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Importing European Dogs vs. Kennel Breeding: What's best for a family protection dog?

In the world of high-end protection dogs, the pursuit of excellence demands a commitment to unparalleled standards. At Canine Protection International, we have revolutionized our approach by steering away from conventional in-house breeding programs, and the importing of titled sport dogs passed off as protection dogs. Instead, we've established an exclusive network of partnerships with the finest breeders in Europe to source top-tier dogs that not only meet but exceed our stringent criteria for personal protection. We select the one percent, of the one percent to allow into our program.

The Myth of Breeding Programs

While breeding programs are common in the canine industry, we at Canine Protection International recognize the challenges they pose in consistently producing dogs of exceptional quality. The truth is, even with meticulous planning and selective breeding, the likelihood of a dog passing our rigorous training program is highly unlikely. We would have to have hundreds of litters in order to select only a few dogs deemed worthy of our program. Our commitment to excellence drives us to take a more pragmatic and effective route in obtaining elite protection dogs.

European Excellence

Europe is renowned for its exceptional breeding standards and a deep-rooted tradition of producing dogs with superior skills and temperament. At CPI, we've cultivated exclusive partnerships with the most reputable breeders across the continent. Our international division is constantly testing these dogs to see if they meet our rigorous selection process, ensuring that only the very best makes its way to our training facility here in Dallas, Texas.

Practical Real-Life Protection Training

One distinctive aspect of our approach is the emphasis on sourcing dogs that have been raised within families and trained for practical, real-life personal protection. We believe that a protection dog should seamlessly integrate into your daily life, adapting to various environments and scenarios. Unlike most of the highly unregulated protection dog industry which imports dogs trained solely from sport or competition backgrounds, our carefully chosen canines bring a unique blend of real life skills, intelligence, adaptability, and loyalty to the table. Here at CPI we do not agree with importing titled sport dogs, and passing them off as personal protection dogs. 

Schutzhund and Sport Dogs with Titles

Canine Protection International stands apart from the crowd by refusing to compromise on the authenticity of our protection dogs. While we love dog sports, we do not seek out Schutzhund or sport dogs with titles and repurpose them for personal protection. While some dogs we sell are titled, we focus on dogs that have undergone training specifically tailored for real-world situations, ensuring that their skills are not confined to a controlled environment but are applicable in the unpredictable scenarios that may arise in everyday life. In summary, it is not all about a title, it is about what the dog is at their core, and the socialization and training they have had off the trial field.

The Canine Protection International Advantage

Our commitment to sourcing elite protection dogs from the best European breeders sets us apart in the industry. By meticulously curating our selection of dogs and prioritizing real-life training over titles and accolades, Canine Protection International guarantees that every dog we provide is a true embodiment of excellence in functional personal protection.

In conclusion, while creating an in-house breeding program may seem like a logical route for many, our experience has shown that the most efficient and reliable path to excellence in protection dogs lies in sourcing from the finest breeders all over Europe. Canine Protection International's commitment to quality over quantity ensures that our clients receive a companion that not only meets but exceeds their expectations in terms of skill, temperament, and real-world protection capabilities.

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How a Protection Dog Fits into My Everyday Lifestyle

As a first-time owner of a protection dog, it's natural to have questions about how this type of dog can fit into your everyday lifestyle. In this blog post, we'll explore some common questions new owners may have, including whether or not protection dogs need exercise, how long they can be in their crate, how to feed them, and where they can go with you. Some new dog owners find that they must revolve their world around their dog; our training program ensures that your dog's world revolves around you.

Exercise Requirements for a Protection Dog

Regarding exercise, protection dogs enjoy regular physical activity, just like any other dog. However, it is not required. Here at CPI, the two breeds we work with are Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds. While there is the school of thought that you need to "exercise your dog to be calm and predictable," we feel this is only one part of a larger perspective. Our training programs include complete off-leash obedience training where the dog will be quiet and still 100% of the time while indoors, regardless of the recent exercise.

