How Much Does a Protection Dog Cost? Actual Prices Included

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A protection dog is a great addition to your family. Whether he joins your family hanging out around the house, jogging or running errands, he’ll be protecting your family the entire time.

Many people wonder what it takes to get a well-trained protection dog.

How much does a protection dog cost? Protection dog prices range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. If you buy from a reputable breeder you will pay more, but you’ll be guaranteed a good temperament protection dog that will be a wonderful pet for years.

If you find a random breeder, you may pay less, but you may end up with a mixed-breed dog that doesn’t have the temperament or skills you want in a protection dog. 

Actual Prices for Protection Dogs

Protection dogs are expensive, but the long-term investment is worth the price you pay. There are many dog protection training companies that sell well-bred protection dogs. Many of these companies sell puppies and provide training classes for the puppies and their owners. 

Company Location Cost fully trained
Global K-9 Protection Services Franklin, Tennesee $8K-$38K
Priority 1 Canine  Pickerington, Ohio $50K-$75K
Protection Dogs Plus Brentwood, NH $15K-$35K
K-9 Unleashed Richmond, Ky. $3K-$35K
Wolfgang Expert Dog Training Gardenia, Ca. $5K-$50K
World Class K9 Conyers, Ga.  $6.5-$25K

Why Do PD Cost So Much?

You know by now that a professionally trained protection dog isn’t cheap. When you think about the price, don’t forget that you’re not just getting a well-bred dog, but a highly trained professional dog that can protect your entire family.

These protection dog training companies raise and train these dogs from the time they’re puppies. The professional trainers have specific knowledge of protection dog training. They invest a huge amount of time, energy and skill into each dog so they will be at their full potential for the sake of a family.

You can have peace of mind knowing the dog you purchase from these companies will protect your family in the event of a break-in or vandalism of your home or property. The cost is well worth it when it comes to your family’s protection and sense of security. That kind of assurance is priceless. 

How To Access If A Dog Can Be A Protection Dog

Before a dog can begin protection dog training, he must pass some tests. These assessments test a dog’s temperament and instincts. Here are the basic tests to evaluate if a dog has what it takes to go through protection dog training. 

Obedience test

In this training, a dog must understand obedience. Commands like sit, stay, come and heel can’t be achieved if the dog doesn’t obey. Obedience training is tested before a dog can move to the next level.

Many training professionals continue obedience training even after the first test because it’s so foundational. 

People aggression test

This test is to see how aggressive a dog is. Aggression is a sign of a temperament weakness in the dog. To test for aggression in a dog, the trainer will approach the dog and owner and shake the owner’s hand.

The tester will wait a few minutes then approach the dog and pet him. If the dog doesn’t get aggressive- growling, avoiding or nipping at the tester- he passes the test. If the dog shows aggressive behavior, he doesn’t have the right temperament for the program. 

Prey drive

All dogs have a prey drive to some degree, they’ll chase a squirrel, a frisbee or a ball. But for a protection dog, prey drive helps him learn how to bite. The trainer uses a sack or bite sleeve to teach this, making it a game for the dog.

If a dog suddenly loses his prey drive when he’s tired, he can’t be a protection dog. These dogs must defend at all times, even when he’s tired from a long day.

In this test, the tester throws a toy on a rope into the air, then drags it along while he runs with it. The dog should run after it, and grab it and hold on to the toy. If the dog loses interest, or lets go of the toy, he doesn’t have a strong prey drive which isn’t suitable for a protection dog.

If a dog can pass this test, he’ll need to pass a more difficult test called the threat recognition test to test his courage. 

Defense drive test

Every dog has some amount of defensiveness, but this test checks the dog’s instinct to protect himself or his owner if there is a threat. If a dog is defensive, he will act differently. He’ll have a low bark with his tail down and the hair on his back will go up so he looks bigger. He may growl and show his teeth. Defensiveness doesn’t show up in a dog until 2 to 3 years of age. 

To test the defense drive in a dog, the trainer will come straight at the dog’s owner in an intimidating way. He may shout or run at the dog while cracking a whip. If the dog stands down courageously beside his owner or he barks or lunges at the trainer, he’s suitable to be in the protection training program.

Of course, dogs are known for barking at the neighbors across the fence, but this test is different because there’s nothing between the dog and the trainer. A fence gives a dog a false sense of courage to defend his territory, but this isn’t a defense drive.

Most dogs don’t make it through these tests. They don’t have the right temperament for this program. The protection dog standards are high, but if a dog passes the tests he can be trained to be a great protection dog for a family or individual. 

What Protection Training Involves

When a dog is trained as a protection dog, he learns some fundamental things to get through his training. Of course, he’ll need to know basic commands like stay, sit down, heel and come, but he’ll learn other basic commands that a protection dog must know.  

Bark on Command

Barking on command is an important skill for a protection dog. Protection dog training will help a dog distinguish when to bark. He shouldn’t bark at family members or friends.

He should bark at strangers or when someone knocks on the door or window. He will need to learn how to stop barking on command, too. 

Defend

This could include chasing, grabbing or biting. Protection dog training also includes teaching the dog to bite in certain situations. These are loveable dogs, but given the right circumstance, they will bite an intruder who is hiding, running away or towards his owner or family. 

Back Off

This is another important command a protection dog learns to obey. These dogs must be trained not only to defend but to back off when given the command. 

How Long Does It Take To Train A Protection Dog

Training a dog to be a protection dog can take several years.  Some professional dog training starts early with a puppy, while other protection dog companies wait until the dog is slightly older. A young puppy will be exposed to people, sounds, smells and various environments.

This teaches him to be calm in different situations. These puppies must be motivated to learn and work, so training involves accessing this aspect of a puppy’s personality to enhance this drive.

Should You Get A Protection Dog

You may think you want a protection dog your family. Perhaps you feel that your family isn’t safe and you like the idea of a protection dog around the house.

It’s important that you understand the commitment you are making when you bring a protection dog into your home. Protection dogs are working dogs, not family pets.   

What They Need

These working dogs need certain care and considerations. These specialized dogs are high maintenance. You must commit to spending your time and energy to train your dog or hire a trainer to keep him on task.

You and your family will receive training on how to give commands.  Protection dogs have a lot of energy, they need to be exercised every day, several times a day. It’s estimated that you’re looking at a 12 to 15-year commitment to give ample exercise, weekly training, food, vet visits and grooming for your PD. 

Train Your Children

Evaluate your lifestyle to see if you really need this kind of a dog. Be sure your family is ready for this kind of dog. If your young children provoke or hit the protection dog, it won’t be safe for them.

The dog won’t be able to determine when a child is playing or being aggressive. You will need to train your kids how to act around the dog in a calm, gentle manner.  A professional trainer can help your family learn what they should and shouldn’t do around their dog.

You will need to bond with the dog. Protection dogs are smart, they know when someone is faking. You must be a firm, but kind to the dog or you will lose control of him.

Protection dogs would be a great asset to your family.  Your protection dog will need a firm loving hand and some extra care with special considerations for his needs.

These amazing dogs protect people well and defend them with their life. If you’re ready for the commitment, time, money and energy it takes for a protection dog, then it may be time to get one for your family.