Really Confused about Dogs for Defense

Really Confused about Dogs for Defense

This is a discussion on Really Confused about Dogs for Defense within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Sorry for the long post. I didn't mean to ramble but feel that you need my background info so that you know where I'm coming ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Really Confused about Dogs for Defense

    Sorry for the long post. I didn't mean to ramble but feel that you need my background info so that you know where I'm coming from...

    I live on a farm in Kentucky. I have had dogs (at various times) when I was growing up but they were always outside dogs. In the area in which I live, it is common for people to leave their dogs outside and unattended. This of course, causes problems. It is not uncommon, for example, to see two and three dogs gathered around garbage cans and making a mess on garbage day. We have often had our garbage spread around at the end of our driveway as a result of a prowling dog/s. Its very frustrating, needless to say, to have a mess made by a dog when you don't even own a dog yourself.

    Outside of dragging your garbage out, neighboring dogs can also be a nuisance in other ways. By simply coming around, they entice your dog (if you have one) to stray that might have stayed home if temptation had stayed away. Its also not uncommon for a neighboring dog to destroy your property. All in all, unattended dogs can be a great nuisance and, might I say, even an act of irresponsibility.

    When I was growing up, however, I didn't realize that we were being irresponsible by leaving our dog outside and unattended. We just assumed the dog would stay on our property but in reality, I know this didn't always happen. What is the alternative though? I don't like the idea of leaving a dog on a chain all of the time, nor would I want to keep him in a cage all of the time. For those that do not consider indoor living as an option, I think wireless fences have a lot of potential if you have an ample yard that leaves the dog room to roam.

    Lately, I've been thinking about how I would like to get a dog for home defense. I started to do a little research today and have been looking at different breeds. I've been mostly reading about the temperament of different breeds to get an idea as to what kind of dog that might be a compatible fit for me and my family. One theme that is consistently raised in this matter is the one of socialization. It appears that the most well adjusted dogs that refrain from having undesirable/destructive behaviors are the ones that have been properly socialized. Dogs are pack animals and a dog that has been left alone will develop coping mechanisms and exhibit maladaptive behaviors. These behaviors may include, incessant barking, digging holes in the yard, digging under fences, howling, fear biting and exhibiting annoying hyperactive behavior when you come around because he is so starved for attention, he looses it when you do come around.

    So as it seems, its a bad idea to treat a dog as a lone wolf, if you will pardon the pun. At the other side of the spectrum, however, is the dog that always stays inside and lives as a part of the family and is treated like a family member. With the dangers that run from a socially underdeveloped dog, you might walk away believing that there can't be any problems with a dog that receives his more than fair share of socialization. After all, if too little attention causes maladaptive behaviors, shouldn't a dog gain more and more stability as he receives more and more socialization?

    Different people have different kinds of pets for different reasons. Outside of someone abusing their animal, I'm not here to say that if you have a dog then you need to behave in this manner or that manner. With this in mind, I will say that I have seen dogs that were so spoiled from being raised as if they are the equivalent of a family member that their purpose and function of acting as a guardian has been negated. If you want to love on your dog and you don't care that he's a big baby and rushes to get under the covers with you when its storming outside because the lightening scares him, then more power to you. For me, however, if I'm getting a dog and expect him to serve in the role of being a guardian, then I'm not going to be real happy if find that I have robbed him of this function because I have failed to properly prepare him accordingly.

    I read a comment somewhere tonight from a man in Australia that said that dogs that serve the function of being a working dog might loose their edge if they live inside. Hunting dogs, for example, might loose their edge if they get too soft from indoor living. This makes sense but at the same time, confuses me. If I go to one extreme and allow the dog to live with me indoors at all times, then it seems I'm running into the chance of making a baby that will run to me for protection if a BG breaks in as opposed to acting in the role of guardian. If I go to the other extreme and force a dog to live outside all of the time, then it seems I run into the risk of having an under-socialized dog with no real interest of protecting the house because to him, its not his den so why should he care if that man in the black mask breaks the window and climbs in? After all, how many times has someone broken into a house while the dog in the backyard slept through the whole thing because he showed no interest in protecting the house, given that he had not invested interest?

    I'm looking for input/advice from those that have experience with well behaved and or trained dogs.

    In your opinion, am I wasting my time getting a dog if I were to leave him outside all of the time? He of course would have appropriate shelter and be limited to the boundaries of my yard (its a large yard) via wireless fence.

    Also, you should know that if I were to get a dog, I will take the time to train and discipline him by taking him to classes as well as spending time training him on a regular basis. If I were to get a puppy circa early next year, would it induce trauma by raising him inside until Spring, when he could safely be placed outside?

