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  #11  
Old 01-01-2010, 10:31 AM
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FoxyWench FoxyWench is offline
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in terms of intimiadation any larger dark colord dog is a good visial deterent.
want a dog that will back it up though and its a whole new kettle of fish.

im not much help realy, i personally am looking into the boerboel, the fila, the pressa and the cane corso as potential future "protective" breeds, but my personal want is a dog thats not going to feed off my anxiety, something devoted but a slightly independant thinker...a dog whos going to be able to look at me, know im nervous, do a patrol and if all is ok just lay down and show me theres nothing to worry about.

lots of dogs will "feed" off your anxiety making them more anxious and "snippy" which makes YOU more anxious and its a visious cycle...
those with anxiety disorders need that independance in a dog if there getting a protective breed.
another breed i still go back to every time i look is danes and wolfhounds...
many danes WILL back it up too, and theres very little more intimidating than a dog the size of a small horse comming at you, even if all he wants to do is drool all over you.

dobies are one of my favorite "looks intimidating" breeds, every dobe ive ever met has just been an awesome dog, loving, gentle, they just look intimidating...but the only dobes ive ever met that i think could back up thier intimidating looks are schutzund trained, and even then, its more of a game and theres no telling that in a real life encounter...

gsds are stunning too.

i think it all comes down to that whole LOOK intimidating or follow through.
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  #12  
Old 01-01-2010, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Tucker&Me~ View Post

Oh and also, I fostered an ACD mix a while back who was VERY protective of me. Is this typical for ACDs or is more of a hit and miss when it comes to them being protective?

Thanks in advance!
It's a common trait of ACD's thats why it is SO important to do lots of socializing. You want them to learn what is normal and what is not as far as human behavior. When they hit about 3, they grow a brain and realize what is theirs and what isn't and will protect it appropriately. Our standard say "The ACD is the self-appointed guardian to the stockman.." it also goes on to say that when approached by a stranger it is acceptable for them to have a suspicious glint, but MUST be amenable to handling in the show ring. Basically, aloof, and protective, but takes the cue from their owner when everything is ok.

I know mine have given a glare or even a growl to suspicious people who have approached me, but I wouldn't ever bet my life they would actually protect me if the need arose. I think most dogs need to be trained in protection work to have the know how and the courage to make a judgement about a situation and act on it. Your average pet dog won't do it, and honestly, I'd rather mine didn't. Even if the cause is warranted, if they did attack, I would be liable.
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  #13  
Old 01-01-2010, 12:19 PM
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A visual deterrent is all you need. Anyone who will come through a rottie, GSD, or mastiff will only be stopped by a gun so if you are interested in true protection, carry!

You did say you are interested in a visual deterrent only, so I would just research breeds to narrow down the temperaments you like. Socialize the bejeezus out of your dog and train a bark on command for added effect. Note that size does not always matter; I have a 45 lb GSD mix but he is built thick and solid, for all the world looking like a thick-boned, pure GSD. People give him a wide berth because he has a "presence" and will make and maintain eye contact while standing tall and forward. Do I encourage this? Heck no!! He's a rescue with issues and we are really trying to work through them. People will come up to us to comment on how pretty he is, then grow unsure and stop about 15' away... exactly what I want given his comfort zone and it gives me time to talk about rescues and the importance of socialization.

I agree with those who've said the darker colored dogs will serve as a good deterrent. As for energy and maintenance, I can comment on GSDs and say if you enjoy everything coated in dog hair despite owning a rake, blade, and furminator and dyson, you will love the GSD. In terms of drive and energy, this will vary depending on the line of the dog. American showlines tend to be less energetic and drivey, German showlines are somewhere in the middle with some being very serious dogs and some less suited to protection than toy poodles, and then there are the working lines which tend to be most energetic and drivey. Out of all those, you would want a breeder who breeds true to the GSD type, not sport dogs. Look for a breeder who understands and looks for dogs with an "off switch" and clear heads. GSDs will need a lot of exercise but will need a lot more MENTAL exercise than physical exercise. Steer clear from breeders who make a big deal about oversized or "straight-backed, old style" dogs. The GSD was never meant to be over 100 lbs and the breed standard calls for dogs 24"-26" and about 55-90ish lbs (female minimum to male maximum- there is no weight standard but that would fit the approximate frame size).
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  #14  
Old 01-01-2010, 12:19 PM
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a good mal, dutch or heeler is A LOT of dog & you'll spend a lot of time teaching them when not to bite. you would do well to get on some PP boards & ask much more experienced & active individuals. then discard half of what they say and seek out the real gurus they will mention in the process.
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  #15  
Old 01-01-2010, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyWench View Post
im not much help realy, i personally am looking into the boerboel, the fila, the pressa and the cane corso as potential future "protective" breeds, but my personal want is a dog thats not going to feed off my anxiety, something devoted but a slightly independant thinker...a dog whos going to be able to look at me, know im nervous, do a patrol and if all is ok just lay down and show me theres nothing to worry about.

