Author Topic: Opinion on dog behavior  (Read 10596 times)

Offline Sorraia

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #50 on: June 04, 2007, 09:38:32 AM »
The original post/question and the ensuing discussion focused almost entirely on a percived danger and if a dog would protect  - that seemed to be the only topic that was of interest.  Maybe it was just the tone of the post but the "I was gonna get a dog anyway" was weakly presented and seemed to be there just to placate hot head like myself.
I am ethically opposed to the idea of attack trained dogs and feel strongly about it.
 

It's fine for you to be opposed to attack training, BUT you really SHOULD carefully read posts BEFORE launching attacks. If you read the replies following, you will have seen my post, where I vented about people and their "guard" dogs. However, notice I begin my post saying "I don't think this is what you are about at all, but just a quick minor vent on my part about "guard" dogs (you never know who might be reading without posting)".

If you were just venting in general, you should have had a warning sentence like that. It takes the focus off the original person and shows that you are just venting about the people who do this, and NOT about the person you are replying to who you don't even know. You didn't do that though, you did not post a message saying "I am opposed to this kind of training, though I'm sure that's not what you are doing", you posted a personal attack that was completely unfounded.

If you had continued to read you would have found Eileen's reply to my message where she states (and I quote):
Quote
Sorraia, I have no intention of training it to be an attack or protection dog. I am merely looking to get a dog, that I can have with me home & at work.

Now how can this not be any more clearer? This reply also came BEFORE your message, so obviously you did not read it, or else conveniently ignored it.

In a community like this, it is important to read ALL replies before you spout off about how horrible someone is for their intentions, ESPECIALLY when what you perceived at intentions are not true and cannot be construed from the thread in question.
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Offline Sorraia

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #51 on: June 04, 2007, 09:48:39 AM »
Just a note about shelter dogs...I was looking for a dog for my family, and started out with the local shelter (where I volunteered), and checked out adoption days at Petsmart, etc.  I found that it's pretty hard to find a good, family dog at a shelter.  The ones that have been there a long time usually have some behavior problems, and the ones that are great family dogs either don't end up at a shelter, or are snapped up so fast it makes your head spin. 

This is VERY true. All of my dogs have come from the shelter or local humane societies. Most of them have been good dogs, but some have had their share of problems. Two of the four dogs I have known since they came into my family were adopted from the shelter as puppies (about three months of age or a little less). Puppies can be great pets, regardless of their past, because they are still young and can be trained and "molded". But the problem with puppies is that you don't know exactly how the dog will turn out (at least as far as energy level, size, etc, especially if it was a mutt). The one dog was a German shepherd/husky mix. Great dog, but VERY high energy and VERY people-oriented (we had to make several modifications on the yard because she started breaking out looking for people while my sister and I were at school and my parents were working). Not suitable for a family who couldn't give her LOTS of attention AND exercise. The second dog, the Rottie/shepherd mix, was another GREAT dog, but she grew LARGE (about 100 pounds). Very unsuitable for a family that lived in an apartment or rented a house and had a size limit imposed on them. She was very low energy (for a young dog), but very large.

My current dog was another shelter adoption. He's a border collie mix, VERY high energy, and was adopted at around 6 months of age. There were a share of problems that were apparent at the shelter (such as dog aggression). I suspect he'd been abused or at least neglected and mistreated before he was picked up by animal control off the streets. He's a nice dog, but needs a LOT of work, NOT a good dog for first-time owners. Problem is, at six months certain "warning" behaviors might start to become apparent, but the dog is still young and "cute" enough people might blind themselves to that and adopt the dog anyways. When they find out the dog isn't what they'd hope for, the dog usually ends up being dumped in the shelter again (sadly). It's unfortunate.

The local humane societies that foster their animals can be a little bit better choices, because they do get to know their animals a little bit better. It can still be a hit or miss though.

I've never tried classified ads such as the newspaper or Craig's list, so can't speak about experience regarding those. However from my own personal experience, shelter dogs CAN be good pets, but you need to take the time to observe the dogs and pick the RIGHT dog. Sometimes that means checking several different shelters or going back several different times.
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Offline Dorasmommy

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #52 on: June 04, 2007, 11:21:42 AM »
yeah, I agree with sorraia. shelter dogs can be great animals but if you're new to the dog thing it might be prudent to start lower on the potntial problem chain... a good reputable breeder can produce amazing quality dogs.

