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I really wanna get a GSD to make my house a safer place and a companion for myself. My house is a haven for burglars for YEARS and I'm sick of it. Sooner or later they will try something bolder and they might harm my family. I want my dog to nab those :censored:. :mad:

I did quite a lot of research and I discovered that GSDs are prone to hip problems. The other requirements for raising a GSD suits me perfectly but the hips really bug me... A lot of vets in my place are nothing but cheapskates while seeking help from the experienced and reliable ones can burn a hole in my parents' pockets. From where I come from, dogs are not given any special attention, therefore, strays are everywhere... My parents are all on a budget and if anything happens to the dog... I won't forgive myself.:cry:

Does a rottie fare well or a GSD?
 

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I own an almost 2 year old male GSD and my cousin and her 9 month old male Rottweiler live with me.

IMO this is how they are different.

My GSD has alot more energy than her Rott, my GSD can run and jump and play all day, her Rott is tired after about 5 minutes of running.

My GSD is more agile and careful when he walks (you can barely hear him on the hardwood floor) her Rott is clumsy, he is like a bull in a china shop, he trips, slides, knocks things over and you can hear him from the other side of the house.

My GSD is strong but he doesn't use his body against me, her Rott is very strong and he uses force to move me, her, my GSD or another object. He is very hard to move, like a brick wall.

My GSD barks when there is someone at the door or someone in the driveway, her Rott barks at EVERYTHING.

My GSD eats less than her Rott does. Her Rott is about 10 pounds heavier than my GSD and he isn't even full grown.

Her Rott drools alot and farts, my GSD doesn't do either.

I will say Rotts might be more intimidating to others than a GSD. Her Rott has a louder and deeper bark also.

As for health problems, I would think that Rotts would be more prone to health problems because they are larger and carry more weight. They can get HD and bloat just like GSD's. They can also have eye problems. JMO.
 

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Thanks LaRen616.
According to your descriptions, I'd say the GSD is perfect for midnight stealth attacks on thieves :wild:. Ooooooh I really want those thieves as chew toys for my dog!!!!! Aaaaargghhh!!!!! :mad:

Still, I need more opinions on which type of dogs to choose.

Although it's just hearsay, GSDs are prone to hip problems compared to the rottie. Also, the cost of keeping a GSD happy and healthy is higher than that of a rottie... Is it true? I don't want to burden my parents. Quite a number of things were stolen from my house and it's bad enough for my parents to waste so much money on a sickly dog which is supposed to keep the house safe...

A rottie can scare any would-be offenders away but I really like it if my dog can pin the baddies down.
 

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These are two extremely different breeds temperament wise. All breeds and mixes can be prone to certain health issues, so I'm not sure you aren't over thinking the hip issue a bit. According to OFA's website, Rotties have more excellent hip ratings than GSDs but GSDs have slightly less dysplastic ratings. See the statistics here: Orthopedic Foundation for AnimalsBoth breeds can be prone to other problems such as bloat and eye disorders (I'm thinking PRA in Rotties and Pannus in GSDs). Rotties are extremely prone to ACL injuries (very pricey to repair - $1200-3000 per knee) and bone cancer. GSDs can also have epilepsy. None of those are problems which can be screened for. Mixed breeds can have all of those things too. There is no "cheap dog".

Your best bet is to decide what breed suits you best, research the health issues and by from a knowledgeable breeder who health tests and researches pedigrees. It doesn't guarantee your dog will never have any kind of problem but it certainly tips the odds much more in your favor.
 

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Thanks LaRen616.
According to your descriptions, I'd say the GSD is perfect for midnight stealth attacks on thieves :wild:. Ooooooh I really want those thieves as chew toys for my dog!!!!! Aaaaargghhh!!!!! :mad:

Still, I need more opinions on which type of dogs to choose.

Although it's just hearsay, GSDs are prone to hip problems compared to the rottie. Also, the cost of keeping a GSD happy and healthy is higher than that of a rottie... Is it true? I don't want to burden my parents. Quite a number of things were stolen from my house and it's bad enough for my parents to waste so much money on a sickly dog which is supposed to keep the house safe...

A rottie can scare any would-be offenders away but I really like it if my dog can pin the baddies down.
I dont know to be honest.

