Dog Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there everyone,

Let me preface this by saying I have read the "How To Choose the Right Breed" and "I want a guard dog" stickies as well as done some additional research online. I just wanted to post and see if anyone could contribute some personal insight or experience to my list of requirements.

My girlfriend (hopefully future wife) and I have discussed at length getting a dog together in 2-3 years when we buy a house together. She really wants to get a larger-size dog. Considering our financial outlook, we will likely have a very small house but with a medium sized backyard. For what it's worth, I had a male English Springer Spaniel growing up and she has never had a dog before.

a) I need a dog that can be left alone approx. 5 days a month (willing to pay a dog walker to come let the dog out and give it a walk around lunchtime or afternoon). My partner will be away from home approximately 7:30am-6pm Monday-Friday. I work 24-hour shifts approx. 8 times a month. During this time I will be completely unaccessible and not able to come home. Some of my shifts will be weekends, during those days she can take care of the dog. This leaves 5 days a month where neither of us will be home from 7:30am-6pm (approximate). I want a dog that will be comfortable being alone 5 days a month. Again, I'm willing to pay someone to let the dog out for a pee/poo break.

b) As I said I read the "I want a guard dog" thread, but I would like a dog that will keep my family safe while I am 1.5 hours away for a 24 hour cycle. We do not want an overly aggressive dog, but it is important that I have some peace of mind that my family will be safe and sound and my GF is not 100% comfortable with the idea of me being gone 1 out of every 4 nights without a dog in the house. Weapons in the house are not an option for us, but we will likely have some kind of security system as well.

c) We want children in the future. We will probably start having children a year or two after we get the dog if all goes according to plan.

With this said, we have been looking at breeds such as Bullmastiff/ english mastiff, Bernese Mountain Dog (girlfriend's personal favourite), Boxer, etc. We looked at GSD and similar breeds but believe as less experienced owners they may be too much to handle. We aren't looking to get a dog until we our out of apartment and have a house, because we cannot afford a dogwalker right now, and considering how high energy my dog was when I was a kid I really want our dog to have some space to run around in.

Can any of you shed some light and perhaps recommend one of these breeds or others to us?

Thank you very much in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
Dogos have some breeding issues so it's important to find a good breeder if you get one.

Also one of the advantages of most very large dogs is that they are generally lower energy and can be left alone longer and need less exercise. Dogos are relatively high energy for mastiffs though and will need more exercise and stimulation.

What is the climate like where you live? Some dogs that fit your bill like leongbergers, Spanish mastiffs, or sarabis are well suited to cold weather while others such as the adormentioned Dogo or a Fila Brasiliero will not tolerate low temperatures as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
I have to disagree with the Dogo being a good choice. They are high energy and if you think a GSD is too intense for you, a Dogo is also too intense. They're powerful, have a strong personality, have a high prey drive and need an experienced owner.

Personally I think with wanting a low energy dog that will just laze around the house and look scary, a Mastiff type would be a good fit. They're good family dogs, affectionate, and not as intense as some other large breeds. A Boxer would be way too much energy and probably chew up the house and be very unhappy being let alone that much. I can't say I think a Berner would fare that well in this situation but they're very people oriented dogs so I think they might get lonely being alone that long.

I would also recommend you get a dog walker to come more than once a day if the dog is left alone THAT long. One of my jbos is as a pet sitter and when people are gone that often we usually visit them 2-4 times a day.

The only other breed I can think of that might work well is an older mellow Pit Bull mix. While most young Pit/bully breed mixes are very high energy some that are 5+ years old are downright lazy, and they're loyal, protective and many are good with children. Otherwise I think you are on the right track with a dog like an English Mastiff, Bullmastiff or French (Bordeaux) Mastiff. If you will have this schedule when you get the dog I suggest getting an adult. There are a number of Mastiff mixes in shelters as well. I would also tread lightly with the new popularity of Cane Corsos (Italian Mastiffs) because they can be an intense pushy breed, but some of the older ones have a quieter, mellow nature. Just be prepared for lots of drool! Also make sure you get a dog with a sound temperament. I've seen quite a few Mastiffs with fear issues, which can turn into fear aggression and be dangerous.
 
