[lit-ideas] Can't have a gun? Get a dog

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 11:29:08 -0700

I am much more into dogs than I am into guns; so I wonder what you mean by a
"large attack dog."  I would think a burglar would be just as apprehensive
about breaking into a house watched by a small yappy terrier.    I have two
Rhodesian Ridgeback females, ages 3 and 1.  I used to have a male, Trooper,
who would definitely confront a burglar, but I'm not sure either of my girls
would.  One of them might bark.  Nevertheless my "beware of dog" with a
picture of a Doberman is still affixed to my back gate.  Any teenagers in
the neighborhood looking for a soft touch would probably pass up my house,
especially if they remembered Trooper.  


When Trooper was old we got Ginger who turned out to be that rare exception,
a Ridgeback who won't even bark when someone comes to the front door.  I
considered supplementing her with an Irish Terrier, who doesn't fit the
small yappy terrier mold but is quite a capable defender even though he
(according to a local breeder) will top out at only 45 pounds.  Trooper was
95 pounds and Ginger 80.  My wife loves Ridgebacks.  It was she who caused
us to have this breed; so we got a second Ridgeback, another female, Sage,
who does bark a bit and probably would if a burglar broke into our house;
which doesn't seem likely given our "beware of dog" sign and the fact that a
lot of people living around here have guns. 


My son has Airedales.  He lives out on the desert on a couple of acres in
coyote country.  Dogs are more important out there than guns, but a single
dog is no match for a pack of coyotes so you want several.  We speculated
about which of his Airedales might defend his house against a burglar,
assuming there was one dumb enough to attempt to brave 6 Airedales to enter
his house.  Most would bark and look ferocious but he is only sure of one
who would definitely take on an intruder.  Airedales of old were good guard
dogs but that characteristic has been bred out of most of them; sort of like
with Canadians.


When you say "large attack dog," I think of the Rottweiler, Doberman, German
Shepherd, and Giant Schnauzer.  But there are several other breeds a burglar
would do well to respect, the pit bull perhaps being chief among them.  


Here are the top breeds in Canada as of 2002 according to the Canadian
Kennel Club:


1.                   Labrador retriever

2.                   Golden retriever

3.                   German shepherd dog

4.                   Poodle

5.                   Shetland sheepdog

6.                   Yorkshire terrier

7.                   Miniature schnauzer

8.                   shih tzu

9.                   Bichon fries

10.               Boxer

11.               Beagle

12.               Rottweiler

13.               Pomeranian

14.               Bernese mountain dog

15.               Cocker spaniel

16.               Siberian husky

17.               Soft-coated wheaten terrier

18.               English springer spaniel

19.               Cavalier King Charles spaniel

20.               Bulldog


Many on this list would do a decent job as a watchdog and a few would do
more than that.  A miniature Poodle would be a good watchdog typically, but
a standard Poodle would be up there with the German Shepherd, the Boxer and
the Rottweiler.   The English Bulldog isn't much of a watchdog or a guard
dog, but the American Bulldog is closer to the original and would do as well
or better at defending as the German Shepherd and Rottweiler.  Canadians
probably have the British version which drools and is much given to


Here are the top dogs in New York City as of 2003 according to the New York


1.                   Mixed breed

2.                   Labrador retriever

3.                   German shepherd dog

4.                   Shih tzu

5.                   Pit bull-type

6.                   Chihuahua

7.                   Yorkshire terrier

8.                   Cocker spaniel

9.                   Rottweiler

10.               Maltese


German shepherds, Pit bulls and Rottweilers would be for the people wanting
protection.  Cocker spaniels would give more protection than people might
expect.  Some of the rest might bark.  


Here are the top 20 breeds in the UK as of 2002 according to the Kennel


1.       Labrador retriever

2.       German shepherd dog (Alsatian

3.       Cocker spaniel (English)

4.       English Springer spaniel

5.       Staffordshire bull terrier

6.       Golden retriever

7.       West Highland white terrier

8.       Cavalier King Charles spaniel

9.       Boxer

10.   Rottweiler

11.   Border terrier

12.   Yorkshire terrier

13.   Shihtzu

14.   Lhasa apso

15.   Dobermann

16.   Bull terrier

17.   Miniature schnauzer

18.   Weimaraner

19.   Bichon fries

20.   Border collie


The German Shepherd, Staffordshire bull terrier, Boxer, Rottweiler,
Dobermann, Bull terrier, and Weimaranar will all do decent jobs of defending
a house and its people - typically.  The Miniature Schnauzer is a good
watchdog and will alert you so you can get your gun, but none of the
harmless people in the UK have guns; so why should a barking dog deter a
burglar over there?




-----Original Message-----
From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Eric Yost
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 10:14 AM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Didn't I tell you so?


"Don't you want to get a gun?" She replied, "Why would I 

want to do that? I can't carry it on base, and if I leave it 

home and a  burglar breaks in, all I will have done is arm a 




Burglars are generally more afraid of a large attack dog. 

Unlike a nonmilitary human with a gun, dogs do not hesitate.


Of course I do know of an ob-gyn who is a hunter and keeps 

rifles in his home. He surprised four burglars in his home 

and killed them all in a firefight.


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