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Discussion Starter #1
I really don't have any interest in training my GSD to provide protection - at least any more than any other dog. I wouldn't mind if he barked when someone strange approached the house but he rarely barks so that is probably hit or miss. I figure that just his presence probably makes some people with evil intentions a little leary, but I don't want him to growl or lunge at anyone. I would feel much more comfortable with him in my house if I was fairly confident that he would never get aggressive with anyone.

Are their any other GSD owners like me out there?
 

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No, I don't expect my dog to do anything more then bark once or twice. I like being able to have him out with company over and not worrying about him thinking he needs to protect the house from them if they do something odd or wrong

Delgado has actually figured out the bark once, come and get mom and follow her to the door quietly routine :) Very handy
 

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my last GSD was protective and was trained to be protective
in certain instances. if i told him to attack i could call him off
and then you could pet him. if you knocked on the door he went
bunkers. when i opened the door and said "it's ok" you could enter
my house without feeling threaten by the dog. my dog was protective
along with being pet/companion/go everywhere dog.

i was going to train the dog i have now to be protective but
my GF is a massage therapist and she has clients that visit our
home for a massage. my GF didn't want our dog barking at the door
when people came for a massage. i didn't know how to train him
to bark at some and not other people so i went for the non-protective
dog. he was taught not to bark when someone is at the door. some of
my GF's clients perfer the dog to be in his crate when they're here,
some don't mind if he goes to his bed and some want him in the massage
room. there's a couple of clients that do the baby talk and get on the floor
with him when he greets them at the door. our dog is the total
pet/companion/go everywhere dog. we protect our dog and
we don't depend on him for protection.
 

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I really don't have any interest in training my GSD to provide protection - at least any more than any other dog. I wouldn't mind if he barked when someone strange approached the house but he rarely barks so that is probably hit or miss. I figure that just his presence probably makes some people with evil intentions a little leary, but I don't want him to growl or lunge at anyone. I would feel much more comfortable with him in my house if I was fairly confident that he would never get aggressive with anyone.

Are their any other GSD owners like me out there?
Yeah I just want a nice well behaved go anywhere dog.
I would like to do some obedience competitions but have no need for a PPD :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When i think about it my border collie/aussie girl was much more protective than my GSD and I never trained her to be protective. She was always watching out for suspicious looking people and she would bark up a storm. She also barked up a storm when someone came to the door. But she was all show. I never saw her do anything but bark at people at a distance (or on the other side of a door). Up close she jello bowl of love. I think in her case her protective behavior was in large part because we had young children at the time. My oldest was born when she was 1 and she immediately took on responsibility for his safety. She might have been more laid back if she hadn't taken on the job of parent.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Shade, I would love to train him to bark once when someone comes to the house, but I am so happy that he rarely barks that I don't think I want to upset the apple cart. I think a GSD is scary enough without barking and I don't want anyone in e neighborhood to be afraid of him.
 

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I have a well behaved go anywhere dog. Anyone can pet him and I have no fear of him biting anyone. He greets everyone with love and joy in or out of the home. We also do IPO and there is no conflict in his mind. He knows when it is time to engage the helper and he knows when it is over. The helper can walk up and pet him when the protection work is over.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Doggiedad, I find it really interesting how many people are afraid of a GSD just because he is a GSD. I wouldn't mind if ranger barked once at strangers that came to the house, but I am happy that he doesn't bark at the 6 and 4 yo girls that come to the door.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Robk, what does IPO stand for? I assume the "p"is for "protection"? Are they trained never to protect unless you command it?
 

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It is Schutzhund. The named changed last year. It is a three phased sport that includes protection.
 

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While I don't have any interest in protection training and do not feel the need for an individual dog to be suitable for protection work, I do want to know my dog comes from a breeding with the goal to produce dogs suitable for all aspects of the the work (IOW not a pet breeding, not necessarily a sport breeding,etc.)

I have to admit though.........some days.........some days a high drive field Golden looks mighty attractive. That said, if I wanted a dog like a Golden I would get a Golden.........
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh, okay. I see a lot of people talking about shutzhund on here but I don't know much about it. I get the impression that it has to do with obedience and protection, but I don't know anymore.
 

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Oh, okay. I see a lot of people talking about shutzhund on here but I don't know much about it. I get the impression that it has to do with obedience and protection, but I don't know anymore.
It is used to ensure the continued working ability of our breed.

Maybe this will help

 

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I consider my boy a deterrent & think he does a fine job. I always feel proud being with him when we are out and about.

