Protection dogs that are trained to rappel, walk backwards and assess threat levels are now available to consumers who have $25,000 to spend on such a thing.
The dogs were once used only for police and security work, but now wealthy buyers like basketball star Shaquille O'Neal are turning to the Web, where breeders across the country market them, The Miami Herald reported Saturday.
Some have questioned the value of the dogs, since there are no standards for their training, and an ordinary trained dog only costs around $8,000. Others worry about the risks the dogs pose if they go to the wrong owners.
But the market continues to swell, and economist and dog trainer Jerry Burgess predicts that will ddrive down prices for well-trained dogs.