This is not to say they don't enjoy the activity! Dogs are much happier and healthier when they are able to get out for both mental and physical stimulation. Our programs ensure exercise never gets in the way of your life or the dog performing its critical roles when situations do not allow frequent or rigorous activities with your dog.

As for crate time, protection dogs can spend a reasonable amount of time in their crate, but it's important not to leave them in there for too long. We do not put our dogs in crates to punish them; for them, it is a place to go and relax and take a break. While it is important to crate your dog during the acclimation period upon receiving your new dog (more on this in a future blog article), it is not necessarily long-term, and most clients end up putting their crate into storage a few months after the arrival of their new dog.

Accompanying on Errands

Statistically, the most common threats approach when exiting or entering your home. This means that one of the most significant ways a protection dog can fit into everyday life is by accompanying one on errands. Owners can bring their dogs to places like the grocery store, bank, or post office and feel more comfortable knowing their dog is there in case the need for them arises. The image of a well-trained dog, off-leash, at their owner's side, following them everywhere they go in a close heel command, is enough to deter most would-be attackers. If the look of the dog and the high level of obedience training is not enough, functional protection is a command away.

Feeding a Protection Dog

When it comes to feeding, protection dogs require a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain their health and energy levels. We love seeing our clients older dogs in great shape and still providing a high level of viable protection. To ensure a long healthy life, a dog's diet consisting of quality food plays a major factor, just as with humans. While this topic deserves its own article (or series of articles), we provide some simple guidelines.

We recommend Feeding your dog the best food you are able for your situation. Dry kibble is fed around the world with great results in the long term. This is the most readily available form of food and involves zero maintenance, and if you travel frequently, this may be the best option. On the other side of the scale, there is the raw diet. This diet can dramatically increase the cost and time it takes to feed daily, although, for us, the benefits outweigh the negatives. This can range from frozen pre-made food to raw meats that are self-sourced. If you choose to self-source the meat, you must have the proper ratio of protein, to the bone, to organ meat, and you must supplement additional nutrients. Please work with your local vet to determine the best supplements to include with the version of the raw diet you choose. There are also freeze-dried and dehydrated options to consider that are becoming more readily available.

Contact our staff for specific food recommendations in your area or to learn more about how we feed.

Protection dog traveling with their owner on a private jet

Travel Buddy

A protection dog can also become a great travel buddy. Whether traveling by car, train, or plane, having the dog by one's side gives peace of mind, especially when traveling to unfamiliar places. The protection dog is always on guard and ready to alert the owner of potential threats, making traveling much less stressful. These dogs have been socialized and acclimated to new environments their whole lives, so taking to new places comes naturally.

Having a well-trained dog at your side can act as a deterrent to potential threats and help ensure your personal safety while traveling, especially in unfamiliar or potentially dangerous environments. While traveling to new places can be fun, it can sometimes be intimidating or have a feeling of venerability. Having a protection dog with you can boost your confidence and give you peace of mind, knowing that you have a loyal and capable companion who can assist in safeguarding your well-being. Our protection dogs have a keen sense of their surroundings and can detect unusual sounds, smells, or behaviors that might go unnoticed by humans. By traveling with a protection dog, you benefit from their heightened senses and increased awareness, allowing you to stay alert and responsive to potential risks or dangers. All of these reasons are great, but sometimes on a simpler level, travel, especially for work, can be lonely. A protection dog can provide companionship and be a constant source of comfort and interaction during your travels, reducing feelings of isolation and adding a sense of familiarity to your experiences. Knowing that you have a loyal and trained protection dog with you can bring a sense of ease and peace of mind while traveling. Whether it's navigating busy airports, staying in unfamiliar accommodations, or exploring new destinations, having a reliable partner can make the overall experience more enjoyable and less worrisome.

It's important to note that traveling with a protection dog requires responsible ownership and adherence to local laws and regulations.

