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Old 07-12-2009, 10:35 AM
Location: Chicago, IL
8,998 posts, read 13,105,406 times
Reputation: 3536


Sometimes we play fight in the house, my step-dad will act like he is attacking my mom or my mom will act like she's attacking me and the dogs just watch with either interest or confusion.
Rudy, our smaller dog, will bark sometimes whenever someone goes after my step-dad but he won't come up to you and try to stop it.

I always make the joke that if a robber came into the house, the dogs would bark a bit but would then go lay down and watch them take our stuff.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:55 AM
Location: Mississippi
315 posts, read 979,801 times
Reputation: 421
Mayberry, Im sorry you feel attacked. I only intend to point out that your positions seem based on feeling rather than fact. There are a great number of posters here whose dogs fill an emotional void in their life. There are also those of us who have a different use and need for dogs.
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:52 PM
Location: Rural New Mexico
557 posts, read 2,322,362 times
Reputation: 339
Interesting post--good to see it revived. I had a neighbor lady who owned the sweetest purebred lab. This dog was friendly with everyone and not trained as a guard dog. This lady was alone late one evening when a strange man came to the door. Without thinking, she opened the door with the dog not far behind. Feeling threatened, she shreaked. The dog immediately charged and went for the man's throat, knocking him to the ground. Man struggled loose and ran away. Obviously his intentions were not good because he was never heard from or seen again. Would my own dog, new to us, protect? My guess is yes.
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:59 PM
Location: Kenmore, WA
7,492 posts, read 6,476,566 times
Reputation: 10927
Va-Cat & Oldenfatt;

I am certain that you are both very responsible, friendly, caring dog people (though I did feel that Old's remarks were reproachful -- and I appreciate your last post). Perhaps I should've gone to great length to further explain my earlier post, but I did not think it necessary, not believing I was being offensive. Again, I am sorry if I did offend.

To explain further, in hopes of making amends.

My comment was based on a large number of people that I have seen with fear or dominant-based aggressive dogs. Those that I've questioned have stated that they got the animals for protection. I do not believe a person would do that, unless they were fearful, or aggressive. Maybe I am wrong. It certainly would not be the first time.

The demand for protective animals encourages irresponsible breeders to breed dogs with aggressive tendencies. Usually they are not well trained, at least not by their owners, and they can be seen charging down public streets with only a thin veneer of control, or launching themselves at their fence when people pass by. This concerns me, should the fence or the lead fail.

When I chose my dog, I made a conscious decision NOT to get a breed that had any aggressive tendencies, regardless of how attractive I otherwise found the breed, because I did, and still do not believe a dog should be gotten for protection.

If my feelings on this topic offend you, I am sorry, but I answered the thread honestly, without judgment of others.

I never once insinuated that you, or anyone was a Rambo. What I did say was that when a fearful person is with a dog that was obtained for protection, it is a dangerous combination. If you did not obtain your dogs to protect you, you don't apply to my statement.

Now, can we move on, even if it is only to agree that we do not agree?
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:09 PM
Location: James Island, SC
1,628 posts, read 3,163,327 times
Reputation: 927
I get my dog all wound up "play-fighting" with her, but as soon as I say, "No bite!" she closes her mouth, and "kisses" - she licks my face

FYI - I know at least some of you have seen this already, but here is a case of a family dog - who was NOT adopted to be a guard dog, but is loyal/protective of the family all the same - who was doing his job, and was punished for it.

Full story here: Help Zeus the Lovable Pit Bull!

You can also sign the online petition, or donate on the site.

It's not just about him - it's about the growing trend of dogs like him vs. manipulative law enforcement officers.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:29 PM
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,736 posts, read 31,789,636 times
Reputation: 6788
Originally Posted by APBT_Samara View Post
This came to me after the "bulldog" thread changed topic a little.

Does anyone here think their dogs would protect them if it came to that. Some people think just having a dog is enough, its a deterrent. It might be a deterrent but not 100% guarantee. Some criminals are wise enough not to mess with homes where dogs are present. Even if they are not scared of the dog, they just don't want the dog to bark and alert the owners or neighbors if the owners are gone. Some people are really determined and not very smart. Others are pretty well armed or think they can harm the dog first. In other cases I guess they are not scared and think the dog won't do anything. Sometimes they are right, the dog does nothing or gives an initial aggressive response but doesn't follow through.

On the other hand..........

I'm sure we've all heard stories of dogs protecting their human when under attack. I've heard many. One in particular was a Rhodesian Ridgeback that saved their owners daughter from being kidnapped from her home in the middle of the night. Another was on "Breed All About It" featuring the Belgian Shepherd. A lady was jogging with her Belgian and a guy came and attacked her. The dog attacked him and saved her from the attack. Probably rape or kidnapping? Because when she told the story I don't remember her saying her was demanding anything (like money). There are others that I personally know also in this situation. So they see these large dogs and still go for it. If I saw someone walking a Shepherd I wouldn't dare try it. Although I guess thats because they invoke fear in me.

