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  #51  
Old 04-06-2018, 10:41 PM
557 557 is offline
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Just my opinion, but I believe most animals are similar in this respect, humans included. Making blanket statements about breeds in regard to how they will react to agrression is foolhardy. Dogs, like people are made up of many different instincts and capibilities not always predictable. Some will fight to the death, some will attack unprovoked, some will cower at the first sign of trouble. Iíve seen all types, and often with unexpected animals. I was given a German Shepard that washed out of railroad police training 30 years or so ago. She would act agressive, but never actually bite, no matter how hard they pushed her. 5 years passed, she was a family house dog and she severly injured an intruder and was killed herself when the home was threatened, and she fought till the end. No accounting for what motivates dogs, or humans for that matter.
I agree. Different breeds have different characteristics, but there are huge variations within breeds as well. I'm no dog expert, I just have 20 or so and spend 18 hours a day helping dogs move and sort cattle this time of year.

We have Border Collies for herding and Pyrenees for guarding. We work 2-5 dogs at a time usually and mostly just let each dog do the job they do best. Some are one trick ponies but sometimes that trick can save you hours of work. Others are thinkers and can be relied upon to do the correct things without instruction.

I have seen some crazy traits show up in Border Collies. I had one that would point and flush pheasant and quail if you were just out walking. He would also tree coons for me until he got tired of me shooting them. Shooting was one thing he just wouldn't abide. I've had a dog that never showed any signs of aggression towards humans go for a salesman's throat while he was talking to my wife at our front door. The dog sat by her for 5 minutes before making the move. My wife said the guy was starting to creep her out but was surprised at the dogs reaction.

My point is that dogs have different personalities and natural talents within breeds. Also, traits from ancestors can reappear in a breed where you wouldn't expect it.

Lastly, you can't tell me that good dogs of many breeds can't ascertain intentions and act accordingly without specific training. Dogs can sense things humans can't as demonstrated by dogs warning of seizures and other health events. I say find a dog that fits your lifestyle and personality. Use breed as a guideline but not an absolute. If a dog loves you and respects you it will take care of you.
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  #52  
Old 04-06-2018, 10:58 PM
Telum Pisces Telum Pisces is offline
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Depends on how much effort you are willing to put into the dog as well! Many dogs that have a natural working dog instinct require more work than the average dog owner is willing to put in.

Take for example, a Belgian Malinois! They are the choice for the White House. Very protective, very smart, very fast, and will lay their life down if trained properly. But with that comes constant training and the ability to "WORK" every day! Most people are just not up to that task!

I rescued a Belgian Malinois/Black Mouth Curr mix! She was older when I got her/rescued her! She's proving to be a great dog! Loyal and learning every minute to be a great loyal protector of her domain. But with this comes other drawbacks as well. Do you want guests to feel welcome in your home! With a true working/protector, this really can't happen with the dog out with strangers!

You really can't have your cake and eat it too with this. But if you simply want an alert dog, almost anything from the tiny ankle biters to a bull mastiff can take care of that and all mixes in between! Every dog is different in that respect.

But here's my Lilly Bell mix of Shepherd/Black Mouth Curr. Both breeds are very much working dogs. I'm training her to track wounded deer for me. Gives her such great pride and a purpose on top of being our great family dog.
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  #53  
Old 04-06-2018, 11:13 PM
Markbailey Markbailey is offline
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Lastly, you can't tell me that good dogs of many breeds can't ascertain intentions and act accordingly without specific training. Dogs can sense things humans can't as demonstrated by dogs warning of seizures and other health events. I say find a dog that fits your lifestyle and personality. Use breed as a guideline but not an absolute. If a dog loves you and respects you it will take care of you.
I agree 100%. It amazes me how perceptive a good dog can be, they see and sense so much more than we do. I always trust my dog, if she reacts to a stranger in a bad way, I assume she knows or senses something I missed and act accordingly. She is a big, loving, loyal friend, and if she hates a person automatcally I take her word for it.
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  #54  
Old 04-07-2018, 07:41 AM
Sparky! Sparky! is offline
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i've seen some intimidating looking shepherds at first glance run away from pressure on the training field. And some that were great until introduced to gun fire and then they crumbled. Nerves and drive have to be tested to know what you have on your hands.

