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Old 05-22-2007, 05:27 PM
Gempress Gempress is offline
Walks into Mordor
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 11,955

I'm no expert, but I don't think there's such a thing as too big when it comes to personal protection. It's all about defensive work. I think that a giant mastiff is just as good as a smaller dog, if not better. Larger dogs are certainly more intimidating-looking! And it would certainly be harder for a criminal to get through your dog to get at you.

But if it comes to actual apprehension work, like chasing down bad guys, I think size is definately important. While a 280 lb mastiff is intimidating as a personal protector, they just don't have the agility to clamber over high fences and slip through narrow fence cracks in pursuit of a felon.

I remember seeing a video posted on here showing Belgians (probably weighing 60-70 lbs) doing some absolutely amazing apprehension work. Completely vaulting cars to get at the suspects hiding behind them, leaping into moving van windows to latch on to a gunman's arm, and more. It was all done at astounding speed---they looked like bullets. I don't think a fila or bullmastiff is capable of performing like that.
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Old 05-22-2007, 08:47 PM
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RD RD is offline
Are you dead yet?
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 15,572

For personal protection, I don't really think it matters.

I was stunned when a policeman in my area did a demo with his 45lb Belgian Malinois. The dog was the same size as my Border Collie but his athleticism amazed me. That dog could launch himself up to the window of a semi to apprehend a suspect, he was able to clear a 6' wall with a foot to spare, and chase (and take down) a grown man.

I think size is an effective deterrent but it's not everything. I would trust that Malinois with my life just as I would trust a Mastiff - different approach, but the same result.

I think people would be surprised at the quickness of the big dogs, too. If they're bred with function in mind, their size does not compromise their athleticism.
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Old 05-23-2007, 12:04 AM
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oc_spirit oc_spirit is offline
Snow Girl
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,634

I have been told that after you exceed 150# you begin to lose athletisism in general. After that weight you start finding more and more dogs who were bred only for size without much thought about being comformationaly sound/athletic. Back in the day the max. for a Neo weight was 150# for this very reason. That part of the standard has been abolished because of the show breeders who breed for "bigger is better" regardless of the fact that their dogs are so over-done it can hardly move after it finishes its trot around the ring....sad.

But back on track, I have seen and met dogs that are OVER that 150Lbs mark that most certainly are very athletic and very capable of fulfilling their intended job which is why what I stated is a generalism and does not apply to every situation.

"When the rain pours down from the heavens, take my hand and spin me around and we shall dance through the barn at midnight until the moon pokes through the clouds once more and the stars continue our dances in the skies"
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