From their earliest days, dogs have always been used for guarding and protective purposes. The first record of military working dogs dates back to 600BC, and they have served on battlefields with distinction since. Dogs guarding the home have been a historical constant too, so it was to be expected that they would be employed in police forces around the world as law enforcement became increasingly professionalised.
A number of considerations should be given to protection dog work, the first of which is that usual training principles always apply. Consistency, empathy, and planning will lead to the greatest results, and are far more effective and powerful than fads or high-energy capability demonstrations. There are no shortcuts in dog training, and behaviours are developed through long-term work and regular proofing.
Handlers must also understand the importance of the relationship they have with their dog. Protection dogs work off of a handler’s commands, and for this to be effective a proper bond must be established. In a working context, proper bonding means that both dog and handler trust each other. A bonded protection dog will always work harder than one with an unknown handler, and we recommend that customers invest time and effort in developing the best bond possible with their dog.
Perhaps most importantly, though, is how a steady temperament is the most desirable characteristic of a protection dog, especially if it will be living and working in a family setting. Irresponsible overbreeding of popular breeds including the German Shepherd Dog and Dobermann have lead to a proliferation of anxious, nervy, and reactive dogs. As they are often temperamentally unsound, they cannot be relied on to perform properly in stressful situations. Rather than take unnecessary risks, it is better to purchase a family protection dog directly from a trusted dealer or trainer. In our case, we carefully screen and select the dogs we may be working with and selling to ensure they possess the correct temperament and can be relied on in all eventualities. We only take a few of the puppies and young dogs we evaluate, and would rather return empty-handed than with a temperamentally unstable and unreliable dog.
The Cane Corso and Presa Canario are two very popular working breeds commonly used for guarding and protection work. Both are large mastiff-types with roots in southern Europe. The Cane Corso is Italian, while the Presa Canario was developed in Spain’s Canary Islands. Although superficially somewhat similar, the Cane Corso…