What kind of dog do you own? Are they a good watch/guard dog?

This is a discussion on What kind of dog do you own? Are they a good watch/guard dog? within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have a 4 year old boxer. She's adorable, sweet, loves kids, but VERY alert. This is how I think she would react to the ...

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    Ex Member Array AdBro's Avatar
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    What kind of dog do you own? Are they a good watch/guard dog?

    I have a 4 year old boxer. She's adorable, sweet, loves kids, but VERY alert.

    This is how I think she would react to the following scenarios...

    Someone breaks in during the day to rob house while I'm at work: She wags her tail, licks them. Before my house I rented a place downtown and my land lord had to go into my place for something and my dog never met him...she was apparently very sweet to her and i figured she would be--however, the way someone legitimately supposed to be somewhere gives off a different vibe than someone that's not supposed to be there.

    Someone is outside trying to get in in the middle of the night: heavy growling and canvassing the house. loud barking when closer to suspect. she does this if there's anything at night she knows is there but can't see, or if she see silhouettes. she will even go into this mode if i say "who's there?!" or "what is that?!" at nighttime.

    someone enters house at night with family home: while I can't be certain, I think she would absolutely latch onto whoever breaks in. she's good at picking up on if someone in our family is nervous or not and if something is happening that shouldn't be (unless i'm not there and it's daytime apparently).

    One thing I'm worried about is someone breaking in and being downstairs with me upstairs. My dog sleeps in our bed room and I wouldn't want my dog to run ahead of me until I know what's inside our house. She knows the commands "come, stay, heel, ok" VERY well, but I'm not so sure how she would respond to them in a situation like this.
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    Senior Member Array yz9890's Avatar
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    What kind of dog do you own? Are they a good watch/guard dog?

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She only barks at strange noises when I'm not home so not a very good watch dog.

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    I have a German Shepherd and a HUGE Shepherd/Chow mix.

    Both are males, very alert and hate strangers.

    A dog trainer friend of mine told me that to make a dog suspicious of BGs, stop socializing them with everyone. The dog should just be introduced to kids and people that frequent your home - that's it. It lets the dog know that not everyone is to be trusted.

    Works like a charm!
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    Senior Member Array DocT65's Avatar
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    Big differences in a "watch dog" and a "guard dog".

    A Yorkie can be a good watch dog, as can most any other breed alert you to the presence of a stranger.

    Guard dogs typically are chosen from refined breed lines with demonstrated mental, physical and tempermental attributes for defense or attack work. Training is specialized and must be an ongoing process. It takes tremendous experience and carries a HUGE responsibility, as a trained attack animal is truly a live weapon.

    I've worked with German Shepherds and Begian Mallinois for a number of years, both as working Schutzhund dogs and in law enforcement. Both are quality animals for this work, but the breeds are quite different. I would recommend that if you seek a true working dog, go through a respected and qualified trainer to help you select the appropriate animal for the job you seek to cover, as well as teaching you how to handle and train with the dog. I would, under no circumstance, recommend trying to train a dog for protection work without considerable knowledge and experience. The fact that the question was asked implies that you may not be aware of this.

    For most persons, a good "alerting dog" will suffice. In this instance, you simply want a dog who will alert to the presence of strangers in a reliable way and is otherwise a good pet.

    Also note that most homeowner's policies do not cover your liability associated with possessing an attack-trained animal. This requires a special endorsement or even a separate policy.
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    doc, i am aware of the difference. i'm just asking if people's dogs are good at either and why. nice post tho.

    mano, i'm sure that works well, but my dog is first and foremost a family/fun dog. we take her to parks, she plays with other dogs, everyone loves her. i'd rather her be loving to people than skeptical of everything but I can appreciate your priorities.

    i really want a shepherd as my next dog, but i DO NOT want to clean that hair up.
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    German Shepard. She is very protective of family and very alert to odd noises or anything on the property.
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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Well, we've got 4 dogs. Two pitts (father and son.... see my avatar) who are extreemly friendly but VERY alert. If they don't know you, DO NOT enter my house uninvited. One retriever mix who'd show any burgler around the house wether the burgler wanted help or not, and a rescued pitt/greyhound mix (we think) who is a cur and the most loveable thing in the world. A lap dog (she thinks) that give hugs (literally) to everyone and demands attention back.

    All four dogs let the house know if something ain't right in their universe but I fear for anyone who tries to get past the pitts. My kids have the entire neighborhood's young'uns in my house at any given time from the last bell at school til the streetlight come on. All my dogs know the neighbors and love the attention....... but any 'new' person that comes over has to pass their muster and definatly will not break/sneak into the house without a fight.
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    3 Labs and one little J R terrier. One lab is older now and I don't think his hearing is all that great but he's intimidating if a stranger is seen. The little one is pretty much a pup that would make someone laugh to death. But 2 of the labs are top notch watchdogs that are extremely protective of the house and the people in it. As good as you can get I guess without them having training in that area. They're my hunting dogs with benefits.
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    Senior Member Array Cold Shot's Avatar
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    You never know. If a dog has been raised in a comfortable family environment and is socialized from an early age, my guess is that they won't be much of a "guard dog," despite what their owners think. Barking is about all you can hope for.
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    Senior Member Array DocT65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdBro View Post
    doc, i am aware of the difference. i'm just asking if people's dogs are good at either and why. nice post tho.

    mano, i'm sure that works well, but my dog is first and foremost a family/fun dog. we take her to parks, she plays with other dogs, everyone loves her. i'd rather her be loving to people than skeptical of everything but I can appreciate your priorities.

    i really want a shepherd as my next dog, but i DO NOT want to clean that hair up.
    In that case I'd really recommend a GSD. Great breed all around, but they do shed. In my opinion, a small price to pay.
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    Two Pit mixes, absolutely the worst watch/guard dogs we have ever owned, they are friends with anybody.
    Big cowards too, we have to protect them.

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    Australian Cattle Dog #1 will greet intruder, lick and beg for a dog treat
    Australian Cattle Dog #2 will bark like a wild fiend, scaring any intruder
    Australian Cattle Dog #3 will sleep through it since he's deaf.

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    Senior Member Array DocT65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    German Shepard. She is very protective of family and very alert to odd noises or anything on the property.
    Nice dog Rocky.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Shot View Post
    You never know. If a dog has been raised in a comfortable family environment and is socialized from an early age, my guess is that they won't be much of a "guard dog," despite what their owners think. Barking is about all you can hope for.
    Well she DOES bark and growl. Judging by how extreme she'll get in strange situations at home, I could see her making the next step of attacking. However, if she never did attack, that's fine with me. The sight of her scares enough people (so many people on the street will get nervous and be like "is that a pitbull?!" because a boxer has an unusual face. Obviously any person who have seen either type of dog they know that they are totally different looking. The barking and growling would also work as a deterrent. as long as she does those things, I'm fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    Two Pit mixes, absolutely the worst watch/guard dogs we have ever owned, they are friends with anybody.
    Big cowards too, we have to protect them.

    cute

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