Designer Dogs: How Far Would You Go To Protect Your Family?


UPDATED: Monday May 6, 2013 11:47 PM

One central Ohio company is making sure you get the protection you want – with designer dogs.
 
A 6-year-old German Shepherd named Heather recently learned how to protect her owners from a carjacking.
 
“They do a lot of traveling in their vehicle throughout the year – 100,000 miles,” said Wade Morrell of Priority 1 Canine. “They wanted a dog that would protect them in their environment, which is their car.”

Morrell said his company can cater to any client’s need – from maritime security to private jets and estates. And that is exactly what Morrell said he did for one of his clients out of Dallas, Texas.

“When he came home at night and his inner perimeter of his fencing (was open), before his family would get out of the car, they could send the dog and check it,” Morrell said. “The outer perimeter of the fence and the inner perimeter and search the house and make sure no one was inside.”

Lori, Morrell’s wife and business partner, said that designing dogs for specific clients averages two to three months, depending on the type of security requested.

There are four levels of training.

The first level of training involves teaching a dog to bite an intruder. Higher level dogs can sniff out bombs. They’re not trained to kill but trained to stop any threat that comes their way.
 
Lori said no matter what level of training the dog receives, it is critical that dogs know when they are working and when they get to be a pet.
 
“Every dog will live with us and our two kids,” said Lori. “They’re out at night, watching TV, chewing on a bone, they can sleep in the kids’ bedrooms at night."
 
That is exactly what Bert and Jonda Reynolds wanted when they picked up Rylan.
 
“You’re going to be our protector, aren’t you?” said Jonda, owner of Kingy’s Pizza, to Rylan while walking outside their Canal Winchester business.
 
They wanted a dog to protect their home and their business but also to be a part of their family.
 
“We have a granddaughter and we want her to be comfortable with her or just whoever comes in our house that’s our friends, but yet when that bad person comes in, we give it the command and they know what to do,” Jonda said.
 
Wade said he’ll pretty much do anything his clients ask of him.
 
“We’ll customize a dog any way you want,” he said. “If you want a narcotic dog to search your 16-year-old kid to see if they’re doing drugs in your house, I can do it that way. Bombs, we can do it that way.”
 
Rylan is still in training, but Bert said it’s like getting used to the best of both worlds.
 
“It’d be nice to get a dual use out of the dog,” he said. “These dogs are born and raised to be a work dog, a service dog. They like to work.”
 
Not everyone is able to get a Priorty 1 Canine. Clients must go through extensive background checks.
 
The Morrells said that they will not train a dog for anyone arrested for drugs, weapons or domestic violence.
 
Each dog can cost from $15,000 and $45,000 a piece.
 
The cost includes training in Pickerington and onsite training with the client.
 
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