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Unread 12-28-2010, 04:23 AM
 
438 posts, read 449,799 times
Reputation: 437
My Uncle died last year and my Aunt who is 84 years young, lost her GSD on 1 September 2010. They have always owned GSD, unfortunately all her dogs have suffered with hip dysplasia.

She longed for another GSD and registered with the Dogs Trust (a dog rescue centre) as my Aunt knew a puppy was out of the question.

My Aunt did become very lonely to the point of being depressed and ended up one particular weekend staying with us. On the Sunday of the same weekend the Dogs Trust rang to say they were bringing in a dog that they believed would be suitable for my Aunt. We were up there in a flash.

We were introduced to Zak, an 8 year old obese cocker spaniel, with a heart of gold, perfect. By this time my Aunt was desperate for companionship and agreed to take him on, even though deep down she was disappointed he isn't a GSD. He is losing weight due to her dedication and they walk for miles.

A GSD needs both a physically and mentally strong handler. An older GSD that needs to be lead trained could easily have pulled her over and at the time winter was drawing in.

Her previous dogs have all been well trained gentle giants, but its the size of the dog that made her feel secure. With Zak however she is finding people will stop and talk to her more so than when she walked her GSD.

Zak has a strong bark which will deter unwelcomed visitors and warns her when someone approaches the house.

Unfortunately Zak's original owner was an elderly lady who was taken ill, initially he was put in kennels until his owner was well enough to look after him, unfortunately due to her illness she had to let him go. My Aunt sends photos of via the Dogs Trust for onward transmission to his original owner.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Ohio
2,170 posts, read 4,469,477 times
Reputation: 3613
I would recommend an adult Labrador. Young Labs are real energetic and may be too much for an older person to handle from a pup.
But they are one of the most intelligent, loving, loyal, and trainable breeds there is. And one of the most wanting to please.
I've been around dogs since I was born 64 yrs ago. I've had Collie's, German Shepards, Doby's, Pom's, etc, etc, and loved them all.
Five yrs ago a friend of mine said "want to see my new puppy's? You can have your pick if you want one".
At the time I didn't really want another dog. We already had one that was born and raised in our house and was 12 yrs old. Didn't know if she would accept a new pup intruding into her space.
Anyway, I fell in love at first sight with one of the pups. Brought her home.
The old dog has since died and we still miss her.
But the Lab has turned out to be the best dog I have ever had in my life. She isn't much of a barker normaly. We can sit on the porch and if a person walks by, or a kid rides a bike or skate board down the street she will just watch them. If they stop and quit moving by our house she will bark. If a car stops and goes on at the stop sign by our house she will watch. If it sits there for a long period of time she will bark.
She always alerts us when someone is in the yard. If she knows them she will go to the door to welcome them. If she doesn't know them she will go to the door to challenge them. We know the difference.
She just seems to know when something may be a threat and when everything is normal and no threat.
I don't like loud, yappy, barking dogs that just like to hear their head roar for no good reason.
Penny just alerts when she senses things aren't as they should be.
I love this dog and if she passes before I do my next one will be a Lab or Lab/mix.
I always want a good dog around.
It took me awhile to find out the Lab breed is one of the greatest.
I had never had one before. And I won't have any other breed although I know there are other goods ones out there.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal
12,015 posts, read 10,270,161 times
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Oh my gosh, what a terrifying situation. I wish she lived close to me -- I'd send Artie over to protect her.

I have no suggestions, but I do hope that everything works out well. It's a scary world we live in, sometimes.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
5,934 posts, read 6,930,140 times
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i wouldnt put "beware of dog" signs up...why? because it indicates you know your dog is agressive and should the dog actually bite anyone (yes even on your own property) it increases your liability because you "KNEW" your dog was agressive.

however "dogs loose on property" or "my *insert breed* can make it to the fence in 3.5 seconds...can you?" are a good way to advertise there is a dog on premises, without indicating the dog is agressive under law.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 18,888,136 times
Reputation: 6564
Sorry to be a negative nancy, but this sounds like a poor reason to get a dog and a poor situation for a dog's well-being.

I'm really hearing that you need something like this: Amazon.com: FRONTIERSMAN Bear Attack Deterrent with Hip Holster: Sports & Outdoors

Or this: Product: Model 686 SSR

Or maybe this: Remington Model 870 Express Shotgun 81180, 20 Gauge, 18", 3" Chmbr, Black Barrel, 7 Shot Extended
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Unread 12-28-2010, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Florida
281 posts, read 273,316 times
Reputation: 385
I had the perfect dog for your mom that we were fostering, she was around 4 years old, very low key and low energy, Bullmastiff. She was on the petite size, probably a bit smaller than a labrador. She was a fantastic guard dog but very easy to manage and just made a great deterrent.

Some of the other breeds recommended, I don't think would be suitable; Pitbulls are renown for their love of people and don't make good guard dogs, Colliers and Weimaraners, lovely dogs but too high energy for an older person.