My GSD went through 2 battles with Demodex Mange but it is common and not a huge medical problem.

My cousin spends more money on food because her Rott eats more than my GSD.

Rotts can have HD, bloat, eye and ear problems.

Rottweiler health problems

Health Concerns facing the Rottweiler

"Bloat or gastric dilation – this can happen suddenly due to overeating, or drinking too much water. The life of the dog will depend on fast medical intervention; hence you should be able to read the tell-tale signs as early as possible. The signs include distention of the stomach, attempts to throw up without any result, weakness.

Cancer of the bone – Rottweilers are highly prone to cancer. Early signs of cancer are breaking of the leg for no apparent reason. Check your dog for cancer if this happens. If caught in time, the cancer can be checked sufficiently to give your pet a full and fruitful life.

Cancer of the immune system cells – if your Rottweiler has no appetite, is pathetically thin, vomits all the time, is always thirsty and suffers from diarrhea, then he might be suffering from this type of cancer. Early diagnosis may help to some extent to improve the quality of life of your pet.

The Rottweiler is prone to hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.

Another serious disease that might affect your Rottweiler is OCD (Osteochondrosis Dissecans) which induces limping due to painfully inflamed joints like arthritis. Often more than one joint will be affected making it very painful for the dog to move.

Rottweilers also tend to develop hypothyroidism, i.e. reduced amounts of thyroid hormone is released into the blood stream which affects the way it thinks, the way it understands its surrounding, etc. This disease can be pretty trying on the trainer since the brain ability is slowed down by the malfunctioning of the thyroid gland. There are Rottweiler care methods which can help in drastically improving this condition once it is diagnosed.

There are other diseases such as PRA (progressive retina atrophy) and CPRA (central progressive retina atrophy) which affect the Rottweiler. They may also suffer from epilepsy in rare cases.

Bone/joint disease – you can diagnose this easily if you find the dog limping, even if it is without pain; other symptoms would include the animal’s unwillingness to play or move around.

Subaoritc stenosis – this is usually a genetic problem which may result in sudden death. There is little you can do if your Rottweiler is suffering from this problem."
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Will a GSD suffer from hip problems at a young age? The GSD is one active dog and I can't lock him up all day just to prevent him from getting hip problems. It would drive him insane!! All I want is a healthy dog...
 

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GSD Health Problems

GSD Health Problems - German Shepherd Health Problems

"Chronic pancreatitis (suspected genetic) - lack of enzymes that digest fat and protein; chronic weight loss

Cryptorchidism (suspected genetic) - undescended testicle(s)

Degenerative myelopathy (unknown) - spinal degeneration in older dogs (Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyleopathy - CDRM) Generally appears from middle age. The degeneration occurs over time, beginning with hind limb weakness. Although initial signs resemble hip dysplasia, in actuality, it is the degeneration of the spinal cord rather than hip joints.

Diabetes mellitus (recessive) - onset of insulin deficiency at 2-6 months

Elbow dysplasia (dominant) - progressive developmental deformity of elbow joints, symptomless to crippling, may be polygenic. Characterized by an onset of severe lameness at between 4 and 6 months of age. There are three different types of elbow dysplasia: UAP (ununited anconeal process), FCP (fractured coronoid process), and OCD (osteochondrosis). Final health diagnosis can only be made by radiograph. OFA now certifies elbows as well as hips.

Epilepsy (recessive) - recurrent seizures onset between 1-3 years old. This may possibly be transmitted genetically. The disorder may not express itself until the German Shepherd Dog is about three to four years old. There is no way of testing for the disease until the German Shepherd actually has a seizure.

Hip dysplasia (polygenic) - progressive developmental deformity of hip joints, symptomless to crippling.
Basically, the hip joint is not constructed properly. Dysplastic German Shepherd Dogs can vary from minor problems to severe dislocation of the hips.This condition is generally considered to be inherited. GSD breeding stock should be OFA certified or given an "A" certificate if from Germany. Pedigree, exercise, diet,and other factors can play a role in the extent that the dog exhibits a existing predisposition to HD as well.

