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I am giving great contemplation to acquiring a female SPoo in 2017. My dilemma is my lack of knowledge of the character of a SPoo. So I ask you, are standard poodles just a pretty face or do they offer guard companionship as well? My footpaths take me to all walks of life and I need to feel a measure of protection from a large breed side kick. Any thoughts?
 

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Standard Poodles can be territorial and very protective of their owner. I think you might really enjoy the breed. :)


I know my tpoos and mini have always been bold and courageous. I'm used to German shepherds and Aussies as my large breed. My future will have an opening for a large breed protective companion. I am hoping it will be a female SPoo so I am doing serious research.


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Sisko will bark loudly and alert us to anything that comes near his house (even stuff that happens everyday - like the old dude with his walker and oxygen tank) and sounds off-putting - but once the door is opened to visitors he is just excited to see them and it's nothing more than an opportunity to get someone to play and love on him.

ETA - no one who comes to the house has ever been scared of him once the door is opened and that includes everything from small children selling school fund raisers to political canvassers. They take one look at his wiggling butt and exclaim oh a poodle followed by petting him!

Out of the house - I'm pretty sure he would wag his tail and try to get Jack The Ripper to play with him. He is a big strong dog and displays a large muzzle full of big teeth and he's fairly obedient so anyone eyeing me up as a mugging target would likely think twice and go for someone who looks more vulnerable. If there was any real threat I'd bet he would be expecting me to guard him.

My initial reaction is that a spoo is not your first choice for personal protection though I know others here have experienced their spoo protecting them. I think you'd have to choose your pup carefully with a breeder and engage in specific training.
 

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I don't know about a spoo, but I will tell you if someone goes to touch me, my toys go wild, in fact I feel sure Cayenne would bit, as she goes right for the ankles, if they touch me (that is as high as she can get), she is a bossy dog though. I bet with the property training a spoo would work for you
 

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For as playful and goofy as Polly is, she makes a very intimidating guard dog. She's all kisses and waggy tail for people she knows, especially when on neutral turf, but if someone approaches our house, she growls, barks, and stands her ground.
We were approached while out for a walk the other day (by a friendly stranger) and it caught Polly off guard. She let a low grumble growl out until I told her it was fine. If a stranger didn't know Polly's good nature, they'd think certainly think twice before coming in the front gate!
 

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My dear Iris was 37 lbs of sweetness and love, loved everyone......until one night.

She woke me up with one VERY DEEP VERY MENACING bark. I never heard that before and woke in a flash. She was standing over me in bed, front feet on one side of me, body over me, and back feet on the other side of me. It was someone trying to break in the house, then to break into the shop out back.

We watched him for the whole 23 minutes it took for police to come. Only when he got near the house did she rumble again. Iris meant business.

Never again did I hear that bark, but that and her demeanor told me she would protect me if need be.

Loved that Girl! Still do! And miss her horribly.

P.S. Poppy showed signs of being protective the other night too ?

VQ
 

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Lily has perimeter alert barking since she was nine weeks old. She barks when people walk near my truck when she is in it. What ever she is in is hers to guard.

There have been a couple of times when hinky people approached her and she gave a very deep and threatening growl to them. One was a weird guy who had approached her earlier in the day (at a pet expo). The first time he came along the person he was with asked if it was okay to pet her and I said yes. The strange guy must have patted down on the top of her head too hard because when he came back and reached to pet her without asking she growled very deeply at him. I blocked his hand and told him he had to ask to pet. He said but I already did and I said well this time she is saying no. He was clueless and asked what I meant and I said she growled meaningfully at you when you reached towards her. He still didn't get it.

So longer answer than short, but the bottom line is yes a spoo can be an excellent guardian.
 

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My parents had spoos when I was a kid. Around the time that I went to college, they switched to german shepherds out of safety concerns. They knew that poodles were fabulous watch dogs, but they were concerned that they didn't look fierce enough. They ended up getting a GSD who was a complete wuss and would have protected us from nothing -- nice pet, but not a good watch dog. The poodles were much better at sounding the alarm if anything suspicious was happening. But it is true that they don't look very scary.
 

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Addison is salty at home. She doesn't like strangers near our property or in our yard. She is always on alert while we are at home and does-as others have said-stand her ground. I was concerned about this at first but I honestly don't mind it so long as it stays just on our home base.

Away from home she does very well and is friendly and wants to meet people. Having said that, I'm sure if I was out with her on a trail and was attacked by a stranger that she'd be up in arms about it. I have no doubt she would protect both herself and I.

