In previous articles, we learned about guide dogs, drug-sniffing dogs, rescue dogs, therapy dogs, and assistance dogs. Dogs are capable of so much. Today, let’s talk about the latest trend in the dog world: protection dogs to help abused women. Doesn’t it sound like a great idea? Let’s see where the idea came from and how these dogs work to help women.
Protection dogs to help abused women
It’s true that gender-based violence has gone down over the past few years thanks to protection programs and the support of women themselves. However, we need to work harder to completely do away with abuse. It is harming so many innocent people and destroying thousands of homes each year.
Generally speaking, when we talk of gender-based violence, we’re talking about women. But, there are also children and men who are victims of it.
Spain has recently implemented a program using protection dogs to help abused women. The program is called ESCAN and directed by Fernando Soleto.
The project trains dogs to defend and protect women who have been abused. Not everyone is eligible for the service. To qualify, the woman needs to file a complaint and request a restraining order.
Why was it necessary?
Many abused women move far away from the setting of their abuse and get a restraining order against the perpetrator. However, there are quite a number of cases where abusers pursue victims until they find them. Therefore, many women live in fear even though they may be far away from home.
Sadly, their lives have changed forever. For good mental health to be restored, they need time and psychological help. However, during the process, many battered women are afraid to go out on the streets. They’re also afraid to interact with other people and may even keep their children from doing so.
Here, a dog can provide security, confidence, peace of mind, and protection.
Why is a dog ideal for an abused woman?
We all know that dogs are faithful and loyal. They are willing to do anything for us, even risking their lives for us. And they do it instinctively — no training needed.
Dogs will go to great lengths to protect abused women, especially when they are thoroughly trained. Just think about it! If you had to choose an animal to serve as protection for women who’ve gone through something like this, there’s no doubt that dogs are the best choice.
How do protection dogs work?
Protection dogs receive special training with the sole objective to protect the life and health of their owner.
How does the program work? The dog, following the laws of the country, wears a muzzle due to their large size. The material is hard and can withstand a strong impact. It is also coated in steel. In the event of an attack on the woman, the dog can strike the aggressor rendering them unconscious long enough for their owner to get help.
The dog breeds typically used in as protection dogs are German Shepherds and Belgian Shepherds. There are very good reasons for it:
- These dogs look quite intimidating.
- They are obedient and determined. No other dogs are quite like them.
- They are aggressive when needed but tame with their owners and family members.
Dogs are certainly man’s best friend. This is yet another reason for us to be grateful for them, always looking out for our well-being. Our hope is that this initiative in Spain will help make this much-too-common evil a thing of the past. We also hope that it serves as a precedent and spreads throughout the country and world.
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