    A concern that I have about getting a pup early next year and training him in the Summer, if he were to stay outside and I reduced the time I spent with him due to it being cold outside, would his discipline and training fade due to poor maintenance?

    I suppose the question that is nagging at me the most is, does a dog need to live inside with me inorder for him to be an appropriate guardian?

    Also, if I have a protective dog living outside and someone comes prowling around and my dog bites him or attacks him, I'm assuming I would be held responsible. I'm also assuming that this could lead to liability issues on a similar scale similar to me shooting an intruder breaking into my house? If these assumptions are true, then is it even worth having a guard dog, given the gravity of potential liability issues?

    I want to be responsible and this is the purpose of my research and inquiry on here tonight. If it turns out that the most responsible thing for me to do is to refrain from getting a dog, then that is what I will do, etc. If I lived alone, I might consider allowing the dog to live indoors but as it is, I have more than myself to consider. Dogs living inside is not an option for all people but in due time, ideas and opinions may change to the extent where a dog living indoors might become an acceptable proposition.



    Any help you may provide is greatly appreciated,
    DCG


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    I trained dogs for most roles professionally for about fifteen years.
    There are huge difference between personal protection companion dogs and exterior guard dogs in not only purpose and training, but also in temperament. Very few dogs are suitable for the guard dog role, and their practical applications are extremely limited. Unless you have a fenced, posted facility containing high value items subject to forced entry and theft, a guard dog is probably a bad plan. They essentially attack anything and everything which comes within their boundaries without regard for age, sex, or intentions. They assume everyone is the bg, and act accordingly.
    Personal protection dogs are just that, and function quite well as indoor companions if properly trained and regularly exercised in that role. I would never allow a protection/attack trained dog to roam outdoors unattended.

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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    I trained dogs for most roles professionally for about fifteen years.
    There are huge difference between personal protection companion dogs and exterior guard dogs in not only purpose and training, but also in temperament. Very few dogs are suitable for the guard dog role, and their practical applications are extremely limited. Unless you have a fenced, posted facility containing high value items subject to forced entry and theft, a guard dog is probably a bad plan. They essentially attack anything and everything which comes within their boundaries without regard for age, sex, or intentions. They assume everyone is the bg, and act accordingly.
    Personal protection dogs are just that, and function quite well as indoor companions if properly trained and regularly exercised in that role. I would never allow a protection/attack trained dog to roam outdoors unattended.
    Thanks for the clarification. In my research, I have seen plenty of distinctions made between watch dogs and guard dogs but no mention of companion personal protection dogs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DefConGun View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. In my research, I have seen plenty of distinctions made between watch dogs and guard dogs but no mention of companion personal protection dogs.
    "Watch dog" is a misnomer. The protection dog is one which will react aggressively when commanded to do so by its handler, or when its home is entered by an intruder. The next level of training is the off-lead-trained attack dog, which is generally not used for civilian applications.

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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    When I say "watch dog", I'm talking about a dog that barks (they do not attack) and lets you know someone is around or something is happening. The sites that I looked at today mostly showed the small house dogs as watch dogs. If I"m not mistaken, a lot of terriers are considered watch dogs?

    Yeah, I don't think I'll be needing me no "attack dog", no matter how cool it sounds....ha-ha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DefConGun View Post
    When I say "watch dog", I'm talking about a dog that barks (they do not attack) and lets you know someone is around or something is happening. The sites that I looked at today mostly showed the small house dogs as watch dogs. If I"m not mistaken, a lot of terriers are considered watch dogs?

    Yeah, I don't think I'll be needing me no "attack dog", no matter how cool it sounds....ha-ha.
    I would call that type an alarm dog, which is a much easier bill to fill than one which is actually trained to protect through bite work.

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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    I would call that type an alarm dog, which is a much easier bill to fill than one which is actually trained to protect through bite work.
    I'm looking up "protection dogs" now but I'm not sure if I'm looking for the right thing that would be suitable for my situation. I'm finding sites that look like they are dealing with dogs trained for police or military work. Training for these dogs are estimated to be between $25,000-$35,000 and there was another adult dog for sell for $7,500.

    If I am interested in a companion/personal protection dog, what should I expect to pay for a dog that is trained to protect in the capacity of civilian situations, etc.?

