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We are getting a doberman puppy in mid-July. How do you, or can you, train a dog to be protective without having him become too aggressive?
 

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We are getting a doberman puppy in mid-July. How do you, or can you, train a dog to be protective without having him become too aggressive?
If you lay the proper foundation as mentioned in my earlier post in the other thread, there will be no need to teach your dog in protection. A protection trained dog is not a pet. He is a lethal weapon and carries great liability. Protection training is WAY beyond the abilities of an amateur trainer.
 

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Dogs really don't provide the type of protection people are typically looking for unless they are properly trained and like Bill said they become not a pet but a weapon. What exactly do you want protection from?
 

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If you're looking for more of a guard dog (one that will bark to warn of visitors) that will come naturally...especally with a Dobie.

However, like stated above, a real protection dog such as one that will bite on command, etc. is very difficult to achieve, and even then not all dogs can do it. Some just don't have the control...I wouldn't even consider it unless you're going to spend CRAZY amounts of time and money on professional training, and have a good home owners and health insurance.
 

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If you're looking for more of a guard dog (one that will bark to warn of visitors) that will come naturally...especally with a Dobie.
Many dogs -- even ones that aren't aggressive or vicious to strangers -- have a habit of barking when they hear noises close by outside. (Our dog is one of them.)

As mentioned, to do this right would take an awful lot of time and money. There's a reason why police department K-9 units spend a lot of money on professional training -- not just for the dog, but also for its handler.
 

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Many dogs -- even ones that aren't aggressive or vicious to strangers -- have a habit of barking when they hear noises close by outside. (Our dog is one of them.)
That's what I was trying to imply, but didn't quite make my statement as broad as I should have. :wink:

Both My Boston and German Shepherd bark as well.
 

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I would think someone would have to be just a bit crazy to even think about breaking into our house. We have at least 4 dogs ranging from 70-120 pounds all of which bark their heads off if someone is even walking on the other side of the street. But I know that if someone was motivated enough to get in they would just open the front door and let them all out rendering them "useless" in regards to protection. If you ever think your dog is a good security system just watch the show "To Catch a Theif" and you'll see that the average dog doesn't deter professional thieves.

I would hate to find out but would hope my dogs would peotect me if I was ever attacked....I hope I never have to find out!!!!

If you're wanting protection, take a self defence class and get a security system.
 

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I totally agree, my dogs may be intimadating looking to the average person and they do bark if someone is at the door but I'm not so sure they would do anything if they actually got in the house. We have a security system, but have never had a problem only because the way our dogs look, most people still assume they are pitbulls.
 

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I completely (but respectfully) disagree with all of you. When you have a dog with natural protective instincts, the best thing you can do for that dog and anyone who may choose to attack you in the future or who may be perceived as a threat is to train that dog to focus and control those instincts rather than just having it snap one day because it's going purely on impulse rather than training. I would say over half of the people on my Doberman forum own personal protection trained Dobes who are still sweet, well-loved members of the family. The only difference is, that now the dog can recognize a real threat versus a false alarm and the owner is capable of letting the dog know the difference and encourage it to respond appropriately.

IMO people who just assume that all dogs trained in personal protection are good for nothing other than killing people and make terrible pets afterwards either haven't done much research on the subject and are going simply off of their own misconceptions and/or have not owned a dog with these natural protection instincts.

It's also nice to actually know that your dog has these instincts and actually will protect you in a time of need rather than just running away or being a useless lump in a corner. There is almost nothing worse than being in a threatening situation with your dog by your side only to discover that your dog doesn't know what to do and isn't going to help you. Trust me. It sucks.

I have a Doberman pinscher as well, I have talked to a couple of trainers about getting her PP trained (which I believe is an excellent way to learn to control your Dobe, have him control himself, and generally make him a well-rounded Doberman), what they mainly recommend is getting your Dobe trained in advanced obedience before starting PP training (for obvious reasons). PP training is also very expensive (starts at about $800+). Also, like I said before, your Dobe has to have the right drive for it, which a trainer will/should be able to evaluate your pup and let you know if he has that drive.

Another PP trainer on my Doberman forum (Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums which I'd highly recommend you join for more specific Doberman questions) said it is a good idea to play games like tug of war with your puppy and let him win a lot. Eventually you can shape the behavior so that he only gets to win the toy if he gives you a really good tug and shake. This helps build his confidence and helps get him used to bite work.

