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Coward Strong looking Male

3502 Views 20 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  towtrip
I have 2 new GSDs and I need them to be more brave and tough.
I am Australian currently in Philippines and we really need good guard dogs.

I have had Buddy an excellent guard dog for about 7 years and we bought Xena a female as a puppy. We wanted a replacement for buddy because he was getting old so that's when Xena gave birth to Max. (The Father of Max is not buddy)

Xena and Max are both very big dogs but I am not impressed with their Guarding skills and bravery. I am very curious however if Buddy is making them weak or manipulating them somehow that his Mr Tough and they stand no chance.

Xena barks a little and max doesnt even care about the people outside. Xena is about 2 and a half years old and max is about 1 year 9 months. What annoys me is that when I practice shooting with an Air Gun the two BIG DOGS are frightened and HIDE from me while buddy the OLD fart who has 3 legs doesnt hide but gives a fake bark like his saying "dont worry Ill protect you"
(I dont shoot them of course lol)
It drives me crazy to see these BIG Dogs hide from an air gun I had a German Shepherd in Australia and he was excited every time he heard a bang while we were hunting. I also noticed Max goes up to buddy and starts Licking His Face with his ears down ahhh I hate it looks so gay. Is buddy brainwashing them because he knows max will dominate him or are my 2 dogs really just weak?
How can i get them more brave or at least bark aggressively at strangers? Does buddy have to go? His already about 10 years old now. When I say go I mean away from the other dogs not get put down

I would truely appreciate any help.
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Reality check here: The dog who barks at the airgun is expressing zero protection. Really. His nerves are jangled.

You however have nothing to worry about. You want GSDs who will bark when an intruder comes-- you have that. You do not want GSDs who bite an intruder, unless you are scandalously wealthy and keep an attorney on retainer.

If your young dog puts his ears down while licking the older dog's face, you need to congratulate yourself for finding a dog with the good sense to be so conversant in correct doggy body language. The forum is filled with dogs who have lost the ability.

Reality is that the dogs who do NOT bark are often MORE CONFIDANT than the dogs who bark-bark-bark. (Think about it.. who is more in control of himself and capable: the street punk who won't stop telling you how tough he is, or the quiet man who's a military war hero?) Barking is often about weak nerves, excitability. Not always, but very often.

And.. I am certain that you couldn't possibly have meant that you might send Buddy, a senior dog, away and re-home him elsewhere because you feel the other dogs are not learning to bark enough.....
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This isn't Buddy's issue, or Xena's or Max's ... it's yours.

You are wanting the dogs to be something they're not. You haven't said what kind of "guarding" you're wanting, but if you're talking about a dog to leave in the yard and tear an intruder to bits, you'd be better off with a fila brasiliero, mastiff, or similar guarding dogs.

If you're looking for a personal protection dog, you need to start with a dog that has the desire and temperament to do that work. Not all dogs are suitable and there is nothing you can do to make them suitable... Even among littermates, you may find some of the pups that can and will do personal protection work and some that can't and won't. (BTW, if you're thinking a dog looks "gay" because he is showing respect to his pack leader, you need to learn a whole lot more about dogs.) Then, once you have the appropriate dog, you need to spend hours and hours with appropriate training to give them (and you) the skills to do the work properly.

Quite frankly, I think I'd probably love Xena and Max (provided you haven't ruined them by trying to make them mean). They are probably much more suitable for 99% of the households that have, or want to have, German shepherds than the kind of dog you're wanting.

Also, personal protection dogs aren't necessarily "mean" dogs. They are often very nice, friendly, social dogs unless/until their person is threatened. A good guardian dog (like a mastiff or fila) often appears lumbering, slow and half-asleep until there is an intruder onto its property. Good "guard dogs" shouldn't appear to be guard dogs at any time other than when there is a breach of the person/property they're guarding.
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Originally Posted By: JohnPro Is buddy brainwashing them
This is, quite frankly, one of the funniest comments I've seen on this board in a long, long time. Dogs are incapable of "brainwashing." That requires a kind of inscrutible, twisted mental manipulation only seen in untrustworthy creatures such as humans.
Hi, I am John's father. Thank you for the replies. There is no way that we would be sending Buddy anywhere. This is his home and he has been a loyal loving family guard dog for 10 years. His bark is very intimidating, though I am not sure if he is a biter. We have had an ordeal with him (where he was run over by a truck) and we spent 6 months taking care of him. He now only has 3 legs and is old but well looked after with a good diet, vitamins, daily grooming and massage. We love him dearly.

