Personal and Family Protection Dogs – Part 3: Selecting the right dog for you and your family 

Written on May 24, 2022

What personal protection dog is right for me? Many companies sell the next available dog, whatever breed, size, sex, personality, or ability they offer. At Specialty Dog Training, we believe strongly in the right match. We pride ourselves on being great match makers as we want you to get the dog you need and want, but we also want our dog to succeed and be happy. Lean on us to guide you to finding the right dog for your needs, lifestyle, and to mesh with your home. Our team will educate and walk you through the selection process. 

The financial investment  

Consider a few things when looking at the sticker price of these highly trained personal protection dogs and family protection dogs.  

  1. A puppy coming from world-renowned pedigree with generations of dogs that are health screened and hand selected for temperament can cost up to $5000.00 just for an 8-week-old puppy. Add to this 18-24 month (on average) feeding a high-quality diet, medical care, potty training, house manners, socialization, environmental desensitization, and countless hours of formal training – at the highest level. SDT prides itself on having an outstanding team and partners. Our talented trainers and decoys, along with our care team, customer service, and management and breeding partners all need to be compensated appropriately. This doesn’t include the “extras” like photography, videography, marketing, website costs, and general business expenses that helped you find us! These dogs are extremely costly from start to finish, and we charge a fair price to cover these costs, employ experts in the field and provide high quality care and service.  
  2. Look at the investment over 8-10 years. The average German Shepherd lives 12-15 years with an average full working life of 8-10 years. We recommend that you imagine dividing the cost of your dog over that timeframe, resulting in a similar expense as a high-level security system monthly at home.  
  3. You are not just acquiring an elite canine security system; you’re adding a new family member; a best friend and loyal companion.  
  4. Can you put a price on the safety of you and your loved ones?  

Time Investment – What Sets SDT Apart 

Specialty Dog Training offers a unique model on the home-integration piece that allows you to prepare for having a working dog in your home and helps to troubleshoot and plan your everyday life with your personal protection dog in advance. Many companies sell you the dog for the same or elevated price, then expect you to know all that there is to know about a working breed, daily commitments to the dog and your success, and how to safely and most effectively deploy your dog when needed. Our team is equally skilled in customer service as they are dog training, and we are committed to setting our families up for success before the dog even goes home with you. 

We understand this is not just a financial investment, it is also a time investment. It’s important to understand that acquiring a well-trained dog with a supportive professional team like ours is nothing like raising a puppy to have the same outcome. We take thousands of hours of work out of this process for you by hand selecting young dogs with the right temperament, health, and ability and then our partners and our team raise them for this life.  

Sleepless nights, a year, and a half or more of socialization, potty training, house manners, obedience training, environmental confidence building, drive building, drive channeling, and all of the elite training our dogs have at completion are incorporated into your comprehensive program. We tackle all of it. However, dogs still require time and commitment from you.  

Once you locate the company you want to work with and select a dog, then you need to create rapport and relationship with this team and your new family member. Following some bonding, you learn your dog’s commands, how to communicate with him/her, how to exercise your dog, activate protection commands and essentially learn to become a great “parent” of a protection dog. Once your dog is home, he/she will require daily exercise, feeding twice daily, reinforcement of training commands and routine and like any living being, your time invested is necessary.

Team Accolades 

Combining passion, decades of knowledge, and a dynamic team of industry experts, Specialty Dog Training serves our local community in Southern California and works with clients across the country. Our training and management team is a dedicated group of professional dog trainers with a combined 45+ years of experience. Together, we hold over 20 certifications, a dozen local and national awards and professional memberships. With our vast professional experience, our love of helping dogs and their owners and our customized training programs, we are here to provide a first-class experience. We look forward to working with you and your canine family member. Visit “Our Pack” to read about our dynamic and experienced team. We are here to help you navigate this process and look forward to working with you and your new dog.