“ Share hints and tips on helping a loved pet become a successful guard dog. „
I would love to think that my dog does a good job of guarding my home, but I am not sure that is the case! Luckily I haven't been in the position to see how good she would be at it. I have a 3 year Alaskan Malamute x White Alsatian.
When people see my dog they tend to give us room! I know she wouldn't harm a fly but looks can be deceiving. She is huge! Around 5ft (the same height as me) when shes on 2 legs. If you think of a snow wolf then you are on the right lines as to what my dog looks like. She looks like she would be a great guard dog, imagine if you come face to face with something like that. She has definatley got the teeth to scare anyone away but the only time she shows them is when shes gnawing on her bone! She is the most affectionate dog I have met, that is why I wonder if she would be a good guard dog.
When people come to the back door her ears prick up and her tail starts wagging without knowing who it is. When we open the door even if she hasn't met the visitor before she is straight on her back wanting to have her belly rubbed and if they don't do it then she just goes and sits back in her bed.
That is all good if we know and are expecting them but imagine it was someone who was wanting to force their way in. My dog would be rubbish, what burgular is going to stop and give my dog a belly rub?
When people come to the door and we aren't in the same room as her we have no idea someone is waiting outside. Even if she has noticed there is someone there she makes no noise and makes no attempt of indicating there is someone at the door.
I hope that we never have to find out for real if my dog is a good guard dog but I'm sure that when the moment is right she will put an intruder in their place and let them know whos boss.
My boy thinks he's the meanest, roughest, toughest dog on the block. If anyone walks past the window his ears prick and he starts growling and barking, still from his curled up position on the sofa. If they dare knock on the door he launches himself off the sofa to bark incessantly at the door. Once the door is opened most people recoil in horror then double up in fits of laughter as this guard dog is an American Hairless Terrier who is completely bald apart from a few whiskers and eye brows and stands at about 17 inches high, he has pink skin with brown / blue patches. The breed is typically sleek and muscular with big pointed ears long muzzle and big dark eyes. They are known for being intelligent, alert, playful and loving. Although he is loud for small dog and protects his house, once people get over their initial shock of seeing such a creature he soon becomes your best friend and then becomes the best lap warmer ever.
My dog does an excellent job of guarding our home...in theory. She barks the loudest, most fierce bark her little body will allow, she lets rip a deep rumbling growl from her chest and occasionally, she throws herself at door which the offending person is standing behind - quaking in their boots.
You may think my dog is an Alsatian perhaps? Or a bulldog? Maybe a Rottweiler or a Doberman? Something smaller maybe... a Staffie or a Rhodesian Ridgeback? Named Cain or Goliath or Colonel Jones?
My big brave grumbling growling guard dog is a Shetland Sheepdog - a Sheltie - named Bonnie. For those of you who are not sure what a Sheltie looks like, I will elaborate.
The Sheltie is a small dog with an elegant pointed muzzle. Dark almond shapes eyes, a pitch black nose and little broken topped ears, a constantly intelligent, quizzical expression upon her dainty face. My Sheltie has a beautiful sable mask across her eyes and muzzle with darker fur framing this across her head and ears. She has a brilliant white rough, apron and petticoats and the fur on her back is sable, chocolate brown and black. Her paws are about 3 inches long and white. She stands around a foot tall and she carries her tale in an elegant swoop. She is every inch a little lady. Think Lassie, only shrink her by half.
And this walking carpet, this furry piece of art, becomes all rumbling growls and scurrying feet when some innocent stranger knocks on the door. She barks and growls and howls until she is SURE that she has scared them off. Standing on the other side of the door must be a truly terrifying experience. What monster dog lives in that house?! What child eating beast are they going to unleash upon us?!
That is, until you actually open the door. When the door is out of the way my little hairy monster becomes a bouncy little bag of excited yips and joyful yelps. She greets anybody, friend, family, foe, post man, with the joyful abandon which we all love in dogs. She loves life and she LOVES people, new people, old people, children, people with intent to rob us of our belongings, Bonnie loves them all.
