March 27


5 Brutal Truths About Socialized Protection Dogs

By amy arthur

March 27, 2023

minute read

Markedly, it's easy to overlook the importance of socializing protection dogs. However, it is one of the most critical elements of having a safe and effective guard dog

To expound, without proper socialization, a protection dog can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous. Unfortunately, there are many people who don't understand this concept. 


Furthermore, these of the types of people (and I've even seen this myth perpetuated among some professional trainers) that will tell you a friendly dog is not suitable for protection work. 

Consequently, in this blog post, I will discuss five of these truths so you can understand why it is so important to socialize your protection dog properly.

Let me introduce myself


Hello, my name is Amy Arthur. I breed, train, and sell, purebred Doberman Pinscher puppies for service or protection work and as excellent quality family pets. Our dogs are personality tested and certified under Tackleberry Solutions and recommended for specific tasks depending upon their individual score results.

For the Visual Learner:

1) A protection dog that is not socialized can be afraid of strangers

Firstly, a protection dog that has not been properly socialized can be fearful and wary of strangers. As a result, without proper socialization, a protection dog may not know how to differentiate between a potential threat and someone who is simply approaching them out of curiosity. Consequently, this lack of understanding can lead to aggression, fearfulness, and anxiety when a stranger comes into the vicinity.



Critically, in order to avoid this, introduce them to new environments, people, and other animals, in a positive way.

To begin with, start socialization at a young age, as puppies between 8-12 weeks old are the most impressionable and need as many positive experiences as possible. 

Above all, this will give your canine the confidence they need to be able to handle new situations in the future and not be afraid of them.

Obviously, as you expose your puppy to different environments and people, remember to keep it a positive experience so that they can build the confidence and trust to react in a safe and effective way.

Side note: On the other hand, this is a major reason why extreme caution should be exercised if you're considering a rescue dog for potential protection or even service training. If you do not know what their early years were like, it is harder to determine any emotional triggers they may have developed from possible negative experiences when they were younger.


2) Unexpected Benefits of Socializing Your protection Dog

Altogether, socializing a protection dog has many benefits, both for the dog and their owner. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Increased confidence:  This helps them develop a sense of confidence and self-assurance. They learn to trust their own judgment and instincts, and to feel comfortable in different environments and situations.
  • Better impulse control: Canines learn to control their impulses, especially their aggression. They learn to recognize when it's appropriate to be assertive and when it's appropriate to be calm and relaxed.
  • Improved obedience: Dogs are more likely to listen to their owners and follow commands, even in challenging situations.
  • Reduced risk of aggression: They learn to differentiate between friend and foe, and to respond appropriately to each.
  • Better communication skills: Protection dogs develop better communication skills, both with humans and with other animals. They learn to read body language, vocal cues, and other signals, and to respond appropriately.

3) Fearful aggression Is hard to control

Notably, let me begin with a critical but controversial clarification on this matter. Every dog that is aggressive towards strangers is suffering from a form of fearfulness.

Side note: Keep in mind, while it can be argued by the owner that their particular canine is not afraid, their dog WOULD NOT be reacting in such a manner if it DID NOT fear the potential actions or intent of the new contact (be it animal or human).

Overall, when a canine shows unprovoked or unwarranted aggression towards a visitor (on or off of its territory), then fear is its driving force. 

To clarify, think of it this way. A cowardly individual when unnecessarily scared has their own survival first and foremost on their mind. As a result, instinct takes over their thinking almost if not completely. Consequently, the coward is not going to be thinking clearly.


4) The Risks of Not Socializing Protection Dogs

Conversely, not socializing a protection dog (or service dog for that matter) can lead to many risks and problems, both for the dog and their owner. Here are some of the most common risks:

  • Fear and anxiety: they are likely to be fearful and anxious, especially in new or unfamiliar situations. They may bark, growl, or even bite out of fear or anxiety, which can be dangerous for everyone involved.
  • Aggressionthey can become aggressive, especially towards strangers or other dogs. They may not be able to differentiate between friend and foe, and may attack without warning.
  • UnpredictabilityDogs that are not socialized are unpredictable and may behave erratically in different situations. They may not respond to commands or follow instructions, which can be dangerous for their owner and others.
  • Liability: Owners of protection dogs that are not socialized are liable for any damages or injuries that their dog causes. This can lead to legal and financial problems, as well as damage to the owner's reputation.
  • Reduced effectiveness: Protection dogs that are not socialized are less effective at their job. They may not be able to distinguish between real threats and harmless situations, or may overreact to minor stimuli. This can put their owner and others at risk.

5) Common Myths About Socializing Protection Dogs

There are many myths and misconceptions about socializing protection dogs. Here are some of the most common:

  • Myth: A friendly dog is not suitable for protection work.
  • Fact: A well-socialized protection dog can be both friendly and effective at their job. Friendliness does not equal weakness.
  • Myth: Socializing a protection dog will make them less effective as a guard dog.
  • Fact: Socializing a protection dog will make them more effective, adaptable, and reliable in different situations.
  • Myth: Protection dogs should be aggressive and unapproachable.
  • Fact: Protection dogs should be assertive and confident, but they should also be able to distinguish between real threats and harmless situations, and respond appropriately.

A Quick Recap

To assert, socialization is the process of exposing a dog to different people, animals, environments, and experiences, with the goal of helping them adapt and behave appropriately in different situations.

Moreover, socialization is important for all dogs, but it's especially critical for protection dogs, which have specific jobs to do. Furthermore, dogs that lack proper socialization are more likely to be fearful, anxious, aggressive, or unpredictable, which can make them dangerous to their owners, their families, and even innocent bystanders.


Finally, protection dogs are trained to protect their owners from harm, but they also need to be able to distinguish between real threats and harmless situations. They need to be able to recognize different types of people, animals, and environments, and respond appropriately to each one. As a result, proper socialization helps protection dogs develop the confidence, self-control, and discernment they need to do their job effectively and safely.

Side note: Unfortunately, some people believe that socializing a protection dog will make them less effective as guard dogs. They believe that a protection dog needs to be aggressive, aloof, and unapproachable to be effective. However, this is a dangerous misconception that can lead to serious problems. In reality, a well-socialized protection dog is more reliable, more adaptable, and more effective than an unsocialized or poorly socialized one.

Please Leave a comment!

Thank you for reading my article. Do you agree or disagree with what I've written? Please leave a comment below sharing your thoughts. Your input will help future readers decide.

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There are no references for this post. All information is based on the author's research and personal experience.

Disclaimer: This article is written as an opinion piece only and is not to be taken as fact, legal or medical advice. Your results are in no way guaranteed and will depend on several factors including your willingness to plan ahead, study and train.

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amy arthur

About the author

Amy is passionate about helping others. She is constantly looking for ways to teach others how to be more prepared. With a core belief that honesty and teamwork are key to success.

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