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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2006
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default Big Scary Dogs.

    I know this isn't entirely HR, but if the mods would keep it open for a while to get some opinions, I would appreciate it, since I missed the OT day by one day.

    My house was broken into last night, fortunately they didn't take much but the thieves weren't even remotely deterred by the 50 lb husky and the 30 lb Australian Shepard flinging themselves at the door. Thank God my two little ones were with me or I would have had a heart attack when I found out they were missing.

    Anyway, aside from buying a baseball bat, being taught how to shoot and buying a gun and installing a security system, I'm thinking about getting another dog.

    A really big one. One that barks like its going to rip your throat out if you come any closer.

    I will have to adopt one from a shelter out of principle, so it likely won't be a purebred, but I'm looking for what dominant breed to look for.

    I'm thinking Rottie/Dobe/Mastiff right now- we need to see what the breed restrictions are on our insurance, as well, which is why I'm wondering what other, more unusual breeds may work for our purposes.

    It MUST be dog friendly- we have four or five in our house most of the time- and low maintenance (short hair, limited grooming) and generally pleasant to people who are non-threatening. We have a large privacy fenced back yard, but don't usually walk our dogs. I bring them to the barn on occasion, so something not prone to running off (like my beagle/JRT, for example.)

    Anyone have good suggestions for me?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2003
    Location
    KY, USA
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    Default

    We've had Rottweilers since 1983, Dobies before that. Dobies tended to be too hyper and overreacted, Rotties we've had are much more trainable and a little more laid back. I also got broken into last year - 5 years after my last Rottie left. I was famous for them, and no one bothered me (nor did my Rotties bother anyone else). We have two at our other farm, and they are quite territorial without being overly aggressive. One of the new laborers from a neighboring farm was set up by his compatriots, and he almost had a heart attack when he cut across our property to go home - our Rotties captured him (and did not harm him, other than scaring the $hit out of him). The girls rescued him and let him go. Don't think he'll do that again. Our guys know our boundaries, and know our borders - but don't tolerate others.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2010
    Location
    Ocala, FL
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    137

    Default

    English Mastiff. You're insurance will likely allow them, but not Bull Mastiff's.

    My English Mastiff has the most terrifying bark, she's about 180 pounds. Sweetest dog in the world to my family and visitors, tore a huge whole in the dirtbag that tried to assault my wife at 5am when she was going to work. Luckily she takes Willow with her to the office!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2010
    Location
    Socal
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    68

    Default

    I have a 90 lb pit bull that is out with the horses and another one that stays in the house if we leave. Either one would take a limb off if somebody tried to break in or tried to steal a horse. And frankly is somebody is trying to break in and harm us or steal a horse that's exactly what they deserve.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2001
    Location
    Cullowhere?, NC
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    8,684

    Default

    Well, the easy solution (if your insurance will allow it) is a pit bull. There are dozens in shelters, they have short coats, and the best thing is that the local low-life understand the language, their drug businesses being the source of the overflow of pitties in shelters.

    Sad but true.

    I've considered that solution myself, having been broken into several years ago, when the low-lifes had to go thru my fenced yard with no fewer than five dogs in it (at the time). But I have to leave my horses & dogs in the care of college students when I travel with the equestrian team, and having a dog of one of "those breeds" is too risky in that situation. I had to settle for a lab/boxer cross--at least he will slobber them to death, if nothing else.

    Good luck. I know that's a really unpleasant feeling, being violated in that way.
    "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

    Spay and neuter. Please.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
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    2,081

    Default

    I have a Dobe and have had them for years. I rescue only. Never have trouble finding a lovely dog that fits right in with the other dogs, cats, horses, family members etc.

    I don't lock my house.

    I prefer properly cropped ears and those dogs appear far more intimidating to strangers. My floppy ear Dobes have been less so. I still doubt many people would try them on.

    I am very biased but they are the nicest, smartest, goofiest, most beautiful and loving creatures and I will always have at least one. Added bonus that they look scary to most strangers. I don't specifically train mine for a protection role but the breed was created for such a job and they naturally take it pretty seriously. I have to give strangers the "ok" when they come on my property and they are then fine. My current boy spends a lot of time out and about and is perfectly sociable when at others farms, houses etc. Just don't open the gate at home unless he knows you. I find them a very easy breed to own if you have some basic dog owning/training skills and an active lifestyle.

    My second choice out of the breeds you mentioned would be the Rottie. Pitts and Mastiffs...you have other dogs and it might be tougher to intigrate one into your pack.

