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Hey guys!
In looking to get my first companion. I initially wanted a german shepherd but was told tey wouldnt be good for the first time owner. I wanted a lab second but was told they are generally friendly towards everyone. Im looking for a good sized dog that is loyal and a little protective that wont follow a stranger with treats.

Thanks for your help guys!
 

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Hey guys!
In looking to get my first companion. I initially wanted a german shepherd but was told tey wouldnt be good for the first time owner. I wanted a lab second but was told they are generally friendly towards everyone. Im looking for a good sized dog that is loyal and a little protective that wont follow a stranger with treats.

Thanks for your help guys!
Most dogs will be a little protective and generally loyal. VERY FEW dog breeds, as a whole, love absolutely everyone - you've got lots and lots of options there. So, to narrow it down more:
How much exercise can you give a dog? What about size preferences? How much grooming do you want to do? Do you plan to do obedience/agility/flyball? Do you have children or other pets?
 

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*cough* get a shelter mutt *cough*
This is honestly my first reaction, but doing more thinking beyond 'loyal' and 'a bit protective', which are pretty much most dogs? Good plan.
 

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Almost all my life I have wanted a German shepherd. But I didn't think it would be a good first-dog breed either.

Bella is GSD/Lab. She is such a sweetie pie, but she will protect me. She lets me know if someone is around who she doesn't know. She is WONDERFUL with kids, but is careful around strangers. She is goofy, loves to play....just a perfect mutt.

There are lots of mixes of her kind waiting for good homes in shelters. =)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys!

For size I generally want a bigger dog, kind of like lab and GSD sized? Minimal grooming but I dont mind it. I can exercise the dog around 3 hours a day. I just heard the labradors aren't very suspicious around new people and would lick everyone to death!
 

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Thanks guys!

For size I generally want a bigger dog, kind of like lab and GSD sized? Minimal grooming but I dont mind it. I can exercise the dog around 3 hours a day. I just heard the labradors aren't very suspicious around new people and would lick everyone to death!
Retrievers, in general, have a very specific personality - usually - and that involves loving EVERYBODY. Avoiding that's okay, but I would strongly advise you trying to find a dog who is specifically a 'guard' dog, or going out of your way to get that. There is a thread a few pages back 'how friendly do you expect your dog to be with strangers', that will give you a lot of insight into how few dogs actually are interested in following a stranger because they have food. Socialize a dog well, whatever breed you get. You're not going to undo that protective thing, just stay away from them being aggressive.

...German Short Haired Pointer, maybe? http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Bre...p/German-Shorthaired-Pointer/Personality.aspx Looks pretty good, actually.
 

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Yeah, I'm not going out of my way to get a guard dog. Afterall, I have no need for it to guard or anything. Just looking for a camponaion who is a little weary of strangers and will alert me if something is out of the ordinary.
 

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I second a shelter dog. You could go to your local shelter, tell them what you're looking for, and they could probably help match you with a good dog.
Most dogs, if you provide them with good love and care, will be loyal and protective of you. My Border Collie X Pit is a good example of this. Took him from a trash pile when he was about 6 months old, he's so loving and loyal. He's very friendly with people and will generally love anyone I give the OK to.
Your ideal dog is probably waiting for you in a shelter.
 

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I think we expect too much from our dogs.

We expect them to recognize danger where we cannot. We expect protection from them when it goes contrary to their own survival instincts.

Sometimes we get those things but it's a very dangerous mistake to count on them.

I have one very formidable dog and one whimp, and it is my job to protect both of them.
 

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I think we expect too much from our dogs.

We expect them to recognize danger where we cannot. We expect protection from them when it goes contrary to their own survival instincts.

Sometimes we get those things but it's a very dangerous mistake to count on them.

I have one very formidable dog and one whimp, and it is my job to protect both of them.
I agree with you as far as not expecting protection or even prediction of danger - but there *is* a deterrent factor in dogs, and - that's not something I'm ashamed to capitalize on. I don't expect my dogs to do a danged thing ABOUT bad people, I add, but if I said that I didn't feel safer walking a dog than I do walking alone -

I'd be lying.
 