Sure she will protect her pack in theory, but when the door is open she greets everyone as a long lost and much loved friend. And that's exactly the way I love her.
Well, on paper my 2 dogs should certainly be brilliant guard dogs. I have an 8 year old White Alsation and a 1.5 year old Alaskan Malamuit, both quite big, a few feet tall on four legs. So i've got 2 big dogs who are quite territorial, great guard dogs right? Wrong.
Now, hypothetical scenario, it's 3am and all is quiet, say a burglar enters the property. The gate squeak would cause my dogs to bark, so that would either wake us up or deter the burglar, so that's good I suppose. But if a burglar actually enters the house they would be greeted by a very calm pure white Alsation snuffling around their feet or a wild Alaskan Malamuit that for some reason feels the need to dig at your feet. That's right, dig at your feet.
The Malamuit has this very strange trait, maybe some natural instinct for digging snow holes or something in Alaska. What she does is tries to dig holes in our kitchen floor, frantically scratching at the lino flooring. As a puppy she used to try and dig up her water bowl, resulting in near floods of our kitchen as she flung water around the house before picking up the empty water bowl in her mouth and hurling it across the room. Very strange creature. Perhaps most amusing, and sometimes painful, is either when she tries to dig up your feet with her gigantic paws or she jumps up at you and literally punches you in the back with both feet.
Taking these dogs out for walks isn't just a relaxing walk when you're with these dogs, they're both frantically trying to get in front of the other one to lead the pack, and being with a dog bred for pulling sleds means you get quite a workout. The Malamuit is a hassle to walk, as it hates all other dogs, yet strives to find them, knowing where all the dogs are in the area she constantly tries to headbutt her way through gates, not the brightest of animals. Then you have the problem with letting them off the lead, the Malamuit will chase absolutely anything and if she sees a dog in the distance she's gone. The Alsation is much more civilised, but quite annoying as she hassles you to throw stones for her constantly. This would be fine, only she's very picky about which stones she actually wants to collect, you can throw 50 for her, but if she only likes one of them, she will only get one of them.
Now, I went a bit off track there, but as much as I love them, if a burglar entered the house, I wouldn't count on them to guard the house. But it is good that they might deter the burglar with barking.
I own a male jack russell called tomas . I bought him two years ago for my son as he was nervous of dogs and thought kill or cure i'll get a puppy so he can grow up with him and and hopefully become his friend which he has.
When i got him i thought i wound'nt get overly fond of him but i wouldnt be without him now , he lets me know when its time for his walk and he follows me round everywhere when i'm at home and lies on my feet when im sat on the sofa.
I dont think he'd make the best guard dog as he's only small and would probably lick an intruder to death instead of attacking them .
He never barks when people come to the door during the day which i'm glad of , but as soon as we've gone to bed he will bark straight away if someone's by the house which is what i want him to do .
Dog a man and woman's best friend good company an exercise buddy and a burgular alarm( or not ) all in one .
Even though he's small ,burgulars dont know that from the outside and i think he earns his dog food by protecting us during the night time hours and being a good companian who dosent argue with you bless him
I have to tell you that my little dog called Molly is a better watch dog than if I had all of Essex police surrounding my house and a personal body guard inside. She is only 6kgs and a Shih Tzu, but her piercing bark together with her ears which hear sounds a mile away, make her the best alarm and early warning system on the planet.
Shih Tzus were born to watch its what they do, so if you are looking for a watch dog but don't want a guard dog breed like an Alsatian then I would say consider getting one as they make you feel very safe, even though in reality they would not be strong enough to fend off any attacker at all.
This is why I must clarify that in my opinion there are excellent guard dog breeds who really are able to physically guard you i.e. the intruder is scared of being hurt, and there are watch dogs who let you know someone or something is out there, and these are where my little princess shines!
Shih Tzus are brilliant as they are sociable, playful, lively and affectionate little dogs but the downside is they so have grooming needs which must be attended too. They don't need much exercise though but are notoriously difficult to train being highly intelligent and rather stubborn. However where they excel is that they will be on lookout for hours, and rarely bother about whether it is their shift or not!
