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Discussion Starter #1
My name is Peter-Walt and I'm new to the forum.
I don't have a dog, but my wife said it was time to get one.
A little fyi about us, my wife grew up with dogs, and I grew up with cats.
(Don't be fooled, I also love dogs)
I have three kids, 3, 6, and 8.

As for why my wife wants a dog, she needs a companion when she walks in the early morning and also the need to have a possible guard dog to deter the two legged intruders while we are at work.

Right now we are visiting the pound and trying to find one that is right for us.
I have been reading and I do understand the pack-leader/alpha concept and that shouldn't be a big problem for us.

Can some one give us some advice.
Thanks
 

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Welcome! I'm new to this forum as well.

Please be very careful about what training methods you use and theories you follow. The alpha/dominance theory (that is what it sounds like you're subscribing to from the information you've given) has been disproved many many times and has been proven to be counter productive in many cases.

http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/images/stories/Position_Statements/dominance statement.pdf

http://www.journalvetbehavior.com/article/S1558-7878(08)00115-9

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090521112711.htm

http://www.clickertraining.com/node/2297
 

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Hi and welcome!

What sort of advice are you looking for? Advice in choosing the right dog? In training it?

The pack-leader/alpha concept is a bit outdated and continues to be perpetuated by a few very visible trainers (TV personalities). Check out the stickies at the top of the training forum for more info on that. You can also do a search for "Cesar Millan".
 

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I have been reading and I do understand the pack-leader/alpha concept and that shouldn't be a big problem for us.
The pack leader concept is a load of %&#@, please don't buy into it.

Also - any large, black dog will be a deterrent to most aggressors. People here can tell you all about guardian breeds, their pluses and minuses.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Something we noticed when we interact with dogs at the pound, the dog seems so playful and happy to be with us.
And I can't tell if the dog is just happy to be out of the kennel or if it is the true personality of the dog.


I am just becoming more aware of the interaction between man and dog.
I liked the pdf on dominance theory. It enforces the idea of being a leader to the dog and giving it a direction on how it needs to adapt to the family.
A second question, I was recommended to read a book from Ceser Millan.
Is his material acceptable?

As for the dog type, will any dog be a good dog to protect my castle?
Do I have to help the dog and train him to do this, or does it come naturally with all dogs?
Does the breed mater? (As an example) Can a work dog like a husky protect the home in case an intrude comes?

Thanks
 

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Hi Walter! For your question on whether any dog can be a 'guard dog', I offer the following anecdote:

Max, being a Gordon Setter, is the most happy-go-lucky, never-met-a-stranger dog I have ever met. And yet, just before Xmas, our backyard got broken into and thieves were taking off with some of our possessions in the middle of the night. Max heard them, jumped out of bed and began barking like I have never heard him before. So even though he is not a guard dog by any stretch of the imagination, he certainly saved me a good $700 worth of possessions that were about to be stolen! Good dog! :)
 

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Something we noticed when we interact with dogs at the pound, the dog seems so playful and happy to be with us.
And I can't tell if the dog is just happy to be out of the kennel or if it is the true personality of the dog.


I am just becoming more aware of the interaction between man and dog.
I liked the pdf on dominance theory. It enforces the idea of being a leader to the dog and giving it a direction on how it needs to adapt to the family.
A second question, I was recommended to read a book from Ceser Millan.
Is his material acceptable?

As for the dog type, will any dog be a good dog to protect my castle?
Do I have to help the dog and train him to do this, or does it come naturally with all dogs?
Does the breed mater? (As an example) Can a work dog like a husky protect the home in case an intrude comes?

Thanks
The Dominance theory is a load of crap. And can make a dog shut down/fearful and then you have the possibility of having a dog with a future bite history.

It is not necessarily the dogs job to protect you but it is YOUR job to protect your dog.

A Siberian Husky is just that a -working- dog. They are not bred for protection they are bred to pull sleds over long distances. Technically ANY breed can be a deterrence to an intruder. But anyone who knows anything about the Siberian Husky breed knows that they are one of the more friendly breeds even if they are very aloof with people.

A protection dog needs tons of training -tons- of training and extensive amounts of socialization as a puppy. None of that training can be done by yourself and you have to find a professional to train your dog (I'm assuming it is far from cheap) and you'd need quite a bit of insurance on the dog in the event that he/she does bite someone. (I.e dogs with bite histories need $100,000 liability insurance)
 

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. . . . Can a work dog like a husky protect the home in case an intrude comes? . . . .
I had a husky, and many hesitated to come into my yard or up to my front door when we had her, simply because she barked and was big enough (she was only a medium sized dog) to look like she might hurt if she bit. We did have an occurance where someone tried to push in to the part open door, a drunk looking for directions, and she did bite him. I believe she read how perturbed I was at the person.

I've had collie mixes here in the past that offered the same type of deterrent. I have at least two small dogs here that would do the same if someone was pushy towards me. I have another that would run and hide.:) My main goal at this point is to have an early warning (noise) of anyone's arrival.

I don't understand why the average homeowner would be looking for specific 'protection' type when most dogs look threatening enough to keep stangers away.

Perhaps you could explain more precisely what you mean by protect?

SOB
 

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My answer is no. Just no. Buy your wife some mace and get a security system for the house. I hear ADT is good.

Look, you can't put the dog away when not in use. It's a living, breathing being with feelings and needs that will depend on you for 10-15 years. And those first couple of years and last couple of years are hard work. Don't do this to yourself or the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You put it very nicely
My main goal at this point is to have an early warning (noise) of anyone's arrival.
Surely there are other things I want, but this is trait I would want in a dog.
 

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Most dogs will bark if somebody is around their house, it's a dog thing. Most possible intruders will be deterred by a barking dog, even if they can't see it. If they aren't deterred by barking then it's pretty safe to say that they are prepared to take care of the dog. Just my two cents on that subject.
 

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You mentioned that dogs at the pound seem playful and happy to be with you. In general, shelters tend to be understaffed, so you're apt to find plenty of under-exercised dogs there. They may be bouncy and crazy with pent-up energy when you take them from their runs. BUT...

You should be able to judge the temperament of a dog, even in that type of situation. If you let the dog off leash, does it act shy? Nervous? Does it go straight to the fence and start sniffing? Does it want to play with every toy in the area? Does it sit near you? Take treats from you? Throw a ball at your feet and beg for you to throw it? If you call it, does it respond?

With the children in your home, I'd be looking for an adult dog on the mellow-ish side. As someone else mentioned, large black dogs will deter predators best, and coincidentally, they happen to be common in shelters (I guess they deter potential adopters, too!) The dog needs to be gentle with children and not a bundle of nerves. It should seek out interaction with you and your children, not cower in the corner or ignore you. Training will be easiest if the dog likes treats (take some with you to test this!). It sounds like you're pretty flexible on breed, which is great, because there are probably lots of dogs of many different breeds and mixes that could fit your criteria, and your choices can be more limited at shelters (unless you're willing to travel to check out dogs at lots of shelters). If you want to see what dogs are available in your area, check out petfinder.com. You put in your zip code, and some criteria (like age, breed, size, whatever), and it shows you dogs fitting those criteria that are available near you.
 
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