Xena is also an excellent dog and a good family protector. She doesnt bark very often, however she is strong, healthy and a fine family dog and personal protector.

The youngest dog (Max) seems to do nothing but play. He is almost 2 years old and I was wondering why he shows no guarding ability at this particular time. We live in a rather tough environment an I am on assignment in Mindanao (terrorist etc.) and security is of high priority. We don't want our dogs to tear people to pieces, but we do need basic guard dogs. Buddy and Xena work well together. I would just like to see if Max can display the same gaurding skills as the other dogs. Do you think he is dependent on his mother and Buddy and therefore he just relies on them to deal wih any security problems?

Am i correct to assume that the more love that you put in to the dogs, then the more protective they will become and hence a better family guard dog?

I appreciate all replies and any information.


John Burnett
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First off 99% of people need a deterrent more than a "protection" dog. Dogs need to be trained properly over their entire life to become a good PPD. It doesnt sound like any of your dogs have the foundation laid to do what you think you need them to do.

Quote:We wanted a replacement for buddy because he was getting old so that's when Xena gave birth to Max.
Quote:Xena barks a little and max doesnt even care about the people outside. Xena is about 2 and a half years old and max is about 1 year 9 months.
So Xena was a "pre-teen" when she became a mother? She would have been bred at 7 months and given birth at 9 months. One answer would be she never had a chance to grow up and mature. If she has weak nerves that would affect Max as well.

Max is still a puppy himself.

Do I dare I ask what makes Buddy an "excellent guard dog?"
My 12 wk old male is very alert to people walking by and he will growl the odd time or bark at a stranger if they approach the veranda or yard. Will this become a problem?? If we are out in public he greats everyone with a paw (((so cute)) and is very friendly.
nitesong, a 12 week old puppy that is growling is growling because it is afraid or fearful. 12 week old puppies are not being protective.

JohnPro, as long as Max is with his mother Xena, he will always follow her and take his lead from her. She is the Alpha female, she is older and will rule the pup.
Well all we need is a dog to warn an intruder and if he is stupid enough to jump into the property I want my dog to bite him to stop him from continuing and be called off with one command. Someone is always home and the only reason someone would jump the fence is if he was a thief or killer. Dont bother about laws, sueing etc. I would rather my dog killed him than hurt any of us trust me guys it happens here.

Btw buddy is excellent because he does just what I said above warns them then bites them if they will continue. He also does'nt bark at every single person only the ones that go near the gate which is the only point of entry.

Thanks about the Max and Mother thing, I guess thats not so bad Xena does bark and MaX I hope will become like buddy but people are saying I cant control that 'oh well I'll just have to keep waiting but he better hurry buddy is really old
I'll try giving him more and more love.
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Some of what you have posted is very disturbing to read and I certainly hope you are not serious in what you are saying regarding wanting your dogs to kill intruders. It also makes me wonder what training, if any, you are doing with these dogs. Dogs need to learn acceptable behaviour and commands and to just "keep waiting" to see what will happen is not at all the best plan!!

All dogs have innate traits but certain breeds were developed by only breeding dogs with the required traits to best perform those tasks. However, indiscriminant breeding of a dog before it shows "what is made of" means you will have no idea of the character of the adult dog let alone any resultant pups. It seems you have been very fortunate to have ended up with dogs with reasonable temperament.

However, you certainly need an education in not only interpreting dog behaviour and body language but also in describing your interpretations in not only incorrect but (to me) in an offensively derogative manner. Fortunately, not all Australians think as you do.
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I agree, this is all very disturbing....

The only way to get what you want is to have a dog with the genetic temperament for this sort of work, which these dogs may or may not have, AND to have it properly trained by a knowledgeable, skilled trainer in personal and property protection.
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You have to train your dogs and most importantly YOURSELF.
To say it looks gay when the omega dog licks the alpha is the all time looniest thing I have read. (no offence intended). I just think it showls your lack of maturity.

EDUCATION is the key to your happiness.
I think we have two OP's here -- JohnPro and his dad, who I'll call JPDad.