Training and Responsibility

Purchasing a fully trained protection dog offers several advantages that make life easier. One of the main benefits is the significant amount of time and effort saved. Training a protection dog from scratch requires extensive dedication, expertise, and patience. By buying a fully trained protection dog, you bypass the lengthy selection and training process, instantly gaining access to a dog that is skilled in obedience, apprehension techniques, and controlled aggression.

Another advantage is the ability to customize the training to suit your specific needs. Not only do we select the perfect dog for your needs, but you can also specify your lifestyle, travel requirements, and security concerns, ensuring that the dog's selection and training align with your individual preferences. This tailored approach guarantees that the dog is well-suited to your needs and provides optimal protection.

Furthermore, fully trained protection dogs offer reliability and consistency in their behavior. They have undergone rigorous training and conditioning to ensure that they respond appropriately and consistently to potential threats. This reliability gives you confidence in your dog's ability to provide protection in various situations, contributing to a greater sense of security.

A calm and posed protection dog sitting on the beach

Conclusion

If a method of protection is cumbersome, it is likely to be skipped when it's needed most, when someone is running late or stressed. The key to effective protection is that it's easy and effortless to have within arms reach 24/7, 365 days a year. Integrating a protection dog into your everyday lifestyle offers a multitude of benefits, combining security and companionship seamlessly. These well-trained dogs can accompany you on errands, acting as a visible deterrent to potential threats while instilling a sense of comfort. Opting for a fully trained protection dog not only saves significant time and effort but also allows for personalized training that aligns with your specific needs, preferences, and lifestyle. The reliability and consistency of their behavior instill a deep sense of security, boosting your confidence in their ability to respond appropriately to potential threats. Embracing the advantages of owning a protection dog enriches your everyday life by providing a loyal and capable companion who ensures your safety and brings peace of mind in any situation.

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The Price of Protection: Investigating the $150,000 Protection Dog Craze in LA

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz in the LA Times, New York Post, and other news outlets about the $150,000 protection dog craze in LA, and around the country. Many people are fascinated by the idea of owning a highly trained elite protection dog, and are willing to pay top dollar for the peace of mind that comes with having a loyal and skilled protector. However, others are critical of the trend, arguing that it is excessive and unnecessary. Nonetheless, the demand for these dogs continues to grow.

Are they just expensive pets?

Elite protection dogs are not just expensive pets, but an investment in personal security. The world can be a dangerous place, and many people are looking for ways to protect themselves and their loved ones. Investing in an elite protection dog can provide an unmatched level of security that cannot be achieved through traditional security measures.

Executive protection dogs are highly trained and selectively bred to provide their owners with maximum protection. These dogs are trained to detect and apprehend intruders, protect their owners in various situations, and even disarm attackers. These dogs are often a more practical security measure than traditional security options. Security systems and cameras can fail, and guards can be overpowered, but a highly trained elite protection dog is always on duty and can provide protection that no other measure can match. These dogs can also be trained to detect drugs and explosives, making them invaluable in high-risk environments.

Cost vs Investment of a Protection Dog

But what about the cost? Yes, investing in an elite protection dog can be expensive, but it's important to remember that these dogs are highly trained and carefully bred to ensure the highest level of protection. In addition, the cost of these dogs can be seen as an investment in personal security, similar to purchasing a high-quality car or home security system. When you consider the peace of mind that comes with having a highly skilled protector, the cost is well worth it.

An elite protection dog can also be a status symbol, which is not necessarily a bad thing. This status can help deter potential attackers and intruders, letting them know that they are not dealing with an easy target. The dog's presence alone can act as a deterrent, preventing dangerous situations from even occurring.

However, if a dog is used solely as a status symbol or visual deterrent, it may not fulfill its intended purpose. Real-world protection skills must accompany the visual deterrence to be effective. If a threat is not deterred by the presence of a well-trained dog, you and your dog must be able to fight back and rely on functional training to keep you and your family safe.

