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My Top Breed for Guard/Watch Dog

Recently I had a thought on what breed my next dog will be.  Being a single female living in New York City, I would want a dog as a deterrent.  I hate being accosted on the street, and I would want a pooch to protect me while I walk him on the streets as well as in my home.  I want a fearsome dog, one who can back his bark up! However, I want a loving dog who I can have around children of all ages since I plan on starting a family of my own, yet wary of strangers.  I would also need a dog that is able to live in an apartment and can do well without a backyard, but a few walks daily.  I haven’t even mentioned grooming!  I do not want to walk around looking like Chewbacca from the pet hair all over me.  I would like a low maintenance pup: the most I want to do is bathe him once a month, a weekly brushing and grooming once a month.  Anything more than that will not work for me. I’m a busy girl and while it’s great for bonding, I don’t want my free time spent maintaining the pooch! I’d rather put my feet up on with a glass of wine and watch movies or read.  While for most the first dogs that may come to your mind will probably Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers, my choices were the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, and Mastiff as my top three.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is within the pit bull family.  This pup is in the top three not only for its fearsome reputation, but also because of their loving personality.  They are the cuddle bugs who love to just be with you no matter what you are doing.  While extremely loving, they are also extremely stubborn and willful; they will need a firm hand.  The Staffordshire will be happy sitting on the couch of a one room studio watching Animal Planet while you work as they are in the backyard playing Frisbee.  This makes them perfect for my New York City apartment.  Although they can sit around for hours keeping you company, they also need plenty of exercise to stimulate the mind and support their health and muscle tone.  This isn’t a bad thing; maybe s/he will be my motivation and jogging partner!  Another plus for me is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier doesn’t need much grooming: a weekly brushing and ear cleaning, and monthly nail trimming if necessary.  As far as bathing go, it’s basically as needed.  I take this to mean once every other month for me since I like a regular schedule.  As far as aggression, Staffie’s don’t develop this trait until adulthood so I have plenty of time to train him on what appropriate stranger behavior is and what it is not.

I chose the Rottweiler breed  for a few reasons.  They are extremely loyal and care for their families, children included.  They aren’t overly aggressive, even towards strangers they are extremely wary of.  In cases of their family being in need of defending do they show their viciousness and will defend you until the end.  This however is no different from most breeds of dogs except the Rottweiler is a powerful animal.  They do well in apartments also, so long as there are frequent walks (like 3-4 times per day) and given some sort of work to do: such as walking with a backpack (we could go on picnics and I can get a picnic backpack/basket/thingy for him/her!)There is also my personal family history with them.  My godmother had at least one Rottweiler for about a 15 year stretch.  I grew up knowing that yes they are huge and scary looking, but they are sweet little puppies on the inside.  In fact she raised her two sons around them, and they were NEVER hurt or injured because of the Rottweilers.

The last (but by far the least) breed  is the mastiff.  Standing no less than 2 ft. from the shoulders and weighing at least 150 lbs., they are among the largest of dogs and are what I like to call “horse-dogs”.  I like this breed because of the obvious size and weight advantage they have over other dogs, not to mention humans.  Also, they are gentle giants, being extremely protective of their loved ones.  They also do great with kids of all ages, and are actually known the “nanny dog”.  They also have a fearsome history of fighting, and have allegedly taken down an elephant!  For all of their size, they are fairly lazy.  A couple of walks a day are enough for these large pups.  There are a few things about this breed that turns me off: the slobber, the booming bark and them basically being a 200 lb. lap dog! There’s also a bit of difficulty in training, they are big, strong, stubborn dogs.

While I would prefer the English Mastiff, they are far too large unless upon some miracle I manage to move into an apartment in New York City big enough to handle such a pup.  So it would be between the Rottweiler and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  The winner is the Rottweiler: I can leave them alone longer (with toys to keep them occupied of course) without human company.   Also, they can definitely protect a home while still being an excellent family pet and I have more experience with this breed.  Are Rottweiler’s a good decision for me?  Tell me what you think!

I have listed only three breeds of dogs with excellent watchdog capabilities, there are many others.  One website listed about 50 different breeds with guard/watch dog potential: all of varying sizes, maintenance, personalities, and temperaments.  If you are searching for a guard dog, keep in mind there’s a bit of training involved for all dogs, but guard and watch dogs need special attention.  These dogs aren’t for a first time dog owner.  I would suggest purchasing a puppy from a reputable seller (to see if there is a history of aggression in the ancestors) and taking them to a professional dog trainer.  What is your favorite guard/watch dog breed?  Why?

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  • Tickled Pink Petcare

    Rachel Youngblood is a petcare professional who has years of experience caring for pets.

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