A lot of THRer's have dogs for various reasons and possess a lot of knowledge about the care of "man's best friend". I am looking for a recommendation for a house dog (don't have a lot of room for an outdoor dog) that would be good to help for self-defense.
Specifically I am looking for the largest dog which is not susceptable to hip problems like many large breeds seem to be. Maybe something in the 50-75 pound range. When I retire in six months I'll have the time to take care of and train this dog (hopefully) properly.
I currently have a 100 lb German Shepard - Blue Tick Coon Hound who is a good burgler alarm but she is getting up in years and is showing signs of arthritus and stiff joints.
What recommendations do you have?
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July 12, 2004, 03:17 PM
Now we're talkin'! Gotta admit that I'm partial to Collies. They're
prone to hip dysplasia only if they're not well-nourished during the first year of life. Two words...Purina and Science diet Large Breed. Yiu can
buy a more expensive dog food than Purina, but it's hard to find a better one. Tge Science Diet is specifically blended to strengthen the hip joints and connective tissue. The mixture of the two keeps costs low and doesn't
promote overweight dogs the way that the SD alone will. Kibbles and
Chunks and Beneful are two good ones that dogs go for. Suppliment
it with a a little Alpo Select Cuts for good urinary tract health, and be
prepared to get outwitted regularly. Most Collies are smarter than many
people that I know.
Collies are extremely alert and watchful...part of the herdinginstinct. They
also won't hesitate to sound off when the even think that the house is
being approached. Mine see a friend of mine 3 times a week...and they
still won't let him in until I tell'em that it's okay.
Not aggressively protective, Collies are naturally wary of strangers and
will bite if provoked, though they don't want to. Their warning is two
steps backward and a high head posture angled slightly to one side
and the tail is up, but doesn't wag. That's Colllie talk for. "I've backed
up as far as I'm gonna go. Don't come any closer." That's the only
warning that anybody is likely to get.
The females are naturally protective of children and all things small. They
will often raise and mother pups not their own, or abandoned kittens. My
girl brought in an orphaned squirrel, and mothered it to maturity. She
was convinced that our ferret was also hers, and even tried to let it suckle
when she was raising her litter of pups.
The males are more aloof, but also protective of children, especially those within the household, but aren't as tolerant of small dogs. They'll chase cats, but don't hurt them when the catch'em...They just want'em to stop
and turn around. Herders to the end.
Height/ weight will vary from 18 -26 inches at the back and 65-90 pounds for males...50-75 pounds for the gals.
If you're convinced...please try a rescue organization. Most of the dogs that they have are housebroken and completely evaluated. You can visit
with the dogs and pick one that is right for you...or rather let yourself BE
picked. Unless you're familiar with the traits of the breed, I advise a female
for a first Collie, and teach small children not to run from the dog. Sometimes they will nip at what they perceive to be a runaway from the flock....and they'll also drag a child away from the street without being trained to. They understand the danger instinctively, and will be vigilant to
keep a child away from it....but sometimes teeth find skin instead of clothing.
July 12, 2004, 03:28 PM
I'm partial to Labradors but that breaks your weight limit. A full grown lab will weigh at least 90lbs. Mine weighs 105. (he's chunky). He also has a very deep scary growl/bark. He's "stealth" in that he won't bark before going after something/someone who is unexpected. He'll run up to them first, then start barking/growling. I don't know if that would work in your situation, we live on a remote hill behind a locked gate behind a No Trespassing sign, so any unexpected visitor probably does not have good intentions.
July 12, 2004, 03:38 PM
Labs...ANother of my favorites. Love Labs!
Labs tend to go from one extreme to the other. They either wait and lunge without barking or growling, or they bark furiously, invite an intruder in and offer him a beer. I have two...The female stops barking as you approach and will back up from the lot door to let you in...gettin' out is another matter. The male typically loves everybody and wouldn't hurt a worm.
July 12, 2004, 03:39 PM
Collie...good idea. The only drawback seems to be that they like space to run...which is going to be a difficult issue for almost any dog. Thanks, I'll keep them in mind.
July 12, 2004, 03:41 PM
A lab would be a bit on the big size for our current situation. maybe when we get more land. Thanks for the info though.