I would highly recommend an adult Bullmastiff or a GSD from a rescue. If you find one that has been in foster, you will get a thorough evaluation of the dog. there are some wonderful older dogs out there that I think would be perfect for your Mom.

here are a few I found on Petfinder (sorry not sure where you are located)

Petfinder Adoptable Dog | Bullmastiff | Nerstrand, MN | Lucy

Petfinder Adoptable Dog | Bullmastiff | Brookfield, WI | Lizzy

This girl was owned by an eldery person:

Petfinder Adoptable Dog | German Shepherd Dog | Riverview, FL | Shannon

Petfinder Adoptable Dog | German Shepherd Dog | Crawfordville, FL | Gretchen

Good luck in your search
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Unread 12-28-2010, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Plymouth,Michigan/Quad Cities, (IA/IL)
297 posts, read 290,585 times
Reputation: 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by suei View Post
My Uncle died last year and my Aunt who is 84 years young, lost her GSD on 1 September 2010. They have always owned GSD, unfortunately all her dogs have suffered with hip dysplasia.

She longed for another GSD and registered with the Dogs Trust (a dog rescue centre) as my Aunt knew a puppy was out of the question.

My Aunt did become very lonely to the point of being depressed and ended up one particular weekend staying with us. On the Sunday of the same weekend the Dogs Trust rang to say they were bringing in a dog that they believed would be suitable for my Aunt. We were up there in a flash.

We were introduced to Zak, an 8 year old obese cocker spaniel, with a heart of gold, perfect. By this time my Aunt was desperate for companionship and agreed to take him on, even though deep down she was disappointed he isn't a GSD. He is losing weight due to her dedication and they walk for miles.

A GSD needs both a physically and mentally strong handler. An older GSD that needs to be lead trained could easily have pulled her over and at the time winter was drawing in.

Her previous dogs have all been well trained gentle giants, but its the size of the dog that made her feel secure. With Zak however she is finding people will stop and talk to her more so than when she walked her GSD.

Zak has a strong bark which will deter unwelcomed visitors and warns her when someone approaches the house.

Unfortunately Zak's original owner was an elderly lady who was taken ill, initially he was put in kennels until his owner was well enough to look after him, unfortunately due to her illness she had to let him go. My Aunt sends photos of via the Dogs Trust for onward transmission to his original owner.
That's a very good point about the size of the dog. Cockers are small-medium sized, so not a tripping hazard and would be easier to handle than a GSD. Plus Cockers can be great watch dogs too!
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Unread 12-28-2010, 07:52 AM
 
10,653 posts, read 5,428,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
There are tons of people out there trying to help pit bulls. Many have been in foster for quite a long time and so they do have a social history for you to go by so you could pick one that is calm and easy going.
But I agree with the other poster. Should any dog chew the crap out of anyone, particularly a guard dog breed, get ready for a lawsuit. Doesn't matter whether your in the right or not, they'll still sue and it will be miserable and cost you lots of money even if you win. Laws vary, you may want to talk to a cop on the local beat in your mothers neighborhood and see what he thinks. Maybe the local judicial system is understanding.
How mobile is your mother? Pets tend to become trip hazards to the elderly.
I agree i think a pitbull would be a great choice. They are very loving to owners and often weary of strangers. They also are not so huge like a rottweiler or doberman, and also not high maintenance with all the fur like a german shepard. The more medium size and light shedding of the pitbull would be more controllable as well. Though in the end any loud dog barking is the best deterrent. Maybe just walk around the local shelter and find the one with the fiercest bark
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Unread 12-28-2010, 07:57 AM
 
816 posts, read 786,389 times
Reputation: 1180
First of all, you cannot and should not depend on any dog not professionally trained as a personal protection dog to do that job. Very few pets, even in the so-called guarding breeds, will actually protect. They may bark and act as if they will but when the chips are down very few will follow through. And, I do not recommend getting a PPD because that would create a hugh liability for your mother. Besides, those dogs require very experienced owners and are not for most pet owners.

As already mentioned, any dog that barks is a deterent. It doesn't have to be a large breed dog. You mention your mother needs a low-key dog. The suggestion to try your local humane society or try rescue groups was a good one IF your mother is willing and able to give the dog time to settle in and to deal with possible issues the dog might have. Not everyone is willing or able to do so and there's nothing wrong with admitting it if she can't. Terriers and terrier-like dogs such as MinPins are definitely NOT low key. IF your mom is an experienced dog owner, who can train and handle a breed that tends to be a dominant, one-person dog, you might check into Chows or Shar-peis. Another possibilitywould be a bull mastiff. BUT all of these require a firm, experienced owner. But as already stated you don't need a large breed. Even a Toy breed such as a Toy Fox Terrier that barks will be a deterent.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 07:59 AM
 
10,653 posts, read 5,428,662 times
Reputation: 4647
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
i wouldnt put "beware of dog" signs up...why? because it indicates you know your dog is agressive and should the dog actually bite anyone (yes even on your own property) it increases your liability because you "KNEW" your dog was agressive.

however "dogs loose on property" or "my *insert breed* can make it to the fence in 3.5 seconds...can you?" are a good way to advertise there is a dog on premises, without indicating the dog is agressive under law.
This is completely backwards. Many insurance companies and municipalities require a "beware of dog" sign on the front door and any gates. A generic "beware of dog" just lets people know you have a dog on the premises and to be warned. Having signs like "beware, attack dog on duty" or "aggressive rottweilers" and other of these signs that people think are clever, could get you sued as you're admitting the dog is aggressive.
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