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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I’m new here and look forward to your expert advice.

We are currently building a boutique hotel in a resort village in Mexico and want the protection of a guard dog. After research and recommendations, we have just about narrowed it down to the Boxer – and we’re considering adopting two of them, as we understand that they thrive on companionship. Don’t worry; we also plan to interact with them as well, so that they will be part of the family.

Here are a few facts about the property. The land is just under an acre and is enclosed by a seven-foot high wall. The hotel will consist of eight units, with exterior access, which we expect to be occupied primarily on weekends and holidays. So the property will be “guest-less” most weekdays. We are also building a house there which we will live in all of the time. On weekends, we will have a watchman, so the dogs will have the days off, but while we’re there alone, we want their protection – and they will have free reign over the property.

As we understand, Boxers are great with the family, but aggressive towards strangers (obviously, including potential intruders). With the constant arrival and departure of guests, we don’t want a) for the dogs lose their edge by starting to think of strangers as something not worth noticing, or b) for the guests to feel threatened by the aggressive behavior of the suspicious dogs. So we need to find a way to keep the dogs away from the guests during these times.

My husband suggested asking a neighbor to keep them. This neighbor has his own dogs and perhaps would not mind. However, he also has sheep and goats, and I am worried that our dogs might get messed up being in such a completely different environment over which we clearly would have no control.

Another option we’ve thought of is to put them in a pin, but I worry that they will still hear the noise of the guests and bark menacingly, disrupting the peace.

We’ve also thought of keeping them in the house, but even then, they might bark at noises outdoors. Plus, I’m not sure if it will be confusing to them to be part-time indoor, part-time outdoor dogs.

Can anyone offer us advice? How can we keep our dogs ‘isolated’ from the hotel part of the property when necessary? Would another breed be better suited to our needs?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Have you considered a Rottweiler? They are great guard dogs and good family dogs as well. Their bark is enough to scare off many intruders.
 

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I say this with all the respect in the world: Get an alarm system.

Aggressive dogs in a working hotel are going to be a liability. They aren't going to guard property that isn't their home, so keeping them somewhere else isn't going to work. Furthermore, dogs who are penned up can't protect you and are either going to get used to the noise, or just bark because they're bored and at everything - and if they're barking at everything, they will tune you out.

The most viable option here if you want dogs and are determined is to get dogs, train and raise and love them as part of your family, and use them to guard the property at night. But you're going to have to actually TRAIN the dogs, extensively, as well as socialize them to get what you want - and it's going to take quite a while. Like more than a year time. Especially since you need to not only acclimate the dogs to things like noises that are normal versus what is not, but to teach the dogs not to take treats from strangers, and to stay on the property even if a gate is opened.

So, again - no snark - my advice is going to be security system. It's reliable (no one has ever shot or posioned a security system, and a security system has never left the property because of a breech in the wall), less time intensive AND less expensive than using guard dogs.
 

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Can anyone offer us advice?

IMO, the American show line Boxer would be pretty useless for your needs.
And judging from your questions and comments, a European working line Boxer
is probably much more dog than you could handle?

In any event, if you end up with dogs which actually are effective guardians,
this would seem to be an absolute recipe for disaster!!!

As CptJack has already mentioned,
a good alarm system would seem to be in order.
However, under the circumstances,
even the best of alarms may not suffice...

If you need to go the dog route,
I would suggest you might want to look into
hiring a good canine security company
which could supply you with both
well-trained dogs and well-trained handlers?

In any event, best of luck!
 

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Seriously, just get an alarm system, hire a guard.

Personal/property protection dogs need years of PROFESSIONAL training to be able to do their job and even after that, they're not really pets and they will ALWAYS be a liability.

The dogs can't be trusted to make the distinction between guests and intruders. They would likely be barking and carrying on all day, and could either annoy guests or scare them away all together. Then if you allow them to roam the property at night, what if they attack a guest that's coming or going? Then you're sued, your dogs are put down, and your business will likely suffer horribly as well.

Get a security system, hire guards. If you really want dogs involved, hire some professional protection dog handlers, who know what they're doing, to patrol your grounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to everyone for your advice. Unfortunately, I fear I failed to be clear in my posting.

We really want a dog (or two) because after years of apartment living, for the first time we have the space. As I stated, roughly five days out of seven, they will be able to run and play to their hearts’ content on a substantial terrain. And they will be part of the family. We simply can’t have such a relationship with a security system – though that may be a necessity in ADDITION to the dogs.

Professional canine security services simply do not exist in the area – and even if they did, it would miss the point that we want our own.

As I mentioned, on the weekends and holidays, whenever we have guests, we will have a 24-hour watchman, so the dogs will not be roaming the property either day or night. We clearly don’t want the guests to feel uneasy walking out of their rooms. But we can’t afford such a service seven days a week. And that was the crux of my question – how do we handle the times when the dogs are not ‘on duty’.

And another factor which I can expound on is that the property is completely enclosed. There is a seven-foot high wall and a six-foot high chain-link fence atop it. And the gate is ten feet tall and will only be opened to let cars enter and exit. So an escaping dog is unlikely. And though break-ins are not common in the area, they do occur – and we feel that the mere sound of a large dog on the inside will dissuade anyone who is considering trying to climb over the wall. So we really don’t want attack dogs – just protective ones. I apologize if I failed to be clear.

Nevertheless, I do appreciate your voices of experience with respect to the time and effort that it will take to train the dogs. And I do sense that you feel it might be problematic to find a way to keep the dogs apart and content, and not barking at the sounds that the guests will make outdoors, during their off-duty time.

In the end, perhaps we will find a smaller breed of dog that will not double as a guard dog, and find some other way of making the property secure.

If you have any other thoughts or advice, it is still appreciated.
 

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Get a dog that you want as a companion and train him to be well behaved and like people and be very polite around people. You don't want either an attack dog OR a "protective dog", you just want a large dog that might bark at something unusual. I've stayed at hostels where they had a loose dog that wandered around within the gated compound but the dog was obviously friendly and if I had seen any indication the dog was not friendly, I wouldn't have stayed there and I would have shared that information on the usual travel review sites. This includes if the dog was penned up when I was there since I quite frankly wouldn't trust someone else's control over an aggressive dog.

If the hotel is so insecure that your high walls, gate, part-time watchman and a large dog are not sufficient then you're probably going to struggle to get guests anyway. I'm wondering why you think you'll only have guests on the weekends? Wouldn't it be better to aim to have guests all the time and assume that there won't be a suitable time for a protective dog to roam when there are no guests around?

My suggestion would be a good camera system hooked up so you can watch the security feeds on your computer. Cameras are getting quite cheap now and they make the kind that can stream wirelessly over the internet so they are nearly plug-and-play simple.
 

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A completely trained property protection dog - such as the one in the picture being demonstrated at a commercial property in Mexico - can cost up to US$50,000 when BOTH the dog training AND the owner training are taken into account.

Just saying.
 
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