HELP! Good Beginner Dog For These Conditions?

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Noccy, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. Noccy

    Noccy New Member

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    This is a very specific thread, so those who are experienced dog owners would be best in answering this.

    I live in a very bad part of town, with soon to be only my dad and myself, and lately, my dad and I have been entertaining the thought of getting a dog for possible protection while I'm alone in my house. I'm a homeschool student (a junior to be exact), and am gone for only a period of about three hours, two times a week, so I figure I should have a lot of time to train a puppy if I get one. I understand the responsibilities of having a dog, so I'm trying my best to get a dog that would fit well in my household, as I don't want to get a breed of dog that's too much for me to handle, and end up spoiling the dog because of it.

    These are some of the things I'm looking for in a dog... As I said, I hope to be able to get a breed of dog that would do well as protection. A medium sized dog preferably, maybe around rottweiler sized, and a dog that isn't too high energy. My dad and I don't do a lot of going out, and I am not a naturally active person, so unless I exert myself to try and satisfy an energetic breed's needs, a more tame, though playful breed would be nice. Again, this is my first time owning a dog, so a dog that a new owner could adapt to easily is preferred. A breed that does well inside, with exception to being taken out for walks and the like, as my house doesn't have a fenced yard. And, last but not least, I hope to get a dog that could do well with smaller animals, such as cats. (I have a cat... Would raising a puppy with the cat be a smart idea? I don't want a breed that has a tendancy to be small animal aggressive!) Also, I live in the city, so a dog that does well in the city would be a help.

    I'm not looking for appearance. I'm looking for loyalty and trust, and a good sense of protection, mainly. It puts my dad at ease, leaving me here alone, to have a dog around that could help protect the family.

    Any breed suggestions would be appreciated!
     
  2. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Good place to come for sound advice. Welcome :)

    For starters, any dog, by bonding with it's owner, will naturally protect when really needed.

    For specific breeds, I would suggest a LARGE breed over something of force, like a GSD or Rottie. Most people -who are trying to hurt you- are going to be scared of a 200lb dog standing next to you growling. He's not using *force* but presence. Does that make sense?

    I would suggest a breed like Newfie, St. Bernard, Mastif, or something of that sort. These dog's don't need many hours of walking/running like a GSD or Rottie would. They WILL protect when needed but just by having that SIZE dog standing next to you would scare anyone.

    All of these breeds are lovely dogs and huge lap dogs with their owner. And I would assume, if raised properly and from puppyhood with cats, would do just fine.
     
  3. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Most dogs begin being protective somewhere between one and two years old, so depending on the immediacy of your needs, you might not want a puppy. If you are going to train him to do protection, you don't want him to be low energy.

    The first breed that comes to mind would be a german shepherd. A doberman is the second breed. Either one though will need a fair amount of exercise, but they're not typically inclined to be bouncing off walls.

    I would suggest having him trained in protection, and having yourself and your dad trained as well in handling. A protection dog needs to have obedience control and needs to be socialized so that he is accepting of friendly strangers. As for being good with cats, that depends on the individual dog, not on the breed. Raising him as a puppy with the cat would help, but isn't a necessity.
     
  4. Tankstar

    Tankstar ~Lisa~

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    I agree size will scare some one. Also to mention normally black dogs are more scary looking. I wouldnt get somthing like a german shepherd or rottie as they do tend to need alot of excersise. If you dont mind drool and grooming a newfie or a mastiff would be a good choice i think. They still need walks, but not as much as a golden retriver or another high energy breed would.
     
  5. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    You wouldn't believe how many people have been afraid of my Goldens !!!! Here you would have a pussycat whose bark would make anyone think twice !!! Personally I like a dog that will bark and alarm .....over an aggressive dog . They are loving family members first .
     
  6. Julie

    Julie Are You Blowing Me Off?

