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Guarding and fighting dogs as pets

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by rona, Mar 30, 2011.


  1. rona

    rona Guest

    I've been around mainly gun dog breeds all my life and love the sociable nature of nearly all that you meet.
    I've never been interested in other breeds though I can see the appeal and merits of most (even terriers :eek:), though I've rarely been drawn to one of the guarding or fighting breeds, and was just wondering why people, particularly those that own one, choose to have one as a pet.
    I find, if you get a nice one they can be lovely dogs. I have met Rotties, GSDs and Staffies that have been no problem at all, to their owner or people at large, but if they do go wrong (and this can be caused by some other idiot with an out of control vicious dog) they can be such hard work to put right, and in the meantime so difficult to own.
    Is this too simplistic a view?
    Have I made my point or have I insulted?
    No insult was intended.
     
  2. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I agree with you Rona. if you have one of the guarding breeds it is obviously in their nature to guard and if they bite they tend to inflict more damage than some breeds. But it is rare they will do so of course.
    I think you have to be very careful in your choice of breed so it suits your own temperament and your lifestyle. You cant generalise totally but you can have a good idea of what your dog is likely to turn out like according to breed.

    I have owned a good selection but, even though I never intend to have another one, I would say I am a collie person. Definitely not a gundog person though I do love goldens and flat coats. In spite of being on my fourth poodle and really loving them I think I still feel more affinity with collie types but as I am not very fit they no longer suit my life style and I LOVE no hair in the house nowadays :001_smile:

    Another point - there is a lot of very anti guarding breeds so though most have lovely temperaments you will meet some resistance to them. I had a GSD for a while and found it a misery with visitors refusing to get out of their cars if he was around and having constant digs at me for owning him when I had a baby. It can tend to take the edge off enjoying your pet.
     
    #2 Blitz, Mar 30, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  3. DaisytheTT

    DaisytheTT PetForums Senior

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    I think as long as the guarding breed you get comes from good stock, you understand the background of the breed, you train them properly and you don't get one because you are some kind of 'nutter' then I think you will be ok.

    Having been raised with GSD. I could not praise them enough. Our girls were the soppiest dogs you could meet. I just think to other people they looked 'scary' and because they are that guarding breed people tended to steer clear, but ours were trained within an inch of their lives. I think all dogs have the ability to harm if provoked but sometimes I think guarding breeds get a bad rap.

    Having now got a tibetan terrier which just looks like a big bundle of fluff, it is hard to believe that this breed where actually originally bred for guarding :eek: and herding. Daisy will guard the house within an inch of her life if she hears something outside she doesn't like, (but she'd be more likely to lick someone to death if they came into the house!) and her bark if someone comes into our back garden without invite can be quite frightening and she will alert you. But because she is small and very fluffy I don't think it would even cross peoples minds that she might go for them if she or I felt endangered. Please don't get me wrong, she's not trained to go for anyone but it is in a TT's instinct to guard their territory.

    No insult taken by the way :)
     
  4. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    Because they are wrongly victimised against, I think. I'm not saying breed doesn't count for anything, and when guarding breeds do bite they can inflict a lot of damage, but the pluses immediately outweigh the negatives for me. Especially for Rotties :D

    They definitely have a greater propensity for being wary and unsure (most Rotties I have met are generally on the wary side and can be spooked easily) but as long as this is known and catered for by someone that knows what they are doing and who can build their confidences up, they are gorgeous breeds just as any other.

    I grew up with GRs but as soon as I started getting to know Rotties more, I was hooked. I have had some weird looks, of course, and some small arguments with people who believed that I was walking a Rottie purely for 'status', but my reaction is "Well, if you won't have them, who will?". They are not going to disappear and derserve a chance just as any other breed. We just need to stop the silly people who decide to own them for the wrong reasons.
     
  5. mandy2011

    mandy2011 PetForums Newbie

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    I used to be scared of Rotties, but I met one a while back and fell in love he was the softest dog ever.
    So my partner bought me one nearly a year and a half ago now and like rottiefan I am hooked I want to start rescuing them but we don't have the space!
    My rottie though wouldn't be much use as a guard dog, she greets everyone with a waggy tail and licks!! Our collie x guards more than the rottie!
     
  6. ballybee

    ballybee PetForums VIP

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    lol every guarding type dog i've ever met have been big softies!!! GSD's are my ultimate favourite dogs every one i've met has been very friendly and ore likely to run away than actually defend :rolleyes: I know someone with a massive rottie who will bark, then run away when you go into the garden :eek: luckily the same people also have a yorkie who is more in your....toes? lol

    I love guarding breeds, Tummel has a bit of a thing for staring out the window and growling at things that don't sit right with him(usually buses out at the main road), the best time he ever reacted OH had been out testing his rifle using a carpenters bench for support and we decided to take a walk up the field and have a look over the hill, leaving the bench where it was. Tummel must have forgotten it was there as when we cam back he went completely mental....he bayed :eek: now i'm pretty sure neither labs or ridgebacks are known for baying but he did a full blown beagle/husky/foxhound etc type baying bark and pulled the OH down the hill to attack it :rolleyes: his reaction when he reached it was simply "oh....owell!" :blink: Both OH and i love mastiffs as well so we'll be sorted for a safe house, Tummel, ridgebacks, GSD's, a rottie or 2, various mastiffs....nobodies getting in my house without meeting a dog first ;)
     
