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Old September 28, 2009, 11:10 AM   #26
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German Shepherd fits my lifestyle best. Bucky is always available to accompany me or my wife and he is happy to stay home and watch the homestead. The only training he gets is citizenship and obedience. I never feel the need to investigate any sounds inside or out at night unless I am alerted by Bucky. He can distinguish and analyze sounds I can't even hear and he sleeps with both ears and one eye open. I sleep like a baby with the big guy on duty.
When Bucky was young he needed about two hours a day of exercise usually in two one hour sessions. I was sometimes able to recruit neighborhood kids and friends to help. Sometimes the kids would come and ask if he could go out to play with them. When his time comes, I intend to adopt an older dog so that I can keep up with him. Would never want to not have a dog friend.
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Old September 28, 2009, 12:10 PM   #27
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As someone pointed out, all dogs have a sense of what is right and wrong. Even the smallest act as alarms, and that will to a certian level disuade an intruder as they know they have just lost the element of suprise. That said...

A dog that is good with kids.
A dog that loves my kids.
A dog that I can bring in public without hesitation.
A dog that makes me laugh.
A dog that herds the cats.
A dog that can tell friend from foe.
A dog that growls at any foe that moves along the perimeter.
A dog that barks to me at any friend or foe that did crosses that perimeter.
A dog that will defend my family.
A dog that will be my best friend.

That said...
German Shepherd Dog. Large, athletic, loyal, personable, alert, intellegent, proven history of all the things I value in a dog. Plus they are very handsome (subjective) and are difficult to see in the dark. They have a medium to long coat which helps with winters (I am a Vermonter still at heart...) and they generally don't like water, wich helps them to not stink.

Ever notice that there are not any wild canines with floppy ears?
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Old September 28, 2009, 12:20 PM   #28
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We had a German Shepard and considered her about as good a dog as there can be. She was loving, extremely loyal and protective. We were often amazed at how she would just kinda figure out what we expected of her, then act accordingly. She never barked without a good reason and if she did alert, I learned very quickly that I needed to pay attention.

She never did bite anyone, but I was very amused when the daughter was a young teen and a boy came over the house to visit her. As the lad started to approach her room, the dog just clamped on his sleeve and held him there in the hallway. I walked by and watched for minute, then told him that the dog insisted he visit my daughter in the family room. After a squeaky "Yes Sir!" from the boy and a "leave it!" command from me, the kids had a nice little visit.... in the family room.
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Old September 28, 2009, 12:32 PM   #29
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Are meaner bred dogs better than possibly more loyal breeds?
There is no such thing as a mean breed of dog. A dog is only as good/bad as his trainer.
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Old September 28, 2009, 12:49 PM   #30
Willie Lowman
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American pit bull, English bull terrier, Jack Russel. Not real smart dogs except the Jack Russel. The bulls will love you unconditionally and the females are great with children. Mine were anyway.

Pits have a terrible reputation but it isn't the fault of the breed that some of their owners are idiots.

One of my friends lives in Columbus has a pit. He says everyone in the neighborhood is scared of the dog . He jokes that he gets more reaction from his dog than if he walked down the street with a shotgun. The scariness of a dog factor?

FWIW I hate chows.
"9mm has a very long history of being a pointy little bullet moving quickly" --Sevens
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Old September 28, 2009, 12:54 PM   #31
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There is no such thing as a mean breed of dog. A dog is only as good/bad as his trainer.
True story. Treat any dog inhumanely and watch it bite everything that's taller than it. Training my dog was the best decision, I didn't have the right techniques on my own.
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Old September 28, 2009, 12:54 PM   #32
Trigger Finger
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There is nothing like a good Rotweiller to discourage unwanted and uninvited guests! I like a dog that can take care of the small stuff on the Ranch when I am not around!
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Old September 28, 2009, 12:54 PM   #33
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I have had Rotts in the past. I currently have a Boerboel. Both breeds are Johnny on the spot when it comes to defending their masters and home turf.
"There are no stupid questions, just stupid people asking questions".
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Old September 28, 2009, 01:14 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Mastifflover
Whenever I see people talk about how they want a "mean", "aggressive" dog it kind of irritates me. If you aren't first and foremost getting a dog as a companion you are doing yourself and especially the dog a big disservice. On top of that you open yourself up to a boatload of liability if the dog bites someone because they are not properly trained.
What Mastifflover said, in spades. Guard dogs are first and foremost companions just as any other dog is. He needs to spend time with you and any other people in your family, and get the same love and companionship from humans that any pet would get. He needs to be socialized properly around other people. He needs to be trained, and *you* need to be trained to handle him properly.

If you don't treat a guard dog properly, or if you mistreat a dog of a strongly territorial or aggressive breed, you won't get a guard dog. Instead, you'll get a mean dog. Mean dogs are difficult to control and inevitably bite the *wrong* people. When that happens, your dog gets killed for your mistake (which is utterly unjust), and you end up with bills to pay, a lawsuit, and often a criminal case on your hands. In worst case scenarios, a person or some people will die because of your mistake,

A properly trained guard dog is not a mean dog. He'll warn people who are encroaching on his territory. He'll attack people who continue to come despite warnings, or who sneak into places that the dog knows he is supposed to guard. However, such a dog is *under control*. When called off by the owner or anybody that the dog has been trained to listen to, he will quit attacking immediately. I've watched dog trainers and guard dog owners with their trained guard dogs, and the degree of control the owner or trainer has over the dog is breathtaking. That's the result of a dog who loves and trusts his owner. You don't get that any other way.

Knock on my door and you'll hear a 207 pound Mastiff on the other side that sounds like he wants to make you kibble. But here's the best part. If your someone I know I tell Hannibal to sit and I let you in, then the only thing you have to worry about is being kissed and slobbered on to death. Training is the key no matter what kind of dog you want to get.
I'd love to meet your mastiff. A well-trained, happy mastiff is a wonderful sight. :-) Of course, I happen to think a well-trained, happy *dog* of any breed is a wonderful sight -- I like all dogs better than I do most people and I'm not a people hater by any means. ;-)
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Old September 28, 2009, 01:19 PM   #35
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Well said!
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Old September 28, 2009, 01:22 PM   #36
Bud Helms
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I know its not quite on topic ...

"The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion." - John Lawton, speaking to the American Association of Broadcast Journalists in 1995
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