    You might laugh but my parents have a Standard Poodle as well as a Dobe and the Poodle is no joke. He looks more intimidating then you may think. He is a big, black dog with a big bark and you can't see his eyes (no silly haircut). If I didn't know him I wouldn't open their gate either. He comes from some fancy bred show lines but the breeder also breeds for what I guess tempermant wise they are meant to be. He's a tough dog. I suppose you want something that is more of a visual deterrent though.

    Here is a pic of my rescued Dobe (he's seriously beautiful so don't think you can't get a very nice purebred from rescue) and the Poodle when he was a pup:

    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/25679...03114374PiUmjJ

    And another of Ike just 'cause

    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/24689...03114374DcwtJj

    So sorry this happened to you. I can't imagine what it must feel like to come home and realize someone was in my home. Really $hitty.
    "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    8,708

    Default

    My mother never was one to lock her house, but since she started owning 130# Rottys, there has really been no point.

    I like them. They're nice dogs. Sometimes you can find Rotty/Lab mixes too.
    Marriage: an on going experiment to prove there are at least two ways to do everything.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2005
    Posts
    569

    Default

    we had a 100lb rottie/bullmastiff cross that looked like a beast. great for 'meeting' strangers at the door with. little did they know that i was holding him back because he would have licked them to death and his little nubbin tail was waggin' like crazy. now we have a big black lab/shep cross and we haven't heard him bark at anything. my friend has a brindled bull terrier and i think most people think he's a pit and give him a wide berth. he's a moosh. good luck with whatever you pick. and sorry about the intrusion. that's a horrible thing to have happen.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2003
    Location
    SE Ky
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    4,387

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EventStrong View Post
    English Mastiff. You're insurance will likely allow them, but not Bull Mastiff's.

    My English Mastiff has the most terrifying bark, she's about 180 pounds. Sweetest dog in the world to my family and visitors, tore a huge whole in the dirtbag that tried to assault my wife at 5am when she was going to work. Luckily she takes Willow with her to the office!
    Had an English Mastiff years ago - when she barked she sounded like a lion. Most of the time she didn't bark - but she did scare the daylights out of a driver who's car stalled right outside our house when she walked up to the drivers side window and was looking into his eyes without standing on her hind end!

    Needless to say he didn't get out of the car until I called her back onto the property (before we had the property entirely fenced).

    No hassles with insurance.
    Sandy in Fla.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    8,271

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sisu27 View Post
    I am very biased but they are the nicest, smartest, goofiest, most beautiful and loving creatures and I will always have at least one. Added bonus that they look scary to most strangers. I don't specifically train mine for a protection role but the breed was created for such a job and they naturally take it pretty seriously. I have to give strangers the "ok" when they come on my property and they are then fine. My current boy spends a lot of time out and about and is perfectly sociable when at others farms, houses etc. Just don't open the gate at home unless he knows you. I find them a very easy breed to own if you have some basic dog owning/training skills and an active lifestyle.
    Dobies are great, and you're right....they can be good "hang out" dogs (ie, you're riding at the barn and they're just kinda chilling) but gosh they love their people and will go to battle for them in an instant.

    I had one as a young child (I was maybe seven, so the 100lb Dobie outweighed me!) and I could walk him on a leash by myself in any situation with no worries. He was quite well-behaved (which sorta just came naturally to him, although he did go to obedience classes). And he LOVED "his kids" (me, my sister, and my two male cousins), to the point where he would battle other members of the household if it came down to it. My grandfather (who lived on the property, daily feature in the Dobie's life, they got along fine) was chasing us kids around one day, and I was screaming particularly loud. All of a sudden the Dobie comes tearing around the corner of the barn, hackles up, and puts himself firmly between me and my grandfather, while anxiously keeping an eye on the other three kids. My grandfather quickly backed away. Max meant business and was quite worried about us kids. He quickly backed down once we assured him we were fine, but went and laid down 30ft away and kept an eagle eye on my grandpa.

    He was particularly well socialized as a pup, but I have heard from other Dobie owners that they generally get along well with other dogs.

    Pitts are great. It's too bad most insurance companies take issue with them, because they can be a really great deterrence thanks to their (unfortunately and untrue) bad rep.

    Rotties are great. I've never owned one but been quite close with several, and they were all giant wimpy babies in real life! But they look fierce, and are quite devoted.

    German Shepards are another breed that haven't been mentioned yet. Great, great dogs but in my personal experience (and I know others will have different experiences) they are not as tolerant of strangers in the home as some of the other guard breeds. By strangers I don't mean burglars, but just visiting friends/extended family/etc. They're a little bit more "guarded" in their attitude than some of the other guard breeds who will immediately maul a stranger with kisses once given the "okay."



