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Shakti

Protective But Not Aggressive Breeds

405 posts in this topic

Rex   
Not exactly Poodlefan. A wolf pack is complex but an aplha is a resource to the pack and they will defend them and their territory. But again its a complicated issue that would require long discussion.

So a dog that is never allowed to exercise leadership over a person is expected to take the lead in defensive situation? Dogs that have been socialised from puppyhood never to put teeth on a human are expected to "naturally" take a person on? Unlike past times, we generally socialise our dogs to greet strangers positively, not tear strips off them.

We've had plenty of discussion on alpha wolf theory on this forum. Most of those discussions note that the original research that developed the theory was conducted on captive wolves and was fundamentally flawed. None of that theory has ever been tested in an inter species context. Dogs know we ain't dogs. If they do protect us, are we a resource to them? :shrug:

Professional protection dog trainers have said time and again on this forum that people are deluding themselves if they genuinely expect an untrained dog, even of a guarding/protection breed, to step up when required. Those views have been poo pooed by many owners.

I'd say this thread proves the pros right. You may get lucky.. but then again.. why put your safety down to luck? :D

My mother tells a story which happened about 10 years ago where a spate of break in's were occurring in the area where she lived. One day she heard the door bell ring whilst in the backyard with her trusty old Golden Retriever and just as she was about to walk inside to answer the door a rough looking teenage kid poked his head over the side fence. Her old Goldie

saw the kid, rushed at the fence barking furiously and the kid pulled his head back over. My mother asked the kid what he wanted and asked if John lived there???. Mum swears on a stack of bibles that old Sammy was about to tear the kid's head off in full protection mode, he did the job, too big a dog with a big bark for the kid to be brave enough to case her house again, but ultimately old Sammy I know for a fact would have done "nothing" if the kid had jumped the fence and would have hid behind mum for protection in the crunch or run away. The result was good, mum felt safe and the kid was wary of the dog never to return.

The moral of this story is an incident where as my mother does, believed her dog had stepped up to the plate to protect at all costs which many do. This type of occurrence although removed the threat does not indicate that the dog was fired to fight for life and death.

Edited by Rex

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Kavik   

Rex

My Kelpie X (actually all of my dogs ) will bark their heads off if someone pokes their head over the fence. Heads with no bodies attached are not normally seen over the top of fences and I would expect most dogs to bark at this. My Kelpie cross has a reactive nature and barks at lots of things - kids screaming in swimming pools next door when I lived with my parents, lawnmower going next door. She is also not a stable dog and is scared of thunderstorms and fireworks and buses that backfire loudly. She is the least likely to do anything serious :shrug:

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Rex   
all dog that are planed for protection work should be socialised like any other puppies if not more

in the world of police and militry and protection work if ur dog cant go some were because it has issuse that dog will eather be sold on depending on how bad the problem is or retrained

you want a dog that can handel people being friendly and miss gided as well as a angre/drunk numb skull the dog has to be a ALL ROUNDER not matter what

Not in all types of protection work. My GSD for example as suggested to me by a police K9 trainer has the right disposition for a security officers patrol dog perhaps school security, shopping centres, factories at night, places where people shouldn't be other than for the wrong reasons. A dog high in prey drive and alert to movement with social aggression where they fire straight out of the blocks without cue provides a safer environment for the security officer in that work. Someone hiding around a corner waiting to plonk the security officer with a dog that accepts strangers and works on que only, may be too late to remove the threat, dog too slow to react and protect.

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BJean   
You can imagine an Anatolian, who wasn't civil and who was maybe working as a LGD, taken out into public and allowed to make his own decisions about what is a threat or what is not? That might be quite a liability!

:thumbsup: my Kimba is a good boy :o

should note however that the ASD I mentioned for Jeff is a working dog and not suited as a pet in any circumstance.

*why* I think Central Asians as a breed are different to a lot of others

is that the current CAO in Australia are Russian / Kazakhstan working and security lines.

But as Aphra so well put, LGDs are not meant for PP work

because they dont have the capacity for the preciison training that malinois, GSD, rotties do have.

An LGD wont protect their owner, or rather what they perceive as 'theirs'

on their owners terms

but on the dogs terms.

