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About CPI

Protection Dog Blog

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.


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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Upcoming Instability: Who Should own a Protection Dog?

Potential for Upcoming Food Shortages in U.S.


The New York Times and The Washington Post have quoted John Tyson (Tyson Foods) saying that the food supply chain is "breaking" and "vulnerable." So far we have already seen a 25% decrease in meat moving through the supply chain this week. This is only the beginning of May. What happens with a resurgence in the virus after states reopen businesses? What happens if we continue to see decreases in infections but the virus returns with a vengeance this fall as many predict? What happens if as states reopen we see crowds as we did last weekend in California? The answer is we don’t really know what will happen. As unfathomable as it seemed not too long ago the risk of our society becoming unstable seems to be more and more a possibility. In turn, we see an upsurge in security-related sales.

For the first time, we’ve had to ask ourselves who should own a protection dog? In the past, we always thought everyone could benefit from one of our dogs. That it was unfortunate that not just anyone can afford one. Well the Covid-19 virus has changed our thinking.

We now receive calls from people who want the added security of a protection dog but don’t even like dogs. Even stranger, we’ve taken calls from people that hate dogs but are thinking about buying one anyway. This would be hard to imagine just a short time ago. If you hate dogs you don’t spend tens of thousands of dollars to buy one. That’s no longer the case. 

If you hate dogs and call us it’s going to be a very short conversation. If you’ve never owned a dog, or maybe never met a dog you’ve ever liked, but you’re thinking about purchasing one then we can talk. While never having never met a dog you liked is suspect, sometimes it actually makes sense.

Let’s say you’ve never owned a dog. Let’s say your only experience of dogs is being jumped on when you walk into your friend’s house, then sexually assaulted by their dog’s nose only to then be assaulted by the smell of dog everywhere. Then not liking dogs can actually make a lot of sense.  

We propose the question; “if you could own a dog that had impeccable manners (everywhere and at all times), and you had complete off-leash control of your dog, would that change your experience?” Unless you’ve crossed over into hating dogs it’s easy to answer yes to the question.The next question we ask is usually “could you imagine such a dog being enjoyable to be around?” Might you enjoy their companionship? For most people, these questions get answered favorably. Where potential candidates get separated from a fully trained dog being a good idea versus not when it comes to sacrifice. Are they willing to make sacrifices?

Our clients who have owned dogs previously to purchasing one from us usually find our dogs to be so easy to own. If you’ve never owned a dog, there are certain sacrifices that need to be made. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to sleep in until late morning that may be a problem. Dogs usually wake up when the sun rises and they hear activity. They can wait a couple of hours but eventually nature calls. They will need to go out. Do you want to go away for the weekend? You’ll need to make sure the boarding kennel has room. There are doctor’s visits just like with children. There’s dog food to buy. Sometimes water to wipe up after they drink (some are sloppier than others).

There are lots of ways today to decrease the time required for pet care. There are mobile groomers who come to your house. Dog walkers. Services that come to your house weekly to pick up your dog’s messes in the yard. There are kennels that offer pick up and drop off services. Even mobile vets make house calls. While taking care of a fully trained dog has never been easier these are all needs that must be thought of, and addressed, in some fashion.

We aren’t scandalized by people interested in purchasing dogs with no prior experience. Nor are we deterred by people who aren’t dog lovers.If you’re not particularly fond of dogs that is not an issue either. There are plenty of people who really don’t like kids but find themselves becoming parents. They may still not love other children but they usually love, cherish, and care for their own, and it can be similar with dogs as well.

The one last piece that we feel strongly about is this: can you imagine having your dog with you all of the time? If you’re willing to make sacrifices but aren’t willing to have that type of relationship then we propose don’t do it. Or you certainly can’t purchase one from us. The reason is simple.Our dogs, like most people, want to love and be loved. They thrive on personal relationships with others. They will also be there to protect you. Protecting is probably not what their everyday life will look like. Interacting with you, and your family will likely be what takes up their time. Like you, they too deserve to be happy. To have close, personal, fulfilling relationships. Why not let the dog you were thinking of buying go to someone else who will really enjoy them?

For those who hate dogs but want the added security: buy another gun, add to your alarm system, go jump in a lake, just don’t call us!

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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.  


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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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Might You be Buying an Obsolete Protection Dog?

Standing Still vs Moving
(Creating Distance)

The average threat takes place from 12 to 20 feet away. It takes a perpetrator 2 seconds to cover that distance. When you first become aware of a threat your brain requires 5/8 of a second to process it and formulate a response.  That leaves a little more than 1.3 seconds to respond. You still need to call your dog to your side and give the command to “turn on” (show aggression). Unless your dog is already by your side, you’re out of time.

If you were so lucky to have your dog by your side when you are threatened, and your dog is traditionally trained, you have the time to turn him or her on. If you were properly educated you would know to keep your dog by your side as long as possible. Once your dog leaves your side you’re vulnerable to a second or third person. Seldom do attackers act alone.

Your dog is now lunging towards the threat while you’re holding him or her back. In other words, you’re standing still trying to hold back a 65 to 95 lbs dog as you try to evade the threat. Not easy, nor wise. In effect, you make yourself a target. 

Our Elite Family and Estate Protection Dog program have always solved that problem with our “Secure” exercise which allows for complete off-leash control when you have to turn your dog on to a threat. This allows you to move away from the threat, and create distance, all with your dog “turned on” at your side. 

We are now offering a viable solution to this problem within our Executive Protection Dog program.  As of August of 2018 all CPI dogs trained in our Executive Protection Dog program will be taught the “Protective Escape” exercise. That exercise enables you to have your dog turned on without pulling. That same command will instruct him or her to walk backwards by your side while remaining turned on.  Just another way we position you to have optimal protection.

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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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