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Is this the wrong reason to get another dog?

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  • Is this the wrong reason to get another dog?

    I currently have two dogs; an 8 year old Lab x Malamute male, and a 9 year old Chihuahua female. Male is extremely laid back, no protective instinct, no prey drive (other than fetch), and spends his time in the pool or sleeping. Female is more bossy, has a lot of energy, but is getting older and has a severe heart murmur so she's slowing down. I have four indoor/outdoor cats that are very used to the dogs and the current dogs get along with them well.

    I live alone in a rural area, neighbors are in sight but not close, no lights of any sort anywhere, we have very occassional strange instances around here. I live on a 5-acre property alone and am a young woman. Depending on my work schedule, I sometimes do not get home until very late at night. Last December, someone got into my car (parked outside) while I was home. Thankfully I was not alone, and nothing was stolen (there's nothing really in my car to steal), but it was still quite scary and we don't know who it was.

    Aside from a security system, I would *feel* safer if I had a protective type dog here. My two are friendly and accepting to a fault, and do NOT bark while indoors. The doorbell can ring and ring and it could be a stranger walking in the house, but they will not bark/growl, and the big dog will simply wag his tail I don't need an aggressive dog that wants to attack anything that walks through the door, but I would like a large dog that people stereotypically think of as "scary" or "mean", that when they see it, will think twice. I preferably want something that has a protective instinct and WILL bark and/or growl when they hear something (unusual for someone to WANT a barker lol). I would really love a Doberman, preferably something a year and a half to 5 years old. The short hair is nice (current large dog has TONS of hair) and my mom has one that I adore.

    I know that if an intruder is truly determined and armed, they could just shoot any dog and still come in, but I feel like this would make me feel better and be a slight deterrant (perhaps a sign advertising that a Dobe lives here?).

    So my question is, is this the wrong reason to get another dog? As a protection-type dog (but not an attack dog)? I/my family keeps our dogs for life and provide proper veterinary care and love for them, and I would be fine with having to give attention to a third dog (and I'm pretty sure Dobe's LOVE to have attention from "their person"). I would probably have to go through a rescue if I wanted an adult, but are they okay if you mention you would like that sort of dog? I know they don't adopt out for the purpose of a protection dog, but if all the other reasons are right and that's just a bonus for why you want the breed, is that so wrong?

  • #2
    No! That's a perfectly valid reason to get a dog. And a very good idea. It's one of the reasons I have a big black shepherd. I got him when my old shepherd lost her hearing and could no longer alert to intruders. Everyone who sees him comments that no one is coming on my property! They don't need to do anything, they just need to provide deterence and cause people up to no good to decide to move on to the other house down the road...


    • #3
      I think its perfectly reasonable to want a dog for protection. I was once rescued from an assailant by my own two dogs. (A little outside the job description of a cocker spaniel and a schnoodle, but I wasn't gonna tell them to go back to being lapdogs just then and there!)

      I don't think I'd tell a rescue that you want a dog for guarding and protection. It raises red flags. Too many idiots either a) leave the "guard dog" chained in the yard 24x7 or b) make the dog vicious with abuse and half-assed attack training.

      I'd simply say that your mom has a Dobe already, and you like Dobe traits: the velcro tendencies, the size, the alertness, the short hair.


      • #4
        I think that is perfectly valid!

        Like you, I'm fairly young and live alone. I do have neighbors, but live in a neighborhood with a few sketchy people. My current dog is a lab, but he's big and has a very mean sounding bark/growl and I know he'd fight to the end to protect me. When it's time for me to get a new dog, the protective instinct will be one of my top criteria. I don't need/want an attack dog by any stretch, but having a big protective dog makes me feel safe.

        As Carp said, I wouldn't emphasize to the rescue that the reason you're getting a dog is because you want a guard dog. But, when you're describing the qualities you like about Dobermans, you could certainly mention it as a characteristic you want the dog to have.
        Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
        If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever


        • Original Poster

          Thank you guys! These responses help a lot. I do love them for their breed as well, and planned on getting at least one in my lifetime, even if I didn't need it for their protective-trait.


          • #6
            That was the primary reason that I got a dog when I did. I of course wanted a dog anyway, but what pushed me to action was the idea of being home alone in an area where dogs were known deterrents to criminals. I wanted some measure of safety.

            Guess what I got? A dog who never barked til he was 3 and we were living in a totally different state! LOL And still, he would more likely lick a general intruder to death than anything else.

            BUT, he's big, and he's black and apparently that's deterrent enough.

            Also, while he is a total love bug (90 lb black lab), when a friend/roommate of several months assaulted me in my home, my dog, who loved the guy normally, gave warning growls and then BIT him causing him to release me and allow me to get to safety.

            I am a bit of a believer in that even "nice" dogs know when to step up to the plate.

            So no, I don't think it's a bad reason at all.
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...


            • #7
              We have a lab, a fox/mouse hound, a collie and a cocker. A few years ago, an alarm company salesman rang the doorbell (stranger alert, no one we know rings the bell). Much barking. Salesman gives me the spiel. I say, I will buy your most expensive system if you can get from my front door and out the back door without my permission. He declined. Strangers are VERY afraid of my dogs. Now, the lab would protect us to the death, as would my now deceased collie. New collie...she runs upstairs and hides.

              But, just a few weeks ago, most of my neighbors had break-ins in their barns and garages. Not us.

              My point is you don't have to have a guard breed, but I understand that people are more afraid of big black dogs than other colors.


              • #8
                It's a valid reason, but it probably shouldn't be the only reason you get a new dog. I mean, it's like having a third baby because you had two boys and you really want a girl. It's understandable, but not enough to justify adding to the family. If you want a third dog, and you want one who'll be a visible deterent to the nefarious, go ahead. But if you just want a visible deterent, invest in a high-quality alarm system with lots of signage. It's cheaper in the long run.


