woods of New Hampshire and the alleys of cities like Boston, Newburyport and Salem. We test our dogs’ off-leash obedience in crowds and with distractions such as cars and bikes. Some of our dogs are specifically selected for their mellow, low energy personalities- perfect for life in an apartment or small house.

If you’d like to take a look at the rest of the list, visit