By Elena Beplay, Coastline K9
In today’s world of uncertainty, many people are searching for protection options and have gone down the road of selecting a family protection dog. As a mother, I can understand the concern for protecting your family. I am here to bring that passion and knowledge beyond the walls of our business and to our community.
There are a lot of misconceptions involving what defines a “family protection dog.” A family protection dog is one that is highly trained to fend off threats against your family, but at the same time is a social companion.
Coastline K9 is founded by Erick Innis, a former Army Ranger dog trainer and handler. In six years of dog training and providing world class family protection dogs, our team has stayed busy answering questions regarding family protection dog selection and training.
Selection starts with correct breed selection and temperament testing. Common breeds of family protection dogs are German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds. While there are other breeds that can be potential candidates, it is argued that these three breeds are the best for performance, prey drive, intelligence and temperament. The bloodline of the parents is important and the parents of the dog should be active working dogs or family protection dogs also.
Unfortunately, many people waste time and money training a dog they “hope” will make the cut. When in reality, not all dogs can be family protection dogs. A dog that just looks scary or big is not always the best answer. It can sometimes take up to the two-year mark of professional training to know if the dog will graduate the program. The only way to guarantee your dog will perform to the standard is to purchase a fully finished family protection dog. Getting a puppy and raising it to preform protection work is a “roll of the dice.”
Due to the extensive training, the national average cost of a family protection dog ranges from $35,000 to upwards of $125,000. Specific commands the dog should be able to perform include asking the dog to “watch” a potential aggressor, “bark” on command to de-escalate a situation, “engage” an active threat, “hold” an aggressor and “recall” back to the owner. The dog is trained to respond correctly in scenarios such as a home or car break in, robbery, child abduction or kidnapping, and they can be used to protect assets and property.
Bri Baldwin, a North Carolina resident, visited our team at Coastline K9 here in Florida to find a family protection dog. She left with “Big Brad,” a Dutch Shepherd. Bri explains, “There have now been five real life situations in which I have needed Brad. He has read every situation perfectly and acted according to each.”
Family protection dogs are not guard dogs, military or police dogs—nor are they attack dogs. A properly trained dog will never act out of defensive aggression. Every move is controlled by the owner. The dog can differentiate between a social family setting and an active threat. A family protection dog is a highly trained guardian, a companion and defender of the family nucleus.
For more information on how to protect your family with a protection dog, visit CoastlineK9.com or call (850) 307-7771.