Offline RompStompnBoogie

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #53 on: June 04, 2007, 11:28:28 AM »
Just a note about shelter dogs...I was looking for a dog for my family, and started out with the local shelter (where I volunteered), and checked out adoption days at Petsmart, etc.  I found that it's pretty hard to find a good, family dog at a shelter.  The ones that have been there a long time usually have some behavior problems, and the ones that are great family dogs either don't end up at a shelter, or are snapped up so fast it makes your head spin.  I finally started perusing Craigslist, and found a LOT of nice dogs that needed homes.  People who really love their dogs, and want to find a good home generally don't drop them off at shelters.  So, we ended up adopting a dog we found on Craigslist...she was already living with cats, so no problem there, and the lady brought her to our house (to check us out), and so the dog could meet our kids and such.  It was a perfect match, but it took several months of looking, and if I were "in the market" for another dog, I probably wouldn't bother looking at a shelter.
*Just a note...friends of ours adopted a shelter dog who seemed a good match, and they had to return him after he bit their son. :'(

I couldn't agree less.  4 of my 5 dogs are shelter dogs.  2 of them came from the shelter that I work at, and the other 2 came from high kill shelters in Georgia and Arkansas.  My dog Ruby that passed away came from a horrid inner city shelter.  They are al amazing dogs, very gentle, get along with eachother, the cats, my niece, etc.  We always have lots of great dogs at our shelter, and I've seen lots of great dogs at many shelters.  It's really hit or miss sometimes, though.

Offline crtjh

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #54 on: June 04, 2007, 11:48:42 AM »
about the shelter dog thing, the dog that my mom had when i was born (she got her a while before) was GREAT. she was from the "pound" and never had any problems with the cats, me, or people. actually, when we go justin (cat) she ended up "mothering" him. and when she was still young and i was really little, i would climb up on her back and ride her around the house and when she sat down it was time for me to get off.

just showing that shelter dogs can be great dogs ;), even if it is hit and miss.

Offline JR1030

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #55 on: June 04, 2007, 12:36:58 PM »
I was just mentioning to be careful about shelter dogs...maybe I was a little more careful because I have little kids and other pets.  I actually applied for a dog from the shelter where I volunteered (he had come in only the day before), but someone had applied even before me, and so I didn't get him.  There are good ones, but they don't stay long, was one of my points.  And, if you don't have kids, and you have the time and energy and patience, a "problem" dog can turn out to be a wonderful pet.
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Offline Lise

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #56 on: June 04, 2007, 01:16:30 PM »
Okay, my take on the original question.

I think that yes, some dogs may instinctively step up to protect their owner once a bond has formed.... but that would be an individual characteristic of that particular dog, and not something that could be guaranteed even going by a particular breed of dog.  And also, the better socialized the dog is (which is what you want! especially since you work in a public place) the less likely it will be to react in a protective manner since it has been socialized to all different types of situations. 

My worst dog bite I've recieved was when a friends Rhodesian Ridgeback percieved a threat when I was merely play fighting with its owner and attacked me.  If this dog had been properly brought up and socialized well I don't think (and I hope!) that it would not have reacted that way.
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Offline JennJenn

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #57 on: June 04, 2007, 02:09:42 PM »
I would also recommend a lab.  They are loving and good with people but will protect you when you are in danger.

I also wanted to say that it really depends on the personality of the dog.  I have a 7 lb. yorkie who will snarl his head off while my brother and I are joking around.  If he thinks I am being hurt or am in danger he goes after my "attacker".  He hasn't bitten yet because I make sure he doesn't, but I'm sure he would!  Then I have had much larger dogs that just love everyone and would be trying to make friends with a robber if one came into my house.

Honestly I think it might be better to go with a breeder who has already instilled a little bit guard dog into the dog.  One that already knows some commands that could be helpful in your situation.  I know they are a lot of breeders in my area who train their puppies and dogs some commands so they know when you are in danger so they can take action.  Or you could visit some shelters and see if they have any dogs right for your situation.

Good luck!
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Offline andrea1970

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #58 on: June 04, 2007, 02:29:31 PM »
Okay, my take on the original question.

I think that yes, some dogs may instinctively step up to protect their owner once a bond has formed.... but that would be an individual characteristic of that particular dog, and not something that could be guaranteed even going by a particular breed of dog.  And also, the better socialized the dog is (which is what you want! especially since you work in a public place) the less likely it will be to react in a protective manner since it has been socialized to all different types of situations. 

