Answers and Views:
Answer by v
Our whippet actually lets us know when anyone is in our yard or coming up the driveway, or when there are animals in the yard.- deer, fox, etc. She has a pretty convincing bark when she needs and often she is the first to notice if there is anyone around.
Answer by walkinglady
None of the sighthounds are good guard dogs - it's not in their nature in the least! Some of them aren't even good watchdogs because they're not prone to barking. If you're looking for a guard dog, look elsewhere.
Answer by Maggie
The person who says that none of them are guard dogs is incorrect. Both the Azawakh and the Sloughi are used as guard dogs in their native countries. Both are classified as sighthounds and have the traditional sighthound build.
Wikipedia: “Unlike other sighthounds, the primary function of an Azawakh in its native lands is that of a protector.”
“In the role of a guard dog, if an Azawakh senses danger it will bark to alert the other members of the pack, and they will gather together as a pack under the lead of the alpha dog, then chase off or attack the predator.”
“The Sloughi was and is still used for hunting in its native countries, and is also a reliable guarding dog.”
This information can be verified by other sources.
Rhodesian ridgebacks purportedly make great protection dogs and are incredibly fearless in general (they were bred to hunt lions)– of course, there are exceptions to every rule– but despite being classified as sighthounds by the AKC they don’t really fit neatly into that category.
Of the more common sighthounds, I can’t really think of any that are traditionally used as guard dogs, and given their nature they probably wouldn’t be your best bet. If you want a sighthound guard dog, I’d say seek one of those breeds out and choose your dog carefully.
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Answer by peculiarpup
Each breed is different (and individuals within a breed differ), and it depends on what you mean by "guard dog." If you mean "barks to alert me to strangers coming to the house," then several breeds will do that. If you mean "will protect me if I'm attacked," then lots of breeds will do that – if you put in the time and attention to build a solid bond with your dog (even a Yorkshire Terrier will protect its owner if they're bonded). If you mean "will guard my stuff if I'm gone" then hounds aren't the most effective, as a group, at doing that.
We've had a Borzoi (definitely protected us if attacked – he helped stop a carjacking). The rest of the time, he was a very mellow fellow), and now have a Basenji mix (medium-sized, quiet, but protective if the circumstances seem to call for it).
We've also had "traditional" guard dog breeds, like the Belgian Tervuren. Very smart, very protective, very affectionate.
Most of the herding dogs are also guard dogs (like Belgian Shepherd Dogs, German Shepherd Dogs). Our Samoyed was a very effective guard dog (Sammies, although known as sled dogs, also traditionally herd and guard). The Japanese Spitz we have now (JS's are descendants of the Sammy) is a very good guard dog. As he's still young, we're still training him WHEN and HOW to guard, though.
The Chinese Shar-Pei is a guard dog and hound. They're reserved (and not all of them have all those wrinkles as adults – many grow into the wrinkles as they mature). Affectionate, but definitely reserved.
If you go to the Pedigree Dog Food web site, under "dogs & pups" is a link to their Select A Breed questionnaire. This can help you narrow down the sort of dog that's best for you. Also the AKC website has a list of breeds and you can read up on each to see what's best for you.
Getting the right dog for you is a matter of a lot of different factors (how much time do you have to spend with the dog, to groom it? What do you want to do with your dog – watch t.v., jog, or play Frisbee?). If you get a dog and give it up, the dog will suffer, so it's only responsible to really do your research before you choose. After all, most of your life with the dog will likely not involve guarding – so what you want the rest of the time is more important.
If you go to a dog show (check the AKC website for events, and check the breed club websites for breeds that interest you), you can talk to owners and breeders about the pros and cons of their breed. Responsible breeders only want people who are right for their breed, because they know people who get the wrong dog or get a dog for the wrong reasons, are the ones who end up leaving their dogs at the shelter.
The biggest thing about a good guard dog, whatever breed, is training! Most dogs have a natural instinct to protect but need at least basic obedience so you can control when, where, and how they protect (and teach your dog what he or she needs to know to live successfully with you). This will also help build that bond that will make your dog want to protect you.
Also, once you've picked a breed, please consider visiting the breed club rescue site (most breeds have rescue groups of volunteers who find homes for homeless dogs of that breed). Purebred dogs also show up at animal shelters far too often. You could save a life!
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