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Anyone that decides to own a large guard dog will have to deal with the realities of the liabilities they are undertaking when doing so. The Maremma Sheepdog is no different. This is a large guard dog that takes its role as guardian very seriously. While it is not overtly aggressive with strangers, it does have a fierce reputation as a slayer of wolves. So, this is not a dog to be taken lightly. It has an independent mindset and will sometimes ignore the commands of an owner if its guardian instincts kick in. It will not hesitate to bark and bite a stranger that is not welcome on your property. [...]
You can take the dog out of the flock, but you can't take the guarding instinct out of the Maremma Sheepdog. This dog is sometimes thought of as the best sheep herding and guard dog around. It has guarding instincts that can range from a fierce attack on wolves to a careful tending of an injured lamb. The Maremma Sheepdog is such a dutiful guard dog that you can leave it unattended for several days and it will continue to guard the flock, even when you aren't there. [...]
So you see a 10 pound Silky Terrier and the last thing you think is "Hey, what a great watchdog!" Silky Terriers are not large, muscular, threatening looking dogs and they don't have deep, powerful barks that will scare away the bad guys; dogs don't need to look like Dobermans, Great Danes, or Saint Bernards to make good watchdogs. Actually, some of those large, imposing breeds make horrible watchdogs! All a dog needs to be a decent watchdog is the tendency to be somewhat wary of strangers and new situations and the inclination to bark when it senses someone or something new on the way.
Some big, lumbering breeds are gentle giants; they hate barking and they love everyone, not to mention they're often oblivious to anything new happening in their surroundings. This description doesn't fit the Silky Terrier. The may be small, but they're extremely alert, surveying and keeping tabs on everything that goes on around them. Thanks to their terrier personality, they tend to be a bit yappy and will vocalize substantially to communicate their curiosity at new developments; their insatiable curiosity is another characteristic that makes them excellent watchdogs, as they never let anything slip by their scrutiny. They are also quite standoffish in nature and are somewhat wary of strangers; this makes a stranger approaching their home or family worthy of being scrutinized and barked at. [...]
When searching for a family pet, it's often difficult to find one that seems just right for you. Different breeds possess different characteristics, some of which may not be right for yours and your families needs. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier, however, is the perfect house pet. It doesn't shed, is small enough to take along with you wherever you go, and it provides complete devotion to its human family. [...]
If you are looking for a breed of dog which is confident, intimidating and capable of seeing off any potential unwanted visitors, then the Rottweiler may be just the dog for you.
Well known for its potential aggressiveness, the Rottweiler will readily defend its land and its family. It is one of the few breeds which is capable of being a fantastic guarding dog, but just where do these guarding instincts come from? [...]
Many hunting dogs have taken on multiple roles in the lives of their owners and one of the more important roles is that of guardian. The natural hunting instinct transfers quite well into the realm of the watchdog and German Shorthaired Pointers are no different. It also helps that the hunting dog is bred to work closely and develop a tight, long-lasting bond with his owner and family. This spurs the dog to instinctly protect his humans, though thankfully most hunting dogs do not (or at least should not) display direct, active aggression towards humans. Another point in favor of the hunting dog is its intelligence; with a little skillful training, these dogs can be taught how to be effective watchdogs rather than barking unnecessarily all day at the slightest of sounds. [...]
When properly cared for, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a docile and intelligent breed. These are bonus characteristics for a dog whose brute strength could otherwise be very dangerous. As the Neo is a unique type of canine, its owner should be of a distinctive character as well. Level headed and with a good sense of self, the responsible owner is one that knows he or she will always need to be one step ahead of their dog. This, along with good training and socialization, is what creates a happy, healthy environment for the Neapolitan Mastiff. It is those who venture into this breed without any forethought that will likely end up becoming overwhelmed and intimidated; and the Neo, in search of boundaries that make it feel safe, will likely end up running the show. [...]
Irish terriers were originally bred to be fox hunting dogs. Today, however, these dogs are mostly used as companion dogs. They are well suited to families, provided they are trained consistently and at a young age to tame the terrier's natural daredevil and strong willed nature. Though most people do not hunt with their Irish terriers today, some of the natural instincts that this breed carries can be quite beneficial in a family pet. If you properly understand and use these tendencies, you can bring out the best in your Irish terrier. [...]
To look at the Bernese mountain dog you would think that it is a soft, gentle dog with a fun sense of character. Whilst this is mainly the case, the breed was originally bred to be a watchdog and they still have that same instinct embedded in them today.
[h]The History of the Bernese as a Watchdog and How it Compares Today[/h]
The Bernese mountain dog has come a long way since it was first introduced into the world. Its main purpose in Roman times was to guard cattle and property. It was a mastiff type dog and it did have a tendency to become aggressive if provoked. This was only bred out of the dog when it was needed more for pulling carts over the Alps from village to village.
As time went on, the need for the Bernese to be aggressive and watchful died down. These days they are still sometimes watchful but generally the breed is much friendlier. They love being around people and they are really gentle around their family. [...]
In the nineteenth century, the flatlands of Flanders in Belgium were found to have the best type of soil for growing flax, a plant used to make linen. The flax was of such good quality that the region came to depend on the crop as a vital part of its economy. Thusly, flax fields began to spring up everywhere along the countryside. It was then that the Laekenois also began to make its own appearance as the protector of these valuable flax fields. Day or night, their ferocious bark and tenacity proved the breed quite effective at keeping thieves and bandits at bay. [...]
Nearly every breed of dog in the canine world was developed with specific traits that made them valuable in the everyday lives of their owners. The intelligent, resilient Belgian Laekenois is no different. The breed's herding and guarding capabilities were simply unrivaled at the time and region they first originated. Their medium size made it easy for them to maneuver in and around sheep and cattle and ensured they had plenty of stamina. Their large pointed ears and sight and scent capabilities also made them perfect for guarding. Most importantly, their serious temperament always kept them focused on the job at hand. This made them extremely reliable and priceless to those that owned them. [...]
The African Boerboel is still considered to be somewhat rare outside of its native South Africa, but the breed is quickly growing in both number and popularity thanks to its reputation as both a wonderful family dog and an effective guard dog. Not only does the Boerboel tend to respond well to all members of the family, taking directions not just from one master but from all the people in his household, but this tireless watchdog will change from doting playmate to fierce protector as soon as he perceives a threat, going to any length to protect his family. It is for this reason that the Boerboel is much loved for his ability to be a fearless watchdog. [...]
Most people interchange the words watchdog and guard dog, although they really are two very different skills or behaviors. In addition to watchdog and guard dog categories, there is also a third type of training, known as protection dog training. Each of the three has some similarities in behavior however they are also slightly different as well. In order to discuss the different types of training, it is first important to understand the three different roles. [...]
One of the benefits to many of the dogs that are considered to be high energy is that they are dogs that have been developed to do a specific job. Most of these jobs or breed traits include the dog working outside, either herding, running, protecting or guarding, meaning that they have also maintained a coat that is suitable for protection in most weather conditions. [...]
Thanks to the forward thinking of Captain von Stephanitz, the founder of the modern German Shepherd Dog breed, these dogs are synonymous with police work around the world. This is certainly not an accident as the intelligence, strength, stamina and overall stable temperament of the breed is perfect for the very intensive types of activities that police dogs have to face every day. [...]