I've got a mal/shepherd mix that I was unsure about the first couple times we introduced to bite work but quickly gained confidence. Now I'd trust him to back up his intentions if the need called for it. When I first got him at 1yr old, I thought I just had a great family pet.

As far as breeds go, a mali would be at the top of my list for a working dog but they have to have a purpose and be worked. They have a motor like nothing I've ever seen. That's why I went with the mix, wasn't sure I could live with a full out mal-igator...lol They will find something to do if you don't help them channel their endless supply of energy.

I usually tell people the difference in a shepherd and a mal is that a mal will run straight through heavy, fast traffic if sent without checking up. They believe they are indestructible and throw their body at whatever full force. A shepherd will at least check up but may go anyway if told.
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  #55  
Old 04-07-2018, 02:19 PM
matrosov matrosov is offline
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I am partial to VEO's, East european shepherds as all rounder breed with good potential and trainability. But as others have pointed out dogs are like humans in many respects and they all have their unique personalities even within the same breed. So the best dog breed is really not a breed but a dog that you can connect with on a personal level. It's a relationship not a servitude contract .
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  #56  
Old 04-07-2018, 02:31 PM
Kelpiemonk Kelpiemonk is offline
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Let's not get ahead of ourselves here kids. The whole program of dog breeding has been successful because of the concept of typicity in breeds. While not every border collie has a strong eye, we can be pretty sure in assuming if it is not a border collie, mcnab or kelpie, then it doesn't have a strong eye. Likewise, there are lazy mals, but they are unlikely, and getting a mal thinking you have a chance at a lazy dog, is like getting a lab and thinking that it might have a lot of eye and will probably move sheep well.

Likewise, if you and your wife are blond haired and blue eyed, and your son is half chinese, it probably isn't just genetic happenstance. You probably want to check with your wife.
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  #57  
Old 04-07-2018, 03:42 PM
Markbailey Markbailey is offline
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Originally Posted by Kelpiemonk View Post
Let's not get ahead of ourselves here kids. The whole program of dog breeding has been successful because of the concept of typicity in breeds. While not every border collie has a strong eye, we can be pretty sure in assuming if it is not a border collie, mcnab or kelpie, then it doesn't have a strong eye. Likewise, there are lazy mals, but they are unlikely, and getting a mal thinking you have a chance at a lazy dog, is like getting a lab and thinking that it might have a lot of eye and will probably move sheep well.

Likewise, if you and your wife are blond haired and blue eyed, and your son is half chinese, it probably isn't just genetic happenstance. You probably want to check with your wife.
LOL, you are opening a can of worms with this argument my friend. The nature verses nurture argument is a complicated, contentious, and controversial topic that many have STRONG feelings about. I have seen SO MANY examples of it NOT being accurate that I have to disagree with you, at least in general terms. There is some vague truth to what you say, but using it as a benchmark to predict absolutely ANYTHING is a fools errand, in people, dogs, cats, and I'm sure rodents too. Two blonde headed parents may well have a higher percentage chance of producing a blonde child, but if you take 2 of those blonde children and expose them to completely different lives, do you expect that both of them will behave the same when faced with aggression? Or anything else for that matter? Of course not.

