Personal Protection Dogs

Updated on June 8, 2020
Kelly Ward profile image

Breeding and training German Shepherds since 2010. I craft a regiment to help dogs reach their genetic potential.

The first half of 2020 has been filled with unbelievable events. Current generations have not experienced such extreme moments in U.S. History. The COVID-19 pandemic, the economic fall out of the pandemic, the senseless and brutal death of George Floyd, and the violence in response to his death has left society scared and stressed. More and more Americans are not wanting to leave their homes. The effects of all of these events will continue to echo for the remainder of the year, and possibly into 2021.

During times like these Americans feel the need to protect themselves. Of course, this is an American right and value. There are multiple protection choices, but this article will focus on personal protection dogs.

What Is a Personal Protection Dog?

A protection dog will protect you and your family. 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, Belgian Malinois, and Giant Schnauzers.

These breeds do, however, need to be obedience trained and need to know their position in the family. 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.

For personal protection, dogs surpass any alarm system that you can get. The presence of a dog can deter someone from even attempting to enter your home. There are many that feel their dog is their personal protector when they go out for a walk at night.

Examples of protection functions:

  1. Alert on command to an assailant
  2. Engage in proper bite and hold when commanded
  3. Release on command
  4. Perform and display control
  5. Repel attack attempts
  6. Disable attackers

Release on Command

One of the most important functions in a personal protection dog is the release. I often see K9 demonstrations with handlers and dogs who are “fierce” and “killer bite and hold" but then cannot release on command. To me, this would not serve a purpose.

The point of a personal protection dog (for me) would be to activate on command and release on command. Otherwise, I would choose an alternative method of protection.

Level Evaluations

Many personal protection dogs are evaluated on three levels. Some trainers do not use levels of evaluation and have the dog fully trained with all skills.

Level One

A dog at this level is a confident dog trained in a minimum of on-leash obedience and area protection and will show an aggressive display on command.

On command, this dog will show teeth and will bark at the end of the leash to discourage the aggressor. The behavior is easily stopped with the "out" command or your command of choice. The level one dog’s main purpose is as a deterrent.

Level Two

This dog is a skilled dog trained in a minimum of on-leash in obedience and on-leash in personal protection. The level two protector will show the same aggressive display as the level-one dog on command but has also been trained using real-life scenarios of how to bite and fight effectively in defence of his owner and family.

The dog has also been specifically trained to counter any attempt by an aggressor who strikes or tries to beat off the dog by biting deeper and harder or shaking the part of the body held in the mouth. The dog is trained to release his bite on command.

Level Three

This dog is the most skilled dog that has off-leash obedience and has all the training of the level two dog. Trained to travel and protect from inside a vehicle against a robbery or carjacking, this dog is considered a more “offensive dog” than the other previous two levels. This dog will also release its bite on command from a distance and return to your side.

Can Every Dog Be a Personal Protection Dog?

No, a personal protection dog needs to be a specific breed that is bred for specific traits as well as have the ability to train and successfully train and perform. These dogs come with very high-level of training and proofing. What has to often happen is the people need to be trained.

Essential two areas need to be sufficient for a personal protection dog: breeding and training. First, the dog has to be bred for the job and then trained for the job. Just because the dog was bred to do the work does not mean they will automatically become qualified for the work. The training has to be correct and the dog must also be proofed and evaluated in situations.

The people will need to be trained that this is a dog that actually performs and takes action. This is not a dog to be pushed around in a baby carriage or go visit the dog park. These actions will be covered in another article but just mentioned here.


In summary, if the personal protection dog cannot release on command properly, then I could use a personal firearm as protection. (all legal and local protocols followed) For me, the difference in selecting a personal protection dog from a personal firearm would be the release. You can release/recall a dog. You cannot release/recall a bullet. That is the simple difference for me.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2020 Kelly Ward


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