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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was hoping somebody could give me some advice so I can help my sister choose a dog for her personal protection. Here is her situation.

My sister and BIL have built a house on a river in rural NE Illinois. Being out in the country, my sister has occasional problems with trespassers camping down on her property along the river {pitching tents and setting up horeshoe pits, drinking etc !!} Since she is a SAHM she has decided she wants a dog for protection when she needs to run off the trespassers or when she wants to take a walk on some public park property near her house.
She says she wants a dog that is protective of her and will recognize her as the "alpha" dog. She also wants the dog to be loyal, intelligent, good with the family and {hopefully} easy to train.
Any suggestions?

-Thanks
 

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German Shepherd from imported lines hands down. I raise them and never worry even if my 7 year old is in the house alone and we are out back. No one will enter ! Now I can let anyone I want in and the dogs are fine. I do have several pups still available.

Patty
[email protected] msn.com

 

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I had German Shepherds for several years. All of them were big babies, would lick someone to death. Not at all protective but sure looked really intimidating as your trying to hold them back from the stranger that just knocked on your door and of cause the stranger doesn't know if your dog is friendly or not.

My present dog is a cocker spaniel mix - now he'd bite ya. I have to put him up when friends come over - now he would protect me. But people think he looks so cute and want to pet him and I have to tell them, "don't touch the dog, he'll bite."

I have often found that smaller dogs are more protective - Jack Russell terriers, Border terriers, actually most terriers.

Read up on the different breeds and then decide.
 

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Depends on her--some on here think a dog is a dog is a dog--if she wants another member of her family, loyal till death--a Rottweiler, hands down. I've owned then all, German Shepards, Dobies, Chows--and--depending on the devotion level she can give it--a Rottweiler. Lost mine several year ago--her name was Ceres--thus my handle on here.
 

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German Shepherd or Dobie, do not underestimate the affection and dedication a dobie gives and they are always protective, I have had German Shepherds who sometimes were just to darn nice.
 

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Our lab is a great watch dog. She is alert and barks at strange happenings. I will never have to worry about anyone coming up to the house without me knowning it.

It is also a relief to know she is not a "biter" - She is a great family dog - big love.
 

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The Fila Brasileiro is- hands down!-the world's finest natural guardian.
They are both faithful and devoted companions and conversationalist to their families, and fierce protectors against ALL strangers.
Filas guard so hard, because they love their home and family so much.
They are constantly beside you wherever you go-even across the room to the coffee pot. They crave conversation, and even smell your words as you talk to them.
Filas are vigilent that everything is in its place, and investigate anything new-like a ladder leaning against the house, strange sounds, etc.
Unlike most other working/guarding breeds, Filas NEVER accept persons who do not live within the home = will not be fooled by smileing strangers with their coochie-coo routines.
Filas are athletic, active, huge, and flexable; and they want to sit in your lap.
They are Jeckel and Hyde, grovelling for their loved ones, and proactive defence against all strangers.
With a Fila, you will need to put cattle panels up for fencing above the river's flood stage to keep those camping strangers safe, while they beat a trail away from your Fila's view and boundaries.
I have fawn babies available, and soon both fawn and brindle babies available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the answers so far!
Oh, one thing I forgot to add. My sister seems to think she needs a male dog because she thinks he will instinctually take care of her better since my sister is a female. Another thing, my Brother-in-law is a big pushover and he will get her whatever she wants, so I suppose money is not a consideration with her.
 

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I second the nomination for a Lab. My Black Lab, Emma is just wonderful. She is very quiet most of the time, but when something is not right she will let you know! I posted about such an incident last Fall. http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=145733
In my limited experience Labs are smart and loyal and very protective. I like this breed because when you are out walking and have one with you, they don't look too threatening, they won't cause alarm with the general population like (unfortunately) a Pit, or Rottie or Dobbie would. Don't get me wrong, I love those breeds and had a Dobbie once. But most people don't understand that they are good breeds. Anyway, so you have this dog that doesn't alarm most people, but once it goes on alert, their hair stands up from scruff to tail and they just look so intimidating. Plus, I happen to think that they are smarter than most other breeds. But I admit that I am biased! LOL.

What ever breed she chooses, I would advise her to take the time and/or money to train the dog well, and to socialize it. My dogs were not socialized and we have to lock them up when we want friends over. We are working on training them now and it is much much harder. I also would advise her to look to her local shelter to find a dog. I don't know if your area is like ours, but they have a very difficult time finding homes for black dogs here and they almost always have a black lab or two. This is an online place that can help y'all look for local shelters. www.petfinder.com HTH
God bless you and yours
Deb
 

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I loved my shepherd and felt very safe with her around. However, she was too protective and became a renegade. The shepherd I grew up with was very stable. She would read your body language and had her own people guage. Once, when I first started driving, mom sent to the store. Coming back to my card, a man started following me, talking to me. He was making me very unconfortable. When I got within 4-5 feet of the car, I called Princess. She came out of the back seat, eyed the man and with hackles up, started that low, menacing growl. Then she lunged as far out of the window as she could get. He decided he was no longer interested in talking. After that, the dog went with me as much as possible.

