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my dog is a wonderful well trained companion and if the shooting ever starts, I am secure knowing she will lead me to the safest place in the house to hide
Hide?
Die on a pile of hot shells, if you must.
Not in a closet.
 

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Cats too. I cat can go for the head and shred a face up really good
 

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My dog's plan is to feign stupidity and spring into action when an intruder comes closer to investigate. Here she is utilizing her trick of "I tried to sit on my food dish, fell behind it, and got trapped." You can see how she puts one foot up under her for extra effect, to make you think she is pinned (you can see it peeking out just below her collar). She will remain in these "Help, I'm trapped!" poses for long periods of time, waiting for an intruder to show up so she can launch a surprise attack. It's not just any dog that can pull off a stunt like this.

GuardDog.jpg
 

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ramnob wrote "I don't expect my dog(s) to protect me, I expect them to let me know something is amiss. At that point" , the job of my dog is done and I'll take it from there.

My dog has its own bark language to indicate the perceived level of threat and I really appreciate that because it buys me those few precious seconds I'll need to observe, orient, decide, and act.
 

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We got a border collie/Australian shepherd mix two years ago and I hoped for some protective behavior from her. It didn't show up until this summer when she started warning us that people were in the area. Now if anyone comes toward us, she lets out a low growl to let them know that's close enough. That is exactly what I hoped for, not a learned behavior, an instinctual one on her part. That warning puts me on heightened status, which is my job as protector of what is mine, and family.
 

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My three dogs are my canine door/alarm bell. No one can approach the house without the loud barking that no one can miss. They will let me know when any deliveries are made no matter how stealthily they try to make the delivery.
I have two Aussies and a Great Dane mix.
My previous dog was also an Aussie that had a sixth sense for people that also appeared sketchy to me. He wouldn’t let them on the property. He knew exactly where the property lines were - that was his space! He wasn’t trained for protection but was very thoroughly trained that he was not to be first in command, but third (my wife and I taking primary). He took on being the protector of our children, which he did with any necessary sacrifice. He felt the swing set was too dangerous and would run in front of the kids while swinging to take the hit rather than let them continue on such dangerous things. He took out a large coyote that had been looking too long at the kids in the neighborhood without getting a mark on him.
He knew how to take anyone down he didn’t want on the property. Delivery people were fine, most of the people in the neighborhood were fine, but then some were in his mind dangerous and he would neutralize the threat. Somehow hew knew that hitting someone at full speed (he was 65# and could really move) in the solar plexus with his snout would stop them. Never left a mark, but the panic of not being able to breathe for a bit while flat in your back and having a snarling dog inches from your face I’m sure left memories.
That dog could open any door any cabinet and any cage. He was not to be contained. He would push chairs around to get up on things. He would watch how you did something to get what he wanted when you weren’t around. He would steal bags of bread, finish it and the hide the bag behind the furniture.
My three current dogs are very loud but probably wouldn’t actually take anyone on. The youngest is actually a bluster dog and would probably stand about 15-20 feet from an intruder and just bark her head off.
 
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View attachment 51650 View attachment 51652 View attachment 51654 My three canine doorbells. Top Cocoa (12yo F Great Dane Mix - 45#), Amos(16yo M - Aussie - 65#), Roxie (5 yo F Aussie - 45#). I love them dearly!
I had a beautiful female blue merle like your Roxie ( she was the only normal pup from a litter of lethal whites* - incredible! ) and after her I had a male red merle like your Amos who was the largest Aussie I have ever known at 88 lbs. Those were the most personally loyal and sensitive dogs I ever had. I have been told by some vets and breeders that Aussies tend to be extremely attached to a single individual. A "one person dog". That was the case with mine. Now I have a very large male lab ( see avatar ) who is everybody's friend and a lab/dachshund mix ( one of them must have had an apple crate handy, I reckon ) who is sweet as sugar but an abject coward. I've loved 'em all!

* lethal whites - a brood of puppies resulting from crossing a male merle and a female merle. Many of the pups will be blind with totally white coats and suffer from other terrible genetic defects. Sometimes, a normal pup will result from a lethal white brood with spectaculary wild and brilliant coloring, such as the one I had! I will post a picture of her if I can dig one up easily. She was beautiful!

