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What should we do?

  • Forget the dog, install an alarm system

  • Get the small dog and be happy.

  • Get the big dog, they really are better for protection.

  • I'll suggest a dog breed on this thread.

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Dh and I are deciding on a dog. I am thinking chihuuhua or little schnauzer. Dh is thinking lab, golden retriever, something that isn't what he calls a "dust mop".

He says I need protection.

But I've heard that the bigger dogs really aren't that hyper and won't bark unless someone is in the house. Also, that unless they are trained to be guard dogs, they really aren't a hindrance. But if they have the guarddog training, then they aren't really good to have around little kids (We have a few visit us, live around us etc.)
That anyone intent on getting into your house, isn't going to be stopped by a big dog anyway. They'll either just shoot the dog or bash them with whatever they used to get in the house in the first place.
However, the smaller dogs tend to bark more than the larger breeds and serve as a early warning system although not a protection.

He says plenty of people would think twice with a lab barking at them.

I say, who's going to walk it? I don't think I can control a dog that big.

He says a chihuahua and the little breeds are not good with little kids.

Any thoughts or comments? Taking into consideration I don't want anything with fur that need to be combed or brushed or bought to the pet place to be shaved or trimmed. That's why I said no to a golden retriever. Too much hair for living in the south.

Thanks!

CarolinaBound!
 

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I say a Lab is the way to go. They are friendly and will alarm at anyone entering the driveway. Just my experience. Ankle biters are more known for causing bite injuries.

JAKE
 

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.............I guess I'm partial to big dogs although A Weiner Dog (foot long model) is hard to beat for aggressiveness and dedication to Der Duty . If, you travel alot a small dog is easier to board and will generally be easier to work with for both Vets and their assistants . Plus, they don't slobber all over creation . Also, when they take a Dump on your new carpet , it will usually be a Small :waa: Turd :eek: rather than the Bigger models ejected from a 15o pound monster . Something smallish that doesn't take a Forklift to retrieve....fordy... :eek: :)
 

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A Lab will invite the burglar in and show him where your valuables are.

Border Collies wont be happy as a protection/alarm device, they need a job.

Get a dog for companionship, and get the alarm system for protection.
 

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:) We have talked this one to death. LOL Do a search on the topic and you will get lot's of opinions. Be advised that there is no "one" breed for everyone. As a matter of fact I'd say to you , get your small dog and let your dh get his bigger dog. Everyone happy..problem solved! LOL

Seriously though. Dogs are all the same species..from the tiny to the huge. They all have the same instincts to bond with a pack(that's us, LOL) and to guard their flock(us again, LOL)and their territory(read, yard, property, livestock etc)from invasion by others..people, dogs, other animals etc. They all sound the alarm too when their territories are invaded. Because of intense breeding to create the different breeds with different focuses and drives though, some breeds are more subtle in their alarms than others. Some breeds are called yappy, because they alert to many things and call out loudly that they are alarmed and that you should be too! Others don't make much noise but show their alerts in other ways. Most though will give at least a bark or two in warning. Even the Basenji, while barkless, will yodel, screech, scream or warble.

It's a matter of learning to read your dog. So, every breed out there will suffice as an early warning system...any of them. Even a dog that just loves and dotes on people in general will sound the alarm when needed.

I will state right here that there are exceptions to everything but it's highly likely that no matter what the size or the breed, it will warn you of approaches by something or someone that doesn't belong. It is just part of being a dog. NO training needed.

I am a firm believer that if you are going to get a particular breed for a particular purpose(other than the alarm business)that you get a good one so that it follows through with what you expect out of that breed.

If you decide on a labrador for instance and your dh has dreams of a hunting dog as well as a warning system, then go to a kennel that produces good field dogs that are shot over and proven in the field. And so on....

Don't forget to educate yourself on the different breeds and don't just talk about what "they say"....every breed of dog has a website. Just put the breed in GOOGLE and look it up...then take the time and trouble to talk to breeders of that type of dog and learn about them. One of the most versatile "little" dogs is the papillion. They are always seen in the obedience ring and do very well. This tells me that they are easy to train and listen well and are eager to please without the excitability of some of the terriers like schnauzers.

Also ask yourself just how much grooming you are willing to do. Or do you mind sending the dog off a groomer every month? There are many nice breeds that will need this and you need to take it into consideration.

My favorite thing is sitting down with a good dog book and thumbing through the breeds and learning about them. Fascinating world! Did you know that Norway produces a dog called the Puffinhound.... extra toes for climbing cliffs, extra digits in the toes and a neck that will bend all the way to the back bone, and shoulders that dislocate so it can bend and wriggle it's way into little caves and cracks to bring out the birds on the cliffs? LOL Amazing! :haha:

My point is that until you sit down and look at what's out there you may not know what you really want and like. You and your dh might find a breed that's" in between" and perfectly suits the both of you.

