For 40+ years we've helped over 300,000 dog trainers just like you!

Learn more about Leerburg

$6.99 Flat Rate Shipping

Learn more
Ask Cindy Our Newsletter Free Catalog
Leerburg Dog Training Q&A Archive Protection Equipment

Protection Equipment Q&A

Protection Equipment Q&A

Have a question you can't find the answer to?
Check out our Leerburg Questions and Answers
with nearly 3000 previously answered questions.

I try and answer every question I receive on dog training. I may often come across as a little on the blunt side, (some may call it brash). That is because I consider myself an advocate for dogs and not dog handlers. I am an advocate for common sense dog training and not the latest fad that appears on the horizon. Good dog training is not rocket science. It's common sense.

  1. What equipment and videos do you suggest for raising a pup to be a great protection dog?

  2. I'm legally blind and want to train my dog to be my guide and I need some direction with equipment. Also, do you feel that Aussies can make good protection dogs?

  3. What sleeve would you recommend for decoying my dobermans?

  4. I just ordered the 20 ft cotton line, but I'm afraid it might not be strong enough for when we get into schutzhund training? Have you had any problems with these and should I buy a stronger 20 ft line with a strong snap when he get of age or will this hold him?

  5. Which tug toy would you recommend using with the new Tug DVD?

1. Question:

Hi, I am looking into getting a large breed doberman with a working background or a german shepherd but I want to train it to be a very obedient protection dog. I was curious if you could help guide me into purchasing the correct equipment and videos for raising and training a pup to be a great protection dog. Thank you very much. If you could just list everything that I could possibly need I would greatly appreciate it.



Here are the videos I would recommend

Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months
How to Raise a Working Puppy
Basic Dog Obedience
Building Drive & Focus in Working Dogs
The First Steps of Bite Training
Bite Training Puppies
Training Personal Protection Dogs

You will want a flat collar and eventually a prong.  You shouldn’t need a prong 'till your puppy is older. 

We have a large selection of tugs and prey items to do the bite development.

You will also need a leash and a long line, you can see what we offer here.

I like to use an orbee ball with all my dogs, they come in 3 sizes so you can make sure to have the right one as your dog grows.

Many of the videos I recommended have a list of recommended equipment for each video, so that will help you make your decisions.  If you have any questions feel free to email me or call the office and one of the girls will be glad to help you out!


2. Question:

I have an Aussie I’m looking into training for assistance work. I’m legally blind and so am hoping to get her going as a basic guide, but I also want her to carry a backpack for me. Because of that, a harness wouldn’t be practical for use in leading me, so someone suggested using an agitation collar. That way, her back would be free for the pack but I could still have a handle to grip that was close to the dog and very different than a training collar.

Could you give me some kind of price estimate on how much this would be to make? She’s small, about 19 inches at the shoulder and probably takes an 18-inch flat collar. Another question I had for you was how you thought she might serve as a protection dog if necessary. Because I’m blind as well as a single female, it’s important to me to have a dog that I could rely on if the need arose. I’m not talking about formal training here, but generally speaking, what is your opinion on Aussies as personal protection dogs? If someone jumped on me out of a dark alley, would the typical Aussie be a dog who would stand up for me?

I really appreciate your help, and look forward to hearing from you!



We do sell a harness that has a backpack attached, and a handle you can hold onto.   this may work for you.

To answer your collar question though, we sell a couple of agitation collars with handles that should fit her. 

This one is nylon and this one is leather.

I have met some Aussies that were natural protection dogs, but as with any breed it really depends on the individual. 

I hope this helps.

3. Question:

Hi Cindy,

Have a question  for ya.
I have a 3 year old 80 pound male dobermann, a 2 year old 75 pound female dobermann, and a 5 month old female- large for her age, will most likely grow up to be 26” and 75-80 pounds.

Both females come from strong german lineage and have incredible drive.
The 2 year old hits the sleeve super hard.
My male on the other hand, comes from show stock and hits the sleeve more lightly and with less intensity.
The puppy shows incredible drive and will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with.

What I need is a good bite sleeve.
We’re more protection than shutzhund oriented- we work with real-life situations.
I’m interested in hearing what sleeve you’d recommend for decoying my dobermanns.

Thank you,


This sleeve is soft but is what we call our intermediate sleeve.  This is similar to the sleeve on a bite suit.  For really hard biting dogs we suggest a neoprene gauntlet worn under the sleeve.

It’s not a bad idea to use a variety of different sleeves when training, so with our Schutzhund dogs and ring sport dogs we use a variety of different materials and styles of sleeves so they don’t become used to just biting one type of surface.

Here is our sleeve page.

If you are interested in personal protection work, you may also want to use leg sleeves as well.  They are shown at the bottom of the sleeve page.


4. Question:

I just ordered the 20 ft cotton line and think it will be great for the my new working GSD pup, but I'm afraid it might not be strong enough for when we get into schutzhund training when he is an adult dog? The people I see at the club have the thicker ones with the bigger snapp but never thought to ask until I got my order in the mail today. Have you had any problems with these and should I buy a stronger 20 ft line with a strong snap when he get of age or will this hold him? I appreciate any help you can give on this subject.

Thank you,


For bitework I’d use a thicker line with a stronger snap, like this one - 15' Cotton Tracking Line. I use the 20 foot cotton line like you have for puppies, and for obedience with adult dogs.

I hope this helps.


5. Question:


I'm about to order Michael's newest DVD. I have an 18 month old Golden. Which tug toy would you recommend. I'd like to order both simultaneously and save with the free shipping!


I actually recommend a variety of tugs, for a number of reasons.  One is that I don’t want my dog to be fixated on only one biting surface.  I want my dog to tug equally well on jute, leather and linen.  The other reason is that without meeting your dog and seeing his biting style, I can’t know which type of tug is going to be easiest for him to bite and hold on to while he’s learning to play with you.  here is a link that has some of my favorites.  The synthetic is usually easiest for beginning dogs to bite.

I hope this helps.

Get $20 off Michael Ellis 3-Day Workshop self-study course, good through Monday, January 20, 2020 at 11:59 PM CT