So yes they will protect thier owner, but maybe you wont be able to call the dog off or maybe they will overreact to an annoying teen or go for a lost trespasser as if they were an immediate threat to your life -

and for that reason they can be more of a responsibility than your average guardian breed.

Initally their protective instincts read like a good thing,

but any pups which i think will hold thier ground and will 'protect'

i place to experience homes in rural homes away from the suburbs

where they are less likely to comes across many people etc

fwiw i don't think there are many dogs that will protect without training

and those that do

wont protect in a measured way -

instead they wil go overboard and do too much

bcz they are doing it offf their own bat

and not part of a trained response.

Edited by lilli

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Rex   
Steve - what you describe a Maremma as doing would be the extent to which I personally would be comfortable with my dog behaving! For me in my normal day-to-day life I would want a dog that is comfortable being around other people and dogs when in a public area but that is happy to put itself between me and a threat and bark a warning!

Having seen several Maremmas do their *Warning bark* I believe that would deter most people.

I am not posting much now as my original question has been answered by several PMS :thumbsup: and now by Steve but the thread is proving fascinating nd I am learning a lot. Will be curious to see the results of the test Jeff.

I am assuming (possibly incorrectly) that your hypothesis is that most dogs who have not done protection trainig will NOT protect their owners in the presence of a threat?

I am yet to see a Maremma however in pictures they resemble a Golden Retriever in appearance. Are they larger than a GR or in the flesh look nothing like them???.

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BJean   
Taking an Anatolian Shepherd out in public is more of a liability than an asset.

Are you one of those people who caution, "look out there's a Karabash coming"?

I'm sure there are very well trained Anatolians and even Anatolians with very civil temperaments out there and those are obviously not the ones I am talking about. Consider that you are only seeing the ones that suit life in Australia, and for that matter, the ones that people are willing to take out into public.

In any case, my point was not run down a breed as being a liability in public, but that certain breeds do well in protection work for many good reasons. That in itself is a generalisation that does not take into account lines or individual temperaments, but statistically speaking it is a fact.

No dont do that Aidan -

which Anatolians are you talking about?

I missed the part in the OP and later thread development

when it became about decrying Anatolians as unstable and unsuitable as family dogs to go out in public.

ploise explayne.

eta:

OH HANG ON, I GET IT -

YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT KANGALS NOT ANATOLIANS!

Edited by lilli

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corvus   

I'm confused.

Does anyone really believe that you can rely soley on an untrained dog for personal protection? It seems to me there are two sides to an argument here, but they are not sides of the same argument.

It is fact that some dogs will protect their owners in a threatening situation even without the training. It is fact that not every dog will regardless of breed, unless it has been trained in PP. It is fact that not every dog of a guarding breed would if not trained in PP. Is anyone disputing any of that? Seriously, because I'm having trouble following the arguments in this thread.

I think there is more to whether a dog will "step up" than leadership. I've seen behaviour from dogs that has made me seriously consider that perhaps they see the people they live with as their family (despite the fact it flies in the face of some of my other dog behaviour theories), and there may be protective instinct associated with families. There is also context. If the threat is in the dog's own house or yard or car, that's different to if it is on neutral ground.

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Rex   
No, they're stepping up because the sense or realise that at THAT MOMENT the alpha is unable to fulfill their duties.

Are you comfortable that your dog will always make the right split second decision?

It's not just my dog, poodlefan, it's potentially many, many dogs who are currently co-existing in suitable dynamic with their owners who have not yet had the question asked of them.

I'm MORE than comfortable, poodlefan, I'm ALIVE.

And what are you suggesting I should do with my dog because he did this?

One of the most tragic stories I ever heard was told to me by the owner themselves. One day they were carjacked at knifepoint by a known criminal with serious prior offences. The usually friendly and stable family dog reacted by jumping from the back seat and taking the criminal down, then holding it until the police arrived. On the strength of the kind of crap you're dispensing the owner chose to put the dog down for fear it would attack the family. Is that what I should do with my dog?

Whoa there Nelly... quantum leap of logic there!!

How on earth did we get from me asking if you were confident a dog would always (emphasis there) make the right decision about threats to you deciding I advocated that any dog that did protect its owner should be put down???