  • Like
Reactions: akodo1 and Sha

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
I would not recommend a dogo or a fila to someone who plans on hiring a dog walker. The fila especially is not a dog that will allow someone who does not live in the house to just walk in the house. I would also not recommend either a dogo or a fila to someone who is just starting out in dogs.

A bullmastiff might be a good choice if you do your research on the breeder and watch out for health problems. A berner would just as soon help someone rob a house than stop them. However they are big and that is enough to stop a lot of people. Be aware that there is a lot of cancer in the breed so ask a lot of questions about the lines that are being bred.

We have Borzoi and they could be a good match for you. A male Borzoi is quite large and while they are not traditionally guard dogs they can look awfully intimidating. They are very mellow inside the house - like large fluffy throw rugs but enjoy being active when outside.

If you want to stick with a more mastiffy looking dog you can also consider the Great Dane, English Mastiff, or maybe even a Saint Bernard.

A couple of other breeds to possibly consider are the Bouvier Des Flandres and the Giant Schnauzer but they might fall more into the advanced category of dog ownership.

The best advice is to read everything you can about every breed you might have an interest in and get the breed that just feels right to you. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sha and traciek88

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
I have a mastiff myself, belong to a mastiff club, and agree with @traciek88 and @K9Chaos. There are some mastiffs that are high energy and need a high amount of mental stimulation - for eg., Dogos, Cane Corsos - not great for most owners, let alone a beginner owner. Others also not recommended for beginners are Neopolitan Mastiffs and the Fila Brasileiro (Brazilian mastiff).

Probably the most recommended for beginner mastiff owners or those wanting an "easier" mastiff in general are the Bullmastiff and English Mastiff. Oh, and the Great Dane (german mastiff) They all become pretty mellow as an adult, but look quite intimidating on their size alone.

As these are giant dogs though, you want to get them highly trained so they are easier to handle once they weigh 150 pds. I always recommend as a start by getting puppy classes at a very young age and having a goal of getting the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
I would 3rd the Great Dane idea. I have never had one but they are my dream dog. I would have got one but my partner isn't too keen on huge dogs.
All the advice above is excellent. Bull Mastiffs are great dogs. As are Irish Wolfhounds.

Look up low energy larger breeds and see what comes up, you could always opt for adopting a crossbreed from a shelter. Tell them exactly what your looking for and im sure they will match you up with the right dog.

Best of luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
I think some of the mastiffs could work, but I don't think a Dane would be a good fit. Dogs like the Bullmastiff, English mastiff and Dogue de Boreaux. Maybe even Newfinland or Bernese Mountain dog, but they are more watch dog than guard dog. Leonburger are big beautiful dogs too. Danes are velcro dogs, I'm not sure how well they would be left alone for that amount of time. Most large/giant breeds are intimidating just because of their size, and nearly all dogs make good watch dogs. Meaning they will alert bark. Freyja is super friendly, but her bark and size will turn most people away.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sha

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
Are you looking to get a dog - and have it properly trained in a guard dog role? Or are you looking for a dog that's naturally guardive of the owners?

Lots of dog are capable. My father had a black lab, friendliest thing on 4 legs. Anyone was allowed in the house, but if you didn't belong there, you weren't getting back out fully intact. He came home one day, the dog had a thief cornered in the kitchen. God help a stranger that raised a hand in anger to any part of the family, in the house or on leash - he was naturally like that.

Rotties are wonderful dogs, can be very friendly, but very guardive. The doberman commands attention. Sometimes all it takes is presence.

Be sure to check laws and regulations regarding protection dogs. Where I live, trespasser jumps the fence and lands in a dogs mouth, too bad. You sick your dog on a trespasser, too bad for you. Children get a free pass here with dogs, they get bit while trespassing, you're in for a world of hurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Rottweiler. Intelligent, powerful and very protective breed. Goes well with kids / family members but not with strangers.

I agree with jagger. Rotties, Dobermans are natural guard dogs. They have a territorial instinct and their looks are very intimidating.

