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Personal Protection Dog


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I've always had a soft spot for Dobermans.  

A friend of mine used to live on North Avenue in Baltimore - think "The Wire" - and he had a couple of dobies.  One was a big male and very intimidating.  For some reason when we first met he stuck to me like glue.  So in the interest of making friends I did my best to break the ice and started petting him.  That's when I found a rock hard knot somewhere on the back of his neck.  Since I wasn't going anywhere I gave the boy a first class massage and worked the knot out. I'll never forget the look of relief in that dog's eyes and body language when I was done. After that we were buds for life and my opinion of Dobermans was changed forever.

Someday I'd like to have one myself.

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calgaryrookie

A dog for personal protection???????

Seems to me two other courses of action are more promising....

1) Move out of that neighbourhood PRONTO if it's THAT dangerous that you need a dog on top of the security system, pepper spray, gun, deadbolts, etc. etc.  

or

2) Some therapy to address that paranoia, if the area isn't as described above.

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German Shepard . I love my gsp's and my weim but I have to say Maverick was my favorite dog . That shephard just knew when to be agressive and when to back down . It's like they have a 6th sense . Great around the neighborhood , kids and adults , everyone loved him . But don't try to come in my house unannounced . He stood a guy up in my back hall one day , paws on his shoulders , face to face , boy did he s... his pants . My wife wants another . I sure do miss that dog .
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After that we were buds for life and my opinion of Dobermans was changed forever.

They're tough dogs, too.  In '83 and '84, I was pumping gas in a Staten Island service station.  Our guard dog was a Doberman -- the nastiest dog I ever knew.  It bit everybody but Benny, the station owner.  He loved that freaking dog, and would hear no evil spoken about him.

Can't tell you how many times we let that damn dog go - he always came back.  One night, the tow truck guy got a leash on the dog, tied him in the bed of the rig, drove him to the other side of the Island, then released him.  He was back by morning.  One of the mechanics even broke up a flourescent bulb, stuck the pieces into a calzone, then fed it to the dog -- not a single digestive tract issue.  Dog was still there when the station closed down - Benny had stopped paying the taxes on his gasoline 3 years before...

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Dog was still there when the station closed down - Benny had stopped paying the taxes on his gasoline 3 years before...

I think we all need one of those!

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Find out exactly what she is looking for in a “protection” dog. I would be able to steer her in the right direction from there. I would advise her to contact her local Shutzhund Club. She will need to get involved and a lot of education. Any dog can do the job, but the primary breeds are the German Shepherd dog, the Belgium Malinois, Belgium Shepherd, Rottweiler and I know of many Airedale Terriers, Bouvier De Flanders, and even seen a Shutzhund-3 black Labrador Retriever. Shutzhund produces defensive dogs, which differs from Police patrol dogs which are offensive / defensive dogs.

The key is that the dogs are trained and as such you can turn them on and off. Without the training any dog is unpredictable. Additionally, most dogs that aren’t trained to bite will give light bites or nips as opposed to a full bite and hold on. That type of bite is trained. At the beginning of the training you teach the dog that A) it is okay to bite people, B) that it is a game and not true aggression. Essentially, you are training the dog that people are pray. The dog must then be trained to stand its ground, bite or hold on even when the person being the aggressor lounges at or yells and or hits the dog. Meaning that without the training, most dogs will back away when struck by the aggressor and may not go back in.

As for Pit-bulls, although extremely tough dogs, they are not chosen for bite work because they do not like to release when ordered to do so even with training.

Nobirdshere, is correct, many home owner insurance companies will not insure you with certain breeds and you would also need to check about “protection” trained dogs.  

Jay

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northern_hunting_mom

Local bylaws may be restrictive with a protection dog, paranoia I guess. One bylaw that can negate having a protection dog is the requirement of having a muzzle on the dog. Its like having a bullet in your hand without the gun and expecting a bad guy to back off.

One friend of mine years ago had Belgian Tervurens, they were great dogs. Loren's family had a Doberman when he was a baby. She was great but many people were too scared to let their kids play over there and everyone had to call ahead before coming for a visit.

From the little I've read (and I think some was on here) Malinois can be.... touchy.

There are many breeds I hope to own one day, the Bouvier is one of them. A friend had one that always got foxtail seeds embedded in his paws. I would lay on the dog (strictly for comfort, the dog wouldn't even twitch), pull them out with tweezers then wrap his paws in Vetrap. His coat was surprisingly easy to care for.

Funny sidenote- I thought Digger was a wuss but then again, we've never been scared by a person. When we went on a long weekend camping trip, Digger stayed home. A local teen came by to feed, water etc while we were gone. I made sure to introduce Digger to him a couple times but I guess the poor guy still had to convince Digger he could come in. Once his hand was on the food bag, it was all wiggles and whimpers after that.

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My vote would be for an airedale as they can make great hunters and are very cool dogs.  Growing up, a friend of my father had one.  He worked for some conservation groups like Audubon, etc and lived next to a huge tract of land in CT that he watched over.  Spent much of my youth with him and my dad out in the woods.  His airedale  always impressed the heck out of me.
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some good youtube material out there:

i don't care who you are, that's scary coming at ya.  I love it how their ears are pinned back for the chase and then when they "acquire the target" they pop up....very cool stuff, intimidating, but cool.

