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The Maremma Sheepdog is a highly intelligent dog that can be trusted to be left alone with the sheep for several days. They do not forget their duty to guard the sheep and they will remain attentive and on the job, regardless of whether you are there or not. This ability to remember its function also extends to any behavior between it and its owner. [...]
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. [...]
As the breed's name implies, the Miniature Australian Shepherd was born and bred to be a herder. Its natural instinct to herd can be traced, much like every other facet of the Miniature Australian Shepherd, to the Australian Shepherd, to which it shares a history until 1968, when the miniature breed was first created. [...]
The large size of this canine, weighing up to 125 pounds, and tremendous strength makes the Otterhound a good hunting dog for anything from small mink and raccoon to bear and mountain lion. Though the Otterhound can hunt alone, it usually hunts in packs.
The Otterhound has a thick course outer coat that serves as a protection from shrubs and bushes. The Otterhound is also known for its long strides which he can keep up for hours on the hunt.
But as the name suggests, the original Otterhound was bred for the specific purpose of hunting otters which were destroying the trout population in rivers and streams in the United Kingdom. The fishermen could not afford to have their livelihood jeopardized in this fashion and so the Otterhound was selected to rid the fisherman of this pest. [...]
The Otterhound, referred to as a scent dog, was interbred with bloodhounds and Southern hounds for the specific purpose of tracking Otters in the United Kingdom. Though no longer used for this purpose, Otterhounds still enjoy hunting as an activity and hunt Mink in the U.K. They serve as a means to rid the farmer of these dreaded pests. In North America, they are used to hunt raccoons, bears and even mountain lions.
Of course since these scent hounds love hunting they would no doubt love agility training. Agility training originated in England around 1978; this sport for canines was borrowed from horse steeplechases, a jumping activity. Today this sport is very popular and is growing in leaps and bounds. Both large and small dogs can participate in the fun. [...]
By definition, traditionally hounds have been bred for hunting. These dogs are noted for their ability to chase and track; so it would follow that due to their incredible sense of smell they would be used in police work for drug investigations. [...]
Otterhounds are descendants of the bloodhound and an ancestor of the Airedale. They are large dogs weighing up to 125 pounds. By and far the Otterhound is a working dog, first bred in England in the 13th century to rid the waters of pesky Otters that were killing out the fish population. These dogs are definitely water dogs, with web feet and a thick course water proof undercoat. They are excellent swimmers with the stamina to swim for hours chasing their prey. [...]
Service dogs are trained to render a service to people in need. It could be to assist people with physical or mental impairments by physical means or Otterhounds could be used for guiding a blind person across the street. The mere presence of the animal could act as therapy for a sick person or patient in a hospital or nursing care facility. [...]
A PON (Polish Owczarek Nizinny) is a dog that was bred to help larger dogs herd sheep. While the larger dogs acted as guard dogs and protected the flock from intruders, the PON was busy guiding the flock away from dangers and towards their final destination. This makes the PON a very intelligent animal, somewhat independent, but with a much more affectionate outlook than other herding dogs. [...]
A Polish Owczarek Nizinny, PON, is a wonderfully affectionate dog once it is socialized properly. It has come from a long line of sheep herding dogs that take great pride in being part of a family unit. There are certain things that bring out the loyal and affectionate nature of the dog, while downplaying some of the natural suspiciousness of the breed. The trick to socializing your dog is to start early and to include all members or your family, even other pets in the household. [...]
As a herding dog, the PON (Polish Owczarek Nizinny) has a natural intelligence and independence to make its own decisions. It has developed this capacity to learn and to judge its environment from years of breeding. This can be a good character trait as well as a bad one, depending on how the dog fits into the family unit. [...]
The Polish Owczarek Nizinny, sometimes referred to as a PONS, is a dog bred for helping larger dogs to herd livestock. In the United States, the dog would also be called the Polish Lowland Sheepdog. This is a medium-sized dog that has a very even temperament. These dogs were bred to be used with larger, aggressive dogs that actually guarded and protected the flock, but that was not their primary role. Instead, they helped to keep the livestock in line and away from any dangerous areas. They are intelligent, well mannered, but can still be somewhat suspicious of strangers. For this reason, they can make ideal dogs for almost any environment, whether it is a country home or a city apartment. [...]
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. [...]
There are a number of sports that have been created to test the working ability of protection or police dogs, most notably Belgian Ring, French Ring and Schutzhund, though there are others. Schutzhund was originally developed in Germany at the beginning of the twentieth century to test whether or not German Shepherds had the ability to perform the tasks they were bred for. Nowadays, a variety of countries participate in the sport and it is no longer restricted to German Shepherds; the trials are very difficult and demanding, though, and not many dogs succeed. The Amstaff has been known to participate in Schutzhund as a protection breed and has obtained quite impressive results. [...]