Dobie's are also good breeds. Both of my sister's owned Dobie's and they were sweet and gentle to the family and most people, but seemed to have a 6ht sense about people. My middle sister also had a Rottie that was wonderful. He too seemed to have a 6ht sense about people. He was quiet and unintrusive, but if a bad person came around, watch out. She had a peeping tom once. Boy did that guy pay for his mistake.

I also reccommend dark coated dogs. You can't see a black dog coming at night.
 

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Thanks WindinHerHair, hopefully your lesson will be understood and well received. As well as your advise taken.

I was very much concerned about a person who may not have any experience with dogs, getting a protector. (ie the protector part being more important then the dog part). That would be very unfair to the dog if the owner did not have living with a dog experience.

Marlene
 

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My vote is for a German shepherd
I was raised with them and have raised many . never tad to train them to attack a threat as they took it upon them selves if a threat was present.
My girls currently have a 20 month old female shepherd very friendly as long as you stay 6 ft away from my girls any closer and she will put a stranger on their car in a heart beat .
Some claim you should let the dog be with other dogs until they are six months old . In my opinion get a freshly weaned pup and raise it dont lock it out in the back yard but give it access to the house and yourself as much as possible . This is the easiest way to be the alpha it also builds a very strong bond . If you want the Dog to be protective you have to allow it to be family . your family will be its pack and the dog will defend the pack from all threats.
The breed of dog doesnt really matter near so much as how you treat the dog . If you treat it like a dog it will act like one if you treat it like family it will be family and do all it can to contribute . If you betray the dog (lock it in a kennel ,keep it on a chain and ignore it) you have kicked it out of the pack and it owes you no loyalty.
Big dogs have intimidation value , even if they arent mean people wont test a 100pound mouth full of teeth. If a dog raises its hackles people back off . Also larger dogs are not as high strung and less likely to lash out at children than small dogs. Small dogs seem more protective in part out of fear
If you want a pet then crate train and play overlord. If you want a loyal friend that will lay down its life for you without a second thought welcome the dog into the family .
Large dog puppies play they chew, they wrestle , they play rough. You will get scratches from needle teeth and claws but its all part of bonding. Children have to learn this as well .
 

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Police officers train shepherds due to their high intelligence and loyalty. We had a black lab that was very loyal and a great watch dog, also. We currently have and AKC registered Beagle and that distinctive bark lets you know someone is around. We also have a hound, he's part American Staffordshire Terrier and part Red Bone **** Hound -- he charges the door if he just hears the mail coming down the road.

Ken in Glassboro, NJ :)
 

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We had a German Shepherd who was the most protective dog I've ever had. She was professionally trained by the previous owner and I have no doubt she would have followed through if she felt the need.

I used to work in a boarding kennel, which is where I got the dog from, and learned a lot about dogs. Some dogs are easy-going, and will accept human leadership unquestioningly. Some are head-strong; they are dedicated and loyal, but they are constantly trying to see how far they can go with challenging their human leaders. It's not always an aggressive thing; it could be as minor as not obeying a command, like getting off the furniture or dropping a toy. I always insisted she do what I asked, and she got to the point where she always listened to me.

My father, being used to the more tractable and compliant pointer and poodle we had owned before, wasn't quite as insistent. The shepherd adored my father, but she didn't listen to him except when she wanted to. It was a real problem when she wanted attention or they were playing; if she didn't want it to end, she would become a real pest and not leave him alone.

That being said, there was one episode that showed how good a dog she was. Dad had taken her and our greyhound to a large fenced field to let them run. The dogs were running around Dad, having a great time. Last thing Dad remembered was the shepherd chasing the greyhound and they looped behind him. Apparently the dogs were so engrossed in their game they didn't notice they were getting a bit too close to Dad, and one of them ran into him full force from behind or the side, knocking him over and out.

When Dad came to, laying on his back, he heard the fiercest growling really close by. As his eyes started focusing again, he became aware of the shepherd standing over him, her face only inches from his and snarling quite menacingly. Dad said he felt a stab of fear that the dog was going to attack him, and he was in no position to defend himself.

The dog seemed to sense his awareness and she looked down. I can only imagine what it must've been like for poor Dad to be practically pinned to the ground by a 110 lb German Shepherd who was giving him a close-up of her pearly whites! However, when the dog realized that Dad was awake, she started licking his face for a moment, then suddenly started growling again. Dad tilted his head in the direction she was looking, and there was the poor greyhound trying to approach but being held at bay.

Dad had a difficult time getting up because the shepherd wouldn't move. He finally pushed her away and got up, leashed the dogs and brought them home. For several hours after the episode, the shepherd wouldn't let Dad out of her sight and wouldn't allow the greyhound anywhere near him.
 

