Are Female Protection Dogs Better Than Male Protection Dogs?

(by Stephen Weru)

So, you’ve decided you want a protection dog. However, you’re not sure of the best dog to get.

So much to consider.

  •  What dog breed should you get?
  •  What dog temperament and personality type best suits your lifestyle?
  •  Where do you get the best dog breeds from?

Besides these questions, you also have to consider intelligence, obedience, strength levels, and adaptability… gender… which begs the question:

Are female protection dogs better than male protection dogs?

In this article, we’ll discuss differences between male and female dogs, and help you to figure out which option is best for you and your family.

Let’s get into it.

Anatomical Differences

The most apparent and most noticeable difference between male and female dogs is size. Male dogs stand taller and are heavier than females. If you’re looking for a personal protection dog with an imposing appearance, a male dog will make a better choice.

However, that’s not the only anatomical difference between male and female dogs.

Another difference between male and female dogs is that​ ​females reach maturity faster than males.​ This difference in maturity levels makes female protection dogs easier to train than males of the same age.

The fact that females mature faster than males means that female protection dogs are likely to take up their role earlier than male protection dogs.

Behavioral Differences

Male and female dogs also tend to have specific behavioral differences that may determine their effectiveness as protection dogs.

One of the most prominent differences is that male dogs have higher aggression levels than female dogs. Researchers studying dog aggression levels found that​ ​male dogs are six times more likely to bite​ than female dogs.

Males are also more territorial and are likely to be quicker to act against intruders. Male dogs also have less controllable aggression levels than females.

While males may act aggressively due to territorial instincts, female protection dogs act aggressively due to their maternal instincts, making them naturally protective. Thanks to these maternal instincts, female dogs will have no problem protecting you and your family if threatened. Female protection dogs are also more likely to be affectionate.

However, adult male dogs are calmer and are more trainable… on the other hand, females may be overly aggressive when they have a litter of puppies…

The debate can go on, but ultimately, from the standpoint of aggression levels: female protection dogs tend to handle their aggression better than male protection dogs, especially in highly populated areas.

It’s important to note that​ ​training​ and upbringing play a crucial role in influencing a protection dog’s aggression levels.

Reproductive and Hormonal Differences

Reproductive and hormonal differences are usually a point of consideration when you’re looking to adopt an intact dog (one that hasn’t been spayed or neutered). This is because the ability to reproduce influences the development of sex-associated behaviors.

Intact male dogs are​ ​more likely to be territorial​ and will have higher aggression levels than neutered males.

That’s not all!

Intact males are also more prone to:

  • roaming
  • have lower obedience levels
  • are likely to be distracted, especially when they sense a nearby female is in heat

Intact females are also more likely to roam and will be less obedient during their heat cycle.

To reduce the chances of your personal protection dog developing these sex-associated behaviors, consider having him or her spayed or neutered.

Obedience Levels

A dog’s obedience levels play an essential role in determining its effectiveness in protecting you. Without the proper training, it’s tough to control your protection dog, whether male or female.

That being said, female protection dogs are more likely to be obedient than male protection dogs. This is because female dogs have better attention spans when compared to males. They also mature faster and have an innate need to please their owner.

Our Advice on What to Look for When Choosing a Protection Dog:

The answer to whether a female protection dog is better than a male protection dog is subjective.

As demonstrated, on some occasions, female protection dogs perform better than males, but male protection dogs may be better than female protection dogs in other scenarios.

This is why the real answer is that gender shouldn’t be a major consideration.

Rather than considering a dog’s gender, consider the dog’s level of training.

Has your protection dog received professional dog training?

With the correct training, your dog’s gender will have very little influence on its protective abilities. A​ ​professionally trained protection dog​ is obedient, has an even temperament, is excellent with kids and other animals, and is adequately aggressive.

Would an Untrained Dog Protect its Owner?

(by Louis Toffoli

Since the first recorded dog breed, dogs have been used to protect their owners and property. With naturally loyal and protective personalities, many dog breeds were initially bred solely for the purpose of protection. 

You are probably familiar with dog breeds said to be naturally protective, such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, or Doberman Pinschers. But, are the natural protective instincts of a dog enough to offer the owner adequate protection? 

This article will explore if an untrained dog will protect its owner against intruders or potential threats. 

The Limits of Natural Loyalty and Protection 

As you build a bond with a dog, they will develop loyalty for you. Naturally, the dog will start to view you as the group’s pack leader. This means the dog will begin to link its protective instincts to both you and your home. 

