German Shepherds for Personal Protection
Pat Cascio 08.17.16
Many people believe that a firearm is your best protection against threats, and in some situations, a firearm is your best option. However, not every threat calls for the use of deadly force, and if you use deadly force when non-lethal force could have been used, you may be leaving yourself open for criminal or civil liability lawsuits.
I’ve been around German Shepherds since I was 18 years old, and I’m now old enough to collect social security. I also raise and train German Shepherds on a part-time basis. German Shepherds can be trained for all manner of uses, including personal protection, hunting, tracking, service dogs, and more. While I’ll admit that I don’t believe German Shepherds are the smartest dog breed around, I believe they are near the top–assuming you get one from a reputable breeder with a good background and heritage.
I’ve worked with other breeds of dogs in personal protection, but have found that German Shepherds are the best all around breed. When I owned a K9 security patrol service company, I only used German Shepherds.
Many police departments prefer German Shepherds, too. They are a hardy breed, and with proper training they can make an outstanding police partner. I’ve found that it’s important to first give a dog obedience training and then work on personal protection training.
We have socialized all of our pups, which means handling them every single day from the day they are born. I believe it’s important to fully socialize a dog so it isn’t afraid to be around strangers and all sorts of noises, too. The more they are socialized, the more confidence they gain. And if your dog isn’t confident, it won’t serve you well for personal protection.
I live out in the boonies, and whenever one of my family goes out for a walk, we take one of our German Shepherds. All of our German Shepherds are born protectors; they love their home and would give their lives to protect us. We’ve learned over the years that females are more prone to protecting family and males are more prone to protect the property. (But males also protect their owners when threatened.)
One day, a roofing “salesman” came to our rural home, and while he was still in the driveway, I came outside and my dog ran for him. It was the first time he’d ever done that. Had I not called him back, he would have attacked the man. My dog knew right off the bat that this “salesman” wasn’t what he made himself out to be. Needless to say, that “salesman” decided he needed to to be someplace else.
Dogs have an uncanny sense and can see a threat long before we humans can. Never scold your dog when they are alerting you to potential trouble. They are doing what comes naturally.
I also train my German Shepherds to take their commands in a language other than English. Some have been trained to take their commands in German, others in Slovak. This is important, because you don’t want someone else to be able to command your dogs during a vital moment.
While I carry a firearm with me everywhere I go, nothing is more reassuring than having one of my dogs on a leash beside me. Dogs can smell or sense a threat long before we can, and having a big dog beside you tells any bad guys that they really ought not to try to mess with you. And when I drive somewhere, I usually have two or more German Shepherds in my SUV with me.
So if you’re in the market for a constant and loyal companion for personal protection, take a close look at the German Shepherd breed. Steer clear of puppy mills and pet shops, and remember that being AKC (American Kennel Club) registered doesn’t mean a thing. Check out the bloodline going back several generations before you lay down your hard-earned money.
You should expect to pay between $1,500 and $4,000 for a German Shepherd of high quality and good breeding. Yes, it’s a lot of money to invest, but what is your life worth, or the lives of your family?