One of the key advantages of investing in an elite protection dog is their level of training. These dogs undergo rigorous training from the moment they are born, which can last for up to two years. We purchase our dogs as adults (12-24 months old) from Europe, where they have been raised with in family settings. During this time, they are exposed to a variety of environments and situations, which helps to develop their natural instincts. At this age, the dog’s natural abilities have come to the surface and can now have the skills trained to make them a highly effective tool for you and your family.

While protection training is important, it's also easy to overlook obedience. In fact, most of the time, a protection dog will be a companion, especially in a family setting. The dog's manners, level of obedience, and off-leash ability are all key factors that make owning and handling an elite family protection dog fit seamlessly into the family lifestyle. Training family members to handle the dog at an elite level is critical in ensuring their safety. Leaving out the level of family training when discussing the high cost of these dogs would be a great disservice. Having family members trained to handle the dog in their own home is a key element for the long-term success of both the dog and the family's safety. At CPI, we include 3 full days of on-site handling instruction and training with all our Elite Family and Estate Protection dogs.

Another advantage of owning an elite protection dog is their ability to detect potential threats. These dogs are trained to sense when something is wrong, and they can alert their owners to potential danger before it happens. This can be invaluable in situations where an owner might not be aware of a threat, such as when walking into or out of their home at night.

Unmatched levels of protection

In addition, an elite protection dog can provide a level of protection that cannot be matched by traditional security measures. Security systems and cameras can fail, and guards can be overpowered, but a highly trained elite protection dog is always on duty and can provide protection that no other measure can match. These dogs can also be trained to detect drugs and explosives, making them invaluable in high-risk environments.

The cost of an elite protection dog can be seen as an investment in personal security. The cost of these dogs reflects their level of training and selective breeding, which ensures that they are the best of the best. In addition, the peace of mind that comes with having an elite protection dog is priceless. Knowing that you have a highly skilled and loyal protector who is always ready to defend you can provide a sense of security and confidence that cannot be matched by any other security measure.

Conclusion

In this post we explored the $150,000 protection dog craze in LA and around the country. While some criticize the trend as excessive, others argue that investing in an elite protection dog is an investment in personal security that cannot be achieved through traditional security measures. Elite protection dogs are highly trained and selectively bred to provide their owners with maximum protection, and can detect and apprehend intruders, protect their owners in various situations, and even disarm attackers. The cost of these dogs can be seen as an investment in personal security, and their presence alone can act as a powerful deterrent. While the cost may be high, the long-term benefits and peace of mind that come with having an elite protection dog by your side are well worth it.

If you’d like to learn more about the dogs we have currently available, or find an ideal dog for your family get in touch with us today to begin the process.

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The Dynamic Duo (two males trained to live and protect as a team)

Highlights at the end of the delivery of two males (German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois) trained to live together, and work (protect) as a 'team".  We think they make a very convincing argument to any intruder: "wrong home - wrong family". As a result our client outside of Mendocino California sleeps comfortably.

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Shock and Awe

Okay, pictures of dogs strategically biting that “special place” seems sensational and over-the-top. I get it. That's the reason we call it “shock and awe”. It is over-the-top, sensational but also very strategic for a few reasons. First, this strategic targeting is something we use to reserve for smaller dogs. It improves physical leverage, something you want in a violent encounter. However, there is also a second, and maybe even greater benefit. It inflicts immense pain and no doubt takes the aggressor’s mind off of assaulting you, the owner.

The benefit of this type of strategic biting is obvious if faced with a threat. However, there is also an everyday benefit to this “shock and awe” approach as well. Sound strange? Really, a benefit in everyday life? Well before I go into that benefit its helpful to first understand what most people experience from their “protection dog”.

