The analogy of the sheepdog, which oversees and protects the flock, was popularized in the law enforcement, military, security, and personal defense communities in the 1990s through the writings of Lt. Col. David Grossman, who has been a PDN contributor. Over the years, Rob Pincus’s beliefs about the sheepdog concept have evolved.
The Professional Sheepdog
Rob completely supports the idea of the sheepdog when talking about the armed professional — military, law enforcement, and security. They have distinguished themselves from the flock, put themselves in a position of overwatch and agreed to professionally take on the responsibility of protecting everybody else. They can truly say, “I am the sheepdog.” But are you really a sheepdog?
If you’d asked Rob ten years ago if the sheepdog analogy applied to personal defense, he would have replied absolutely yes. But over the years he’s learned that there really is a dramatic difference when he’s wearing his badge and uniform as a reserve deputy and goes out into the public space. He is then playing the role of the sheepdog.
The same applies when he is on an executive protection detail and during many other times in his professional life when he has worn a security uniform, a law enforcement uniform, or a military uniform.
I am the Sheepdog
But what are you, a private citizen, acting as when you put on a firearm and go out into the public space with the intention of defending yourself and your family? Is “I am the sheepdog” your motto? Should it be? On the contrary, Rob believes you are simply a member of the flock who is prepared to defend themselves.