I realize they are not the most threatening looking dogs but they are decent sized and anyone who wishes you harm is going to be just as afraid of an angry poodle's teeth as they are any other breed. The size, the bark-and if you want a little bit of added measure, get a black standard. I'd love to add a black standard to our family but... three dogs is more than enough for now!!
 

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My initial reaction is that a spoo is not your first choice for personal protection though I know others here have experienced their spoo protecting them. I think you'd have to choose your pup carefully with a breeder and engage in specific training.
That would be my response as well... tho much better phrased. ;)

Once we were surprised by a flock of Canada Geese... Tonka turned and ran. 'Til he saw me walking toward them and came barking back.

I wouldn't exactly call that being chicken, I'd ascribe it more to a very high instinct for self-preservation in some Poodles. Get away first, check out the situation from a distance.

And not to worry... the not-very-scary image goes out the window when they're truly engaged.

 

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I am reminded of something I read on a Spoo breeder's website - it was in the long review from a client about the spoo boy they had purchased from the breeder. The owner mentioned she had trained her spoo boy to growl and bark when she said the words "don't bark". She said it came in handy one day when walking and a shady person approached them. She raised her voice and said to her spoo, "Now, don't bark!" but he barked of course, so she said it again, and when the spoo barked again and again, the shady person decided they would cross the street instead of coming right at them as he had been doing. :p

I thought, living in the city as I do, that it may be something I would try if I get a Spoo in the future.
 

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I have to strongly disagree with Siskojan and Countryboy. All of the Standards I've owned make excellent watch dogs and they put on quite the display for about 5 minutes when someone comes to the door. They are incredibly territorial of their yard and guard the perimeter pretty seriously when they are outside. When we are out in public, my dogs are very friendly with strangers, so that would be the only potential downside. Although I'm not sure what they would do if I was actually in danger. My dogs sometimes guard me from other dogs, though.
 

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CM I agree with you. Both Lily and Javelin are guardians of our domain and were never trained to it specifically. I also have no doubt that Javelin would risk himself to protect me and Lily.

Kassie, having both a GSD and poodles I think you would feel safe with a poodle, as I do. I travel a lot with Lily and now Lily and Javelin. I have never felt unsafe having them with me. The last time we were away somebody must have not remembered their room number right and stuck their key card in our door. Even just that sound got a deep growl out of Lily and a bark or two out of Javelin.
 

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I hike and jog with Hans by myself, and I do feel like he'd try to protect me if needed. Hans is very similar to the Malinois I grew up with, temperament wise, except that he does have a better off switch - he can relax. He barks a lot like the Malinois did too. Even if he is just barking because he's been told to speak, he gets in your face and bares and clacks his teeth. I've thought about teaching him a different cue, because it looks so ferocious that it could easily be a deterrent if someone didn't know him.

I really wanted to do Schutzhund with Hans, and I think he'd be suitable for it. The only thing that stopped us was that we live really far from the nearest good club and they require a significant time commitment (which I understand - it's just too far to drive twice a week). The club says they welcome all breeds, as long as they have a stable temperament and are well socialized. I still think maybe someday I will do it with a spoo...maybe when I'm retired or something, lol.
 

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Also, if you want a dog that will be a suitable deterrent, I vote for a black. I've been told more than once that black dogs are more intimidating than lighter colors. I think part of it is the teeth - if you see Hans at night, all you see is those teeth. Plus, black Spoos are awesome, not that I'm biased.
 

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Buck is an outstanding watch dog. All we need is a visual, auditory deterrent or a 10 second warning. Recently, an AC technician was intimidated by him, ditto the cable guy and he was in his crate! They just saw a big dog:) I'm satisfied with my Poodle Security. I love the way he notices any changes: a shed door open, a car parked differently, a big blow up princess palace in the yard behind us, a package at the gate...
 

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Well I do agree that they are great for watching the house and yard - I did say that Sisko barks loudly even at harmless old men he knows from meeting on walks and seeing pass by every day. Though I'm not sure he barks if left home alone. Sisko woke us up growling one night to let us know a cougar was going down the walkway between our house and next door. Side note - We have quite a lot of deer in the neighborhood and a couple of summers past there was a young cougar living off the easy pickings ( kids always seem to prefer fast food) and he would lounge in the sun on peoples' driveways. He was euthanized as he was not going to be able to be relocated and then later that summer there was another in pretty much the same boat, hadn't learned to survive outside the city.
Kassie seems to need a dog who will play the part for her if needed when she is working with poor, disadvantaged, homeless, addicted and mentally ill people out in the community in their environment. On the other hand everybody seems to love a poodle and they draw people in. A fundamentally friendly happy dog might be a very good bridge to gaining trust with these people but with the reassurance that you've trained in a response to a command so that if things go pear-shaped your spoo will growl and show her teeth.
 
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