There are some very essential facts about protection dog training plus the time, work and cost involved when it comes to starting with a puppy and turning it into a fully quality dog. Some will call it a personal protection dog, others an executive protection dog and still others say “estate protection dog.” If you are an executive you may be thinking that in order to get what you want you have to buy one that has been certified and stamped with thew seal of approval from the Executive Protection Dog Society of America. Well, that isn’t true and no such society exists. It’s a marketing ploy used simply to mark the price of a dog up. The training will be the same if it’s done correctly. This article will explore the issues involved in ending up with a trained dog regardless of labels placed on them.
Let’s begin with the first fact as it must be considered before anything else can even begin. Where will you get the puppy and while we’re at it how much should he cost? You can buy a Belgian Malinois puppy from numerous kennels and back yard breeders around the world. Yes, you can even import your puppy after you pay some guy in another country a few hundred dollars, airline fees, customs fees and fuel surcharges. Please take this advice, don’t do it. Imported puppies don’t equal better puppies and unless you have built a relationship you can trust with a kennel across the pond you’ll usually end up unhappy. You are better off to buy a dog in the country you live in if at all possible.
The next question we get often concerns exactly how much time it will take to make an 8 week old puppy into a fully trained, reliable protection dog. Have you ever heard of one of those super, smart kids who graduates from college at 16? I have a friend who did that and it’s because he learns some things really fast. Dogs are exactly the same as people when it comes to learning with some being a genius and others being average. There’s nothing wrong with being an average dog and in fact it may actually be a good thing during training. So, based on the time to mature while being trained properly in both obedience and bite work the short answer is that most Belgian Malinois dogs will be around 20 months old when they are finished however we like to see a full 2 years of training. Can a dog complete everything in less time? Sure, but the dog has to be like one of those kids who graduated college at 16 and most simply are not.
During the needed 20 to 24 months of training to produce a dog who behaves and protects many phases of training are required. A puppy must start with basic obedience and then progress to off leash obedience. These skills are honed for life really but during the main stages of training a dog must learn to obey every command instantly and never deviate from the command. We begin puppies with some rag biting as early as 8 weeks but the good starts at 12 weeks. Once the puppy has adult teeth we can really get serious about things. Over the course of time we’ll go from tugs, to soft sleeves, then bite sleeves followed by a bite suit, then hidden sleeves. The key component of dog training isn’t just methods but time. It takes time to teach and learn so as training progresses the length of sessions are also increased. Finally there is trial by fire. What I mean is that a dog must pass every test we have in place. They are trained to behave correctly in public or at home, be good with people of all ages. They must travel well and be vigilant at all times with a readiness to protect instantly. There are far too many skills to list here.
In the end to produce a dog in 20 to 24 months who meets the criteria we set the client will spend $22,000 to $25,000 on average. Of course on the other hand you can buy one of our fully trained (almost always KNPV PH1 titled) personal protection dogs for $25,000 to $35,000 and not have to wait for 2 years.