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I've seen threads where people state they want a guard dog and members tell them to get home security, especially while the dog is still a puppy. I'm not saying those members are wrong, heck I'm probably one of them, but that brings me to the question.

If you can get home security, then when should you look at getting a guard dog? Why do people have guard dogs? To protect them, right?

I was interested in a guard dog because I would have been living by myself and I'm a woman. Is that valid or do I fit in the category of getting home security?

Also, while at it, what is desired in a potential guard dog?
 

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Using the words "Guard Dog" is really misleading. You should really say "First Alert Dog" or "Warning Dog". A dog, no matter what their size or training can not stop a bullet or a criminal with intent on doing you harm.

I'm not sure if it's still true, but there was a time when statistics proved that people with dogs in their house / yard had a lessor chance of a break in then those who didn't. Mostly because theives want to get in and out queitly. A barking dog alerts neighbors.

Utilizing a dog as part of your defense scheme is understandable and encouraged. But thinking your safety is based on a dog is underestimating our society.
 

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Most crimes are crimes of opportunity and a criminal will usually go for the path of least resistance., i.e., no gate, no dog, no one home. A dog is a very good deterrent, however nothing is fool proof.
 

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I'm a woman and I live by myself a lot of the time. My husband works out of town, he usually flies out on Monday and flies back home on Friday. My home security system consists of my dog(s), who alert bark when they see/hear anything unusual and bark like crazy when somebody comes to the door, and a good home defense shotgun.

Here in TX, everybody has a gun. The good guys have guns and the bad guys have guns. If somebody is willing to break into my house even though there's a barking German Shepherd or two, they are planning to deal with the dog-- probably by killing it. So my dog is a first line of defense to scare of the 99% of bad guys that don't really want to deal with a dog. For the methed-up desperado who's stupid or strung out enough to break in anyway, they get me and my 12-gauge.
 

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Unless you take your dog everywhere with you, then you may feel vulnerable when your dog is not around. Better to learn self defense and carry a gun if you want to feel protected.
A dog is just a deterrent and a bullet from a criminal will stop that deterrent in an instant.
 

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Most crimes are crimes of opportunity and a criminal will usually go for the path of least resistance., i.e., no gate, no dog, no one home. A dog is a very good deterrent, however nothing is fool proof.
and a home alarm is an ineffective deterrent. most of them time they are already in full-crime-swing when they realize there was an alarm.

Interestingly, many of the people I don't want to be around are also the most afraid of a gsd.

Even more interesting to me, ask enough k9 handlers and you'll find that in their experience there are a lot of baaaad men who aren't afraid of being shot, tazed or pepper sprayed, but are horrified at the thought of a dog biting them for some reason.

I have a home alarm, but its never been turned on. I don't even lock my doors. I just have the dogs, and an m4 and a 9mm on my bedstand. And a can of bear spray. I am a single male
 

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Unless you take your dog everywhere with you, then you may feel vulnerable when your dog is not around. Better to learn self defense and carry a gun if you want to feel protected.
A dog is just a deterrent and a bullet from a criminal will stop that deterrent in an instant.
can't take a gun everywhere either. infact mostly the same places. pepper spray is better. It will stop a crime every bit as fast as a bullet will, and there are no concerns about killing the wrong person.
 

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can't take a gun everywhere either. infact mostly the same places. .
That depends completely on the laws in your area. There are very few places I can't take my gun, and I generally avoid those places.

Personally I think that the best self-defense is strong situational awareness skills, and then a combination of whatever you're comfortable using. Don't buy a gun if you're not comfortable with the thought of killing somebody. Don't carry pepper spray if you're not confident in it. Don't get a PPD if you're going to get attached to it and feel conflicted about putting the dog in danger.

Personally I think that everybody who's even mildly worried about personal safety should train in a practical martial art or fighting style. Something that can't be taken away or turned against you.
 

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That depends completely on the laws in your area. There are very few places I can't take my gun, and I generally avoid those places.
well, here, anywhere alcohol is served, no public buildings, no places of education, no parks or places where children play, no financial places. And then no where where they notify you no concealed weapons, which rapidly is becoming all the places I'd have prefered to have it lol

Actually if you finagle a service animal certification no one can stop you from taking the dog anywhere
 

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Crap I just saw you're in TX... yeah I'm willing to bet your laws are a little more lax lol
 

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When is it reasonable to look into a guard dog?
I think I read the question differently then everyone else. I assumed the OP was asking about PPD and just used "guard dog"

GSD Fan, if that is the case. I think the only time a trained personal protection dog is necessary is if you have a legitimate concern for your life. And if that is the case, I still think you need to have the experience, training for you on how to handle the dog, and time to train the dog and keep up with the training. Having a PPD is not a liability that I want and a liability that I want even less is not having a properly trained "guard dog".

I know some may disagree with that but I don't see the purpose for such a highly trained dog as an everyday deterrent for the average owner. My two GSDs are enough to keep me feeling safe. I live alone (young single female) with them and often don't lock my doors. People know they are there but they don't know that both dogs will likely lick you to death and ask for treats.
 

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OK...I am a single female who was very naive. I have a house and I did not have a dog or alarm...and 2 years ago my house was broken into when I was not home. The police officer to respond told me that my best option was to get a dog. Then back on Memorial day I had people in my windows, but my very alert neighbor chased them off (I was home and I live in a nice neighborhood). In the meantime (I didnt think I had time for a dog), I got a house alarm, motion sensor lights, concealed weapons permit and gun (and practice with it monthly) and even "Beware of Dog" signs (when I didnt own a dog). The thought of a dog was on my mind for a long time. I always wanted a shepherd.....

