I was just curious about attack training. I am a very petite girl and I work in the city. Sometime this year I plan on moving downtown, and I plan on getting an Old English Sheepdog pup- and I know they're not fit for attack training... which is fine, I just know I want one to love and take care of- but it made me curious, and if I got a second dog shortly after- maybe I would enroll him in attack training?? Any opinions? Any experiences? I've just heard so many stories lately with people getting mugged crossing the street from the parking lot- and one girl had a guy try to open her car door with her in it. Its freaking me out...
Are you planning on getting this dog, specifically for self protection? There are places that specialize in this. HOWEVER, do you intend to take this dog everywhere with you? To work? Are you allowed dogs at work? Shopping? I know I don't have to tell you that you can't leave a dog in your car while you are working or shopping or at the movies or whatever you are doing. I honestly do not think that a dog is the best choice for self defense. Perhaps you should look into another area to live if you feel that unsafe. What state are you in? Is a gun out of the question? Pepperspray while a deterrent will never stop all attacks. A person well trained in MA's will perhaps be the best suited to stay out of the way of danger but it can happen.
Sorry a bit long winded I know but in genral I think a dog for self defence is not the most effective measure of protection for day to day activities. IMHO a persons best self defense in these situations is people, and your mouth. If you are that frightened don't walk alone. Learn the warning signs. I studied martial arts for a little over 5 years and since then I have lived in Baltimore and SE DC and NEVER had to use these skills in self defense. My mouth was a pretty good "weapon". Ie; talking my way out of bad situations.
I train my dogs in a sport called schutzhund. it does have a personal prtection aspect to it. I don't ever use the dog in real life. for a few reasons, to big of a liability, and i do not think it is fair to the dog. i would just like to add that training a dog do this requires an enormous amount of work,knowledge and research. the dog itself hs to be of sound working ability. which encompasses the dog to be brave, confident, social, happy, and driven, finding a dog that is capable of this is a hard dog to find, and many promising dogs fail, usually to being shy or timid. of antthing from stress to other peopel. the problem with real life protection dogs. is desensitizing them to the stressors they may encounter. such as gun shots, being hit or stabbed. in a trial i know ezactly what is going to happen to the dog. which does make it easier for me to desensitze. training a dog to do this could take up to 3 years to prepare. with only getting 3 years out of the dog for protection. the presence of a dog is usually enough for a person to not mug you. I will not tell you to do it or not to. but take into consideration the problems that will arise. what if the dog is not willing to fo the work?, what about finding a good trainer, stay away fromthe ones that will take any dog. you will get what we call a civil dog. a civil dog bites out of fear, and the feeling it is fighting for it's life. a good dog will do this out of prey drive and almost take it's job sriously but will look at it as pleasure and not survival. also, the liability in training a dog to do this is enormous. just because the dog bites a man trying to rob you, does not make you exempt from getting sued and posssibly the dog getting impounded and/or put to sleep.
As an owner of an Old English Sheepdog, I can tell you that they as a breed are very attached to their owners. My male OES is very protective of me. He sleeps in the doorway, he stands directly in front of me when someone comes to the door, he is never too tired to follow me from room to room. He would never let anyone do a thing to me. I have a Great Dane also and I live in a busy city in the downtown. More people are fearful of the OES than the Dane. He is stubborn and he gives off a bit of an attitude. He is not the only OES that I have had in my life and they all have been that protective and attached to me. He is 9 years old and the love of my life. I can't imagine not having a sheepie share my space!
Big dogs tend to scare people away--or at least make them think twice about approaching you! I don't feel that attack training would even be necessary if you choose the right type of dog that just sends the appropriate message!
I would never rely upon a guard dog except as a last resort, though I WOULD recommend getting a dog that has strong visual deterrant value. Surveys with convicted muggers and burglars have suggested that the mere presence of a reasonably impressive dog can repel them.
Mastiff breeds look extremely imposing, and although they're usually very gentle-natured and unaggressive, they are naturally very defensive of their people. Judging from countless owners' testimonies, I doubt you'd need to train any English mastiff or Neo to protect the ones to whom they're bonded. On the more extreme end of the scale, filas notoriously hate all strangers.
Of course, I would regard all of them as pets and companions first and foremost.
Obie- thanks Thats made me feel better. I've read all these things about Sheepdogs not being good guard dogs and how they just let strangers into your home. I imagine a big friendly fluff ball and who'd be afraid of that?? But you would know since you have one! I hope mine would be protective and maybe that'd be enough!
They can be tempermental dogs and not the easiest to handle. Very stubborn comes to mind and be very selective about where your pup comes from. Make sure your breeder does all the health certifications --hips, eyes etc. I can not stress enough to check all the groomers in your area to see if you can find one that will groom a Sheepie, that knows how to groom a Sheepie and won't charge you more than your month rent to groom a sheepie!!! It is a breed that needs monthly grooming. It can be expensive. I would say that that is the biggest draw back to an OES!
P.S. Ask the groomer for references with regards to the OES grooming. If you see a nicely grooomed sheepie, ask it's owner where they go for grooming. You can't imagine the grooming nightmares that can happen. We went through 9 groomers in 2 years!
ASH- you are very brave. I worked in SE DC this school year :) I would have loved a guard dog-thats one reason I will not be teaching there this coming year!
I have to agree that getting a dog that is a visual deterrent would be a good idea. People have preconcieved notions about certain breeds and that, although annoying in everday life, can work to you advantage in situations that may become dangerous.