Choosing a guard dog seems like a fool proof undertaking. I mean what could possibly go wrong? – Just buy any barking biting canine and put up a Beware of the Dog sign right? Wrong! Make that dead and buried wrong!
There are several things to consider when buying a guard dog and if you get this stage wrong, you might end up footing unnecessary expenses and endangering both your family and innocent visitors and passersby.
1. What Is Your Budget?
This is the first thing you have to consider when selecting your breed of guard dog. Different breeds vary both in terms of acquisition and maintenance costs. Some breeds cost more and are not readily available. They might even have to be shipped from places distant from your city. Maintenance cost will, by common sense, depend on the size of the breed and what diseases the particular breed is prone to. For example, smaller breeds are prone to periodontal disease due to over-crowded teeth which tend to be difficult to clean. Large breeds will consume more food and incur more grooming costs.
2. How Much Security Do You Need?
What sort of neighborhood do you live in? Obviously some neighborhoods are more prone to break-ins than others and it would seem pointless to have a pack of blood-thirsty American pit-bull terriers in some. If you have a large family with say, servants and there is usually at least someone home on any day, a mere alarm dog might suffice. If you, however, live in a crime-prone area where burglaries are a weekly thing and you are usually away from home, you might want to get something next to a lion.
3. Kids and Your Dog
Some dogs have terrible temperaments and would pose as much as fatal danger to small children. Yes, the dogs behavior and response to different situations might to some extent be dependent on how you train your dogs, but lets be honest here, certain breeds, like the American pit-bull, are more likely to be overly aggressive. But it is not just whether the dog is aggressive or not, it is mostly what the dog can do in its fit of rage. Of course, even Chihuahuas can throw tantrums but is it capable of killing a child on a normal day?
4. How Sealed is Your Fence?
If you live in a neighborhood where fencing is not taken seriously, and most importantly you dont have one, an aggressive attack breed would be unreasonable. Think about the number of innocent passerbys that would have to sue you while limping. If your yard is open, either keep your dog tightly leashed or get a mere alarm dog. The former is not feasible so we remain with the latter.
5. What activities take place at your home?
Do you have people frequenting your home because of, say, a home business you run? Or maybe you are the leader of some organization and have people trying to see you every day? If yes then you might consider getting a less aggressive breed. The same goes if you are usually hosting events like parties and other public meetings. A bite on a non-intruder might cost you fines and possibly being banned from owning certain dog breeds.
In short, you have to weave your lifestyle with the dog breed.
Any Dog Can be Trained
While some breeds are more likely to be aggressive, any dog breed can be trained into a well obedient dog. The key is to start training right from puppyhood, socializing the dog more.