Here is a story about a Pit Bull killed protecting his owner. However he had been trained for it, so thats a little different. He did follow through. Some dogs are trained, just not so great, not real life scenarios, just the bite and release and all the obedience that goes with it. So even if the owner had all the training done if a real attack happened the dog wouldn't react the same as in the training which was a fun game for him and set the same every time. So they owner would be expecting them to protect and they would not.
Slain pit bull dies a hero Oakland Tribune - Find Articles

Here is another by an (I assume) non-protection trained dog. Pet Pitbull - Positive Press

I'm for sure our late female would have protected anyone of us from an attacker, especially my son. She had an awesome temperament, super sweet loved people, loved kids, loved any baby -kid(goat), calf, pup, kitten, big time nurturer and very gentle. However what she did to try and get out of the house when a thief was on our property is what makes me believe that. Chewed and scratched up the door. Tore up the window blinds, ripped up the screen, chewed up the entire window frame, she just couldn't get out. I guess it wasn't in her mind to jump through the window and just break the glass. She obviously went nuts with the damage that was done in frustration to get out. It should be noted that several other people have been on our property (with permission) when we were not home and nothing has ever happened like that. One guy was there quite a bit moving stuff and dropping stuff off when we were not there. The UPS guy will put stuff in our door if its unlocked so that its not left outside and none of the dogs ever do anything but greet him. This female herself likes him a lot and has even jumped in his truck. A friend of ours who I guess the dogs would know has come in our house when we were not home several times. Our sitter comes here to feed the dogs and sometimes she bring some help. Once there was an accidental fight and she called her Dad over, and also my BIL came over and our dogs don't know them. My BIL had just moved here like 2 weeks ago. A couple other people have come in that they hadn't seen before when we weren't there but nothing bad ever happened. I think if it were a bad person then something would. Dogs know the difference in people. Some think its smell, you release certain chemicals. So they can smell fear, anxiety, anger, it smells different to them. However I'm not real certain how that works with someone on the outside and the dog on the inside.

This story which I just pasted from the bulldog thread, also shows that this girl wanted out to get the bad guy while she was inside.

An untrained Boerboel related to my girl proved to be a decent guard dog. Never trained for it and never tried to attack anyone before. She was barking at the back door and when let out there was an intruder in the yard. She had the guy held (similar to the holding of the decoy in SCH). She engaged only after he HIT HER. Only a crazy man would punch a 100+lbs dog in the face. The guy was able to get over the fence where he had been cornered and get away. The security tape showed he'd been in the outbuilding and tried to break into the car (which was locked). The same person had also burglarized another home not too far away and was found at the hospital with dog bite wounds. This dog doesn't try to attack anyone and everyone.
Thank you for posting this story, I am glad to see some good press for a Pit Bull for a change.

When I was a child, we had a German Shephard that followed me everywhere. Everyone knew not too touch me because Countess would take their arm off. She had been tested when I was a baby so everyone in our small town knew better then to bother me. As a pretty young child, kindergarten age and younger I would slip away from my parents and Countess would follow. One time I hid behind the ice chest at the grocery store and Countess stood at the door of the store, not letting anyone come or go because she had lost sight of me. They had to call my Father to come from his job in the next town to call Countess off. She was legendary, they knew who she was by the look of her bared teeth.
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:04 AM
Location: California
423 posts, read 1,331,276 times
Reputation: 414
Great idea for a topic! I used to think that Sienna wouldn't protect me - she's kind of shy and prefers to avoid conflict. But after having her for a little over a year, she's just now started to bark at the door. And she is super attached to me, so I'm starting to rethink that maybe she would try to protect me, if she thought I was in danger and I asked her to. I don't know how effective she would be, though, the little 20 lb furball!

The pitbull story reminds me of a story I saw on TV recently, where a pitbull pup died trying to protect his family from burglars. The owners were both killed, but the dog's blood had gotten on the killer's shirt, and they were able to match the DNA to the dog's and convict the killer.


Last edited by misfitz; 07-18-2009 at 03:23 AM..
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:59 AM
Location: Brooklyn, New York
445 posts, read 1,246,398 times
Reputation: 525
Interesting question. I'm not sure about the answer. Our dog is an English Bulldog puppy, 8 months old. He loves everybody, although our two cats do not love him. I have never heard him growl except during play (tug of war over toys). However, he is extremely alert and will bark at anything that he thinks is wrong - for instance, there were guys making repairs on our neighbor's roof and Louie went nuts - I had to reassure him that it was OK and then he calmed down. He tried to stalk the Con Ed meter reader guy into our cellar last week - I think he was being friendly (fortunately the Con Ed guy liked dogs and wasn't freaked out) - but I had to hold him back from following the meter man into the cellar, and got nipped (mildly) in the process. He is very alert and super-sensitive to anything that is "wrong". He's quite protective of not only our house, but our neighbors' houses. I tend to think, though, that he's all bark and no bite. I'm quite sure he would alert us to anything that was wrong, and his appearance (many people can't distinguish between bully breeds and think he's a pitty) together with his protectiveness would scare off an intruder. I can't really imagine him attacking anybody, though, and I hope I never have to find out!
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:28 PM
1 posts, read 5,345 times
Reputation: 10
Default Dogs defending their owner under duress

