Guard/Family Dog

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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by nyvp » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:55 pm

nyvp wrote:
Funny that I just came across this thread today. I just went to look at a 7 month-old American Bulldog who will be joining our family on Thursday. He's a very calm (read: not very guard-dog-ish) but beautiful and great with kids. Not real slobbery but he does have the big drooly lips. The sire and the dam were both on site and also had the same calm, quiet demeanor. I'll post pics on Thursday.

http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h310/ ... e_nash.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Tosa was another great dog. Very rare and expensive 5K she just past away 4 months ago from 5 masses in here lungs.

We now have an American Bulldog. Great athletic dog. Amazing with my two boys (3+5) and loves swimming in the pool. He puts himself in front of us between people but at the park runs like the puppy he is ( 9 Months 90 Lbs).

http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h310/ ... edited.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


I think nothing beats the fear factor of a 100-150lb dogs.

As i said earlier got to love the bull dog : ) enjoy yours.

BTW my wife picked up a shitu that bit my then 1 year old so there goes the small vs big dog theory.
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by Doryman » Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:57 pm

I'd like to throw in another vote for a Lab consideration. My family has owned Labs for my entire life, and I witnessed their protective capacities on two occasions. Once a German Shepherd was set on mauling a puppy of ours and possibly attacking my mom, and our dog Skipper (Lab/Shepherd mix) came out of the truck and hit that pooch like the furry fist of God. The same dog was treated like a bloody playset by every kid in the neighbourhood and never did anything more threatening than sigh.

Second occasion, my sister, cousin and I were playing around in our old stable, with our Lab 'Pedo (short for Torpedo... I don't think he was into pederasty) hanging out and peeing on various trees. A pack of stray dogs wandered by and tried get inside at us, possibly because we had some snacks. I was really young at the time, and may have remembered the dogs being more aggressive than they actually were, but I do clearly remember that Pedo squared off in that doorway, and FUCKED UP every dog that tried to get in. They all took off after a few engagements, and I believe one of the hounds may have died after, as it was mauled pretty bad. Before and after that little experience, Pedo was about as tempermental as a throw pillow. Labs are friendly dogs, and in my experience, WILL actively defend their owners.

On the vein of the little dog alarm system... consider cocker spaniels. My family has owned several, and they are guaranteed to wake you up when someone is approaching your house. We had one that could bloody well hear people thinking about coming for a visit, and warn us ahead of time. They aren't ass kickers, but they'll give you a heads up.
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by Flivver » Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:58 pm

My daughter grew up with a doberman. Brought daughter home when he was probably around a year old. If you train just about any dog correctly, you will get what you want, but you have to dedicate time to it, especially larger dogs, you have to be able to control them.

My doberman was 80 lbs, very protective of family and home, but also very friendly with others, as long as one of us was around. Very good intimidation factor, but also very good with kids. Daughter would climb all over him, stick her hand in his mouth, feed him dog biscuits, etc. He never ever did anything to harm her. Unbelievably intelligent dogs, can be taught just about anything you can dream up. This can be used in a bad way also, so like anything, you have to commit to doing it the right way.

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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by Black November » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:33 pm

nfa wrote:My top 3 choices, in descending order, would be:

1) Labrador Retriever
b) Labrador Retriever
iii) Labrador Retriever

I've had them all my life, including my 6 years (so far) with my son, from birth to kid...they are great family dogs, are incredibly motivated to please, and are wonderful guard barkers when strangers approach my home or family.

I'm of the opinion that dogs are a fantastic break-in/burglary countermeasure...I believe that people thinking about (or actually trying to) break into your home will hear the barking and very often move on to another house, without a dog...

Dogs are great for people and kids, they love us unconditionally, and allow us to do the same to them...there are lots of great life-lessons to be learned from dogs by young children, regarding life and death and responsibility and so on...

There are lots of great breeds of dogs, but for my money, labs are the top for family and home by a significant margin...YMMV...

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I vote for labs also! They're not aggressive protection dogs, but they do have an exceptional sence of smell. Many explosive/narcotic sniffing and hunting dogs are Labs. I have a 4 month old lab puppy named Teagan who I plan to train in Firearms/ammunition detection. That way I will know if someone around me is carrying, and might even make a few bucks doing locker sweeps for local schools.
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by DeltaUpsilon » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:58 pm

My puppy is ferocious at guarding his master's guns and supplies!

