Your article on guard dogs (Orange County Life, Jan. 11) failed to bring out one point which is very important to the safety of the average reader. In order to protect consumers from unscrupulous business operators, the California Business & Professions Code (Sect. 7520) requires that all persons who sell or train protection dogs, or Schutzhund dogs (German for protection), be licensed as Protection Dog Operators. Licenses must be publicly displayed and listed in printed advertisements.
When the average citizen is shopping for a dog that can turn on and turn off its aggressiveness on command, it is extremely important for that citizen to know that the dog has been trained by someone properly licensed. Your reporter would have been wise to advise readers to demand to see the current California Protection Dog Operator license of any dog trainer before purchasing guard-dog training. If your trainer, or dog salesman, cannot provide such a license, then report that person to the California Department of Consumer Affairs immediately (white pages in your phone book), and seek another trainer.
Owning an improperly trained guard dog is more danger to the family than not owning a guard dog at all!
(Bob Keller is secretary of the Orange County Kennel Owners Assn., has owned and operated Starline Kennels for 16 years, and has provided testimony to the California Department of Consumer Affairs in recent investigations of unlicensed protection dog operators.)