For the Spring 2014 issue of PERSONAL & HOME DEFENSE, Massad Ayoob explored the home-defense advantages of having a trained protection dog in the home as your family’s new canine bodyguard. Ayoob also explains the serious dedication required for training and potential liability issues for the dog’s owner as part of the article.

“A trained protection dog—one that will fight when you tell it to fight and, even more importantly, stop when you instruct it to—requires substantial and constant training. That goes not only for you and the dog, but also for every family member who’s going to be working with the dog!” explains Ayoob. “The big thing to remember with the protection dog is that you can’t just buy it. You need to spend quality time with it.”

Ayoob then addresses several starting points for finding a protection dog, including how to choose a breed. “Personally, I have found that the best approach to finding the right guard dog is a circuitous one. Ask a police K9 officer 
to recommend a veterinarian specializing in working-breed canines and ask that
 vet the following questions: What breeders around here would you recommend? What trainers would you recommend?”

The time commitment on behalf of the dog and its owner is also a focus in Ayoob’s article, as he laid out the parameters for a healthy training program. “Most folks I know who have serious working dogs like these try to commit at least one evening a week to serious training. Dogs can kill people. The animal needs to be constantly refreshed as to what’s expected of it and reminded
 of who’s in charge in the relationship,” says Ayoob. “In the same vein, people in the household should never “play-fight” in front of the dog. The animal will perceive it as an attack on someone it was trained to protect with a predictable outcome.

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To read the full article on Canine Bodyguards, check out the Spring 2014 issue of PERSONAL & HOME DEFENSE, available on newsstands April 15, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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