When paired with these natural protective instincts, an untrained dog may be able to offer you protection. If a dog does not recognize someone looking to enter your home, they will be on high alert. The dog may bark or alert you of the presence of an intruder or show aggression to the person.

According to a study by the Animals Society Institute, owning a dog deterred crime compared to having no dog at all. In this study, Milwaukee homeowners with dogs in their homes saw a significant decrease in property crime in their area. 

Additionally, in certain dog breeds, they may also attack an intruder if they sense distress from the situation. But, this isn’t certain as many untrained dogs will not know a situation is dangerous until it’s too late.

Without protection dog training, a dog won’t quickly follow commands or quickly assess a situation. 

When an Untrained Dog Isn’t Enough 

In many cases, an untrained dog will be unable to decipher what is happening in the case of a robbery or break-in. A friendly attitude and energy towards the dog can turn a dangerous intruder into a friend within seconds. 

When the threatening bark doesn’t scare away the criminal, it’s shown your untrained dog might not be as effective as you would like to think. This lack of protection isn’t the dog’s fault, as they don’t have the personal protection training for these complex situations. 

The frantic energy of a mugger commanding someone to give them money can be falsely interpreted as excitement by the dog. When you need the dog to protect you most, they will be looking to play. 

However, an untrained dog’s reactions can differ significantly depending on the dog breed. 

Naturally Protective Dog Breeds 

While an untrained dog will not offer the protection of a protection dog, a dog’s breed may be enough to deter crime. In some cases, a potential criminal will be wary when they see a large dog.

It would be best if you also considered a dog said to be bred for protection. These dog breeds have centuries of breeding to make them prone to guarding and protecting their owners. 

Some examples of naturally protective dogs with large frames are: 

  • Bullmastiff 
  • Rottweiler 
  • Great Dane 
  • Cane Corso 

For a full list of dog breeds with naturally protective instincts, take a look at the list developed by the American Kennel Club. Each dog breed has a description of their rich history dating back to when they were used for protection.

Conclusion 

Without proper protection dog training, it is hard to say whether an untrained dog will protect you. In most cases, the dog may offer protection by scaring away criminals with a threatening bark and large stature. 

When a situation escalates past that point, the dog may have trouble interpreting it. The dog will quickly need to understand if the person has bad intentions or is just a friend. To get the most out of your dog, you need professional protection dog training with a qualified master trainer. 

You will not have a doubt in your mind that the dog will protect you when it matters most! 

A Step-By-Step Guide to Buying a Quality Protection Dog

( by Louis Toffoli )

Buying a protection dog is a huge step in ensuring your safety and security. However, you may feel hesitant during the buying process as you want to know for sure that the protection dog will match your needs and offer effective protection. 

A GSTK9 trained Cane Corso

So, to help you make the correct choice, we put together a step-by-step guide on how to buy a quality protection dog. By the end of this article, you will be able to follow the necessary steps to find the perfect match! 

Step 1: Understand Your Needs for a Protection Dog 

When looking for a protection dog, you will first need to think about the reasoning behind why you would like to own one. No protection dog will be the same, with each protection dog going through a customized training program to match the owner’s needs. 

Cane Corso, GSTK9 Pup

The training process of a family protection dog will look drastically different from one for a police dog. The change in the training plan will also make a big difference in the protection dog’s price. The more extensive the training, the higher the price will be for the dog. 

Do you want the dog to be excellent with children? Or would you like a protection dog that is more work-oriented for police work? Take some time to think about your ideal protection dog before moving onto the next step.  

Step 2: Research Protection Dog Training Facilities 

Now that you have gotten an idea of what you need in a protection dog, it’s time to search for the training facility. You should find a training facility specializing in the type of protection dog you are planning to own. 

Max, a GSTK9 trained Cane Corso

These training facilities have a proven track record of getting the exact results from the dog you want. Online customer ratings have also made it incredibly easy to filter out the good from the bad in all industries. 

You can now assess a training facility by seeing the online reviews and understand its reputation from past customers. If you want the best results, it’s always a safe bet to choose a training facility with excellent reviews. 

Along with seeing past reviews, you can compare the pricing of various training facilities and see which one best fits your budget. 

Step 3: Talk to a Master Trainer 

Once you have narrowed down training facilities that specialize in the personal protection dog you need, speak to a few master dog trainers. A master trainer will have the experience to know which dog breed and training style will work best with your personality. 