Last edited by Markbailey; 04-07-2018 at 03:46 PM.
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  #58  
Old 04-07-2018, 04:07 PM
Kelpiemonk Kelpiemonk is offline
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LOL, you are opening a can of worms with this argument my friend. The nature verses nurture argument is a complicated, contentious, and controversial topic that many have STRONG feelings about. I have seen SO MANY examples of it NOT being accurate that I have to disagree with you, at least in general terms. There is some vague truth to what you say, but using it as a benchmark to predict absolutely ANYTHING is a fools errand, in people, dogs, cats, and I'm sure rodents too. Two blonde headed parents may well have a higher percentage chance of producing a blonde child, but if you take 2 of those blonde children and expose them to completely different lives, do you expect that both of them will behave the same when faced with aggression? Or anything else for that matter? Of course not.
LOL. I think you are confusing the argument. Dogs are not similar in this regard to humans because of the active intervention of breeders. Humans rarely line breed, other than in Floritucky, and they pick partners based on a myriad of factors. Dogs don't, working ones are bred for certain characteristics, based on previously successful matings. Likewise, show dogs are bred for certain look characteristics. If you have seen the short time in which a breed standard can change, you would realize the power of selective breeding.

I am not saying that nurture, or life experience, has nothing to do with outcome. If a herding dog doesn't see sheep until it is 8 years old, it probably isn't going to know what to do with them, but I can also tell you that I have a 12 week old kelpie sitting next to me right now, and when I take her on a walk, she exhibits traits at this age that are simply not seen in other types of dogs. That is what she is bred for. It is who she is.

You can get even more specific about it. A friend of mine has bred a very successful line of Malinois for about 25 years. She and her breeding and training partner breed to get dogs that will excel in their system, and they are successful at it. They tend to put only a little pressure on their dogs, especially in the beginning. The dogs are fundamentally different from some of the breeders who are looking for harder dogs, who like to train mostly with a collar. They aren't just breeding for the ability to have a dog who will excel in protection sports, they are breeding for the ability to excel in protection in a certain training regimen. On top of that, dogs who are bred for a similar training regimen, but for schutzhund rather than mondioring, are very different dogs, and are more successful in their intended sports.

Similarly, herding dogs can be bred with an eye to cattle or to sheep. In Australia they have long bred kelpies as yard OR paddock dogs, meaning dogs that excel in wide open ranchland or in sorting chutes. The lines didn't really mix. If a puppy didn't show aptitude, they shot it. Figured it would dilute their good work. Now they breed utility dogs, which are somewhere in the middle. It didn't take long to come up with a new, ideal worker for a new task.

Dogs are not people. They are, for better or worse, stock. Nobody doubts that different kinds of steer have different tastes and meat yields. Nobody doubts that quarter horses are, by and large, different from draft horses. We have spent hundreds and perhaps thousands of years making them what they are. It isn't evolution by random selection, but by intervention. That isn't to say there aren't outliers, but what is typical is more significant.

It isn't a philosophical argument at its core. Watch working dogs work. They are bred to do what they do. Most house pets are bred to look like they look, and while that is successful, and has caused a good bit of randomness between breeds as far as behavior and capacity, it doesn't negate the fact that we have been able to breed an animal who can accomplish amazing tasks for little money and learn relatively easily to do those for which they were purpose bred.
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  #59  
Old 04-07-2018, 04:21 PM
Markbailey Markbailey is offline
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I understand what you are saying, and like I said I think there is certainly some truth to it, and clearly you are more experienced in training dogs than myself. My point is, that if you breed 2 big boned mastiffs, you will most likely get big boned mastiff puppies. Same is true for physical qualities in any animal... Physical qualities, not mental. Not flight or fight response, which is what I was making my point about. I'm not saying I am not completely full of crap just saying what my experience has been.
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  #60  
Old 04-07-2018, 05:15 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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I understand what you are saying, and like I said I think there is certainly some truth to it, and clearly you are more experienced in training dogs than myself. My point is, that if you breed 2 big boned mastiffs, you will most likely get big boned mastiff puppies. Same is true for physical qualities in any animal... Physical qualities, not mental. Not flight or fight response, which is what I was making my point about. I'm not saying I am not completely full of crap just saying what my experience has been.
So one can selectively breed physical traits, yet not do so with mental, behavioral, or temperamental traits...?

I don't buy it. Dogs are specificly bred for less quantifiable traits and intuitive behaviors. A Labrador , no matter how much training, will not excel as a hearding dog... likewise, a Rott won't make a good uplands bird dog...