July 12, 2004, 06:23 PM
Have you ever heard of a Karelian Bear dog?
The Karelian Bear Dog has a good sense of humor. It is sensitive, independent, intelligent, skillful, tough on itself, and energetic. A robust, persistent, and powerful dog, it is willing to take on virtually any game animal. This dog is very loyal to its owner's family and makes a good household companion when it is extensively trained. This is not a breed for the casual pet owner, the Karelian Bear Dog is a hunter of unyielding bravery and determination. It will put a bear to flight or attack it with great pugnacity. The true outdoors enthusiast and dedicated hunter can look to this hard-working breed with delight and utter satisfaction. Owners must be capable of handling this very forceful canine. Proper training and socialization are absolute musts. It may try to dominate other dogs and are perfectly willing to fight. This dog needs a handler with natural authority. The training should be very consistent with both a firm hand and affection. This is not a breed for inexperienced dog owners. They are affectionate towards people and will announce both welcome and unwelcome visitors. Visitors the dogs knows well will get an enthusiastic welcome while strangers may be treated coldly. This breed is very protective. They will protect you with their life. The Karelian Bear Dog can live with other household animals if the training and socialization is properly handled. This breed has a small appetite for its size.
about 45-50 pounds
July 12, 2004, 06:35 PM
I like Labs too. But my chocolate is up to 115 lbs and he's not fat. He's a monster. He has a big bark but I seriously doubt he has a bite. As a breed they still have hip issues.
Do you want some real protective ability? My next dog might be a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Not the AmStaff ("Pit Bull") but a better-tempered relative. About 35 - 40 lbs of serious muscle and a protective nature. I don't think they require as much exercise as Collies or other herding dogs (Border Collies require a nutty amount of run-time).
July 12, 2004, 06:45 PM
I think a KBD will be bored out of its mind and become destructive if its cooped up in a house.
Certain dogs needs lots of exercise and outdoor space. Others don't.
You could try the yahoo web pages, do a search on dogs, and they have a nifty little web-apps where you rank various attributes you want in a dog, and they also tell you what the dog would need.
July 12, 2004, 07:07 PM
Pits don't generally make good guard dogs, and can be ruined
for human contact trying to train them to be. Properly raised
and handled, they're as gentle as kittens, loyal, and fiercely
protective when it comes to a direct threat to the master...
and completely goofy during human contact if they haven't been
messed with or trained to guard. That confuses their instincts to
trust people, and results in a time bomb that's not a matter of IF
it will blow...but when.
Pits can't be trusted around other dogs, especially of the same sex. Pits
don't fight because they're trained to...They fight for two reasons. Because
they sense a challenge, and because they like to fight. They don't need to
be trained to fight...That's natural for Pits. They have an undeserved rep for being naturally vicious. The problem comes from improper handling and
lack of understanding of the breed. A vicious Pit is an aberation rather than
representative and should be destroyed. The power in their jaws is
unbelieveable, even when it hasn't been developed by hanging onto tires and such. An adult male pit is capable of crushing a man's wrist like a pretzel. Pits are great dogs...Just read up on'em and learn their quirks
before considering a Pit.
July 12, 2004, 08:07 PM
My wife and I got our boxer about four years ago and he has been a wonderful pet. He is an indoor dog. Once we got through the initial training, he has never been a problem, even when we have had to leave him in the house for long periods. We also crate-trained him so penning him up is an option when necessary.
Intelligent breed. We have a two-year old daughter and he has always played to her level whereas he will rough-house with me for as long as I let him. We have also had other children to the house and he also plays to their level.
People tend to be afraid of the power of their jaws, but I taught him since he was a puppy that I can take whatever is in his mouth away from him.
I read in a few places that boxers are the breed used by law-enforcement in Germany. He has always been quick to learn stuff from us. One of my favorites is to have him turn off the bedroom lights from the wall-switch.
July 12, 2004, 08:18 PM
I was going to suggest a Boxer, but I'm not familiar enough with their activity level.
July 12, 2004, 08:24 PM
Boxers are friendly, smart, playful, loyal, and can be high-energy dogs that require a lot of exercise and will get as rough in their play as you can stand. They're also clowns! One of the most entertaining dogs that I ever knew was a Boxer. He belonged to a friend that I grew up with. The dog has been dead for over 35 years now, and we still mention him whenever we run into each other. Unforgettable dog.