  11. #11
    eponacowgirl is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Re: Pits- I love them and would own one, but I live in a county with a breed ban.

    I did consider a standard poodle or Giant Schnauzer, but the grooming might be too much for me.

    I'll probably end up at the shelter looking for a great black mutt with a giant bark.

    One of my friends just told me she's fostering a rottie mix. She said he looks all Rott but has one blue eye- husky, perhaps?

    Thanks for the ideas so far!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
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    4,114

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    I have a purebred GSD (German Shepherd Dog) that I adopted from a shelter. He was on doggie death row because they said he wasn't social enough to go up for adoption.

    He and our lab/hound/whoknowswhat cross get along great - the play and play hard, but they're best pals. My only problem with him is that he chases our cats - which means he cannot sleep lose in the house at night as I have to keep an eye on him. He is crated.

    He is a snuggler and a lover. HOWEVER, he has a huge bark. And he barks and barks and barks whenever he hears anything he considers suspicious (which covers a lot). Anytime anyone drives up, he starts barking as soon as he hears a car door open.

    He is very intent and he stares at new people with an intent expression. Our UPS guy backed off of our porch when I left the dog sitting in the house (behind the glass door) watching him while I went to get a business card.

    He likes people, though. However, his bark and his stare are scary. And he loves me and is protective and I think if I were in danger, he would eat the source of danger.
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

    Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2006
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky
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    I have two German Shepherds now, very very happy with them. They are SO sweet to friends and family, very intimidating to anyone who comes in the driveway.
    Good training is important, love my pups.
    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
    www.dleestudio.com



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
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    2,081

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    "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."



  15. #15
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    Jan. 24, 2008
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    I have a Dobie too. He looks all business, even with his floppy ears. He gets along great with the whole farm, cats and chickens included. He has an even, predictable temperament-I don't have to worry about him eating the UPS driver.

    I worked at a small animal vet's for 5 years, and saw many unpredictable Rotties, lame and crazy GSDs. I felt my best bet for a healthy, even tempered working breed was with a Dobie. I wanted to avoid any chance of the horses getting chased, so I avoided any herding breeds.

    Before my Dobie, I had a wonderful, very protective Chow/Shepard mix, so I tried the animal shelter twice. Now I have two sweet, pretty chow cross dogs that will help you carry the silver out.

    That's how I ended buying a purebred dog, even though I said I never would. Now I'll never be without a Big Black Buffy Dog.

    Edited to add-be careful with a Pit if you have other animals-especially cats, and especially if you need to trust them alone with other animals. Not tryng to start a fight, it's just the truth.



  16. #16
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    Oct. 27, 2010
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    Nevada
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    For about 15 years I raised Akita's. They look like you crossed a bear with a Malemute, scare the heck out of people with a look and a bark. If raised with other dogs they are fine (mine even liked our cats) and are great with kids (my first taught my younger son to walk....kid would crawl up to him, grab whatever hairy part was available and the dog would carefully stand up and then the two of them would toddle off through the house). They do have a stubborn streak and training is fun (most are highly food motivated)....my first one was also one of only 33 one year to get a CD from AKC (and one of only 8 that were owner trained/handled). Look for older bloodlines and the more "American" type (heavier boned). I chased several deer poachers off my place with mine once...those boys couldn't get out of my woods fast enough!!



  17. #17
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    Jul. 20, 2007
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    Rising Sun, MD
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    I am a big fan of GSD's and GSD/ Rottie mixes (and this is coming from someone who doesn't like dogs).
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  18. #18
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    Sep. 20, 2010
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    I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but if two dogs acting aggressively while the bad guys were ransacking your house didn't have an effect, I would be concerned that a dog that is protective would just be "taken care of".

    That being typed, I would say go for a black dog, for some reason they are considered scarier.

    Good Luck and sorry about the break in

    LBR
    I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

    R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2009
    Location
    Southern Middle TN
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    83

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    Giant Schnauzer!! Grooming is not an issue and they do not shed. Plus they look mean. Can't believe the Aussie didn't do much. Katie is a very good guard dog! Halloween night I had been threatened by some students that they were going to roll my yard. We left Katie out that night. Next morning we found one tree that had one roll in it and then about 20 rolls scattered on the ground from where she got after them and ran them off. Gotta love the Aussies!



  20. #20
    eponacowgirl is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Well, part of the problem with the Aussie is that she was gated away from the door. They could hear her but not see her. *sigh*



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