A Few Warnings About Pricing and Guarantees
You will see a crazy range of prices for personal protection dogs if you check around a little on the net. I’ve seen them as little as $500. OMG! Are you kidding me? We spend more on the shipping of a good dog once we locate one. Let me tell you a few things that affect the pricing of dogs. They are in no particular order:
- Locating – Dogs with just the right temperament for personal protection dog work are not that plentiful. Having a dog with the wrong temperament, even if it is well trained will give you a rude awakening and could get you killed. If your dog doesn’t have the guts to perform in the face of a violent encounter, the money you saved on a bargain basement dog could possibly be made up with your life, or the life of your spouse or child. Good dogs go for large amounts of money. Period. The demand is increasing and the supply of good dogs can’t be rushed.
- Testing – There are many sleazy dog brokers out there and unless you know them and have done business with them for a long time, you can’t be sure a particular dog or dogs are what they are claimed to be. We actually send crews to Europe to test each dog before we purchase it.
Many times we look at 50 dogs and come home with only 1. We will not buy a dog or sell you a dog that can’t do the job it’s being trained to do.There are some things about a dog you simply can’t train. It’s no different than the fact that someone can be a good high school football player, but they can’t cut it in the college ranks….and they would get knocked out and carried off in a stretcher if they ever got in to a pro game.
- Health – With the proliferation of puppy mills and breeders desperate to create puppies faster, many will breed anything with anything just to crank out dogs. Many kinds of physical problems can make an animal unsuitable for personal protection dog work or at least severely limit how long they can be with you. Hip dysplasia is a very common problem that can be detected. We make sure we get legitimate (they can be faked) x-rays of all our dogs to make sure they are healthy.
Also, the personality of the dog could be EXTREMELY unpredictable making your puppy mill dog a big potential liability.
- Washouts – You could be sold a dog that couldn’t really pass the stringent testing necessary to know you have a dog that has the ability to protect you when the chips are down. It doesn’t mean it’s not a nice dog. It’s just not worth much as a personal protection dog. The only place a dog like that can be sold is to people that don’t know any better because police departments and the military know the dogs can’t perform.
Make sure you understand testing and see a real demonstration of your dog in action using hidden sleeves so the dog isn’t triggered just by seeing sport dog equipment. If the dog is a washout, it may be offered really cheap just to get rid of it.
- Delivered in a crate with a DVD – This is one of the most ludicrous and DANGEROUS things you will run in to. There are companies advertising they will ship your dog to you in 2-3 days with a DVD on how to handle him. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Maybe that’s OK for extremely experienced police or military K9 handlers, but if you go for a deal like that, God help you.
You and the dog are an accident waiting to happen and you have just put your family at risk of being bitten and possibly losing everything you own because the dog bites someone else for no reason. Of course, it’s WAY cheaper to deliver a dog like this.
We will not put you or your family at risk. You will take a two day handler course at our facility with your dog so you get to know him, or we will have an experienced trainer / handler deliver the dog to you, training you how to handle it at your location. Our people will not leave until you are safely handling the dog.
- Quality of Training – Wow! Training expertise is all over the place. You cannot take someone who has read a few clicker / positive reinforcement books and put them in charge of training a dog that has your life in its mouth. Yes, we use mostly positive training methods, but when it’s a life and death matter you need to know you have a dog that’s tough and doesn’t go whimpering away and hide behind you when the proverbial poop hits the fan.
Our personnel have military, police and security backgrounds and they know how nasty violent criminals can be. Your dog MUST perform at a very high level and it takes very high level training to make that happen reliably. This costs money.
- Amount of Training – Just to get a dog obedience trained to high levels of reliability takes 4 to 6 weeks training 4 to 6 times a day. Sure, a good trainer can have your dog sitting, heeling and coming when called in a few sessions. But will the dog do it in loud environments, maybe with gunfire, or hundreds of people and other animals around. There’s no way.
Now let’s add a variety of carjacking, home invasion and surprise attack scenarios and that tacks on a whole lot more training time. Let’s teach the dog perimeter searches, home searches, anti-kidnapping procedures, multiple attacker scenarios, ATM machine protection, etc. and we tack on even more time.
With high level trainers capable and experienced in training personal protection dogs going for $100.00 per hour or more, you can see that just going through the motions of exposing a dog to these training scenarios costs many thousands of dollars. Add on a some specialty things for executive protection like aircraft / flightline training, helicopter training, watercraft training, large estate searches, multiple handler training and bomb detection and I think you can see that great security and protection is not cheap. Going for a bargain basement dog is most likely going to be a big disappointment and possibly a big liability. When your life and the lives of your loved ones are at stake do you really want the lowest bidder?
- Sport Dogs – Dogs that are titled in the various dog sports like Schutzhund and French Ring are generally more expensive. This is one of those two edged swords. On one hand the title says the dog has a really good foundation in obedience and is probably a darn smart and very trainable dog. What a title doesn’t tell you is if the dog will perform in real life settings. In fact, it’s pretty darn sure they won’t without lots of additional training. They have to be taught to go after the real bad guy rather than a padded sleeve or a big fat bite suit.
Many sport dogs would lick the bad guy to death before they would fight him. It’s possible you will get a previous sport dog from us and it will probably cost a little more, but you can be sure a dog you get from us knows how to protect in real settings where points are only awarded if you and your family come out of a violent situation safely.