Happy hunting! LQ
 

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Protecting our home IS our Border Collies' jobs!

They do need lots of play/exercise that's for sure. Ours live for their walks around the property with hubby and their swims in the pond. But they also love to lay around the den during the afternoon and always sleep with us at night. One LOVES his nightly brushing and the other one hides if she sees the brush!

They are terrific watch dogs and protectors of property, but have NEVER bitten a child or welcome visitor.
 

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Personally, my all-time favorite dog is the miniature dachshund. I had a red long-haired mini, and she was wonderful . . . we had to put her down 4 years ago, and two years ago I finally got another one, this one a dapple long-haired mini named Beatrice.

I like Beatrice's size because she's easy to travel with. I can tuck her under my arm or in a purse-sized carrier if need be, and the hotels don't mind her a bit. I grew up with mini dauchshunds, and have owned them as adults, and my experience is that they are very sweet, loving family dogs. They like everyone. Now, that doesn't mean that they won't bark. As soon as someone comes down the drive, Beatrice goes into bark mode, although when I tell her "enough," she stops barking.

I'll be honest--Beatrice is my baby replacement. When I turned 40, I started craving something small, warm and loving to hold in my arms. Rather than go with a baby, I opted for Beatrice. :) She'll always be about 7 pounds, loving and cuddly.

So I guess my point is that if you want a small dog, go for it. I will say, though, that if you get a small dog, get one from a good breeder. Frankly, the little dogs tend to be over-bred to get the small size, and you can get some really undesirable characteristics if you don't go with a good breeder that knows what he/she is doing.
 

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I'm very lucky to have my Border Collie, she is darned near maitenance free which is very unusual, but burrs literally fall out of her coat. I do comb at her but it's a complete waste of time ....except she likes it. Now teeth brushing has to be a surprise attack or you get no where! If you have too much time get a BC and they will keep you occupied with play and work (helps if you have livestock or a bulk lot order of 10,000 frisbees) They're not "hyper" they are intense and your right hand helper, not shut in house dogs. The best guard dog in the world is a German Shepherd. They bond to family and will protect you against all comers. Without some reasonable socialization they can be problematic in this regard. You're quite wrong to assume a properly trained guard dog is a problem with children, but that training is not for beginers or poorly bred dogs. Australian Cattle dogs have that intense loyalty as well, and amazing energy. Impresive but a bit much for the unprepared.
 

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Get a hound doggie. :)

They're extremely entertaining, love nothing better than lounging around looking charming like the Sheik of Araby or something, they won't listen to one word you say, but they'll do so many funny things that you won't care ... and, from outside the house, they sound just like an entire herd of Rottweillers! :)

Other than tyhat, labs are good. And they're big but so what? I'm not exactly a huge person and I can handle my lab/ridgeback.

A good German Shepherd is good, too. But you'll want to pay good money to ensure you get good temperament AND good genetics. AND you'll want to be sure to have the time to train --- the very sight of a German Shepherd is usually enough to deter crime. But German Shepherds also have an intense need to have a job, be it herding or whatever --- unchecked, that CAN turn into aggression. You don't want that --- so you need to train them, should you go that route.
:)
 

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Hi,

Well I have lots of dogs over the years, from English bulls to pitts, to rotties, german shepherds, and rat terrors (terriers) and a Great Pyranees.

My vote has to be with the rat terrier. I have owned two, both were fearless and would sound the alarm when a car hit the end of the driveway. Neither needed clipping, stripping, or brushing (although I do brush Lucy as she loves it!), she is low maintenance and eats literally bites of food. She loves to stay in the house, and is capable of keeping up with horses on the trail. She loves children, definitely not an ankle biter, but will put herself between me and anyone she doesn't know. She barks loud and long until I say "quiet" then she hushes up. She barks even if the car has been down the driveway a hundred times (i.e. my mom), but she doesn't try to bite.

Vet expenses are minor compared with large breeds too. Shots, worming, spaying, are all cheaper and there is no long hair to shed all over the house.

I love my Pyr but he would invite a burgler in, show him the goodies, roll over for a tummy scratch, and help him load the loot! Can't beat him though for keeping strays, coyotes, etc. away from the farm, but as a watch dog, he's a total loser. Loves people too much. Rat terriers run from $100 to $500 depending on the breeding. They are sturdy little dogs, weighing from 10 to 30 lbs., depending on whether you get a standard or a miniature. Mine is a miniature and weights 12 lbs. But she's muscular and broad chested and loves to play.

