They can be a companion, a source of comfort and yes, even your own personal security. A local dog training company, Blue Line K-9 dog training is based out of Meridian and its owner, Jacob Fowler says one reason clients seek personal protection dogs is, “they’ve had a personal experience that they felt if I had a dog this wouldn’t have happened”.
Personal protection means different things to different people and to LaVera Hutchinson, it’s her one and a half-year-old German Shepherd, Nash. After an attempted home invasion, LaVera felt that her safety was in jeopardy, but through her dog, she found her peace of mind, “if someone were to come at me I would give him the command to attack and that would be the only time he’d attack that would allow me time to get to my handgun and my phone to call for backup”, says Hutchinson.
Nash is currently enrolled in a Protection Dog program with Blue Line K-9 and is expected to graduate later this month. Some of his skills include barking, lunging and biting on command. While that sounds scary, according to Fowler, a properly trained dog is completely safe, “ the only dogs that are vicious are the ones that are improperly trained”. So while Nash is capable of acting on his commands, he is also capable of releasing his target when asked.
A common misconception among outsiders is that protection dogs must be naturally “aggressive” or “unruly” when in reality their “job” is really just a game, “the dogs not angry at the person they’re barking at, they’re just excited to get their award, get their toy… a dog is there right away to act as a deterrent to violence”, says Fowler.
While Nash may fit the typical “Protection Dog profile”, Fowler does add that as long as a dog has courage, drive and is willing to listen, they too can participate in the program. For more information on what Blue Line K-9 dog training is all about click here.