I'm moving to a house in a not-so-wonderful location very soon and you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm getting Peyton personal protection trained as soon as she's ready, especially since she's already displaying natural protective tendencies. I'd rather not have her put in a threatening situation where she gets hurt trying to defend me because she doesn't know what to do, or the other person gets killed because she doesn't know how to control herself.
 

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I agree in that the sport of Schutzhund is not for everyone. There are only certain handlers and certain dogs that can excell properly at the sport.

However, I do feel that protection training has a positive side. I feel that it is a way of molding a dogs own natural instincts. A dog that is properly trained in Schutzhund has control over its drive and instinct and listens to his handler and obeys even when excited. I often think that when people her the word "protection" dog they think of a vicious animal out for blood. IMO, it is the total opposite! For a dog to get the SchIII title it has to go through some major training (obedience, tracking and protection). To me, this is a dog that the owner has complete control over, "aggression" and all. The result would be a very well behaved and trained dog.

Now, that being said, I feel that ONLY dogs that meet certain criterea (their temperment, character, how much socialization they have had, previous training, etc.) should be trained in protection. AND, only certain advanced handlers should attempt this with the help of a trainer with an extensive Schutzhund backgroud.

If your Dobie is socialized properly as a pup (and through his adult life), and you do training (obedience, etc.) with him he will be a wonderful dog. Lay down the proper foundation from day one.

This is what I did with my Rottie. I socialized, socialized, socialized and trained, trained, trained. I didn't worry about protection training or aggressiveness. I just set the foundations with lots of postivie training and love. I actually did find out one night what Kodi would do if an intruder tried to come into our house. The person was at our window (I was home alone with my kids). Let me just say that Kodi's protective instincts came out and from that day forward I felt very safe when with him. This was the only time I saw him be truly aggressive, and he didn't back down.
 

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I completely (but respectfully) disagree with all of you. When you have a dog with natural protective instincts, the best thing you can do for that dog and anyone who may choose to attack you in the future or who may be perceived as a threat is to train that dog to focus and control those instincts rather than just having it snap one day because it's going purely on impulse rather than training.
The point I was making is that once your dog is a trained protection dog, he is now considered a lethal weapon and if he, for whatever reason, bit someone for any reason, you have a lot of liability. Probably about the same as if you pulled out a gun and shot them.

I have no doubt my dogs would protect me when necessary. Abby will ALWAYS stand between me and a stranger visiting our house. She will be standing in front of me perpendicular to me with her eyes fixed on the stranger. If anyone gets closer to me than shanking hands, she growls. For instance if someone hugs me or puts their arm around my shoulder, she will prize her way between us and growl. That ALWAYS accomplishes what she wants it to. :smile: It also makes me miss out on some hugs I would love to have. LOL
 

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She will be standing in front of me perpendicular to me with her eyes fixed on the stranger. If anyone gets closer to me than shanking hands, she growls. For instance if someone hugs me or puts their arm around my shoulder, she will prize her way between us and growl. That ALWAYS accomplishes what she wants it to. :smile: It also makes me miss out on some hugs I would love to have. LOL
Do you find this to be an acceptable thing to do? Do you have control of her if she decided to snap or bite at the "stranger"?

I would never allow my dog to decide who they should keep away from me, let alone who I shoud hug! :tongue:

ETA: What I did with Kodi, and I will do with our Black Russian Terrier, is from day one they are taught to sit by the door when the door bell rings. I give cues such as "it's okay" when the "stranger" is a friend. The dog then knows that this is a friend and treated as such. I also give cues like "by me" or "watch" which lets the dog know to come stand by me at the door if the "stranger" is in question. I have had to do this a few times with Kodi. He knew when he came to stand by me at the door that it was okay to be protective, etc. Not once was Kodi (or will Duncan) be able to decide for me who is a "not okay" stranger. I don't need them protecting me from my cousin, a friendly neighbor, one of my childrens friends, or parents, etc.
 

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I personally wouldn't want a trained dog like that. But I respect the people who do because it takes an enormous amount of dedication and training and patience and money. Personal protection training is definitely not for the novice dog owner. I don't consider myself to be a novice dog owner at all and I still think that pp training is more than I want for my dogs.

I do have a "command" if you will to alert my dogs to a potential threat which is "who's here?" to which they become immediately alert and pay attention to whoever might be outside. As soon as I say "go say hi" they know it's a friend and not a threat. This is enough "protection" for me because I am the owner and supposed to provide protection to my dogs just like I would if I had human kids. I know that dogs are dogs but that still makes me want to protect them, not the other way around.
 