  7. LexiLou2

    LexiLou2 PetForums VIP

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    We went for a staff due to their reputation for being good with people and specifcally kids, i did plenty of reading up and knew as long as a puppy is well socialised with other dogs from an early age then you have every chance of having a dog friendly dog, Lexi has done training classes and various interaction course and other things, flyball etc and is dog friendly....I wouldn't say she adores other dogs, but she like to have a play and is then happy to come away again, she ahs never shown aggression even when she has been snapped at by another dog.
    Guarding....not really if someone knocks at the door she barks and hides and once she knows its safe she'll come out again. A towel fell off our washing line last summer, she saw it through the window, wee'd herself hid and would not go in the garden for the rest of the day.....god forbid the killer towel should get her.
    I've known other dog breeds but a staffie isn't really a dog, as my dog trainer once put it a staff is a cat crossed with a baby in a dogs clothing and thats is so true.
    When you tuck her up in bed on a night with cow (her teddy) and she snuggles up to him under her blanket it is really hard to see the 'devil dog' persona they are supposed to have.
     
  8. Ditsy42

    Ditsy42 PetForums VIP

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    Guard breeds r not 4 everyone and they do need the right owners first and foremost who fully understands their breed traits, they need handling and training so they r very well socialised and will follow basic commands, this is a must, their manners must b impeccable in my view when out in public :D

    I've owned Rotts for over 15 years, both my kids have grown up with them from being babies, my son was only 2 weeks old when we brought our first Rott home and I never looked back, best thing i ever did.

    Mine all do the good citizens dog scheme as well as obedience, Bailey is a rescue I took on and he had problems at 8 months, bred and owned by eejits, he was hard work, took 2 years of training and patience to get him to the dog he is today, very laid back, no guard instinct at all, he is slightly autistic but I luv him dearly, when i get older I want to rescue the Rottie plodders, oldies who nobody wants, that wya I can still own my beloved breed when I get old n grey :)
     
  9. Ditsy42

    Ditsy42 PetForums VIP

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    Spot on !! u won't believe the eejits i've spoken to recently regarding the litter of pups we have, OMG words fail me, now those that know me know that don't happen very often :D
     
  10. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    The only breed of dog my mother was afraid of was the german shepherd. I was brought up with all the old wives' tales like, they can turn, they are crossed with a wolf, you can't trust them, yet it never put me off. I think they are one of the most beautiful breeds, and I love to meet one when I am out just so I can say hello.

    But I have problems with mine, not with guarding instincts, obviously, or people being afraid, but of other dogs being afraid. I have found it very difficult that, although they love to play with other dogs, a lot of them will either run away or stand still looking terrified. I have to be so careful, and it is not something that I even considered when I got Ferdie.
     
  11. thedogsmother

    thedogsmother PetForums VIP

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    I can only comment for gsds but I love the breed, both my dogs werent easy dogs as far as training goes, Henrick was very fearful as a youngster and Bella was a completely untrained teenager when I got her, but if you understand your breed and are willing to put the work in training them then they are well worth it. They take their guidance from me and as long as Im ok with new people and situations then they are too. My dogs have a well deserved reputation locally for being big and soppy despite being a guarding breed.
     
  12. sunshine80

    sunshine80 PetForums VIP

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    My uncle used to have the sweetest german shepherd. She used to disappear into the fields when he was at the garage and the farmer asked him one day is she was his and took him to see her lying in the field keeping "guarding" the lambs and keeping them warm. Not sure guarding dogs are for me really as I would not have the power if one decided to run - apart from a Staffi I would love one of them. Sonny takes offence to large dogs and keeps barking and going crazy (usually only the first time he mets them). I feel so guilt that they have there lovely big dogs under control and he is acting like a crazied dog and showing me up :rolleyes: I am working on this though
     
  13. Jo P

    Jo P PetForums VIP

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    I chose Rotts cos they fit in with my bald head and tattoos and because I love a good brawl in the street :)
     
  14. Jo P

    Jo P PetForums VIP

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    Oh NO!!!! I dont have a bald head :eek:
    Shhhhhhhhhhh - I do have tattoos!! ;)
    And I havent had a fight in the street - but I'm open to offers at certain times of the month :cool: :mad: :eek: :tongue_smilie: :p

    I love everything Rotts - their loyalty, their beauty, their intelligence, their stubborn streak, their cuddles, their velvet ears, their trainability blah blah blah blah blah I could go on all night - they just fit me - and I hope I fit my three :)
     
  15. shibby

    shibby PetForums VIP

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    I'd say it is and it isn't a simplistic view. I believe a lot would depend on what the individual dog has been through, regardless of breed but also depending on the issues it has. It all depends. You can see by looking at a rescue website how many non guarding/'fighting' dogs have quite extreme issues that require a lifetime of training to help them deal with things. I remember an extreme case with a Yorkshire Terrier. We have a Staffie because they're such affectionate little dogs and have a very caring nature. I also like Rottweilers/Doberman's/German Shepherds etc. and have never been drawn to the gun dogs myself, so am the opposite. I don't know what you mean by 'get a nice one'? :confused: But I think it's the owners who are responsible for how they turn out (bar situations were dogs have been attacked and have issues from that, like you mention).
     