Intervertebral disc disease (suspected genetic) - slipped disc, pain, weakness to paralysis of limbs

Osteochondritis dessicans (suspected genetic) - growth disorder of shoulder cartilage; pain, lameness (OCD)

Panosteitis (suspected genetic) - (Commonly called "long bone disease," "wandering lameness," "growing pains" or simply "pano.") Acute shifting lameness of growing dogs, deep bone pain, self-limiting. Caused by excessive bone production on the long bones, it is generally seen between 5-12 months of age. Dogs will generally grow out of the problem, but it is a painful condition. Pano leaves no lasting ill affects on a German Shepherd dog and diet is thought to play a role. German Shepherd puppies usually completely outgrow Pano by 18 months. Enforced rest is usually prescribed with no use of painkillers since the German Shepherd puppies will play more without pain, and may exacerbate the condition.

Retinal atrophy (suspected genetic) - (generalized) PRA - retina degenerates causing first night blindness then total blindness.

Soft ears (recessive) - weak ear musculature. All German Shepherd's are born with floppy ears. Normal GSD ears will begin to stand up on their own in the 2nd or 3rd month. Some GSD's ears will never develop the musculature to stand erect. This is an inherited recessive trait. Though soft ears primarily affects a German Shepherd dog's showability (hanging ears are a disqualification), soft-eared GSD's are also more prone to ear infections.

Ununited anchoneal process (dominant) - elbow dysplasia; pain and limp in front legs.


von Willebrand's disease (dominant) - bleeding disorder. A blood disease, an inherited dominant condition, that can include mucosal bleeding. Clinical blood tests must be done to distinguish this from other conditions. Results of breeding two VWD dogs are lethal. VWD is autosomal and not sex-linked."


 

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Will a GSD suffer from hip problems at a young age? The GSD is one active dog and I can't lock him up all day just to prevent him from getting hip problems. It would drive him insane!! All I want is a healthy dog...
Wether you get a Rottweiler or a GSD, if you get him/her from a reputable breeder you have a better chance of getting a healthy dog. Reputable breeders health test their dogs before breeding them.

If you get one from a BYB you could end up with a dog that has alot of health problems. BYB's put 2 dogs together, breed them and sell them without doing any health testing. They could and would breed a dog that has HD.
 

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I have to agree that buying a dog from a reputable breeder has a lot to do with health issues. If you buy online or not seeing the place or the parents the dog came from, you could be asking for trouble no matter which breed you pick. Research blood lines and backgrounds from the breeders you are considering. Visit the kennel and see the parents if you can. I wouldn't trade my GSD's for anything, but the best deterrent to burglary I know of is the picture of my GSD on my door that says "This is my house" and the NRA sticker on my window. We've never had a burglary yet. I also have a picture of Pyrate doing a recall at 1 year old that says "Looters will be eaten" that I put up after Hurricanes.
 

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When comparing the temperament and training of the two breeds, be sure to compare dogs that have been actively raised and trained in a similar manner. The description above about the GSD vs Rott is really inaccurate. Rotts can be a bit more hard headed, but are extremely intelligent and highly trainable dogs. The above poster is comparing a GSD who has been raised and trained by her since 8 or 10 weeks old to a rottweiler that her roommate has that has received absolutely no training.

Don't blame the breed for the owners actions (or rather, inactions).

OP - both breeds are very prone to similar problems, and both come with their fair share of medical concerns. Financially you need to be prepared, because even a dog from a well bred litter can have problems. Kodi's family had all hip clearances and he ended up with the worst hip dysplasia our vet had ever seen. He also had allergies, a bone disorder, and who knows what else would have cropped up. Our rescues have the best health of all our dogs.
 

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When comparing the temperament and training of the two breeds, be sure to compare dogs that have been actively raised and trained in a similar manner. The description above about the GSD vs Rott is really inaccurate. Rotts can be a bit more hard headed, but are extremely intelligent and highly trainable dogs. The above poster is comparing a GSD who has been raised and trained by her since 8 or 10 weeks old to a rottweiler that her roommate has that has received absolutely no training.

Don't blame the breed for the owners actions (or rather, inactions).

OP - both breeds are very prone to similar problems, and both come with their fair share of medical concerns. Financially you need to be prepared, because even a dog from a well bred litter can have problems. Kodi's family had all hip clearances and he ended up with the worst hip dysplasia our vet had ever seen. He also had allergies, a bone disorder, and who knows what else would have cropped up. Our rescues have the best health of all our dogs.
I never said that the Rott was not smart and I never said he couldn't be trained.

