A dog has two basic instincts - the impulse to hunt, and the pack instinct. Both have been used to great advantage in training dogs, not only to protect, but also to search and track. The dog is a natural predator and can be motivated to follow or find the scent of a quarry and, in the instance of protection, the dog can be trained to attack a human being without regard to its own safety.
In a guarding environments, the handler is included as an element in the pack and the dog, when trained, will defend the handler and the territory he or she occupies. The dog's highly developed sense of smell and superior ability to hear are primary factors when training dogs for security work. It is these senses that allow the dog to first indicate to the handler the presence of an intruder and it is these senses which can allow the handler the time to make safe and sensible decisions in preparation of an apprehension.
A dog's ability to detect scent is more than 100 times greater than that of a human and can detect at great distances. It is not uncommon for a dog to detect scent to a distance of 250 yards under favour-able conditions. However, to use the dog's scenting ability effectively, consideration must be given to patrol routes, obstacles such as buildings and weather conditions.
A dog's sense of hearing far surpasses that of a human, both in range and pitch. The upper frequency limit of a dog is twice that of a person. It can respond to a sound at a distance of nearly 200 yards which would be inaudible to a person at 40 yards. This enhanced sense of hearing complements the dog's scenting ability so that, where conditions adversely affect the dog's ability to scent, the enhanced hearing will compensate greatly.
Although inferior to humans in intelligence, a dog can be trained to respond effectively to a large number of spoken words and some dogs have been taught to respond to as many as 50 oral commands. However, for the purpose of effective guarding, only about eight words are required to trained a dog. The dog's readiness to learn, the speed by which material is learned and what material is retained are the key criteria when rating a dog's intelligence.
The Man & Dog team is the most efficient, cost effective, and effective form of security. Not only does it allow for far less patrols to be made over a large area, but allows for fewer personnel to cover an area due to a dog’s superior and acute senses.
A dog can indicate in total darkness to persons hiding up to 300 meters away, and in very favorable conditions, much further. A dog can also apprehend persons in total darkness. If a person is sighted, and then runs away out of sight of the security personnel, the dog is able to air and ground scent to locate the person.
A Man & Dog team can take the place of at least 4 security
personnel working alone in crowd control situations, and is much more effective at clearing a volatile crowd. A lone security personnel is a lot safer working with a trained dog, not only for the reasons already stated, but also it would be impossible for a person to sneak up on an officer with a trained dog.
It is quite obvious that people pay more respect to an officer with a dog, than one armed with a weapon only. Not only do others consider the dog unpredictable, and therefore do not venture to close to the officer, but also realize that the dog is at all times alert and ready, not like a weapon kept in a holster. Also a dog can never be used against the officer, as has been known to happen with a weapon. A dog never misses its target, no matter how far away the intended person is, or even if the person runs out of sight of the officer.
Man & Dog teams are now used all over the world, and each day there are more and more companies turning to the dog to help in security operations not only as a form of safe patrolling for its officers and the cost efficiency. But also for the high profile a Man & Dog team attracts, and the businesses that prefer to offer contracts to this very efficient form of security.