Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

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Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Tatzel » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:00 am

A discussion I'd like to spark after having seen this video on youtube



From my own experience: it depends on the personality and the bond the dog has with you!
My mum had a doberman dog once who had self-confidence and was well trained, but never was trained to protect her. When an ex-friend sometimes showed up and started to beat her, he would bite his arm and attack him, i.e. protect my mum despite him never having been trained to do that (and he even did it though he had been on okay-terms with the person before when they still were in a relationship)

My mum's current dog, Tessa, is a mixed breed we got from Spain at the age of 8 month, she's 9 now, and she's a little more on the self-conscious side. A great dog nontheless, but both my mum and I believe that she would not try to fight an agressor, but rather be scared and intimidated.

As for the video, I can't even begin to take it serious as obviously the person does approach the two sets of dogs completly differently, with different posture and body language. Also the second set of dogs seemed to be self-conscious from the beginning (low posture, ears back, not relaxed), while the trained dogs (maybe due to the training) were more alerted even before the aggressor showed up.
(I wanted to leave a comment on that but them turning off comments AND ratings clearly says it all. I think they use this video to market themselves and trying to get people to come to them and train their dogs for protection, but this is just an assumption)

Now I know Tams are very friendly dogs and make terrible watchdogs, but would you think your Tam (or other dog) would try to protect you if someone was to attack you?
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Booma » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:47 am

I think my dog would be too scared, although I'm really not sure. He was a rescue I got a couple of years ago, and he had a hard life before I got him. Yelling scares him so much he pees himself, even if hes not the one being yelled at. Mops and brooms terrify him.
But like you said I think it's all about the dogs confidence and bond with owner that will get him/her to protect you.
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Nino » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:06 am

Ask Debby about Jasper when she was travelling through Europe - when she have the time (I'm guessing some times after the German show).
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Asvodian » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:00 am

Tatzel wrote:Now I know Tams are very friendly dogs and make terrible watchdogs, but would you think your Tam (or other dog) would try to protect you if someone was to attack you?
the keyword is "Watch" dogs. i have a black lab that would gladly just watch people take stuff from the house and would help them if she could. She will however bark at someone when they pull into the driveway but when they get out of the vehicle she's all tailwag and kisses

my mom however has a "Guard" dog that she has to introduce me to him every time i go over there because if she doesnt he gets upset that someones invaded his territory. (hes a half rotweiler/half mastiff) mostly friendly if you have been introduced as a friend.

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Rahne » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:12 am

Wow, what a stupid experiment! The title says 'will an untrained dog protect its owner' but that girl is NOT the owner of those dog. My dogs will certainly NOT protect some random person :lol: Besides that, indeed the way the man approaches the trained/untrained dogs is very different and he has a biting sleeve on, which the 'trained' dogs are trained to bite on.

I don't know if my Tamaskan Konah would actually attack someone to protect me.. I have had a situation (and she was still young then, around a year) were I was alone with her in a forest near a lake and a strange man approached us. The man acted a bit weird but not aggressive although I didn't trust him at all and neither did Konah! She actually went to stand in front of me (she was off the leash) and started to bark and growl to the man. I can tell you that man was scared and didn't dare approaching me any closer :mrgreen:

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by skyedream » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:06 am

My dog is a bit of a coward when strange people try to touch her but when anyone in my family pretends to play fight she gets very upset and puts herself in the middle of the 'fight'. She will jump up, yelp and mouth at or nibble one of us (not always the 'aggressor'!) She is very watchful of visitors when we are in the house and will bark at them if they do anything unexpected so maybe she would protect me if I was attacked in the house. Outside of the house; maybe not. The one time something did happen to me (think I was hit by a car) she was found about a mile away later that night on one of our walking routes. Of course, I have no memory of what happened but my guess is that as soon as my lights were out she was off!
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Lynwae » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:33 am

We have a german sheperd who was very protective of me when i was young, then a husky-briard miw who was the most coward dog in da world, and now i have my baby.
I'll tell you if she protects me one of these days ^^'

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by TerriHolt » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:15 am

Kylievr wrote:Yelling scares him so much he pees himself, even if hes not the one being yelled at.

