The People of the Gun reckon man’s best friend plays a special role in the field of armed self-defense. At the least, as an alarm system. At best, as a canine defender. As the owner of a brace of miniature Schnauzers, I concur. Rosie and Maggie bark at all comers, even those they saw thirty seconds before (they’re four-legged goldfish). That said . . .

One night a Texas-sized storm stampeded through Austin. The wind blew open my bedroom’s French doors. The alarm shrieked, but the girls barely stirred. Rosie raised her head with a look that said, “Take care of that, won’t you?” And went back to sleep. Teaching me that even alarm dogs have their limitations.

What kind of dog do you have? Is it any value to you defense-wise? Or is yours like Dan’s gi-normous yellow labs, Mason and Olie, who are more likely to lick an intruder to death than take a bite out of crime? Examples of dogged defense appreciated.

94 Responses to Question of the Day: Got Dog?

  1. Gomer is a lover, not a fighter. A surprising attribute for a 100 lb Old English Bulldog. However, if you surprise him, he barks up a storm. Great guard dog, useless self defense dog. On the plus side, he lets me know when someone’s at my door when I’m on the other side of the house in my office and can’t hear the doorbell.

    • I have a 100lb golden-doodle named Jax. He does bark if someone just touches the door. His bark and growl is vicious, but as soon as I open the door he just wants to be pet. If someone came a knocking he would bark until they entered then they are his long lost best friend. But as long as he alerts me that’s all I expect.

  2. No dog, but I do have a cat who is incredibly gifted at wrapping herself around my feet.

    Any intruder would be trippin’!

  3. Yes we have dogs and yes they would be at least partially effective. Our 60 pound boxer (Havoc) wouldn’t bark but he would certainly jump all over any potential new friend whether they are carrying groceries or a crowbar. That idiot is still a work in progress. Our 130 pound great dane (Sugar) would bark and growl with a tonal quality similar to an angry bear. I doubt she would do anything physically aggressive though. My wife has told me stories of the dane being overly protective of her when they go on walks without me so that might change if I wasn’t home.

  4. “What kid of dog do you have?”

    No kid(s) or dog, but that may change in a few months since the geriatric cat went to a better place last week.

    The dog, that is, I have a very poor temperament when it comes to tiny (in)humans, and that turns to outright hatred when they start mouthing off…

    (My local sister’s shit kid has cured me of *any* reproductive urges.)

  5. My Maligator has developed the opposite problem now that she’s full grown. When she was younger she would bark and then just dance and lick. Now I have to tell new people to wait in their vehicle until I get there. If anything, man or beast, she doesn’t know set foot on the porch she doesn’t bark, just bites. We had a stray show up last week, nice happy lab. Now it’s a nice happy lab without an ear.
    We live pretty far out, and our driveway is a mile long.

  6. The wife and I have a greyhound named Kilroy. He’s retired, affable, and a coward…but adoringly and endearingly so! That being said he’s quite useful in alerting me when someone is at the door long before they knock or ring the bell. I’m at home during the day so I suppose he’d be useful in alerting me to a potential burglar.

    • We too have a greyhound. People commonly ask if they make good watch dogs. My reply is no, they will let the burglar in and show them where the valuables are stored.

      • LOL! The Mrs. and I have the same running joke! Kilroy would probably fetch the ne’er-do-well a beer and a snack.

      • Greyhound owner/rescue worker.
        People ask if they make good watch dogs.
        I tell’em yep. They’ll watch’em carry your TV out, your computer out, …

  7. I got one. A few years ago my mom took in a pitbull named Eva from a friend who was moving and could no longer keep the dog. She was a nice enough dog in less she didn’t know you. If she didn’t know you… Stay away. My mom wasn’t interested in keeping the dog, after all she already had a small pack of hounds. I got roped into trying to get a new home for the dog, seeing as how I pretty much help her with any animal related thing.

    Well one night some people busted into my mom’s house, Eva who was locked in the bedroom heard them break in and raised a royal fuss. Snarling and barking. My parents just though it was my sister coming home late, like she does but Eva would not calm down. Finally when my parents opened the door, it was like releasing the ‘hounds of hell’. Eva dove for the bad guys well my dad who is blind without his glasses only saw a black guy flee the house with Eva hot on his heels. She chased him and his buddy out stopping at the door because the robbers slammed it in her face. Robber got away with some of my parents stuff well they had been convinced it was just my sister, but it could of been a lot worse…

    To say the least Eva was no longer in need of a home, she earn one.