He is clumsy, and you can hear him across the house because he is heavier.

Her Rott does not have the same energy as my GSD.

Her Rott does eat alot more than my GSD.

Her Rott is also heavier than my GSD by about 10 pounds and he isn't even full grown.

I dont know if you have never lived with a Rottweiler or not but this dog drools ALOT and he also farts daily.

I never said the Rott wasn't smart or isn't easy to train.
 

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I really wanna get a GSD to make my house a safer place and a companion for myself. My house is a haven for burglars for YEARS and I'm sick of it. Sooner or later they will try something bolder and they might harm my family. I want my dog to nab those :censored:. :mad:

?
either dog will be no match for a burglar who has a weapon and wants to do them harm. i look at my dogs role as possibly an early warning system and nothing more. they might dissuade someone from breaking in, but the idea that you expect your dog to "nab" a burglar is not a truly realistic way the situation would go down. it is my job to keep my dogs safe.

if you are serious about keeping your house a safer place, get an alarm system and/or purchase a firearm and take a defensive firearm class.
 

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In all fairness to rottie's....this 9 month old rottweiler in this post has no training and is not exercised like the GSD so is not going to have the stamina of the GSD, according to previous posts.

A very good friend of mine had a rottweiler from German lines. His father bred them and was very careful about his lines. That rottweiler was very friendly, outgoing and very well trained. My brother has a rottie who is very well trained, intelligent and wonderful with their baby.

You get out what you put in. If you are trying to decide between the breeds, ask on a rottweiler forum. Find some good breeders of both breeds and meet with them.

All breeds carry some disposition for health problems. Hip problems are more prone in ALL large breeds, as well as bloat.

I own an almost 2 year old male GSD and my cousin and her 9 month old male Rottweiler live with me.

IMO this is how they are different.

My GSD has alot more energy than her Rott, my GSD can run and jump and play all day, her Rott is tired after about 5 minutes of running.

My GSD is more agile and careful when he walks (you can barely hear him on the hardwood floor) her Rott is clumsy, he is like a bull in a china shop, he trips, slides, knocks things over and you can hear him from the other side of the house.

My GSD is strong but he doesn't use his body against me, her Rott is very strong and he uses force to move me, her, my GSD or another object. He is very hard to move, like a brick wall.

My GSD barks when there is someone at the door or someone in the driveway, her Rott barks at EVERYTHING.

My GSD eats less than her Rott does. Her Rott is about 10 pounds heavier than my GSD and he isn't even full grown.

Her Rott drools alot and farts, my GSD doesn't do either.

I will say Rotts might be more intimidating to others than a GSD. Her Rott has a louder and deeper bark also.

As for health problems, I would think that Rotts would be more prone to health problems because they are larger and carry more weight. They can get HD and bloat just like GSD's. They can also have eye problems. JMO.
 

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I agree with roxy84, post a picture of a dog and get an alarm system.

Dogs are expensive, and both these breeds can cost a lot of money in care. I can hear your frustrations, but frankly, I would be concerned to get a dog for those reasons, because I would be concerned that the dog would not be given the loving home and care that it deserves and requires.
 

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Both breeds can be expensive to care for. I have not had any major medical problems with my Shepherds yet. Although I do have one with HD, it has yet to be symptomatic. Like otehrs have said- Your best bet is to find a reputable breeder with healthy breeding stock.

As far as Rotts vs. GSDs. I prefer the GSDs. I have met 2 kinds of Rotts. The kind that are smart and lovable and make excellent pets- but probably wouldn't do much of anything in terms of guarding. The other kind is a little unbalanced. And I've met 3 or 4 that were this way...enough for me to feel that there is a breed predisponsition amongst the males. Dogs that showed alot of human aggression and did a number of unprovoked attacks. The family dog that bit the wife in the face when she took his bone- even though she'd done it a number of times before without a problem. The dog that bit a group member during a BH routine. The dog that was under training for aggression to strangers and was recommended to be PTS, which was ignored until it mauled it's owner. I'm not saying that it's ALL Rotts. But it's not necesarily a dog for an inexperienced dog owner. I always worry when people go out looking for these guard breeds and come home with the biggest male they can find. Some are teddy bears...but some are most certainly not. This problem can occur in GSDs too...but I don't think it's anywhere near as prevalent. Most GSDs seem to be very willing to accept leadership from their owners.

