I am sure you have already seen "Level 1" , "Level 3", executive protection, and so on all over the internet. There is no unified system for rating the level of the protection dogs! One company’s Level 2 dog might be very weak compared to another company’s Level 1 , and "executive" is guaranteed to cost more but not really give you information of the level of training of the dog.
You can judge a company’s standards by checking out the knowledge of the trainers, which will first be evident in their accomplishments.
One thorny issue is that of the sport dog versus the “real” dog. Contrary to the way you should judge the skills of a trainer (competition accomplishments), dogs that have done well in certain sports may actually not be suitable as protection dogs.
In a nutshell, many dogs that do well in dog sports may be only “sport” dogs, meaning they will not protect you or your family if needed. They will not bite an intruder or attacker without a sleeve or a bite suit.
You may see a very fancy video of a dog that works great on a bite suit, there are few protection sports in which the dogs bite a full body suit. Please DO NOT be fooled - they are still sport dogs! Believe me, there is a huge difference between sport and personal protection training. This is where a skilled and honest trainer is necessary to tell you about the dog in question.
As an example, on occasion, police K9 dogs with the highest performance records in trials will be purchased by a police force and find themselves, chasing a suspect in a dark alley. But when the dog finally catches up with the criminal, it becomes highly confused and stressed, because it wants to bite him, but it doesn’t see the familiar equipment. We have posted many instructional videos on our youtube pages to help you SEE for yourself what we talk about when we describe prey drive verses defense drive. Both drives are important to the well-rounded personal protection dog. So we thought it was important to show you what they look like and help you educate yourself.