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Families using high-powered protection dogs in case of home invasions & crime

More people are in search of alternatives to guarding their homes and families and are now turning to dog trainers to make sure the family pet can properly provide an added level of protection. 7/28/16 (Nathan O'Neal | KSNV)

We hear of home invasions and violent crime almost every day in the Las Vegas Valley but now man’s best friend is getting a high-powered upgrade to help protect homeowners.

More people are in search of alternatives to guarding their homes and families and are now turning to dog trainers to make sure the family pet can properly provide an added level of protection.

Phillip Palmer remembers the night when a group of men smashed through the windows of his Las Vegas home roughly a year and a half ago.

“My wife woke me up and said ‘there’s somebody in my back yard,” said Palmer. “That’s a very scary experience.”

The suspects got away but Palmer isn’t taking any chances now, installing three layers of security: security window shields, surveillance cameras and a high-powered protection dog named “Tango.”

“Any little noise in the house, he’s up and ready,” said Palmer, who takes his dog across town every week to the MP K9 Training Center.

Gregory Conner runs the training center and has trained all kinds of dogs for about 30 years.

“With the home invasion rate going up, we find that our protection dog training has actually increased substantially over the last two years,” said Conner.

The dogs are trained on when it is appropriate to show aggression and when to act friendly.

“It has to learn to make friends on command because if it can't make friends on command then it can't be there to protect you,” said Conner.

While Conner said larger dogs are more common in protection training, he has trained dogs of all sizes. The goal is for the dog to grant you more time if you are confronted with an emergency.

Conner said that most of his clients have had an emotional brush with violence. Take Barbara Snyder for example.

“One friend was murdered in her home and another friend was left for dead and I figured I can’t out arm-wrestle a fifth grader so it’s good to have my dog with me,” said Snyder.

Other people like serviceman Ryan Wagner is mainly concerned about protection for his young family.

“My dog is very calm but he’s also very aware,” said Wagner.

As for Palmer, he’s a lot more at ease these days, knowing his four-legged defender is always watching.

“Tango is out there and nobody is going into that yard without us knowing,” said Palmer.

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