1911Forum - View Single Post - what breed qualifies as a good guard dog ?
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Old 04-05-2018, 05:13 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 10,651
I've had Rotts, an ACD, an English mastif, a Carolina Dog, and mutts...
One of the Rotts was specifically trained as a protective working dog- he was a living machine controlled by voice... but it took work to maintain him as such, and I wouldn't necessarily "trust" him to make his own decisions.

The ACD was incredibly intelligent and eager to please, shoe him something once and he had it. He was an intuitive learner, and viciously protective of "his" property and people... more of a "partnership" than an owner-master dynamic.

The mastif was also an intuitive protector, lazy until one crossed a line on the property, then intimidating protective- most people fear 200 pound dogs... being bred NOT to bite except as a last resort is good for a low energy, low maintenance dog. The downside: giant dogs are usually short-lived, their joints don't age well. Their "working" life is maybe 6 years... they are exponentially more expensive to feed and vet than an "average" size dog. They drool, excessively. They become very attatched to people, and must be near them, often in physical contact. They can't be soley outdoor dogs, so you have a 200+ pound animal, in the house, who can and will- regardless of training- put his basketball sized slobbery head on your table at dinner, and get up on your sofa... in a SHTF world, such a dog would need 4-6 pounds (2-3% of body weight) of meat, organ, and bone each and every day... thats enough to feed several people...

The CD is a stray that wandered out of the swamp a few years ago at about 4 weeks old... as a feral land-race dog, it took her several months to adjust to people. Once she did, she bonded very well. Very smart, on par with the ACD... easy to train, very diciplined, alert, agile, seems to know what I want or expect. 45ish pounds, easy to keep. Distrustful and hostile to strangers, until shes told its OK- then she ignores them. She will kill and eat anything smaller than herself that she can catch; she can fend for herself if need be.

Lots of options, lots of choices... the single big takeaway is that a "protective" dog is a 10+ year investment in time and money to produce and maintain... such working dogs need to WORK regularly, or they decay.
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