So, I got Aspen back in Sept. He is a blessing. I let him play with the neighbors kids and take him everywhere with me. Even though he is young I like to parade him around the neighborhood and the walking trail with me so people know I have him. His baby bark has gotten much bigger. He has a fear, play and protection barks...depends all on the tone of it. This is all I expect from Aspen if someone were in my windows again. At least the bark would give me time to get my gun....

I was talking to my one neighbors recently about taking Aspen for Shutzhund and his son overheard. His son talks to everyone in the neighborhood and now has told the kids he is a guard dog.

Since my thieves are thought to be some of the bad kids in the neighboring community, I did not mind my neighbor's son telling everyone he is a guard dog...heehee. I am sure some of you think this gives people the wrong impression of GSDs, but I think by taking him around, showing his proper behavior and playing with local kids in the front yard, shows he is not vicious.

I would be heartbroken if anything did happen to him. But I think he is a good visual deterrant as well as vocal.
 

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Actually if you finagle a service animal certification no one can stop you from taking the dog anywhere
This is not what service animals should be used for and anyone that "finagles' a way to get a certified SD for personal protection will make it even harder for the ones who actually need a SD to have them whereever they go.
 

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yeah ive had a house broken into they dispatched the alarm when we were not home

in canada i dont think you can carry around guns

i think if you love dogs and want/need some sort of protection a dog bred for that purpose would be great to get
 

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To the OP: there are many different things you can do to your home to assist you in making it a safer place - from checking window locks (replacing or repairing anything broken), installing security bars on your doors - to removing any tall hedges/plants that would block the view of your windows or doors (providing a perfect hiding spot to the criminal). You can even arm yourself with different 'weapons' in the house - from a crowbar in your laundry room to a can of hairspray and lighter in your bathroom.

Be smart, be prepared. Having a large dog is a great deterant and would be taken seriously by any would be criminal. But it really concerns me when people think a guard dog or a PPD would be the end to beat all in personal protection. No different (in my eyes) to someone who has a gun in their bed room, but has never practiced with it. Your personal protection is only as good as how far you are willing to go to protect yourself.
 

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To the OP: there are many different things you can do to your home to assist you in making it a safer place - from checking window locks (replacing or repairing anything broken), installing security bars on your doors - to removing any tall hedges/plants that would block the view of your windows or doors (providing a perfect hiding spot to the criminal). You can even arm yourself with different 'weapons' in the house - from a crowbar in your laundry room to a can of hairspray and lighter in your bathroom.

Be smart, be prepared. Having a large dog is a great deterant and would be taken seriously by any would be criminal. But it really concerns me when people think a guard dog or a PPD would be the end to beat all in personal protection. No different (in my eyes) to someone who has a gun in their bed room, but has never practiced with it. Your personal protection is only as good as how far you are willing to go to protect yourself.
Good stuff there Lillie. I especially like the last line. In the end, you are responsible for protecting yourself.

A word of caution about window bars-- my dad's a retired Houston firefighter and saw people who burned up in their homes because they couldn't get out through the windows with security bars.
 

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I was recently coming out of my house with Jax and a gentleman installing an alarm in our neighbor's house called out to me saying "guess I won't need to come to your house!" I asked why, he said from looking at our house, it's the most secure on the street. We have dogs, all of the windows that you can see in from the street are frosted and all of them have opaque blinds angled so you can't see anything about what's inside our house (and here I thought I was just a recluse for no reason).
Evidently, no one breaks into a house just to find out what's inside... for all they know it could be empty. They choose homes with visible items so they can guess what "type" of things may be inside.
Unless you need a body guard, any GSD will do... people who are afraid of GSDs don't discriminate, they're terrified of all of them :D
I'm not gonna lie... if I wanted a friendly, approachable dog, I would have gotten a golden. Even though Jax is friendly and approachable, no one needs to know that ;)
 

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This is not what service animals should be used for and anyone that "finagles' a way to get a certified SD for personal protection will make it even harder for the ones who actually need a SD to have them whereever they go.
Sorry.. shouldn't have implied SDs are something to toy with
 

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No different (in my eyes) to someone who has a gun in their bed room, but has never practiced with it.
Your gun doesn't "bark" when a would-be burglar bangs on the door to see if anyone is home, or breaks a window in order to enter. There is a major difference there. The burglar is going to immediately know that there is something in the house they likely don't want to deal with- as opposed to a gun which they aren't going to know about until you take it out and point it at them.

I just don't understand how so many on this forum are against people having a GSD in order to "guard" or "warn" when someone approaches the house. That's exactly what a dog does, and a core reason why many own dogs.

[EDIT]- nevermind. I see the point you were actually making is that not practicing with a PPD is akin to not practicing with a firearm. Didn't mean to take your point out of context. I still maintain that simply having a large breed dog puts you in a better place to generally not need that firearm.
 

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Wildo, I don't think anyone is against having a GSD for warning/guarding...we all know their attributes. But there are always the crazies that a dog cannot stop.
This is where a gun will come into play...
I was talking with some LEO's that I train with and they can handle even the meanest dogs that are guarding drug houses...Throw them some meat and wrap a catchpole around them. They are a deterrent to only those that can be deterred by a dog.
 
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