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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys! well, Mac'n'Roe are almost 16 months old now and I know that during their puppy months...I was wondering whether they would really be guard dogs..as they were soooooooooo sweet and would just wag their little tails at anyone who came to the house. I had no intention of training them to be guard dogs...

Well, as they have matured, I have NOOOOOOOOOO doubt that they are VERY protective and are definitely guard dogs. I don't think anyone in their right mind would dare to cross their threshold.

the cable guy was here today and made the mistake (even AFTER I very CLEARLY warned him that I have two dogs that don't like strangers and they were INSIDE the house)...he made the mistake of walking into the house unannounced. BIG MISTAKE. Luckily, he closed the screen door in time and didn't come all the way inside. I'm not sure what they would have done, but they were barking and growling rather aggressively at him through the screen door. He immediately apologized and admitted his fault for coming in the house.

I feel LUCKY that he didn't come all the way inside, and they didn't bite him. I will certainly be more proactive next time, even if they are in the house. I'm not sure if they WOULD have bitten right away, as we haven't had this sort of thing happen before. I DID WARN the guy and told him the dogs were inside though. He should have known better than to just walk in the house as if he lived here. He had already seen them in the backyard...so he knew what he was dealing with.

Anyone know what the laws are regarding an intruder being attacked by dogs...just out of curiousity?

EDIT: BTW - they are very welcoming to strangers as long as I introduce the dogs and I ALWAYS have them on their leash when we have company to start...once they go through introductions..they are LOVEY DOVEY. Service men..they don't just accept walking into the house unannounced..apparently. Which, I don't really mind...as I know I'm safe in the house.
 

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I think it varies city to city. When I was a little girl, I remember you had to have a posted sign that says "Beware of Dog" in sight near any entrance to your yard.

Also, I think the dog is considered a property on your house insurance (?) meaning, if your dog bites anyone on or off your property, you can make a claim on your house insurance. I'm not 100% sure... however, my last Samoyed was hit by a car and the car owner wanted me to pay for the damages to his car. (this was an incident where a neighbor stole my dog and claimed to be returning it to me before I pressed charges). My homeowners insurance would pay for the damages to the car, however, we learned he had already made a claim to his car insurance and was trying to get away with being paid twice.:mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I was just thinking this weekend I should probably get a "beware" sign...a couple of them. I should probably talk with the insurance company too. Thanks for the info. I'll see what I can find out..
 

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Gosh, with the way things are nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised if a burglar could sue and win if a dog bit them while they were stealing someone's TV. There are so many loopholes and liabilities that we must be SO careful to protect our pets by making sure they never harm anyone while on our property.

Seriously though, I would be incredibly careful to make sure that the dogs are never loose or able to get to someone that is on your property if they are acting this aggressively toward strangers. Cooper will bark to warn me if someone is coming up the drive or in our yard, but then I tell him to hush and call him to me. I never want him to feel that anything other than a warning is his job, because if I did, it could escalate into aggression toward visitors (how can a dog tell the difference between friends and non-friends if they are EVER allowed to be aggressive when someone approaches the door?) and that is a BAD idea. I appreciate his warning bark, but I also appreciate that when I open the door I know with 100% certainty that all he wants to do to people (friend or stranger) is lick them and get attention. Now, if someone were directly threatening me, I feel confident he would take their leg off, but I don't want him to exhibit any kind of aggressiveness unless someone is indeed a threat.

I would speak with your insurance company for sure. And regarding the "Beware" sign, talk to them about that, because some say that is an admission of having an aggressive dog on the premises.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
They are never loose..and I very clearly stated to the man that the dogs were inside. He walked in unannounced. They aren't aggressive to people normally, but they are protective of the house.

I don't encourage or allow aggression, as I've never seen it before. Any visitors that ring the bell and I allow in the house, I haven't seen any issues but them wanting attention. This was a completely different situation.

I was upstairs and this man walked into the downstairs door. They barked and growled at the man...they didn't bite him.
 

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Mac, that sounds like just the way dogs should be! At my in-law's house once a worker went in (with their permission) and stepped over the baby gate and got bit by their maltese. But they weren't home so the dog had no way to know that the guy had permission to be there.

Mine are complete opposites - kaya loves people coming into the house, Charlie definitely NOT. But we're working on that :eek:
 

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I hope I didn't offend by what I said, I didn't mean it to sound like I thought you were being negligent. I just meant that there is such a fine line with liability these days, laws seem to lean more toward the intruders sometimes than the homeowners, so I was just making that point of saying we have to be so careful because of that. As far as someone coming in unannounced, that is totally not cool. I just think of it in that the man obviously didn't listen but could misconstrue what you said and if the dogs were to bite him he could turn around and say "well she told me to come in"... or something like that. People are so money hungry they will lie to come up with a lawsuit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
For example, I've had family come to stay here. Once they are here and introduced, they can leave and enter the house and the dogs are fine. They know my family, and any of them could come into the house when I'm not here no problem.

However, if a friend of mine came over for the first time, I would put the dogs on the leash for more control and allow them in. They have been nothing but nice in that situation. This was completely different.

And with service men around the house, they will bark aggressively until I come out and let them know its okay. They may still bark, but if they see that I'm okay with them being there...they tone it down a little.

