A SPANISH basketball star is taking a lead from a host of UK celebrities in buying an elite protection dog.
The Basketball-based player will join cricketer Freddie Flintoff, model Katie Price and a host of British footballers and business magnates when he buys the top-of-the-range dog from UK firm Protection Dogs Worldwide.
Costing from €16,000, the dogs – mostly Dobermans, Great Danes or German Shepherds – are hand-trained by a team of specialists.
They have worked alongside the Manof K9 institute, which has provided dogs for the Israeli special forces as well as alongside the Czech Police’ special dog division.
“We carefully tailor our training to what our clients need, while ensuring that it meets the spectrum of demand for personal and family protection dogs,” explains lead trainer Leedor Borlant, who has provided dogs for ambassadors and numerous global celebrities.
“Some of what our celebrity clients have gone through, you wouldn’t believe,” Leedor said.
“Being rich and famous makes you vulnerable.”
Through word of mouth, the company has acquired a string of leading clients from Katie Price, who bought a German Shepherd named Blade, to Flintoff, who purchased a Doberman called Trevor.
Now the East Yorkshire-based company has started to expand into international territory, with Spain already taking around 15% of its dogs.
The most expensive dogs take years to train and come in at around €55,000, with Leedor and his team of seven working intensively to hone their skills.
“We teach our dogs to handle any situation we can think of, whether that be one attacker coming from behind or multiple attackers,” he explains.
“The training is thorough. Diligence is required to ensure the dog will be effective in a real-life situation. From obedience training to protection training, the dogs build confidence, and soon they are able to start biting the padded sleeves on cue, before being put in scenarios catered for the buyer.”
And best of all, the company carefully vets each client to ensure the dogs are not sold to criminals.
“We get frequent calls from the underworld to buy dogs. Criminals, drug dealers – they come knocking, but we assess each client before we even allow them to visit us.”