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Before you select a guard dog, find out what qualities to look for and what to avoid.
Step 1: Decide if you need a guard dog or watch dog
Decide if you need a guard dog that can deter or subdue an intruder, or a watchdog that will alert you of an intruder.
Most dogs make good watch dogs because they are territorial and bark at strangers.
Step 2: Learn the important qualities of a good guard dog
Learn about the important qualities in a good guard dog, including trainability, a protective instinct, a sense of territory, strength, and intelligence.
Step 3: Look for the right kind of temperament
Look for a temperament that shows courage, loyalty, judgment, and stability.
Avoid overly aggressive dogs which may be difficult to control, or large breeds in a household with small children.
Step 4: Research breeds
Research breeds to determine which are best for you. Search online and in the library, and talk to vets and breeders.
Step 5: Look for quality breeders
Look for quality breeders if you’re buying a puppy. Ethical breeders keep their dogs clean and well fed, don’t sell to puppy mills, and won’t sell you a puppy until it’s about seven weeks old.
To evaluate puppies in a litter, pop open an umbrella to see which pups run away or ask the owner to feed them – the stronger ones will get to the food first.
Step 6: Evaluate mixed breeds
Evaluate mixed breeds using the same criteria. Ask if you can take one home for a few days to observe its behavior.
Step 7: Pick up your new guard dog
Pick up your new guard dog who, if trained with love, will love and protect your family and home.
Did You Know?
Rottweilers and bulldogs are thought to be descended from the earliest known guard dogs, which are believed to have lived in Tibet around 3000 B.C.