Last Fall we went to a park we frequent often that has trails that winds through the woods. It was a leisuring walk, Indian Summer day. We came upon what I think was a drug deal in progress in the middle of the woods with some young kids and a older couple. They all froze when they saw my boy. It scared me. I didn't want to turn around and bring attention to myself. So I kept my head up and kept walking. The circle dispersed in a awkward way leaving the older couple just standing there. Rusty had his head up and was looking straight on them as we were walking. I passed said "good evening" and kept going. I was so thankful for him at that moment because if there was anything going on he gave them pause for sure. Good Boy! I later called our local police department to report suspicious activity. Appartently there was some local HS students that were involved in selling drugs and there were reports of them using parks in the area:eek:

I don't do protection work with him but really admire & respect the hard work that goes into it. Perhaps one day with a different GSD I will see myself training in schutzhund. It does interest me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Joycoyn you probably hit the nail on the head when you said if you wanted a golden you would have gotten a golden. I did not get ranger because he was a GSD. I kind of backed into owning a GSD when Ranger was dropped by the Seeing Eye program. Our other dog, Buzz, is a 70 pound blue merle aussie that really acts like a golden. People just love him. He is beautiful and laid back so he attracts a lot of attention. The funny part is that Buzz doesn't like people as much as Ranger does. Ranger wants to meet everyone. Other than our family, Buzz really only likes kids from the age of about 2 to 5. He can take or leave the rest of the people.
 

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That is a great Video (wish that had't put all the little cartoon graphics in tho LOL ) :) Wish I could learn to teach obedience just like that (I don't need the bite work and it's illegal here anyway but I would like to know HOW to teach it).
I admire anyone that has put that much work into a dog and has a dog that engages with them like that.
 

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you could train him to bark at the door and not bark at other times.
if someone is creeping around your house and your dog doesn't bark
they're not going to know you have a dog in the house.

Shade, I would love to train him to bark once when someone comes to the house, but I am so happy that he rarely barks that I don't think I want to upset the apple cart. I think a GSD is scary enough without barking and I don't want anyone in e neighborhood to be afraid of him.
 

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I often refer to myself as my dogs' "protection human." I do IPO but to have a protection dog is not the reason.
However, the protective character of GSDs is one of the qualities that attract me to the breed even though I have no use for it. There isn't one characteristic that I find attractive in the breed but the gestalt.
To me the GSD's protectiveness is an expression of courage which forms part of the character of the dog. Wouldn't you rather have a courageous friend than one who is not? Wouldn't you rather have a partner who has a strong character than one who does not?
A story: I have an 11 year old Czech male who has developed a late onset of adverse reaction to gun fire. He did not in his younger days. He has never had the best of nerves and primarily due to this is not of breeding quality, and failed short of a title. An excellent trainer would have been able to mask the weakness and still get the title-I am not that trainer.
A few months ago, I heard loud high caliber rifle fire in the forest next to my property. Hunting season was over so it greatly annoyed me because my family and kids from the neighborhood often walk in the forest at this time.
My GSD ran back into the house as soon as he heard the gunshot. I got into an angry shouting match with the out-of-season hunter. He threatened me with his rifle.
Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed a blur of sable. My GSD came running at top speed out of the house straight at my adversary. He jumped up at the 6 foot fence to go for the gun man and I just had enough time to pull his back legs because he was half-way over the top. Fortunately, his 11 year old legs did not have the strength that they used to have in his prime.
Courage-he overcame his genetic weak nerves because he is a courageous dog who felt the need to protect his master. That is the German shepherd's character.
 

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The kind of behaviour you describe from your border-collie/aussie is not protective behaviour, it is reactive behaviour. As you knew, it was all show.

Protection comes from an inner place of strength and confidence in a dog. A dog that is suspicious of everything and eveyone, can never settle, and feels that everything is a threat and feels the need to act tough to scare all potential threats away, just in case, is not protective, it is a scared, insecure dog. The barking and lunging at people in a normal, social setting is not protection, it is fear, and an over-reaction (thus, being reactive) over a non-threat.

Yes, I train in IPO (formerly Schutzhund). It was initially developed as a breed test for the GSD and has three phases: Tracking, Obedience, and Protection. The dog must complete and pass all three phases in a day.

Here are a couple of great, fun to watch, explanations about IPO aimed at people who are not all that familiar with the subject:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...tions-episode-1-elegance-ipo.html#post3097458

(Already posted! sorry!)


http://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...2-german-shepherd-curriculum.html#post3153106

A protection dog needs to be rock-solid in public and at home, otherwise, you coundn't have them out in public, or around guests, and what would be the point of having a protection dog that can't be out sharing your life with you?

My dogs come with me everywhere, are friendly, and safe with people and kids, horses and cats. The come to work with me sometimes, and they can hang out in my office, greeting people if I allow it, or staying put and waiting for me if I'm off to the photocopier when I tell them to (people are just astounded at this). Neither has ever barked or lunged at anyone inappropriately (well, okay. Keeta used to when newly adopted, but she needed socialization - she now loves everyone!).

I would wager to bet that the people who train IPO/protection, like myself, didn't get a dog FOR protection, they got one because they enjoy the training and the challenge that training provides, and the fun and bond that we have going through the journey of working together. I don't feel that I need to hide behind my dogs, (not saying that all people who get dogs for protection do that), as an adult, I can take care of myself, thank you very much!

For 99% of us, just having a dog that gives an alert bark in the house, or one that will walk next to you, quiet and well behaved when out in public, is one of the best deterrents and protection anyone needs.
 
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