  8. Best dog in the world, half black lab half blue healer. Too old now, but in her prime she’d kill anything that got into the yard. Good thing it was never a neighbor’s kid. More of a deterent than anything else. If I were snooping around a house and a 60 pound dog started raising hell, I’d pick a new house to rob.

    • My half blue heeler and half pit is a pretty good guard dog. Has kept a few neighbors from getting to the door when we’ve been away. She has quite the bark. She’s also more protective when I’m away and its just my wife/kids. When we have a sitter or my folks watch the kids she sleeps in front of their bedroom door when they go to bed. Haha, when visiting my folks we left our dog and baby son with them while we went to visit friends, our son woke up crying as babies do and our dog was outside, our dog tried every way she could to get into the house, my folks thought she was going to try to jump through a window!

  9. Wilson is a 125 pound lean, mean, mama protecting machine. This is his house and his yard, and you better not forget it. He’s alerted if you open a car door on the street or driveway. He barks anytime a house door is touched and will not let you pass until he can see you belong. He is our 2nd Chesapeake Bay Retriever and the most lovable eternal puppy (6 years old) you will ever meet. God help the bad guy at our house.

    • Chessies are vastly underrated as protective dogs. They are big and aggressive in their defense of their families.

    • WE have a half Chesapeake/half Weimeraner. She is getting up in years, and is something of a coward. But she has a deep threatening bark that keeps strangers at bay unless she is introduced.

  10. I miss my Rott.
    If I played too rough with the kids, she would growl at me.
    And for some odd reason, she didn’t like uniforms.

  11. Ah the pitfalls of divorce! I lost my little pit mix and hound dog and (audibly speaking) they were quite “big” for their size. The little pit mix especially insisted on sleeping in the front of the house by the door and I could hear him doing patrols during the night. I lucked out with ol’ Floyd.

  12. The senior Chief-my lovely wife- and our daughter picked up what is now a 60lb Mountain Cur from a shelter a couple of years back. Conner barks at everyone that comes 0n our property, runs up to them , and barks some more. A very effective warning device. Large enough to have a tremendous ‘WOOF’.

  13. I have four dogs (currently), two of which are yappers (Papillons) that raise a huge ruckus but are otherwise useless as guard dogs. But forewarned is forearmed. Then we have a Chesapeake mix who is twelve and would probably not attack an intruder, but her bark is so threatening he’d probably not want to find out. The last is a standard poodle, and he has a regular bark and a deep resonating warning bark that is truly impressive. He’s a lover, not a fighter, I think–unless you happen to be a cat. Though he did scare the pants off a neighbor who came over the back fence in search of her child. When she saw 50+ pounds rushing towards her, boy did she scamper!

    • Yep, the smallish dog is the perimeter alarm. The big dog is the 2nd layer of deterrence or 1st line of the solution.

  14. I’ve always had VERY affective pitbulls, till we had to put my last girl down due to cancer. now we have a 90 pound mastiff mix? That we got from the local shelter, he is so damn affective that there has been a few times I hesitated opening the door, and he is MY DOG. A security company called asking if I wanted home security installed, I simply said, I have a 90 pound dog and a pistol, good day.

    • Yeah, doing yard work some door to door guy tried to sell me an alarm, all the while my dog was in the window barking at the guy. I said there’s my alarm and she’ll do more than just beep when someone breaks in!

  15. Sadly, my alarm system has lost most of his hearing as he approaches the age of 15. Still 30 pounds of affectionate spunk, and still willing to threaten Satan himself were he to notice him prowling around. But my old boy has earned a soft, pampered retirement, and I mean to see he gets it.
    For now, I depend on an overweight, long haired chihuahua to raise the alarm.

  16. We’ve got an Attack Pug and a Ninja Yorkie. They bark like crazy when anyone gets near the house. Also, being small they’re pretty much out of the field of fire if it came to that…

    Dogs are awesome creatures; they truly love their owners more than they love themselves…

    Carry on TTAG!!!

  17. I’m currently owned by a Bullmastiff named Cricket. (It’s amazing to me how many people get the nature of”dog ” ownership wrong. She is a great guard dog and a intimidating presence.

