i wonder if it is possible to oversocialize your dog. is it possible to socialize your dog so much that it won't be protective of you ? the breed i have is supposed to be naturally protective, naturally suspicious of strangers and other animals. here's my problem. i have socialized scout out the wazoo since the day i got her. knowing the breed characteristics i was told it is very important to socialize them so they know the difference between friend and foe. and i always believed that you couldn't socialize the protectiveness out of a breed, but socialization is more of a guide for them to use good judgement. well, last night we had 2 guys coming into our house to replace a water heater. i had scout outside when they pulled up. she didn't pay any mind to them whatsoever. no bark, no nothing. like they didn't exist. so while they were inside, i was sitting on our front porch with scout and as they were walking in and out of the house she was wagging her tail and solicitng pets from them. now don't get me wrong, i do not want a vicious attack dog on my hands but a bark or some sign of protectiveness would be appreciated. is it a maturity thing? maybe because they are a slow maturing breed she hasn't had the light bulb click on yet? or do genetics play a factor in the personality of dogs also. i mean i know they do to an extent but could she be programmed genetically to not act the way others of her breed are? do they factor in that much? i see more protectiveness and dominance from the golden retreiver next door than i see from her. i have been giving serious thought to teaching her how to bark, since they also are big barkers and she doesn't utter a sound. the only thing holding me back with that idea is i don't want to end up with a dog who barks at a leaf blowing by. i have often also thought of setting up a situation just to test her out. maybe i did end up with a lab/shep cross, because her personality is so much like a lab minus the activity level.
My dobie loves people! she does bark at strangers and other animals in her yard. I took her every where with me to make sure she did not get over protective because of her breed. I have never had a problem with her being nippy or vicious towards anyone or anything. She wouldnt hurt a flea....I like to think that the protectiveness comes out of any breed when they sence fear from their leader. Because she did not sence from you that the men were a threat is probly why she was happy with them. There is a friend of my son's he's 18 who my dobie will go after his butt....she wont bite but I think she feels his fear of her. Even the most friendly of dogs could turn vicious if they feel that someone is trying to hurt you,... out of love for you and your family.
Oscar loves people when I am with him. He will go up to anybody and let them love all over him on our walks. But if he is in the backyard by himself and someone walks in the alley he acts like he wants to eat them. Or if someone walks in front of the house he gets so pissed. And yes he does bark at anything that blows across the yard. We used to live next door to a cemetary and the flowers would blow in our yard and he would puff up and attack them. I'm not worried about my safety.
if you teach him to bark in certain situation, at the door bell/knocker, etc, you will have taught him when/why to bark, and may not end up with a maniac barker. perhaps with the water heater men scout knew it was ok, because mom (and dad) were ok with them.
Scout1, kind of unusual in a GSD. Did you train her not to bark? Maybe she just sensed from you that you did not need protection from the 2 guys fixing your water heater. We have had our dogs react strongly to strangers for no apparent reason. They sense something! "i have often also thought of setting up a situation just to test her out." That might be a good idea. I don't even think it would have to be a stranger to Scout. Have someone come into your house with Scout by you. Have them grab your arm suddenly as if an attack. My JRT mix used to sleep with our son, and if I rousted him awake with any kind of force, she would protect him. (and she knew better than to go after me) Good luck and let us know what happens.
maybe it's because she didn't sense any fear or need for protectiveness? my lab is like that, no barking, no worries, but there have been a few times when i have her out off leash in the field near me that she will bark at someone and get between me and that person. and if the neighbor kids behind us come up and she's not aware she will bark till she sees who they are, usually only takes one bark till she figures it out.
