Going for a Guard Dog? Find the Breed Best for You
There is no saying no to the increasing crime in the world we live in. Taking measures to protect yourself and your home has become more imperative today than ever before. This is just one more reason, albeit an important one, for dog lovers to get themselves a guard dog.
A guard dog will watch over your home and your family. It will immediately alert you and even pin the intruder down, and can prove to be a solid deterrence. Large properties, farms, even apartments these days need their own sets of alarm systems, among other paraphernalia to ensure security. A dog can do the same while also providing you companionship.
Not all breeds are meant to be guard dogs though. But every dog will instinctively protect its pet parents’ house with all they’ve got.
Traits of a Good Guard Dog
Large, daunting, ferocious-looking dogs are often preferred as guards because of the sheer chill-down-the-spine factor of their looks. These types of dogs are able to discriminate between people they know and attack only those that threaten their “pack”. Due to their natural instinct to attack and defend, they need to be extensively trained. With inadequate training any dog, and especially these large creatures, will be very dangerous.
Here are a few breeds you should consider as guard dogs for your home.
The German Shepherd
The first canine movie star in the world was a German Shepherd. Named Rin Tin Tin, he was found as a pup on a WWI battle field. The dark, intelligent eyes, the shaggy coat, the perked up ears and its overall intelligence make this breed a favorite among dog owners looking for a guard dog. This breed has done almost everything man his asked it to do. From assisting the bomb squad, outing illegal drugs, chasing down criminals to protecting livestock, the German Shepherd has done it all.
But beware, this one is no couch potato. This dog will need a lot of mental stimulation and exercise to keep its energy in bounds. They can handle anything, from an apartment to a ranch life, provided they live indoors as a member of the family.
The Saint Bernard
This is a massive dog, originally bred to pull people out of avalanches and drag them back to safety. Needless to say it has not lost any of its protective instincts over the centuries. These are extremely gentle creatures when it comes to their family and children. They are slow, but can be quick when goaded into action. They are eager to please their masters and are loyal to a fault.
Taking control from the beginning would be a good idea with this dog. Their size can be dangerous to an inexperienced dog owner, so make sure they are professionally trained. The Bernard is also a big drooler, so make sure you have no particular aversion to that trait before you go for one.
(Image source – http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/Kuvaszkutya.jpg)
This is an astonishingly intelligent and headstrong breed that are natural flock guardians and guard dogs. They are easy to housebreak and can be trained well, provided the owners can assert a firm authority over them at all times. They may be reserved with strangers, so it is advisable to socialize them during early puppyhood.
These dogs are independent flock guardians, and their large size can make them quite daunting for anyone hoping to sneak in through an open window. The Kuvasz does not do well in apartments and needs at least a spacious backyard. Leaving this dog alone for long times will make it destructive, so spend time with it going for long walks and playing games.
The Newfie is one of the best examples of a gentle giant. This dog was originally used on fishing boats and is still used extensively for water rescue. Despite not being total workaholics, these dogs can exhibit a fair amount of energy and need daily exercise.
They chew and slobber a lot, so providing them a lot of dog toys to chew on would be a good idea. It is important to go easy on the exercise during the first two years of its life as its bones are still developing. They are willing learners and will pick up new skills with ease at puppyhood.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog
The purpose of these bear-like dogs was to protect flocks and they preserve their guardian instincts to date. They may exhibit ferocious and unmanageable instincts if not trained properly. They will invariably need a strong and authoritative pack leader as they are willful and independent when left to their own devices.
It is best suited to a family with a large open area for it to run in. These dogs are not preferred for an apartment life; considering their size and their need for space, the combination of the two can only cause trouble.
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A Boxer is a bundle of energy, curious, playful, watchful and most of all loyal to its family. It is comfortable with other household animals, even cats. They will get along well with children and known outsiders, but a stranger had better beware.
They will require a strong leadership to show them who is in charge, or their energy is bound to get them in trouble. These are very courageous dogs and will give their life for their owner. Daily exercise is necessary to make sure that the boxer doesn’t get bored and destructive.
Getting a guard dog is all about getting a dog who can adapt to your lifestyle. If you are living in an apartment you will ideally prefer a German Shepherd or a Boxer, while people staying on farms or near the woods would be best suited with a Newfie or a Caucasian Shepherd Dog. Whichever dog you may want to go with, just ensure that you treat it like family and that it always knows that you are the leader of his pack.
Filed under: Working Dogs
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