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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all


I have a male 5- 1/2 month old GSD, I had him since he was 2 months. He friendly, playful, sweet and obedient.

But the problem is that he is too submissive especially to other dogs. One of the reasons that I choice him is for protection, I want to feel that my family is safer while I'm not home. But he is too friendly, he does bark at people when they get close to our house, but when they get too close he becomes friendly towards them

And with other dogs, almost every single dog I have ever meet dominates him, they would take his food and toys from him. And when a larger dogs play with him he gets timid and lay on the ground submissively or run away.


I never hit him, yelled at him, neglected him or abused him in any way. We never even leave him home alone more than 3-5 hours. every other day. and he never was attacked by another dog, except a couple of times, but it was merely a minor conflict over toys and food, nothing that would turn him that submissive, plus he was that submissive even before that conflict happened.

So my question is, will a submissive dog like that protect my family when needed? I don't want him to be aggressive, i know a lot of dogs that are more assertive and protective, but still are very friendly

I know that some will say just get an alarm system or call the police. But dog protection and calling the police complete each other, the police will help catch the criminal but not prevent the crime from happening


waiting to hear your comments
 

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Wait until he gets older, he will with almost 100% certainty be less submissive w other dogs and possibly people then. My dog was very submissive as a young dog and now generally isn't to most dogs. You may never have a great guard dog on your hands though, that's just the breaks of buying a puppy, you don't know his adult personality, but you might still ...its really too early to tell. Best of luck to you.
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Don't worry about it. Dominance and submission are poorly-understood to most people. Some behaviors that we think of as 'dominant' (taking food/toys and guarding them, suspicion towards people and bullying other dogs) are actually more due to insecurity than overconfidence.

Trust me, when your GSD reaches full size he will find his big, booming bark and begin to realize the effect this has around strangers that are a little bit sketchy. I walk a white GSD with the same sort of behavior toward dogs as you describe but trust me, no-one is laughing when they are walking by the house and he is standing on the porch, letting out a few low barks. He doesn't even mean to be scary at all, but that job takes care of itself when you are 120 lbs of fur, teeth and a big loud voice. LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys for the great input


supaflyskye

I'm really glad to know that, really good info thanks for your replay


kelly528

right now some strangers started to fear his bark, and as you said, I think he likes it LOL. Thanks for your replay



I would love to hear from other people that have some experience with this sort of issue
 

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Having had shepherds for the last 30+ years, it sounds like you pup is pretty well socialized with people I would keep this up. II would also take him to classes to socialize with other pooches. Believe me, the last thing you want is an aggressive GSD, or any other breed for that matter.
As others have said, in time, he will alert you to anyone around. Most people fear their bark and their intimidating size. Please make sure you train him well.
IMO, I would rather have a well adjusted GSD to one that is leary of everything.
Much luck with your boy!
 

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First of all, temperament varies between dogs, not all GSDs will have the same temperament and there are different characteristics that come into play for guarding.

One is natural wariness and disliking of strangers, the other is how the dog reacts in a confrontation, fight or flight. The second is much more crucial than the first. If your dog is naturally friendly you need to train him. If he won't stand his ground, that's a lot harder to train.

If you want him to be more protective, you need to teach him that these strange new people coming over are not his friends, that they mean to cause him and his family harm.
 

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First of all, temperament varies between dogs, not all GSDs will have the same temperament and there are different characteristics that come into play for guarding.

One is natural wariness and disliking of strangers, the other is how the dog reacts in a confrontation, fight or flight. The second is much more crucial than the first. If your dog is naturally friendly you need to train him. If he won't stand his ground, that's a lot harder to train.

If you want him to be more protective, you need to teach him that these strange new people coming over are not his friends, that they mean to cause him and his family harm.

It takes a skilled professional to properly train a protection dog, and you need a temperamentally sound dog to start with. A regular person, even a good trainer, should not be attempting to train a dog such things, or the person is liable to end up with a ticking time bomb on their hands. There is a reason that protection dogs cost tens of thousands of dollars and a reason that many dogs wash out of those types of training programs.