What I'm saying is this. People who confidently assert that their untested dog will instinctively know when a person means harm (and as importantly when they don't) and will take the leadership role to engage are asking more of their pets than a the handler of a trained security/protection dog does. I hope people think about that.

I said that whether a pet would protect you was a matter of luck not certainty. How you conclude from that I think a dog that protects its owner should be PTS escapes me. :thumbsup:

I agree with that statement Poodlefan. I beleive it's a huge call in the confidence of an untested and untrained dog that it instinctively will determine a threatening situation and act accordingly to protect.

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casowner   

My CASD is very well socialised, he goes to classes and meets lots of people. Put him on his own property with anything that he percieves as a threat I believe would be a different situation. My definition of a threat and his may well be totally different. I wouldn't even guess his reaction in what I would consider a threat situation when out of his home environment, but I am confident in it in his own environment that he would do as his forebears would, and that is guard his territory. I have seen him be a cuddly teddy bear one second and be a true livestock guardian in a flash, I must admit as a scaredy cat that is frightened of the dark (pathetic I know) that for the first time in my life I can confidently go to sleep at night if I am home alone (albeit with every light on in the house).

If CASD's are considered in the same grouping as Anatolians I must be very irresponsible taking my "liability" out in public, however I thought that socialisation was healthy, especially if he is under effective control and all of my past students I believe have benefitted from meeting him.

Edited by casowner

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Rex   

I have some experience with dogs who are bred for this line of work. They need training, lots of it. All of them need to be trained to be completely sociable and civil (if that is possible), and then to either never bite (proofed) or to bite when cued (also proofed). Anything less is a liability.

It would be a terrible mistake to purchase a dog from working lines then just hope that one day it will do it's job, for it probably will - whether you want it to or not.

If we are talking about dogs not from working lines, then I'm wasting my time. The probabilities are reduced further, as the OP has already found out the hard way.

At last a realistic post that tells it how it is, well done :thumbsup:

I have a hard line GSD who's lines have been successfully used in security/police work and in fact from breeders who actually advertise their litters capable of this work, not the usual "unsuitable for guard/security purposes" common in many GSD sales advertisements. These lines are "NOT" lovely sociable friendly animals as many who knew a police dog etc etc try to maintain, they are high drive instinctively nasty disposition dogs who want to bite everyone and the training required to make them sociable and civil is extensive and on going and an "absolute" liability untrained and in the wrong hands as they "WILL" chase and bite no question.

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Rex   
Rex

My Kelpie X (actually all of my dogs ) will bark their heads off if someone pokes their head over the fence. Heads with no bodies attached are not normally seen over the top of fences and I would expect most dogs to bark at this. My Kelpie cross has a reactive nature and barks at lots of things - kids screaming in swimming pools next door when I lived with my parents, lawnmower going next door. She is also not a stable dog and is scared of thunderstorms and fireworks and buses that backfire loudly. She is the least likely to do anything serious :thumbsup:

Don't they hate bodyless heads poking over the fence, it's true that most dogs will go ape!!!. These type of incidents like in my mothers case is what I believe some determine as their dog "stepping up to the plate" in protection.

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Rex

My Kelpie X (actually all of my dogs ) will bark their heads off if someone pokes their head over the fence. Heads with no bodies attached are not normally seen over the top of fences and I would expect most dogs to bark at this. My Kelpie cross has a reactive nature and barks at lots of things - kids screaming in swimming pools next door when I lived with my parents, lawnmower going next door. She is also not a stable dog and is scared of thunderstorms and fireworks and buses that backfire loudly. She is the least likely to do anything serious :thumbsup:

Don't they hate bodyless heads poking over the fence, it's true that most dogs will go ape!!!. These type of incidents like in my mothers case is what I believe some determine as their dog "stepping up to the plate" in protection.

Yes, it is really hard to know if your dog really will step up to the plate without even being in that situation, which I truly hope noone on this forum ever is. Any dog might bark or growl to scare someone away if they get a bit spooked. But that same dog isn't necessarily going to fight to the death to protect an owner, it might put up a good show when it is initially threatened, but then back down rather quickly if the assailant doesn't appear intimidated by the threat or carries on advancing on the dog.

