Protection dog breeds

In training protection dogs for a living I often come across dog owners who wish to train their dogs for protection. In most cases the dogs may be able to be trained for some very basic protection work but in the vast majority of cases their dogs just aren’t capable. There are only a handful of dog breeds that can excel at protection training.


There are many other breeds that can stand out in this arena but not many. For many of my clients this is a difficult thing to understand. Why not their dog? Why not their breed? Their dog is smart, active, barks at strangers that come near the house, etc. Those are all things that would lend themselves to a dog being trained for protection, right?

The answer lies in what is required to train a dog for protection. Yes, it has to do with intelligence. Yes, it has to do with athletic ability. But what it really boils down to is drives.

Protection dogs often stand out in that they have much higher than average prey drive and defense drive. Prey drive is the dog’s desire to chase and grab an object. It is the drive that is used to train a dog to bite and capture his ‘prey’, the bad guy. Defense drive is a dog’s desire to protect himself and his owners. While most dogs will bark at strangers very few dogs actually have strong enough defense drive to where they will do something about it if someone intends harm.

Aside from extreme drives the protection dog needs to have an incredibly strong nervous system in order to be able to handle the rigors of protection work. Nervous system is something that rarely happens by accident, top level breeders from around the world breed for this characteristic.

Those wishing to get their dogs trained for protection work would do well to seek out a professional who can accurately gage the prey drive, defense drive, and nervous system of their dog.