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Maltese, for your consideration. :lol:
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by NorrisUnleashed » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:04 pm

This will sound silly. I have had other dogs in the house but have always had a Boston terrier. This dog is good for the climate out here in ca. I have 3 kids and 2 Bostons, I have caught my 2 year old pulling on their ears without getting bit. Both my dogs love my kids. they are small but my boston made the ups run back to his truck and yell for me to come out and leash him. I have also personally witnessed my a boston beat the snot out of my now deceased chocolate lab. Also despite their size they are good around horses. You said you had 4 acres and horses might in your future. Like I said it sounds silly but dont dismiss bostons without looking into it. They even guarded British royalty in the 1800's. They are realy cool.
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by FishBulb » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:03 pm

I have a Golden Retriever, and you'd be surprised to see just how vehemently any type of dog will defend its territory and loved ones when it senses a threat.

One time I climbed out of my second floor bedroom window onto the roof, and the dog in the backyard heard my footsteps, and thinking I was either a burglar or some type of wild animal, made such an intense racket youd think we kept a gorilla at our house. I was really surprised to see a golden retriever do that, when normally he snuggles up to you and makes next to no noise.

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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by Wolfe4086 » Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:24 pm

Magnum wrote:I decided to go with an Akita as my Watch /Guard dog. She is almost 4 months and is about 40 pounds, I picked her up from the pound at 9 weeks old roughly.

I had Akitas when I was younger, they were mostly quiet dogs untill there was a stranger around. No stranger ever was allowed to step foot on our property with those dogs around. We would have to let them in to show the dogs we knew them. My Akita now knows her territory, is very friendly with kids. I had her in my garage with the door opened the other night and was out of sight for a while, I came in through the shadows and she let out a few big barks until she saw it was me.

Just wait till she gets older. Female akitas tend to sing a lot. One thing I noticed with my male akita was he rarely if ever barked. At most he would occassionally growl if he perceived a threat.
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by razi » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:25 am

One thing to consider is the gender of your other dogs. Some dogs don't get along with their same gender in other dogs. Even mild-mannered miniature dachshunds can have trouble in large groups (my dad breeds mini-doxies. a few months ago some of the dogs were playing in the yard. one rolled over to submit to the pack and got his belly torn out. expensive surgery fixed it, but still, it can happen). I suppose getting the dogs fixed helps, but it is something to consider since you said you've got more than one already. I'd double check to see how well they do with cats and other small critters too.
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by Vicarious_Lee » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:07 pm

DeltaUpsilon wrote:My puppy is ferocious at guarding his master's guns and supplies!

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Maltese, for your consideration. :lol:
Funny. The baddest, roughest-toughest dude I know is a cousin of my wife's. Okay, second-baddest. I know some serious ass-kicking cowboys, and am related to one that is in the Cowboy Hall Of Fame. Anyway, he has a maltese named Chuck (wife and 3 girls got Chuck outside a Wal-Mart years ago). That dog has more swaggering dick stuffed in a smaller package than I've ever seen. It's hilarious. He's not snippy like most small dogs. He's affable and easygoing, insanely confident, and an un-neutered male. I've seen this dog best labradors, crawl into the lap of anyone he thought he liked, and defend his daughters with incredible ferocity as he lay with them while they were sleeping.

Maybe get a male Maltese. It's a lot of badass in a small package.
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by Citizen Simon » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:32 am

In the Maltese category. Have two already. Mine are fucking worthless shit making machines. Of course they are about 50 years old, diabetic, require insulin twice daily, have no teeth (which means their food must be boiled until soft) and were never house trained. Either way, I'll stick with Rhodesian Ridgeback.
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by Dog Off Leash » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:31 am

#1. Absolutely no rescues. I know some will disagree with me on this, but when we're talking about very young children and large breeds, you need to know where that dog came from, its past history, etc. Were it you & your wife, and seeing as you're "dog people", then it really wouldn't matter. However I can't honestly recommend a large-breed dog of undeterminable breeding stock & past history around very young children.

