Sometimes referred to as guard dogs, protection dogs are working dogs bred for specific tasks such as guarding property or protecting an owner and their family.
While these animals are also pets, they are much different than your typical dog in that they require a lot of attention and work to keep them focused and prepared to handle a situation should it arise. You shouldn’t get a protection dog and treat it as you would a regular family pet because both you and the dog may become miserable.
Before we look at the price of a protection dog, let’s look at what breeds are best for this work and what you, as an owner, can expect should you purchase one.
Protection Dog Breeds
If you’re in the market for a dog to protect you and your home, there are a variety of breeds from which to choose, so you must find a dog you’ll be comfortable owning and will meet your needs.
While most dogs can act as protection dogs, the ones bred for the task all have similar attributes such as loyalty, an athletic build, being responsive to training, and a fearless demeanor. It’s a mistake to think that guard dogs need to be aggressive because that’s not the case.
What you do want, however, is a dog that is loyal and willing to defend you when the situation arises. There’s a difference between a dog that barks at strangers and one that immediately runs off to attack.
So, what dog breeds are best suited to be protection dogs?
The Akita is a very loyal dog that is courageous and alert and has a natural suspicion of strangers. Akitas are easily trained and responsive to commands, which make them ideal as personal protection dogs.
One look at the Bullmastiff and you can see why people choose them as protection dogs. These animals look the part with their large, muscular bodies, which is often enough to intimidate and deter a would-be attacker.
Like other guard dogs, these animals are bred to be protectors and workers, but they are also known to be loving and affectionate with their families.
Probably the most popular protection dog, the German Shepherd has a long history of service in guarding animal flocks and helping soldiers during wartime. Today the military and police use the German Shepherd because of its ability to learn commands, and its natural instinct to protect makes it the perfect candidate for a civilian looking for a protection animal.
While some people think these dogs are overly aggressive, nothing could be further from the truth. These animals, while intimidating in their looks, can be very docile and affectionate with the proper training.
However, don’t let that fool you because these animals are all business when they sense danger.
Like the German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois is a preferred breed for police and military because of its loyalty and obedience.
Another dog on this list that has a bad reputation as being overly aggressive, the Rottweiler can in fact be a very affectionate and sometimes “goofy” animal with its family. Also, much like the Doberman, this animal is very loyal and ready to defend its home and owners from harm when called on.
While there are other breeds to consider, the above represents the most popular — and depending on your needs — you should be able to choose one from the above list, provided you understand what you’re in for.
Getting a guard dog means getting an animal that receives training early in its life, usually up until about 1.5 years of age. Most trainers also recommend “training tune-ups” to keep the dog sharp and ready. It’s also vital for the owner to ensure they have the time and resources to dedicate to the animal.
Since most guard dogs are large, they require plenty of room to roam and must receive regular exercise. Also, creating tasks for them to accomplish keeps them alert and from getting bored. A bored guard dog can become mischievous and can make life more difficult, so be sure you’re ready to put in the time.
Lastly, to ensure you and your animal are on the same wavelength, you’ll also have to learn commands to give to your dog and practice them so the dog will respond appropriately when required.
Cost Of A Protection Dog
Like anything, the cost of a personal protection dog ranges depending on the breed, the training, and what you’re looking for. However, it’s fair to say you’ll pay considerably more for a protection dog than you would a regular family pet.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 or more depending on the breed and your specific needs.
There are a variety of factors that affect the price, such as whether you’re buying from a reputable breeder and paying a trainer, or if you’re buying a dog from a random seller.
The truth is that if you’re investing in an animal for protection, you’re better off getting the dog from a reputable breeder and trainer so you can trust you’re getting an animal that will do the job.