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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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Frankly I wouldn't expect an attack from any dog, even a Dobe, unless it has been professionally trained in bite work. 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.

My advice: Keep your alarm on anytime you leave the house or are asleep. Train your dog to bark when she hears someone approaching, but nothing more. That, or find a professional trainer to train your dog for protection.
I 100% agree with this as well. You might be surprised how well your dog will protect you even with no training at all. See a thread I just posted here - http://www.dogforums.com/2-general-dog-forum/48695-i-m-proud-my.html#post509408 about my cocker spaniel who I'm sure has never been trained to attack anyone.
Honestly, I think the look of a doberman alone is going to scare off a burglar. Imagine if you kick in someone's door, walk inside and see a doberman staring at you. Given the reputation of the breed, whether it's barking or not, are you going to stick around to see if it's friendly? Chances are you'll shut the door, change your pants and head on to the next house.
hulk, chances are that if a person was truly motivated to intrude upon your home and/or family and going about it in a semi-intelligent way, they would scope out the place first, notice the dog, poison the dog before the break in, or prepare themselves to kill it upon entry. Some intruders may not care about the barking or risk of being attacked, opting to skip directly to killing the dog upon entry.
I spent 6 years in law enforcement in a large metropolitan area. Not once in those 6 years did I ever see anyone kill or poison a dog to gain access to a house. I've seen dogs killed or poisoned, but in those cases the dog was the target and nothing else was harmed.
Your dog cannot distinguish a visitor from a person with bad intentions. As much as we would all like to think that dogs have a sixth sense about who is a robber and who is just a friendly guy climbing the fence to retrieve his kid's ball... they don't.
I don't know if I entirely agree. I posted the story on here a few days ago about my cocker spaniel growling at the crazy guy who was off his meds. He didn't growl at any of my neighbors, just the crazy guy.
Thanks for clarifying this Zr., Pai and rosemaryninja. I was under kind of different opinion.

My Doberman will be 10 months old shortly. Do I have to continue socialization? Or the dog is settle now and just needs "maintenance"?

Finally can I play her with ropes? I pull the one end and the dog the other.

Always continue socialization. You'll never harm your dog by letting him meet someone IMO.

I have heard varying opinions on the rope toys. Personally, as long as the dog lets you win (i.e. you say "give it" and the dog gives it) I have no problem with it.
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