The word Shih Tzu actually means little lion and this is essentially what they are. Even when asleep or looking asleep they are actually listening out! The origin of the ancestors of these dogs begins in Tibet over 1500 years ago when they would act as lookouts. I sometimes think she has x-ray eyes as she sees through walls, and is constantly making sure we are secure. She is like having the most sophisticated radar!
An important point about these little dogs though is that they are not happy being left alone so it is really cruel to have one if you are at work all day, part time is fine but all day is cruel, and the rescue centres will not allow you to adopt one otherwise.
Molly is the nicest dog in the world but her barking borders on annoying if she gets into one of those super sensitive moods. We have to have a special outside post box as she eats post! She hears things miles off and so nothing passes her sight. Although a gentle dog like any other I would never trust her with a stranger who was lurking outside, though not a guard dog she could nip the leg of an unsuspecting postman- you can never be 100% sure.
These dogs make wonderful companions and certainly make you feel safe. A barking dog may deter some intruders as they may not know the breed of dog. It can also give you a headache on the days when it becomes incessant. I have actually had delivery drivers laughing as the noise she makes has terrified them, and they can't believe the teddy bear face which greets them when I open the door (in my arms for their safety just in case!)
The best time we have is when we take her to our cottage in The Outer Hebrides. She never barks there at all as we have no passing neighbours or cars until the last day when we are waiting in line in the car to board the ferry at Lochboisdale in South Uist. The poor ticket inspector gets a taste of her barking which we sometimes get shocked by as she loses all will to use it when we are at the cottage. It can be piercing and certainly means he collects the tickets quickly and moves on!
At home I never miss a delivery or a caller because I am on red alert all day with her. It's a great joy and although certainly not a real deterrent in terms of being fierce or threatening she does provide our family with an early warning- its just sometimes she has her trip switch too loosely wired!
At 9 months old I think our border collie would give guarding the house a fair go. He certainly guards his cage well enough, you dare not take his favourite stuffed toy out of there.
He's always quick to bark when someone comes into the house, but that's usually because he hears them speaking when you answer the door, or he's been looking out the lounge window and seen that it's a family member etc.
He can be quite protective of people, especially me. If we're out walking and another dog approaches me he's quick to alert them to the fact that he's there. Making it clear that I am his owner and that this other dog should continue on it's way. There has been the occasion when we've been out and I've encountered an unpleasant situation and Hamish, despite being a puppy at the time growled for all his worth and "pluffed" himself up to twice his usual size and barked like a "grown up dog" - showing his protective nature.
Being a border collie our dog is naturally inquisitive and likes to investigate everyone that comes into the house. You don't get to speak to us until he's sure of who you are and has sniffed your hands and assessed you. After passing those security checks you've to scratch and rub his tummy before you'll get peace and quiet. So as long as a burglar is willing to be sniffed and in some instances licked to death, before rubbing the dog's tummy he'd be a useless guard dog. But in saying that, if he hears a noise he doesn't like, in some instances that 's a TV advert, he's quick to let you know about it.
I have a 9 year old Weimaraner called Fred and he is quite possibly the worst guard dog ever! He's getting on a bit now, his limbs are going, he has fits and he is more than just a little overweight. But that is no excuse because Fred has never been good at his job!
I think the main reason for this is his friendly temperament - Fred never see's people as a threat but as a friend he hasn't made yet. Instead of sniffing any newcomer in the house and sizing them up, he goes over, tail a-wagging, and demands to be petted. He'd mistake a crow bar for an oversized dog biscuit. Actually, to be honest, now he's too fat and lazy to get up he doesn't even bother going over to people; he looks at them from the floor as if to send them telepathic messages that say 'Come to me. Bring food. And love.'
If the house alarm goes off, he waits patiently by his bowl and wags his tail. If he hears a crash outside, he cocks his head up before realising he had exerted himself far too much for the day. Although when it takes his fancy he can howl like a wolf, he still wants to lick the postman more than he is inclined to bite him. Alas, my dog wouldn't protect my house from burglars of murderers - unless of course they would have a change of heart when Fred comes over to say 'Hullo friend!'
