In today’s world, people feel a need for security, for themselves and their families. Some people want to keep their property or business secure from intruders. Although alarm systems can do the job, many people choose to get a dog instead. In certain breeds, this guarding and protecting is a natural instinct and dogs have been doing this job for hundreds of years. So, once you decide to get a dog for security, should you get a guard dog or a protection dog? Is there a difference?
The answer is, yes, there is a difference between a guard dog and protection dog. It is important for you to know the difference before you make a decision and buy a puppy. Think of it this way, a guard dog will guard your property and a protection dog will protect you and your family.
A guard dog is trained specifically to be a working dog, not a pet. They are used as police dogs or military dogs and cannot “turn off” their training. Guard dogs can be trained to work at 3 distinct levels of security.
Alarm Dog- This is a large breed with a deep, threatening bark. He will sound the alarm when someone approaches, but will take no action. In many cases, the alarm dogs bark is enough to deter unwanted visitors.
Sentry Dog- A guard dog used as a sentry is most often used to guard the outside of a large property, such as a warehouse or shipyard. The dog is free to roam on his own without instruction from his owner. Because they are trained to attack anyone who trespasses, they are the best possible protection for this type of situation.
Attack Dog- An attack trained guard dog is trained to attack and even kill if given the command by his handler. These dogs meant to be used as police K-9 or military service dogs. Dogs trained at this level are not sociable at any level and are not suitable as pets.
Protection dogs are family dogs that will protect and defend their family in any situation they feel is threatening. Some of the most popular breeds for protection are, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Giant Schnauzers. The Doberman is the only working dog bred specifically as a protection dog. These breeds are extremely loyal and become true family members. They can be socialized with children and other pets, as well as other family, friends and neighbors. These dogs should never be trained specially to do what comes naturally to them. They should be bred with special consideration for their natural instinct to protect. These breeds do however, need to be obedience trained and need to know their position in the family. They can be dominant, so it is important to establish your alpha role. Exercise is extremely important if you want to have a well behaved, well adjusted protection dog. These dogs need plenty of activity because they are big, physical animals with lots of energy.
The main distinction between a guard dog and a protection dogs is ultimately in the training. It is always best to seek a professional when you have determined what you need from your working companion.