Will be interested to hear the results of Jeff's test, but I also wonder if it really replicates the scenrio being discussed. If the dog doesn't react in Jeff's test, does that mean that it won't ever defend, or does it just indicate that the dog doesn't perceive a genuine threat from the tester?

I would never count on my girl to defend me instinctively without training. However, I am sure when she gets a little older she would instinctively put up an intimidating display if called for, whether or not I choose to train any bitework.

I think that socialisation/neutralisation is the one of the most important things for working breed puppies, it allows them to learn to distinguish normal human behaviour from threatening behaviour, so they are more likely to react appropriately to innocent roughhousing etc. A dog that bites non-threatening strangers, or that is not under command, is more of a liability than an asset to most homes, IMO.

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Aidan   
Taking an Anatolian Shepherd out in public is more of a liability than an asset.

Are you one of those people who caution, "look out there's a Karabash coming"?

Haha, you must be constantly looking over your shoulder then!

No, you own these breeds and you know exactly what I am talking about. Your last post sums it up VERY well.

I missed the part in the OP and later thread development

when it became about decrying Anatolians as unstable and unsuitable as family dogs to go out in public.

ploise explayne.

You're winding me up, right? :laugh: You summed up everything I was trying to say about the difference between trained personal protection dogs and LGDs in your last post.

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Aidan   
If CASD's are considered in the same grouping as Anatolians I must be very irresponsible taking my "liability" out in public, however I thought that socialisation was healthy, especially if he is under effective control and all of my past students I believe have benefitted from meeting him.

If you have a LGD with a nice temperament who is socialised and trained, then you are not taking a liability out into the public, are you? Isn't that assumed?

Perhaps I should have said "an unsocialised, working Anatolian" when I made my original remark, but I really didn't think it was necessary.

Edited by Aidan

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I had a Rotty as my first dog he was never trained in anything other than obedience yet he was extremely protective he would stand between me and anybody who would approach. I never forget when a man approached me in a park my boy stood quietly infront until the man got too close he let out an almighty growl and stared at the man until he backed off. The man meant no harm thankfully he just got too close. I have mini bullys now and they would think anyone was in for a game, could never rely on them for protection :laugh:

When I got my GR Sam, he was afraid of everything (rescued at age 7 months). He got a fright at the local park and took off, luckily ran home. It took a long time for him to gain confidence. Eventually tho I realised he would subtely place himself between me and men he wasnt sure of. He was very sensitive to people and twice growled at guys I would have said looked a bit sus.

one night he was barking his scary bark, telling me someone was near, and when I went out, he had bailed up a young man in the garage.

I think I must be doing something to teach my dogs to do that, just wish I knew what!

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Nekhbet   

wow what did I miss in 2 days. Rhapsodical for something you show you know little about then general perceived notions you sure have a lot to argue about. This thread is becoming another car driven by the backseat drivers. No dog will be scarred for life FFS. It's easy to see a dog that is not right and you end it there, make friends to show it was just an act afterwards and the dog gets on with life. Adult dogs being traumatised are more times owner perpetuated problems unless the dog has absolutely shite nerves, even then there is ways to rehabilitate.

I think people need to understand that yes, your dog may put on a show - just like the teenager who has done some karate lessons may try and defend himself in the street - he may try but when it gets serious he'll get his arse kicked. The difference is how they come out the other end. A protection trained dog treats it like the real deal, it knows how to behave and it has been through the paces and knows what to expect from an encounter. A swift kick by an intruder will send most displaying dogs scuttling and peeing themselves, whereas a trained dog will not back down as its training has given it a conditioned behavior to the scenario. Two of my dogs have been physically attacked by intruders (one hit over the head, the other had a hind leg gashed open) and both are fine, stable and still friendly to visitors as their training conditioned them to be.

And no, I would never purchase a primarily show line dog with the hope it would be a worker. You want a worker you buy from proven workers not just because it is a gsd, rottie, dobe etc. Many members of working breeds cannot step up to the plate anymore and that's a fact. If you want a dog that will DEFINATELY protect you in any situation you buy a trained dog or one of the more primitive/LGD breeds still from proven workers (But as lilli said dont expect to have control like you would the more traditional guarding breeds). The logic is not that hard to grasp.

