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Discussion Starter #1
I want a dog that is good with kids and a protector. I was like the French mastiff, saint bernard , boxer , and Siberian husky. My wife wants a German Sherpard. I have had several German shepards as a kid and a boxer and Siberian husky as an adult. So this want be my first dog. I have a 19 month old a new born on the way. Which one of these dog would work best for kids and protector . If not one of these dogs what would you recommend ?
 

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Over and above breed, look for a good breeder with sound tempered dogs. Look into classes and training and make sure you're going to have time to do so with a dog and family - it might be better to wait if you can't work everything into your life. I've seen good in bad in all of the breeds listed, so it's important to look around, take your time and see what is there. Keep in mind that a dog is NOT A TOY and the kids shouldn't be left alone, EVER with the dog until they are much older or you know the dog very well and can be sure they won't snap or bite a kid. The only dog I've left alone with my three year old was my old golden, because I knew she'd put up with a lot and even then it wasn't for long (as in I'd go get the laundry and come back up the stairs). The other dogs, not so much.

A puppy is a lot of work, like another newborn, and your wife may not appreciate the extra work needed to socialize and train the new pup - but what you may want to do is wait till the baby is six months or so, and then get a puppy if your wife is willing to do the work, and let her go to the puppy training while you stay home with the kids.

I wouldn't worry about a protection dog, ANY dog will bark and over that, it's a ton of training to get a 'safe' dog (who isn't going to bite your kid's friends when they come over). And really any dog will stand up to a 'bad guy' if needed. And if someone wants to come into your house and steal the TV, knowing you have a dog, they'll figure out a way to do so (there have been several stories over the years here of dogs getting stabbed/killed then the house robbed, owners coming home to a mess). A well trained family pet will do the job if needed. Personally I like my 'alarm' dogs, they'll bark but have no problem letting workers into the dog run to work on something and just playing with them the whole time. Not the best protection but I'd rather someone steal the TV and shut the door so they don't get out!

Read up on each dog's breed traits and go from there, or write what your 'ideal dog' is like without including what they look like (so energy level, size, drooling, grooming, and so on).

An adult rescued dog might be a better fit with small kids too, past the chewing/housebreaking stage and more under control.
 

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Most breeds do well with children, as long as they are properly socialized, trained and exposed around them.

Out of your small "list" you have complied, I'd go for the German Shepherd or the French Mastiff.

Boxer's are very friendly, but have high exuberance levels, which can be "dangerous" to a small child.
They might accidentally knock the child over or be too "rough".
If you got a Boxer, i'd get an older, more mature one. The older, the calmer[typically].

German Shepherd's are great dogs with good "drive". They want to please. And are protective.

The French Mastiff will be MUCH calmer/gentler than the two previous breeds and a good watch dog.
[Although, every dog is an individual within a breed and will act accordingly.]

I also recommend the following breeds:
[I don't know if you have a preference in size, gender, or age]

-Great Dane
-Rottweiler
-Newfoundland
-American Pit Bull Terrier
-American Staffordshire Terrier
-American Staffordshire Bull Terrier
-Labrador Retrievers
-Golden Retrievers
-Etc.

[http://www.justdogbreeds.com/good-with-children-dog-breeds.html]

Just remember, there is no "specific breed" of dog[or any dog for that matter] that guarantees "safe with children", as every dog is an individual and some do not adhere to the typically breed standards.

So whatever breed you choose make sure the puppy is evaluated by you and is not too high energy! ^-^
 

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I think you should also look at the energy levels of the dogs you're looking at - if they're under-exercised it can lead to stress, boredom, recklessness, destructive behaviour, overexcitement, etc, all things which make them less kid-safe.
 

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I really don't like to see ANY dog no matter how good or well bred they are with kids under the age of 6, & if I was a breeder (keep in mind my BOC.... Breed of choice is ACDs) I wouldn't sell to families with kids under the age of 6 unless it was really special circumstances.

With that said, I really don't have a suggestion, bc every breed I know is good wih kids is a lousy guard dog lol
 

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I agree completely that any dog is a liability where kids are concerned but in the right home, it is worth the effort. First you have to ask yourself whether or not you have the time to invest in a dog. The dog will take a great deal of time and with 2 little ones in the house, I bet time is at a premium for both you and your wife. If you get a puppy, you will need to housebreak, socialize, obedience train and that all takes a lot of time and patients.

