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Thread: Guard dog breeds

  1. #1
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    Default Guard dog breeds

    Wondering if any of you might offer to throw in your 2 cents on experience with guard dog and protection breeds. I honestly have very little experience with any of these type breeds, but I've heard both good and bad stereotypes on the various breeds.

    I have a friend that wants to get a guard dog of some sort. She says she wants it for protection as she lives alone. In addition she has never trained her own dog. I've explained to her the whole responsibility thing, the time and effort it takes to train a dog, as well she may very well have her work cut out for her as I don't think she really has the personality to be the strong assertive type that will deal with any dominance issues that may arise.

    I've also explained that unless she gets a handle on the obedience and socialization at an early age she is likely going to have her hands full by the time the dog fully grown. I even tried to explain that pretty much any dog will alert her to an intruder, and will most likely step up to the plate if the need arises in a dangerous situation. But she is dead set on a guard dog/protection dog. She has expressed a strong interest in Pit bulls, and more recently Rottweilers. I realize how most any dog handles itself will be directly related to the socialization and training, so are there any guard/protection breeds tend to be easier to handle for a beginner?

    I'm not trying to discourage her getting a dog, just trying to help her make an informed decision. Anybody have any experience with these breeds? Would they be suitable for a new owner? Recommend a different breed? Any other advice I might be able to offer?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dale's Avatar
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    Tell her to get a "bull dog" if she really wants tp protect herself. I mean a Charter Arms 44 Bulldog. OK that covers 2 cents. Now the serious stuff. From a liability stand point she would be better off with a breed less known for guard work and something with size. Myself the dogs that worry me are the small breed dogs. They can bite you 5 times in the blink of an eye. Big dogs don't scare me in the least. The worst dog bite I ever recieved was from a Lab second was a Chessie. Tell her a big black lab due to size and color can be very intimmedating.
    My best advise however would be for her to seek out a pro trainer that deals with that type of training. What geographic area does she live in?

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    I have a German Shepherd Dog. He is the biggest baby in the world. he has aton of bark and little to know bit that i know of. He weighs in at 120 lbs. The sight of him makes grown men who have worked with dogs nervous. That being said he is very protective of my wife and son. When we go camping if the leave his sight he has fits whines whimpers pants and paces until they get back. I love him to death but i have never seen him get aggravated or aggressive to a single person other then myself when me and the wife get play fighting he will get between us and stand his ground my wife is his property and he will not back down.All i ever did with him was basic o/b since he was just a pet but I wouldn't trade him for the world hands down best dog i have ever owned. Smart calm and willing to please. The sight of him alone is enough to keep the churchies and creeps away from my house.
    I have never understood why you can have the best trained dogs in the world, but when you put two dogs together the act like they have a half a brain between the both of them.


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    Senior Member Buck Mann's Avatar
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    My vote would be for a well bred, trained Belgian Malinois. They are incredibly intelligent and not too large. Whatever she decides, just like our retrievers, you have to maintain the training. We had a training group run by a pro just like I do with my labs. When we had our mal I never felt that my wife wasn't safe when I was gone. The one I bought was bred and trained in Holland and was brought over here to compete. He was an incredible animal.Buck

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    Senior Member Eric Fryer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck Mann View Post
    My vote would be for a well bred, trained Belgian Malinois.
    As a K9 handler I absolutely love Mals! I would own 2 if I could..... having said that, in this situation I think I would go towards a Shepard. Mals are ALOT of dog and not for the faint of heart. From the OP's description of the lady I think she would be in over her head. My mother is in the same boat, lives alone and been wanting a dog for home. I wish she would let me find her a nice Shepard. Much more laid back then a Mal, and as loyal as any dog can be.