lots of dogs will "feed" off your anxiety making them more anxious and "snippy" which makes YOU more anxious and its a visious cycle...
those with anxiety disorders need that independance in a dog if there getting a protective breed.

another breed i still go back to every time i look is danes and wolfhounds...
many danes WILL back it up too, and theres very little more intimidating than a dog the size of a small horse comming at you, even if all he wants to do is drool all over you.
^^ This X1000000

Seriously, if you have anxiety, you seriously need to be careful, especially with GSDs.

They are not recommended as service dogs for people with anxiety, because they have a strong tendency to feed off their handlers emotions. When you get anxious, they get anxious, and then they get reactive towards whatever they think is making you anxious.

I know you're not getting a service dog, but it's the same principal. We fostered a GSD with the intent of adopting her. It didn't work out, and a HUGE part of the reason was because of my anxiety. I get all OCD and check locks and windows over and over when home alone.

She would think, "oh noes! my master is sad and upset!! Bad doors!! Bad windows!! I protect youzz!"

And then she started attacking everybody who came through the door, including my husband. She was adopted by a different family and is a totally different dog with them. Besides the obvious danger of her become reactive, she made my anxiety MUCH worse because she was always acting like someone was about to break in.

Anyway, if you're just wanting a visual deterrent, I'd almost recommend a tricolored smooth collie. They are beautiful, much easier to handle, they do bond strongly and are just as likely to back you up in a pinch as a traditional guarding breed that hasn't been PP trained (and they are used in french ring/pp, more in europe than in the states). They will always alert you to an intruder, and they are independent enough not to feed into your anxiety. If you don't tape the ears most will prick and look more like a dobe or GSD ears too.
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  #16  
Old 01-01-2010, 12:55 PM
Artfish Artfish is offline
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Second and third what Romy said! I am a Type A anxious nutcase which does no good for my dog. What really helps us is clicker training because it gives me something to focus on that keeps my body language positive. I am prone to stiffening and holding my breath and my dog reads me like a supermarket tabloid. Having this sort of dog is helping me deal with anxieties too, so maybe it is less about training him and more about training ME! Of course, he was not born with the best nerves nor socialized at all before I got him, so I believe things will be much different with a dog from proper breeding with proper socialization.

If you can find a DVG schutzhund club in your area, you can have exposure to many different protection-type breeds in one shot. At the DVG club I've been to, I have seen rotties, a Catahoula, malinois, GSDs, even a Boerboel! The handlers are typically very nice and forthcoming and will be more than happy to answer questions for you.

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  #17  
Old 01-01-2010, 01:30 PM
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Don't underestimate the visual deterrant of a big dark colored dog. I had people give me a wide berth with Virgo, because she was a big black dog with amber eyes and would give a big WOOF when she saw people coming towards us on walks. I have people give me a wider range or ask if it's ok to come closer because Sawyer *stares* and then gives a warning bark that sounds pretty scary. Now, I'm pretty sure that's as far as he will go, unless someone actively has their hands on me. But it's enough to make most people pause and think.

ACD's are pretty sharp little dogs and many Aussies are as well. They were the "do it all" dogs of the ranch, so after they were done with the stock work and entertaining the kids, they would guard the ranch. Some are just noise, some will bite pretty easily. The older working lines are more likely to still have this behavior to them. Aussies also come in black bi (white or copper) or darker tris and you know how people automatically associate tri-coloring with "it must be a rottie/dobe mix!"
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  #18  
Old 01-01-2010, 02:33 PM
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Personaly I would go with a Dobie or a Rottie. I am assuming you want a pet who, would, if the need arised protect you and not to do bite sports with?