  18. We have had all types and breeds of dogs. All were good for something (barkers, biters and intimidation). Our current 17 lbs rat dog is a good barker and is a FIERCE protector of the 3 foot terrorist (our 5 year old son). She won’t let bigger dogs get close to him unless they assume a non-dominant position. She so flummoxed a big pit bull mix that it ran into a mail box! She allows humans to get close, but is ready to go into attack mode if they make a false move.

  19. I used to be selectively a Chow fan. My wife had her first chow in law school, and people would cross the street when she walked it. Our second and third were wonderful guard dogs and would have protected my wife and daughters to their dying breath. The fourth, that was the problem one that we couldn’t keep because it would snap at kids. Now I have a Vizsla. Good hunter but not a good guard dog. (and two Pomeranians, but they don’t count.)

    • when I was a wee lad we had a red chow, she literally saved me from being kidnapped at 3yo. awesome dogs, and some 30 years later I still miss that dog.

  20. We have a Siberian Husky named Beowulf with one blue and one brown eye. They’re great dogs with incredible energy and are great watchdogs, if by watchdog you mean happy to watch while your stuff gets stolen. :o)

    • My malamute is the same way. Her utility as a guard dog begins and ends with her looks. In 7 years, she’s never met a human she didn’t love at first sight.

  21. I have a female pitbull (with a bit of pointer mixed in there). She can be hit-or-miss in terms of being an alarm dog. Pitbulls are super friendly and ours takes friendly to new heights. (Honestly, everyone who meets her LOVES her — even people who are afraid of dogs — not exaggerating.) Having said that, I have seen her “turn it on” in an instant when other dogs get out of hand. The first time she ever felt compelled to “correct” another dog, she came on so fast and strong that none of us thought she had it in her.

    The most that I hope for is that our dog is a distraction to a human or animal attacker. Anything beyond that is gravy.

  22. Our Shadow, a Border Collie/Lab mix is 14 now. When she was 11, I was working out of town. 7PM. Mom was playing tennis, college-Sis was in the shower, and autistic 14-year old son on computer. Sissy said Shadow tried to break the bathroom door down. I had admonished my daughter many times to lock the kitchen door to the garage, but this night she failed again. Emerging in a towel, her pepper spray in hand, Shadow going ahead, the two emerged into the family room. Sissy, hearing someone in the kitchen, said, “Mom?”. Footsteps, then kitchen door slamming. Sissy ran to lock it then dialed 911. The South Precinct is a quarter-mile from our house and response time was 3 minutes. Sissy pulled on clothes and came back into the family room, Shadow again just ahead. Suddenly, old, arthritic Shadow went into a frenzy. The 70 pound, dog, barking madly, leaped at the back door, her front paws touching the top of the door jamb ! Sissy looked out to see a man running for the backyard gate. A neighbor and I later concluded that there were 2 would-be intruders. The cops arrived a minute later, Mom about 5 minutes after. The dog we had rescued 11 years before had rescued my children.
    I drove the 3 hours home after getting my wife’s call that started, “First of all, everybody’s all right.” Getting home about midnight, I stayed up in “Daddy Sheepdog Mode” until 4AM. Sissy learned her lesson about leaving doors unlocked. Shadow, in her dotage, is backed up now by two King Charles Cavalier Spaniels, also rescues. Both excellent burglar alarms to augment the electronic system.
    Moral: The dog you save today may be who saves you tomorrow.

  23. My wife and I had two German shepards (sequentially). Incredibly loyal. Both took protecting us very seriously, but our property not so much.

    I recall tying him up outside the post office for a couple minutes and he was fine while I was out of sight. But as soon as he saw me and knew he could not protect me, he almost went berserk.

    I also noticed that while in a light sleep he could still track sounds with those radar dish-like ears. But they also have a deep sleep mode where they don’t hear any quieter sounds.

    I was a little shocked to learn recently that young shepards are the second fastest runners after the greyhound. I believe the top end is around 37 mph.

    • The fastest canine my surprise you. It’s the coyote. They have be clocked running up to 45mph, which is slightly faster than a greyhound.

    • Greyhounds, Salukis, Bozoi (Russian Wolfhound) Scottish Deer Hounds, Sloughi, Azwaks, Afghans, some really fast Ridgebacks, Chart Polskis, Ibezians, larger Pharaoh hounds will all run down and kill a coyote. Also American Staghounds and any number of larger and aggressive lurchers and long dogs. Ridgebacks will run down a cheetah and kill them but they have to run em out of gas first.

