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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I apologize if I’m posting in the wrong thread. I’m fairly new to this and I really needed some advice.
I’m currently an animal science student who lives in an apartment temporarily. I am not a first time owner, we currently have an Australian Shepherd and a Siberian Husky, however they are 7 hours away. My sibling owns the Australian Shepherd and my father owns the Siberian Husky. I’m honestly really lonely, it hasn’t been good for my mental state, and I’ve been wanting to get a dog due to this. I’ve also never been on my own so the isolation is getting to me, and I don’t necessarily feel safe all of the time.
My apartment allows pets and has amenities right by my front door like a dog park.
When I come home for breaks which would be 2-4 months at a time, the dog will be coming home with me to a house with a huge yard, otherwise the dog will be exercised constantly at the dog park that I’m a one minute walk away from. After college, I will be going back home, I am only living in this apartment temporarily as I’ve mentioned before. (Also, during his or her puppy stages, I’ll be living at home.)

My dream dog has always been a long haired German Shepherd. I have also had other dogs on my mind such as Akitas, Dobermans, Chow Chows, and Beaucerons.

Are there any differences regarding the gender of the breeds I’m selecting?

I’d like a male but I am also open to suggestions for other breeds as well.
I’d like a dog breed that is:

-I prefer a breed that’s medium to large
-velcro dog/loyal
-somewhat protective
-hopefully something that isn’t an escape artist! :)
-shedding is not an issue and I am willing to get the dog groomed whenever it is needed.
-the dog should be highly trainable, I intend on taking the dog to classes if there are any behavioral issues. I’ll probably be going to puppy classes regardless.
-somewhat of a hiking buddy/can play fetch with that can be off a leash and won’t run away (not that the dog will be constantly off leash unless I am sure that he listens to recall 110% of the time.)
-something that can get along with dogs (m+f), and cats.
-low/medium prey drive
-something that can withstand cold weather because I currently will be going back from NH to NY.

* I also understand that not everything will match my preferences, I’m just listing them to see which one fits me the most!

In general, I’d like a dog that doesn’t leave my side and just something that I can build a very strong relationship with.
( Not that you can’t do that with every breed of course! :) )

I would love to hear some of your experiences with any of the breeds listed above and would love to see attachments or pictures of them as well!

Thank you in advance! I am sorry if I have made any grammatical mistakes. As always, I’m going to acclimate to my situation and do a lot of research before impulsively buying a dog. I’d like to be as prepared as I can in the future. I’ve just always been passionate about animals and I feel like a dog would really help me out mentally, and physically.
 

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Akita and Chow Chow tend to be aloof, dog and people selective, and challenging to train. Not that they can't be trained, it's just that they don't tolerate a lot of repetition, and may be difficult to motivate (what's in it for them?). Both breeds require extensive exposure to the world (usually called socialization) due to their naturally suspicious natures. Some lines/individuals have very high prey drive, making them unsuitable for multi-species homes.

Dobermans are typically eager to work, and quick to learn, although again, don't like being drilled. they are another breed that requires extensive exposure to things at a young age. As a breed, they are prone to same sex aggression, especially males. As a whole, they tend to be dog selective as adults. The do tend to be "Velcro dogs", liking to be with their humans. A lot of them also have very high prey drive. As a breed, they tend to not be particularly cold tolerant.

From what I have gathered, Beuaceron are similar to Dobes in overall temperament, if maybe a bit sharper.
 

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My dream dog has always been a long haired German Shepherd. I have also had other dogs on my mind such as Akitas, Dobermans, Chow Chows, and Beaucerons.
all of those breeds can be super hard to rent with, especially in complexes or corporate owned homes

not on the whole dog and cat friendly

not on the whole low prey drive

It isn't an "exciting" recommendation but, look for a shelter mutt under 50 lbs full grown with a temperament you like.

most apartments have a 50 lbs max and most restrict the so called dangerous breeds. so don't set you and the dog up for failure at the next move.

a clasic smaller sized Lab mix sounds perfect
 

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Not to pile on, but I agree that your preferred breeds don't match up with your criteria or living situation.

I'm going to second the Lab/lab mix suggestion. Sometimes things are popular for good reason and Labs fall into that category. Golden Retriever is another classic.

Honestly, a Standard Poodle would really fit your list of requirements, and Poodles are a very landlord-friendly breed.

Having just raised a puppy that finally is turning 2, I have to say that I would strongly recommend getting an adult dog if you're looking for good company and a mental health boost. Puppies are cute and it's intellectually satisfying to raise up your own dog from a baby but OH MY GOODNESS are they exhausting and stressful. They don't travel very well, either, because they have to re-learn everything you've taught them every time you change environments.
 