Most people purchase a protection dog but in reality it's a dog just trained for dog sports. It pretty much the standard in our field. Then owners try to turn their protection dogs “on” (instruct to show aggression) shortly after their purchase only to find out their dog doesn’t turn on whatsoever. They then call the dog broker or training center where they purchased the dog. The standard response is "Your dog obviously knows the difference between a real threat and an artificial one. Our dogs are trained only to repsond to real ones.". Imagine purchasing a gun, bringing it to a range, trying to shoot it and it doesn’t fire. Then being told when you go back to the gun dealer if it was a real threat the gun would have worked! Absurd with a gun right? Well its just as absurd with a protection dog. Here’s the point: what level of confidence do you think you would have after instructing your protection dog to “turn on” and he or she did nothing? An easy answer: no confidence.

We have found that clients who have a real sense of what their dogs can do have a deep feeling of security. As most threats today have a gun they have no need to yell, flail their arms or use any other exaggerated gestures. As a matter of fact most threats are pretty passive in appearance. Make no mistake, that passive appearing threat can literally take your life.  

Once you understand the typical threat, occasionally turning your dog on to passive threat just makes sense. It is something we teach clients to do during our three days of handling instruction. It’s simple. No one needs to get bitten or even be at risk. We have found this use of a protection dog is the most common way for clients to feel safe and secure. Something we all want in our everyday life.

Another way to have further confidence in your dog is to participate in our quarterly maintenance programs. We work with you, and your dog, one day every three months for three years. While it is not necessary to do so for your dog to be fully functional it certainly instills confidence as an owner, and furthers your dog’s advanced fighting skills.  

I also have to say when it comes down to it, without a doubt, having your dog taught to strategically bite the crotch takes confidence in your dog to a whole other level. I know it does for me. The dog in the pictures is Bodhi, my personal dog. I'm not saying its necessary but knowing you have “shock and awe” at your disposal at a moments notice sure feels good.  

Bodhi

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The Recipe for our Elite Program

What exactly is an Elite Family and Estate Protection Dog? We’ve created a Training Program Comparison Page to help illustrate the differences within our programs. Those are “big picture” differences. What actually goes into creating all of those exercises? What goes into taking that training and making it functional? How does it get integrated into everyday life? The answer is very simple; a lot of work.

As a culture we are bombarded with information. Dogs barking and biting on video all seem to look the same. When we started this business over twenty years ago there were really only three credible choices in who to purchase from. Now everything is judged by the appearance of your website and flashy photos on Instagram. Everyone is selling European imports. It appears everyone is the same.

Everyone is not the same. As we have always differentiated ourselves by our training, our dogs continue to stand head and shoulders above others as a result of their training. Our Elite Family and Estate ProtectionDog program is the crown jewel in our training.

This is the most recent work sheet our trainers use to track their progress. The recipe for our elite program. As our training evolves so does the work sheet. This is what must be taught AFTER they arrive in the U.S. and in ADDITION to their European training for dog sports. The program takes on average 3 months, but can sometimes take 6 to 9 months depending on the dog.

When you are purchasing a dog from CPI you are getting two unique things; functional results and benefit of a lot of work.

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Adapting our Training to Your Security Concerns

If you are likely to freeze instead of giving your dog a command in a threatening situation we need to know. If you’re likely to just scream, that’s important to know as well. Maybe you would be likely to face the attacker head on? We need to know how; punching, kicking, grappling, gun drawn?Your dog can be prepared by us for all of these responses in advance of his or her delivery.  

Let’s say you feel most vulnerable getting out of your vehicle at night. We can prepare your dog so that the command “with me”(informal heel) applies to your vehicle. If you have an SUV your dog can jump out of the back and “heel” to the side of your door.

Need more? No problem. Use the “Secure” exercise. Your dog will run to your door, “turn on”, remain by your door until you get out of the car. Your dog will then remain by your side in the Secure exercise until told otherwise.

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Monkeying Around: Custom Training and Teaching Tolerance

Your home may not have a spider monkey but most homes require some type of customized training. It may be for your pool, gated driveway, landscaping or a toddler going through the terrible twos.