Yes, exposure and training to perform a function is important... but so is natural ability... those abilities can be highlighted and enhanced in a selective breeding program.
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  #61  
Old 04-07-2018, 07:52 PM
Markbailey Markbailey is offline
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So one can selectively breed physical traits, yet not do so with mental, behavioral, or temperamental traits...?

I don't buy it. Dogs are specificly bred for less quantifiable traits and intuitive behaviors. A Labrador , no matter how much training, will not excel as a hearding dog... likewise, a Rott won't make a good uplands bird dog...

Yes, exposure and training to perform a function is important... but so is natural ability... those abilities can be highlighted and enhanced in a selective breeding program.
Now we're getting back into the nurture/nature argument. I think there is some evidence to support both sides, but nothing absolute in either side that I've ever seen. Which makes both sides somewhat inconclusive. With a little work any of us can site many examples that support either theory. I don't really fall on either side, except to say... I don't know... I've seen it both ways. It is complicated, in humans, as well as animals.
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  #62  
Old 04-07-2018, 08:01 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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Now we're getting back into the nurture/nature argument. I think there is some evidence to support both sides, but nothing absolute in either side that I've ever seen. Which makes both sides somewhat inconclusive. With a little work any of us can site many examples that support either theory. I don't really fall on either side, except to say... I don't know... I've seen it both ways. It is complicated, in humans, as well as animals.
Why does is thave to be an either-or...? Nature OR nurture...? BOTH factors have some influance...
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  #63  
Old 04-07-2018, 08:06 PM
Markbailey Markbailey is offline
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Why does is thave to be an either-or...? Nature OR nurture...? BOTH factors have some influance...
Agreed 100%. That’s the fault on both sides that are truly radical on this subject. Either/or.... Real life is never that cut and dried, on this subject, nor any other.

Which, back to the "what dog will defend me question" I maintain my position.... potentially, any dog that loves you.

Last edited by Markbailey; 04-07-2018 at 08:09 PM.
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  #64  
Old 04-07-2018, 08:23 PM
Kelpiemonk Kelpiemonk is offline
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Agreed 100%. Thatís the fault on both sides that are truly radical on this subject. Either/or.... Real life is never that cut and dried, on this subject, nor any other.
It isn't a nature vs nurture debate, no matter how much you might want it to be. There really is no nature here. Humans have bred dogs to act in certain ways. Humans have bred dogs to look certain ways.

My 12 week old kelpie puppy is internally compelled to eye, stalk and head. Right now she does it to anything she can because it feels good to her. Nobody has taught her to do this. Golden retriever puppies don't do this. Almost every kelpie puppy does. Almost every border collie puppy does. It is because we have bred them to act that way. Shockingly enough, they do, which is why ranchers buy and breed these breeds and not Portuguese water dogs to perform these tasks.

I think where you may be confused is with lines of dogs where the breeding has not been strictly for work. Then they really are a crap shoot rather than a damn good bet. If you breed a border collie to look like a model, or to be a nice family pet, you are no longer breeding them for work, and you aren't going to get good work.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:33 PM
Markbailey Markbailey is offline
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It isn't a nature vs nurture debate, no matter how much you might want it to be. There really is no nature here. Humans have bred dogs to act in certain ways. Humans have bred dogs to look certain ways.

My 12 week old kelpie puppy is internally compelled to eye, stalk and head. Right now she does it to anything she can because it feels good to her. Nobody has taught her to do this. Golden retriever puppies don't do this. Almost every kelpie puppy does. Almost every border collie puppy does. It is because we have bred them to act that way. Shockingly enough, they do, which is why ranchers buy and breed these breeds and not Portuguese water dogs to perform these tasks.

I think where you may be confused is with lines of dogs where the breeding has not been strictly for work. Then they really are a crap shoot rather than a damn good bet. If you breed a border collie to look like a model, or to be a nice family pet, you are no longer breeding them for work, and you aren't going to get good work.

