Any issues with very protective saints?

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ellie may

which way did- they go
Barked: Thu Jun 11, '09 11:23am PST 
My Sweet Ellie May is a big ole teddy bear with me, and the family. she is very loving and tolerant of my children and the other pets, but when it comes to strangers, she is crazy. i socialized her as a puppy, she played with other dogs, and we went to the park all the time, everyone was drawn to her, and she loved the attention, that was her at about six months, but by about a year old she started to get very protective of the kids and we were no longer able to take her out to the park or the feed store, in fear that someone may get too close. i would love to be able to take her out, and let her be social now, but she just is so overprotective. she is three, and Im afraid it may be too late to teach her different, he mother was this way, i didnt learn this until recently, but does that carry over into the pups? she still gets to go for walks through the neighborhood, but on a very short leash, and she still gets to go for swims at the lake, i just really worry that a stranger will approach, any suggestions?naughty

Momma's Boy
Barked: Tue Jun 30, '09 4:12pm PST 
If it comes to taking a walk, I would suggest a Halti. Rambo is soooo overprotective of my family, so whenever a stranger walks in the door, they can be prepared to be jumped on or worse. I've also been injured countless times walking him because he'd see people or cars or fourwheelers go by. Ever since I've gotten a Halti headcollar, I've been able to walk him with no problems at all. He'll try to pull, but it won't let him because it works like a horse halter. I've also heard good results coming from the Gentle Leader headcollar. I've even used it indoors when strangers came in, and it works just as good.


ETA: and yes, temperament can be heriditery. This is one of the many reasons Rambo acts the way he does... but he was also taken away from his mother under 8 weeks...

Edited by author Tue Jun 30, '09 4:14pm PST

::Loki::- Rainbow- Bridge::

R.I.P Loki My- Savior in so- many ways
Barked: Thu Jul 23, '09 6:19pm PST 
Loki is the exact same way, and thats why I love him and the breed! Saint bernards are naturally leary of strangers, and quite frankly I am too lol. We have great obediance on Loki so a stranger can be in the house with him, aslong as he is on a down and wait command and the stranger knows not to go near him.

I got a saint bernard because I didnt want a dog who was a social butterfly, I wanted a dog who would send a intuder limping back home and everyone calling him stubby lol. I am greatful I have such a pretective dog, I sleep better at night knowing that I and my children are safe.


I'm spoiled but- not rotten!
Barked: Sat Jul 25, '09 2:42pm PST 
I have never heard that Saints are leary of strangers. They were bred to be rescue dogs and were usually friendly with everyone from what I have read, but they can be protective. Dolly barks and GRRRR's when our doorbell rings but once she is told its OK she is fine. Tessie is still a goofball youngster and I never heard a GRRRR out of her unless she is playing. In fact here is something about the normal temperment of a Saint.

The Saint Bernard is a very loving and kind dog who is excellent with families. They love children and their leisurely manner and patience makes them a perfect match. They are dedicated to their family and will do whatever is needed to please them. They are very intelligent and moderately easy to train though the training must be started young. They are not territorial but will protect their family when needed. Early socialization is key, though they do get along with other animals.

Maybe an obedience class or a behaviorist is what you should look for?

Member Since
Barked: Thu Dec 22, '11 9:51am PST 
See excellent post at Allexperts.com by Shelley Davis of Bed & Biscuit: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Dogs-701/St-Bernard-somtimes-become.htm