My worst dog bite I've recieved was when a friends Rhodesian Ridgeback percieved a threat when I was merely play fighting with its owner and attacked me.  If this dog had been properly brought up and socialized well I don't think (and I hope!) that it would not have reacted that way.

This pretty well describes what I perceive as the fundamental challenge.  You need a dog that is reliable and trustworthy enough to be around the public, who will ONLY go into protective mode on your command.  You don't want a dog that's going to make any independent decision on whether or not you (or anyone else) need protecting.  Achieving that perfect balance takes a lot of time finding the right dog and time to train it consistently.

As for my dogs, I really don't know how they'd react to a stranger coming in our backyard.  They do plenty of barking at people walking down the street, but anyone that's come into our yard has been with one of us.  Then they're just obnoxious and jump.   :doh:  I suspect that anyone bringing petting and/or biscuits would be welcome.
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Offline Eileen

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #59 on: June 04, 2007, 06:51:01 PM »
One thought on Craig's list: not all people who put their pets on it are terrible.
Nancycccslp here adopted a lab from somebody who put it on Craig's list.
The woman & her husband had divorced, she got the dog. She was living in an apartment in Manhattan, had hoped to be able to get a house. When she realized she was not able to afford a house, she didn't think it was fair for the dog to live in an apartment, so she looked for a new home for him.
They required references, which they did indeed check, as Nancy put me down as one.
They asked good, solid questions. They had Nancy go over with the lab she already had to see if both dogs got along.
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Offline JR1030

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #60 on: June 04, 2007, 06:58:15 PM »
I think I mentioned before that I adopted a dog from Craigslist.  She was from a guy who got a job where he had to travel all the time, so his dogs were living with a friend of his, who then got transferred by her company, and already had too many pets of her own, and her new apartment wouldn't let her have that many.  She came over to check the house, see the yard, meet my kids with the dog, they asked for vet references...the whole nine yards.  They just wanted a good home for the dog.
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Offline RompStompnBoogie

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #61 on: June 04, 2007, 07:57:39 PM »
Just a little side story....There was a groomer at the vet I used to work for who had a wonderful Rottie, Dresden.  I don't think I've ever met a more mellow, well behaved, well socialized boy.  She'd bring him to work for doggie daycare on a daily basis, and he was always happily wagging that little nub when people would go and visit with him.  His mom taught him to bark, growl and snarl on command.  The phrase she'd use was "Dresden, get mad!"  You would think this dog was a vicious nut by his reaction.  I don't think anyone would be crazy enough to mess with him.  Then she'd say "Ok, enough." and he'd stop immediately.  It's pretty easy to teach a dog to speak, and I think once they realize they are being praised for it, they'll sometimes take the noise level a bit further than you'd like them to!  I think Guinness' favorite command is "speak" (and of course you could use any word or phrase you wanted to).  Once she grew accustomed to getting treats for "speaking", she began to not only give a quick bark, but she know kind of "talks" to me, if you know what I mean.  That sort of growling (but not aggressive growling) like you see on those pet star shows when people swear the dog is saying "I love you".  She'll do that and bark until I tell her "thank you, that's enough".  But she will also do it before every other command!  I ask her to sit, she speaks and sits.  I ask her to lie down, she speaks and lies down.  Same for "paw" and "wave hello" and "stay".  LOL, I created a monster!  Now with just her big mouth and her size...I don't think many people would chance messing with me or her.

Offline fearlessella

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #62 on: June 04, 2007, 09:45:32 PM »
Few things...

People keep recommending labs.  NEVER in my LIFE will I have a lab.  IMO they are the most obnoxious breed of dog ever!  Sure, they are a great family dog (to some), but many people don't realize how much exercise they need.  I have met a few great ones, but that is a rare thing to see.  Same thing with Goldens though.  Can't stand them.  Sorry!  Just my opinion!

I also believe that rescue dogs are some of the best dogs that you can get.  Sure, you have your occasional bad one.  I have had so many wonderful success stories from our adoptions though.  Also, people never look at the kid when the dog bites the kid.  Most people never think to blame the "poor child" that was yanking on the dog.  I agree though that not all dogs are fit for kids.

