Big dog with some guarding instincts?(33 Posts)
For various reasons we are moving to the countryside. I've had dogs my whole life and currently have a rescued Rhodesian Ridgeback who is 13. We also have four kids from 1-15. We will be living in a very rural location and I'd like to get a new dog with some guarding instincts. DH works away half the week. I've had a Golden Retriever mix, Thai Ridgeback, Sheltie, spitz mix in addition to the current RR.
I'm considering another RR as I adore them but also thinking about a German Shepard, Beauceron or Cane Corso. Anything I'm missing that I should consider? I'll be going to a breeder this time so only after purebreds.
We have GSD and you can't beat them in my opinion however they are nothing like a Ridgeback in that ridgebacks are more independent whereas shepherds cling to you every second of the day. They tend to be owner obsessed and don't fit into families who don't want a dog with them constantly. As a result they are prone to separation issues and also nervous aggression issues as despite the look most are actually big wimps
I would think they are most suited to a family home on your list though providing you go to a breeder who breeds for the correct temperament (i.e. Not a guard dog breeder)
GSDs probably make me the most nervous near the kids only because I think they are the most highly strung on my list. I wonder if a Corso might be a nice halfway house between a GSD and an RR? But the drool. Can I handle the drool!?
Honestly I wouldn't recommend a Cane Corso. They're pretty serious dogs and the few decent breeders breeders there are (presuming you're in the UK) tend to breed them for IPO/Schutzhund. Even if you were interested in competing there are much easier breeds to start with! If you like the molosser type there are other breeds that are much more established in the UK and also more moderate in temperament.
GSDs can be fabulous but there's a huge variation within the breed, both physically and mentally. There are various show lines, working lines and pet lines, with good and bad breeders in all of them. A GSD from an excellent breeder of the appropriate type could be just what you want though.
It's probably worth you looking into the Beauceron a bit more too. They're still very rare in the UK (again, presuming that's where you are) but there's a breed club site with some good information. The website of Overhill Beaucerons is also worth a look.
Cornflake do you have a GSD breeder you recommend? I worry about sloped they've made the back hips and all the health problems even with diligent screening.
There are two corsos in our current neighbor hood in london and they are soft as butter with people but are dominant/dog aggressive if challenged. They don't seem to start it but do finish it. We met a few in Italy who were lovely as well hence them making my list. The rest of the molesser breeds tend to be not "working dogs" or all that trainable which is what put me off. Is there one you'd recommend?
I don't intend to do any protection work with this dog. To be honest I just wouldn't with any dog that will be around children and their friends. I more just want something that isn't daft as a lab and has some sense of when things aren't right.
Rottie? Not as vocal as GSDs or prone to being as highly strung, but definitely notice when things are out of place.
Very trainable, good with kids used to large dogs (really enthusiastic players, but can be a bit clumsy with it)
Assuming they're from a decent breeder of course.
I’d stick to RR: you know the breed already, and, as you know, they’re wonderful. I have to admit that I will always have an RR, or hope to, at least. I’ve owned various, wonderful breeds in my life, but I do feel I’ve found a breed that I adore, and as you know, they adore back in their aloof, troublemaking, somewhat possessive way.
I came on to suggest a GSD or a Giant Schnauzer. Schnauzers don't have a good bark on them though.
I think with GSD it really depends on the type you go for.
I have had 3 so far that we're fantastic with children, other pets, livestock and dogs however I did have one who was far too quick to react and that couldn't be around strangers.
My current bitch is lovely,straight backed,health tested and very level headed. She is friendly with everyone but gives a very intimidating warning bark when required. She's more of a visual deterant as if someone did break in she would do nothing but lick them to death which is the way a family dog should be in my opinion.
I think for me a cane corso would be venturing too much out of the pet category and more into a serious guard dog.
We have a presa canario cross. He's huge, has a very intimidating bark, and guards the house alerting us when anyone dares to come up the drive (or either of our neighbors or the houses across the road ).
He is really lovely with everyone in our family though, and adores our granddaughter.
Aren't Presas on the dangerous dog list? I can't say that I've ever met one. I'd love a Rottie but I'd be worried other parents would be afraid of it. I don't want people to turn down play dates because of the dog.
I adore our RR. He's perfect me. He's my second one but the kids would like something a bit more interactive. Neither of our RRs would fetch etc. They love to hike but other than that they are very large pieces of furniture in the house. Maybe I need two new dogs...hmmm...something small and hilarious for the kids and another RR for me 😬
Presas aren't classed as dangerous or banned in the UK, but are in Australia I think.
Actually I withdraw my suggestion as you mention visiting children - they are known to be suspicious of strangers. We always have to be careful to keep him secured if a stranger comes to the house.