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    Considering all the info you posted, I would consider looking for a "watch" dog, not a "protection" dog. Maybe a dog that would bark at strangers, or abnormal sounds?
    Don't exclude smaller dogs, as they can give you warning and usually the bark of any dog is a deterrent.
    Good luck in finding a great dog.... Just don't "bite" off more than you can chew... :D
     
  7. FoxyWench

    FoxyWench Salty Sea Dog

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    just as a general side note, even my 3 lb chihuhaua can be protective when he wants to be.

    my 10lb chinese crested can be down right scary when she shows those teeth (shes only ever done it once to a man that was making me very uneasy...men tend to back off when a gorwling dog is staring at their crotch.

    a rescued greyhound might be great for you if you have a securly fenced dog park locally, they are 40mph couch potatoes in the home, and a good walk with a nice offleash run in a securly fenced area (never let a sighthound offleash in an unfenced area) greys are a large breed but slim, they are quiet indoors but form height alone can be VERY intimidating, they are sweet natured and rescues are pretested for their reactions to cats, i know of many rescued greys that are living happily in homes with cats! they are sweet natured and very loyal and loving to THEIR people. sometimes they seem like there not listening, but there realy just either too lazy or too smart. and a growling grey is definatly something to be aware of.

    ive heard alot of good about schnauzers, but im not sure of the energy needs of the breed, i do know however they are very family protective

    Staffordshire, american staffies and "pitbulls" (apbt's) can be wonderfull dogs for beginners IF they are bred right and raised properly, they might be a little high energy for you, and while they are certainly not a protective breed (a well bred bully by nautre should love everyone) the shere fact that they are a bully breed and their unfortunate reputation most people would think twice beofre trying it with anyhome with a pit in in...
    i only have experience with staffordshire bull terriers from the UK, and i LOVE the breed...

    just some suggestions to look into..
     
  8. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    I would go with a dog that will back up his threats if need be, and be sure to get adequate professional training for him, but that depends on just how bad the neighborhood actually is.
     
  9. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    I think you've hit the nail on the head here, Grammy. I would, if ever needed a protection dog, get a dog that had more of a bark and presence than over an aggressive dog. So many "bad" people are used to Pit Bulls, Rotties, ect. But when you have a HUGE dog standing next to you barking in a VERY deep tone, it makes people think twice.
     
  10. Noccy

    Noccy New Member

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    Thank you corgi, hah hah.

    Every house around me has gotten broken into and multiple murders have occured over the passed five years in neighboring streets. It's only due time before my house is targeted as well. (It has been actually. But none of the break ins were successful.)

    What you said is actually what I meant. I'm not saying I want some vicious mean guard dog and that's all I want, but I don't want a dog that's just standing by and barking while someone is trying to harm me. Every dog is protective and I know this, but some only vocally. I guess I'd kind of like a dog that could take someone down if need be, even if not of any particular breed. I was just wondering if there were any dogs that were inclined to be protective. (Not vicious.)
     
  11. Julie

    Julie Are You Blowing Me Off?

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    In my opinion a person shouldn't get a dog for "protection" only... there is much more to owning a dog than, "he will protect me"... Especially for a first time dog owner... You are asking for problems. I can see wanting a dog to alert to strange activity, but from there on you should be the one protecting. And to put a protection dog into a bad neighborhood is really asking... "how will my dog die?"

    Why don't you and your father go to a firearms class? Protect yourself, and get a "watch dog", almost any dog will alert to something strange going on.
     
  12. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    A protection dog is not a vicious mean dog. He is well adusted, friendly towards friendly strangers, and responds to a threat by barking, and if necessary by biting.

    If you want him to be willing and able to take someone down, you definitely aren't looking at low-energy. He needs strong prey drive, as well as defensive to balance it. It's not easy to explain on a forum, so I urge you to find someone who trains protection dogs, and not someone who trains "junk yard" protection, but someone skilled in personal protection, police dog training, or someone who specializes in sport protection but has experience with personal protection as well.

    I also would suggest getting a dog either through a protection trainer or from a breeder.

    :yikes:
    I also would suggest moving!!
     