I hope I didn't offend by what I said, I didn't mean it to sound like I thought you were being negligent. I just meant that there is such a fine line with liability these days, laws seem to lean more toward the intruders sometimes than the homeowners, so I was just making that point of saying we have to be so careful because of that. As far as someone coming in unannounced, that is totally not cool. I just think of it in that the man obviously didn't listen but could misconstrue what you said and if the dogs were to bite him he could turn around and say "well she told me to come in"... or something like that. People are so money hungry they will lie to come up with a lawsuit.
Oh definitely. I mean, if they would have bit him..it could have been a REAL problem. He said immediately "oh, that was my fault" "i'm so sorry" "i don't know what I was thinking"...he saw them in the backyard when he first got there and I went outside and was with him to make sure the dogs were okay and settled down. But, if something happened...i'm sure it could have changed in an instant. I like them being protective, and I certainly feel safe. But, like you said, I want to feel sure that welcomed visitors are safe...which they are.

I just don't want to portray them as crazy aggressive dogs...that's not the case. Protective though, YES!!! And that means I have to be VERY careful and keep THEM safe as to not bite. If that man wouldn't have closed the door in time, it is very likely he would have been bit. Next time, I'll have them in complete control, even inside the house.
 

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Yeah, I was just thinking this weekend I should probably get a "beware" sign...a couple of them. I should probably talk with the insurance company too. Thanks for the info. I'll see what I can find out..
I wouldn't get a beware of dog sign, that can sometimes be taken as you admitting to having aggressive dogs. Instead get signs that simply state "Dogs on premises" and put them at your entry ways and at any gates into your yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wouldn't get a beware of dog sign, that can sometimes be taken as you admitting to having aggressive dogs. Instead get signs that simply state "Dogs on premises" and put them at your entry ways and at any gates into your yard.
Thanks, someone else pointed this out. I'm not sure what I'll do with this one.
 

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Thanks, someone else pointed this out. I'm not sure what I'll do with this one.
Do the dog on premise sign thing and leave insurance out of it as they could then drop your coverage. Give Mac & Roe big hugs and remember they are getting mature and will become mentally stronger so keep working on control and locked doors so nobody can walk in unannounced. I treat insurance companies as a need to know program as usually no matter what happens there will be a fistfight to collect money when needed. I guarantee if you mention to your insurance company that your dogs growled at a live person you will have problems.
 

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I 2nd what wvasko says.

My homeowners insurance didn't know about any of our dogs and I only contacted them when the car owner wanted $1600 to fix his front end (after hitting my dog). The way insurance seems to be cutting and excluding risks... it's better to be a bit ignorant with dogs... unless your current policy already states something.
 

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Around here, if you have a Beware of Dog sign up, and they bite someone on your property, you can still get sued because the sign is an admission of an aggressive dog on the property, so someone can just come in, get bit, then sue you. I was talking to another guy down the street and there is a way around it. Instead of a Beware of Dog sign, he has a No Trespassing sign.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Do the dog on premise sign thing and leave insurance out of it as they could then drop your coverage. Give Mac & Roe big hugs and remember they are getting mature and will become mentally stronger so keep working on control and locked doors so nobody can walk in unannounced. I treat insurance companies as a need to know program as usually no matter what happens there will be a fistfight to collect money when needed. I guarantee if you mention to your insurance company that your dogs growled at a live person you will have problems.
What "command" should I be using to attempt 'control' the protective aggression. For example, a service man comes to the house and they begin to growl and bark. Should I just use the 'leave it' command...or is there another word conventionally used that means...'thank you for the warning, you can stop now'? I know it's just a word, and I can use anything..I am just curious as to what is used conventionally like in protective protection training.

I would eventually like to get to where a new friend can enter without me putting them on the prong collar and shoving treats into them. We just really don't have that many visitors... I'd have to hire someone to come over and practice :)
 

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What "command" should I be using to attempt 'control' the protective aggression. For example, a service man comes to the house and they begin to growl and bark. Should I just use the 'leave it' command...or is there another word conventionally used that means...'thank you for the warning, you can stop now'? I know it's just a word, and I can use anything..I am just curious as to what is used conventionally like in protective protection training.

I would eventually like to get to where a new friend can enter without me putting them on the prong collar and shoving treats into them. We just really don't have that many visitors... I'd have to hire someone to come over and practice :)
I used "At Ease", I also would work on a good stay program within sight of the door. this is going to be tougher as I'm sure you already know. One dog good two dogs 1 step the other side of insanity. They get strength from each other. Long term goals would be that how nice after warning barks which they should be allowed to do then a quiet from you and either down or sit stays while you answer door. This could be broken up with training one dog at a time before attempting both together.
 

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I tell my dogs "thank you, I've got it" and they quiet down. Allie usually retreats and lays down, but watches just incase. Lloyd turns into a wiggly mush.
 

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My big dog Lucy is the same way she is a Lab/Pit mix and she has been protective since she was 4 months old. I lovingly call her Cujo? When anyone comes near my door me or my kids. I am happy though because we do live in a part of town you have to be careful. I know I have no fear of anyone doing anything to me I worry more about her if she tired to protect me someone hurting her... She does back off if I tell her to. In my case though if she ever bit anyone trying to hurt me or my family I would not care if they sued me, I would worry that she would be labled as dangerous.
 
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