I have a Standard Poodle.
-Great with the kids
-easy to train
-understands many commands
-superb guard dog
-good deep bark
If you're interested in GSDs I think the best thing you can do is see if there's a GSD training club local to you. They tend to have dogs attending of all different types and can be a great opportunity to get a feel for which ones might (or might not) be suitable for you as well as potentially get contacts for good breeders.
If you are still interested in the Cane Corso then I'd probably start with the few breeders there are on Champdogs. I've only had a quick look through but some seem to be more focused on showing rather than IPO which means they may well be a bit less intense but they're still going to be relatively specialist dogs.
Another breed that might be worth considering, especially if you favour the molosser type, is the bullmastiff. Rather less serious than the CC but will still look and sound the part.
To be honest though, if you're worried about other parents' reactions to a dog most large, guarding type breeds are probably going to get negative reactions from some.
How about a Russian Terrier?
GSDs are fabulous dogs, but can be clingy.
RR - you have experience so that’s quite a good choice.
Cane Corso - banned in a lot of countries.
Bull mastiffs are lovely.
Giant Schauzer - the one I look after has s big bark.
The best guard dogs are those that make a lot of noise - Bichon Frise (amazing dogs) Terrriers, etc.
If you're worried about other people's reactions towards your dog, don't get a gsd
When mine was small and fluffy and cute I couldn't walk anywhere without people stopping, people getting out their cars!!! People asking if their toddlers/kids could have a stroke..
Now she's 10 months old, big and not 'cute' looking and actually looks like a gsd rather than a fluffy bear I have people cross the street, grab hold of their kids hands and assume my dog will savage their dog and avoid walking passed me when they see her.
GSD's are a special breed. Absolutely loyal and devoted but a properly raised gsd will not be aggressive or guard you 'just because'. A properly raised gsd will learn the difference between what's safe and what isn't, and will know when to guard you. It's only because of its reputation that a lot of the time they don't get socialised properly which then leads to what people assume is normal gsd behaviour.
Mine loves all people, all dogs, loves cuddles etc. She doesn't go off on one when someone comes to the house because she's been well socialised. But I don't doubt for a minute that if I was ever in danger, she'd be there.
Chickenagain is the one that you look after a dog or a bitch? I am desperate to get one but DH thinks that they sound funny
I didn't realise corsos were banned anywhere. That's a bit off putting. Do you know where they are banned?
What about a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog? Probably more looks the part than proper guarding dog but seems to have a good rep with kids which is important. Perhaps less intimidating looking though than a GSD/Rottie? My impression of Bull mastiffs was that they are very hard headed and training is a giant pain. Happy to be proven wrong though.
Russian terrier looks interesting. I hadn't even heard of that one before!
I have a 16 month old male gsd and agree with Sparklingraspberry. A properly socialised, well bred gsd is a lovely dog to have. Mine absolutely understands that when someone is invited in to our house they are a friend and he lavishes them with his love and attention. Anyone not invited in and left standing on the doorstep is privy to his 'big boy' bark- he's pretty impressive. He's secure in himself and doesn't spend much time being a watch dog, but he's quick to react when he feels the need.
I have to say, I adore him and I've not had such a close bond with another dog. He is 'clingy' but I have no separation issues with him, he just likes to be close when I'm home. He's great with children and babies, calm and gentle.
He's at peak adolescence at the moment and despite the odd twat moment, he's been excellent. I must say, I've put a lot of time and effort into socialising and training him, but it has all been worth it.
I really don't mind people crossing the road away from us or keeping their dogs from just running up to us!
To be honest, you don't actually need to go for a true guarding breed for a dog to be a deterrent for burglars or other dodgy folk. If you want a dog to do more than just make a racket (i.e. actually take action if someone were to break in or whatever) then they need proper training for it. The more genuinely guardy a breed is the more careful management it will need at home, especially as you mention having visiting children.
If you want a fun and trainable family companion who will make the right noises if necessary (whilst being infinitely easier to manage than a true guardian breed) then have a look at the Smooth Collie: "Smooth Collies are active, intelligent dogs and make excellent family pets... They make good house dogs having a reliable and kind nature but they are quick to bark if a stranger is about." There's lots of good info about the breed on the breed club site as well.
takesnoprisoners he is a male & has a nice deep bark.**
Mountain dogs are so soft & cuddly, good bark though - if they can be bothered! The most barky dogs I can think of are Jack Russells, they may just drive you mad though ( I had one for 16 years
though, he was fab).**
What about a wolfhound?
My next door neighbours dog has a very impressive bark. He's a Bassett hound though but if you don't see him behind the fence you might think he was a massive dog lying down.
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