In some cases its about us pre-teaching a specific behavior like the automatic wait (stay behind natural boundary) and applying it to your flower beds. It may be teaching rules regarding your swimming pool such as how to get in and out (dogs can drown trying to lift up their water weight the first few times). It may be where to sit, stand or lie down when you answer the front door.

In some cases its not a matter of teaching rules as it is tolerance. Such was the case with Micha the 1 year old monkey in the video. Whatever is unique about your family, home or property, we will prepare your dog for it.

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Muzzle Attacks - Transitioning from Basics to Sparring

Transitioning from Muzzle Attack Basics to Advanced Sparring in Preparation for Real-Life Encounters

This training session was the transition from doing foundational training for muzzle attacks to using it for sparring. This transition allows us to see how the dog reacts to the decoy and how proficient he or she is in using the skills that they have learned. Muzzle training also enables us to set up real life scenarios without the need for protection equipment.

Muzzle attacks serve as a great tool for integrating protection skills for clients who do long-term maintenance training. It simply requires having your dog wear a muzzle for short periods in everyday life. In doing so, the muzzle does not alert the dog to a training session. The encounter with a threat is a surprise and outside of a training scenario. Therefore it is much more in line with a real-life threatening encounter.

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Cameras Are Everywhere. Use Your Dog Wisely

 

The consequences of not protecting your family are clear. Today, protecting them may also come with consequences. Know how to protect your family while decreasing your liability.

There are security cameras everywhere and everyone has a smartphone. If you are threatened outside your home in all likelihood it’s going to be recorded. When it comes to bystanders with phones what are they going to record? Unless it is a violent threat it may not draw much attention. What is going to draw attention is you with your dog by your side showing aggression. If the perpetrator has been successfully deterred he or she may be backing away from you and your dog. 

Unfortunately, you now look like the aggressor and the perpetrator like the victim! Imagine if that’s when the police show up. They will get out with guns drawn – towards you.

This is exactly the same problem people face who have concealed carry permits and use a gun do defend their life. Even defending yourself with hands and fists causes the same potential legal consequences. Of course the answer isn’t to go unprotected in order to limit your liability. The answer must be having a viable means of protection while minimizing your liability.

Our solution is two fold. As soon as you are aware of the threat you give the command “Police” to your dog. That will instruct your dog to come to your side, turn on (show aggression) and remain by your side regardless of whether you move forward, backwards or sideways. What you do immediately after giving the command is just as important. You lift your hands in front of your chest, palms facing the threat while backing up and repeating “CALL THE POLICE, I’M AFRAID FOR MY LIFE, CALL THE POLICE”.  In doing so you are repeatedly supporting your dog protecting you by repeating the protection command “POLICE” and will be clearly communicating to anyone watching, or recording, who is the victim and who is the perpetrator.

A new standard command withon our Elite Family and Estate Protection Dog program.

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Deter a Threat Before it Takes Place

 

How to use your dog for protection without appearing to do so.

In order to better understand the use of a dog for protection it’s helpful to take a look at self-defense with a handgun. In most states you can only defend yourself with a handgun moments before your life is about to be taken. If you remove your gun before that you are considered the threat and will be criminally charged. Thankfully dogs do not have the same status as handguns.  At the same time if you are seen as threatening an innocent person with anything, including a dog, there are consequences.

Our solution is the use of the covert command “knock it off”. This command covertly instructs your dog to come to your side, turn on and remain by your side regardless of whether you move forward, backwards or sideways.  By saying “knock it off”, it appears to everyone around you that you are telling your dog to stop barking, when in reality you are covertly telling him to “turn on”. After aggressively “reprimanding” your dog with “knock it off “ several times you helplessly apologize to the person. Inform them that your dog has bitten three people recently and its probably better to move away. This is the best way to turn your dog on, without looking like a threat in anyone. To everyone around you, you just have a barking dog that you are trying to calm down.

You diffuse a potentially volatile situation, without threatening anyone. A new standard command within our Elite Family and Estate Protection Dog program.

 

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