  24. 15 year old Lab will cheerfully watch you steal everything in the house, so long as you pet him first. Will lick and slobber on you. Did bark at people coming to the house, before he went mostly deaf. And now he sleeps a lot (he’s sleeping at my feet right now).

    I will definitely get another dog, but my primary goal will be a good family pet, not an organic alarm system.

  25. 27lb beagle mix. She bays when she gets excited. Knocks on the door excite her and I home carry. She wouldn’t bite anyone and gave me a blank stare when the home alarm went off once.

  26. The one that yaps the most is the eight pound poodle. She’ll bite, but doesn’t have enough jaw strength to leave a mark, let alone draw blood.

    The Lab puppy, now nine months old, has developed a new “protective bark” from the playful puppy bark. Neighbor came over the fence one day, to fix the shared fence, and she stood a good thirty feet away and barked her protective bark. Whole time her back legs were shaking.

    Years ago, our neighbor left the garage door open all night. Came out the next morning to find the SUV on blocks, wheels gone. Not a peep out of our dogs. Night time bark is reserved for “Wake up and let me out NOW, or I am not responsible for what happens!”

  27. One Miniature Poodle and one Standard Poodle. The mini is an ankle biter (literally. she went after the cable guys ankles). The standard is a big barker, sounds like a nasty dog and is highly protective especially of the wife.

  28. Our great pyrenees Minerva (we called her Minnie, get it? ) was a wonderful guard dog: she barked at everything, cats, cars, squirrels, people, leaves, air, burrowing worms in Tibet, meteor impacts on Neptune, the fall of Troy… Annoying, so we never knew what was a valid alert bark. That said, she was loyal and protective towards the family, gentle and sweet to the babies. That bark, though… “that big bitch means business.”

    Now we got a French Brittney spaniel, and he is a chill out cuddle dog that apparently figured out how to evaluate a sight or sound and respond accordingly. He’s a much better guard dog, even if he’s 1/3rd the size of the pyrenees.

    • We’ve had Pyrs as actual guard dogs for our herd of goats for decades. Barking at any little thing is something they are known for, and is a highly desirable trait in a guard dog. It lets the wolves (or coyotes in our case) around know that there is a big dog present and to avoid that herd. It is a trait that should not be tried to control, as it is against their nature, and will end up confusing the dog and annoying the owner. They are dogs that need space.

      • You got that right that Pyrs needed space, they love to wander, as they are sometimes called DisaPyr. Great dog, wonderful with the kids. Yeah, I miss that ol’ girl. Big time.

  29. A Rhodesian Ridgeback named Captain is our newest family member. Since he’s still pretty much a puppy (an 85 lb puppy), I don’t think he’d be too much of a defender yet. However, he’s our 2nd Ridgeback…and I also wondered if our first Ridgeback would be much of a guard dog (since he was so sweet and friendly with everyone) until I locked myself out of the house one day and came around back to try and get in. That was the only time I was ever scared of that dog…until he realized it was just me at the door.

    • In my line of work I come in contact with dozens of dogs weekly. The most ferocious one ever was a Rodie. His name was Sampson (Sam) about 100lbs. As long as the man of the house was home he only kept an eye on you. If the man was not there and his wife and girls were there, may God have mercy on you, because Sam wouldn’t! I’ll never forget the look in that dogs eyes, painful death was in my future if I opened that door. Drove around for two years with Sam’s claw marks on my truck.

  30. I’ve had so many good dogs in 70 years that it is almost impossible to name a “best” one, but many could actually claim the title. We raised AKC Black Labradors for 20 years, and none of them reached that category, except for hunting. I guess the best dog was the 1/2 black lab/ 1/2 Rottweiler my first husband had when we were married. He had all of the best qualities of both breeds, and never let us down.

    Remembering one incident serves to illustrate that. I was a new bride, home alone, when a scruffy looking man opened our gate and came into the yard. Mark went to the door, but remained silent as was his habit. When the man knocked on the flimsy old screen door, Mark went into what was obviously a “guard” attitude, but still only growled low in his throat. He was never a barker, which was a good thing there in the city. Anyway, the man started to pull hard on the door handle and demand to be let in! Mark barked then, and I grabbed his collar because I feared he would break the door down himself. The dog went wild, barking and lunging to the point where the man backed off fast, begging me not to turn the dog loose as he vaulted the low fence and ran away. When I let the collar go, Mark sniffed a few times, then went to his rug without another sound or sign of distress.