I understand what you are saying and I understand how breeding any animal for certain traits works. I realise that nature and breeding are certainly a tool that helps determine the general skillset an animal is LIKELY to posses. The original subject wasn’t what dog will likely point birds nor work stock however. Agreed?

Protective instincts and prediliction for violence doesn’t track that way in any animal, in my opinion, that is all I’m saying.

edit: Again, I am not claiming to be a scientist nor dog trainer, just an long observer of behavior in humans and animals.

Last edited by Markbailey; 04-07-2018 at 08:38 PM.
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  #66  
Old 04-07-2018, 09:26 PM
Kelpiemonk Kelpiemonk is offline
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I understand what you are saying and I understand how breeding any animal for certain traits works. I realise that nature and breeding are certainly a tool that helps determine the general skillset an animal is LIKELY to posses. The original subject wasnít what dog will likely point birds nor work stock however. Agreed?

Protective instincts and prediliction for violence doesnít track that way in any animal, in my opinion, that is all Iím saying.

edit: Again, I am not claiming to be a scientist nor dog trainer, just an long observer of behavior in humans and animals.
Sure, but working stock and pointing birds, like protection, are things for which we breed. Perhaps the issue here is the distinction between the term "protection" as we think of it in every day speech, and "Protection" as we think of it in the dog world. I don't doubt that any random dog X might be protective at a certain moment, though I do personally doubt how effective they would be. But the thread asks for a "guard dog" which to me implies a dog who has as a job personal protection. Very few breeds are equipped to effectively learn those tasks.

Here is a link to one of the best breeders/trainers and dogs of all time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzbkxbKmQEg

It is clearly stylized, as it is a sport, but it shows the level of obedience a dog like this needs, and the power with which they strike. It is very different from a dog who might give a bark and a bite if a bad guy shows up, and it really is breed specific. The speed this dog gets on the bad guy with, the power of his bite and the crispness of his outs are other worldly.

The obedience is breath taking to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9BB0QnNMYg

Qenny was a dog I knew a bit as his owner ran the training program at the local SPCA for a while. He was a sweet dog, one you would trust your kids to ride like a pony. A far cry from a junkyard pitbull rattling the fence. Interestingly, a few years ago, the top 3 places in the US working dog championships were sons of his. Good genetics for this stuff.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:34 PM
Markbailey Markbailey is offline
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Again, I’m not debating trained police dog breeds. Your comment below from page one is where I take issue:

Quote:

Sorry, but this is BS. I have worked with, trained and competed with dogs my entire life. Most good family dogs are way too scared to take on a threat, and most of the ones who would are not under any sort of responsible control.

Just plain not accurate in my experience, which is what I have been disputing from the start. The comment stating that most good family dogs are too scared to take on threats has been far from my experience. Some are, some arn’t, depends on dozens of factors of which breed is only one, and not even the main one.

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Old 04-07-2018, 10:42 PM
Kelpiemonk Kelpiemonk is offline
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I stand by that comment. Frankly, it wasn't strong enough. I will restate it:

Almost no family dog not trained in protection will be equipped mentally and physically to take on, much less take down, a threat. Most family dogs lack any sort of useful training, and most people have no clue how to train a dog.

---

Everybody thinks their dog loves them, their dog will protect them and their children. This is because the see their dogs as hairy people, not as what they are. Your experience, unless you have either been involved in robbing enough houses to test dogs, have worked with dogs on these issues or have taken a lot of police reports about hero dogs saving families, is really not the point. They are just anecdotes, either yours or ones you inherited from others.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:57 PM
Markbailey Markbailey is offline
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I stand by that comment. Frankly, it wasn't strong enough. I will restate it:

Almost no family dog not trained in protection will be equipped mentally and physically to take on, much less take down, a threat. Most family dogs lack any sort of useful training, and most people have no clue how to train a dog.

