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January 10, 2013
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Guard Dog for Apartment Life?

:iconthe-one-true-koneko:
The-One-True-Koneko Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
What would be a good guard dog for an apartment?

My boyfriend and I are going to be moving into an apartment together later this year, and have agreed that getting a guard dog is a good idea. I've already looked into a place, but haven't had the time to actually look at one of their open appts.

Our main concern is size; he's worried he might step or sit on it if it's too small, and I'm worried about if it'll be too big to live comfortably with us. Excessive grooming is something I want to avoid, and I want to be able to train it relatively quickly. Energy level isn't much an issue, since I'll be giving it frequent walks and exercise once we get it.

The only local breeder I know has German Shepherds, and will have a litter ready around the same time we'll be looking. Personally I'd prefer a Doberman, because I worked with the breed when my Dad was breeding them some years back.

What else would be a good idea?
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:iconshadee:
shadee Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
If your number one reason for getting this pet is for it to guard the house, get a home security system instead. It'll be more reliable and also cheaper in the long run.
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:iconvalkenhayndornez:
ValkenhaynDornez Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have a beagle, and if properly trained, they will bark at whatever comes to the door and stop when you tell them to. They're also extremely sweet, and very energetic.
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:iconalexraccoonglider:
AlexRaccoonGlider Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Poodles are supposed to be very smart and will ID intruders and bark at them or so, depending on how you train them, they can be either big, middle or small sizes too.
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:iconmercury-crowe:
Mercury-Crowe Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Try this: Dogs 101 breed selector

It gives you a series of questions then suggests a dog based on your answers :)
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:icontheawesomeshoexd:
TheAwesomeShoeXD Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Get a shelter mutt. :) My dog is a shelter mutt and he is the most awesome and loyal dog ever. I live in an apartment, too and know many others who live in them. Avoid getting a large dog. Many apartments have a weight limit on dogs, and for good reason. They tend to make a lot of noise from romping around and the neighbors below complain, and large dogs need a hell of a lot of exercise that is not compatible with apartment life. I personally find small dogs highly annoying, so I got a medium sized lab mix at the shelter. His name is Aries. I'd say for minimal grooming also get a dog with short or medium length fur, but my dog has long fur and I only need to brush him out a couple times a year.
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:iconthe-one-true-koneko:
The-One-True-Koneko Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you everyone for all of your input so far. I just talked to my BF about possibly adopting a Greyhound- there's a dog track near here that adopts out retired racers- and he wasn't opposed to it. They also apparently allow you to use their track for running your sighthounds.

Just to clarify, I'm looking for a dog with at least above-average energy levels, because I'm planning to have them as a workout partner as well as a watchdog. I don't want a dog that is overly sensitive or will continue to bark long after the 'threat' is gone, just one that will let us know when someone's at the door or something doesn't seem 'right' to them.
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:iconghostinthepines:
GhostInThePines Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Depending on what region you're living in, you might want to consider getting a cur. They're more common among hunters in the Appalacians and the South. Curs are good guard dogs, very territorial, but they can be taught to be very calm and social when away from "home."

They're short-haired dogs. The black-mouth yellow curs often get mistaken for yellow labs, so there would be little worry about the dog being stolen or anything like that.

The New Jersey wildlife department employs yellow curs to help run off nuisance bears from residential/public areas, so you know these dogs are tough. They're not intimidated easily by size or injuries.
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:iconebolabears:
EbolaBears Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Doberman, Rottie, or the Shepard.
Chows are cool, I had a BIG female, but they're not able to get up high like the other three I mentioned.
Chows are more like a spilled bag of bricks.

Also make sure the apartment allows dogs.

Why would you get a small dog you might 'sit on' to protect anything? That's silly.
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:iconaspacecowboy:
aspacecowboy Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
None of the above. I lived in the hood for 12 years and had precisely 1 problem, and it was...

taken care of...by some friends.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I'd say go for a rottie. Pit Bulls end up stolen quite a bit; but a rottie or a dobie looks the part of a big scary dog with much less grooming than a shepherd requires.
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:iconticklyroach:
TicklyRoach Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Personally if I were getting an apartment guard dog, I'd either get a chow-chow or Eurasier. Nowhere near as much grooming as you'd think, they'll appreciate a brush or two a week but other than that the fur takes care of itself. No smell (which certainly can't be said for the german shepherd... in a house it might not be a problem but an apartment gets smelly very fast), no fuss, moderate activity level, perfect for apartment living. And both breeds have been known to scare off anything from burglars to bears. And also they'd be able to put up with our Swedish winters...
But if you have a good feel for Doberman, I think that's the breed you should get. They're wonderful dogs, big barks and big hearts.
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:iconebolabears:
EbolaBears Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Chow fur stinks. I had a Chow. They're not scent free but the Chow did smell less than the Shepard.
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:iconticklyroach:
TicklyRoach Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really? My friend's chow never smelled, not even a bit. And I'm pretty sure they very rarely bathed her. Maybe it's an individual thing.
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:iconebolabears:
EbolaBears Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
Dunno. Even paper has a scent.
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:iconjade-abarai-kat:
Jade-Abarai-Kat Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
i would look in to an mid-life shepard, that way he has already beeen trained but you can still get long life out of him
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:icondj0hybrid:
DJ0Hybrid Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Define a "guard dog" as if you are wanting a dog that will bark at intruders, you have a lot of options with tricks like barking when someone shushes them or just naturally barking at people, especially for any that are a bit pack minded. But do remember that almost every dog can be bribed with a piece of chicken in your fridge and those that can't be bribed are going to be extremely aggressive to strangers.

Remember that you are also at an apartment complex and it is aggreviating to neighbors if you have a dog that is constantly barking at people running by or gets extremely aggressive at any stranger who so much as gets close to the house. Frankly, I would almost argue that you don't need a guard dog but instead need to practice home safety.
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:iconglori305:
Glori305 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
I would check your local shelter for an already adult dog if you are serious about wanting it for guard dog duty. It is the bark that deters intruders, so you want an adult dog bark, a puppy really does not do much good.

Not to mention that an adult dog is already trained.
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:iconpinkmitten:
Pinkmitten Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
There's a test for that. It might not be very accurate but I think it'll give you some ideas. [link] :B
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:iconshininginthedarkness:
Personally, think German Shepherds and Dobermans are too big for apartments. Kind of overkill. They'd be slamming into the walls and knocking things off tables. Many apartments that allow dogs have a size limit. Also, in my opinion, GSD's take a lot of grooming. At least too much for my taste. Ok, I like dogs with zero-maintainance coats.

There are many dogs that will bark and raise a ruckus at any sign of danger, I think this is more important than one that can physically stop someone who's breaking in. A barking dog can dissuade many would-be robbers before they even get in the house. If I were you I'd be looking at dogs between 30 or 40 pounds. One idea would be getting a mutt that's a cross of one of the breeds you're after, but without the size. There is a STANDARD pinscher that is way smaller than a Doberman but IMO has many of the same traits. But anyway, I think any kind of active, alert, intelligent dog would be good for your needs.

Well, that's my opinion, there's no one right answer. If you feel you really need a 70 lb dog that can really fight with a burglar, you won't be happy with a smaller one. You're obviously familiar with what having one of those dogs entails, so I won't elaborate.

I kind of lucked out, I have 40 lb mutt with really short legs and a massive head. We even think he's part rottie, although obviously we're not sure. That's what they should breed, a mini rottie. What fun!
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:iconbleachrocks2010:
bleachrocks2010 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Rhodesian ridge back
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