My GSD did this too... but she did attack if i seemed threatened without hesitation or question and she had bitten defending me (this got messy) but it's something that doesn't surprise me when it comes to GSD's. She also went to the aid of a lady who was getting beaten by her husband. In play fights if i was been gotten, she would get the 'attacker' and if i was the attackee she would help get the person i was getting... She must have figured... if she is getting them, they must have done something to deserve it :mrgreen:

Yesterday we went to Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood country, and took Sam (in the car and it didn't go well might i add). There were people dressed up in period clothes and we got to this one guy with a sword and shield... In true reenactment for a soldier style he went "aarrrggghhhhhhh" while waving a sword at my daughter, Paige, but it scared her and she screamed and ran off crying... As soon as she showed any sign of distress Sam started barking at the oddly dressed man with the weird objects in hand and tried lunging at him... He had never before done that... Guess Sam didn't like people threatening my daughter... For strangers, i don't think he would but his family, people he love... Turns out he would...
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Katlin » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:17 am

Mine is a brutal little guy. We found out when he was months old that he will fiercely protect us, throwing himself at the perp and ripping at his shins and feet. He can actually cause quite a bit of damage. Classic "little dog".
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Tatzel » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:05 pm

TerriHolt wrote:In play fights if i was been gotten, she would get the 'attacker' and if i was the attackee she would help get the person i was getting...
I just remembered that we had an Irish Setter once, and then we had my aunt's dog over for a while when she was in vacation. I would play fight outside often with both dogs, and the other dog (which was a podenco mutt) would often growl playfully and sometimes would seemingly get a little rough in playfighting (he was only a year old or so), but never really harmed me. However, Barry (the setter) hated to see it, and whenever Pinto just did "too much" into his eyes, he would attack him and make him stop.

Tessa does the same, but she's pretty jealous to begin with when it comes to other dogs, especially when it comes to my mum. If she pets another dog, Tessa instantly gets jealous and tries to make the other dog go away.
Katlin wrote:Classic "little dog".
Hahaha, ankle snare dog, eh? :D
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Nino » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:37 pm

Just saw the video.. that is absolutely stupid.. you cannot make an experiment and then not use the same parameters for measuring..
How would the guard dogs have acted if the guy had done as with the other dogs, and the other way around.. this just cannot be used as a valid experiment..
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Tatzel » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:13 pm

Nino wrote:Just saw the video.. that is absolutely stupid.. you cannot make an experiment and then not use the same parameters for measuring..
How would the guard dogs have acted if the guy had done as with the other dogs, and the other way around.. this just cannot be used as a valid experiment..
They have another two of those videos in their channel, also comments and rating turned off and I really feel like they want to bring the message across that "your dog will not be well behaved and will protect you unless you give it to us and pay us to train it to do such a job"

I actually heard that you can train your dog yourself to raise it's courage, you need the help of a friend (best if it's someone your dog is not very familiar with). And if you walk your dog leashed outside they hide behind a corner or something, and show themselves in a sorta scary posture (not up close though but around 10-20 meters away from you) and you go like "Who's this? Watch out!" and make them aware of the weird person.
Basically you encourage your dog, and if the dog does as much as even bark, the friend runs away and you praise your dog lots for being so courageous. With continued training in different spots with different people, the dog should get more and more courageous. However, I would never go as far as to actually come close enough for the dog to bite, especially not unprotected. It could harm the person who plays the agressor, and could also harm the dog. This should only be done by professionals who know what they're doing.