After loosing our beloved rotty to cancer back in august my hubby swore he would never get another dog as nothing would ever live up to his beloved rotty who i have to say was a brilliant guard dog and i always felt safe with, the first few weeks without him were a little strange, i would forget he wasnt here and wander why he wasnt waiting to greet me at the bottom of the stairs in the morning but soon got used to this but the one thing i couldnt get used to was not feeling safe, not all of the time dont get me wrong i wasnt scared of being without a dog but it made me feel more settled when i was home alone or of a night when we were in bed to know he was there to alert us to anything strange.
I managed to talk hubby into a new dog and me being a big fan of rescuing animals decided against going and buying a cute puppy but looked for a dog in need of a new home and saw henry advertised as his owner had a new job and couldnt keep him any more so i went to fetch him as a birthday surprise for my hubby.
As you can see from the picture above henry is a big boy, he is a two year old mastiff and actually looks rather menacing with his hackles up as i found out late one night wholst taking the rubbish out.
You would assume he would be a good guard dog but unfortunatey not, i think at some point in his previous home henry has been punnished for barking and now when he hears or sees something he doesnt like he barks then runs away with fear, i dont think he is going to make a good guard dog but he is a loyal and loving pet to us so thats what realy counts, his bark is menacing enough.
Does my dog do a good job of guarding my home? Well that is certainly debatable, my dog is a poodle terrier cross rescued little ball of fluff.
He's adorable and goes by the name of Freddie, he does a good job of eating, chewing his bed, spilling his water, but guarding my home, I'm not sure about that.
I'm a postie and used to being barked at, but my dog still barks when I return home wearing the uniform. My sisters can't get into the house when they call, I have to call the dog off first, otherwise he is in danger of being sent flying across the room when shaken off. He doesn't bite, but he certainly makes a racket.
He is scruffy and smelly and has some really unpleasant habits, but funny all the same.
To be honest I got him for my son, and though he would be rubbish if someone really did break in, he is there for noise, and I feel that would be enough to deter anyone breaking in, he would certainly wake me up and the neighbours because for a small dog he can certainly bark.
The best guard dogs I ever had were not what people would ever think of when you think of a guard dog.
I had this one dog, Samantha, a Black Labrador Retriever, who I rescued from my neighbors. She was sickly, very thin, and had been mistreated. When my family and I nursed her back to health, and she learned that my parents were not going to abuse her, she became an amazing guard dog. I used to go out with her and anytime an adult who wasn't one of my parents got anywhere me or my sister, well lets just say I feel sorry for that one poor guy, kind of. :)
Another great watchdog we had was- believe it or not- a chihuahua. We named him chuprecabra- literal meaning, goat- eater, after the Mexican myth. We called him Chewy.
Whoever Chewy was sleeping with was very well protected.
To get out of my room, I had to go through my sister's room and god help me if Chewy was sleeping with her!
One night, we were sitting in our house, it had just gotten dark and we hadn't put up the items from our yard sale yet- and suddenly Chewy goes crazy! Someone was in our yard and was stealing a small table we had for sale. By the time my mother got outside, the guy was running away.
Then there are our current mutts. Squeaks,who squeaked before he could bark. Baby, the Super Retarded Dog. And Sugar, who is apparently hyper-active. Poor Sugars, when we found her she was all shot up with buckshot. And boy does she love to play ball, in the house- she won't play outside.
They let us know when the guy who lives across the street leaves and comes home, when anyone comes home, when we get our mail, etc., etc. And the UPS guy is seriously afraid of Squeaks. Its funny to see him come to the door, drop the package without knocking, and run back to his truck. Squeaks barking the whole time.
We don't get on them for telling us when some one is near. Due to the fact that on more than one occasion, they have run some one off who wasn't supposed to be here.
I have found that the best guard dogs in the world do not have to be mean or even big, they just have to care about you.
copywrite Stephanie A. Smith, 2007