#2. As a piggy-back on #1, go with a reputable breeder known for the qualities you're looking for. This won't be cheap, but the animal you gain has a much better chance of meeting the standards you require.

#3. A dog is not a security system in and of itself. Contrary to popular belief, a dog is not a be-all/end-all answer to a security issue. Even police/military K-9's, bred and trained to take down a man, will occasionally have issues depending on external factors (size of the man, drugs/alcohol, weapons, etc). Also, a dog obviously won't stop a 12 gauge.

Rather, I present to you that a dog is part of your security system.

As I've told others for years, your home security system should have 4 very basic elements:
1. A monitored alarm system (Brinks, etc)
2. A dog
3. A cell phone
4. A gun

The alarm is there for obvious reasons; to provide 24/7 coverage to your home. However, it doesn't work if it's not activated when the home is either vacant or when you're asleep. Get one. Use it.

The dog is there to provide companionship and brighten your lives. In the security role, it has ONE job - to sound the alarm in case of emergency or disorder (Air Force SP's should find that phrase familiar ;) ). Their job is to let you know to secure the family, dial 911, and arm yourself. Nearly any dog will fill this role. Even your professional house-breakers have said that any home with a dog - any dog, not just Cujo - is immediately passed up. The dog isn't worth the trouble. You don't necessarily need the dog to engage the intruders. (I'll touch more on this in a bit)

The cell phone is for the event that a storm or other situation kills your power or disrupts your hard-line phone service. Most often the result of violent storms, not Splinter Cell thieves. Even a de-activated cell phone can still dial 911.

Lastly, have a firearm - hell, have several - and have the adults in the family trained in their use.

Your dog is part of your pack, and will look to you for leadership and protection. You have to be able to assist. You are the alpha!

#4. Many breeds have been abused and virtually destroyed in North America for various reasons, leaving them an unacceptable choice for small children. There's really two main reasons:

An astronomical rise in hazardous breeding, resulting in mentally unstable animals. This is common with the Pitt Bull, Golden Retriever, Doberman, and Dalmation, just to name a few. While many may be familiar with and understand the reasons for mentioning the Pitt Bull and Doberman, both the Dalmation and Golden Retriever have seen a resurgance in popularity in the past decade due to various reasons. Irresponsible breeders have attempted to match the demand, resulting in numerous behavioral issues.

Breeding for aesthetic appearances rather than the health of the dog, resulting in severe health issues. This is common with the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever. Hip displaysia is very common in American-bred German Shepherds, and Goldens may have severe allergies resulting in coat problems, skin problems, and weight issues.

The above can be avoided by going with a reputable breeder to find an animal that meets your needs, but this will be extremely expensive. Just something to keep in mind.

#5. Even the most expensive dog of the best lines is going to need training and interaction with your family. If you want a social dog and not a beast on a chain, it needs social activities. Lets face it: a dog is a social animal. You have to provide that.

Also, I highly recommend a solid foundation of obedience training with a local trainer experienced with your particular breed, preferribly recommended by your breeder. Each breed is different and may require different approaches in training. Your breeder had better be able to provide a list of preferred trainers, or I wouldn't be purchasing from them.

#6. Any dog of the working dog breeds - most notably the German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, and Labradore Retriever - are going to have varying levels of high drives. If you don't provide an outlet for these drives (going for runs/long walks, playing ball for an hour a day, obedience training, etc), they'll let you know in ways you'll find unacceptable. This will most likely be expensive and destructive. Its the dogs way of letting you know that you're not providing the stimulation they require. Its frustration on their part, not vengance for being locked up (although it may seem that way lol). They are some of the most loyal, loving, adoring animals on the planet, but they require a tad bit of work to keep satisified.

#7. Personal Protection Dogs. In a word? No. They're more hassle than they're worth (and can be easily stopped by someone who's motivated). They're incredibly expensive, both in finances and one's personal time. You don't just buy one and put it on the shelf like a firearm or other tool - they require daily work to keep proficiency up, with trainers who know exactly what they're doing. They may also open the door for legal action against you in court should they bite someone ("a killer dog", etc.). People have been sued (and lost money) over much dumber things.

