Without question... emotionally speaking its to early to think about this... but the matter is about much more than just emotion.
We don't keep big dogs around just because we love them. Its true... we do love them dearly.. but dogs love work and work our dogs. A protection dog is an integral piece to the security plan I've instituted for my family.
I suppose one of the big mistakes folks make is the failure to truely characterize their protection tools. Firearms are great... but they are only one aspect of the plan. Dogs are great... but again... they are not a complete solution. Eveything works together.
We need a big dog for guard duty... for suspicion alert... for deterence... and if necessary... to be a man stopper.
Caster's death was by no means a suprise. We've been researching and planning for some time now... and here's a little of what we've learned:
First... the levels of protection dogs:
Alarm Dogs: These dogs bark and alert you of potential danger... but will do nothing to help you beyond that. Most dogs fit here.
Threat Dogs: They will bark and snarl and put on a wicked show... but they will not stop a determined attacker. They may bite and do everything they can to protect you... but they have no formal training in fighting. Naturally protective dogs like Cas fit in here. You'd be amazed at how often this type will successfully defend his home and family. But again... he won't stop a determined attack. For that you need an...
Attack Dog: This dog has been trained to take down men. He knows how to bite, where to bite, and how to hold on. Gun fire... weapons... and aggression will not scare this dog one bit. He will come and come and come until he's either dead, disabled, or called off by his handler. These dogs are not what you think. They are not mindless killers. They are often excellent with children and great family dogs. Most are off-leash trained and extremly socialized. The trouble with them? If you don't have a minimum of 7,500 bucks... forget it.
But what's for us?
I'm thinking we're going with a well-bred pup... and then around 6 months we're gonna send him off to bootcamp.