    When I told my husband about the incident later, he laughed and informed me that Mark was especially trained to go postal like that if the collar was grabbed. He apologized for not letting me know earlier!

    Later, he was the most protective and reliable companion to our first child, and died protecting our livestock from a pack of feral dogs in his old age. I’ll always treasure his memory.

  31. I don’t have any dogs now, but back in the day I was a dog trainer and kept German Shepherd Dogs and Rottweilers.

    My best pet GSD was fully guard trained and would tear any burglar or attacker apart, as one wannabe mugger discovered to his regret. OTOH, that dog simply adored children — all children, not just mine — so if I was ever mugged by a bunch of kids or Little People he’d probably roll over and beg them for a belly rub.

  32. I have an old and mean 75lb German Shepard and a young and friendly beauceron (French Shepard) 100 lbs and looks like a had mixed with a Doberman. Both very loyal and the Beauceron will never be more than about 20 feet from me he acts like a shadow. People cross the street at my house

  33. Rat terrier/chihuahua and a full chihuahua have all the heart of a couple of pit bulls. They let us know when anyone they do not know is around and many they are aquainted with. Living in the suburbs, you really do not want an attack dog – I was torn up by a VeitNam guard dog when I was 11, just collecting for my first paper route. A lot of stiches, the parents of the ex-serviceman couldn’t control the dog well enough.
    Having a war dog(more viscious that guard dogs) is the reason they stopped allowing them back to the states, sometimes they had to be destroyed because they would not work with another handler. I was terrified of dogs for about 20 years, until we got some terriers. They now allow them back and I feel that they should not be in close nieghborhoods.
    I like dogs that are inside dogs – personally. I would have 5 or 5 pitbulls if the wife would deal with it, but that is laterm when we move to our redoubt dream doublewide.

      • War Dogs are more dangerous because they wear body armor and carry assault rifles. They are much harder to kill than a normal guard dog.

  34. An mastino napoletano ore mastif would cool but expensive and often healt probs + relative short living white 8-10 years ,,,,,,,

  35. I grew up with German Shepards and an English Mastiff. All were protective. Three years ago and five years into the empty nest, began looking for a pup to rescue, two and a half years ago, Bodie, came into our lives. He is a field breed English Springer. He is the most protective, loyal, fearless dog I have ever had the honor of being around. He had been abused and was malnourished in his first six months of life before we rescued him, but he stole my heart.

    We hike everyday in the woods and each day is an adventure. He has rolled a Rott over on its back and had it at the jugular when it came at me, not once but twice. He has stood off two groups of coyotes and a few thugs with wrong intentions to protect my wife and I. Most people are drawn to him because of his demeanor and natural good looks, but inside beats the heart of a lion. Da Boy is not indescriminate when he barks, I listen, for potential danger is near.

    A valuable trusted integral piece of our security? You bet, would be lost without him.

  36. Edisto is a 100+ lb Golden. Best alarm clock I’ve ever owned. Terrible security dog as he’d be more prone to playing with anyone that can through the threshold but he’ll let you know if anyone comes within 20 yds of my house.

  37. Mofo is a 95 lb Akita. Keke is a 60 lb German Shepard from a working line. They give me at least a 20 second jump on an alert and I wouldn’t trade either of them for anything. The only downside is the fact that we have to have 2 roombas. Those are some shedding ass dogs…

  38. We have five dogs in the house. Two yappy and paranoid Yorkie mixes, two lazy and incredibly trusting Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and one large adult male doberman that is very friendly to those he knows and very intimidating to anyone my wife or others gives him a reason to mistrust. We live in the middle of nowhere and he has scared off at least a few of the unsavory people known to case houses around our area.

  39. Two Plott Hounds and a GSD.

    The younger Plott and the GSD, by themselves are just bark machines. The older Plott however can and will rip someone up and the other two follow his lead completely. Breaking into the house would result in you being attacked by all three.

    To kind of borrow a line from Snatch: in this house the guns finish what the dogs don’t.