JPDad posted:
Quote: The youngest dog (Max) seems to do nothing but play. He is almost 2 years old and I was wondering why he shows no guarding ability at this particular time.
It may simply be that he's never had a reason/need to do it. As long as Xena and Buddy have things under control, his role in this family structure is to do just what he's doing ... growing up, learning to play and love his family.

There are "protection dogs" and then "protective dogs." The first require rigorous training by qualified, skilled trainers, working in concert with the handler so that the dog can do military or police-type work. The other are family pets that have learned enough obedience to respond to their owners, but will step up to the plate when necessary. The vast majority of owners need (and are capable of handling) "protective" dogs, but not necessarily "protection" dogs.

Most German shepherds, regardless of how goofy they behave most of the time, are protective dogs. You may not see them guarding, but if something truly threatens their "pack," which includes the human members of their family, that goofy facade falls away quickly and becomes a stony-stared, toothy, growl. (BTW, I believe that the quiet dogs are actually the more scary. Barking dogs are giving a ton of warnings because they don't want to have to engage, whereas a quiet dog (sometimes with a very low growl and often with a hard stare) is ready to take someone out.)

I have a ton of stories and examples I could give, but I have yet to meet a German shepherd that won't do what's necessary to protect his family, no matter how mild-mannered he/she appears on a regular basis. The key is that the dog has to be bonded with the family ... live in the house, get daily attention from his people, spend as much time as possible with the people.
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I think the biggest things we have to take into accout is that John is in a hostile environment in the phillipines with terrorists.

I'm guessing he stationed there and hes probably one of the few white people in that area where white people aren't supposed to be. Now I don't agree with using the dogs in this manner but I've seen worse in the same situtations. He wants a sense of protection like an alarm system. If someone comes onto his property, it's not a random stranger, it's a killer or thief.

Problem with online communities is we don't know exactly how people are coming across with their tone being serious or sarcastic. Nor do we know their in real life situtations so we can only assume.

John, treat your dogs like you love them. Train them for regular obedience. I'm sure you don't have any access to professional trainers but if you just give them a normal life, I'm sure they will have no problem barking at intruders in the middle of the night. If you have a 100% friendly gsd, embrace it. Don't get mad at it.

In any line of work, the last line of safety is yourself, don't rely on anyone else. Or any dog that matter.
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Wrenny is right, this can be a very hostile place. I really think a professional trainer is needed in this situation. If you want a pet, get a pet, if you want a protection dog, buy one or pay to have one trained. Professionals know the temperment that is needed for personal protection dogs of this sort so you are never left guessing about the reaction. All on their own, GSD's will defend you with their last breath if needed and if the bond is there.....I couldnt risk it personally and would probably be defending the dog instead....
I would also suggest rotating the dogs, too... keeping at least one in the house with the family at all times, for bonding and loving. One week it's Buddy indoors, one week Max, one week Xena. Just an idea. Besides, if God forbid anyone were to toss multiple delicious steaks at the outside dogs, at least one dog would be guarding the family indoors.
Can't edit my post but I'd like to clear up two things.

Originally Posted By: wrenny

I'm guessing he stationed there and hes probably one of the few white people in that area where white people aren't supposed to be.

John, treat your dogs like you love them.

1) Maybe I shouldn't have generalized your race as white but sorry if anyone takes offense.

2) Love your dogs, remove the like from my statement.
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To all of you that replied

Thank you for all of your opinions. Please excuse my son (john Jnr) as he is only 15 years old and obviously has a lot to learn. I guess in his own way, he is hoping that the dogs will save our lives if an event was to arise. Subsequently, we do have weapons for serious threats.

The dogs are part of our family and more helpful as "alarm bells". Max is the only dog that does not bark, my guess is that he feels very confident with Buddy and Xena's ability to take care of things.

Best of luck to you all and thank you for your time.


John Burnett
John, I think Max may suprise you some day. My Ava rarely barks, as a matter of fact I could probably count on both hands how many times that has been and she is almost 2. But the few times she has barked, she meant it. She is a happy go lucky girl that seems to love everyone and everything and I used to tease that she would most likely lick someone to death before showing them where we keep our valuables. Not long ago though, she was seriously barking and growling at my side door, I got up and looked, I saw nothing and told her so, she kept up the commotion so I told her it was time for bed......not 5 min later we heard husband said the police where in the neighborhood for an hour....I now have complete faith in my girl.
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