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Will goldens protect if threatened?

3750 Views 30 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  marshab1
It's a given that our retrievers are not guard dogs but I am wondering as to what extent I can expect our somewhat dog-shy, three-year-old female to protect one of us if she perceives danger. Cara is not afraid of people at all and had to actually be taught to bark, which she does on command.

If for example, I am walking her and am approached by a threatening stranger, will instinct kick in at all? Any thoughts?
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I'm guessing....probably not from what I've read. Not a lot of knowledge to back that up though. We'll see what the experts say!!
YES! And they will protect if they only "feel" threatened! I'm dealing with this now. It's not fun...Hmmm...maybe only those with issues will protect.
I think that depends on the dog. I do think they have a good sense usually about when something is "off" and can definitely react if they feel threatened in anyway... however, part of the Golden temperment is that of a goofy lovebug that loves everyone... so it's entirely likely that they would happily greet an armed robber that walked in the door just as much as one of your friends.
I've read that while goldens are good watch dogs, and will alert you to intruders, they usually will treat them as any other guest. Ready to play and love. But I'm sure all goldens are different in how they react in those situations, I really know nothing about it.
my cousin trained his golden to essentially stand guard at their home. if someone approaches he barks, and if one of the family members don't acknowlege the stranger he's ready to jump that person. it's pretty crazy. once my cousins shake your hand once or say hi to you, you can come and go on their property all you want.

shaped it by always whispering "whos that" when someone would walk by them or when they were at a traffic light or something. the dog learned to jump up from a slumber to make sure everything is kosher.

i do it with my boy just to train him to know when he should be more aware. he knows the doorbell well even though no one goes to our front door, but even if my wife is coming in the door i'll say "who's that" and he'll jump up alert. otherwise i had someone in the yard and knocking on our back patio door, he barked once but continued chewing on a rawhide. i guess if i didn't hear the one bark i wouldn't have known they were there, but comeon... take on a bit more urgency...
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I thought Brady would until a couple months ago I was outside with him, it was dark outside, my daughter came running around the house with a Halloween mask on. Brady saw her, ran to me, and tried to leap in my arms. Nearly knocked me over.
I wouldn't want that. I'd be worried if the Pud acted protective towards strangers. I have friends with dogs like that and they are constantly stressed out that their dog may growl at or bite someone. I'd rather have a loffbug like Pud who is friendly toward everybody.

If I ever get mugged and there might be a really fierce struggle, I suspect the Pud would just be real wriggly and disturbed and she would try to get in there and make peace. I do hope for her sake she'd just run away and save herself though.
Tucker has surprised me with how much of a watch dog he is. I have been outside with him, and he will wheel around and growl at something that startles him like a deer or the neighbor stepping outside. He is much more of a watch dog than I ever imagined. He alerts my wife everyday when the mailman comes to the end of our driveway (2 barks) and when the kids get off the bus down the block. (Looking out the window, tail thumping on the wall) We always make sure to recognize him when he alerts us and tell him when it is nothing to worry about. He then stands down. I would not underestimate him, or another golden when it comes to protecting their family.
In general, I'd say "No" as far as protecting but they will definitely alert. One of my puppies actually alerted to a stranger hiding in bushes and peeping through a neighbor's window. She barked, growled and ran over and stood about 6 feet from him barking. Scared him although she did not try to hurt him and I don't think she would have.
Our old golden Spud grew up with my kids, when their teenage friends would come into the house in their dozens, he would welcome everyone. He was a big boy, but never barked when someone came to the door. I guess we 'trained' him to be quiet and not to guard the house.

We were actually burgled in the night once, they rifled the downstairs and even stole the tv & dvd, and took the whole window out in the kitchen! When the police came the next day they looked at the dog lying across the floor and said "what was he doing?" I shrugged and made some joke like "he probably wagged his tail at them and said "come in!""

Bless him, I wouldn't have had him any other way!!

Now we have Obi and Izzie. Obi has had a delivery driver pinned to the front doorstep with his parcel held out in front of him... Obi barks like fury when he hears the front gate go and continues until I open the door. Izzie hardly ever barks (only at next door's cats). Funnily enough, I totally trust that obi wouldn't bite... anyone who ever met him would tell you what a loveable teddy bear he is...

As for proper perceived threat.... hmmm, I really don't know, I guess if push came to shove he would.

For sure, they are not guard dogs, but have different personalities and some can and do bite!
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Oh, and I remember in South Carolina we had my big ol' Golden, Mac, who was the sweetest dog ever, and my son's little mini Schnauzer, who was as mean as they came. Our front door was all glass. You should have seen visitors as they came to the door to see me wrestling with a little Schnauzer while letting the big dog come racing down the stairs at them!
Every golden is different, as every dog.