Hope this helps!
Sidepasser
 

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Chi's are a bit fragile around childrem, & schnauzers require either you to groom/clip them, or to be sent out to be groomed; the suggestion of a rat terrier is a good one. If you wouldn't mind the grooming requirements of the schnauzer (maybe you'd be willing to shave them down yourself every 4 or 6 weeks?), a compromise between you & your husband could be a standard poodle. You don't have to keep them in that foo-foo show clip, just shave them down in a working clip; smart, very trainable, can use for hunting, good with kids, big enough to be a deterrant, doesn't shed. Here's a site to check out: http://www.vipoodle.org/WPindex.htm
 

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We have one full Rat Terrier and 2 RT mixes...(one mixed w/ border collie, the other is mixed with blue heeler). They will bark and they will notice when someone drives down the drive way. They are terribly loyal and loving. Like all dogs, if you want them to like kids, then you need to get them used to kids when they are puppies.

If you are interested in getting a pure bred rat terrier, do a little research on the breeder before falling in love with a puppy. I say this because the small breeds like rat terriers are favored by factory style "puppy farms" because they don't take up much space and don't eat much. Factory puppy farms breed dogs for money and don't care if the parents are healthy or have a good temperment. If you can, you want to see where the puppy comes from and see the parents. You are more likely to get a healthy and emotionally stable dog, if you get one that was bred with temperment and health in mind.

The only other thing I would like to point out that getting a dog from the Humane Society is an option for you. My first dog came from a shelter and he bonded with me on our second "test" walk. He was a small lab/shepard mix and while he had a lab's temperment, he had a german shepard's alertness. When we went on walks in the evening, he was always keeping an eye open for trouble. We never found it, but that is probably because his alert manner made some "questionable" folks cross the street. He had a massive vocabulary, but he could also tell what I was thinking by the expression on my faces. He died of cancer last year at 14 and it felt like someone had cut my right arm off.

deb
 

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Get both. We have a large dog (pointer) as an alarm and I have my dust mop (shih tzu) also. Couldn't be happier. :D
 

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LQ says it right. And Countrygrrl has made a great point that training is a major issue.

I'm a fan of mutts. I have had several that have worked well. Learning to read your dog is vital as well as trusting that read. I and my old dog had a big laugh when I ignored him (husky/shepherd assumed mix) and ended up without a boot in icy mud. My current dogs have their own way of communicating as well.

Spend time with any dog and give them a job. Make sure they get lots of exercise each day. Spend time with them reinforcing the desired behavior. Do not let them run willy-nilly all over creation however. That's where the training comes in handy as well.

Classes can be very helpful, especially for new dog owners. We have a rather new place that has dog classes in obedience and agility with horses, etc. around. Very good training location.

Just my 2 cents, but I never liked labs because the ones I've known have been chickens when it comes to killing coons for example and a pain with people (sniffing crotches and jumping). They just didn't seem to earn their keep. Maybe I have only known lazy lab owners!

There was a Dalmation that adopted me when we first moved to the country that would kill a snake in one shake and learned to bring me turtles and drop them at my feet (I really like turtles). He was the best. Still miss him.
 

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sidepasser said:
Hi,


I love my Pyr but he would invite a burgler in, show him the goodies, roll over for a tummy scratch, and help him load the loot! Can't beat him though for keeping strays, coyotes, etc. away from the farm, but as a watch dog, he's a total loser. Loves people too much. Rat terriers run from $100 to $500 depending on the breeding. They are sturdy little dogs, weighing from 10 to 30 lbs., depending on whether you get a standard or a miniature. Mine is a miniature and weights 12 lbs. But she's muscular and broad chested and loves to play.

Hope this helps!
Sidepasser
Noone here would dare open the gate and come into my yard without me being present unless Sam (our beloved Pyr) was dead.

I like threads on these topics. With the pet industry as my chosen profession, it's nice to still be able to learn things. I like the suggestion that you should have a small dog and your husband a big dog. I like the suggestion of the rat terrier. We had one for years and miss her terribly. Then your husband could get a Great Pyrenees. I'd bet you'd both be happy with that. Like was said before, each breed was bred for a specific purpose. Choose a dog that was bred to do what you want it to do. Want a hunting dog? Get a retriever or pointer. Want someone fun for the kids to play with? Get an Aussie or Border Collie. (I couldn't have a dog smarter than I am, though.) Want a guard dog? Get a German Shepherd Dog. Want the perfect dog? Get a pyr :) (my opinion, of course.)

ps, Countrygrrrl: I've been told that a ridgeback is technically a hound.
 

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I've been a professional Service Dog Trainer for many years ( too many.) I've trained all kinds of animals and most breeds of dogs. I owned two chihuahuas and they can be VERY snippy with children. The rule of thumb in my opinion is the smaller the dog, the more they feel vulnerable and the more often they take a pre-emptive strike at things that scare them. Sort of to prove they're not afraid when they are. Schnauzers and miniature schnauzers (my cousin owns them and adores them) are also prone to be snappy with children, other dogs and strangers. Both Chihuahuas and Schnauzers would alarm bark and my CHi's chased large dogs off of my property more times than I can count.

