Wondering if a Family Watchdog is a good idea? Do you think you have to get a Large dog to have a good watchdog? Is a watchdog still safe around your kids? What is the difference between Guard dogs and Family Watchdogs?
These are all the questions Bob and I asked ourselves.
Is a Family Watchdog a good idea?
If you love dogs, YES. But please, only get a dog if you love them. That is what they need first and foremost. Protecting you and your kids will come naturally for them. Dogs are pack animals and they will protect the pack if it is threatened, but they need a loving family.
If you have a dog, you most likely already have a family watchdog. Most breeds are very territorial by instinct.
Are only large dogs good watchdogs?
No. Many breeds, regardless of their size, wish to protect you and your family, 'their Pack'. Some dogs, within certain breeds are less likely to be Watchdogs. Blood hounds, for example, are more known for sniffing and not watching. They prefer to use their noses, instead of their ears and eyes. Always research the breed you are considering. Make sure you get what you pay for.
Our little Bichon, Mitch, is an excellent Watchdog. He has always been very alert to the house and kids. I doubt he even knows that he's not very big, and would willingly take on any threat! Sometimes Bob and I 'play wrestle' and Mitch comes running and barking the minute I yell and giggle for help.
**Here is a great picture of Cotton and Mitch. They are busy being watchdogs for our house. Mitch still thinks that he is as big as our American Bulldog!**
What is the difference between a Guard dog and a Watchdog?
Guard dogs are more likely to attack a threat. Watchdogs are more likely to alert you to a threat.
All dogs, though, require training. They need time and attention in all areas.
All dogs can be created to be very mean, too. Fear biters and/or abused dogs, become very dangerous. If a dog is tethered, or constantly tied up to a post, they are dangerous dogs because they feel threatened. They know they cannot run away, and will bite out of self defense.
I asked a Mail Carrier who is more likely to bite them. They said small dogs. But, larger dogs will do more damage, if they bite. Small dogs are often not trained and therefore attack without listening to their owners.
Is a watchdog still safe around your kids?
Absolutely,...if the kids are trained to be around the dog. Usually, with kids, the training attention needs to be spent on them. They need to understand that dogs are pack animals. Everyone in the house has to let the dog know that they are higher in the pack, than the dog. No dog would consider attacking anyone higher in the pack then themselves. Usually a well trained dog will protect everyone in the pack, regardless of rank.
For more information on dominance training, to teach your kids, go to
More tips on dog behavior training.
("Cotton,...You look so serious!")
Our American Bulldog, Cotton, by nature of her breed, genuinely loves children. (She is our best family watchdog.) Cotton will protect not only her pack, but any kids!
We had friends over one afternoon for a few hours. They have a two-year old and an infant. When they were getting ready to leave, they placed the infant in the car carrier. The Dad got on his thick winter hat and huge dark sunglasses, then he turned around to face us. We talked for a minute more at the steps, with Cotton sitting at our feet.
The moment he reached for the baby, she stood over the car carrier and barked at him! Not recognizing his 'new identity', our family watchdog was not going to let him take the baby. He jumped back in surprise, and took off the clothes so that she could see who he was. Cotton was then fine to let him take his own child.
He said, "Can I have your dog, if she is so willing to be such a good family watchdog?"
Even if our kids hurt themselves playing, Cotton will come check on them, covering them with kisses!
FYI about a Family Watchdog
Just to pass on extra information to you from researching the best family watchdog.
Convicted break-and-enter prisoners, were asked which houses they would avoid. They said, they would avoid homes with a barking dog. They didn't even wait around to see the size of the dog. They just moved on to the next house. Black dogs are especially threatening, regardless of size. You never have to replace the batteries, or set the code on a Family Watchdog!
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