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Do you find this to be an acceptable thing to do?
Yes, it lets the stranger know that they shouldn't do anything that might make the dog think their intetions weren't good.

Do you have control of her if she decided to snap or bite at the "stranger"?
In normal situations, after she is there for a minute or so, I will snap my finger and move my hand in a circular motion pointing her to get behind me which she does. She won't be a problem. If the people start moving around, she will replace herself between me and them until I motion her back behind me again. I'm not in the least worried about a snap or bite. She is just being careful and watchful.

I would never allow my dog to decide who they should keep away from me, let alone who I shoud hug!
Well thats one area where she is adament. She won't even let my wife hug me. She will bark (and she has a BIG bark) and wedge herself between us to seperate us. She will also do the same with Peggy. She won't let anyone hug her either. One time one of her friends was over and when leaving, they were hugging goodbye and Abby physically wedged between them and pushed the woman away from Peggy. She (the woman) thought it was cute. :smile:

Both dogs are ferocious behind the door when the door bell rings. It would scare away the Union Army. :smile: The instant the door opens and they can see the person they are quiet but watchful. When I tell them to back up, they get behind me and stand quietly.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Schutzhund training

Thanks for all the feedback. Our new pup's mom and dad are Schutzhund trained. If anyone would like to see pictures of them in action, they can go to FamilyDobes.com. His dad is Uragan and his mom is Ruby.

I don't know if I will be able to find someone in my area to do this type of training, but if so, I was just worried that he would become too aggressive. It sounds like that, with the right trainer, it really is possible. I wish I could go to the breeder and have him trained, but we live just outside of Tucson and he is up in Utah. Until then, he will definitely be trained in obedience!!
 

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Thanks for all the feedback. Our new pup's mom and dad are Schutzhund trained. If anyone would like to see pictures of them in action, they can go to FamilyDobes.com. His dad is Uragan and his mom is Ruby.

I don't know if I will be able to find someone in my area to do this type of training, but if so, I was just worried that he would become too aggressive. It sounds like that, with the right trainer, it really is possible. I wish I could go to the breeder and have him trained, but we live just outside of Tucson and he is up in Utah. Until then, he will definitely be trained in obedience!!
Ahhh...now to me this is different. Sorry, in a profession where the word "protection" is thrown around too often I was assuming something more informal.

I'm currently looking for a Schutzhund trainer in my area as well. I recently acquired a GSD puppy and I would love to put her through this training. Let me know how it goes if you find someone. :biggrin:
 

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But I know that if someone was motivated enough to get in they would just open the front door and let them all out rendering them "useless" in regards to protection.
haha. I would have thought the same for my dogs, that they'd run for the open street if anyone let them out. Funny enough, though, my friend (now roommate) who is here quite often, who they know and are used to, came home one day and walked in the door, and they all ran to greet her, and she stepped back outside, with the door open, and all three of them ran out, ran about three feet, but decided that they'd rather greet her than run for freedom, and all ran right back in and surrounded her for their fair share of attention. I about died of shock that Amaya didn't even run for the open street. haha.
 

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We are getting a doberman puppy in mid-July. How do you, or can you, train a dog to be protective without having him become too aggressive?
the best way to get a dog to protect you is to buy a dog with a natural genetic predisposition for protectiveness of its pack. dobermans,rotties,mastiffs are all good examples of this. the net step is to love and pamper it so it knows you are a member of its pack as well as the rest of your family is. Although make sure it knows you are the leader. The last step is,when danger arises....let the dogs natural instincts shine through. If youre getting attacked a doberman will prob naturally protect you. My golden retrievor is a great watchdog not guard dog. he barks when things are outside...i can only imagine what a dobby would do if there was an intruder...although once a stranger enters my home my golden showers them with kiss
 

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The main reason I got Sam was for Protection. I had a Doberman few years back who was not properly socialized and he was very aggressive and served as an ideal protection dog too.
I am socializing Sam as much as possible to make him not aggressive. I plan to do obedience training classes too. As RCTRIPLEFRESH5 said, I hope he will step up to the job if ever protection was required.
 

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The most important thing though is SOCIALIZATION!!!


A dog that attacks everything is not a good protector (well maybe he is, but he's more of a liability than anything else). Dogs that are not socialized well cannot tell the difference between a stranger and a real threat...they have no comparison. Do them and yourself a favor and make sure they get well socialized and advanced obedience trained before you attempt anything protection based.
 
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