Your water heater guy scenario is VERY familiar to me! That is how it goes anytime any stranger comes to my house. Though my dog is not a guarding breed, I, too, wondered if she was interested in protecting me at all. Turns out, she only wants to protect me if she perceives a threat to me. She does not perceive strangers as a threat unless they act threatening. Once when my husband and I were playfighting, he was holding me down and I was screaming. Missy took a serious stance and did a warning noise like "ummpph. Followed by a growl. We stopped playfighting right away and Joe made up with her, no problem once he wasn't holding me down while I screamed. Another time, a large male friend was here and Missy loved him. As he was leaving he said "Gimme a big hug!" and ran towards me and grabbed me up in a big friendly hug, and he got the warning noise too. She doesn't like big guys running up quickly and grabbing me.
ltlgto - actually scout isn't a gsd she is an anatolian shepherd. a livestock guardian breed. this type of behavior is uncommon for these types of dogs. my pyr showed more protective instincts after having her for only a few days than scout has shown in a year and a half. i am not so much unhappy that she didn't at least bark at the men or stand between me and them as i am that she didn't even notice they had driven up. the front of my house is practically on the street, our street is very narrow, little country street so for her to not even notice they were there you'd hve to be almost dead, lol. i am going to take her to be tested thru the ATTS in october. in the test they set up a provoking situation. so i am interested to see how she would react. the reason for even testing her is because of this. i know she has a great personality for a dog, but maybe not so for her breed. maybe it will take a personal attack to bring it out. my other dog barks, and my pyr did also, and scout has never picked up on it. she does do that humph noise like missy but it isn't tied into anything remotely protective. i didn't even have a chance to let her know the men were okay before she was all over them. even my golden mix would bark at the door though he would let anyone in and was happy to see everyone. maybe she is an einstein and knows barking is not necessary as much as most dogs think it is LOL !! doubtful, the big dope !!
I also had the stranger in the house thing yesterday. The guy came to fix the garbage disposal. We have Rudy gated into our livingroom which is right next to the kitchen so Rudy was what? maybe 1-2 ft away from the guy and was barking his head off, the guy was trying to talk all nice to him and Rudy wouldn't shut up. It took quite sometime to fix it so I had to put him in his crate because he just kept going and going and even me holding him wouldn't shut him up. If they guy would have reached over and pet Rudy he probably wouldn't have made a peep because he loves all people but ontil he gets a touch or smell of them he goes nuts! He is also a barker of people cutting through the backyard, seeing cats go by, and ofcourse the doorbell or knock at the door. Even the doorbells on TV or someone knocking on the wall or something. :| Anyway, I think everyone on here is right, I think she would sense it from you when you are scared or nervous and would be more protective. Nikki
Scout1, sorry about the GSD thing. I knew from previous threads you have an Anatolian. It's like Monday all over again (LOL). Actually, everyday is beginning to seem more and more like Mondays. Age induced? Hopefully the testing will answer your question. You never know, he may just not get the protection thing. Any thoughts to hearing or eye sight problems. Grasping at straws...
no, no sight or hearing problems. when my other dog barks she raises an eyebrow and thats it. she did bark on saturday. ya know why? to entice a ferret to play with her. yes i know the exact day she barked because she never does so it is like a hallmark occasion lol !! i really could not have asked for a better dog. she just is alot different then i thought she would be .
Scout, I don't know anything about your breed but I wish that I had your "problem"! My Winnie (English cocker spaniel) is exactly the opposite. Because she is a rescue dog and I've only had her for 3 months, she is still a bit nervous. She will bark at strangers who come through the door and she'll take anyone's hand off who tries to pet her when they first meet, whether it's in our home or not. I've been slow on occasion to tell strangers that she's uncomfortable around people she doesn't know and they've had the fright of their lives when my cute little honey tries to take a chunk out of their hand! Look at this little face. Butter wouldn't melt, no? http://www.dogster.com/pet_page.php?i=48031 I feel like I just cannot relax when I take her out and that is not a nice position to be in. But I'n hoping that with time, she'll learn to relax and be a bit mellower. Right now she's 2.5 yrs old. With us at home, she is mostly sweet and loving. So pass over a bit of that mellowness, for my little minx sure could use some!