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    I have had German Shepherd Dogs most of my life since childhood. They have always been inside dogs. My current Shepherd is very sociable w/ my kids and anyone that we let in the house. But I do believe that they have a keen sense of who has bad intentions. My wife got a knock on the door one day from someone "looking for directions". I was not home and she foolishly opened the inside door while the screen door was closed. Mind you, there were several locations where this guy could have stopped (gas stations, plaza etc..). My house is not easy to find. Anyway, my GSD got her hackles up charged the door barking and spitting and actually ripped through the upper screen portion of the door. My wife was very surprised as was the visitor who nearly fell off of my steps and hurried back to his car.

    I never really trained her to attack. I would let her be aggressive with rope and swing her around while she hung on. But that was about it for aggression. I mostly exercise her in my yard by throwing a ball with simple commands and putting a doggie back pack on her to wear her out a bit. Sheperds need to be worked a little or they will find something else to do (chewing, diggin etc...)

    So I have a dog that is a pleasure to be around. She is great w/ kids. But she can be a nightmare for those w/ bad intentions.

    And being inside does not take away their instincts. My GSD has killed numerous squirrels, rabbits and field mice. I let her out once and she chased down a doe in my back yard. She kept going for her rear quarters and barely missing. Luckily the doe kept moving and made it over the fence.

    I have no experiece w/ other breeds. I could take all day telling you stories of what my GSDs have done...but you get the point.

    Good luck in your search.
    Mike1956 likes this.
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  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY27 View Post
    I have had German Shepherd Dogs most of my life since childhood. They have always been inside dogs. My current Shepherd is very sociable w/ my kids and anyone that we let in the house. But I do believe that they have a keen sense of who has bad intentions. My wife got a knock on the door one day from someone "looking for directions". I was not home and she foolishly opened the inside door while the screen door was closed. Mind you, there were several locations where this guy could have stopped (gas stations, plaza etc..). My house is not easy to find. Anyway, my GSD got her hackles up charged the door barking and spitting and actually ripped through the upper screen portion of the door. My wife was very surprised as was the visitor who nearly fell off of my steps and hurried back to his car.

    I never really trained her to attack. I would let her be aggressive with rope and swing her around while she hung on. But that was about it for aggression. I mostly exercise her in my yard by throwing a ball with simple commands and putting a doggie back pack on her to wear her out a bit. Sheperds need to be worked a little or they will find something else to do (chewing, diggin etc...)

    So I have a dog that is a pleasure to be around. She is great w/ kids. But she can be a nightmare for those w/ bad intentions.

    And being inside does not take away their instincts. My GSD has killed numerous squirrels, rabbits and field mice. I let her out once and she chased down a doe in my back yard. She kept going for her rear quarters and barely missing. Luckily the doe kept moving and made it over the fence.

    I have no experiece w/ other breeds. I could take all day telling you stories of what my GSDs have done...but you get the point.

    Good luck in your search.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  10. #10
    Member Array BWillis57's Avatar
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    Check out a series of articles over at ITS Tactical. ITS Tactical They've thoroughly discussed the capabilities of using a dog for defense, as well as looked at desirable charachteristics.

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWillis57 View Post
    Check out a series of articles over at ITS Tactical. ITS Tactical They've thoroughly discussed the capabilities of using a dog for defense, as well as looked at desirable charachteristics.
    Very cool! Thanks so much for the heads up. ;-)

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    Do a search of personal protection dog training Kentucky and check out some of the sites. Your most effective and most economical route is to buy a puppy untrained and to have a trainer work with both of you. Spend the first three or four months of your puppy's life getting it house-broken, socialized and used to a leash and collar. Spend the next few months getting it thoroughly obedience trained, and then begin the protection work whenever the dog seems ready (the trainer will help you determine this). Stay away from trainers who operate under the philosophy that bite work is more important than obedience work, or refuse to allow you to participate through the entire training process.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Do a search of personal protection dog training Kentucky and check out some of the sites. Your most effective and most economical route is to buy a puppy untrained and to have a trainer work with both of you. Spend the first three or four months of your puppy's life getting it house-broken, socialized and used to a leash and collar. Spend the next few months getting it thoroughly obedience trained, and then begin the protection work whenever the dog seems ready (the trainer will help you determine this). Stay away from trainers who operate under the philosophy that bite work is more important than obedience work, or refuse to allow you to participate through the entire training process.
    Cool.

    Very helpful information/advice/guidance. Thank you so much for your help.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Look at how much an 18 month old puppy is already trained to do! Incredible!

    Bean von Prufenpuden - YouTube!

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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DefConGun View Post
    Look at how much an 18 month old puppy is already trained to do! Incredible!

    Bean von Prufenpuden - YouTube!
    This trainer is in Frankfort, KY...not far from me.

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