A dog that considers strange new people dangerous is not a joy to own, it's a constant, uphill, battle, to take such a dog for a walk. If a person is planning on having new people over then the dog needs to be taken into consideration, if there are children in the house then the dog needs to be securely put away so that the children are not endangered. If the dog were to escape he's a lawsuit waiting to happen.
 

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The OP said he wanted his dog to be a protector. I pointed out that that behavior can be trained if it's not instinctive.

No need to lecture.
 

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Rain gives very, very sound advice. The average person attempting to teach a dog "that these strange new people coming over are not his friends, that they mean to cause him and his family harm" is a MASSIVE mistake, UNLESS the family in question lives behind a high wall in a facility the dog never leaves, or the dog is working in a prison, where it is going to be very unlikely that anyone it comes into contact with, other than the family (or soldiers) will be foreign to him.

Esand, aren't you from Argentina? Here in the U.S. (assuming the OP is in the U.S. also) a dog like you describe need only slip up once and it will be put down by the authorities virtually immediately. Then, not only does the owner of the dog that attacked or killed another animal or person have to live with what they helped create; then the lawyers will descend. The U.S. may not be the most litigious country, but we have by far the most vicious, bloodthirsty lawyers (not unlike certain dogs) on the planet.
 

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I have a female rotty 2 and a half years old, she is like that too with other dogs and people, however no stranger dares enter my property as she will bark her loud bark and as I have been told by many ppl in my neighbourhood, they are scared of her, even though she is just as friendly lol
 

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Jojo, in my experience most dogs are programmed to protect what is theirs. Also, most dogs need a bit de-programming in that department to live harmoniously with other people/in towns.

I would be glad if I were you. The other end of the spectrum brings much more headache.

Also, he will grow up to be a big dog with a powerful bark - his looks and voice will be enough to keep away the casual intruder. And those humans who are really set in getting to you/your home wont be stopped by dogs or locks anyways.

I read a hilarious debate about who is the ultimate guard-dog in another forum.

One guy said "About those big white ole sheepdogs - I`ll just take a lawn-chair and spook them with that and voila, free excess to your door"

Another one said: "And I`ll put on a dummy-arm (thing used in training dogs to attack), your GSD will hang onto that and I`ll walk straight up to your door"

So basically, humans are smart and if they really want something, your dog wont stop them. Luckily, 99.9% of offenders aren`t like that and for them a loud bark from a medium to large sized dog is enough to cancel any ill-thoughts.
 

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When my eight year old nephew came to visit me recently, all the adults in the house bossed him around. His parents told him when to go to bed and that he had to finish everything on his plate even if it contained something horrible like cooked carrots, they put him in time-out or took away his screen privileges when he was naughty, and that he had to listen to Auntie SnackRat at all times. He didn't ask to borrow the car keys, try to grab a beer with us in the evenings, and he certainly didn't tell us when to go to bed. If he comes back for a visit when he is 24, I bet many of these things will have changed. If not, most people would find it pretty weird for a 24 year old to have a bed time or have to obey everything his aunt told him to do...just like it would have been really weird for an eight year old to drive down to the corner store to grab us some snacks.

Your dog is 5 1/2 months old...not even a teenager yet. It would be totally inappropriate for him to be challenging older and bigger dogs, or trying to put himself in charge of household security. He sounds very sweet, and I'm glad you are taking the time now to make sure he has many positive experiences with the world. That will help him grow up confident in many different situations, which will be good for his future health and his future ability to play some role in helping your family feel safer. But he is too young for that job now. He is behaving in ways that are normal and appropriate for his age/stage, and there is no reason to fear that he will not grow up to be a confident, assertive dog.

NO knowledgeable trainer of protection dogs begins by teaching a six month old puppy "that these strange new people coming over are not his friends, that they mean to cause him and his family harm." That's not just ludicrous, it's a way to set up that puppy to completely fail at his future job. At six months, a future guard puppy needs lots of positive experiences with the world and lots of obedience foundation work (and drive/control development, for trainers equipped to teach those things).

When he is older, you can start teaching him useful things like barking in a big, deep, threatening voice on cue (either a cue from you, or the "cue" of a stranger appearing on your property). That happens after he has already learned a really solid foundation of other skills. If you don't feel equipped to teach those skills, you can look for a good motivational trainer in your area to help you, or you can do what many people have already pointed out: trust in the fact that 99% of people will be scared by a big family dog with a big bark. In the meantime, enjoy your sweet puppy!
 