Love dog threads!
July 12, 2004, 09:54 PM
Chow Chow Chow!
I've had Punkin for almost nine years now.Like most of her breed she is a bit aloof around approved strangers.They are basically a one or two person dog.Small children are viewed with the same suspicion as adults-have to be careful.The long hair requires a fair amount of upkeep.She is a bit small for her breed,only around seventy pounds.I know one of her brothers is a bit over a hundred.(think black fuzzy ottoman w/a curled up tail :) )
As far as guard dog ability?Well,she'll still hit the door pretty hard & between the black muzzle & poofed up hair she can look enormous.There isn't a doubt in my mind that she'll bite.(neighbor woman proved that for everyone-another story)
On the flip side she's just a regular love bug.
One "problem" w/chows is that they can be a bit stubborn.
With lots of patience I have probably the best furry friend I'm lickely ever to have.
[oh yeah,forgot that that black tongue is like 36grit:))
July 13, 2004, 12:13 AM
Man we just got a boxer a few weeks ago and I love this dog!! She is incredibly intelligent. She will learn new things and remember them long-term with just one teaching. She is a clown too. When she gets excited she runs around in circles full speed and then ends her run with a somersault. Because she is so smart she immediately learned that she's supposed to pee outside and what not to chew on. I couldn't ask for a better puppy. They DO like to jump though, that's for sure...Roxie sometimes hops around like a rabbit and when she get's excited she becomes a living, breathing pogo stick.
Here's a description about their watchdog abilities from the website that someone posted above:
"The Boxer's nature is to protect you, your family, and your home. Known visitors will be welcomed boisterously. They are always keen to work and play. Boxers need lots of human companionship. They can be rather boisterous and even in old age are still extremely athletic. Teach the Boxer not to be boisterous and especially not to jump up at people. Boxers LOVE to jump. This breed is noted for courage and makes great guard dogs. Boxers have a wide use in military and police work. Training should start young and be firm and consistent. This breed requires a dominant owner. An excellent watchdog, the Boxer will restrain an intruder in the same way a Bulldog does. "
They usually weigh in at about 55 to 60 lbs full-grown. The only drawback is that they are very energetic and will need some exercise so that means lots of walks for you.
Roxie the Boxer:
How could you not love that face....and that enormous noggin (it's not that big really...just a trick of the camera)?!
Today I found out that she doesn't like my lawn mower and she gave it an earful the whole time I was mowing the lawn. :)
July 13, 2004, 12:31 AM
Aaah...whatta beauty. Maybe I'll have one, someday.
41, I don't like Chows much, sorry. They are quite likely to bite, and I've only met one in my life I thought was a very good dog. Most I've known have been cowards- even as a child (a small child), they wouldn't face me, but would come sneaking in to try to bite when my back was turned.
July 13, 2004, 12:59 AM
Chow Chow Chow!
Used to have a Chow Chow mix. Not exactly sure what it was a mix of but he honest to God looked like a Wolf with the Chow's tongue and hair. Used to be stray and he had some troubles but he was very friendly once he got to know you. Extremely protective dog. A family friend once came into the house unannounced and almost had his, uh, family jewels removed. The dog never actually bit but he came extremely close. But he was actually well-behaved. He was fine around our Terrier but that was a female. Most dogs with a reputation for biting only have it because people train them that way.
He was the best dog I ever had the pleasure of owning, with the exception a large Saint Bernard named Soloman. Big, slow and protective. He was extremely funny too. Ever seen a 100+ pound dog go over a fence by getting in the corner and climbing? He could also slurp(That is the only thing I can use to describe what he did) up several pounds of raw hamburgers in under three seconds.
July 13, 2004, 07:13 AM
Female German Shepard.
July 13, 2004, 07:36 AM
Lots of great comments and information - THANK YOU ALL!
Some additional information. I will not be replacing my dog until after I retire so I hope to have enough time then to spend a lot of time with whatever dog I get. Also, like I alluded to earlier, we do not have much open space where we can exercise a dog or let it run loose. When THAT happens we may look at a larger or more energetic breed.