  16. Miss.PuddyCat

    Miss.PuddyCat PetForums VIP

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    In the future I would like a big breed of dog because I love big breeds and think some are just beautifull. But I understand that with a big dog there can be issues and I think the main one I would deal with is people not liking big dogs or being afraid of them.

    My mom is terrified of big dogs though she is getting better we saw a Bull Mastif the other day and my mom nearly ran a mile. So I know that if I ever get a big dog I would have issue with say inviting my mom over for dinner etc.

    But I would be willing to deal with that. I was at the petstore a while ago and saw two huge Great Danes well behaved and were right cuties but their owner was trying these big prong collars on them and it made me think why would you get a big dog like that if you felt you wouldnt be able to handle one and would have to resort to a prong collar of all things!
     
  17. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    I have never seen a prong collar on a dog in the UK, though they do sell them. It is so lazy, quick fix, no thought for the dog. If I can walk my two side by side, one with a headcollar and with just his half check collar, so can anyone else walk a giant breed.

    Shame your mum can't come visit my two - that would get her over her fear of big dogs! I like big hairy dogs, and I don't much care what group they belong to.
     
  18. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Since getting Roxy (rescue GSD) it does upset me that some people have such perceptions of certain breeds.

    Roxy is reactive with other dogs due to (probably) having no socialisation. She gets very excited when she sees other dogs & if she were a spaniel, lab or beagle people would probably be more understanding. Instead alot seem to just view her as large vicious dog & me as an incompetent owner (well, maybe only sometimes ;))

    We are really trying to put the work in with her to help her overcome her issues & we are making progress but I do think that with some breeds if they do not act like the 'perfect' dog they labelled instantly.
     
  19. Miss.PuddyCat

    Miss.PuddyCat PetForums VIP

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    I noticed them last year for the first time here and was sad to see them here. As soon as I saw them being put on their necks my smile turned into a frown. I agree with you and I would never use one or would allow anyone in my family to use one.

    I could just see my mom disappear in a pile of dust lol, shes getting better though. She loves next doors German Sheppard even bought him a big dog bone and pets him. I dont think her fear will go away completely tho.
     
  20. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    I think that the influences that motivate us towards one breed or another are both legion and complex. Our perception of the dog, our lifestyle and our self-image all combine in ways that are not easily articulated. We can often say what it is that appeals about a breed but not why that what is appealing - it usually comes down to 'I just like it'.

    I fell in love with my uncle's working GSD when I was six years old. It was a trained security dog and, although I believe that the GSD is one of the most visually striking and attractive breeds, I have no doubt that its powerful presence and sense of restrained menace added to my sense of fascination and awe to complete the picture of the perfect dog - companion and guardian.

    That attraction persisted into adulthood and, over time, broadened into an appreciation of other guarding breeds. I have lived with (among others) GSDs, Rotts and Dobes. Does machismo play a role in my preferences? I'm sure it does but this is not to denigrate the validity of my breed choice any more than the obvious femininity of CKCS is a motivating factor among that breed's devotees. The truth is that we are all drawn to breeds that compliment our self-image - be that the tough guy with a tough dog, or the young beauty with a toy dog, or the unconventionalist with a scruffy mongrel. Most dogs are 'status dogs' one way or another reflecting an attribute that their owner likes them to reflect - be that the 'friendly' goldie, the 'clever' collie or the 'independent' husky, etc.

    However I have had, in recent years, a change of heart and a shift from guarding breeds towards bull breeds and, I believe, this change is not driven by the same motivations but from the inherent qualities of the dogs. I never really liked staffies or the other bull breeds. Compared to the GSD or Dobe I thought them lacking in elegance, stature and refinement. I didn't mind them, you understand, they just weren't for me. But, having fostered so many staff and staff crosses, I have experienced first hand a temperament that is second to none - the joie de vivre, the burning intensity of the dog-human bond and the gentleness that bull breeds are capable of has quite won me over. I have particularly enjoyed fostering two staff/boxer crosses. This is a beguiling mix of breeds and one I now consider would be my ideal dog. Not for reasons of self-image (although such a dog is large enough not to conflict with my machimso but there are tougher looking dogs if that was an over-riding concern) but because of the delightful qualities inherent in the breed/s - soft, chunky love with a big head and a staffie kiss.

    In response to Rona's OP I would observe that most dogs are hard work and difficult to live with if they "go wrong". An aggressive Lab or Weim is as nightmarish as an aggressive GSD or EBT.
     
    #20 Johnderondon, Mar 30, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
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