Will my dobes protect me? I don't think so....

9 replies [Last post]
dobie822's picture
Offline
Joined: 2017-01-09

Jack is my European male dobe (150 lbs.) and Lola is my American female dobe (85 lbs.)  Neither show much promise in the way of protection.  Jack tends to hang back if there's any hint of possible drama, preferrring to let Lola "handle things" instead.(We've never even heard Jack growl.)  While both will bark if someone approaches the house (i.e. comes to the door), they are just as quick to quiet down.  Jack will actually "hide" behind me to avoid any potential trouble.  I'm waiting for the day when I come home to an empty house to find Jack and Lola sitting where my couch used to be, then looking up at me and saying "Bummer, man, you got ripped off while you were gone."  I weigh 100 lbs. and I've always been a bit concerned that Jack might not protect me if I were walking down the street with him and someone tried to assault me.  I spoke to my vet about it and he laughed hard at me and said, "Honey, it doesn't matter, because if a potential attacker saw you walking down the street with Jack, trust me, he wouldn't go near you!" I guess he's probably right, but still, there would be some comfort in knowing that Jack "had my back". 

 

SIH002's picture
Offline
Joined: 2014-12-15

Pet Profiles

You may be surprised.  When I was a teenager I had a mixed breed Dobie Girl.  Always said she would lick someone to death.  Then came the time she and I were alone up in the families northern MI cabin.  It was just getting dark and I saw lights headed up the drive.  My Uncle had left over an hour ago and I knew it was not him.. Asked Peanuts if she thought we should hide in the crawl space, but I knew I would never get her down there.  Grabbed a shot gun off the wall and waited.  Sure enough truck pulls in front of cabin, and a man gets out.  By this time Peanuts is going crazy, so I let her answer the door.  Man on the other side starts yelling, "I am the Sheriff from down the road, just here to tell you I am watching out for you.  But then again,  I see you don't need me with that DOG.  Yes, she would have defended me with her life.  From then on I knew she was my protector. 

 

 

If you are interested in seeing what your Dobermans will do, you may want to look into finding a DPCA club holding a WAE (Working Aptitude Test) in your area. You can find listings for them and an explanation of what a WAE is on the DPCA website. 

http://www.dpca.org/awards/wae/index.php

Taking your dog through a WAE will be a learning experience even if they don't pass - on average, only 25% of dogs pass the test. There is no obedience training necessary for the test, and it is best not to even try to train for the test so that you get a real reading of your dog. 

Also, even a dog that does not pass the test may very well protect you in a real situation. I don't know how old your dogs are, but many don't really show any protective instincts till they are mature - AND will defer to the dominant dog in the house. 

My old guy Harvard did not pass the aggressive stranger part of the WAE - but did just stand by me without trying to go anywhere. He always looked relieved that the bad guy stopped about 9 feet away - LOL! In real life, he puts himself right in front of me. I traveled with him a lot when he was showing as both a class dog and as a Special (finished Champion), and I can't tell you how many times he went out to protect me in hotel parking lots, rest stops, etc... if he saw anyone that struck his radar as a possible threat. Obviously most of the time they were harmless.... but a couple of times I was pretty grateful to have my 90 pound show dog looking pretty darn serious! Never had to seriously test out whether he would have stood his ground - and I'm glad for that.

Also, size means nothing. Harvard's mother, Louise, was about 68 pounds and did pass the WAE. She was a friendly dog but when she went into protection mode, she was deadly serious. A personal protection trainer told me that he could tell she was stressed and hated it, but would have given her life to protect me - she would never have done protection for fun like people who do it for sport. I've seen lots of those dogs go through the WAE, and you can tell that it is serious fun for them - they live for the sport! 

One of my other Dobermans (they are all related - Velma was Louise's aunt) passed the WAE with ease. She was a certifed Therapy Dog and worked with Autistic Children, did library visits, and nursing home visits... not to mention dog safety workshops with groups of kids, etc..... She loved everyone! However, she did a classic bark and hold the day that a neighborhood parent thought they could just walk in my front door after the mob of kids that had just trooped through - I had to rescue them from where they were pinned in the corner by my front door!

So, you just never really know!

dobie822's picture
Offline
Joined: 2017-01-09

Thanks so much for the tip-- I never knew that it was possible to have my dobies tested for aggression.  I would love to have them tested, however, I live in SD and am not aware of anyplace near me where this can be done.  

It isn't "aggression" that you want - you want a dog that is friendly when appropriate and protective when appropriate....... and most important that they learn the difference between friendly, neutral, and threatening strangers.  Good socialization is important for them to learn this. The WAE tests a lot of things and the aggressive stranger is the very last thing in a test that is increasingly stressful - they can fail at any point in the test. 

My Velma was great at knowing the difference and was a bomp proof therapy dog - no one would have ever guessed that she could be protective when need be. 

You would have to travel for a WAE for sure. The AKC also has a program that is based on the WAE called the TT - the WAE came first. You could look on the AKC website for any TT (Temperament Test) coming up. Sometimes a club will hold one in conjunction with a regular show. I've never gone through a TT, and I know it is not exactly the same..... but I think it would be similar. 

dobie822's picture
Offline
Joined: 2017-01-09

Thank you.  Of course, it isn't aggression one desires in their dobies.  Both my dobes are overly friendly, tails always wagging and everyone who meets them loves them.  We live out in the country on an acreage so when someone comes to our house, it's like "Yes!! City folk!" They're always excited to have visitors and if children are among them, even better!  It's just that we have never seen a hint of aggression in either dog and so it's always given me the somewhat unsettling feeling that they probably wouldn't protect me if push came to shove.  I have visions of being attacked while Jack just stands there and watches, or worse yet, runs away from the situation with his tail tucked between his legs....  (By the way, Jack is 6 yrs. old and Lola is 4 yrs. old, and she is definitely the alpha.)

Just as a note, you really don't need to post your question on multiple threads on this forum - and I also saw it on another forum. I'm not sure what you are looking for?

dobie822's picture
Offline
Joined: 2017-01-09

Well, unlike yourself, not everyone is a member of every forum and not everyone reads multiple threads.  I am a new member here and I am looking for as much information as I can garner.  True, you don't know what it is I'm looking for do you...

 

P.S.  You are apparently reading and responding to multiple threads and forums.  Have you taken it upon yourself to police these sites and their contributors?  (Sort of the "Hall Monitor" of the internet?)

Really? I give you a bunch of good information and that's how you reply? Good luck to you......

dobie822's picture
Offline
Joined: 2017-01-09

I have been trying to garner information from as many as possible, and I think I have been sucessful.  As I mentioned previously, most don't read every thread nor belong to every forum -- apparently you do.  So, I've been information seeking which I don't feel is wrong, and this is the way you respond to me?

thank you for your well wishes...    :)