I have never tested this though and would not tell anyone to try it unless they're certain that their dog would at least bark. If it's a very anxious dog, this might not do anything good at all.
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by arianwenarie » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:28 pm

Tatzel wrote:I actually heard that you can train your dog yourself to raise it's courage, you need the help of a friend (best if it's someone your dog is not very familiar with). And if you walk your dog leashed outside they hide behind a corner or something, and show themselves in a sorta scary posture (not up close though but around 10-20 meters away from you) and you go like "Who's this? Watch out!" and make them aware of the weird person.
Basically you encourage your dog, and if the dog does as much as even bark, the friend runs away and you praise your dog lots for being so courageous. With continued training in different spots with different people, the dog should get more and more courageous. However, I would never go as far as to actually come close enough for the dog to bite, especially not unprotected. It could harm the person who plays the agressor, and could also harm the dog. This should only be done by professionals who know what they're doing.

I have never tested this though and would not tell anyone to try it unless they're certain that their dog would at least bark. If it's a very anxious dog, this might not do anything good at all.
Seeing what I see with dogs at work every day, I shun the person/people who will do this...it screws the dog over, behaviorally. If a dog is not driven to do a certain job, then they are not fit for the job. Simple as that. Force/Condition a dog who is not driven for a certain job creates an unstable dog - a dog with behavior problems.

I have also seen multiple dogs who went through a "confidence building" program with a local rescue group because their "behaviorist" evaluated the dog, misread the body language and signs and deemed a few dogs as nervous/fearful, when, in actuality, they were only looking for someone to be their leader - someone to confide in, someone to trust who will protect them so that they don't have the pressure of doing that job. A dog who would have been absolutely perfect, given the right environment, now has human/dog aggression issues because of the program. I don't know what the program entails, but I remember a dog who reportedly would only fight back if cornered to a dog who fought back at the slightest trigger. Another case was where the dog was already confident, but was evaluated early when the dog's cortisol levels were heightened, making the dog appear nervous. Confident dog + confidence building program = over the top confident dog and thus, a liability. Dog was adopted out, bit people, went to rabies quaratine, labeled "dangerous dog" by the city and was at risk of being PTS. The rescue who adopted this dog out refused to take the dog back because of its bite history. Owners came to us for help as a last resort (literally!)- if the consult proved to not show promise for the dog, then they would have the dog PTS after the appointment. They decided to work with us on training and now, the dog is controlled and managed. The confidence building program completely backfired for this dog and as a result, the new owners and the dog has to live with the consequences.

If you have a fear case, you can change build the dog's confidence through a touch sensitivity program and then changing their body posture. I would never train a dog to SHOW aggression unless I wanted to do bite work with the dog. lol. My lab puts up enough of a show with her bark to ward people away from the house. That's good enough for me. I know that, with time and enough trust, Abby will be my beta and back me up if necessary.

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Vajente » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:53 pm

it depends on the personality, my GSD will always protect me, she even gets mad wen my horses don't do what I want, she has never bin trained but she always figures out what I want by herself, she always knows which horse I want and she will get it for me, never trained her to do that.
Ravi won't protect me, he will propably bark and then run off, he is very selfish, one thing I don't like about him.

you shouldn't come in to my house as a stranger either, not because of my GSD but I have one very protective cat and he is very big and very strong, it wouldn't be the first time he scared the sh*t out off somebody :lol:

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by TParham86 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:56 pm

The family dog I grew up with would protect me whenever I felt uneasy about someone. He was a German Sheppard Mix and I remember this one time I was out walking him down our neighborhood street and I saw these construction people that were repairing a roof. Next thing I know some of them drove up in a van and started to follow me :? but at a distance so of course I felt uneasy and started to walk faster but of course with Sobe peeing on everything I had to keep stopping so that van got closer and when they were about a driveway away from me Sobe just stopped and stared at them, then his hair began to stick up like he was mad and he just stared at these guys. And after about a minute or two they turned around and left and Sobe continued to stare in their direction for a bit then happily turned and started peeing on everything :lol: He was the best, didn't even have to train him :D
Mona Lisa on the other hand would probably greet that person whether I was happy or not, it happened once :? this creepy hooded guy was by the gas station and I was passing by on the other side of the road and he stated calling my dog saying "come here puppy" she stated wagging her tail and tried to walk across the road to see him :shock: I was like No, No, No and pulled her and walked away as fast as I could :?

