As the former owner of two professional dog training companies (including a South Bay K-9 Academy) and the author of nine dog training books (see: “Dogs For Preppers“) I am writing this to contest a few of the assertions made in the article “Thoughts On Dogs At Survival Retreats” that recently appeared on Jim Rawles’s Survivalblog.com.
Specifically the claim that, “[Dogs] don’t need to be attack trained/naturally protective; [and] Dogs are naturally protective of the pack, and will fight to the death to protect any and all pack members.”
This is simply not true.
Just like the guys who own a few guns and thus consider themselves experts, many people who’ve owned a few dogs consider themselves experts on canine behavior. Veterinarians have less than 2 hours of instruction on canine behavior during their entire course of training. A little bit of knowledge can be dangerous, and in this case in particular I wanted to set the record straight.
Ms. Tammy Turner [name changed] was a woman who contacted me after being raped by a stalker. Her two large German Shepherd dogs lied on the floor next to her bed in a state of what we dog trainers call, “conflict” because they hadn’t been trained to attack on command.
After the incident, she switched to the Rottweiler breed and began training with a professional dog training outfit (my company) to teach her new dogs how to attack on command.
Protection training for dogs is like gun training for us humans: If you haven’t trained for a deadly encounter, then the probability of your dog responding the right way during a high stress conflict is low.
In addition: Most dogs do not have the genetic drive and nerves to do competent bite work. This is why both the military (and better police departments) have a selection process: Most dogs wash out.
That being said: It’s my opinion that most people do not require a dog that can do bite work. They need a dog that will bark and alert when somebody comes near the property. It is the owner’s job to then get their gun and deal with the situation, not the dog’s.
As for Ms. Turner? She ended up becoming both a Rottweiler breeder and a gun owner.