  40. I have a 13 year old Jack Russel Terrier and a 10 year old Chocolate Lab/Pointer Mix. They killed every rodent imaginable, almost took out a white tail deer, and scared away two potential burglars in their younger years. I didn’t think they still had the spirit in ’em, but last weekend they frightened a full grown black bear up a small tree in our back yard in the middle of the night. I expected to watch at least one dog get killed, but I shook the Beggin Strip bag and called ’em long enough, and they returned to the house. The bear climbed down from the tree and walked off into the woods. It was one of the most surreal, comical, and frightening events I’ve witnessed from 40 feet away with a flashlight.

  41. My service dog Bammer knows that one of his jobs is to protect me. His “Leave my papa alone!” bark is scary. Only once has he gone beyond just barking; I learned after that the stranger on my porch to whom Bammer took canine exception was a multiple felon out on parole. The officer who told me that was disappointed that when Bammer attacked the guy’s shoes the creep didn’t kick back–he really, really wanted the guy back behind bars.

  42. My alarm system is a 10 year old Corgi named Gwenith. She barks at everything and everybody and I’ve rolled out of bed at 4am a couple of times when the newspaper guy was trying to get an early start on his deliveries. I don’t know if Gwenith would attack anybody who got into the house, but she did chase a couple of obnoxious door to door salesmen out to the street. Corgis are fast! They were bred to chase livestock.

  43. 24/7/365 seventy-two (72) pound “Devil” is my alarm system. Whether two-legged or four you CAN’T get by my house either in the street or around my home for fifty-plus (50+) yards without it raising the “alarm”. If it’s someone “known” to us, a “good” guy/girl (close family member or one of two like-minded neighbors), it’ll cry and pound it’s tail, for everyone and everything else save for birds and squirrels it’s growling and barking.

  44. We’ve adopted two part lab – part dunno pups that some dirtbag doused in kerosene and tried to burn at 2 wks old. Hind legs have some scars but they were too young to hold a grudge against humans. Bodhi is one of them – he’s 60 lbs of muscle and perimeter obsessed. No one gets within 30 Yds of our door without him snarling and announcing he’s on watch. Not the brightest puppy we’ve ever had but he definitely earns his keep every day as a sentry. His brother Cooper leaves him the sentry duty and is affectionate enough for a dozen avg dogs. Never more than 2′ away when we’re up and about. I definitely consider them defensive assets.

  45. No more animals for me since my cat went all Pet Sematary out of nowhere and I had to bring her to the shelter. I’m not moving in anything else that lacks the intelligence and opposable thumbs needed to understand and sign a lease*. Besides, I have to work pretty long hours some days, and if a cat could lose its mind from being cooped up alone for 16 hours at a time, I shudder to imagine how quickly a more social animal like a dog would snap.

    * Yes, this also rules out about 98% of all possible human roommates.

  46. Scot Terrier, in a flash of brilliance, I named him Scotty. He is adopted, but has made himself a home here. 11 inches at the shoulder and 30 lbs solid muscle. Does not yap for fun, altho the mail truck and UPS does irritate him a bit. When he rolls his Rssssssss he is telling me I need to check. Maybe 3 am, he gives a low rumbling growl, I roll out of bed, glasses go on, pistol appears in hand, flashlight in other hand, and off we go. He works the house like somebody trained him. Covers it all, I back him up. Makes the rounds back to bedroom, then calmly goes back to sleep. False alarm that time, but I never ignore that alert, even during the day.

  47. Two dogs here. The first is a very large (125 lb) Rottweiler/Shepard/Malamut/Lab mix named Sam. Sam has a growl and a bark straight from the gates of Hell…drooling, low growl, Kujo-like bark. The second is a Westi Jack Russell named Smudge. Smudge is a yapper and is absolutely fearless. Both are extremely territorial. They’ll greet you with love if they know you, but they’re liable to tear off a limb if they don’t. Smudge is the alarm in our house. Sam is the enforcer. They’ve chased away potential intruders at least twice over the past five years…once including Sam chasing somebody down the block until I called him off.

  48. Dogs are great company and pretty good alarm systems but as they get older their senses get weaker and I think they just get tired and don’t care anymore who’s at the door. Kinda like people. I’ve seen it first hand with a PBGV who has lived with two family members for over 10 years. He was a great doorbell and perimeter detection alarm when he was young. Now he would sleep right thru an elephant stampede.

