Facts you need to know about family protection dogs

For thousands of years, humans and dogs have enjoyed a special relationship. While exactly how it became undomesticated is unclear, what was once the grey wolf has since evolved into man’s best friend. It is unclear how dogs were domesticated, but it is thought that naturally friendlier grey wolves approached early human settlements out of their own volition. While this may have primarily been to benefit from eating food scraps rather than having to hunt, a symbiotic relationship begun which has endured for millennia. As the relationship between humans and dog developed, the extent to which dogs had the potential to benefit humans became increasingly apparent. Although dogs were important and valued companions kept for no obvious material benefit, they were nevertheless extremely useful in support of tasks such as guarding property and livestock, herding, pest control, and much more. Evidence of working dogs exists from as early as the ancient periods, and since then working dogs have become ever more refined. This includes those employed in the fields of guarding and security.

As predators, wolves have naturally aggressive tendencies. This can be classified as resulting from a prey drive (the desire to chase and kill other animals it wants as food), or defensive drive (the instinct to protect itself, its family, or resources). As humans also have defensive and protective tendencies, it is natural that they would seek to utilise and benefit from dogs. Dogs are better able to detect threats through their outstanding hearing, and can run faster than humans to apprehend suspects. Their size, bark, and bite are also powerful incentives against provoking them, whether the dog will directly engage a suspect or simply warn of their presence with loud barking (small watchdogs such as Chihuahas and Jack Russell Terriers are particularly useful for this).

Over thousands of years, what started off as a generic herding or property guardian type of dog became ever more refined. Towards the end of the 19th Century, breeds became standardised across Europe and America, and generic “types” of dogs became recognisable according to specific descriptions and classifications. For example, it was around this time that the German Shepherd Dog, Rottweiler, Dobermann Pinscher, and various Terrier strains emerged as distinct and discrete breeds. A number of these were specifically developed for protective purposes, and tended to either be Mastiff-type property guardians or northern European pastoral breeds.

While many of these breeds had guarding and protection purposes, they also became close to their primary handlers and families. However, it was the Second World Wars that did the most to advance what is now recognisable as a family protection dog. While military working dogs saw some use in the First World War, they were first deployed on a major scale during the Second World War with American forces, especially in the Far East. The United States Marine Corps extensively utilised Doberman Pinschers for scouting and sentry work, saving the lives of thousands of servicemen.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, it became ever apparent how utile and versatile security dogs were. As working military and police employment of dogs became more sophisticated, this inevitably filtered across into the civilian world. However, the question of whether or not such dogs could be placed in family homes seeking a guardian still stood. The answer to this was the development of family protection dogs. These dogs combine outstanding protective instincts with having been carefully selected at puppyhood, and subsequently raised in family environments. Extensive socialisation, obedience and environmental training, and very high levels of control. The end product is a dog which while able to protect its family is comfortable in home environments, obedient, and fast to bond.

Protection Dogs Worldwide has extensive experience in selection potential family protection dogs, and training candidates to meet a required standard. Specialising in providing families with German Shepherd Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Cane Corsos, and Giant Schnauzers, we gain huge satisfaction from offering clients a dual companion and protector. If you are seeking to obtain a family protection dog, do get in touch. We are always happy to hear from new clients, and look forward to helping you find the best protection dog for your family.

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