                • #9
                  As someone who has a 100 lb dog who looks even bigger, I can tell you it is a nice feeling when someone pulls up that I dont recognize. He stands up and bellows WOOF! If someone is willing to mess with that, more power to them. He no doubt would protect me and the kids.

                  But he is also our friend and dear companion and even if he were a big wussy we would have kept him.

                  Incidentally he was a very laid back easy going puppy who gave no sign he would be protective. I dont know how you can guarantee that.

                  So my advice is, get another dog if you want one. Maybe consult with a dog trainer as to how to choose the right puppy. Good luck and share pictures with us!
                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                  • #10
                    Personally, I have trouble sleeping at night if I don't have a dog in the house. Though all of mine have been semi-protective barkers, so I've never felt like I needed more than one.

                    If you like dogs, like the idea of having another dog around, and you want something a little more intimidating in addition to your current canines, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't get another dog. You certainly know what's involved in dog keeping and it doesn't sound like you're making this decision lightly.
                    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                    -Edward Hoagland


                    • #11
                      Realize that introducing a 3rd dog can completely upset the dynamic - hold off on getting another dog until you have the time/energy/inclination to dedicate.


                      • #12
                        not the worse idea, but then again we got another dog to partly play with our puppy, I know terrible but I love them both so much

                        a dog can be a great to help alert but I had my car broken into and the cd player stolen in my front yard and between me and my room mates we had 4 full size barking dogs and not a one barked, go figure

                        and yes go for a black dog for one to deter, that color does ward people off, people love our german shorthair and just want to love on him but they just look at our dobe and she is a red


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by alto View Post
                          Realize that introducing a 3rd dog can completely upset the dynamic - hold off on getting another dog until you have the time/energy/inclination to dedicate.
                          Of course that is possible, but if necessary, we could seperate. I do have time to dedicate- I would not be even considering another pet if that weren't the case. I'm also not planning on getting a puppy- that would mean even more time to do housebreaking, training from the start, and proper socialization, plus a much higher initial cost because it would most likely have to come from a breeder. I think an adult rescue that is already proven housebroken and mannerly would suit just fine.


                          • #14
                            That's almost exactly the reason we got our GSD. I have a preteen daughter, we're not always home- but the GSD dog is ;-) He's big (93lbs at 15 months), he's black and he's LOUD when he barks. He can be very intimidating when those hackles come up and those white teeth flash. Do strangers need to know that he will sit on the bed and let toddlers play dress up with him? LOL. Of course not ;-) He's already hastened some Jehovah Witness people from our front door when he put his big paws on the screen door while giving his throaty bark , the lady chuckled nervously and said "I wasn't sure if that screen door could open"....."It can, it doesn't latch" was my answer as she turned and quickly climbed back into her car!!
                            Under pressure, my dog will back up his threats I believe, but it really wouldn't matter- the visual deterrent is more than enough!


                            • #15
                              Great reason. But please consider adopting from a rescue!
                              I too live alone and sure do feel safer knowing the big ones have my back. The chihuahuas bark like mad but the big one's bark just sounds more authoritative!
                              Little Star Chihuahua Rescue
                              The Barkalicious Bakery
                              On Facebook!!!


                              • #16
                                My Corgi sounded like a German Shepherd behind closed doors


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by moonriverfarm View Post
                                  Great reason. But please consider adopting from a rescue!
                                  I too live alone and sure do feel safer knowing the big ones have my back. The chihuahuas bark like mad but the big one's bark just sounds more authoritative!
                                  I did say I will (hopefully) be adopting one from a rescue. It's the best way to go since I don't need a puppy, in my opinion.


                                  • #18
                                    It's definitely a perfectly valid reason to get another dog - especially since you're a dog lover to begin with. And with your age desires, you'd be perfect for a rescue.

                                    That said, as others have stated, if you do decided to look into rescues - do NOT even INTIMATE that you want a Doberman because of protection. Don't even remotely bring that up.


                                    • #19
                                      I know I've told this before...my brother had 4 black dogs; 2 labs, a chow chow and an English mastiff (OK, black and brown). JW rang bell, put foot in door. My brother heard the click, click of nails on the floor behind him and low growls...turned around to look. By the time he turned back to the door, the solicitor had jumped off the porch, down the sidewalk and was walking quickly down the street.

                                      Heck my old collie looked like a wolf when she was in protective mode with her upper lip pulled back and a snarl to go with it. She ran off an attempted home invasion when we lived back in Maryland.

                                      My point is...it doesn't have to be a guard dog. Pick a dog you like, just make sure it's big and has a loud bark.


                                      • #20
                                        it's a fine reason to get a dog. Just make sure you can give a dog like a doberman the attention they need. If you're used to a tiny dog, and a very lazy dog, a working breed like a doberman can be quite a surprise as to how much exercise, work, and attention they need: from http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/rev...pinschers.html, which is a breed review site I find to be quite accurate.

                                        "This athletic dog needs brisk walking every day and all-out running as often as possible. Too little exercise and too little companionship can lead to restlessness and other behavioral problems.

                                        Mental exercise (advanced obedience, agility, tracking, Schutzhund) is just as important to this thinking breed."

                                        So don't expect him to just hang out and "guard" you when you are home with no effort on your part. I estimate most large dogs need at bare minimum at least a good hour's exercise plus at least fifteen minutes of intense focused "work" (obedience, agility, nosework, etc.) every day to become satisfied, well-behaved dogs, and a more driven, working-type dog may need a lot more than that- most dobes, at least the ones I've personally met, don't need much more than that, being on the more laid back end of the spectrum of working dogs.