RiitzC: Guard Dog Temperament and Training?
When looking at a puppy, what characteristics should I be looking for?
For basic training, what would you teach the puppy/dog?
I have a Neapolitan Mastiff and a Siberian Husky. I intend to get a Great Dane and a Doberman Pinscher a bit later on.
Guard dogs are pets. For me and my family, that is the main purpose for having a dog. They are still a loved part of the family but if someone breaks in, in the middle of the night, id prefer to know my little ones are safe and that I am well informed of the intruder.
The Mastiff and Doberman are highly rated among home protectors. Ive done plenty of research on the breeds. I know any AKC breed and what they are capable of. Im not interested if you think the breed isnt up to it.
Photo Credit: Angel T./Flickr
I know plenty on breeds. My question does not revolve around my breed choice therefor, if you wish to tell me that I should choose another breed, im not interested. Every dog has the ability to do any task. All of the breeds ive chosen are in the working class. I don't want a famous pit bull that used to be famous for being as docile as the golden retriever and labrador. I don't want an Akita that's famous for killing other animals. Im fine with my choices. I just want to know how to go about raising a guard dog. Not an attack dog, not a fighting dog, just a protective dog.
R - Thank you for answering the actual question. Your answer is very informative.
Oddly enough though, the Mastiff and Husky in my family play two very different roles and in turn, benefit.each other. Lady, our Mastiff, is all black and weighs nearly 180lbs. She just turned a year old and is much less skittish than when we brought her home. She is still a fearful dog though. Nova, the all white Husky, is focused with a fun loving attitude. He just hit 9 months and weighs around 50lbs. They are both coming along well in their training though its funny to watch them. Lady was meant as the home protector, Nova was brought in as a playmate but with him having that high focus, he will alert her but never bark and she will scare off the potential intruder with that deep howl. Im hoping for the same mixture out of the Dane and Doberman. Ive always wanted both breeds and the fiancé agrees with the choices. He loves the idea of having one of the biggest dogs.
Answers and Views:
Answer by ladystang
up to dogs breeder and professional trainer
guard dogs aren't pets
Answer by Dutch unplugged
Best to venture into other breeds before worrying how to pick one. Nothing to look at in those 3
Answer by Rayven ~ SCAdian girl
You either want a watch dog or a guard dog. the dogs you have now are FULLY capable of letting you know someone is around, especially the Nea.
you want a guard dog? you sell out several grand for a fully trained adult or you spend several thousand on a pup with potential and then several thousand more in that pup's training.
ETA: 1. Dutch knows more on this subject that you do. TRUST me. 2. Finding a working dobe these days is pretty hard. And again you want a REAL guard dog that is 100% reliable and will get involved when commanded? Then pay for one. Any old dog will not due.
Answer by Greek God AKA Greekman
You asked a question on a public forum to hopefully learn something and not make an expensive mistake. The breeds you are interested in are absolutely useless for the purpose you want, regardless of what the AKC and their BS has to say.
Choose a dog already trained if you have the money needed or buy a puppy, take a chance and still spend serious money in training it. Hope I helped.
Answer by R
A guard dog that couples as a good family dog should have an even temperament. It should not be nervous, shaky, easily provoked, sensitive to noise or touch. I would not buy a nervous or shy puppy because older dogs that have the same traits tend to bite for minor offences, and if you imagine the poking and prodding a young child might deliver this might not end well. You want a dog that can easily tolerate the ear pulling and loud cries a child would deliver.
You want to look for a confident and perhaps vocal puppy. This puppy should be easy to read (tail wagging, playful stances, whining, barking, growling). This makes it easier for you and your family to anticipate your dog's actions. A dog will deliver warning signs before attacking, and as its owner you should be aware of them. Some dog owners try to discourage growling, but it is a warning sign a dog is giving, and if discourages, a dog may consequently just attack without warning. So it is very good that your dog is easy to read.
Another good thing to look for in your dog is a deterrent factor, perhaps the color of the dog's fur. Pure black dogs are more intimidating than pure white dogs. Rotties and Dobermans share the full black, with tan markings and serve as an excellent deterrent. Some german shepherds, commonly used for guarding, look more intimidating when their markings have more black in them than tan. Even the German's red eyes look frightening. A hardy bark is also a good deterrent. It may not even have to deliver a bite to the intruder.
Another thing when choosing your puppy is the dog's ability to understand property. Some breeds do this better than others, and some dog's are more opt to protect what they deem theirs more than others. You may not be able to detect this personality wise in a puppy, but breed research can help you understand which ones exceed in this area. Herding breeds do especially well here, the German Shepherd to name one.
After you get your puppy I would get them accustomed to the people it will be seeing the most of. Make sure it is well socialized with children, neighbors, other dogs, other pets, family, and friends. Watch and evaluate its behaviour and ask yourself if this is a good dog to start guard training with. When the puppy is fully grown, and follows basic commands quickly and properly then you are ready to start training it for protection. Why this wait? Well simple the dog is not fully mature yet, and you must make it a priority that it follows the most important rules of how to behave in your household before you can take it up a notch. Remember make it a good citizen first, then train for protection. And a really good way to train your dog is to get it to listen from a distance. Some dogs are visual, many read hand signal commands way better than vocal commands, but this visual tool isn't always available when your dog is distracted by something. So get your dog accustomed to listening from afar. Try putting your puppy on a leash and tether to something and step away and give commands it already knows. Increase the distance, try in a different room, environment. Remember to keep sessions short, diverse, and end on a positive note.
Answer by Kayleigh
" Im not interested if you think the breed isnt up to it."
You wouldn't known good advice if it slapped you in the face.....shame.....
Why ask if you won't listen to people who know what they are talking about? What's the point?
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