---

Everybody thinks their dog loves them, their dog will protect them and their children. This is because the see their dogs as hairy people, not as what they are. Your experience, unless you have either been involved in robbing enough houses to test dogs, have worked with dogs on these issues or have taken a lot of police reports about hero dogs saving families, is really not the point. They are just anecdotes, either yours or ones you inherited from others.
Not inherited my friend, my opinions were formed first hand. We will have to agree to disagree. We view dogs, their capabilties and potential very differently methinks, and all the debate in the world is unlikely to align us.
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:32 AM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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Somehow we manage to get by with what we have.

Neither my wife or I really feel that we need or want anything more than a companion dog. And that is what we have. He will however let us know if anyone is approaching the house. Being the last house on a private road well away from the nearest house, this works out well

I admire you people that can really train and work with some of these really talented dogs. That appears to me to be quite an art as well as a commitment that I am not inclined to make. And the last thing that I would want to do is bring a dog into an environment that it is not suited for. With that said we have our hands full enough just keeping our eight lb. Yorkie from taking over completely.
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  #71  
Old 04-08-2018, 06:54 AM
Sparky! Sparky! is offline
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I stand by that comment. Frankly, it wasn't strong enough. I will restate it:

Almost no family dog not trained in protection will be equipped mentally and physically to take on, much less take down, a threat. Most family dogs lack any sort of useful training, and most people have no clue how to train a dog.
I totally agree! A family dog may alert you but that's probably all you'll get. I think most people assume they have a decent protector or assume their dog will do something useful because their dog may show a little aggression every now and then towards someone coming around and they can sense a little fear or hesitation in whoever that is once they hear "noise" from said dog. Mr. Creepy will not show fear or hesitation when he comes with ill will. A family dog will sense that and not know how to handle said pressure unless trained to overcome. That will get you only an alert and then that family dog will be hiding behind you... If your lucky that dog may slow the attacker down momentarily.

I do PSA (protection sport association), I'd encourage anyone to just drop in on a local training club or regional trial to see. The last 5 years working with dogs has taught me a lot. And the response I have from dogs I meet has totally changed because of it too. I was bit badly on the knee at a young age by a shepherd and was always a little hesitant around bigger dogs because of it. That's not the case anymore, I've over come that fear and a barking dog doesn't get a fear response from me any longer. I kind of get excited now...lol
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:41 AM
wvfarrier wvfarrier is offline
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A well bred German Shepherd and Kovacz would be my top 2.
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  #73  
Old 04-08-2018, 08:54 AM
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It's bite is worse than it's bark.
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:12 PM
Kelpiemonk Kelpiemonk is offline
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I do PSA (protection sport association), I'd encourage anyone to just drop in on a local training club or regional trial to see. The last 5 years working with dogs has taught me a lot. And the response I have from dogs I meet has totally changed because of it too. I was bit badly on the knee at a young age by a shepherd and was always a little hesitant around bigger dogs because of it. That's not the case anymore, I've over come that fear and a barking dog doesn't get a fear response from me any longer. I kind of get excited now...lol
That's awesome. And you are right, it is almost always a good crowd. Each club is going to have a different style, and not all training styles are for everybody, or for every dog. The relationship you can build with your dog in these sports is amazing, and I am a firm believer that it carries over into everyday life. If you can learn to communicate clearly with your dog, who doesn't speak English (or French, German whatever depending on your sport,) it can only make you better at communicating under stress at work and at home, and at reading non verbal cues. Great stuff.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:47 PM
Markbailey Markbailey is offline
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I have worked in a group with well trained animals with their handlers in real world situations, and I agree, it is an amazing thing to observe. Takes a lot of dedication and time to produce those results and it is quite spectacular to watch in action.

While different from this subject, I have observed many more animals in more recent years trained for what they can smell and identify over self defense skills, and they are equally impressive in my opinion. Amazing in fact.

Dogs are complex domesticated creatures, capable of amazing feats of both intelligence and courage, and then.... sometimes not. Just like with humans, it depends....
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