And this takes me to my last point. Dogs as Protection. Please be aware that the best you can expect from an untrained dog in terms of home defense is as a deterrent. Sort of like the ADT sticker some people put in their windows. A barking dog will make an intruder think twice and maybe pick another house. But if the intruder is determined they will come prepared to deal with the dog. Even the best protection dogs rely mostly on their reputation to deter the threat. Then the dog is used mostly to buy the human with the gun some time. So when picking a pup, don't pick the one that you think is the most "protective"- you never see protective instincts in a pup. Pick the one that is confident and outgoing and will be an appropriate companion for the household- after all that's really going to be the dog's primary job.
 

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I think as advised, it's much better to get a well bred dog whichever you choose. Health problems can be unpredictable and you are right, expensive. It is wise to seek a dog with a genetic history of good health.
Having had both breeds I can say that the GSD is more likely to bark to deter intruders, whereas a Rotti more likely to quietly let them in but corner them and not let them out. Both defend, guard, & protect. Either can prevent break-ins simply by appearance alone.
A GSD is more biddable & easier to train, a Rott can be stubborn. Both my dogs were friendly and loving to family, friends, and animals. My Rott was extremely tolerant and gentle with my kids when they were young, (my 1st GSD was gone by that time so I can't know how she would have been with them.) The GSD is more serious, even playtime is work for this breed. Whereas the Rott was a clown and could be very comical and goofy.
A Rott is easier to care for. Doesn't require as much exercise or grooming. Both are intelligent and will need mental stimulation. Mine was certainly not clumsy. But she did lean on me and stepped on my feet often, which I think she did intentionally. I've seen other Rottis do the same. My Rott was more affectionate and I often referred to her as a teddy bear. Both breeds can be aloof to strangers. Both require strong leadership and training.
I guess I was lucky, neither my dogs had hd, bloat, or cancer. But any dog can be expensive to care for in old age when health fails and you should be aware of that and prepared.
My Rott did not eat more, maybe op notices that because the Rott she lives with is young. Any young dog eats a tremendous amount of food. Far more than an adult. That is true of both breeds.
I love both breeds, but personally prefer GSD. However, you need to fully understand how important it is to put in the work this breed requires.
Caring for any dog will cost money even if they are healthy. Food, vaccinations, spay/neuter, etc. Many adult dogs are abandoned, rehomed, or even killed because people are not prepared for the expense that even a healthy vital dog can incur. Research what these expenses are likely to amount to and make sure your family is prepared for that commitment.
Good luck.
 

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I should add that although the presence of any larger dog, esp these breeds can deter a break in, it is no guarantee. Even if the dog is trained in protection work, they are no match for an intruder who comes prepared for your dog with meat or a weapon.
My friend's home was broken into while a GSD was present. The dog was found shut away in a back room. So merely owning one of these dogs is no guarantee against bad business characters.
And lastly... even though I do feel better about leaving my house knowing the dogs are there, I consider it more my role to protect them than the other way around. They are not professional working dogs after all. They are beloved pets.
 

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Will a GSD suffer from hip problems at a young age? The GSD is one active dog and I can't lock him up all day just to prevent him from getting hip problems. It would drive him insane!! All I want is a healthy dog...
Excessively limiting activity is the absolute worst thing you can do for their physical health, especially while they are growing. I actually knew a GSD who had to be PTS because he was crippled due to his owner thinking keeping him confined 18-20 hours a day and never allowing him to run or walk up stairs until he was 3 years old would prevent him from having joint problems. It doesn't work that way. Research shows that animals, including humans have better bone and muscle development when they have good exercise during growth. Dogs who do have hip dysplasia do best when they are kept well exercised, muscular and lean. Not to down play the problem but many people have no idea that their dog has hip dysplasia until they are older and develop arthritis from it.