Gun and dog owners, what a wonderful combination.
July 13, 2004, 02:51 PM
JShirley,that's just the Chow Chow showing good tactics:) Suprise attack from the rear!
Now,they can "sense"that steroidal ginsu you have & want to avoid being hacked into pieces.
Keep in mind that Chows were raised for hauling packs,guard duty,use of their fur,& as a meat source.Most are smart enough to want to avoid the last.:D
July 13, 2004, 05:41 PM
You might want to check out an Airedale. They fit well with the whole family and are just great watchdogs.
The two I've owned have been great with young children and the family cats. They are uncomonly brave and loyal.
Their main downsides are: (1) they can be very aggressive to other dogs. (2) They can be very high energy especially when young (not as bad as labs though) (3) like all big dogs, they need to be trained or they will be the one calling the shots not you. (4) They stay playful up to the day they die.
They don't shed, but need to be trimmed about four times a year.
Since they aren't a popular breed you chances of getting a good dog without spending a fortune are good. They also don't tend to have the bred-in defects so common with German Shepherds and Labs. They also don't pork up like Labs seem to do.
My last one, Ranger, weighted 65 pounds so they are in your weight and size class.
July 13, 2004, 08:34 PM
I've had Dobermans and Pit Bulls all of my life.Check out www.dru.org;they've everything from puppies to senior citizens in need of new digs.I gotta mildly disagree with 1911Tuner on one minor point;Pits (at least mine) can&have been used as watch dogs WITHOUT totally screwing them up;as he said it IS in training and upbringing.As a watch dog,I DO prefer the Dobies;as a matter of facxt my current house mate/couch pilot si yet another (female)Dobie; my second Doberman rescue League(dru)acquisition;like all the dogs I've been lucky enough to get,she's a joy to havr around and one HELL of a good deterrent/response system.
BTW,the onl;y reqason I prefer Dobies over Pits for solo watchdog duty is that in the case of my dogs,the Pits(three pure breds&one half pit/half Ridgeback)over the years wereprotective of ME,but were more inclined to be friendly/playful with strangers unless they were REALLY obvious in their ill will/intentions.Might have just been individual quirks.Of course ;where I was lucky was that even when I did'nt get a dog as a puppy I did'nt inherit someone else's problems.As far as the prresence around other dogs goes,ALL: terriers are "terrier-like"(combative even when playing).Whenever and whereever possible early socialization/training is a must with all dogs but especially with Pit Bulls.
WTH,I also have wierd taste in music:D
July 14, 2004, 01:57 AM
Welcome to THR. Glad to have you.
41, maybe you missed this part: even as a child (a small child), they wouldn't face me, but would come sneaking in to try to bite when my back was turned.
I didn't carry a knife at seven, and I've always been at the bottom of the healthy growth chart.
Not to mention that most of the ones I've encountered seemed at least somewhat deranged, just "off". I'm glad you have one that works for you, but it
does not seem very responsible to recommend one for others.
* Llasa Apso: can be cranky with kids
* Toy poodles: bite out of self defense
* Dachsunds: not very patient
* Rhodesian Ridgebacks: very dominant breed
* Miniature Pinschers: "big dog" mindset in little body
* Pekinese: intolerant
* Chihuahuas: prefer adults, not tolerant of kids
* Chow Chow: one-person dogs, bite without warning
* Giant Schnauzers: very dominant breed, will even challenge adults
* Old English Sheep Dog: very protective of owner
* Cocker Spaniel: very protective of owner
* Rottweilers: very protective
The ten breeds involved in the most lethal attacks (http://www.healthypet.com/Library/animal_bond-24.htm) over the past ten years are pit bulls, rottweilers, German shepherds, huskies, malamutes, Dobermans, chow chows, St. Bernards, Great Danes, and Akitas.
While any dog can bite, the top biting breeds (http://www.plasticsurgery4u.com/procedure_folder/dog_bite.html) include:
Aggressive dogs (http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010415/1567.html) (higher attack rate): (note: this site also includes a list of less aggressive dog breeds)
German Shepherd dog
Dog Breeds Which Frequently Bite (http://www.vcu.edu/paws/baddog.htm):
Notice the Chow is one of 3 dog breeds on every "likely to bite" or "have bitten" list!