Consider that any intruder who's determined enough to enter a home to cause violence, full well knowing a large dog is there, is not going to be stopped by any dog. Thats why the dog's just a part of the system rather than the entire system.

With young children in the house, I don't think I could ever seriously consider trying to make a PPD a pet. There's just too many variables, too many problems that can arise, and with a young child in the house it's not worth the frustrations.

In short, get a dog that fits your needs from a reputable breeder. Raise the dog and your children together; let them laugh, love, grow, learn, go on adventures, and do stupid kid/puppy things.

When strangers prowl, chances are the dog will do its thing - and then it'll be time to do yours.

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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by Hatch » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:49 am

Good post, Dog Off Leash! I agree with all of your points, but I can definitely concur on points #4 and #6. My wife and I got our GSD from a very reputable breeder that works only with German working dog bloodlines. Not only was the dog very expensive, but the closest reputable breeder of that sort was a 6-hour drive away. And that dog is a firecracker. She is ready to play 24 hours a day, and requires three or four hard-running 20 minute play sessions per day or else she gets into mischief. I just ordered a treadmill for the wife and I, but I think I'm going to train the dog to use it, as well. She's always ready for more exercise.

But I'll say this, all the expense and work is worth it at the end of the day. That dog is incredible. Strong, healthy, beautiful, and SMART AS HELL. Her training was easy, she quickly learns new commands, and she does well at interpreting basic English (non-command) instructions. She has a very even temperament, non-aggressive, was easy to socialize, and is great around kids and new people - but she is very protective of my wife (the dog's primary handler), which was one of our motivations in getting the dog. All around, the best dog I could have hoped for, and I'd recommend a working line GSD to anyone looking for a large breed family dog (provided they are willing to put in the necessary effort).

Again DOL, great bullet points to go by when choosing a large breed family dog. Thanks for posting that.

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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by Citizen Simon » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:59 am

Just an update.

I am going w/ Rhodesian Ridgeback.
I got in touch with a reputable breeder (that breeds for temperament and is recognized by the RRCUS and AKC) in a champion bloodline, which will put the cost of my pup at about $1000 to $1500. They were born about 15 days ago and I talk to my breeder a couple times a week just to keep updated. (and have been for several weeks before the birth)
I have started taking obedience courses w/ another one of my dogs at a local school so I have a better understanding of dogs, the teacher shows a ridgeback and has good experience w/ the breed. If she pleases my interests w/ this dog I will be bringing my ridgeback to her classes. I fully intend for my RR to have the Canine Good Citizen title at the absolute minimum.
I have read Puppies for Dummies, Before and after getting your puppy by Ian Dunbar, The Other End of the Leash by McConnell, have another 3 books on dogs including two specific to RRs and a Monks of New Skete book. I will certainly read more than these, however these are all I have in possession right now. I intend on reading at least these books before I pick up my pup. I've also got some good DVDs on dog training and have subscribed to a RR magazine. (Of which my breeder had a fabulous 5 page advertisement in for Aug. which had pictures of the bitch that whelped my pup) Since I started this thread I have gone from a complete novice w/ no dog knowledge to a amateur w/ a decent beginner's understanding. I'm taking it quite seriously.

I understand that a dog is not a security system, and dont have the expectation of it to single handily protect the house. However I think this breed's size, protective nature, and temperament, as well as the socialization it will receive (at my hands), should make it a perfect fit. We have alarm systems, guns, combat experience, and cell phones in my house. Ultimately, although I didn't mention any of the points you (Dog Off Leash) listed originally I have since educated myself enough w/ dogs that all of those things have been taken into consideration. I've joined several RR forums/mailing lists and asked many questions about socialization w/ babies, guarding, ect ect, and got answers to all my concerns. (many of which I didnt even know to be concerned about until after I educated myself on dogs a little)

Hatch, I feel you on the breeder thing, mine is almost a 9 hour drive. (although it is not too far from my home town before the military, and I know a good amount of people in that state. However Louisiana is not a big RR state) I only got confirmation this week that I would be getting one of the pups. I pulled every sympathetic card I could out of the book. Ha ha! Glad I got one, I think I am the only person buying a dog from her not for therapy or for showing.

