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Over socialization

2243 Views 30 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  sizzledog
Hello. Long story short: we moved to a big house with over 50 windows and openings. My family consists of 2 babies (3&4 years old)my wife (working), a lady who helps for the house (and lives with us) and me (working hard :) away from home 7am to 6pm).

So we bought a female Doberman for company and protection/alert. To tell you the truth, I had many male dogs in the past but without the babies and always living in the yard and never inside the house and as near socialized as this one.

Now this Doberman is almost 10 months old, sleeps most of the nights in my bedroom (has left the crate) and she is just the sweetest dog in the neighbor: extremely socialized, extremely friendly with all small kids and with our visitors, very friendly with all other dogs even with some cats.

My question is: is it possible that I have over socialized her, so that she will not become a good guard dog? From some signs I would say no, for example we have changed our bell 3 times (!) and from the first day she knew that someone is coming (good sign) and was waiting in the door to greed him and/or play with him (not a good sign).
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Leaving a dog to judge what constitutes a threat, and act upon that judgement, is leaving a HUGE liability in your hands and is a disaster waiting to happen.
I completely agree. When I was growing up we had a lab/shepherd cross; she was extremely smart and friendly, but also very protective. I'm not sure how my parents trained her but I don't believe she was actually trained to be protective, it just came with the dog.
When my uncle walked in unannounced when we weren't home she attacked him. She would have done a lot of damage if he wasn't wearing a jean jacket.
It is not a position that a dog should be in in my opinion. There are too many things that could go wrong, and the dog will always be the one that has to suffer because of it. Nothing happened with that dog after that incident because it was family. We were quite lucky with it. But luck runs out.
As much as I'd like to think my dog knows good from bad, she doesn't. Some kid was trying to steal my brothers bike and when my mum opened the door she went straight for him, tailing wagging and all. Of course the kid booked it out of the yard with some excuse and practically jumped over the gate. He was terrified, she just wanted to play.

That coupled with the story I posted earlier about my old dog biting my uncle and I just can't assume that dogs know good from bad. My dog does growl at certain people, anyone who is under the influence she hates, but that's probably a fairly easy thing for dogs to detect and I can't say she was socialized to that sort of thing.

It's much safer for everyone involved that a dog not be trained to attack, or allowed to think it's okay. They do not have the ability to decide who is good and who is bad and shouldn't be put in the position to make that decision.
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