Xavier on the GSTK9 Farm

If you aren’t sure what questions to ask a prospective trainer, here are a few for inspiration: 

  • What experience do you have training dogs? 
  • Which training certifications or memberships do you have? 
  • Do you offer any guarantees? 
  • What training method or philosophy do you follow? 

With these types of questions, you can start to understand the trainer’s background and make a more educated decision. 

Step 4: Choose a Training Package 

Professional dog training facilities will have training packages that offer different training levels to match the needs of the owner. As the training package’s price rises, the dog will get more extensive training and develop more skills. 

Capone, a GSTK9 trained Doberman

While speaking to the master trainer, you should walk away knowing the price for your desired level of training. Training packages can be modified to fit the needs of the owner and are not set in stone. 

A master trainer should know the necessary time needed to train the dog to proficiency and accurately give you a quote for your training package. Once you have gathered quotes from protection dog trainers for their training packages, it’s time for the final step. 

Step 5: Choose Your Protection Dog Trainer 

We’ve made it to the last step of the process: choosing your trainer!

At this point, you should know what you want from your protection dog, which training facilities specialize in the training program the dog needs, and which training package is right for you. 

One of the main ways to tell if the trainer is right for you is by going with who you thought best understood you. A trainer who knows what you want will deliver your desired results from a protection dog. 

Xavier and Blade on the GSTK9 farm

With your protection dog trainer picked, you are now ready to get your ideal protection dog! 

How to be a Pack Leader with Your Protection Dog

(by Louis Toffoli)

Like all dogs, your protection dog is a natural pack animal that responds best to a designated leader. When you are the pack leader, your protection dog will put you in control and follow your lead. 

Shepherd Standing at Attention. Credit: Pexels

However, being a leader is an ongoing process that will continue after the initial training sessions. So, to get the highest performance from your protection dog, you must continue to establish yourself as the alpha of the pack each day.

While this may seem daunting, being a pack leader with your protection dog is all about your attitude towards your protection dog in day-to-day life.

In this article, we will be covering what it means to be a pack leader and some simple ways you can establish yourself in that role.

What Does It Mean to be a Pack Leader? 

Being a Pack Leader. Credit: Pexels

Dog’s operate within a social hierarchy that focuses on having a leader that brings a structure of stability and consistency to the pack. As the pack leader, they call the shots and are the primary authority figure.

While this hierarchy was utilized between dogs before human owners, this is still a hardwired part of any dog’s brain. As a human owner, your protection dog will either view you as the pack leader or the one they need to lead. 

The dog bases this assessment on reading your social cues, and they will determine what is best for the “pack.” If the dog is confused about who should be the leader, they will act out and not follow your commands. 

This is why you must assert yourself as the clear leader early on with your protection dog. Being the pack leader will allow you to set the boundaries and get the best performance from your personal protection dog.

5 Tips to Establish Yourself as the Pack Leader 

  1. Stay Calm and Be Assertive 
Dog Training. Credit: Pexels

Dogs are instinctual animals. They can pick up on nervous energyeven if you try to hide behind confident body language. 

When asserting yourself as the alpha, you must stay calm when you are with your protection dog. If your protection dog senses fear, the dog will take this as a sign that they need to be the leader instead. 

Staying relaxed is also necessary when disciplining your protection dog. Large emotional outbursts will cause the dog to question your leadership ability.

     2. Control Your Dog’s Eating Schedule 

As the pack leader, you must have control over your protection dog’s food. Their eating schedule should typically be twice a day, but you should never give your dog unlimited access to their food. 

Dog food. Credit: Pexels

If you notice that your personal protection dog is overly protective of food, they do not see you as the pack leader. From the dog’s point of view, they are assuming control over the food supply. 

So, controlling your dog’s eating habits should be an integral part of the pack leader. Be sure to make this a focal point of your protection dog training.

     3. Walk Like a Leader 

Dog walking training. Credit: Pexels

Taking your protection dog on walks is an excellent way to build a strong bond with the dog. However, this is also crucial in establishing the correct power dynamic between you and the dog.

To lead the pack, you need to walk like a leader. Don’t let your protection dog dictate where you walk and pull you while holding onto their leash. Walk in front of them with strong and confident body language.

4. Stick to a Consistent Routine 

Dogs value consistency and having a set routine. Sticking to a consistent routine with your family protection dog will reduce any confusion on the pack leader. If you make exceptions to rules and don’t stick to them each day, your dog will not react appropriately. 