well today after getting the kids off to school my neighbor and i were standing in the street in front of my home letting scout and her dog kippur play. all of a sudden a woman appears from behind the house across the street, which mind you is about as wide as a driveway(the street that is), and walks behind us to the side of my house. scout just about pulled me down to get to the woman and then proceeded to jump all over her with the tail going a mile a minute. again, no chance for me to tell her the woman was okay or not okay. turns out she was the electric lady checking the meters. nice to know my dog is more outgoing then i am :)
scout, that reminds me of Lucy. I read that corgis are supposed to be weary of strangers, but she has never shown that. She will come up to anyone and wag her butt and lick their faces. She hardly ever barks at strangers that come to the door or close to our yard. My lab mix is the one that is very protective. I would think that seeing and hearing Blondie bark that she will do the same, but she doesn't. She is in her own little world. She loves everyone, but sometimes it does worry me becasue we can't trust everyone.
scout-- I used to have the same concerns about Argus. She happily bounces up to everyone, including repair people in my home and strangers on the street in the middle of the night. She acts like she has no concept of danger. I've been threatened twice when I was with her, once when she was three and once when she was four. By threatened, I mean when someone makes the kind of move that gives you a bad adrenaline rush. The first time was at home with someone she had known almost as long as she had known me, and the second time was a stranger on the street while we were out for a walk. Both times she immediately sensed the danger and changed into what appeared to be a raging lunatic and certainly not the goofball I live with. She clearly let the people know that if they did not back off, they would get the teeth. Both people backed off, and then she went back to being herself. I just stood there looking like an idiot while she fixed the problem. Scout may not be protecting you because she already knows you're not in any danger. You may not know if she's protective until you are truly threatened, and hopefully, you won't be. The older Argus gets, the more I think she's just smarter than I am... :)
i truly hope i am never in that situation where i am threatened. and that would be the wrong time to find out she won't be protective. i just get all confused because lots of people come up to me and ask about her, and their temperament and i never know what to tell them. this is my first exp. with this breed and everything i have read is the total opposite of what she is. she has earned the nickname " the un-atolian" from several of my co - workers. and while i would never trade her for anything, cause she has turned into a fantastic dog, she is exactly what i wanted, but not what i was expecting. hence the reason i was wondering originally if you could possibly oversocialize a dog. and change their genetic predisposition to certain traits.
Scout1, I will try to keep this short. I don't have a real answer for you, but I will tell of 2 dogs I've had in the past. First one was a St Bernard from a rescue. It was probably 30yrs ago. They aren't known as great protectors and I got him because I Love Big dogs. Well,true to my beliefs, he was a lover of everyone. Then one evening while I was up the road with a friend and my kids (2 in their mid teens) were home, someone tried to break in. The kids said that when the guy hit the outside of the door glass, old Bob hit the inside and stranger left in big hurry. Never worried after that. The 2nd was my beloved Rotty who died of cancer in 1999. He was probably about 1yr old when he first met my youngest son who didn't live at home. To that time he was pretty laid back and loved everyone. As soon as my son came in the door, Bo started growling bigtime and the hair stood up on his back. Now I love all my kids, but that son was always a problem and I never trusted him. Needless to say, I did trust the dog's judgement. I said short but I failed. Just wanted to say that lots of dogs, IMO the good ones, never show protectiveness unless they perceive a real threat. By all means though, get the testing so there aren't any surprises later.
OOPS....Just noticed, really old post! Well, it's still a good subject.
I agree with some of the earlier posts. Just like humans, some dogs are very sensitive to human emotion. It is possible that your dog sensed that there was no danger from the men. But just like humans, some dogs are clueless and either overcompensate (fearbiters, overprotective) or love everyone even if they do intend you harm (my dogs, Huskies are not watchdogs!)
wow ... old post is right LOL. here scout will be turning 4 in a couple of weeks and i wrote this when she was just around 1 1/2 years old.
well suffice it to say, scout is still the same dopey dog she was 2 1/2 years ago. and still does not bark !!! not once, ever.
we have another anatolian now, a foster dog, and the difference between her and scout is like night and day. we've had salty now for 2 years and nothing has rubbed off on scout. i even tried teaching scout how to bark using salty as an example, because salty can bark on command, no dice. scout just looks at me like i am stupid for asking her to speak lol.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.