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I don't always put much stock in the "not for first time owners" concept IF the owner is willing to educate themselves, work hard, join a good training class and such. If you research well and the traits of a GSD suit you, then look for a GSD or a mix in a shelter who is a young adult or adult so that you have a reasonably good idea of that particular dog's personality OR work with a good breeder to find a puppy that is right for you. The benefits of an adult dog are strong and include being able to jump right into long walks, jog, hikes and socializing that you cannot do with a puppy.

I have no idea if my dog would protect me. I know that he has met a few strangers that he was very wary of and many more that he liked meeting. He was more protective when I first got him and I wanted to diminish that effect. His size and stare are deterrent enough.

I foster pit bulls. They are very very loving and ready to jump into any strangers arms and go home with them, and yet, a 50 lbs squat little pit female is somehow more intimidating to the random person on the street than my 80 lbs male Ridgeback standing 5 or 6 inches taller.

Black colored dogs are both over-represented in shelters and are also "scary" to strangers (people seem more wary of black dogs, dunno why) so a large, black lab/hound/GSD/mutt mix could be a really great choice for you.
 

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I think we expect too much from our dogs.

We expect them to recognize danger where we cannot. We expect protection from them when it goes contrary to their own survival instincts.

Sometimes we get those things but it's a very dangerous mistake to count on them.

I have one very formidable dog and one whimp, and it is my job to protect both of them.
I feel like sometimes people read too much into a dog's "sixth sense"
I feel like some dogs just don't like some people. My dog is hardly a guard dog, he doesn't even get up out of bed when I come home, but when I first brought him home, he was very suspicious of my father and did the "back off" snarl every time he approached him. He loved the rest of my family. It didn't mean my dad was gonna mug any one of us or anything......
But if something like that happened vs a stranger in the middle of the night, some people might then claim their dog protected them.

He does notice possible threats like coyotes before I do sometimes.
 

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My dogs bark if they hear or see something they think needs barking at (this doesn't mean it's anything important :p). This probably deters petty criminals. But more importantly, it makes ME be more alert, to pay attention to whether I need to call the cops or whatever. I would find it really hard to live alone with no dog in the house. But any dog can be a good alert dog. So go check out the shelters and see who you like, and who likes you :D.
 

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Most dogs are going to bark if someone comes to the door or is sneaking around. I think that most petty thieves will move on if they think that the homeowner has been alerted to their presence. To expect a dog to behave like the dogs you see on tv or in the movies is ridiculous. In general each breed will have certain personality traits but each dog is an individual. My German Shepherd will bark if someone comes to the door but all the while she will be running for her crate and possibly soil herself. The most aggressive dog I have ever owned was a black Lab. Both opposites from the breed stereotype. If you are looking for a companion you can't go wrong with going to your local shelter and finding a dog with a temperment, personality, and energy level that will suit you.
 

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I have a Lab-GSD rescue. He is 65 Lbs with the intelligence of a GSD and the extroversion of a Lab. I doubt that he would protect me, but he does bark at strangers .... Dog lovers recognize a teddybear and approach him with no problem, and people that I don't want to approach... I don't educate them :) Very few non-dog people will approach a large, barking dog, regardless of how friendly the dog is. (Friendly dogs may bark to say Hello, rather than "go away.")

I recommend a rescue adult, and ask them to match the dog to what you want. The good thing about a Lab personality is that they are fairly tough and they forgive you for all the newbie mistakes... as well as the 'experienced' mistakes.
 

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Amstaffs,but I am bias.They are not for the first time owners or any owners unless you are willing to put lots of training time and just time into it,if so they are all you have described and more.
 

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i have a young lab, she is a rescue. and she is not a "i like everybody" dog ;-) she is not really scared, but she is also not just going with other people. also she already protects the house.
 
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