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To OP as all of the others have said I think all of the dogs listed above can and are known to be aggressive (not every dog out of the whole breed though). This means that most apartment buildings won't allow them.
German Shepherds are a larger breed of dog. Females typically stand 22 - 24 inches tall, males stand 24 - 26 inches tall. The typical female unless over or underweight will weigh in around 49 - 71 lbs, males typically 66 - 88 lbs. They are a very attached loyal dog, as well as very protective of their owners which could eventually become a problem if not corrected as soon as the behavior shows. German Shepherds are also very smart so keeping him restricted while you are away is important. They will shed all year round but at least twice a year something called a blow will happen. A blow is when the undercoat of a dog will start coming off. This is commonly called their winter coat. They are highly, highly trainable, as well as intelligent. Their intelligence and trainability are why you will see police and military handlers have them as well as their close relative the Belgian Malinois. So training will not be a problem. Hiking and off-leash work can be obtained if trained to do so from a young age. The come or recall command would need to be started as soon as you possibly can for it to be effective. German Shepherds aren't always animal friendly though, actually, most aren't unless well socialized as a pup. They do still have a high chance of being not so friendly to strangers and to other animals. All dogs have a natural prey drive. German Shepherds were originally bred to protect and herd sheep, mush like the border collie. This is why most German Shepherds have a medium to high prey drive. German Shepherds can withstand cold weather because of their thick coats.
Akitas are a larger breed of dog. The average female stands around 22 - 24 inches and weight typically 51 - 64 lbs. Males stand around 24 - 28 inches and weigh about 71 - 86 lbs. Akitas are known to be extremely loyal dogs, look up the story of Hachi, or watch the movie. Akitas are also extremely protective dogs by their own instinct, they can be trained to be protective. However, it comes very naturally to them. These dogs can show aggressive tendencies, like a German Shepherd, which could be a problem if not corrected. Akitas are also highly intelligent, so once again you would need to keep him restricted when you are gone so that he doesn't destroy or harm himself, another dog, or someone in your apartment complex. Akitas shed minimally around the year, except for twice a year they have a blow. Akitas are very intelligent animals and like the German Shepherd, they would need their training started as soon as you have your hands on them. Hiking and off-leash as well as recall shouldn't be a problem if trained correctly from a young age. Akitas are normally not animal friendly. They will do anything necessary to be the top dog, or have the most of your attention. So this could result in harm to other animals, Akitas don't really like other animals that are strangers to them either. Akitas also are not very people friendly, which might be a problem if you are in an apartment complex. Akitas were created to hunt, hence their strong prey drive. They are known to prey on other small animals. Akitas will be able to stand against cold weather because of their thick coats.
Dobermann's are a large breed of dog. Females stand typically about 24 - 27 inches tall and weigh around 71 - 77 lbs. Males stand around 26 - 28 inches and weigh around 88 - 100 lbs. Dobermann's are known to bond and be extremely loyal to their owners. They are known to be protective, and like the other two I discussed before a great guard dog. Females are known to be more protective of their owners while males are more protective of their turf and home in general. Once again like the other dogs these dogs can have aggressive tendencies if not properly trained. Dobermann's are highly trainable like the rest and very intelligent so once again start training as soon as possible. Dobermann's are very intelligent as I said before so you will need to keep him restricted when you are gone. They shed minimally all year. Hiking and off-leash shouldn't be a problem if trained correctly on them. If socialized with other animals they will be animal friendly. Dobermann's has an extremely high prey drive. They generally, like the Akita, target smaller animals. So your neighbor's cat might get into some trouble if they run into each other. Dobermanns don't handle cold weather generally that well because of their short fur.
Chows are medium-sized dogs. Your typical female will stand at 18 - 20 inches and weigh around 44 - 60 lbs. Males stand about 19 - 22 inches and weigh around 55 - 71 lbs. Chows are loyal dogs and make excellent companions. Chows are generally protective, aggressively protective, and if not under control harmful. Chows are trainable but it takes a lot of work. They are stubborn dogs by nature so it will take a lot longer. Beware though those efforts don't always work and the dog may never listen to you. This prohibits off-leash hiking. Chows have a high prey drive and can be aggressive to other animals, making them not the most animal friendly breed. They will be able to stand the cold weather.
Beaucerons are like the Dobermann breed in most ways like height and weight according to the sex of the dog. Their temperaments are the same or very very similar.
Sorry for the long post. But one very important thing to know with most if not all of these breeds is that if they aren't socialized correctly and any aggression problems handled. These dogs could become lethal to another animal or person.
All of this info is probably not encouraging. SO... here a list of breeds I would recommend for you.
#1 Golden Retrievers
#2 Labrador Retriever
#3 Goldendoodle
#4 Boxers
#5 Great Pyrenees
#6 Poodle
I have had all of the following dogs at one point and can give you additional info if you would like.
 

