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Categories: Protection Training - Adult Dogs

Q. Is it possible to have a dog loose in the store for protection and still have a dog that is safe with customers?
Hi Ed,

I've spent the last several days reading as many of your Q & A sections, training articles and so forth as I can. Thanks for providing relevant and useful information, instead of just the usual sales pitch.

My wife and I run a motorcycle dealership (as you might have noticed) that is located in the core of the city, and as such isn't always the safest neighborhood. We are not a 'tough-guy' motorcycle shop in any way, in fact none of our clients would qualify as a stereotypical biker (most of them oil company execs, software barons and the like). 99.99% of the time we have nothing to worry about, but every now and again we are reminded of the reality of our location.

My wife often appears to be alone in the shop during the evenings as I am typically in the service department still wrenching. To someone passing by, it may appear to be the perfect chance - a lone woman at night - for an opportunistic robbery or worse. The amount of things that can happen before I'm aware there is a problem and arrive 'on-scene' is a bit nerve wracking to say the least. It is an unlikely situation, but the potential exists for certain.

Is it possible to train a dog to protect my wife and I in the store without disrupting the normal interactions that take place? Because of our location we have the occasional prostitute that wanders in to use the phone or street people trying to escape the elements for a few minutes. We also have our clients, prospective clients, friends, children (sometimes horrible little monster children) etc - all the normal sort of people that you'd see in a retail store. Can a dog that is protection trained handle that sort of scenario without being confused? Is protection training the right route?

I would expect that the dog would be with us virtually 24 hours a day. He or she would live in-house with us, and be with us in the store while we are there.

Thanks for your time Mr. Frawley,


A. If you knew what you were doing you could find a dog that can be trained and still safe. The dog market place is littered with crooks and swindlers people who prey on people that do not know temperament and training.

You need a strong male with absolutely excellent nerves (not a sharp dog) but one who is tough and self confident. The only way to get what you want is to train this dog to alert on command and to only bite on command – a very difficult thing. There are very few people who I would trust to train a dog like this.

If you get a sharp dog you have a liability.
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