Also, about the Ridgeback.  My trainer friend heard a story of a man that was bit by his pit bull when he was fighting with his girlfriend.  It was a horrible bite.  I think things like that can happen without training being an issue.  Especially for a ridgeback.  I feel the same say about my Chessie.  She could do some damage if she thought I was in danger.
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Offline slo3933

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #63 on: June 04, 2007, 10:28:53 PM »
Few things...

People keep recommending labs.  NEVER in my LIFE will I have a lab.  IMO they are the most obnoxious breed of dog ever!  Sure, they are a great family dog (to some), but many people don't realize how much exercise they need.  I have met a few great ones, but that is a rare thing to see.  Same thing with Goldens though.  Can't stand them.  Sorry!  Just my opinion!

Not to hijack the thread.  You are absolutely entitled to your opinion, but I usually find that generalization gets me into trouble.  Having grown up w/goldens, springers, labs, and now being the mom of an awesome lab mix I have had the pleasure of experiencing the breeds you mentioned and all were WONDERFUL and well behaved dogs.  Don't you think it has a bit more to do w/the owner and the responsibility of teaching obedience and assuring the dog gets approriate exercise than it does the breed.  Maybe it's the fact that people see a well behaved dog of the breed and then purchase/adopt one w/the thought that they will automatically act like that, then they are not willing to put in the time to shape them into a great dog.  Any dog has the potential to be obnoxious w/o the right direction...just my opinion (different strokes I suppose)!!

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Offline Nokithis

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #64 on: June 04, 2007, 10:33:39 PM »
oh yeah, eileen also check with groomers and vets.  it's too bad you weren't here in florida, i know of a mastiff up for adoption.  that's actually why i thought of mastiffs and bullmastiffs.   oh and anatolian sepherds are cool too.  of course one of the most protective dogs i know is a standard poodle.  he was adopted when he was 4 years old and they took him to obedience and rally obedience (the most fun obedience).  he is a velcro dog, easily approached by strangers as long as his people are relaxed, but when they tense up--watch out.  almost any dog will be a protector if shown love and given a place in the pack.  good luck in your search.  
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Offline Eileen

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #65 on: June 05, 2007, 07:31:06 AM »
Quote
Any dog has the potential to be obnoxious w/o the right direction...
Ain't that the truth, lol! My mom's dog is one I found as a stray while working in Brooklyn - she was about 20 pounds then. But boy oh boy was she a handful. She was housebroken but had no other manners; whoever she got away from kept her outside (I found her in February) because she had a full winter coat that she's never had again since we've had her (we've had her 9 years now).

She was so ill-behaved when we got her. She chased the cats, ate our shoes, ate the rug, broke the door.... we were all at our wits end. One morning, she woke me up @ 4AM ( I LOVE to sleep late) - my mom found me outside, in the snow, crying, with the dog on the leash.
We then signed up for obedience classes and they were great.
She's still a strong willed dog, but we know how to work with her and she does listen to us. (though she still chases the cats ;) ).

It is totally the human's responsibility to make sure your dog is in control. I found obedience classes to be really great; I learned a lot and I think it helps bond the human & dog who are going through it together. We had a graduation party for her when she was done.
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Offline kim

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #66 on: June 06, 2007, 08:19:33 PM »
Ok-
youre original question -
 yes, all my dobes have shown that they would step up and protect me if need be. we know bowie would - come on, the dog had live bites :)

Rah has shown four times that despite being the absolute goofiest dog on earth with people i am ok with, he will turn it on when necessary. twice in a parking lot late at night in the city when someone approached that was intoxicated and yelling -  needless to say once they caught site of rah and he was at the end of his leash with a growl they stopped coming near me. the other two have been in my own house when someone scared me at the door and rah immediately responded to alert me and keep them out.

tyler, without a doubt, but hes too sharp so thats a problem.

i think most dogs will show some level of protection if they are not submissive, soft dogs - and for most people, just the presence of a dog is enough deterrant.

for your situation, i would either look for a really reputable rescue/shelter that does THOROUGH temperament testing (maybe once you pick a breed, ask if they have a dog that fits exactly what you need) or see if a responsible breeder has a young adult/adult dog that needs to be rehomed.

what breed is up to you - personally i would never really live with a lab, but most of you would never be able to live with my doberman, either. thats why rah is MY dog :) there are many breeds i wouldnt own, and a select few i would - but even in the breeds i like, there are certain temperaments i choose. most of the dogs i would pick out 99% of you would be returning to the breeder before you had a name picked out :)
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Offline fearlessella

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #67 on: June 06, 2007, 09:08:56 PM »
Few things...

