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Old 11-21-2007, 08:50 PM   #1
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Default HELP! Good Beginner Dog For These Conditions?

This is a very specific thread, so those who are experienced dog owners would be best in answering this.

I live in a very bad part of town, with soon to be only my dad and myself, and lately, my dad and I have been entertaining the thought of getting a dog for possible protection while I'm alone in my house. I'm a homeschool student (a junior to be exact), and am gone for only a period of about three hours, two times a week, so I figure I should have a lot of time to train a puppy if I get one. I understand the responsibilities of having a dog, so I'm trying my best to get a dog that would fit well in my household, as I don't want to get a breed of dog that's too much for me to handle, and end up spoiling the dog because of it.

These are some of the things I'm looking for in a dog... As I said, I hope to be able to get a breed of dog that would do well as protection. A medium sized dog preferably, maybe around rottweiler sized, and a dog that isn't too high energy. My dad and I don't do a lot of going out, and I am not a naturally active person, so unless I exert myself to try and satisfy an energetic breed's needs, a more tame, though playful breed would be nice. Again, this is my first time owning a dog, so a dog that a new owner could adapt to easily is preferred. A breed that does well inside, with exception to being taken out for walks and the like, as my house doesn't have a fenced yard. And, last but not least, I hope to get a dog that could do well with smaller animals, such as cats. (I have a cat... Would raising a puppy with the cat be a smart idea? I don't want a breed that has a tendancy to be small animal aggressive!) Also, I live in the city, so a dog that does well in the city would be a help.

I'm not looking for appearance. I'm looking for loyalty and trust, and a good sense of protection, mainly. It puts my dad at ease, leaving me here alone, to have a dog around that could help protect the family.

Any breed suggestions would be appreciated!

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Old 11-21-2007, 08:56 PM   #2
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I would suggest a Mastiff because they don't require a ton of excercise but they have protection quialities, but you mentioned you wanted a medium sized dog and a Mastiff is a large breed.

I would also perhaps suggest a Pitt Bullr Staffi, they are very loyal to there masters and are eager to please and are a medium sized dog, they do require excercise though.
Good Luck
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:07 PM   #3
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Hi Noccy and welcome to the forum.
Most dogs are loyal and trusting. Some are not as good at protection as others for exmaple stay away from the retrievers.
But really it sounds like you might be describing a German Shepherd!
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:10 PM   #4
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Your first mistake is thinking in looking for a specific breed of dog as a guard dog. All breeds will protect their people .Even a Chihuahua would do it's best to protect you.
But all things aside, have you tried your local shelter to see what they have? The dogs are assessed, they will know if the dog is good with cats, and you would be saving another life. You don't necessarily have to get a pup, An older dog..1 or 2 yrs old still has plenty of life in it. They are out of puppyhood tricks, some are already obedient trained, and no housebreaking. This would seem to give you what you are looking for. It's demanding to start with a pup, housebreak it and take it to classes to teach it to be a great companion and not a destruptive force in your life. Pups are finished teething so are over the chewing phase, another good point to consider.
The shelters have purebreds, mixed breeds, all ages and I know they could guide you to what you are looking for. I didn't mean to get a chihuahua, but even a mid size spaniel will protect you. Without experience I wouldn't be thinking Rottweiller, pittie, or any natural guard dog type. Any breed will protect you, mixed or purebred once it has a forever home with you.

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Old 11-21-2007, 09:10 PM   #5
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Yes German Sheppards are wounderful dogs and would be great for your situation also
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:11 PM   #6
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Well, there is a variety of breeds for protection but make sure you get one that you can handle and not let it get out of control and get sued for biting wrongly so. Mastiffs do take special owners especially the Neopolitian ones big and nastey.
Also there is Dobes, Rottys, Shepherds, Malinois, Giant Schnauzers, etc. Go to dogbreedinfo.com and read, study temperment, u just want it to bark, not bite I hope?? Mine bark when they do not recognize an auto pulling into the drive way. They do not bite however, but it gives u time to get ready to see who is approaching. You can also have any medium-large breed trained for Protection but I do not advise this. I know a lovely female that got trained for this and turned people and dog agressive very badly and had to be put down, obviously bad training in the first place. Get one you can handle, no offense to you, just make sure it is not a breed so big and nastey tempered that you have a real problem with. If you need further help pm me anytime.
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springtime View Post
Your first mistake is thinking in looking for a specific breed of dog as a guard dog. All breeds will protect their people .Even a Chihuahua would do it's best to protect you.
But all things aside, have you tried your local shelter to see what they have? The dogs are assessed, they will know if the dog is good with cats, and you would be saving another life. You don't necessarily have to get a pup, An older dog..1 or 2 yrs old still has plenty of life in it. They are out of puppyhood tricks, some are already obedient trained, and no housebreaking. This would seem to give you what you are looking for. It's demanding to start with a pup, housebreak it and take it to classes to teach it to be a great companion and not a destruptive force in your life. Pups are finished teething so are over the chewing phase, another good point to consider.
The shelters have purebreds, mixed breeds, all ages and I know they could guide you to what you are looking for. I didn't mean to get a chihuahua, but even a mid size spaniel will protect you. Without experience I wouldn't be thinking Rottweiller, pittie, or any natural guard dog type. Any breed will protect you, mixed or purebred once it has a forever home with you.
you have a good point there about having experience with a gurad breed first.
I own Labs and they would both protect me.

Yes looking at a shelter first is a great idea
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:57 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for posting your suggestions. To clarify, I'm not looking for actual guard dogs, such as rotts and the like. I was considering a german shepherd, but wouldn't they be a little energetic for someone like us? My nextdoor neighbor used to have a shepherd named Skipper, and she was just the most energetic thing.

Thanks again!

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Old 11-21-2007, 10:09 PM   #9
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I agree with Springtime. Almost any dog will do it's best to protect you, if only by barking. A shelter dog is your best bet. And, I'd also suggest an adult dog that has already been tested as good with cats. The reason is, you're a first time dog owner. Raising a puppy is HARD work, and it may be more than you're wiling to take on. Plus, a pup won't be a good watch dog until it is much older (possibly two or three years).

My advice is ge to the shelter and find a great dog you bond with. Don't worry about breed. Just look for a dog you like.

However, I wouldn't get a dog until you get a fenced yard. It's not fair to ask a dog to only exercise on walks. Dogs need lots of exercise and free roaming time. Even low energy ones need about an hour of exercise a day for good health. Get your yard fenced.

Also, don't expect the dog to truly be a "protection" dog. Those dogs are highly trained and handled by professionals. They can be dangerous when someone who isn't a strong trainer works with them. Only expect your dog to bark when strangers approach. Your best bet is to get a good alarm system. Over time, it will cost less than a dog (shots for 15 years, food, vet expenses, equipment, training, etc.). I have both - dogs and alarm - and you can bet I rely far more on my alarm for safety than my dogs!
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:25 PM   #10
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No honey shepherds only require a daily walk, not alot of exercise unless your fitting one up to show it. Mine will run hard some days some they lay around and be pets. Just a choice of what you like, I love them cause they are beautiful dogs. I have owned a rotty, many breeds I loved, but Shepherds from Germany are favorites. Smart u betcha ...... easy to train also
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