Dog training. Credit: Pexels

If you let your dog eat some of your food at dinner one day and scold them the next day, this can confuse the dog. Stick to enforcing your rules continuously each day and try to cut the amount you sway from your rules.

5. Be a Fair Leader 

And lastly, you should be an all-around fair pack leader for your protection dog. If they do something you don’t allow, let them know that it won’t be tolerated and punish them. If they are well-behaved, let the dog know with affection and rewards. 

Dog Training. Credit: Pexels

Being a pack leader does not mean you have to be overly-strict at all times with the dog. As the alpha role, you should want to be in control, but this doesn’t have to mean you can’t play with your protection dog. 

The Differences Between Protection Dogs and Guard Dogs

(by Louis Toffoli)

On the subject of security, protection dogs are, on average, the best bet. You may want a dog that protects your property from intruders, or maybe you want a companion that is by your side at all times. 

Dog Sitting. Credit: Pexels

When discussing protection dogs and guard dogs, people sometimes use these terms interchangeably and assume they play the same role. They may also think that the difference is only in the dog’s breed. 

But, as you will learn in this post, it’s not just a matter of semantics. The implications behind “guard dog” are more often than not negatively charged, and you should know why. You should also be prepared to be able to distinguish between the usage of each; know whether a trainer’s use of the term “guard dog” is being used interchangeably, or he means the kind of dog you can’t depend on in personal protection. 

Practically, it comes down to the dog’s training level that determines the professionally-used difference between the two. 

Before you decide on investing in a particular dog, let’s dig a little deeper and prepare you for your purchase. 

How the Dog is Raised 

Beware of Dog. Credit: Pexels

The path life of a “guard dog” takes a vastly different path than what you can expect from a personal protection dog. Dogs advertised as “guard dogs”, in many cases, are raised in an unhealthy, and dangerous environment. 

Typically misused for cheap protection, and trained using unethical methods like dogfighting, these dogs are trained to show unstable aggression. In some cases, “guard dogs” are even inbred to attain more aggression

Many owners will purchase a “guard dog” based solely on the dog breed type, not knowing about its background. Without the proper training and pedigree, these “guard dogs” will not provide the protection you need. Their lack of training will make them less predictable, especially in a tense situation. 

You need a dog with a pure pedigree, ancestry you can trace, and professional training by a qualified trainer for personal protection. Unlike “guard dogs”, a protection dog will get the necessary and personalized training to be a family dog.

Protection Dog. Credit: Pexels

Professionally trained, personal protection dogs are the only option for a reliable dog to protect you and your loved ones. 

Training Requirements and Types 

“Guard dogs” usually have very little training as they are purchased as a working dog breed and are expected to be naturally protective. When trained, “guard dogs” typically go through informal self-training from the owners or with dog trainers that are unqualified.

Backyard trainers typically utilize a commercial program like IGP dog training as their training resource. These dog trainers then like to offer a low price that seems too good to be trueand unfortunately, it is. 

“Up!” Credit: Pexels

These very enticing price tags offered to train your dog come with a catch. 

These commercialized programs take a “one-size-fits-all” approach, and are more for sport or basic obedience training. These dog training programs cannot prepare the dog for personal protection or family protection. 

As for personal protection dogs, they require more extensive training to be effective in protection from professional trainers. Each protection dog gets trained differently by master dog trainers to match the needs of the owner specifically. 

Trustworthy trainers ensure training includes time at the dog’s worksite.  

The Pricing of Protection Dogs vs “Guard Dogs” 

Goldenstate K9’s Capone. Credit: SirenPhoto

If you are looking for a dog for personal protection, the prices will differ significantly depending on the breed you decide to choose and its training level. As for protection dogs, the training level is the largest determining factor for the dog’s price. 

With professional training, personal protection dogs have an average price tag that starts at $12,000-$15,000. This range rises quickly, based on pedigree + level of training, and training needs. 

For example, training a dog for situations like multiple intruders, building searches, and off-premises protection requires more time with a qualified trainer. It also requires a more highly trained, and more diversified trainer, which of course costs more. 

Conclusion 

Goldenstate K9. Credit: SirenPhoto

For guaranteed protection, no matter the circumstances, a personal protection dog will have your back. Along with being skilled in protection, they have the trained temperament to be able to be a part of the family. 

With these differences in mind, you can now confidently find a protection dog you know will get the job done of keeping you and your family safe!