People keep recommending labs.  NEVER in my LIFE will I have a lab.  IMO they are the most obnoxious breed of dog ever!  Sure, they are a great family dog (to some), but many people don't realize how much exercise they need.  I have met a few great ones, but that is a rare thing to see.  Same thing with Goldens though.  Can't stand them.  Sorry!  Just my opinion!

Not to hijack the thread.  You are absolutely entitled to your opinion, but I usually find that generalization gets me into trouble.  Having grown up w/goldens, springers, labs, and now being the mom of an awesome lab mix I have had the pleasure of experiencing the breeds you mentioned and all were WONDERFUL and well behaved dogs.  Don't you think it has a bit more to do w/the owner and the responsibility of teaching obedience and assuring the dog gets approriate exercise than it does the breed.  Maybe it's the fact that people see a well behaved dog of the breed and then purchase/adopt one w/the thought that they will automatically act like that, then they are not willing to put in the time to shape them into a great dog.  Any dog has the potential to be obnoxious w/o the right direction...just my opinion (different strokes I suppose)!!

Stacey

I do agree, but there is still no talking me into ever getting a lab.  They tend to be the ones that are the most hyper active.  Sure, I definitely agree the owners have the most to do with their pets.  There is too many unknowledgable people when it comes to training.  It drives me bonkers.  That doesn't mean I don't like lab mixes.  My girl may possibly have some lab in her, though her mom was a Chessie so that is why the lab look may come in.  She has not a hyper active bone in  her body.  She is actually quite protective.

Sorry to hijack your thread to Eileen!!  It was not intended.  Good luck dog hunting!!
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Offline Scamp

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #68 on: June 07, 2007, 12:32:31 AM »
When I was a kid, we had a beautiful golden retriever who seemed to be the sweetest, goofiest dog in the world.  We always joked that if someone ever tried to rob our home, she would show them to the biscuit cabinet rather than bark.  One day, my grandmother was at the house alone with my little brother, who was a toddler.  A stranger who looked as if their intentions may not have been totally innocent came up to the house, and our sweet, goofy dog growled and caused the person to run off.  My aunt and uncle own two similarly good-natured goldens that will not allow their housekeeper to go upstairs if their son is sleeping in his bedroom when she comes to clean; they don't growl, but they will stand side by side and block the stairway to keep her from climbing up.

I'm not arguing that goldens are very good at this sort of thing, but it seems to me that even a notoriously laid-back breed can step up to the plate and protect their people if they are confident animals, not easily scared by unusual situations, and sense that their people might be in danger.  Dogs are pack animals, and if we bond closely to one of them, they view us as a part of their family and someone worth sticking up for.
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Offline E!!

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #69 on: June 07, 2007, 04:50:46 PM »
My sister's sweet, goofy, cudly American Bulldog will turn into a snarling, teeth baring monster if someone approaches their home when they aren't there. When he was younger my sister took hime everywhere with her and if someone he didn't know approached her car while she was in it he would act very aggressive.

I had a lab mix from my freshman year of highschool until about two years ago. Very sweet loving lazy dog. He lived with my parents from the time I went to college, but even though my parents were the ones to take care of him when I spent the night he would always lay by my bed and growl at any unsual noises etc. As he got older he would even growl at my mom when she came in the bedroom in the morning to wake me up.

I really do think it has as much to do with the bond as with the dog. If you had asked anyone that knew him if Trouble (my lab mix) would protect me they probably would have laughed, it wasn't in his personality at all...I miss my sweet Troublesome mutt...

Offline critterchic

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Re: Opinion on dog behavior
« Reply #70 on: June 23, 2007, 12:36:24 PM »
Hi, I'm new here but not new to dogs. Years ago while living in Texas I came home late about 5am and walked my dog before going to bed, she was a miniature schnauzer and about four years old. I was completely unaware that a man was lurking in the shadows, well my dog knew and she chased him down the side walk between my apartment buildings and stopped at the end where the side walk and drive way meet, the man continued on his way, running.  I had no idea what he was up to but I do know that dogs have instincts of their own and just by having a dog, any dog, can be a deterant to those up to no good.  Good Luck.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2007, 12:56:17 PM by critterchic »
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