I train mostly Golden retrievers for Service Work. My dog, Journey, does 100 tasks including laundry. They are working dogs and tend to want to work, so your husband is right about that. While they do love people, you can place different behaviors on cue. For instance: Journey will bark if I close my fist, growl if I show her an open hand and then will knock a man down and hold him there until I release her, but only on command. She does NOT do it with aggression and I'm a 100% humane trainer, so she thinks it's part of a game (although the volunteers only play it once for some reason.) The dog does NOT have to intend aggression in order to scare someone.

When I work her in malls, for example, teenagers often flick her ears, stomp on her tail, etc. When I ask the dog to bark, then growl, all from a seated position, the kids go "cool dog" and usually will get into a discussion about what Service Dogs are, etc. etc. A robber who sees the dog is showing aggression "on command" will not mess with you because after the growl they'll be wondering what comes next (kill maybe?) and pick someone else.

My experience with any dog is that it will, when it feels its territory, people or self is threatened will click over into defensive/survival drives. It's hard wired into them, but some dogs have been bred to where that threshold is higher than others. Pit bulls for example are extremely territorial and will (generally) attack and chase off (or on occassion, kill) dogs that come ont he property. My Golden will make friends with you, but she did kill a ground hog.

Border collies are pretty good with kids but they are bred to run 26 miles a day herding sheep and will bug you to death to go work. They don't just lie by your chair and they don't normally bite. A sheepdog that bites instead of nudging along with its nose was usually euthanized or culled from the breeding stock because they bit the stock. They wanted dogs that protected and herded, but didn't kill. The same with Shetland Sheepdogs.

I had thought perhaps a very stable Shetland Sheepdog (look like Miniature Lassies http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/shetlandsheepdog.htm ) might be good for you as they alarm bark, chase away intruders, and with proper selection are good with children (I raised them for 10 years) but they do need to be brushed. Nobody messed with me when I had them either.

German Shepherds can be good depending on which line you get them from. They get a lot of hip displaysia and can be extremely hyper and bark all the time. The good stock are stable, but expensive.

Guard training, done humanely does not affect the dog's stability around kids. It's only pain training that makes dogs unstable. Skinner, Pavlov, Thorndike's et al's studies prove this out in the laboratories....long story, but can give you case studies if you want them. pain training even for basic obedience makes dogs less stable around children, people and other animals. So please make sure you go to a positive reinforcement trainer.

Big dogs can be controlled with Gentle leaders which are just like horse halters and do not cause them pain. The theory is the same as with the horse; wherever the head goes, the body follows and if the dog pulls ahead, you can turn them in a circle. My disabled clients, often people with strokes, quadraplegia etc. have used them sucessfully.

As for breed of dog, the dog I think most suitable would be an autrailians shepherd, but it does have a medium coat. It's wonderful with kids, courageous and protective. http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/australianshepherd.htm You could get a Smooth Collie, which is Lassie with short hair which almost no care http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/collie.htm . Here are some links to different breeds you might consider. Good luck and I hope I helped a little bit. Karen


CarolinaBound said:
Dh and I are deciding on a dog. I am thinking chihuuhua or little schnauzer. Dh is thinking lab, golden retriever, something that isn't what he calls a "dust mop".

He says I need protection.

But I've heard that the bigger dogs really aren't that hyper and won't bark unless someone is in the house. Also, that unless they are trained to be guard dogs, they really aren't a hindrance. But if they have the guarddog training, then they aren't really good to have around little kids (We have a few visit us, live around us etc.)
That anyone intent on getting into your house, isn't going to be stopped by a big dog anyway. They'll either just shoot the dog or bash them with whatever they used to get in the house in the first place.
However, the smaller dogs tend to bark more than the larger breeds and serve as a early warning system although not a protection.

He says plenty of people would think twice with a lab barking at them.

I say, who's going to walk it? I don't think I can control a dog that big.

He says a chihuahua and the little breeds are not good with little kids.

Any thoughts or comments? Taking into consideration I don't want anything with fur that need to be combed or brushed or bought to the pet place to be shaved or trimmed. That's why I said no to a golden retriever. Too much hair for living in the south.

Thanks!

CarolinaBound!
 

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We do both re:dogs.Nothing beats those little yappers when it comes to every noise and vibration,they are the best alarms.Then we have a large one to back it up(Who was snoring blissfully til the yapper disturbed his slumber).Usually have the gamut,from small to larger,up to 5 dogs if we have the room.
Alarm systems just make noise,dogs will act on the noise.Still cant get over all the murder reality shows on TV.Wife and I always say "WHERES THE DOG????!!!!"
BooBoo
 
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