One of our recent clients is the owner of a small computer shop in a very nice part of California. She called me after having her shop broken into afterhours, resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars of equipment as well as a broken back door. Her alarm system did not deter the person or persons who broke in. We were happy to help and after determining her needs and evaluating her situation we delivered a balanced, strong nerved guard dog.
A few weeks ago I posted a blog called “Guard Dogs: Defined”. The flood of calls and emails I received surprised me! Obviously, there is a void in the amount of information available on this topic. I’m happy about such a positive response and would like to address some of the questions in case anyone else is wondering about the same thing.
Businesses, especially businesses with valuable inventory, use guard dogs as an alarm system. It would take a very stupid burglar to break into your business after hearing the serious bark of a guard dog on the other side of the door. Their most likely response is to skip your business all together and move on to a locality that presents less obstacles (such as a huge, snarling, barking and possibly hungry German shepherd who has been awoken from a sound sleep). They are also used to protect outdoor assets, such as in a fenced construction site.
As I have said before, beyond training and genetics, balance is part of what sets a guard dog apart from an elite personal protection dog. Guard dogs lack the social skills and perfect manners that a protection dog is genetically equipped and trained to have. They are highly territorial and trained to protect their (really your) space. Protection dogs specifically protect YOU and your family though part of this includes eliminating threats in your environment. For instance, if someone were to break into your house as you slept, the dog would prevent the opportunity to harm you.
My client who owned the computer shop was under the impression that a personal protection dog was the best choice for her. However, she didn’t personally feel threatened, it was her business she was worried about. There is a large price difference between a guard and personal protection dog. While protection dogs run between $18K to $35K and above, a guard dog only costs about $3,500-$5,500. I did not want my client to incur the extra expensive so after explaining the difference she happily took delivery of a guard dog. In fact, she said her dog cost less than the security alarm system she had installed!
It is possible to rent a guard dog though for most home and business owners this is a much costlier way to go. It does provide a good solution if you have a short-term situation but if you want to protect your business for an extended length of time, buying is definitely the way to go. Most businesses have worked the numbers and are increasingly purchasing dogs rather than subcontracting with a security company. Additionally, rented guard dogs always come with a patrol officer. This really drives up the cost. Whenever I’m consulting with a client I’m always upfront about the rental alternative. We do not rent dogs, they are only available for purchase at CCK9, but I want our clients to know every option.
Another consideration is the environment that the dog will be guarding. It is important that much thought is put into potential dangers for the dog itself. Automotive shops, for example, need to ensure that anti-freeze or other chemicals aren’t lying in the open. If the dog will live outdoors, a doghouse needs to be stationed to protect and keep the dog warm. Guard dogs are known for their toughness but have needs like any other dog.
I specialize in training elite personal protection dogs. However, given the state of the economy and rising crime, we are increasingly asked to provide guard dogs. We put a lot of effort into training or locating guard dogs that have balance. After all, our clients are paying for dogs that are obedient and present less liability. Otherwise, they would just pick up an aggressive dog from the local pound.
So know the difference and assess your needs. We ask A LOT of questions in order to determine what is the best fit for you. Always feel free to call us with any questions.