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by AZDehlin » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:18 pm

The German Shepherd I had growing up would of protected anyone of the family... She always knew what we wanted from her without even asking. Zephyr reads my body language pretty good and when I am nervous he picks up on it and will put his hackles up and start barking at who ever I am nervous with. Zephyr also is really good about picking out the people that are uncomfortable or unsure with him, because he gets a little unstable and scared himself. If push comes to shove I think he would protect me, but I hope to never be in the position where he would have too.

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Rhokk » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:29 pm

arianwenarie wrote:My lab puts up enough of a show with her bark to ward people away from the house.
A lab who barks at people to run away!? What madness is this? :)

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Tatzel » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:48 pm

Rhokk wrote:
arianwenarie wrote:My lab puts up enough of a show with her bark to ward people away from the house.
A lab who barks at people to run away!? What madness is this? :)
The ever so often appearing exception :)
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by arianwenarie » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:45 pm

Rhokk wrote:
arianwenarie wrote:My lab puts up enough of a show with her bark to ward people away from the house.
A lab who barks at people to run away!? What madness is this? :)
Yes. She has issues with strangers - she's afraid of them. In her mind, if she barks and puts up a display, they'll go away. She's confident (rather, unstable) in that sense. lol. If I take charge and tell her to shut up and get away from the door, she won't show the unstable hair pattern and (begrudgingly) shut up. If a stranger comes into the house, I think she's afraid she'll be forced to greet the person so she gets her feathers all ruffled again unless I make her stop.

If I can get her to greet the person on MY terms, she will be fine eventually. Otherwise, if she's still quite reluctant despite me giving her the OK, she goes back to her crate because let's face it - if I don't want to meet every person I see, I shouldn't force her to either. ;)

With Abby, it's a "simple" case of a dog thinking she MUST do the job of protecting the house and be in charge of whoever comes into the house. Still trying to fire her from that job now that I've moved out of my sister's house into my own. I can actually work on her with this now without ME getting in trouble too. :D

EDIT:
Abby is all bark and no bite...unless she feels threatened (shoot, I'D bite if I felt threatened. lol.) The only person, that I know of, that she has bitten was yours truly. ;) Her instability is because she is fighting between her defense fight and flight instinct. She is not confident enough to take on what's coming through the door (fight), but she doesn't really want to run away from it because SOMEONE has to do the job (flight). I think she would rather run than fight and really just needs someone to take the job of confronting the issue away from her. /coughMYJOBcough :P

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Tiantai » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:21 pm

Rahne wrote:Wow, what a stupid experiment! The title says 'will an untrained dog protect its owner' but that girl is NOT the owner of those dog. My dogs will certainly NOT protect some random person :lol: Besides that, indeed the way the man approaches the trained/untrained dogs is very different and he has a biting sleeve on, which the 'trained' dogs are trained to bite on.

I don't know if my Tamaskan Konah would actually attack someone to protect me.. I have had a situation (and she was still young then, around a year) were I was alone with her in a forest near a lake and a strange man approached us. The man acted a bit weird but not aggressive although I didn't trust him at all and neither did Konah! She actually went to stand in front of me (she was off the leash) and started to bark and growl to the man. I can tell you that man was scared and didn't dare approaching me any closer :mrgreen:
I agree with you, the video was very unsatisfying to me as well. I noticed how they used different dogs for different scenarios and that the man didn't have the bite sleeve which the trained dogs aimed for. Not like I want to see the actor bleeding but I so ponder if those dogs would have attacked him if he did not have the sleeve on. I also wonder IF those untrained dogs weren't properly socialized, would they have attacked the actor as well. It's always good to ask.