My dogs can sound very threatening. Whether they would actually DO anything to a person threatening/hurting me, I don't know. I hope I never have to find out. I trust their judgment though: neither of them ever liked a guy renting the basement across the street. he gave me the creeps.

Also when Max and Sophie were alive, they wouldn't let the EMT's near me when I had an asthma attack and EMT's came in the house. They didn't growl but they were definitely staying between me and the rescue crew. I know the dogs were very concerned for me. : )
I think Tahnee GR has it right. Harley will definitely alert in the yard and in the house but as far as protection goes I have a better shot with my little Bischon jumping for the jugular.
While we were in town last Saturday, our house was burglarized. The thieves entered via a second floor window and took a TV, 2 cameras, a laptop computer, and a chain saw from the garage. Our two goldens always bark loudly when anyone (except us) comes to the door. When we came home they seemed a little frightened, but unharmed.

Max is a big love...he loves everyone. Wants to cuddle & play with everyone...except two dogs at the dog park that menaced me and our other dog and one neighborhood guy. I realize that he's still a pup, but he seems to have excellent instincts. A few months ago, I would have answered definitely not, they won't protect, but now I'm 100% convinced that Max WOULD protect me if I were threatened. He's already proven himself to me by his barking, growling and the raising of his hackles in (what he perceived as) hairy situations. I'm not so sure if he'd protect the house - I think he'd probably lay down and look at the burglar asking what was taking so long for the belly rub - but MY personal safety? No question. I'd never ask him to do it, but I believe he would. I love him JUST the way he is, protector or not.
Tysen will bark aggressively if someone is at the door. If someone he doesn't know comes in the house, or someone walks around the house that normally isn't here at night, he has been known to rush them into a corner showing teeth and growling.

However, I know what I, and the other person, need to do in order to show Tysen they are friendly so I can call it off with some success.

I for one really appreciate it and like that quality.
I don't really know, but I think it depends on the dog. Our golden girl would definitely let anyone in the house! She would actually greet them at the door and show them the way around. She hardly ever barked. Now, our boy does bark a few times to let us know in advance if someone is coming in the driveway. A really weird thing happened just the other day, and I wondered if it was because he is a year old now and his hormones must be kicking in now. I was talking to our elderly next door neighbor who my dog adores, and a man approached from the other direction and started walking towards my neighbor, who uses a walker. He was not from our neighborhood and we did not know him. My dog got in front of the elderly lady and growled, a real low deep "Don't come near my Friend" growl. The man gave wide berth - I called Ranger over and he came to me right away. I was surprised that he growled and tried to figure out what was different about this man that would cause him to behave that way - he was dressed like everyone else, shirt and jeans, no hat or any other object in his hand. Ranger meets many people every day, people carrying objects, in wheel chairs, using walkers, etc. and has NEVER growled at anyone. I just wonder if dogs can "sense" something wrong with someone?? Or if maybe he sensed my neighbor was a little scared of the man?
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I do hope for her sake she'd just run away and save herself though.
That's exactly how I feel. I really don't know what Daisy would do if we had a burglar or intruder. I really hope she would run away or go hide and let me handle it. She's no match for some types of threats, I don't want her protecting me.

That said, however, I do think Daisy would be able to sense a threat to me. And I'm quite certain she would be able to tell the difference between a loud argument and someone who really was intent on doing harm to me. Just not sure what she would do in the latter case. Hope I never find out!
My Annie, who has since passed on was the sweetest, most mellow, dog in the world. She never harmed anyone or anything. I thought of her as a real pushover until one day when my daughter and I decided to go fishing. We always took her with us because if she saw us hooking up the boat, she would jump into the back seat as if to say, "are you ready yet". We backed the boat down the ramp, parked the car, and headed out to our favorite fishing spot. I was completely unaware that we were being followed. When I stopped to anchor the boat, another boat approached us. There were two guys in it and they wanted to know what we were doing. (Duh, we are in a fishing boat with fishing gear). Annie stood up, hair on the back of her neck raised and barked and growled, like I have never seen before. We used to call her little woof because that was all that came out when she barked but after that day the nickname faded away. The only other time that she did anything similar was when I was giving my daughters boyfriend a ride home. My daughter got in the car, Annie got in the car, and when Stephen tried to get in, Annie stood over my daughter and would not let him anywhere near her. He had to ride in the front seat with me. Looking back on the situation, I don't know if she was acting on her own, or reacting to my reaction to the situation (does that make sense). I really didn't like her boyfriend at all and I was a little taken aback at being approached by the boat. Either way, the guys in the boat couldn't take off fast enough and Stephen stopped coming around (the dog made him uncomfortable). Thanks Annie, we still miss you. You were one of a kind
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