  13. FoxyWench

    FoxyWench Salty Sea Dog

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    ive yet to meet a dog that wouldnt back up the growl IF it truly felt it needed to...

    even my dodger man who is all talk mostly would fly at anyone threatening me...true he probably woudlnt last long but hed get a few good bites and tears in there before hand...
    Ruby who loves everyone has provel that 10lbs can be enough to ward off those with ill intent...

    as a general rule of thumb, big dogs are visual deterents, ANY dog that barks is an audial deterant (statistics show that homes with ANY dog that might make a ruccous and draw attention is more likely to be passed over than a home with no dog) Small dogs tend to be the best watch dogs, i can never remember but the lhasa or shitzu was developd as a temple guard dog...they are small...

    it realy depends on what you can handle personally a reactive dog is definatly not a good choice for a beginner, professional training of a breed like a gsd or rottie ect is expensive and those dogs tend to be high drive and require alot more excersize than many other breeds (a gsd or rottie or dobe would simply be very unhappy with a couple walks a day)
    there are plenty of dogs that will provide a visual and audial deterant for general living purposes and if push comes to shove instinct for most breeds is to switch from "warning" to "protect"

    live stock guardian breeds are bred for the purpose of being protective, however i doubt im alone when i say i dont think ANY of the LSG breeds would be suitable for a beginner or lack of activity...

    as i said, my 3lb chihuhaua would TRY and protect me if push came to shove...so will my 10lb crestie, and my parents 25lb cocker, doesnt matter how big or small any dog that bonds with their person is likely to know when the situation calls for that change from companion to protector...
    Even the people lovers seem to know if the time arises.
     
  14. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    Really any big dog who warns is protection . I just wouldn't want a dog that
    I couldn't trust with friends and family .
     
  15. showpug

    showpug New Member

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    I would recommend based on what you said, a bullmastiff. Since you aren't naturally active, this would be a great breed to consider AND they are wonderful companions along with having a strong protective drive once they reach maturity at about 2 years of age. An added bonus is their appearance. Honestly, while a lot of dogs can be protective, if you are looking for a dog specifically for that purpose, I would pick from the working group.
     
  16. HoundedByHounds

    HoundedByHounds Oh, it's *you*

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    Actually an Akita female might be a good choice. They require structure and obedience training...but NOT protection training. They do that naturally. They are independant dogs that do not need an owner around 24/7 and are usually very quick to bond with one or two people...but seldom welcome strangers without proper introductions.

    I would trust my life to an Akita...but you need to be aware that they are a thinking breed, and very powerful too. You must think ahead of them and keep things in order at home with a good leadership program. They do not typically like other dogs or small animals so if you have plans for a lot of pets in future they'd be a poor choice.

    BUT if you find a nice one in rescue..which I know there are a TON of young sweet adults in rescue right now...you might have a nice match for your situation.

    They do not require a bunch of exercise but they do shed...heavily...twice a year.

    ETA: An Akita will act if necessary. A friend of mine has an extremely sweet bitch that she came home to find stabbed several times after a failed break in...nothing was taken and the dog lived...but the point was...most of the wounds were in the face and neck of the dog...she acted. And this is a dog that plays with kids and is trustworthy around other animals as well. Akitas are not window dressing...they will act.
     
  17. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    There is no reason not to trust a protection trained dog with friends and family.
     
  18. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    i hate to say it, but i wouldn't recommend most of these breeds of dogs to joe average dog owner, and as a junior in high school, the OP doesn't have a lot of dog experience. dog ownership, especially of an "aggressive" breed, is a huge responsibility, and, well, it's not for everyone. these kind of dogs in the hands of people who are not prepared to deal with them end up in trouble, and then there are more breed bans and stupid laws.

    i love the idea of a greyhound, personally. or a mixed breed of suitable energy level and size from a rescue. any dog is going to be a deterrent when it comes to keeping people out of your house. and any medium to large breed dog is going to be a deterrent on the street.
     
  19. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    I've seen many who wouldn't back up the growl. But if they have the right balance of drives, they will most likely act. With the right drives and training, they definitely will act.
     
  20. Julie

    Julie Are You Blowing Me Off?

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    I just talked to a bull mastiff owner a couple days ago. He got "rid" of his dog because it killed every cat that came into his yard. I also know another bull mastiff owner, not a dog I would reccommend to a first time dog owner regardless of the person's needs.
    Just my opinion.. no offense SP. :)

    OP... Why don't you move into a better neighborhood?
     

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