I have to post this. I love the way the guy checks the bite radius on the kitty treat bag to ferret out the guilty party. Labs just cannot hide their true feelings.

 

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I don't know the people behind me very well but they have a pit bull. There is a stockade fence between us. Whenever I'm trimming along the fence he is there on the other side following along. He does get agitated sometimes and growls and bangs into the fence which is not too sturdy. They leave him out sometimes when they are out. I may have to start trimming with my 12ga slung over my shoulder. LOL.
Untrained dogs are generally easy. Abused animals though, they get rough...and yes, tying em outside without attention is abuse for a dog
 

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I have never owned a dog that would not (try to) protect me if they thought I was in danger. I never taught any of them that trait, I believe it was because they knew I would protect them the same way. Friendship works both ways.
100% agreed...spend time with them regardless training and they get your back
 

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Our family has worked with multiple adoption agencies in fostering dogs over the years and have fostered dogs until we lost count (>100+). We haven't done many of late as our Amos is getting old enough that he has a hard time handling the youngster's antics and it stresses him out.
We seem to have had a significant number of dogs that have either been abused or have had such difficulty in life that they were emotional wrecks. What is interesting is that we were able to get them to become normal dogs (except one where we were only able to help a lot but not get her completely normal). For every one of the dogs it was simply consistency and love. We have resolved food aggression, fear of raised hands, fear of men, of women, etc. We don't feel we have any special knowledge and definitely aren't perfect about it, but the dogs just seem to open up and relax. Our three dogs have been helpers in that (Aussies are great teachers to other dogs) and will show them what a dog is supposed to do and relieve their fears. We have only had a common food bowl for all of them without problems. I have seen some very messed up dogs get fully straightened out.
 

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Our family has worked with multiple adoption agencies in fostering dogs over the years and have fostered dogs until we lost count (>100+). We haven't done many of late as our Amos is getting old enough that he has a hard time handling the youngster's antics and it stresses him out.
We seem to have had a significant number of dogs that have either been abused or have had such difficulty in life that they were emotional wrecks. What is interesting is that we were able to get them to become normal dogs (except one where we were only able to help a lot but not get her completely normal). For every one of the dogs it was simply consistency and love. We have resolved food aggression, fear of raised hands, fear of men, of women, etc. We don't feel we have any special knowledge and definitely aren't perfect about it, but the dogs just seem to open up and relax. Our three dogs have been helpers in that (Aussies are great teachers to other dogs) and will show them what a dog is supposed to do and relieve their fears. We have only had a common food bowl for all of them without problems. I have seen some very messed up dogs get fully straightened out.
It is interesting how you describe raising troubled dogs. My experience is with troubled kids, and the methods are the same. Love and consistency. I hear from young people how something I said years ago still influences their life, and how my rock solid consistency was the anchor they could count on. You are correct, it is not a special gift, it is the quality you possess naturally. Our grand daughters and their father just moved out after 6 years of being under our roof, and I believe what they experienced here will be a solid foundation for their lives.
 

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We seem to have had a significant number of dogs that have either been abused or have had such difficulty in life that they were emotional wrecks. What is interesting is that we were able to get them to become normal dogs (except one where we were only able to help a lot but not get her completely normal). .
Love this, dogs like children are really a product of their environment when it comes to behavior! This is definitely a truth.

Can't blame dogs for the actions of crap owners
 

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My dog's a 60lb mixed German and Au shepherd. Like pretty much all shepherds she is vocal and expressive. There's no question about when she perceives a threat.

We live in the foothills of east Tn, Blount Co. Mostly what we want is for her to tell us when critters (4 or 2 legged versions) are around while we are hiking our property and the adjacent Natl Park. There's a good population of black bears and coyotes in this area. We see bears all the time and don't take their generally benign nature for granted. One broke into our porch last month and came back the next day. I pretty much always carry a 10mm Glock 40 when we hike but rely on the dog for early warning.
 

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[We] rely on the dog for early warning.
That's what I like to see. Dogs doing what they were domesticated to do. It runs in their blood and they're happier. A herding dog that doesn't have a flock, a bird dog that doesn't have a bird or tracking dog that doesn't have a scent to follow is a sad dog. Just about every pure breed of dog was bred for a task.
And then there are Boston Terriers. I think they are bred to go bat -sh!t over balloons. I know, we've had five.
 
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