I'll include the "good guy list" (http://www.vcu.edu/paws/baddog.htm) here, too:
Good Breeds For Children:
German short haired pointer
Chesapeake Bay retriever
Old English sheepdog
July 14, 2004, 10:36 AM
As you narrow down your choices, you might check with your insurance company. Some companies don't care, but some insurers may not cover specific breeds.
July 14, 2004, 11:15 AM
Since you already know German Shepherds, why not look for one of the East German or other European dogs which are smaller than the American GSD's. The smaller GSD's go about 60#.
If you work the dog in Schutzhund and develop the control and discipline a Schutzhund rated dog must have, you'll have a great pet that will work well as a guard dog but that you can trust with children. Just another opinion.
July 14, 2004, 11:26 AM
A miniature pinscher is half sized Doberman with full sized Guard Dog built in.
Good family dog, but very alert and good at guarding..... aggressive against intruders.
My parents have a four pound chihuahua who thinks she's a 80lb Rottweiler. She has this low "wrrrrrffff" that just sounds like trouble. Then you get on the other side of the door and find she's a chihuahua... :)
Aggressive as hell, but she can only chew your toes off. Not big enough to do much else..... nice walking alert system though.
July 14, 2004, 04:36 PM
Dogs – love ‘em to death. I’ve got four – all humane society/rescued. The oldest (shepherd/lab mix) was an abuse case. Original owner had him chained (literally) outside 24/7. Long story, short is he was down to 34 lbs when they rescued him and charged the owner. Now he’s an 80 lb lap dog and the most intelligent of the bunch! One of the other three is a chow/golden retriever mix. Highly intelligent and really is our “early warning” system in more ways than one. She goes off whenever a car/truck pulls up to the house while she’s inside and doors/windows closed. She can spot a two-foot black rat snake in the grass 40 feet away. (Can always tell when it’s a snake – different howl and bark.)
I’ve had other dogs throughout my lifetime, too. One of my favorites was the black/white border collie. Very intelligent, easily trained, adapted well to wherever we lived, house or apartment, required some amount of activity. He weighed about 50-55 lbs at full-grown age. If I were to recommend a breed of dog, all things considered, it would have to be a Border Collie. And, of course, I’d have to recommend getting a second one at some point. :D
July 15, 2004, 12:09 AM
Never thought of a dog as a non-firearm weapon before, but I guess the quallify.
You guys have some huge Labs, mine is 3 years old and tops out at 83lbs.
He is a big baby, but I think if someone had obvious bad intentions he might turn aggressive, maybe-I'd be a little suprised.
Pits I don't trust, I guess if I had one as a pup it might be different. There are a couple that live down the street from me that the owner periodicly lets loose to roam the neighborhood, I've messed with them, they see me out because I'm about the only one outside ever so they come to me. The male has shown some playful aggression, but it's the femal that I don't trust.
I think if I would have to recommend the Boxer. I had a friend that had one growing up that was a good dog. I have never seen a dumb one, but I have never seen one that wasn't just a bundle of energy, so they would have to be exercised for sure. My friends Boxer saved me from a Dobie once. I was walking to his house and the Dobie came for the house across the street ready to eat me up, so I started running toward Brandon's house, it was a good 200 yds to his house (long driveway), his Boxer seen me coming and intercepted the Dobie and sent it running home. His Boxer also stood between him and his Dad once when his dad started being a jerk about something and knocking him around. Also, boxers have a look about them that most people don't want to test.
July 15, 2004, 05:47 PM
Hard to beat another German Shepherd! Some of the best all around dogs for my money
July 15, 2004, 06:09 PM
Not sure if the link above works, but this breed is hard to beat in my opinion.
July 15, 2004, 08:09 PM
Gosh, I love Labs. I've wanted one for most of the last 20 years...wouldn't mind a Boxer, either.
July 17, 2004, 01:33 PM
And for some reason, Austrailian Shepards.
I have a Blue Heeler... supposed to be really smart. Man, she is the dumbest dog I've ever seen. My wolfy on the other hand scary smart.