I'm not really sure what to suggest for you. There is absolutely no way to guarantee that any dog of any breed or mix you get will never develop a costly health problem. None of my GSDs had hip dysplasia. One of my GSDs was epileptic and had to be PTS due to uncontrollable seizures at 3 years old. I still have his half sister and she is in great health at 13, very little arthritis and (knock on wood) has never had any major health problem. My other GSD is also 13 and has arthritis issues in her old age but like the other dog has not had any major health issues. However, she had to have a toe amputated when she was 3 or 4. I have a 12 year old Belgian who is extremely healthy but had to have her spleen removed last summer. I also have 3 year old Belgian with an infected tooth. Those all cost money to treat, need to be treated and are not things which can be prevented or foreseen. Just every day emergencies that come with dog ownership.

And genetic health issues don't just affect purebred dogs. Someone who took puppy class with me just had her 9 month old mixed breed puppy diagnosed with pancreatic insufficiency, a genetic disorder that requires expensive medication through the dog's entire life. My mixed breed had hypothyroidism, which also requires daily medication but luckily is not terribly expensive. Someone I "know" from another forum spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to treat her mixed breed's cancer, once as a young dog and again as an older dog. Years ago a friend had a shelter dog who died young due to uncontrollable seizures. There is a risk to owning a dog, as living creatures any number of things can go wrong at any time. Some genetic, some not but most are not predictable.

I don't get the impression that you will want to pay $1000 - 2000+ for a well bred GSD or Rott puppy from health tested lines. If you are sure you really want a dog (for reasons of companionship, not just because your house has been broken into) and all that dog ownership entails (training, socialization, vet care and especially expenses of owning a dog) then IMO your best bet may be to adopt a shelter dog or get an adult rehome from local classifieds such as Craigslist.

I doubt there are many places in the country where you can't find adult purebred GSDs or Rotts in shelters or classifieds needing homes. If you can't decide between the two, GSD/Rott mixes are probably fairly plentiful too. I'd also very much encourage you to consider large, dark colored adult mixed breeds as an option as well. Large dark colored dogs, especially black ones have been found in surveys to be the most intimidating to people. And likely for that reason, large black dogs often have the hardest time getting adopted. You can read a bit about that here: Black Dog Syndrome To find GSDs or Rotts needing homes check petfinder and classifieds regularly.

When you get an adult dog from a reputable shelter or rescue or honest owner you generally can get an idea about the dog's temperament. Very often for the adoption fee, you can get a dog who is already fully vetted (vaccinated, wormed, spayed or neutered), housetrained or started on it and if you're lucky maybe even one who knows some basic cues. Some shelters and rescues have "prison programs" where inmates train shelter dogs for 4-8 weeks and if you can get a dog from such a program the dog will have a great start on training.

As far as the dog's ability to protect you, you can't expect most dogs even GSD or Rotts to know how to protect you without training. Some do but many will not do anything more than bark or maybe nip at the threat. It takes a long time and a lot of dedicated training, not to mention a dog with the right temperament to make a reliable personal protection dog. Everyone wants to believe their dog would always protect them but when push comes to shove, it very often doesn't happen that way with untrained dogs or dogs who don't have the proper temperament for that sort of thing. But the good news is that generally all dogs have to do to protect you is be present and make noise. A large, barking dog of any sort is enough to scare off probably 95% of anyone who might casually consider breaking into your home to steal your stuff. Even if the person doesn't happen to fear your dog, the noise will attract unwanted attention, encouraging them to move on to an easier target. But if someone wants in your house badly enough though, a dog is no match for someone with a gun regardless of breed or training.
 

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Just to keep this conversation financially grounded a bit - I see a lot of owners on the GSD health forum regularly drop sums from $800-$3000 or more to deal with health care items. These things happen and for any dog, you need to be prepared. I believe that both breeds mentioned have higher than average medical issues and cost.

My own GSD, over a year's time, costs me about $400-$600 per MONTH because of his medical issues. Most of us who spend that kind of money on"just a dog" don't go around posting that information, so you won't hear many of those stories. My dog might be on the more extreme side, but you might want to hang out on the health forums of both these breeds so that you will have an understanding on how to care for the breed and possible ways to mitigate the disease.
 

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To add to something AgileGSD said - most dogs actually will *not* bite or "capture", that is not their instinct. I learned that from ladylaw's posts.

I have a dog that *is* trained to bite and hold, and I have seen him do this to family members. It's dangerous and a liability, particular when it happens to someone that it is not supposed to happen to. Then you have just killed your dog if that does happen, because then they are deemed a dangerous dog and your dog loses.
 
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