I think that IF you can truly do right by a dog and teach your children how to behave around the dog, it can be a wonderful thing. I have Rottweiler's and mine are fabulous with kids of all sizes. I wouldn't ever leave them alone with kids but that is because they are dogs, not because of their breed. Obviously no dog should ever be left alone with a child, especially not little ones like yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't plan on leaving and of my children alone with any dog until they are old enough, and still maybe not then. My favorite one out of that list is the husky. I loved my husky when I had him. He was easy to train and he use to ran with me everyday. My coworker is is the one who got me on the french mastiff, and I heard that Saint Bernard are tolerant of kids. I don't plan on buying a dog until the newborn is 6 month. I just like to do a lot of research before I buy. I like to get all the pros and cons on anything before I buy. My wife is the main one that wants a protection dog. A couple of years ago I show her the Caucasian Mountain dog, and she wanted one of them. I told her we don't need that type of protection.
 

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I get concerned when someone asks about "protection dogs."

Some dogs are bred to protect livestock. Some, with adequate training, will protect people. Some individual dogs are naturally protective, though you'd be hard-pressed to know for sure how they'd respond in a truly dangerous situation (until it's too late.)

For the most part, though, it is our responsibility to protect our dogs - even the very formidable ones.
 

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I've told the story before of a gentleman who called me and wanted a German Shepherd that could run loose while the grandchildren were out playing. The dog was only to bite burglars or perverts or muggers etc etc etc. but no UPS/Fedex/mailmen or the occasional Pizza delivery man.

I'm exaggerating a bit but you get the drift.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm talking about if something happens to her. She doesn't want someone to break in and attack her and the dog just sits there and watch.
 

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I'm talking about if something happens to her. She doesn't want someone to break in and attack her and the dog just sits there and watch.
The problem is that, regardless of breed, it is very difficult for any dog to know the difference between a burglar and a guest or an attacker compared to a rough-housing friend. Even well trained dogs like police K9s have to be carefully controlled and managed to know what their duties are and when to react. Someone has to be there to give them specific commands etc.

I would NOT want a dog in a house with children that I thought would act on his own devices against an "attacker" ; what I WOULD want is a well trained alert dog that was large enough to be intimidating to the average Joe.

Edit to add:
to put it in other words.. think about how many times some "good Samaritan" type has tried to "defend" someone against an attacker that turns out to be a plain clothed cop, or the "attacker" is actually the victim who has managed to turn the tables and begin to fight back and subdue the criminal etc. Heck, police officers have been killed by "friendly fire" when uniformed officers arrive on a scene and jump the gun (literally). If a human has a hard time telling friend from foe, how much can you expect from a dog?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That was part of the reason I was looking at the french mastiff and the Saint Bernard. In my opinion it's just a mental thing. The dog presence would make her feel better.
 

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That was part of the reason I was looking at the french mastiff and the Saint Bernard. In my opinion it's just a mental thing. The dog presence would make her feel better.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I understand the "deterrent" effect and enjoy watching strange/creepy/thuggy men cross the street to avoid me and Chester (and now, foster Luna helps too). I'm just saying that you really do NOT want to be asking for or searching for a dog that will "not stand by" as opposed to one that looks are deterrent enough.
 

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I would advise against a Siberian. Mainly because while they can be taught to tolerate children and are often times great with them when raised around them - most have a really high prey drive and a small child running makes them extremely excited and they will chase and bite. My Siberian was brought up around my 6 year old nephew and knows she's not allowed to do anything to him. But if he would start running she will chase him and grab onto his clothes and with that there is also the risk of the dog knocking the child over and something happening like bashing the kids head off of a table while the dog was chasing.

Also, most people aren't exactly terrified of a 40-50 pound fluffy dog. Some Siberians do look pretty evil, but Siberians are more likely to lick an intruders face to death than do something about it. They're also very quiet dogs - so they aren't good as an "alarm" if you want a dog that will warn you to intruders.

