What is a good watch dog breed for a young family?

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12 years 11 months ago #27341 by sonyajh
I feel like I'm going around and around in circles trying to select a good breed of dog that will have 'presence' enough to deter the 'unwanted', be a good barker but not the type to seek out a fight, and yet will be fantastic with young children and chickens :o) (I think the chickens will be just about getting a young pup and teaching it that the chooks are it's sisters) ....

The English Staffordshire Bull terrier comes up time and time again as fitting this bill, and I dooooo love them so much (my first dog was a little staffy and i still miss her to bits), but she was stolen, and she was anxious (coz she loved me back as much as I loved her), and i would be in constant fear that if we got another little staffy it would get stolen too. I would have to make it an inside dog, and that kinda defeats the purpose of having a watch dog ...

I don't want a poodle ... I don't want some designer breed cavalawhippet etc ... I'd be more inclined to look at rehoming a young pup from the pound to give it a second chance if I had to, but ideally I want a good solid (not necessarily literally solid) breed that I could see both parents and meet the owners so I knew it came from a good background ... trouble is, I don't know what breed to start looking for! :( and then where to get it from!

Help! Ideas most welcomed ...

ps - don't want a rottie, or a german shepherd or a doberman - i would feel like i've gotta run around in the bushes in commando, ... and I quite like my beige knickers ;o)

1/4 acre urban lifestyler [:D]

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12 years 11 months ago #376559 by Jen - Featherston
Go the Staffy, funny cause as I was reading I was thinking she needs a staffy, then you said you thought of a Staffy!

If you want one that is carefully bred from Champion show dogs PM me as I know of a litter due soon :)

Sometimes its not only what you say, its the way you say it that counts.

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12 years 11 months ago #376565 by 3scoremiles10
Sorry, but I'd go with a German Shepherd or a Rottweiler. *sheepish* It's hard to go wrong with a good member of either of these breeds, and they are everything you're looking for. Find a breeder, meet some of these dogs, and you will see past the 'commando' image. Rotties in particular are big goofs, love to play and can be quite boisterous. With both of these breeds you need to do your homework on the breeder - there are some dodgy ones that seem to breed for unstable temperament. Also hip and elbow scores are important.

Staffys are awesome little dogs, but due to what they were bred for they have a low arousal point and can go from play to deadly serious in an instant - not that good with small kids who can be thoughtless and clumsy.

Whatever breed you choose socialisation is all-important, both with the chooks and your kids, and it goes both ways - your kids need to learn to respect the dog. I'm sure you know this, as you certainly seem to have done your homework, but you should NEVER leave young kids alone with any dog, even a lab or some 'designer' breed. Tragedies do happen. Designer breeds, by the way, are a complete ripoff - they are just mutts, usually fluffy ones, with a fancy name.

We have four dogs, all of them inside dogs, and of all of them the 15 year old beagle is the one that frightens people off, because he sounds like the hound of the baskervilles when he bays. The Blue Heeler, who is an excellent guarddog, has a very unmanly 'yip'. :D

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12 years 11 months ago #376569 by Organix
A labrador has a healthy bark and a good ear for 'intruder' noises. Just have to manage the food attractions :)

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12 years 11 months ago #376570 by davecla
+1 for the lab.

Great bark, and "almost" bullet proof with kids. I'd never trust some breeds with kids.

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12 years 11 months ago #376571 by woolfiedesu
I'd go with a spaniel, springer or cocker. Good watch dogs, hopeless guard dogs,but that is the reason they are good with children and chickens!

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12 years 11 months ago #376572 by Vanaheim
weve had a rottty cross for 7 years and when we lived in town we were the only house never broken into. hes about 48kg but a huge softy and great with kids. If they annoy him he goes away and hides.

Bræðr munu berjask ok at bönum verðask,
munu systrungar sifjum spilla;
hart er í heimi, hórdómr mikill,
skeggöld, skalmöld, skildir ro klofnir,
vindöld, vargöld, áðr veröld steypisk;
mun engi maðr öðrum þyrma.