July 17, 2004, 07:49 PM
One of the few topics I like more than guns, dogs. I have both a german shepherd and a boxer. I can't say enough good things about each. The shepherd is more of a barker but the boxer is just as good at guarding and warning. If you choose the path of getting a boxer go through a reputable breeder. Mine has some health problems (stomach problems). She almost died this week due to a severe pancreatitus (sp?) attack. We rescued mine, so we had no idea of her health problems. Fortunately 99% percent of it can be controlled by her diet.
I know a lot of people stress the guarding or attacking ability of their dogs. For me it's their intelligence and temperment. Both of my dogs have woken me up when my blood sugar has dropped too low (I'm a type I diabetic, insulin dependent). Without a doubt they truly become your best friends.
If you want a smaller breed (both my dogs are over 75 pounds) look in to the pits. Of friend of mine who's a vet says they are one of the most intelligent and have a good health record. The only bad thing is the negative image portrayed by the wonderful media. Just tell everyone that it's lab mix.
July 18, 2004, 12:54 AM
The shepherd is more of a barker but the boxer is just as good at guarding and warning.
It's a trait of the breed that boxers aren't typically noisy gaurds that bark a lot but more "down to business" types. If someone is threatening the owner they will often get in between the threat and the owner and stare down the threat. If someone raises an arm to strike their family they will often just put their mouth on the arm without biting hard unless the threat continues. They are known for cornering intruders and keeping them there rather than just viciously attacking but they will attack if the threat becomes serious and immediate.
These are, of course, generalizations but they are common traits to the breed. You probably already know all that though.
July 18, 2004, 09:06 PM
I've had very good experiences with Great Danes. Large enough to frighten many adults by size alone. Very intelligent and easy to house train. Happy with a small house or apartment. Agressive enough to be easily guard trained, but also very biddable for the owner.
My Dane is a bit over 2 years old, and at 120 lbs, she's small for a Dane. Only about 3 feet at the shoulder.
My Dane/Shepherd mix has been a good dog, but suffering low grade hip problems at this point. She's about 6 years now. She's bitten two people. Both were in my back yard trying to break in. No foul there.
When I was younger, my family kept Boxers. Great dogs, as noted above.
The Dane is a lot of fun to walk. People slow down to gawk at the guy with the pony! Lol.
Good luck with your choice.
July 18, 2004, 09:34 PM
I've had many dogs over the years. Almost all of them have been indoor/outdoor dogs (out all day in all night) so apartment dogs are an alien concept to me, but I'll add what I can.
Our collie was easy in the house and not too demanding wrt exercise. He was friendly up to the point someone reached for the door when we weren't home and then he moved to block and backed them off of the patio. He would sound whenever a strange vehicle came down the road and would announce unfamiliar people with a yipping bark. If inside he'd yip/whuff upon noticing a strange noise and growel if it were a stranger approaching the door. He kept my sister and I in the yard so well that my mother let him baby sit us outside. There is no question that he would have died to protect any of us from harm, but would be the perfect gentleman if the situation was friendly.
My aunt had boxers and I had a white one from one of the litters. He was very energetic, but was comfortable flopped around the house. He would take your arm in his mouth and lead you around by it without harming you in any way. As has been said he would stand between you and any perceive possible threat. He didn't announce strangers by barking, but instead would jump up and stand with ears pricked forward and then run to the window to look out. If it was someone he knew he would whine and wiggle. Strangers got a whuff? and men got a low growel if they approached the house.
The english sheep dog barked at anything that moved that wasn't family. He'd growel if he was in the house, but stood "guard" on the porch quietly if anyone approached.
I had a malimute female that was marvelous. Followed voice commands, friendly but slightly aloof, walked on lead perfectly and a bit of a clown. She had her own dog, an ancient female lab, that was the sweetest animal I've ever seen (as almost all female labs I've had around were). The malimute was the only dog I've ever had that there was no doubt that she would tear someone apart if told to or if HER people were threatened. She was not overtly aggressive, but I introduced her to everyone that might come into the house or on the property beyond deliveries/meter reading. She's the only dog I ever used in a situation where I was uncertain of other people and she certainly intimidated three young men into leaving the property in a hurry.