I have found that, alot of Mals out there are insane. They have no off switch and thier temperments are either scared of everything or too snapy. A good one is hard to find.

A nice pet quality GSD isnt to hard to find. Something you can live with but maybe cant do PP with.

While I do agree that dobies with proper temperment to do PP, from show lines are hard to find, I also find the working lines are to hard to live with alot of the time. A good qulity pet dobe is not hard to find and 99% of the show dogs I know, would protect you in the right situation. Same with Rotties.
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  #19  
Old 01-01-2010, 02:57 PM
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@ romy, i had the same experience.
i have some extreem anxieties among which social and paranoia...

our cocker sees me anxious and he gets anxious...

even ruby is not idea for what i need because she gets a tad nervous when i do, but shes such a good seizure alert dog...
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  #20  
Old 01-01-2010, 03:13 PM
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I think that it is incorrect and irresponsible to make a statement that 99% of show bred dobies and rotties would protect in the right situation. I'm no expert on dobies (I'm no expert on anything really), but every dobie I've seen that comes out for evaluation for protection training has failed, and failed miserably. Even if there was a glimmer of hope then the trainers would try and bring that out in the dog, but none of them had anything. Same goes for rotties, the exception being the rarely found working line dogs. The rottie fans who do like to do protection training go after those Euro line dogs that are still being bred for this type of work. The general consensus on all of the protection forums I read is that there are very few dobies who can perform at any decent level. Schutzhund, yes- very little pressure on the dog and even there, the dog has to be worked carefully, but lots of dogs that are not bred for bitework can have success at Schutzhund, so that's not a real test.

We had one lady who had a show line dobie that she was sure would protect her and she wanted to train it. Her ex husband had been harrassing her and she wanted the dog trained so it would bite on command. Our trainer literally took the woman to the ground and pretended to beat on her, the dog stood there, then laid down with it's back to the owner while this was happening. The advice the trainer gave? Get a restraining order and a gun permit. Even a mediocre dog would have barked, or shown some kind of interest. Could that dog have been turned into a dog that would bite? Yes, but the methods would not be pleasant and would be extremely stressful on the dog, and the dog would have been nothing more than a fear biter. The same methods thugs use to make pit bulls mean, and no trainer I know will do that to a dog.

When you say protect in the right situation, what are you talking about? You can't pick and choose what situations your dog will need to defend you. Either it will, or it won't. If protecting you is barking and growling and putting up a front, then yes, a lot of dogs can do that. But what happens when the person who is threatening you isn't scared of your dog? Your dog barks and growls and then takes a bite at the threat to get him to leave, and he doesn't, what will the dog do? Most likely back down. Not run away, he'll maintain his distance and continue to bark and growl, but engaging the threat is the last thing it wants to do. I can say with a fair amount of confidence that 99% of those dogs who you think will protect you will NOT take fight over flight in a pressure situation. Few dogs will, self preservation is a strong instinct and it takes an extremely confident and strong nerved dog to shrug off the flight instinct and use the fight instinct.

There is a reason why certain lines of dogs are used and are specifically trained for such activities. You can't expect that a dog that has been bred strictly for how it looks for generations and had it's true temperament and traits bred down or not cared about as long as the conformation aspect was what the breeder was looking for to perform in ways it genetically cannot. One of my trainers said, you can't put a pint of water in an 8oz cup, and when you are looking at a dogs natural ability, what it is genetically capable of, you can train and hope all you want, but the dog that is not bred for this type of work is only going to go so far. There are exceptions to every rule of course but in general, this is how it will work.

Maybe my definition of protection is different and maybe that's why every time this subject comes up I try to explain what I think real protection is vs what other people perceive it to be. To me, protection is when your dog will give up his life for yours. It will engage a threat and not back down until the threat has been neutralized or the dog is hurt too bad to continue the fight. The dog buys you time to escape to safety. That might take 10 seconds, it might take 5 minutes, but no matter what, the dog is not giving up.
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