    Word of caution though... if you go with a Shep, Rotty, or Doberman make sure you check all the health clearances. Those breeds are full of health problems.
    God, Family, Country & LSU Football.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Fryer View Post
    As a K9 handler I absolutely love Mals! I would own 2 if I could..... having said that, in this situation I think I would go towards a Shepard. Mals are ALOT of dog and not for the faint of heart. From the OP's description of the lady I think she would be in over her head. My mother is in the same boat, lives alone and been wanting a dog for home. I wish she would let me find her a nice Shepard. Much more laid back then a Mal, and as loyal as any dog can be.

    Word of caution though... if you go with a Shep, Rotty, or Doberman make sure you check all the health clearances. Those breeds are full of health problems.
    Unfortunately I think she may be in over her head with what ever dog she choses. But I may be wrong. I will see what she thinks about the Shepherds.

  7. #7

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    I am an Army Vet and have worked with the most common working breeds a good bit. First, the old school snarling snapping guard dog is something only a fool would want. Dobies, Rotties and pits are not used for patrol work because their aggression isn't very controllable. These breeds should NEVER be trained to be aggresive. They bite because they want to hurt the target.

    The Mals, German shepherds and Dutch shepherds that the military and police uses bite because it is the coolest game ever if they are trained properly. They can be controlled IF you know what you are doing. If she has sense, she will not get any of them either. A true patrol trained working dog from a quality schutzhund background is a liability because it has learned to accomplish a goal through violence. They are smart enough to apply what they know works in one situation to other situations. You have to anticipate the dog constantly to prevent this. It is exhausting. Our guys do not take them in public without muzzles and they are difficult to adopt out once they are retired because you just can't trust them.

    I recommend a rescued black lab. They are easy to train and they are easy to socialize which are the primary traits that prevent dog bite lawsuits. They make a lot of noise and they are black, the two primary traits that deter bad guys. If those traits don't deter the bad guys, you need a gun you are competent with, not a dog. I used to like my dogs to be suspicious of strangers, but I had to sign too many bite reports to think that is cool anymore. Bad dogs in the hands of dumb people bite children and mailmen much more frequently than bad guys.

    If she is dead set on a working dog, she should put down the money for a European dog bred for schutzhund. Anything else is like showing up for a hunt test with a bench bred Fatador. Specifically, avoid American GSDs like the plague. They are inbred, color selected, oversize travesties whose hips are ticking time bombs. She should also seek out her local schutzhund club so she gets in with the people who truly know what they are doing.

    Nate

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    I know nothing about "guard" dogs. But I have had a few dogs that stood guard. The rat terrier/jack Russell mix we had as a kid was 40lbs of ferociousness to strangers if he thought they were dangerous (hats/hoodies were a no-no) but once allowed to sniff was ok with new people. If we were in danger he would get in his bluff though

    I always wanted a Great Dane because 9 time out of 10 its sheer size and bark was enough to scare off most even though most I've known have been kind and loving dogs. But I think they have health issues too

    what about a St. Bernard?

    had a cousin that had a beagle that saved her life. An intruder came into her bedroom while she slept (husband was away on business) and turned the light on. He had a gun and the beagle attacked him. Gave her enough time to get a gun out and put 2 .38s in center mass. Dog sustainedly broken rib from him kicking it but other than that was fine

    I think most if not all dogs have a protective trait for the ones that are close to them (or feed them lol). My CLM doesn't have an unfriendly bone in his body but an hour ago I knew some strange car pulled into my driveway (salesman) because of his protective growling. Of course I opened the door and he scooted between my legs looking for someone to pet him. the salesman freaked out. Till I said he was fine but still didn't believe me. Not being racial or anything but it seems most black people (as in the salesmanship case) are terrified of dogs over 20lbs kind of odd

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    I love malinois, and have a crazy female mal. Very good protection dog, small in size, but not for a novice handler. Most mals take an experienced handler.

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    Senior Member Gerald Kelley's Avatar
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    Blake_mhoona That is the best story i have heard in a long while. I have beagles as well and couldn't imagine one for a gaurd dog lol. My CLF though I promise is very protective of my wife and kids. I had never seen a lab act like that before her. My 1 year old can do whatever he wants to her, but strangers beware.

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