Saying that I have seen some nervy, woeful examples of LGDs that could barely hold up in fighting the maggies for their dinner let alone protecting you from intruders.

one night he was barking his scary bark, telling me someone was near, and when I went out, he had bailed up a young man in the garage.

A fearful reaction from a human can illicit a guarding response from most dogs. Have that same person confidently walk up to the dog brandishing a stick and see the difference. Most tuck their tails and go 'SHITE IT DIDNT WORK MUUUUUUUUUM HELP!'. That is the difference and THAT is what you are relying on not to happen.

Edited by Nekhbet

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Tonymc   

quote from Nekhbet

And no, I would never purchase a primarily show line dog with the hope it would be a worker. You want a worker you buy from proven workers not just because it is a gsd, rottie, dobe etc. Many members of working breeds cannot step up to the plate anymore and that's a fact. If you want a dog that will DEFINATELY protect you in any situation you buy a trained dog or one of the more primitive/LGD breeds still from proven workers (But as lilli said dont expect to have control like you would the more traditional guarding breeds). The logic is not that hard to grasp.

Exactly!!!!! Tony

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Guest rhapsodical78   
Guest rhapsodical78
She may not realise it, but she is already taking those risks. She has had three of these incidences. My original post was suggesting that people would be better served learning how to identify and manage these risks appropriately.

I don't agree that that's a given. I lived in a bad area and we had several different types of incidents on more than a few occasions and it had nothing to do with taking risks or relying on dogs.

So you would remain completely calm if someone was pointing a gun at you? If "ring nerves" are still a performance problem in the UD ring (arguably "correctly trained obedience dogs"), then I would suspect there is a reasonable probability that a dog, particularly one with a naturally protective instinct, might falter in this particular scenario if it had not been proofed.

If your life relies on your dog shutting up I'm sure you could give the command.

No. I'm suggesting that a dog from working lines specifically has a high probability of being a liability (whether the owner recognises it or not) if not trained specifically for either protection, or specifically trained not to "protect".

My dog is from show lines. I think you have a higher chance of protection with working line dogs (and SOME may need training), but I don't agree that any dog willing to protect is a liability - my dog is neither a liability nor a rarity.

I have never said "no dog will protect when you want it to".

I would like you to be more accurate when you reply to me. Not only is it unfair to me, it reflects poorly on you and I wouldn't be having this discussion with you if I didn't think you were capable of fairness and accuracy.

Ok. Let's make this clear, do you or so you not agree with the other posters here claiming that 99% of dogs will not step up to the plate without training? Because it seemed quite clear to me that that is what you were saying. If you do, then my original comment still stands.

Also, I would like you to be less condescending in your replies to me, but apparently we don't always get what we want.

I'm not sure what argument you think I am trying to make, but I think my original post expresses it clearly enough. You seem to think that because I disagree with you on point X, I must also disagree with you on points A, B and C also.

What erroneous assumption am I making?

For your benefit:

"I think people need to spend less time speculating about their dog's willingness or ability to protect them and more time learning how to manage risk (for which a dog and training may or may not play some part)." -- I don't think a dog is a good personal protection strategy ON IT'S OWN, and most of what a dog may or may not contribute is speculation anyway.

"I know my dogs would make a lot of noise and I know that one of them has no qualms about fronting up, but I'm not sure what would happen if someone was swinging a cricket bat at me." -- my dogs might protect me in one situation, but maybe not another, I don't train for it so I don't know what the probabilities are. I am not willing to risk my life to find out so I can either train for it, or take other measures to avoid a situation where I might have to find out.

For the record, I do own a working line GSD who is trained to be sociable. I also own a Golden Retriever who legitimately helped me avoid a home invasion when he was a puppy, he is the most gentlemanly dog you could imagine. I also perform "rare feats of strength" in front of referrees :cry: and avoid city parks at night.

I think you're still not stating exactly what your position is here. Aside from the fact that people shouldn't take risks, which I'm sure we all agree with - what other point are you trying to make that relates to our conversation?

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Akayla   

Ok here is a random question for those in the know.

Would you consider a dog to have "fronted up" if say someone came at the dog and owner swinging a bat or whatever - but the dog doesnt stand between the owner and the attacker but circles around behind the attacker and moves in from there?

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