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View Poll Results: Which breed of dog would make the worst civilian protection dog?
Collie 27 47.37%
German Shepherd 11 19.30%
Rotweiller 13 22.81%
Doberman Pincher 6 10.53%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 25, 2001, 10:13 AM   #26
J.B. Hickok
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Quite often people get it in their head that they need a protection trained dog and nothing can be said to change their minds. I stated in my first post that perhaps the person should consider a dog just as a deterant.
Boris, I completely agree with that statement. That is, in part, the reasons I contended, and still do, that even the lowly collie, not normally thought of as an agressive dog, can be suitable as a protection dog. Most people look at the prospect of a dog as a protector more casually than a trainer or someone with years of protection and/or partol dog experience. To them, the casual owner, the dog is a family pet first and a protector second. This is even more often the case when there are children in the home. I have to say that my opinion of anyone that would return a dog after inviting it and keeping it in their home once it did not measure up is not a favorable one. (It is shame that dogs can not trade in unsuitable owners.)

Anothony, I to once knew a Great Dane who, with no formal training, was a ferocious guardian of his family. I have known too a male toy Poodle that herded cattle and did quite well at it. In the latter example this is akin to employing a wrench to drive nails but it worked. However, in the case of the Collie I do think it too much of a leap from what is traditionally thought of as the breeds character to function well as a family protection dog.
That is the reason I suggested getting one and only after doing what I offered with the dog you evaluate the individual dog to see if it has the potential to justify spending money with a professional trainer. If it does, and chances are it will, then you are well on your way to having an excellent family pet/protection dog. If not it can serve as a back up and companion to the next one.
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Old November 25, 2001, 01:47 PM   #27
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I have owned many dogs, and of different breeds.

I got Snowdog (my large-bone German Shepherd) as an eight-week-old pup four years ago... I was instantly in love with the breed. They are incredibly responsive and intelligent.

Once I got my German Shepherd, I never looked back. Any other dogs I may own in the future will certainly be German Shepherds as well, not a doubt in my mind.
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Old November 26, 2001, 12:08 AM   #28
Art Eatman
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I've had a number of dogs during my years, and have known a lot of friends' dogs. Seems to me, overall, that for a good "take care of you" dog, a good Shepherd pup, raised in one's family, just naturally is protective of "his" people.

I'm talking here of a dog with little or no training, just following his nature. I don't at all mean to knock any other breed, and certainly understand the value of competent, professional training.

Most folks just want to buy a pup, take it home, and let it grow up in the expectation that all manner of good attributes will just naturally occur. That's just the way people ARE. By and large, a Shepherd commonly seems to come pretty close to filling the bill...

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Old November 26, 2001, 12:27 AM   #29
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a collie would be a fine choice

i think that almost any working dog can fit the bill as a home protector. they are probably the best alarm system ever developed by man. they are always "on" and ask very little in return for their services. food and fresh water (and of course routine vet visits) will make them dependable and loyal.

i personally have two mixed breeds. both of them are half border collies. they are well adjusted to both other dogs and people and would not attack anything unprovoked. but they would not hesitate to jump into a hostile situation. there main job is to let us know when someone is around. we live in the country and whenever someone comes near we usually know about before our visitors do.

just don't expect the impossible from a collie. they are not bred to be attack dogs. but for what you require, they will suffice. just remember, they will only be as good as you train them to be. instinct can only take a dog so far, the rest is left up to the owner.

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Old November 26, 2001, 12:36 AM   #30
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".....and ask very little in return for their services. food and fresh water (and of course routine vet visits) will make them dependable and loyal."

Just a minor point not directed at anyone.
They ask for more than that, they ask for our love and affection. They ask to be made a part of the family or pack. I am convinced that this is one of the primary drives of a dog which ranks right up with food and water. We have all heard the stories about a dog walking half way across the country to be reunited with it's owners. Something that I find heart wrenching is when I see people mistreat dogs and the dog still expresses it's love to some POS that doesn't deserve it. The phrase, Man's Best Friend is one of the truest statements ever made.