I'm glad your Konah made the stranger nervous. I'd probably train my future Tamaskan for that too (not to be aggressive but to recognize when if want protection with a hand signal asking it to bark). I love the fact that many German Shepherds are trained to protect and IF I can get my future Tamaskans to do that too on the signal then it'd be great.
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by AZDehlin » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:55 am

fangjingtuanlucas wrote: I'd probably train my future Tamaskan for that too (not to be aggressive but to recognize when if want protection with a hand signal asking it to bark). I love the fact that many German Shepherds are trained to protect and IF I can get my future Tamaskans to do that too on the signal then it'd be great.

Warning you teach your Tamaskan to bark and they may never keep their mouth shut.... My experience. Also there is a difference between their normal bark and a protective bark and I think it would take a lot of situational training to get a Tam to do it's protective bark and growl on command.

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by arianwenarie » Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:34 am

AZDehlin wrote:
fangjingtuanlucas wrote: I'd probably train my future Tamaskan for that too (not to be aggressive but to recognize when if want protection with a hand signal asking it to bark). I love the fact that many German Shepherds are trained to protect and IF I can get my future Tamaskans to do that too on the signal then it'd be great.

Warning you teach your Tamaskan to bark and they may never keep their mouth shut.... My experience. Also there is a difference between their normal bark and a protective bark and I think it would take a lot of situational training to get a Tam to do it's protective bark and growl on command.
I would second that warning...for any breed at that. Haha. I finally managed to get my persistent lab to learn "enough" means to shut your mouth (don't even chuff or growl) and that when I say it, I'm serious. So far, it's working well...with the exception of when someone is at the door: that takes a while.

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Tiantai » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:09 am

I'll take note of that :D
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by JulieSmith » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:15 pm

AZDehlin wrote:
fangjingtuanlucas wrote: I'd probably train my future Tamaskan for that too (not to be aggressive but to recognize when if want protection with a hand signal asking it to bark). I love the fact that many German Shepherds are trained to protect and IF I can get my future Tamaskans to do that too on the signal then it'd be great.

Warning you teach your Tamaskan to bark and they may never keep their mouth shut.... My experience. Also there is a difference between their normal bark and a protective bark and I think it would take a lot of situational training to get a Tam to do it's protective bark and growl on command.
Most people would not know the difference in barks, any bark means keep away to many people :D

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Karen » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:20 pm

Owning 12 dogs, among them 2 tamaskans: I know! some of my dogs protect us, untrained. They already showed us on multiple occasions.
But only if there is a real physical threat. And we can tell by their barks and howls what is going on. If it it a warning, playing, fighting, just "for the fun of howling" etc. You can train them on command. Most easy is by handgesture

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Nino » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:06 pm

Maybe that's why Sølve is hard to get to bark on command (bark right) but she can easily bark if outside ..
She knows the command (which I taught her after she already started barking herself) but it's like she needs to "warm up" before doing it when asked, while outside she will bark without "warning" (warm up)
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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Megaen » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:33 pm

My current dogs, Lena and Toshiro, think all they will do is bark and growl...

Foxy was my chow mix and she was never trained but after having her for 5 years someone tried to break in threw the back door (the door with a pet door of all doors, which makes me question how stupid can some people be) she barked, growled, then bolted threw the pet door. My husband had gone up stairs after hearing the noise and by that time Foxy was in the middle of the street, staring up the road. Hubby didnt' see anyone called Foxy back and things went back to normal.. I can only imagine what the person told his friends after having a chow come after him, probably something like "omg they have a bear" or something lol. Sad when I would walk her people would run in there house or cross the road to avoid her, she truly was a sweetheart and I miss her :(

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Re: Will an untrained dog protect it's owner?

Post by Katlin » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:07 am

Found out today Sam (my roomate's lab) will protect me. Someone came by on a skateboard and almost rammed me, he then started yelling at me for not moving. Sam's hackles went straight up and his lips began to pull up and he started to rumble (growl real deep). Scared the crap out of the boarder...
Polarose Tamaskan
Polardog Outfitters
Owner of Sierra Kaweah RN RI TDI TRN TTDN CRN-MCL @ Polarose

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