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Discussion Starter #1
....maybe it's b/c we're talking GSDs, but i'm fascinated by the number of people who have PPD or guard dogs.

....can i be all nosy? where do you generally live? what is your motivation for having one?

(i know when i got luc a friend said 'i've noticed women get large dogs, to protect them' and i was SOOOO insulted. i got a large dog b/c he could keep up w/me physically. also b/c he's a smart dog and i respect that. nothing wrong if you do have/want a PPD/guard dog, i'm just curious
)

percentage wise - most GSDs would be pets - but how many people got them w/a thought to this ability?
 

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This is one reason I bought Hardy. Yes we have guns, but they're always locked up since we have a son still at home. I live out in the boonies and my DH works night. I want a deterrent that will give me time to get the safe open. Yes I have other gsd's, but Hardy had the attitude I was looking for.
 

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We got a German Shepherd dog because they give the allusion that I will be safer.
I was robbed at gun point when I was in high school and that was in a nice neighborhood. Dh is in the Army and goes away for extended periods of time and quite often. I have a loaded 9 mil in the dresser and just finished taking an NRA Basic Gun Pistol course with it for extra confidence. I currently live in a very nice neighborhood but I am a young female and I'm paranoid. When we finally decided that our lives were stable enoug, finally bought our first home and have a yard for him to play in, we figured if we're going to get a dog, we might as well get one that will make us feel safer and will help protect our home.

He's been barking away salesmen and Jehova's Witnesses ever since
 

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I didn't get a GSD because I wanted protection I just loved the breed and my 4 -H leader happened to be involved in Schutzhund. I went to a couple of training sessions with her and was hooked.
Although fast forward several years and after my male passed away and my husband went on night shift I realized how much comfort I got having him around.
 

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Fact is that living out in the boonies alone without a dog, makes you more vulnerable. The idiots want an easy target, they will go down the road where there is no dog.

Yes, part of what attracts me to the breed is the understanding that they have a certain amount of guarding behavior. It makes it harder, because you have to work more on socialization and all that. They are not fluff balls that love everyone.

Part of me really likes that.

I sleep easy at night knowing my dogs will let me know long before any intruder gets near my doors or windows.

So I guess that it is one of the reasons I chose the breed. I chose this breed because of their loyalty and intelligence, but I always wanted big dogs. That is just me.
 

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I'm home alone alot also. We live in a safe place but there are lots of campers and out of towners around and you just never know.
I feel very safe with my two boys.
 

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My dog is NOT a protection dog and has NO formal training in protection or SchH (I don't really consider SchH actual protection work anyway), however, I am aware that she offers a certain level of visual deterrence. My DH is more pleased with this. He says he feels better about me going for long walks at dusk now that she is with me. She is not guardy or possessive at all and she doesn't even bark; anyone can walk in our house and she will probably hide. However she is very alert, very discerning, and I have no doubt that she would not hesitate to step in if someone were actually hurting ME (but I think this is true with most dogs in general). I didn't choose the breed for the protective aspect, it's just a nice perk!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
both, i guess.

the bona fide mostly, b/c i've noticed on different forums people talking about training bona fide PPDs and i'm always curious why they would need them, to be honest, but figured it was rude to ask....

....but i was also curious how many people chose GSDs for their protective qualities but don't have PPDs or an otherwise trained guard dog.
 

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2 of my shepherds of Personal Protection Training. Sierra came from the shelter with it (thank god I had a trainer that knew what to look for) and with Blue I started the work with him. I'm a single female and I live totally alone. I also have no neighbors, but with 6 dogs, not really that worried anymore. lol

Plus having a PPD made my mom feel better about me living alone.
 

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Rocky can be protective to an extent, he has not really been trained to act this way, I just think it is the GSD instinct. We got him because I grew up with GSD's and I know they are good dogs. I think just people knowing he is around makes them feel "protected" even though that is not his job.
 

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Originally Posted By: jarn

the bona fide mostly, b/c i've noticed on different forums people talking about training bona fide PPDs and i'm always curious why they would need them, to be honest, but figured it was rude to ask....
You'd probably be surprised to learn how many of those "bona fide" PPDs and PPD trainers are anything but.


We have 6 GSDs currently. 3 currently training in SchH, 2 retired from SchH, and 1 washout who's just a house pet. All of our SchH trained dogs go through additional, more "real life" training than is required for SchH trials, mainly to further test their temperament. One of our retirees also had some more formal PPD training. I *know* he will protect for real, both from the training and because on a couple occasions he's done so. I also know the washout would never consider it, and would be hiding under the bed. The other 4 are harder to say as they've never been really tested in that venue. 2 I'm confident would indeed protect for real, the other 2 I strongly suspect would as well.