Rant mode on; If you don't want a dog in your house, if you don't have the time to give a dog the attention that it deserves, don't get one at all. Do not sentence a dog to a life of being chained up in the yard. It doesn't deserve it.
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Old November 26, 2001, 12:39 AM   #31
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right on 444

dogs should be treated with dignity and respect. well said.
mine are part of the family and i wouldn't have it any other way.
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Old November 26, 2001, 06:36 PM   #32
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I'd also like to add that there is a distinct difference between an "intelligent" dog and an "obedient" dog.

Again using the Siberian Husky example, it is highly intelligent and possess extremely high problem solving skills (Huskies have been known to figure out operating mechanisms of their kennels gates and escape), but it is NOT obedient or easily trainable.

To be fair, almost any dog can be trained using various (more or less Pavlovian) methods, but some dogs are simply more eager to please their owners than others.

Huskies, for example, really don't care how their owners feel. They are independent and do what pleases them. German Shepherds in comparison are enormously eager to please their masters.

Some dogs are less intelligent, but also eager to please and easy to train. Of course, the best of both worlds is an intelligent dog that is eager to please.

I've been using the clicker training method and it has excellent results!

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Old December 1, 2001, 06:41 PM   #33
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I've had a 120 lb brindle Akita sleeping next to my bed every night for the last 13 years. Incredible dog- very quiet, gentle with my kids, does what he's told.
I would second what's been said about deterrent dogs. I worked to make sure that Bushido was trained not to be aggressive at all when he was a puppy. No one in their right mind would threaten an Akita's people in his presence, and if someone did push it he doesn't need to be trained to react. I don't need the headache of a dog that acts aggressive and might need ongoing training on when and when not to bite people.
I would second the comment that if you want a dog for a purpose, get one that's bred for it.
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Old December 1, 2001, 09:41 PM   #34
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I've owned a few dogs over the years (mostly mutts). About 15 years ago I purchased a collie thinking it would be the perfect family dog (okay, I grew up watching Lassie). Rusty turned out to be THE most territorial dog I've ever owned. He would not allow the mailman into the yard. He was aggressive toward any strangers, but it was absolute war with the mailman. He would stand his ground and there was no question he was for real. Normally he was in the fenced in back yard, but occasionally he would get out, especially if he was playing with the kids. He was great with the kids, especially after he grew to adulthood.

Now I don't know if collies would be good as a "protection" dog, but I think that "Lassie" image probably keeps them from being considered.

My two year old son was a little rough with Rusty as a puppy, but the dog got revenge by the time he was six months old. He would literally herd Christopher across the living room. He would use his body to "bump" Christopher wherever he wanted him to go.

Rusty's long gone now. His replacement (caliber 45) provides no warning if someone's at the door, and no heat on your feet on a cold night.
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Old December 14, 2001, 01:29 AM   #35
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Posts: 590 Golden Retriever is FAR too friendly to be much use, even as a deterrent. Besides, he's asleep most of the time. Of course, I don't really care...I've had him since I was eight (I'm eighteen now) and he's my buddy.
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Old December 14, 2001, 04:44 AM   #36
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Any dog is FAR better than no dog. The best all around dog in the world BAR NONE is a well bred German Shepard.
I have not personally owned one, but my beast friend had a German Shepard (from Germany) and she was the best
dog I have ever known. She had five litters of puppies and STILL lived to be 16 years old before she passed. NO hip problems and no other health problems. 110 lbs. Huge dog. No one would mess with her. But she was obediant and
well behaved. She saved my friends life a couple of times. The German shepard breed is the most inteligent and
trainable dog. It is not a fluke that they are the #1 police, bomb sniffing and seeing eye dog breed. They are
wonderfull, beautiful, inteligent and supremely loyal animals. I have a black Lab right now. He is a GREAT dog. But
labs are not agressive enough to be guard dogs. Unlike many other defensive breeds such as pit-bulls, dobermans, rotweilers etc, Shepards do not have unpredictably violent tendencies. They can be trusted around children, NO PROBLEM.
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Old December 14, 2001, 06:06 AM   #37
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It looks like Boris is using a very specific definition, and others are using terms more loosely. Boris, would you please give us a definition of "protection dog" and "deterrant dog"? You're the expert here. And I thank you for your input.

