The $230,000 guard dog

Mr. Prather’s dogs are trained for three years in Germany before they go to South Carolina, where they receive further training and are put to the test of family living. Before her sale, Julia lived for four months in the home of November Holley, the company’s vice president and head trainer.

“I’ve probably trained a thousand dogs, and she’s the best I’ve ever seen,” Ms. Holley said. “The total package. Did absolutely everything you wanted, no questions asked. Good with kids, good with horses, good with cats. A perfect lady in the home.”

Julia also proved her mettle as a babysitter, Ms. Holley added. “If my daughter Kailee was outside in the woods, I’d say, ‘Julia, where’s Kailee?’, and she’d go out and find her. She was like a person.”