On a different note, RR are used often to rehabilitate soldier's with PTSD, which I'm sure some of you ass holes think plagues me. Fuck off. (however, if I do get it certified as a therapy dog I will take it to visit the soldiers in the hospital on post, 10 mins from my house)

Anyway, I would like to thank everyone for the great advice. If you think there is something missed, let me know. Thanks for everything!
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by Oneswunk » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:09 am

Great choice.
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by bonanacrom » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:13 am

#7. Personal Protection Dogs. In a word? No. They're more hassle than they're worth (and can be easily stopped by someone who's motivated). They're incredibly expensive, both in finances and one's personal time. You don't just buy one and put it on the shelf like a firearm or other tool - they require daily work to keep proficiency up, with trainers who know exactly what they're doing. They may also open the door for legal action against you in court should they bite someone ("a killer dog", etc.). People have been sued (and lost money) over much dumber things.
Must disagree with you here. I know people that have " protection dogs " and only train them to be pets. There natural instincts have stopped things from happening before. As to a motivated person dealing with them ? One tried that before, he was motivated by wanting to stay out of jail when chased by the cops. He told the cops after that he saw the warning sign for the dog and thought fuck it it's a dog and climbed the fence anyway. The impact the dog made on the fence with the man still on it sent him flying. And he instantly knew he wasn't going to deal with that dog. There have been others. I hear the it's just a dog and easily dealt with all the time. Mostly from people who have never dealt with one before.
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by Citizen Simon » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:20 am

bonanacrom wrote:#7. Personal Protection Dogs. In a word? No. They're more hassle than they're worth (and can be easily stopped by someone who's motivated). They're incredibly expensive, both in finances and one's personal time. You don't just buy one and put it on the shelf like a firearm or other tool - they require daily work to keep proficiency up, with trainers who know exactly what they're doing. They may also open the door for legal action against you in court should they bite someone ("a killer dog", etc.). People have been sued (and lost money) over much dumber things.
Must disagree with you here. I know people that have " protection dogs " and only train them to be pets. There natural instincts have stopped things from happening before. As to a motivated person dealing with them ? One tried that before, he was motivated by wanting to stay out of jail when chased by the cops. He told the cops after that he saw the warning sign for the dog and thought fuck it it's a dog and climbed the fence anyway. The impact the dog made on the fence with the man still on it sent him flying. And he instantly knew he wasn't going to deal with that dog. There have been others. I hear the it's just a dog and easily dealt with all the time. Mostly from people who have never dealt with one before.
Thanks for the advice. I thought we had kinda progressed past personal protection dogs. Felt that way at least.
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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by freeride » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:28 pm

I see that you've already made your mind up, and I do believe that it's a fine choice, but I wanted to put my opinion in about my chosen breed, the Cane Corso.

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(Neither one of these are mine, and believe it or not, the top picture is a female CC)

The Cane Corso is a large breed of Italian Mastiff (Not THE Italian Mastiff, that's the Neo) that was bred for livestock and home protection. Basically, my dog is currently about 120lbs of solid black, never back down, scared of nothing, fight a freight train if it whistled and scared my wife sort of dog, and he's not even fully grown yet (he's about 16 months). They have short hair, shed little (although a bit more than you'd think), don't drool (except right after drinking a bit or if you're REALLY teasing him with some people food) and is as loyal as a dog can be. Here's a couple pictures of my boy, Luca, from his first birthday. He's around 90-95lbs here and about 29in at the shoulder.

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They are NOT easy puppies and are NOT for first time dominant dog owners. They have the bite strength to destroy bones and toys and will do so. If allowed to dominate your family, they'll take over. You must be prepared for a trial, but if you pass it, you'll get one of the greatest dogs of all time. They're also not cheap, with a properly-bred example going for $1500 plus as a puppy. They require LOTS of exercise, or they will destroy your home. If you don't have a yard, don't get a CC.

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Re: Guard/Family Dog

Post by LemmeHitYa » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:14 pm

Citizen Simon-I'm very excited for you! Please please please post pics when you're able... I love dogs but can't have one yet due to space/time constraints, so I'll be living vicariously through you for the time being. :D

Freeride-that's some dog. He's beautiful.

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