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Like WIHH, my daughter is a trainer and it isn't about the dog you have, protection comes from training and the ability to use the dog as you need and without proper training, they are dangerous if they are aggressive and useless if without training. If she's looking for something that requires little to no training, and wants an 'intimidating looking dog' she may be setting herself up for nothing but trouble or endangering her children more than she thinks. My daughter keeps a Neo Mastiff but the hours of effort put into him would deter most. The Fila Brasileiro would be just one more example of a great breed that requires serious training. If she is thinking about a dog, the first thing she needs to realize is that she needs to start with a pup in order for it to bond with her and the children and she's a bit away from the protection she needs and she also needs to start educating herself on training and find someone who can help her properly train any breed she chooses.
 

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Thinking about the dogs I've had:
Collie/husky X
German Shepard
Beagle
Lab/greyhound X

The two that were the most loyal, loving, and protective were the Shepard and the Lab/Greyhound. Both were neglected or abused before we adopted them (one was 6months old, the other 1.5 years)

The Shepard was a "ferocious beast"- and had that deep, frightening bark. Was gentle as a lamb with kids. When I was out walking her and a strange man approached me, she went NUTS, yet, on the same walk I was "attacked" by two mothers talking 7 kids for a walk. The kids climbed all over her, pulled her ears and tail, and she just sat there with a doggy smile on her face.

The Lab/Greyhound is great because he *seems* scary (deep bark, and strangers can tell there is no way they can outrun him), but I don't have to worry about him ever biting someone. He got a nasty chunk of flesh torn out of his side while defending my kids against a rottweiler attack, barks at every stranger that appears, keeps other dogs away from my livestock, chases the goat and sheep back into their yard when they slip out the gate, and is deadly to Jackrabbits. :)

My beagle is just crazy. She has an Elmer Fudd complex- "killll da wabbit! kill da wabbit!"



Forgot to add: A friend of mine lives alone and she has "King"- a St Bernard/Great Dane X. Got him as a puppy, gave him basic obedience training but no more. People are terrified of him due to his size and bark (even my husband). My DD who was 2 at the time decided that if he was "King" then she was "Queen" and could boss him around. She did, he obeyed happily.
 

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Home owners insurance can raise your rates or refuse to insure you if they find you have certain breeds of "Biting" dogs.. its becoming the new thing to save ins. companies money.
German Shepard's, Doberman, chows, huskys and rotties are on the list. Your sister might want to check that out if her ins. company keeps up with her property.

We have 7 dogs and the male Golden is the alpha and is very protective of everyone and growls at strangers. I'm pretty sure he would bite if a stranger provoked him but he is great around people he knows and kids. However the wife says she has heard that Goldens are on some lists also.

Just thought I'd pass that along.. http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/insurance/bad-dog-list1.asp
 

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I am amazed at the idea she needs protection while walking in the state land with little consideration the dog might view me or my children as "fair game" should we be on the same path..I go on our neighboring state land with a dog that will alert me ,but I have no worry that I'll end up defending a law-suite about a dog bite or savaging..We also have the concerns of qualified handler of the "harder" dogs..Unless it is leashed & under the control of the handler how do you keep the dog from hurting a child camped on the creek or my son squirrel hunting on state land...or the person who has car problems & needs help at your house...I'm glad to see some mention the chance that someone could get hurt & be an innocent party...a gun might be a better more controlable protecter...at least you get to make the decision instead of an out of control dog making it..My walking dogs range ahead of me so I don't have control of what they do....please consider a true blue "odie" instead of an "attack" dog...GrannieD
 

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I miss my old shepherd. I had gotten a female because I thought they were less physically agressive.

She was pretty dopey up until she was about two years old. The only training she had was basic obedience.

All of a sudden at about two years, she decided it was her job to guard the property or her people or the jeep or truck if she was away from home.

She took her jobs seriously - she barked at birds (large ones like Canadian geese, not little brown birds) and kites (those dang kids!) that happened to fly over her property. She chased away bears a couple of times and saved our youngest from a rattler which she killed so viciously it was in two pieces.
She never bit a person, but she looked as if she would, no strangers ever challenged her.

The only drawback with her was that she SERIOUSLY bonded with me. If nothing else was happening around the house, I couldn't go to the bathroom by myself. She followed me that closely.
 

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Just about any dog will bite if provoked. Just about any dog will bark a warning. What kind of dog does your sister like? Start from there. While a rottie is a fine dog, with the wrong person it is dangerous. This type of dog needs a strong willed person, not a cocker spaniel type of person. I recommend a standard poodle, a large one. They are fine watch dogs, but have a lot of common sense regarding protection. They are wonderful family dogs and easily trained, so most people don't think of them as protection dogs, but they were once used to guard the kings of France and will guard your castle as well. They are easy to teach who is alpha, are safe around children and strangers, but will not let anyone into your house who doesn't belong there. Size alone is usually enough to deter strangers (get a big one, 25 inches at the shoulder or larger), and you can make a poodle look massive just by not clipping. When clipped in a field cut, they look like a fancy dobermann. In fact, Herr Dobermann used the standard poodle when developing his perfect dog. Besides, intruders will be so embarressed to admit they were attacked by a poodle.
 
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