'An Untrained Dog Won't Protect Its Owner'

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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There's nothing- in my mouth, I- swear!
Barked: Wed May 9, '12 2:13pm PST 
So I stumbled upon this video on YouTube about trained and un-trained dogs protecting their owners. (Skip to about 40 seconds)


This girl says that un-trained dogs won't protect their owner if the need arises...

What do YOU think about un-trained dogs? Do you think they would try to protect you if they needed to? And do you have any stories about your un-trained (OR trained) dogs protecting you when something bad happened?

I'll tell you what I think later!!smile

Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
Barked: Wed May 9, '12 2:22pm PST 
Interesting video, Bailey. smile
I'm no expert on this sort of stuff, but I do think that the average (non-fearful, non-human-aggressive) untrained dog probably wouldn't go for an actual bite. I was surprised to see the non-trained Shepherds in the video actually cower a little when the man approached.

Farley does not like strangers. He remains neutral towards them but if a big man approached us like that, he would go absolutely nuts. He's done it before. Would he bite? I have no idea. shrug

Good thread topic, I look forward to hearing other people's insight.

Barked: Wed May 9, '12 2:38pm PST 
It's a pretty common argument on working dog boards. Usually it's questioning if the sport dog will act as a PPD if the need (snort) arises.

Generally speaking most dogs will not protect their owners, full stop. An untrained dog attempting to protect its owner is usually bad news since it hasn't been taught proper judgement and could potentially react incorrectly in a situation.

Edited by author Wed May 9, '12 2:39pm PST



Barked: Wed May 9, '12 2:40pm PST 
My first English Shepherd, Jasmine, was very sweet and well behaved but lacked confidence. She couldn't even herd sheep because she didn't have enough power to control them even though her instincts were wonderful. With people she was also a bit timid till she warmed up. She was just quiet and sweet. Once I was searching for sheep & a new friend was helping me. It was dark and I fell into a ditch and screamed, he leaned over to help me but Jasmine blamed him I think and snarled at him to back him off till I told her it was ok then she was fine. There are a few other scenarios like that with her that convinced me, yes, she would defend me if I needed it. Sometimes it's hard to tell what dog will and which won't till something happens, but yes untrained dogs do sometimes.
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Wed May 9, '12 2:41pm PST 
Funnily enough, I just watched this video recently. Lol it's a total advertisement fir that guy's protection school, but I think he has a good point. Only a trained dog can intelligently discern true threat, that's my belief. My dog is currently learning a bite command but I would never even bother using it in an emergency, either ... it is only used in play, on a toy. His nerves are all wrong to offer any sort of useful protection, god knows I love the dog, but I have no issue admitting that. And even a strong nerved dog, correctly bred dog needs the correct training, if I am being attacked I want my dog to stoically and calmly take hold of an arm, not rush in biting wily nilly. Even if I had a shepherd with the correct brave and protective temperament, I would not expect anything of her until she was trained.

If Jackson so much as barked if I was bring attacked, I would be both impressed and flattered. But odds are he would skulk off like these untrained GSDs.

Barked: Wed May 9, '12 2:48pm PST 
That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.

I'm sorry. I'm trying to be kind with my words as I realize it's just a 6th graders project but for arguments sake here I'm going no hold's barred big grin

AAA ought to be ashamed of themselves for helping to put such a message out there IMHO.

Making the argument that only trained PPD dogs that aren't even part of her family (that's unclear but I'd assume not as at the end she only acknowledges one dog who's name is not listed in the video) will "attack" in light of a "perceived" threat in her presence...the threat being a doofy looking guy walking in a weird way pointing a black object and shoving a sleeve in their faces, is so silly. They don't at all show the girl having any kind of reaction physically or emotionally to the man. This is obviously a conditioned response and nothing more as far as I'm concerned. It's not even a very impressive conditioned response as their drive seems to be lacking severely. Their restraint just pretty much sitting there on a leash held by a girl weighing probably less than they do until the guy pretty much literally shoves his arm in their mouth while she stands by...totally not impressive. Sorry, but I'd be hard pressed to call a dog like that any sort of guard dog.

The untrained dogs don't have the sleeve shoved at them or the conditioned response training the other dogs have obviously had. There is no information as to where these dogs came from, what their background is (as they seem entirely terrified just sitting there much less when the guy actually approaches) and we have no clarification on whether the dogs are actually "owned" by her or not (again, I think it's safe to assume not). For all we know these are rescues with a history of being abused that have zero vested interest in the girl. By their reaction that's what I'd gauge anyway.

It made me sad and even a bit angry seeing them subjected in the way they were to what IMHO was an incredibly pointless stunt.

An "untrained" dog, meaning only untrained in PPD work, will still absolutely protect it's owner. If there is a bond, and they sense fear or panic ABSOLUTELY they will react in response to a threat. Not a fake set up, but a real life scenario in which their owner is in danger.

Ugh. There's just so much more I'd like to say but need to cool off for a bit before I try.....

Im just a little- guy
Barked: Wed May 9, '12 2:50pm PST 
Milton will bark, positive. He does not like yelling or loud behavior. He will not bite or attack.

Some of his bad behaviors he was adopted with were possessive and guarding oriented. He would bark at people if they hugged, got to close or were loud around me.

Barked: Wed May 9, '12 2:52pm PST 
"An untrained dog attempting to protect its owner is usually bad news since it hasn't been taught proper judgement and could potentially react incorrectly in a situation."

I will give you that a dog not trained in PPD work specifically might not perform "correctly." But the theory that they're all going to slink to the floor in terror like the poor souls on the video is ludicrous.

What truly disgusting marketing. Just ugh.

Trigger has defended me against very real threats in the past. He was quite effective if I do say so myself.

And he sure as heck has bucket loads more drive than any of the dogs on the video....

Edited by author Wed May 9, '12 2:57pm PST


Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
Barked: Wed May 9, '12 2:53pm PST 
Trigger- I do agree. The video is hardly a credible experiment, which is why it's an effective marketing gimmick laugh out loud

Edited by author Wed May 9, '12 2:59pm PST

Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Wed May 9, '12 2:59pm PST 
I have to agree Trigger, as I said it's basically just an advert for his school and these experiments were wildly weighted in the trained dog's favour.

I still believe that only a trained dog can have a 'shutzhund' styled response.

A dog who loves their owner could of course respond in a completely different way. They probably could not discern the threat as clinically as a PPD dog.

I also don't think that experiment was ethical as the untrained dogs looked terrified. frown

Did it prove much? Nah. Should have been called 'will an untrained dog have a conditioned response to bite a sleeve.' That's all I saw.

It depends what your take on 'protection' is too.

Edited by author Wed May 9, '12 3:02pm PST

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