All of the mentioned breeds here are great choices as well :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,746 Posts
Chinese Shar-Pei is a serious family protection dog. This dog breed still has a strong desire to protect a family and can be aggressive toward strangers coming into a home.
I"m wondering whether this breed would be a good choice for an inexperienced, first-time dog owner.

(I know that that OP mentioned his family having a English Springer Spaniel as he was growing up. My family also had a Springer Spaniel mix, but that experience did not prepare for bringing home my first dog as an adult.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
I'm going to have to be a jerk and say that I think Rotties, Dobies and Shar Peis are not a good choice for people who don't have a good deal of dog experience, especially wth powerful breeds. From what I hated the OP mostly wants a dog that looks foreboding, not a true protection dog. And as he stated before it sounds like he's not confident in his ability to manage a very powerful dog. Most dogs will protect you if you need it anyway. But those three breeds can be 'too' protective and bite the pizza guy if not properly trained or socialized. Shar Peis in particular don't like many new people and they are not a breed I would recommend around small children.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sha

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
As the owner of an English Mastiff, I am biased, but they certainly fit your bill. However, they can grow to be over 200 lbs, so you want a well-trained dog or you are in for a handful, especially as these dogs mature late, so basically you can have a 200 lb puppy on your hands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Wow, thank you all so much for your help! This is exactly the kind of feedback and information I was looking for. It is very much appreciated.

As traciek88 stated I am probably more looking for a more foreboding looking dog rather than a true protection dog. I have no qualms or issues spending a lot of time getting the dog properly trained and getting it lots of exercise, but one of my coworkers has a Rotty and it's generally a fantastic dog and SO kind to people, but it does seem like a lot to handle at times. But he's out in the country and their dogs have 25 acres to roam around on too.

I will look more into Mastiff type breeds and Great Dane. I am not all that concerned about my ability to manage a large animal and invest the time, it`s just those few days when we`ll both be gone that are annoying. Hopefully when we move there will be a neighbour who can maybe develop more of a relationship with the dog and take it a few times a day instead of just a walker.

To answer the question about climate, I'm in Canada (Southern Ontario) so it gets freezing cold in the winter, mild spring/fall and hot summer.

Thank you all !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
That takes bully breeds and Dogo out of the mix. Pits are banned in Ontario and the law includes anything that resembles a pit too closely and could be mistaken as one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
As traciek88 stated I am probably more looking for a more foreboding looking dog rather than a true protection dog.
In that case Pitbulls, GSDs and Rottweilers would be good fits. They're scary to most people.

One important distinction with "guard" dogs is that there are really two types. Trained and instinctive. "Protection dog" usually refers to a highly trained animal working as it has been taught to. Pretty much all law enforcement and military dogs fall into this category. Instinctive guard dogs on the other hand don't need to be trained, they were bred to protect their flock from real and constant threats. In these lines "wolf killers" were always prized breeding stock. The downside is that because they protect on instinct they are less reliable/predictable than trained "protection" dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
That takes bully breeds and Dogo out of the mix. Pits are banned in Ontario and the law includes anything that resembles a pit too closely and could be mistaken as one.
I don't think a dogo looks all that much like a pit. I've never seen a pitbull that large, they look more like danes to me.

A dogo would not be a fan of the weather. I'm pretty of sure of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
Great Danes have a very lean build and short hair so if you do go that way you'll have to get a heavy winter jacket. They tend to get chilly quickly. Freyja will even curl up in a tight ball if it's chilly in the morning, I'll often put a blanket on her and you can see her relax a bit as she warms up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
@Esand. I have to disagree. I think Dogos look VERY much like Pit Bulls and Am Staffs. I certainly wouldn't mix one up with a Dane. They're larger and typically leaner but Pit Bulls can run the gamut of sizes and body types. Also, it doesn't so much matter what a dog person thinks, but what stupid people in control of that law think. I've literally heard about someone with a PURE Lab having the cops come to her door looking to destroy her dog because he was reported to be a "Pit Bull". The only reason she was able to keep him was she had his CKC papers that said he was a Lab.

Also OP due to the cold it some other breeds that might be good to look into are the Newfoundland and Leonberger. They might be a bit lonely on the days you can't be around but it's something to think about.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top