If a deterrant dog is one that can alert you, and perhaps scare away the average burglar, and MAYBE launch a successful attack against a more determined intruder, then I nominate the mastiff breed. Very gentle with kids, and has a bark that seems to come from the very bowels of the earth. And the size alone is a great deterrant.

For a trip wire, any of the little yappers will do, if you can stand the wretched varmints. I prefer a dog that keeps it's mouth shut until there's a real reason to bark. I don't care for the crying wolf business, and I don't need the constant noise.

BTW, I second the less than favorable remarks on the cocker spaniel. It's also one of the LEAST trustworthy around children.

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Old December 14, 2001, 12:57 PM   #38
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I have two miniture weiner dogs. One male and one female. Both fixed, so no puppies. But they are real sissies when it comes to being aggressive with people. They are the most gentle and loving dogs, but they will bark with a 'big-dog' bark when people or noises arrive. And then advance on the new arrival and lick it or roll over.

However, the male is incredibly aggressive towards varmits and birds. I've seen him catch one rabbit and almost one squirrel. But other dogs he considers friends. But he will tear up varmits. The female however will love everything.

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Old December 14, 2001, 07:45 PM   #39
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Thank you Captain. I appreciate your support. A protection dog is a dog trained in bitework for personal or property protection. He does not NATURALLY PROTECT. We train them to BITE by stimulating natural drives. These drives are PREY and DEFENSIVE. In prey drive the dog naturally chase the prey and bite. In prey drive the dog does not feel threatened by the prey. So it will whole heartedly without concern for it's safety, chase the prey and bite it. In defense drive, the dog feels a threat from the subject. Whether the dog will bite depends on the confidence of the dog. In a defensive situation a dog's natural reaction is either fight or flight. Most dog's reactions is to get away from the threat. Also a dog who barks from the end of a chain, leash or from behind a fence or door is not necessarily a confident dog. As long as the dog is restrained by the fence or leash, he may be more confident. Like a person who when someone is holding them back, talks the most -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-. But when no one is holding them, they mind their tongue. And are more reluctant to engage the other person. We ultimately want a balanced dog, in both prey and defense drives. A dog should be confident enough to not perceive the subject as a threat. But if the subject threatens him, he should be confident enough in defense to continue and thrive on the fight. Now all of this does not mean that the dog is unsociable. In fact the dog's temperment should allow the dog to switch from friendly to bitework without making the dog untrusting. Also the dog does not actually protect. He follows commands. In his head he does not understand protect the human. He understands commands, situational training and personal threat. Dogs are not like Rin Tin Tin. They do not reason. They have the mentality of a 2 or 3 year old child.
A DETERANT DOG. Is just simply a dog that deters a threat. Either visably or audiably. The sight of a large dog ( Like the mastiff) or the sound of the thunderous bark of the large breeds is enough to make most people keep walking. ( Or running) A deterant dog can be trained through limited defensive work to bark when it perseives a threat. Not necessarilly engage the threat. German Shepherd dogs are also good deterants because when someone see a German Shepherd dog they think police dog. Even if they do not believe that the person is a policeman, they subconsciously relate the dog to authority.
I know this is a long post but it is a subject that I cannot explain shortly. I there is still so much I did not mention.
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Old December 16, 2001, 01:38 PM   #40
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Thank you for all the responses so far. Please keep them coming. I'm learning a great deal about this subject and it is helping my planning process immensely.

Please do not worry about being long winded.

The more detail you can contribute the better.

- Anthony
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Old December 17, 2001, 03:59 PM   #41
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Hi all. Newbie here. Hope nobody minds my butting in.

