How big is too big for protection work?

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Amstaffer, May 21, 2007.

  1. Amstaffer

    Amstaffer New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Milwaukee WI
    I was having a discussion with my friend about protection work and dogs. My friend basically believes that the big the better for protection. Granted he isn't the most knowledgeable person on dogs but it got me thinking.

    If you're thinking about protection from a dog you want an athlete right? You don't want a 250lb Mastiff. I mean it would be a huge deterrent but not a real threat to a serious attack. I would guess 90-100 lbs would be ideal maybe bigger if they are just home guardians and don't need to run much.

    I also realize that breed plays a huge roll. But I have seen 140lb Rotties that don't seem very athletic. I suppose their are dogs like the Boerboel that might be athletic at that weight but on average don't you think smaller dogs would be more effective?

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. FoxyWench

    FoxyWench Salty Sea Dog

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,308
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs at home, 2 dogs with the parents 6 peacock
    Location:
    Connecticut
    it realy to me depends on he way the dogs built. a good protection dog built for work would be athletic and fast and easy to manouver, ive seen some mastifs kept trim and well in shape that would be prefect...the bulk and overall size shouldnt effect the performance of the dog, if it does, the dogs too big.
     
  3. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    94,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3, Bimmer, GSDX (m); Kharma, Fila Brasileiro (f);
    Location:
    Where the selas blooms
    Home Page:
    I think the dog's capabilities and fundamental lack of vulnerability plays a bigger part than the size does. The most important part of the dog, though is the part between the ears ;)
     
  4. Julie

    Julie Are You Blowing Me Off?

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Messages:
    3,481
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Wild Wonderful WV
    I think it is the "drive" in the dog...not the size.
    At the certification seminar we attended in April there was a great difference in size of dogs. Our Rocket is about 70 lbs, there were dogs up to about 110 lbs. and there were also dogs there about 50-55 lbs. The Mals were the smaller ones and had more determination and drive. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of an apprehension with their determination. They never tire and will do anything to succeed, when they realize what is expected of them. And yes such a smaller dog with smaller teeth can bite thru the bite suit.

    If I were to choose a "guard" dog, I would pick a Medium size dog in great shape, with the "right" temperment. By medium about 65-70 lbs.

    Rocket is trained for handler protection, she is the most mild manner dog, great with kids etc. but when she senses something is wrong she changes into a "different" dog. A protection dog does not have to be "aggressive" or "tempramental".... they just have to be smart enough to decide to "kick in" or not.
     
  5. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    64,812
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree !!! Depends on the line and the training . If it was between a #130 Newfie and an #8 JRT , who do you think I'd run from ??? LOL!!
     
  6. showdawgz

    showdawgz New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It depends on the dog and their fight drive. Mace and Keelo are capable of protecting. Mace is +100# and Keelo is 70#. Mace is very agile for his size and will fight to the very end. And if someone jumped over a car of something he will find a way to get his big butt over that car and take them down. But keelo is much more portable which is why I like a smaller dog. Now for sport smaller dogs are preffered although big 100# dogs can so sport as well. That is why Belgian shepherds and dutch shepherds rule the french ring sport because they are very agile and can clear the wall.
     
  7. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    12,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 2 rats
    Location:
    QLD, Australia
    i've never relaly thought about that, true i would probably get a more athletic dog for protection work. but its a good point about their drive.
     
  8. squirtsmom

    squirtsmom New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Messages:
    3,242
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5
    Location:
    Missouri
    The dog that will intimidate me is the dog that is fierce and coming after me. Doesn't matter what size it is.
     
  9. showpug

    showpug New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Messages:
    5,218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3 pugs and a bulldog
    Location:
    Oregon
    I absolutley agree with it being brains over braun, but I would trust a Mastiff with protecting my life in a heartbeat!
     
  10. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Dog, Dog, Cat, Fish
    Location:
    Oregon
    I think it depends on the situation too.

    Our door comes into a narrow area, a corner of the kitchen created by cabinets, a few feet wide. A 200lb mastiff would be perfect here, who cares about agility when you can just shove someone back through the door... A mastiff is still probably beat me running around in circles anyway.

    Portability does have its advantages though if you're going to be taking the dog places, a Fila or Mastiff might get too much attention walking down the street, or be too difficult to keep getting in and out of a smaller car.
     
  11. Gempress

    Gempress Walks into Mordor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    11,955
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm no expert, but I don't think there's such a thing as too big when it comes to personal protection. It's all about defensive work. I think that a giant mastiff is just as good as a smaller dog, if not better. Larger dogs are certainly more intimidating-looking! And it would certainly be harder for a criminal to get through your dog to get at you. ;)

    But if it comes to actual apprehension work, like chasing down bad guys, I think size is definately important. While a 280 lb mastiff is intimidating as a personal protector, they just don't have the agility to clamber over high fences and slip through narrow fence cracks in pursuit of a felon.

    I remember seeing a video posted on here showing Belgians (probably weighing 60-70 lbs) doing some absolutely amazing apprehension work. Completely vaulting cars to get at the suspects hiding behind them, leaping into moving van windows to latch on to a gunman's arm, and more. It was all done at astounding speed---they looked like bullets. I don't think a fila or bullmastiff is capable of performing like that.
     
  12. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Messages:
    15,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs
    Location:
    Ohio
    For personal protection, I don't really think it matters.

    I was stunned when a policeman in my area did a demo with his 45lb Belgian Malinois. The dog was the same size as my Border Collie but his athleticism amazed me. That dog could launch himself up to the window of a semi to apprehend a suspect, he was able to clear a 6' wall with a foot to spare, and chase (and take down) a grown man.

    I think size is an effective deterrent but it's not everything. I would trust that Malinois with my life just as I would trust a Mastiff - different approach, but the same result.

    I think people would be surprised at the quickness of the big dogs, too. If they're bred with function in mind, their size does not compromise their athleticism.
     
  13. oc_spirit

    oc_spirit Snow Girl

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,634
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Home Page:
    I have been told that after you exceed 150# you begin to lose athletisism in general. After that weight you start finding more and more dogs who were bred only for size without much thought about being comformationaly sound/athletic. Back in the day the max. for a Neo weight was 150# for this very reason. That part of the standard has been abolished because of the show breeders who breed for "bigger is better" regardless of the fact that their dogs are so over-done it can hardly move after it finishes its trot around the ring....sad.

    But back on track, I have seen and met dogs that are OVER that 150Lbs mark that most certainly are very athletic and very capable of fulfilling their intended job which is why what I stated is a generalism and does not apply to every situation.
     

Share This Page