Labs and goldens, I can't say enough good things about them! Great dogs, not demanding, always glad to see you. They've barked to announce strangers and groweled when they approached the door without being introduced. Our old guy has gotten on in years, but he still alerts when a car comes up the driveway or someone comes on the porch. I've only heard him growel at a person once and that was when a stranger friend of my son pulled up to the kitchen door and just walked in the door. I had to grab Sampson before he got past me and to this dumb teenager and the big yellow dog still wanted to find out what the pale kid tasted like until I told him ot wait outside.
I've had little dogs that were more inside critters. My sister's cocapoo is the sweetest thing, but lets us know if anyone even sets foot on the property and will growel like a bear if she's inside and someone she doesn't know comes towards the door. She won't back down for any dog and sometimes is stupid about it. Out fox terrier is usually quiet, but whuffs? to let us know someone is near the door. Otherwise she's almost always silent. She sleeps with our daughter or on the stairs and I watched her jump up and bristle and give a surprisingly low growel when a boisterous friend of our came over for a visit one night. She's suspicious around strangers. We had a shepard/hound mix that was smarter than I am (but was kind enough not to rub it in) that would whuff? at any property boundary intrusion, growel if a stranger was within 20 feet of the door, and was completely silent and manouvered to get behind anyone that wasn't greeted as a friend that he hadn't been introduced to. He was protective and actually bit a fellow on the calf that was poking around the house looking for us when we weren't home. He said that the dog had kept him in his car for a while standing between him and the door and pacing back and forth ateranately whuffing? and groweling. Being stupid he got out anyway and the dog peeled off of the door and went around the side of the house and he thought he had been all bluff, silly him. The moment he was closer to the door than the car the dog came streaking from around the bumper of his car and hit him from behind without a sound. The bite was just a warning as it didn't break the skin, but left a large bruise (I know it was a warning because I watched this dog chew 3 inch oak tree limbs into dust all the time for fun).
July 20, 2004, 08:37 PM
Springers are great instictive working dogs.
there are 2 varieties, the long haired 'show dog' and the short haired 'field dog" both are excellent hunters, great companion dogs and they DON'T bark unless something is really bothering them. Even as a pup you'll find them to be excellent watchdogs... as my brother found out one night when he came home unannounced at 12am... he said "my god the bark on that dog sounds really BIG" The dog in question, Bear, might have been 20 pounds at the time.
Smart too. But all working breeds are pretty smart. They can have some hip dysplasia as they get older but they play pretty hard.
Webbed feet makes them good swimmers, also means they can dig a hole to china in about 3 seconds.
Our biggest male weighed 55-60 pounds.
Whatever you pick you realize we'll want pictures!
July 21, 2004, 01:38 AM
For your needs, and for your weight/size range:
Look no further.
No smarter breed exists, very alert and possessing fine senses. Make great companions and will back down an adversary-- 2 or 4 legged.
July 21, 2004, 04:49 PM
Jeff, what you say is true of Border Collies but wouldn't it be cruel to keep one indoors as the original poster desires? I was under the impression they need significant exercise. I had an docked-tail Australian Sheep dog that was my "best" dog ever (smart, protective, lived to 19 years old) but I'd never suggest one for a mostly indoor job.
July 21, 2004, 09:01 PM
As a result of this thread I mentioned getting a boxer to the spousal unit. She kinda poo-pooed that idea so I dropped it.
Tonight I was outside when a beautiful brown and white female boxer came wandering up to the house. She was very friendly and well-behaved.
Much as I thought about keeping her we were able to track down the owner and reunite them.
Afterwards the spousal unit said, "Last night you said you wanted a boxer. Tonight why don't you say you want a million dollars?".
July 22, 2004, 12:20 AM
There is nothing cruel about keeping a dog indoors, providing the owner is willing to take the dog out for a decent walk at least once or twice a day.
There is a myth that certain breeds of dog need a bucolic environment in order to be comfortable. This is false. Give the dog the exercise it needs- regardless of breed- and play with it frequently, indoors or outdoors.
July 23, 2004, 12:42 PM
We have a small female German Shepard. I got her via the State Police. She is small wire-y and fast. Nothing gets close with out her knowing about. She is great protection and very good with neighborhood kids.
I would reccommend going in this direction very highly. If you have aby questions please let me know.
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