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Old 02-11-2009, 05:28 AM   #1
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Default I don't have a dog yet but might get one

Just joined this forum to find out what kind of dog best suits my situation. I am looking for a guard dog but one that will also be close to my family. Not sure what kind of breed to purchase or to rescue infact. Which is better?

btw, I have no previous experience of dogs, only have one rabbit!

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Old 02-11-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
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I would not recommend any dog with a guarding instinct as your first dog, you need to be a competent handler to keep that instinct in control as it can easily turn into a problem. Guarding breeds are independent, have strong dominance tendencies and if not rigorously trained and socialised this can transgress into misplaced aggression. An easier, softer breed is far better as a first time dog - and most dogs will bark to warn of visitors anyway. You don't really want a real 'guard dog' with a family, it's a ticking time bomb if you don't know what you're doing

I would suggest visiting some shelters and trying to get to know some of the dogs, they all have very different personalities and you need to establish what clicks with you and your family. Different types and breeds suit different circumstances and people so it really is a case of doing some homework, meeting the dogs and being realistic about what you can cope with.

Good luck!
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:38 AM   #3
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With a rabbit I wouldn't get a terrier. You can do a search on sites like....
http://www.petnet.com.au/selectapet.asp?at=43
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:13 AM   #4
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I would not recommend any dog with a guarding instinct as your first dog, you need to be a competent handler to keep that instinct in control as it can easily turn into a problem. Guarding breeds are independent, have strong dominance tendencies and if not rigorously trained and socialised this can transgress into misplaced aggression. An easier, softer breed is far better as a first time dog - and most dogs will bark to warn of visitors anyway. You don't really want a real 'guard dog' with a family, it's a ticking time bomb if you don't know what you're doing

I would suggest visiting some shelters and trying to get to know some of the dogs, they all have very different personalities and you need to establish what clicks with you and your family. Different types and breeds suit different circumstances and people so it really is a case of doing some homework, meeting the dogs and being realistic about what you can cope with.

Good luck!
Ok thanks for your advice, I dont intend to rush into this and might not even get one. Thats why I'm here reading you all.

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Old 02-12-2009, 10:20 AM   #5
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Ok thanks for your advice, I dont intend to rush into this and might not even get one. Thats why I'm here reading you all.
Don't take what I said as criticism, i think it is great that you're asking questions and researching what would suit you - if more people did that there wouldn't be so many dogs in rescue!

Just a thought If you want a dog that looks slightly intimidating but is really a big soft lump then a staffordshire bull terrier can be a great choice. There's tons in rescue with lovely personalities that people don't realise would make fantastic pets. You'd need to meet some and find one without the problem issues (dog aggression is the most common, but not all have it by a long shot) - but a good staffy rescue will help you get to know them. I look after a staffy bitch and she's a fantastic dog and really tolerant of kids. Her looks by no means match her personality, she's a softy.
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:25 AM   #6
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Don't take what I said as criticism, i think it is great that you're asking questions and researching what would suit you - if more people did that there wouldn't be so many dogs in rescue!

Just a thought If you want a dog that looks slightly intimidating but is really a big soft lump then a staffordshire bull terrier can be a great choice. There's tons in rescue with lovely personalities that people don't realise would make fantastic pets. You'd need to meet some and find one without the problem issues (dog aggression is the most common, but not all have it by a long shot) - but a good staffy rescue will help you get to know them. I look after a staffy bitch and she's a fantastic dog and really tolerant of kids. Her looks by no means match her personality, she's a softy.
Is it that easy? I don't know if there are any rescues near me. I live near Leeds in West Yorkshire. BTW, I will have to look up what staff bull terrier looks like, I dont even know that! --------not much of a "dog person" am I? And I like criticism, that's why I came here.

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Old 02-12-2009, 10:32 AM   #7
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hehe...now you've opened the floodgates!

This is Shabba, the staffordshire bull terrier that belongs to my boyfriend's mum, she stays with us a lot and is good friends with my collie








Shabba belongs to a 60 year old lady and is so lovely that she has won over the hearts of half the people in the village. One elderly lady loved her so much she went and got a staffy of her own. They have a bad reputation in the media for being aggressive and dangerous - this is so far from the truth. The kennel club even refers to them as 'nanny dogs' due to how good they are with kids.

Obviously, like any dog you need to train and socialise them correctly, and there are some breed traits that you need to be aware of (some can become aggressive to other dogs) - but if you chose an adult rescue you'd already know if it had the bad traits. Shabba has none of the bad and all of the good. She's a delight, easy to look after and a joy to have around.
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:09 AM   #8
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Hi Maria It's good that you are doing your research on this And would agree that a guard dog might not be the answer while the police/ security use them they are also trained to very high standards. Rescue dogs are fine except some have very bad historys attached to them and will be harder to put right! But it can still be done with loads of dedication etc.
A puppy IMO is the better optition as you will start off with a blank canvas and will find it easier in some ways to train Good luck Maria Keep us posted please!
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:59 AM   #9
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I would say perhaps the opposite - a well-chosen adult rehome can be perfect as a first time dog. You don't have the hassle of all the housetraining and basic training.

Dave, you're right about some rescues being there because they have issues, but it really isn't all of them. Especially with staffies, there's loads in because people get bored of them, are ignorant and people who believe the hype and get rid of a perfectly stable dog when they have children.

I'm a firm believer in rehoming adult dogs. You know what you're getting if you have a fully assessed dog from a shelter where they match owners carefully. Dogs trust for example, only allow you to see dogs that suit your lifestyle and experience.

Puppies are great, but the blank slate aspect goes both ways. If you get it wrong, you have a major problem - and first time dog owners might be better with a more mature pet to begin to learn proper dog behavioural characteristics first. Not that it can't be done, but it takes a lot of work and research to get it right with a pup.

Anyway, just my two pennies worth! I wouldn't recommend some of the dogs I've had for a first timer but I take them on knowing they need work and aware of what I need to put in.
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:30 PM   #10
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Also, make sure to carefully consider how much exercise is recommended for the breed you're considering. Generally, dogs get very little exercise that you're not involved with, and if they don't get enough it makes everything much more difficult.

If you do get a puppy, make sure you think about it being full grown. 10lbs jumping at your pantleg is cute, but 120lbs knocks you on your butt.

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