What is the Best Protection/Watch Dog?Aug 27th, 2011 | By RhinoDoc | Category: BFTC Featured, Bug In
I have been giving a lot of thought to Guard Dogs vs. Watch Dogs and what is better for my family and me. I have always had medium to large sporting dogs growing up. With one exception to a mean rat terrier mix that would bite me every time we had to give it a bath. So the question that I have is what is the best dog to have for protection, and an early warning system?
I currently have a great pet and she is a great early warning system and she does keep a vigilant watch on the property. However, she would rather have the intruder rub her belly than anything else. So in one case she works out well on the other…not so much.
Some of my “friends” in the business think that the most aggressive dogs make the best protection dogs. You know the type American Bull, Rots, etc. I am not opposed to those dogs either, I do however think that if you have small children that they are not the bread for you. We can have the argument of nurture or nature all day long but my experience as a medic and the statistics bear out in my conclusion.
Most modern dog breeds will naturally act as guardians when at home, but some dog breeds have been especially developed or selectively bred for their natural inclination to guard and defend the territory and people they consider as having under their custody. One of the earliest duties of the domestic dog was guarding the property of its owners, whether that property is land, livestock or his owner’s home.
There is a distinction between guard dogs and watch dogs. A watchdog simply watches the home and alerts others to the intruder by barking. Watchdogs typically are smaller, more excitable breeds that will bark vigorously at the presence of an intruder or in most situations they experience as out of the ordinary. Many small and toy dog breeds, which would not qualify as guard dogs are excellent watch dogs, as their only duty is to alert their owners with their barking.
In some cases, however, a watchdog alone is not sufficient. A guard dog might be trained to restrain or attack the intruder. For example, livestock guardian dogs are often large enough and strong enough to attack and drive away predators such as wolves. In cases where intruders are more likely to be human, protection dogs may be needed to guard larger, isolated houses or in areas where burglars do not usually hesitate to enter the house even when the owner is at home.
A guard dog not only watches and alerts but also threatens the intruder to the point of retreat. Most guard dogs will instinctively do anything possible to protect their human family and the area they consider as their territory, ranging from dissuasion towards potential intruders until, eventually, attack. Fortunately, their intimidating appearance and low voice often is enough of a deterrent to any would-be intruder. Nevertheless, the trainability of a guardian dog should be on the top list of the qualities required of a guard dog. It is this quality that will ensure that the natural sense of territoriality and protectiveness of a guard dog remains within the limits set by the law.
The following is a list that I have complied by some internet research. This is not a scientific list nor am I a dog expert I am just well read on the subject. If you notice a dog that is not on the list please feel free to make a comment and tell the BFTCBear Flag Trading Co. www.bearflagtrading.com readers why you think that bread belongs on this list. Remember they are not in any particular order. Please note that ALL of these breeds are excellent guard dogs and that the differences in performance between these top guard dog breeds will ultimately depend on the breeding lines and training.
1. Fila Brasileiro
3. Doberman (female)
4. Dogo argentino
5. Belgian Shepherd Dogs
6. South-African Boerboel
7. Cane Corso
8. Tosa Inu
9. Neapolitan Mastiff
10. Dogue de Bordeaux
11. German Shepherd Dog
12. American Bulldog
13. Ca de Bou
14. Bouvier des Flandres
15. Giant Schnauzer
16. Thai Ridgeback
18. Akita Inu
Moreover, each of these breeds may present individuals displaying superior guard dog qualities that make them stand out even when confronted with dogs belonging to breeds that appear before them in this classification. The individual character, temperament, training and blood lines of a dog have more weight than his belonging to a specific breed. In some breeds females also tend to be more protective and have a stronger sense of territoriality than males. This classification, therefore, is only meant as a GENERAL guideline.
Another remark is that black dogs or dark-colored dog breeds are usually considered as more dissuasive than other colors. In self-reporting surveys among burglars black or darker dogs always appear as a stronger deterrent than any other coat color. That’s why black and dark colored breeds also score higher here.
A panel composed of dog breeders, veterinarians, cynologists and dog trainers have established a list of dog breeds especially suited for guard dog duties. Dog breeds that qualify as guard dogs must possess a natural inclination to protect along with a strong sense of territory. They usually are very wary of strangers. They stand out for their courage and their resistance to counter-attack. Other qualities considered as essential by the panel were: trainability, loyalty towards the owner, stress-resistance, watchfulness, and the deterrent factor. The deterrent factor includes not only the impression an individual dog makes because of his bulk, voice and color (black is more impressive than white) but also how recognizable the breed is as a guard breed (a Rottweiler or Doberman will be more easily recognized as a guard breed by a would-be intruder than an Akita or cross-breed, for example).
A guard dog may be trained simply to restrain an intruder with his owner’s guidance, as in Schutzhund training, but are not supposed to act as an attack dog, a dog specifically trained to assault an intruder, a use strictly reserved to professional security and under certain circumstances.
Attack dogs can be trained to attack on command and/or on an intruder’s trespassing on the territory the dog has the supervision over. Under many jurisdictions, an attack dog is considered a weapon and laws governing its possession as well as employment are strictly enforced. Most often, the owner of a dog is legally responsible for the injury inflicted by a dog, especially if the dog was trained to attack.