Brothers shall fight | and fell each other,
And sisters' sons | shall...

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12 years 11 months ago #376578 by LESLEYH
I would give a big ++ for a lab, my boy is 2.5 year old (had him from 7 weeks old) he is fantastic with everything. Cows, calves, sheep, lambs, chooks and chickens. I have a new 8 week old kitten who he just adores,washing its little face etc.

I have only ever had to tell him something once and he knows what or what not to do.

Has a great deep bark and being black looks quite menacing.

LESLEY

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12 years 11 months ago #376581 by Denneaux
I think the suggestions of labs and staffys are good, I'd like to add boxer to the list.

The ones we had growing up were very gentle beasts with great guarding instincts and huge barks. They have that "look" about them that makes people think twice about messing with them, but in reality have very soft mouths.

Unless stated, the above post is not meant as criticism.

Go back and read it again in your HAPPY voice!

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12 years 11 months ago #376589 by goatmama
We are getting a white shepherd for just the reasons stated in the orrigonal post. Has presence, good guard dog, good with kids, chicken friendly (when trained lol) and best of all, there are still 2 girls and 1 boy left in the litter. They are somewhere in the central NI if you are interested PM me and we can put you in touch with the breeder. There is also another litter due to drop if not already so plenty to choose from.
I agree about the fear of your Staffy getting pinched. I grew up with one. Loved her to bits and she was a wonderful protecter. Mum was always worried though that some gang members would steal her and use her for fights or such and was almost paronoid about me taking her ffor early morning runs on my own.

10 acres in sunny Southland. Husband and 3 boys. 17 Wilties, "Clucky quarters" 2 doz + chooks, rouen clair ducks, Coffee our Irish Terrier and Kaz and Mooch our wee Kitty's. Our Big White Shepherd, Nena. Bennie and Mo the moos
Prov 27:27

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12 years 11 months ago #376592 by Xartep
I know I'm biased but Cocker Spaniels are almost bullet proof with kids, cope well with being trained about chickens and ducks and have a big dog bark and attitude, while being very portable. Important to buy from a reputable breeder and check out the parents for temperament first (this goes for any breed of course)

Another completely kid proof dog is the French Bulldog, unfortunately they are a bit harder on chooks and cost a lot more.

3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?:rolleyes::cool:

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12 years 11 months ago #376618 by RaeM1
Blue Heelers are great family dogs, and will protect your property, and also do have a bark, we used to breed them, and used to take our dog to the shows, until he stopped anyone getting anywhere our horse float, and he also was great when anyone came down the drive to our house. Actually also used to ping the wire on the fence behind his kennel with his teeth to show how big and brave that he was. He was actually one of our working dogs, and was brilliant for getting cattle out of the tobacco weed that grew around Port Waikato.

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12 years 11 months ago #376621 by stephclark
:D i vote for the mutt.. i have a staffyxwireheaired JR terrior.. awesome with kids, chooks, stock ( scared of them.. run and hide ).. small enough to live in the house, go in the care etc and has a huge bark.. very good at knowing when something isnt ' right' around around the place.. will let us know..

oh and a vote for the poodle.. brilliant, loyal intelligent little dogs.. pity they are treated like foofs by a lot of silly woman.. they thrive on work and training

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12 years 11 months ago #376624 by Denneaux
Try this site www.nzkc.org.nz/dogselect.html it has lots of information of each breed, scores for watch dog, protection instincts, trainability etc, plus a list of breeders.

I've found it very accurate for the breeds I've had, might help you get down to a short list of breeds.

Unless stated, the above post is not meant as criticism.

Go back and read it again in your HAPPY voice!

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12 years 11 months ago #376625 by Cinsara
I must say a Lab ticks all your boxes. Our first ever family dog was a Yellow Lab and she was a brilliant family dog yet looked and sounded fierce with strangers. No disrespect to purebred Staffies but they aren't exactly a deterrant, everybody knows they are all bark and no bite :D

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