We have GSDs because I grew up with them and for me there is no other breed. We have working lines because to me those are real GSDs, not a shadow of the GSD, and we participate in SchH because it's fun and a good test for the dogs. Their ability to protect, or rather to work in general, is for me one of the major attractions of the breed. That said, if an ax murderer comes through the front door, I'm not going to expect or even want my dogs to deal with that threat. I'll do that myself, and in fact would rather they hang back and stay out of the way so as to give me a clear shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
so do people live in areas of high crime? hopefully that doesn't sound silly. i guess to me having a trained PPD just sounds so....hardcore....and i'm curious why people would feel driven to the length of training a PPD.

i guess - i'm single, i'm female, i live alone - but i also live in a city, and while my area is nicely bumping up it's crime rate/street activity as other nearby areas gentrify - i never feel threatened, though the higher population maybe plays a role in that. so i'm curious what would be so threatening that a PPD would be deemed necessary.

maybe it's the same difference b/tw canadians and americans w/respect to guns - i know lots of ppl who have guns (for hunting) but the only person i've ever met who kept a gun in the house for protection was a drug dealer (long story! blech, worst night ever) while my impression is that's not true in america. there seems to be a difference in expectations.

this is very interesting though! thanks everyone
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Originally Posted By: Chris Wild
Originally Posted By: jarn

the bona fide mostly, b/c i've noticed on different forums people talking about training bona fide PPDs and i'm always curious why they would need them, to be honest, but figured it was rude to ask....
You'd probably be surprised to learn how many of those "bona fide" PPDs and PPD trainers are anything but.
that's probably true. i'm having some disagreement w/my trainer (who also does PPD, and while we're not doing it, i wonder how well that training occurs) and can see where sometimes, ppl are full of it. (not that i'm currently disgruntled or anything! heh)

what you're saying makes sense. i do respect that GSDs as a breed are working dogs - one reason why i like GSDs better than golden retrievers, say - seeing the protection aspect promoted outside of PSD or MWD etc has just been something about the breed i didn't expect, so it's very interesting to me.
 

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Originally Posted By: jarnso do people live in areas of high crime? hopefully that doesn't sound silly. i guess to me having a trained PPD just sounds so....hardcore....and i'm curious why people would feel driven to the length of training a PPD.
I think it more has to do with personal preference. Many people like this sort of dog training and do it as much as a hobby than anything else. Others find true comfort in having such a dog because it makes them feel safer. And for many it's a macho ego thing.

I don't think living in areas of high crime has much to do with it. Anyone can be victim of a crime. Chances may be higher in some areas, but there is always a chance. And people who live out in the boonies are just as likely to be victimized as those in a high crime area, because their seclusion makes things easy.. no one around to see or hear. Let's face it, if someone is attacked the police aren't going to be much help. Even if the victim did miraculously have an opportunity to call the police and the police took the call seriously, the attacker is going to get things over with quickly and isn't going to wait around for the several minutes it will take the police to arrive. And in today's society you certainly can't count on a bystander to step in and be a Good Samaratin, even if there is a bystander around to notice. You're on your own. I think most people who have PPDs for legitimate reasons look at their dogs the same way people who have guns for protection view their firearms... much better to have it and never need it than to need it and not have it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
well, and if you're doing it as a hobby - why would you train a PPD as a hobby instead of a SchH dog?

....my understanding is that the two are different. i've read that SchH dogs are trained to bite the sleeve, and if you want to move a SchH dog into a PSD, or presumably a PPD, you need to do a lot of work w/hidden sleeves etc. i'm not 100% on what civil drive is, so ppl who know what they're talking about (aka not me!) can correct me, but my understanding is that civil drive is essentially the dog's willingness to attack someone unarmed/unprotected, and that this is the opposite of what SchH dogs are trained to do.

is that right? i'm sure if there was an actual attack upon an owner, that would largely be moot, b/c the dog would probably step in, but i guess i am confused why you would train PPD as a hobby or expect a SchH dog to act as a PPD (though, they'd probably be better at it than an untrained dog). i may have a whole bunch of misunderstandings here that need to be cleared up though!
 

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Yes, SchH dogs are trained to bite a sleeve because it's one of the rules. That doesn't mean SchH dogs aren't really biting. Some SchH dogs are working in prey, biting a "toy". Some are working in aggression and are capable of being quite civil. They only bite the sleeve because they've been taught that is what they're supposed to bite. If the dog bites anywhere but the sleeve, you get tossed out of the trial. So when doing SchH it's pretty important to make the dog is sleeve sure. But take away the sleeve, and a lot of SchH dogs will still bite. Some SchH dogs would never make a PPD no matter how much additional training they go. Some would make the transition quite easily, with very little additional training being needed. Depends on the individual dog's temperament, and it's training.

People do all sorts of things for hobbies that I don't understand or wouldn't do myself. Everyone has different preferences. SchH is more stylized and there are required obedience and tracking components. Some people just like protection training and don't want to get into all the tracking and obedience, or they prefer a less strictly regimented protection training. Different strokes for different folks.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
context and personality. that makes sense.

i can kind of see that, though not in a protection trained sort of way, w/luc and teagan. luc's behaviour is strongly w/in context in terms of his 'protectiveness' (and he's learning i decide), but he's far milder than teagan, whose body language i can only describe as looking for a collision. (bless her heart, sometimes she reminds me of me) not that either of my dogs are SchH or PPD, obviously, but personality wise i can see what you're saying.
 
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