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I had a GSD who didn't start to alert to strangers till she was two. While people do train dogs for protection, it's a skill that goes against most dog's natural inclination. While they're happy to alert to things that are out of the ordinary, left to themselves most dogs will try to defuse or avoid scary situations and barking is part of that system. A dog truly intent on attacking doesn't make any noise.

A dog that considers strange new people dangerous is not a joy to own, it's a constant, uphill, battle, to take such a dog for a walk. If a person is planning on having new people over then the dog needs to be taken into consideration, if there are children in the house then the dog needs to be securely put away so that the children are not endangered.
Yes, this is so true. I have one of those dogs that automatically bark/lunge if anyone new comes within about 4 or 5 feet of me on walks - many people seem to think the dog is "doing his job", but really he's just afraid and he can't tell the difference between an actual threat and, for instance, a child offering an ice-cream cone.

If the dog were to escape he's a lawsuit waiting to happen.
While my dog would do his best to avoid everybody if he were loose, it's also true that if he were startled by someone who got too close, he'd bite then run - which I suppose is marginally better than biting and hanging on.
 

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In terms of actual prevention of crime, big dogs are fairly useless. What actually scares away robbers is small dogs who won't stop barking, because it's the potential for the noise to attract attention that scares the robber away, not the dog.

If a criminal is more determined than that, your dog won't do a thing to prevent crime. The criminal will give your dog a steak, maybe laced with a sedative/poison, or just shoot him first thing to get him out of the way.

Keep socializing your dog, make him as friendly as humanly possible and stop worrying about everything. Your dog won't make you safe anyway.
 

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In terms of actual prevention of crime, big dogs are fairly useless. . Your dog won't make you safe anyway.
Oh please that's not true. Have you ever watched the myth busters episode about a gun vs a knife fight. They found that up to a surprisingly large distance a knife is preferable to a gun.

Someone breaking into a property is preoccupied with opening doors and locks, turning on lights etc, they probably don't have their gun on target and if they did they'd be pointing at human level, not at dog level.
 

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Oh please that's not true. Have you ever watched the myth busters episode about a gun vs a knife fight. They found that up to a surprisingly large distance a knife is preferable to a gun.
Somebody in my town killed a GSD with a knife.

Someone breaking into a property is preoccupied with opening doors and locks, turning on lights etc, they probably don't have their gun on target and if they did they'd be pointing at human level, not at dog level.
Once met up with a petty criminal-type, with my dog, while walking around the housing complex property. This was just after a number of thefts had occurred, so I stopped to talk to they guy, ask him why he was there, if he lived in one of the buildings. My dog was barking at him and the guy made a move toward my dog, raising his hands ... my dog backed up as far as the leash would let him, though he didn't stop barking.

Point is, someone intent on breaking into a house is likely to be dissuaded by a noisy dog. But if they aren't, if they don't care or if they have a plan, then the dog does not guarantee protection for the humans and is also at risk.
 

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@Dia I agree with everything in your post. A loud barking dog is likely to deter most criminals and humans might often come out on top in a fight with a dog, we are the top of the food chain for a reason.

Still it's not true that dogs can't stop crimes in progress. There was a burglar killed near here by 2 Rottweilers and he was armed with a knife. The dogs were not barking at the fence, they were in the house sleeping while the thief scaled perimeter wall. When he dropped down the other side he didn't even have time to pull his knife out of his waist band.

I'm not trying to say that a dog is any type of guarantee or even that its a good idea to have a guard dog instead of a shotgun or home alarm system. I'm just saying that there is a reason dogs have been used to guard places and fight humans for over a 1000 years.
 

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It'll come.

Be thankful he is socialising well with others, because you want a dog to protect you... not eat Mrs Jone's teacup Yorkshire.

My grumpy English Setter told a 5month GSD to leave him alone with a snap and some teeth. Pup rolled over an was wary. Nothing has happened since. The dog is coming up to three, big and beautiful creature. Has a lot more presence, is sure of itself and adores his owner. My dog crosses to the other side of the path and remains quiet ;)
 
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