Collies are great dogs. Besides, look how many times Lassie pulled Timmy's bacon out of the fire.

Seriously, I'm with some of the others here. Any dog of reasonable intelligence that is well treated will do. Don't overlook the mutt. They can be just as reliable as any other breed. In addition, mutts generally don't suffer from some of the problems associated with overbreeding.

Again, as some of the others have stated, give the dog a good home and he will do his part, its in his nature, whatever his breed or lack thereof.
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Old December 17, 2001, 04:21 PM   #42
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collies are insane if their pure , big mean unpredectable biters,
beast dog I've had is german shepard, black lab, rottweiler, best
mix, especcialy if they show the lab part more, big mean killing machine but loving too. this means the dog described is a mutt,
not 3 dogs
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Old December 17, 2001, 04:22 PM   #43
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for last post,DUH!!
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Old December 17, 2001, 04:51 PM   #44
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God help whomever decides to break into my home. Our 80lb Border Collie / Golden Retriever mix has a serious protection dog streak and will probably eat anyone who enters unwelcome.

(that's Murphy from off my wife's web page)

Of the dogs listed the Collie may not be the best protection/attack dog, but the are probably the most alert watch dogs of the bunch.
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Ayn Rand
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Old January 1, 2002, 03:45 AM   #45
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I have to reccomend against the german shepard. I used to have a white shepard and hated it. It was a bad dog. It would definatly be good for protection. It would chew up everything and destroy things. It finally bit a little child that was visiting so I took him to the pound that next day and told them she bit a child and was vicious so they would destroy her. Don't even thnk about getting a german shepherd if you will have children around.

We now have a St. Bernard and he is the best dog in the world. He never chews anything, and is the friendliest dog in the world. He is even a very considerate dog. I love him.

Think about what you want the 'protection dog' for. If you want an attack dog then get a german shepherd like junkyard owners do... If you want a house pet then don't. As far as I'm concerned the dog is a good watch dog. He barks real good when someone's coming to the door, or the back door. At night if the dog would let you know someone was near your house or init the dog would give you the time to load, and that's what I think the protection role should be, to buy time to load...

Take care
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Old January 1, 2002, 10:04 AM   #46
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Rail, The problem that you had with the White German Shepherd Dog was exactly that. He was a White German Shepherd Dog. The WGSD's were originally bred specifically for the color of the coat. Breeding lighter and lighter colored GSD's together until the white coat came about. The color of the coat took presidence before the temperment or working ability of the breed. WGSD's temperments GENERALLY tend to be unstable when you view the WGSD's as a WHOLE. When you look at WORKING GSD's, you very seldom see a WGSD. Please do not judge all GSD's by your one experience with the breed. That would be like judging a race of people by one experience that you had with one person. I advocate that anyone interested in ANY BREED, do some research on the breed before purchasing a dog. Do research not only on the breed type, but also in the field of purpose that you want the dog for. As I stated on my earlier posts on this subject, I am a dog trainer. This is what I do. I train pets, search and rescue, sport, detection and police k9's. I not only have experience with GSD's, Malinois and Dutch Shepherd's. But with various other breeds. As opposed to others posting who are posting their opinions from limited experience with these breeds in this field of training. And as far as junkyard dogs, I believe that you will find more Rotties and Pitbulls than GSD's. GSD's are a very versitile breed. You will find them in search and rescue, Police K9's, theropy dog's and Guide and service dog's. BUT THIS DEPENDS ENTIRELY ON THE TEMPERMENT OF THE DOG. St. Bernard's make good family dogs. But I did know of one that bit a child in the family that owned it. But that was one dog. I did not judge the breed on that one dog. The size of the dog makes it a good deterant dog. But as a protection dog, I have never seen one able to be trained as a real protection dog. (Which this post was originally about.)
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Old January 2, 2002, 02:36 PM   #47
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White German Shephards

The smartest and most obediant dog I ever owned was a White German Shepherd. She'd walk over hot coals to please you, and while well tempered around little kids and other dogs, she'd not tolerate vermin, noises she didn't understand, and raised angry voices from the neighbors.