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A dog for personal protection???????

Seems to me two other courses of action are more promising....

1) Move out of that neighbourhood PRONTO if it's THAT dangerous that you need a dog on top of the security system, pepper spray, gun, deadbolts, etc. etc.  

or

2) Some therapy to address that paranoia, if the area isn't as described above.

PSHEW, someone finally sounds reasonable.

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I had a black lab female that was a easy going as can be.  That was until she felt a threat around and she would growl and position herself between you and the danger.  Shocked heck out of me fist time she did it.  I didn't know she had it in her.

I agree.  I believe that any large, intelligent, loyal breed will offer good personal protection.  And that is without the liability associated with a trained “protection” dog that has some natural tendency toward aggressiveness. I had an oversize Lab, 120 lbs of solid muscle.  He was the biggest puppy you ever saw.  He loved everyone and I would never have thought for a minute he would be a protection dog.  One day when we were traveling we stopped at a rest area.  A young, glassy eyed man approached me as I was walking Buddy and said “hey man, do you have any money I could borrow?”  I replied that I did not.  As he took another step towards me he said “show me your wallet, I know you have some money in your wallet.”  At that my apprehension level shot up.  Without a word being said Buddy positioned himself between us, his hair raised, his teeth exposed and emitted a deep growling bark.  He had a massive chest and his bark could be physically felt.  I have no doubt he would have taken the guy out if he did not turn tail and run.  That and other occurrences convinced me that dogs actually can sense fear and other emotions and react accordingly.  Once late in the night at a middle of nowhere gas station I turned the ignition key and nothing happened.  Not a word was spoken but I had this “oh *#@%” moment and Buddy instantly reacted.  He jumped around the inside of the van and started growling.  He was not sure what was going on but knew I was upset about something, all without a word being said.  He would wag his tail at anyone who came in the yard with good intentions.  Fortunately no one ever came in the yard whos intentions were not good, but I trust Buddy would know if they were not.  All by some sensing system we may never understand.  My current female Lab is also a good protection dog but she wears it on her sleeve by barking at strangers who come to the house.  I am just as confident she would never allow anyone to hurt her family.

My suggestion would be to get a large stock lab from a good breeder.  Rots are nice intelligent, intimidating dogs also. Invest the time to develop the right alpha relationships, give it lots of personal love and attention, and get obedience training.  A large faithful companion dog is all the protection most people need.  If she needs more than that, she needs to reconsider her circumstances.

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If I was a woman I would have a big agressive dog of some kind AND a pocket pistol, the world is unfortunately full of predators looking for the small and weak.

IMO any german shepard or dobe would do that female dogs are far more protective and territorial in my experience.

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I just bought a Shepard.  I always had them growing up and my wife wanted a protection dog for when I travel.  Very smart and affectionate.  That would be my recommendation.  Let me know if you want the breeders name.
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First I know most insurance companies will give you a lower homeowners rate if you have what they consider a “dangerous” breed when it is behavior trained as opposed to not behavior trained. So liability is less with a Shutzhund or similar trained dog. Where the liability comes in is when you have a dog and know it is protective and it does bite someone and you took no steps to modify its behavior then you are liable. Of course the laws are different for each State.

If memory serves me correctly Labrador retrievers are #1 or #2 for biting people in the USA.  The point is that a well trained dog who knows how to bite is much less of a liability then one that is not trained. The dog that is protection trained and certified is going to be under control of its self and thusly less apt to bite. The family dog that has no bite work training or has been encouraged to play tug of war and other “dominance” games is much more of a liability, as that dog just knows its okay to bite and pull on things people. So with them you will get a one time, light bite and the dog generally backs off and looks chagrined about what it has done. dogs that have been mistreated to bring out the true aggression (inner city pit-bulls) have been tied up and beaten every day with a board. This over agitates the dog. When the dog calms a little the owner then takes the dog out for demonstrating how bad it is or for fighting. These are the worst dogs as there is mistreatment that is associated with the aggression. Here are two links that have a lot of interesting statistics on dog bites.

http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/statistics.html

http://www.iii.org/media/hottopics/insurance/dogbite/

I do not wish to offend anyone, but WE all would like to think our dogs would defend us. Visions of an attacker coming at us and our dog jumping in there and grabbing the bad guy with a bite on the arm or wherever, run through our heads. It is normal and most people believe that or hope/wish for that. The reality is that dogs are protective to an extent, but generally will back away if the assailant continues his attack. Police working dogs have to have super high drive to excel at bite work. A lot of the dogs that are real working Police dogs are dogs that most people couldn’t control because of their drive. They are hyper, dominant, and some aggressive.

Jay

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I'm sure Jays right so I think a good bluff dog and a 38 snubbie would be a good idea for your sister. I would not want the responsibility of a true bite dog.

Of course there are not a lot of muggings committed on big southern rednecks :D

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