When a trained Kraftwerk K9 protection dog is invited into a family, they not only get a loving and loyal companion but they also get an extra set of eyes and ears, and teeth if necessary, watching over the safety of their pack. In this second article of our four-part series, Doug shares examples of where Kraftwerk German Shepherds are protecting people in places you’d expect and in places you probably wouldn’t.
About half way through my day at the Kraftwerk K9 training facility I began to realize just how versatile these dogs are and the variety of situations they could be incorporated into. I asked Wayne Curry, owner of Kraftwerk K9, about the various applications where these dogs are currently being used and other possibilities where they could be. It quickly became apparent to me that the limits of where these dogs could prove useful are only limited by your own creativity.
Starting with the obvious, the first group of people who have welcomed a Kraftwerk dog into their lives are families. The dogs are bred for superb character, strong constitution, physical health, high intelligence, and their steadfast play and fight drive. They live in the house with the family, go to the park with the family, and are absolutely perfect for taking into public with the family. Kraftwerk K9s are so well trained and well mannered that they could easily become therapy-dogs for sick children in hospitals, (something my wife and I intend to do with ours).
At the park the dog just wants to chase the ball or catch the Frisbee and at home she just wants pets and tummy rubs, just like any other dog. However, when something “goes bump in the night,” the family’s gentle giant will investigate, alert if there is a problem, and engage a threat if necessary providing time for the family to initiate their home protection plan. Whether you’re home or away on a business trip, your protection dog is watching over your loved ones making an ideal family pet for parents who take an active role in protecting their family.
Another group of owners you might expect are single adults, particularly women. Many in this group live alone and like to do things like walk or jog and often times can’t find others to join them. As mentioned in the first article, before someone might notice a potential threat, the Kraftwerk dog is already acting as an excellent deterrent. Sure, people who would purchase a trained German Shepherd are also the same people who know better than to do things like go running with music blasting in their ear buds anyway. They understand the importance of a layered personal protection plan and are simply doing what we all try to do… to fail the “victim interview” – the “evaluation” conducted by human predators as they size up potential victims. Failing the interview is a skill that comes with awareness, confidence, image and training… and adding an alert 100 pound German Shepherd to your image is going to help even the most petite person fail that interview. Of course, in the rare case they are still selected as an intended victim, the German Shepherd will then take a more active role in deterring an approach.
THE OFFICE HAS GONE TO THE DOGS!
Places I hadn’t expected to find a protection dog, however, were in businesses. From law firms, to gun stores, to software development start-ups, there are many companies who have Kraftwerk dogs “on staff.” Unfortunately, more and more, the issue of violence in the workplace is becoming a reality. Day to day, the German Shepherd is just the “office dog” who greets customers, gets scratches and pets, and warms up the atmosphere no different than when I first walked into the Kraftwerk main office and saw one of their dogs lounging lazily by the desk. Again, the dog is acting as a deterrent to criminals looking for a target and, should an issue ever arise, the dog is ready to do what needs to be done.
Another unique place I didn’t expect to find a protection dog was a children’s preschool. For example, there are certain preschools that use a model where the curriculum is based on working on a pint-sized farm. These schools have chickens, ducks, goats, pigs, rabbits, and other animals including dogs… and typically the dog is the only animal allowed indoors, that is, unless the kids build a maze of blocks and want to see if a chicken can find its way through it (true story). At story time the dog lays in the middle of the circle of kids and when the kids are outside working in the barn or the garden the dog is there with them, too. The dog knows all the kids, knows all the adults and parents, and is in doggie-paradise every day. If there is already going to be a dog there anyway, it makes perfect sense for it to be a protection dog. Not just any dog can be loose with chickens, ducks and rabbits, and a daycare setting is not the kind of place where teachers are going to carry concealed. It’s an ideal situation for a protection dog with its training and well-mannered temperament… and all the while it offers the same deterrent and protection capabilities as with a family.
CONCEALING IN PLAIN SIGHT
The true benefit to a protection dog is in the ability to “conceal in plain sight.” Whether we like it or not, a large part of our society is frightened by merely seeing a firearm and while the debate on open-carry vs concealed-carry is alive and well, all of the firearms and tactics instructors and law enforcement officers I know elect to keep things concealed. The sight of a well behaved dog on a leash, however, doesn’t typically elicit a response. Put a vest on the dog with an “AKC Good Canine Citizen” or “Therapy Dog” patch on it, and you’ve now added effective “urban camo” to one of your self-defense layers. This is particularly attractive for people who don’t wish to, or can’t legally, carry other personal protection equipment. A protection dog is a fantastic option as something they can take nearly everywhere without breaking any laws or alarming anyone around them.
The applications for protection dogs are virtually endless. Use your imagination and think about whether a protection dog would add a layer of safety for you and/or your family. Or, if you already have one, share with us what your experience has been.
In part three of this four-part series, we will take a deeper look at how these dogs are bred and trained, the Kraftwerk K9 kennel and training facility, and I will answer some of the questions I’ve received about how the dogs function with strangers and out-of-town guests, how they function with children and their young friends, plus how the pricing and selection of the dogs for placement is done.