However, she was put to sleep at the age of 18 months due to uncontrollable cluster seizures that started at age 1. As boris_01 expertly described, these dogs' color was what mattered to breeders, not their health.

We have mighty mutts now. Spare yourself having to put a young dog down. You don't want the experience.

By the way, in our many attempts to resolve this dog's seizures, we went to a dog neurologist. Guess what the predominant color of animal in the waiting rooms was? White.

Anyway, in answer to the breed question, I'd go with a large-chested shepherd mix with big hips. Or, any dog will do for protection. Most will naturally protect the Alpha dog (you).
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Old April 16, 2002, 02:48 PM   #48
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Comparing dogs is kind of difficult.

Borris is absolutely correct in terms of a highly trained protection dog. Go with what's proven (shepards, malnois etc)

Raising/Training/Handling a highly trained protection dog is a lifestyle. And chances are it will take years to get good at it.

The fact is most dog owners aren't going to be putting that kind of time & energy into their dogs.

And IMHO the same dogs that excel when it comes to highly trained protection work aren't necessarily the best when un-trained. ie. I wouldn't put an untrained Shepard over an untrained Pit Bull.

American Pit Bull Terriers are pretty well known for being naturally protective of family, especially children. And a well bred Pit Bull will be alot more game than other breeds from the get go.

The idea that Pit Bulls are fearless when it comes to hunting wild boar, but releuctant to approach a human "Threat" I don't buy either. I don't believe that dogs think that way. If they sense something to be a threat to their family, I don't think it matters what form it comes in.

That being said I think there are many other breeds that are also better suited to "Un-trained Protection", American Bulldogs, Rotts, Great Danes, and many many more.

Check here for a nice list of breeds you might not be familiar with that would most likely be good candidates


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Old April 16, 2002, 04:28 PM   #49
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Boris, you've got great info, thanks for sharing it!

May I ask you and the forum for some guidance? What breeds do you recommend for guard-type dogs? My wife and I are looking for a dog that will be good for staying in the house with us at night, be either an indoor or outdoor dog during the day, be good at listening for "bumps" in the night and bark when they hear it, or listening for intruders around our perimeter. Also, short hair and/or dogs that don't shed much would be nice. We're thinking a mid-sized dog, and one that would adapt to a new baby in the house should one come along.

The dog would get training as well, although I suspect I have a lot to learn there as well.
Thanks for any pointers or URLs you might provide!
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Old April 16, 2002, 06:25 PM   #50
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ProStreet, I suggest to most everyone to get a dog for deterant purposes only. Truth is most people never really need a actual "Protection" trained dog. A protection trained dog is a big responsibility and liability. Just look at the dog mauling case that was recently at trial where the presa canarios ( I believe) mauled the young lady to death. The owners were found guilty. And rightly so. For deterant purposes, many breeds. Pitt bull, German Shepherd, Malinois, Rottwieller, etc. As a alarm dog, small dogs like Jack russells, Chihuahuas, Shelties make great alarm dogs. Primarilly because their whole world is inside the house. And they develop such strong bonds because of it. When they feel their world is about to be invaded upon they sound off. German Shepherds are great all around dogs. (My personal favorite.) Great alarm dog, companion, highly trainable, visably authoritative. Just one draw back per your situation......They shed profusely. So it would take an effort with the grooming. You can find them on the small side. And you can pick one with the temperment that suits you. Very versitile breed. But not all German Shepherds are great. Or all breeds for that matter. I suggest getting a young adult dog so that you can test the temperment and know what you are getting. You never know how a puppy will turn out. And finally, don't believe the tale that a dog will naturally protect you. No breed will naturally protect. What most people perceive as protectiveness is more involved than I want to go into now to explain why they possibly react the way they do. So did I help or confuse?
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