As a general statement some breeds of dogs are more predisposed toward protecting the handler than others. A Golden Retriever for example, is such a mild tempered dog, that he is not likely to defend an owner under any circumstances. Other breeds of dogs such as the German Shepard , if bred from working lines and not show lines, have a natural predisposition to defend but this natural drive has to be brought out in a controlled fashion as a series of steps.

The first step is to get a puppy from working lines that has an "on and off" switch and has higher "prey drive" and "defense" drive than a puppy bred purely for pet purposes. Such a pup is socialized into a back structure and given consistent and fair and good handling.

This pup is first trained in "prey drive", that is, the need to chase a prey item, such as a deer or a fleeing object away from it. This Prey item is made to be a ball on a string, a bite sleeve, and any other object that the dog can be taught to "win' in a tug of ware type of game. This object is used to build a proper bite and to bite under distraction but with no threat to the dog of any kind...it's all a game as far as the puppy is concerned, a game to win the prize, the prey object.

The goal of teaching in prey drive, is to (a) teach a full mouthed grip, (b) teach how to bite and direct the bite to a specific object, and to associate the act of biting with a command, usually in German the word "packen". (c) to teach to "out" the prey item, and teach control, since the goal of bite training is not just to teach the bite, but to teach release of the bite under the direction and command of the owner.

Once the dog matures and gets to be about 2 years of age, this game of Prey biting, is being played with the animal where the man's arm wearing the bite sleeve is nothing more than a "motor" for the prey item. The dog is not so much fighting the man, as fighting the object on the man's hand and the dog is taught how to "wrestle' and still keep fighting for his prey object. The dog is taught to be confident and independant in fighting the game and the dog is playing the game to win.

Once the dog is good at "winning" the game and getting the prey item, i.e: the bite sleeve, and he's also outing the item consistently, now the game changes. The dog is tied to a fence and made to feel helpless. The helper, that is wearing the bite sleeve is now out to actually attack the dog with light stick hits and the dog will switch from "prey" biting, to "defensive biting". Now the man with the sleeve is not the "play buddy" in a game of tug of war, but is now the "enemy" and the dog is switched from prey drive to defensive drive: he is fighting to win out of aggression, and not out of a need to capture a prey item. However, he has been taught to bite and target the prey item as a way to relieve stress and how to "target a bite" ....and so the earlier training done in prey drive now is done in defense drive...the man is the enemy now: a fighting partner, not a play partner.

Now, as the dog is between 2 and 3 years of age, the game changes again. He is taught to work away from the handler and to find the 'bad" guy and bark-and-hold the "criminal". The dog is taught to think for itself and this trianing is similar to a police building search mentality. Again, the dog must be taught in the "fight or flight" response, that he is taking the fight to the man, and not from the man. He is being taught to be the aggressor and not a responder to an aggressor.

Finally, once a dog can be shown to work away from the handler and still be under good control, from the handler, the bite sleeve is changed to a hidden sleeve, and the dog is taught to fight the man, but he is biting the arm, which has a plastic sleeve under the shirt. The dog is then shown a series of situations where the owner is being "pushed' as if the "bad guy" is doing it to the owner and the dog must attack the "criminal" which in reality is the decoy. However, the dog must also be taught that a disorderly loud person, like a drunk is not to be attacked and only if the bad guy actually puts his hands on the owner to attack, not to attack at random. The dog is taught when to attack and when not to attack.

The whole thing now lasts into the 3rd or 4th year of the dogs life and the dog is put in a series of situations, so he is looking for the situation, not the specific training field or specific location all the time, and a series of "simulated' attacks are made against the owner and the dog is taught to react. This dog is being trained to have a "conditioned" response to a specific, high stress situation, and a controlled finished outcome, and not have the adrenaline kicking in and acting on instict if such training was not done.

So in summary, the training is
a) Pure Prey drive, no stress, in a game mentality 6month-1year
b) 1year-2 year, defense drive is added into the situation
c) 2year-3year old, hidden bite sleeve, and training to have "fight drive" the need to bite away from the support of the handler
d) a series of "attacks" are setup with decoys to create a conditioned response as if the owner is being attacked, and this is all planned. So when the real thing happens, a predictable response is evoked
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:52 AM
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,355 posts, read 16,839,068 times
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i did radon testing for 15 years when i still had the building inspection company with my ex ...... only one time did i refuse to enter a house because of a dog..... and that dog was a golden retriever......... it was pretty apparent that he did not want me in his house..... even through the windows.........
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