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OP has posted the same thread on another forum that I use, but I notice in this one she tones it down and leaves out a key piece of information.

Namely, she wants a guard dog/a dog known for aggression because she doesn't feel safe where she is.
 

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@LMH1012 Well okay then... that helps thank you.
@Viserion all of the dogs you named would be good guard/protection dogs. Question for ya... All of these dog breeds you listed and asked about are known for their aggression and protective manner. SO... did you do research on these dog breeds before you asked about them? It doesn't matter if you did. I am just wondering why you asked about them if you already researched them before. Is there something specific you want to know about the breeds? I would be happy to help if there is. Since you are looking for a guard/protection dog, out of the 5 you listed I would recommend
#1 German Shepherd {male or female}
#2 Dobermann {female - a Beauceron female would work just as effectively though}
These would be my top two picks, is there any specific reason you wanted a male? Is it just out of preference?{Almost all of my dogs have been males just out of preference, so just curious} Male Dobermanns work just as effectively as females. Females are just typically more protective of their owners while males are more protective of their home turf.
 

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OP has posted the same thread on another forum that I use, but I notice in this one she tones it down and leaves out a key piece of information.

Namely, she wants a guard dog/a dog known for aggression because she doesn't feel safe where she is.
A dog -period- is frequently a good deterrent. I live in a not so great area myself, and people would cross the street to avoid my 22 pound Standard Rat Terrier. (On the other hand, an awful lot of people want to pet my long coated GSD.)

Black dogs of any breed or mix are typically perceived as more intimidating.
 

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Most everyone here knows this, but here's a reminder: There is a difference between a guard dog and an alarm/alert/watch dog. A guard dog that is not professionally trained is a huge liability because of the distinct possibility of serious injury to someone who is not a real threat. As LeoRose said, any dog can be an alarm dog. Historically, they are often smaller dogs that were used to alert the larger guard dogs or, in modern times, a responsible adult.

My daughter has a 25-pound terrier mix who has a very intimidating bark. He is a great comfort to her and a likely deterrent to anyone who might try to break into her home, but it is highly unlikely he would ever actually attack a human.
The two most imposing dogs I've owned rarely barked. Someone would likely not know they were even there until they were actually in the house (and uninvited.)
 
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A dog -period- is frequently a good deterrent.
.
I'm aware of that, thank you. :) In fact, I have first hand experience of that.

I just thought the forum should know the history this OP has as it might influence the advice given.

Whether OP decides to take up that advice or move on to yet another forum, seeking out an answer she likes (which the cynic in me suspects will happen - if it hasn't already ), is another matter.

:)
 

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Yes, an untrained guard dog can de dangerous, and sometimes fatal. That is why you don't want an aggressive dog unless it is trained and you can easily maintain control over the dog's behavior. I have a male Golden Retriever and people are seriously intimidated by him. He seems to be aloof around strangers. I have specifically trained him to be distant towards anybody but me unless I tell him it's ok. I did this because I like to run early in the mornings, so if someone approaches they will have a good reason. His bark sounds aggressive but he's really just a big teddy lol!! I have kept my uncle's TRAINED personal protection dog for him and he is trained to be aggressive on command. He was an Alaskan Malamute, they are known to be aggressive as well. BUT HE WAS TRAINED ON IT. So you could easily maintain control of him in any situation, so he would only be lethal if you allowed him to be. I can understand that the OP wants an aggressive dog, to seem intimidating so she will feel safe. But most large dogs have an intimidating demeanor. So I still wouldn't purchase one of the dogs you asked about, because not all of them but a large amount of the dogs in those breeds will have some type of aggressive tendencies.
 

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I've had big dogs of intimidating types I can count of for early warnings all my adult life. I sincerely doubt if any of them would attack a human. They perceive other dogs and skunks and coyotes as possible threats, but in their experience, humans are either friends or neutral beings. Even so, I don't much worry about burglars and home invaders or car jackers when one of the dogs is with me.

HOWEVER, I also know that in the event some singularly evil person is willing to break in, attack me, etc., in spite of the dogs' presence, the odds are high that person or persons will have equipped themselves with weapons to deal with the dogs. That means, because I love my dogs, they become what Kipling (I think it was him) called hostages to fortune. I have considered that and planned accordingly.
 
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