And if you don't give them proper exercise as an outlet for their energy they can and will get very destructive - just like any breed of dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Oh, don't get me wrong, I understand the "deterrent" effect and enjoy watching strange/creepy/thuggy men cross the street to avoid me and Chester (and now, foster Luna helps too). I'm just saying that you really do NOT want to be asking for or searching for a dog that will "not stand by" as opposed to one that looks are deterrent enough.
True. I guess that's what I should have said a good deterrent dog. After I put a deposit on a french mastiff and couldn't afford to get it. I give it to a friend of mine and she is a big ole teddy bear. She is huge but gets bossed around by a jack russell.
 

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I'm talking about if something happens to her. She doesn't want someone to break in and attack her and the dog just sits there and watch.
When push comes to shove, most dogs won't just sit there and watch. They will run and hide.

But, yes, a large dog with a big bark is an excellent deterrent for the casual miscreant, as long as there's no weapons or serious intent involved. My own dog has protected my wife from me when I've come home late and she puts on an impressive display of ferocity.* I had to identify myself from a safe distance and utter some obscure password that Esther and I had worked out in advance.

I think it was "cookie."

* Just to be clear: I'm talking about my dog, not my wife. I know how you guys think.
 

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I don't plan on leaving and of my children alone with any dog until they are old enough, and still maybe not then. My favorite one out of that list is the husky. I loved my husky when I had him. He was easy to train and he use to ran with me everyday. My coworker is is the one who got me on the french mastiff, and I heard that Saint Bernard are tolerant of kids. I don't plan on buying a dog until the newborn is 6 month. I just like to do a lot of research before I buy. I like to get all the pros and cons on anything before I buy. My wife is the main one that wants a protection dog. A couple of years ago I show her the Caucasian Mountain dog, and she wanted one of them. I told her we don't need that type of protection.
My vote here is for a Doberman. We have kids and the Dobes were always great around them. Many times I have felt bad for the dog here because of the crap that the boys put it through when they were still toddlers and learning the 'how to treat the dog properly' rules. Dobermans WILL bond with their human 'family' very well over time. Very loyal dogs and very smart. If you bought your wife a Doberman and took the time to work with it and train it properly - Your wife would feel more secure when she was out at night on a walk with it. You want to do your homework and hire a reputable trainer if you are serious about a protection dog.
 

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Any largish black dog from the local pound is a visual deterrent.

Let me tell you a few things about my experience with little children and puppies. Young puppies get the zoomies and *may* knock over your children in the process. (Zoomies are little bursts of energy that last a few seconds or minutes where your young energetic dog just goes bonkers and races around the house or just jumps up people as they enter the house) They also sometimes get the zoomies and in their excitement jump up on small children and scratch them... on the face... under the eye. All of this happened within 2 feet of me in a matter of seconds b/c when the zoomies hit I am usually quick to either 1) settle the dog or 2) separate the 2 and let the dog tire itself out in a safer location. But when you have steaming hot pans of dinner in your hands it's impossible to do much to be effective . Hence the scratch under the eye. All of this happens within a matter of seconds despite the fact that I know about and exercise all the things one should do with young puppies (Ie crate trained, well exercised, socialized, enrolled in dog classes, house is set up with child free zones, dog free zones and baby gates out the whazoo) My daughter was 2.5 yo when I added a puppy. This was my 3rd dog but the household had been dogless for 3 years. Incidentally the bigger the dog the bigger the impact when they get the zoomies and careen around the corner of the kitchen wall into your small child. My dog fully grown weighs 30lbs.

I don't regret a thing. But do realize that no matter how well trained and vigilant you are s*&^ happens with puppies and young children.

It is exactly like adding a 3rd child to the family. When you are busy on a potty training mission with your 2yo human child your puppy will piddle on the carpet right next to you.... or ask to go outside so it can piddle in the appropriate place. But you are trapped in the bathroom with a child who thinks sitting on the potty means endless hours (ok only 30 minutes) of entertainment. I found that pretty interesting. Potty training 2 at the same time, 1 human 1 canine. The dog was far easier, lol.

I did create child free areas in the house where my daughter was not allowed to go. So the young dog always had a place to escape to. I think that is very important.

It is a lot of work. It is like adding another baby to the house. If you add a high drive dog and you've never had a dog of your own before there's going to be a learning curve for you. And you're going to spend alot of time in training with the dog. Be sure that you have that time before you add the dog.
 
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