  49. 2 Red Tabby Tiger Cats, anyone how has has one knows they are absolutely crazy… one is a Turkish Angora male and the other is a British Shorthair female..smart, fun and entertaining

  50. Black Lab Border Collie Cross. Fifty pounds of muscle and teeth to anybody who behaves in a threatening manner, but harmless as a kitten otherwise. Couldn’t ask for better, except she’s gun shy. Love her anyway.

    • That Lab sweetness of personality, and Border Collies are the most intelligent dogs in existence! That is a winning combination.

  51. Current dog is a 3 lb. 7 oz. male long-haired Chihuahua. Hears everything. Scared of virtually nothing. Much appreciated in those two respects and also as little dogs make little s _ it. Have had another long-haired male Chihuahua. Same tendencies. Both great to have.

    In the past had a pit bull. Not much of a guard dog. She was an old-school pit bull though, of over thirty years ago. Today’s overbred personality disorders may do differently.

    Had a few Irish setters and a setter mix during childhood. Two English setters during early adulthood. The female was a rescued biter (unknown status until she bit someone), the male was smart, well-trained, and about perfect. Except he SHED. Was only aggressive with a person once. A repair guy, who for some reason, when he left out the front door, the male English setter went nuts and went after him. I was, fortunately for the repairman and my bank account, fast in those days.

    Probably the ‘baddest’ dog I ever had was a 70 lb. male Airedale. Physical specimen par excellence. He hiked steeply-elevated trails for miles, ran as much as I did…and I RAN. He never backed down from any dog. Both a male Doberman and a male American Staffordshire terrier (not a generic pit bull) found out the hard way. Unfortunately, that ‘tenacity’ was his downfall. When he growled at my crawling six-month old son the dog never came back in the house again.

    With all of these dogs in mind, in today’s overly-litigious society I am staying with the small dogs. They still warn, they still give me ample time to grab my preferred firearm and light, and that’s about all I need. Plus, as before, they make little s_it.

  52. Four Bullmastiffs — one male, who runs 140 lbs, and three females that tip the scales at around 120 lbs. Female Bullmastiffs actually make better guard/protection dogs than males.

  53. My donkey doesn’t like anybody but Mama (I am only tolerated be cause I feed him) He alerts first. Then the Guinea hens which then sets off the Doxies who wake up the lazy ass Bull Mastiff. Once had a friend from work start to climb the gate to goat pen where the donkey is when he saw the mastiff coming, Talk about jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, I can control my dog!

  54. I have a very large, straight back, intact, male German Shepherd whose unbroken pedigree goes all the way back to the East German lines (www.giantgermanshepherds.com). He’s protection trained by an ex-Marine (again, I don’t want to stupidly argue about ex or former) dog handler (bombs) and he’s exceptionally protective of his family and his territory.

    He’s trained to instantly raise a fuss if someone steps over the curb towards the house but to remain silent if passerbys remain in the street. He also sounds off ferociously if anyone so much as rings the doorbell or, especially, if someone knocks on the door.

    He’s also trained to take on a home invader coming into the house via windows or doors. And, he’s trained to clear a home, even a two story home and the premises of possible interlopers.

    We sleep with the windows open when it’s nice knowing that absolutely no one will ever get past that dog. I also keep an AR next to the bed (also don’t want to get into a debate about my Home Defense weapon).

    LF

  55. Our house is occupied by two spoiled kids (dogs) and their servants (us). The older boy is a 55 lb. hound mix that is very alert and protective to his pack. The 4 year girl is a German Shepard/Lab mix that is somewhat shy until it really counts.They are both very intimidating. At night they occupy their spot on the bed with my wife and I. Both are snugglers.No one is going to get to us without warning.They even bark at the other dogs walking on the wrong side of the street.We even know when the food delivery person arrives before they get out of the car.I’ve had times in my life without dogs and they were lonely times. To me dogs complete life.

  56. Great topic. Great responses. We have two German Shepherds, Doobie and Ruby, that are excellent watchdogs. Then we have the “second line,” two apple-head Chihuahuas that miss nothing. Then we have a Molly, a CatBull (Catahoula/American Bulldog), we haven’t figured out what she’ll be yet. Then there’s the “watch-guinea,” Oney (the “oney” one that survived) that thinks she’s a dog.

  57. No dogs these days. But there’s a 35 pound Siamiese/Maine Coon “cat” that hates all strangers. “Lucifer” is aptly named. Enter uninvited at own risk. If the cat don’t like you right off, leave. When he’s done with you, shooting you would be a mercy.

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