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question about socialization with a fila

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Replies (52)
    • i dont think you can oversocialise these breeds. They have it in them and will come out when something is going on. My co is now almost 9 months.I did everything to socialise him.He is very sweet and gentle outside.but he can turn within a second when something is wrong.You doesnt want that when somebody is just passing by on the streets.So if you socialise him well he will act normal on the situations that you learned him but never underestimate them because it turns sround in a second when something is weird. You do fine with your dog.Dont worrie about oversocialise him. It comes out by itself but if you let it come out from the start you cant control it.Easy to learn than to correct behaviour ,bad behaviour.
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      • Desiree, You are so right. My fila's first and only real bite came at 4mos old. I am a huge advocate of socialization for the protection breeds. I started taking mine out every day when I got him at 8wks. I would keep treats on hand for strangers to feed him. At 4mos we were walking on the Riverfront and a young guy approached and asked if he could pet him and I asked him to stand still and let the puppy pet him. Hank eventually walked to him and asked for attention and as he was petting him a guy walked by and reached around him to pet the puppy and the PUPPY clamped down on his wrist and held (no warning at all). From that point on he would never allow strangers to touch him. I did however continue taking him out in public for walks just to familiarize him with normal behavior. He reached the point in his temperament that his threshold for reaction came to about a 10ft radius, so I decided that he could still go but he had to stay in the car while the others dogs walked. Just keep on doing what you're doing and know in the back of your mind that it will come. Be Ready. Good Luck, Jen
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        • thx for the replys people i appreciate it , he's 6 months now will be 7 2/21 and just wanted to make sure i was doing right thing, took him to petsmart to get some food yesterday and some people he allowed to pet him other people he pulled back from i also keep treats and give them to people so they can feed him and he lets some people feed him. lets some people pet him , i just want a protective dog, having a maniac osnt something i want just want him to be calm unless he needs to react he will thx again for the help guys/gals
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          • I went (still do) to the city with him,bowling,school everywhere you can think of.He is doing great.Shows almost never agression.Suddenly my man screemed at me behind some boshes and he started growling and he could approch me after he knew it was my man.Normaly he is reserved but people can pet him.On the parc he is used that people pet him when he walks by everything ok.As soon somebody is walking behind me his head change and he is watching backwards.The man said he is paying attention to me and yep again imeras warned him to stay away.Give him time to grow learn all normal things deep down its there dont let it come out on normal situations you dont want that :D
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            • Rome, Chances are if you were going to have one that was a "10" on the ojerza scale like mine, you would already know. Most filas today tend to range in the 5 to 6 scale. Having one that is a 10 is such a huge responsibility and liability that those dogs are only for very few people. I loved mine alot but deep down I wished that he was a little less defensive. On the flip side of that he was also extremely submissive and patient with my small child. So I guess that was a fair trade. Jen
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              • [quote=lotsofdogs2]Rome, Chances are if you were going to have one that was a "10" on the ojerza scale like mine, you would already know. Most filas today tend to range in the 5 to 6 scale. Having one that is a 10 is such a huge responsibility and liability that those dogs are only for very few people. I loved mine alot but deep down I wished that he was a little less defensive. On the flip side of that he was also extremely submissive and patient with my small child. So I guess that was a fair trade. Jen[/quote]

                i notice that too hes so submissive with everyone in the house inlcuding the 2 chihuhuas lol (2 girls) , if u dont mind whats the diffeence in 5/6 than with a 10? if you could give examples that would be great all ive heard is stories but no one explained they were stages ive heard of them but would like to hear from owners the differences in ojerza, im assuming a person walking by or pettin him at 10 is not gonna happen but what about 8? 7? etc, thx again for the help

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                • Rome, I will do my best to give you MY interpretation of an ojerza scale. Remember this is just my opinion. I'm sure others are different.

                  • 1-3 Submissive, very friendly to anyone. Expects everyone to pet them. Would never defend you in any situation. (My German Shepherd is a great example).
                  • 4-6. Middle of the road temperament. Observant, watchful. Would defend you if necessary and the threat was obvious. Is still trusting of strangers, likes to be petted. German Shepherds are supposed to be this way. (not mine).
                  • 7-8. Suspicious of lots of people, but not overtly aggressive. Doesn't really want people to touch them. Will tolerate if told to. You could probably show this dog. This dog would have to be watched carefully to prevent a strike. Would bite in more unfamiliar situations. May even be fearful somewhat and show some signs of insecurity.
                  • 9-10. My Fila. Shows distrust of strangers from 8wks and up. By 6mos. my Fila would walk in public and anyone that got close enough he would reach out in midstride to bite their leg. Cannot allow dog closer than 8-10ft from people without the possibility of a lunge to attack. If they meet his eyes at 15ft. he's growling and snarling. There is NO fear in this dog. They boldly meet a strangers stare and dare them to cross their comfort threshold. This dog goes through doors and windows if necessary to remove what THEY perceive as a threat, (regardless of training or what you're saying at the moment) whether it be big or little.

                  Most people are not prepared nor equipped to handle a Fila with this much temperament. I have had a couple of close calls and mine stayed in an 8ft wooden privacy fence over an acre and a half of land. He busted the locked gate down once to get at the people doing work at my house. I lost him last month to bone disease. He was so crippled we had to help him walk into the Vet hospital. Yet, when it was time to examine him the vet suggested he let him sniff him (he has a nice basket muzzle and a prong and strong leash, he said. I'm not worried) When the vet was close enough, he stood on his hind legs, wrapped his arms around the man to hold him and beat the s##t out of him with his head.

                  After the CAT scan the vet said he had no idea how he was walking, much less stood to attack him. Sorry for the length. In case you can't tell, this dog was the love of my life as far as dogs go. I'm getting another puppy in July. Hopefully, I will have healed emotionally by then. I just miss him so much. Oh, the reason I bought a Fila was because I was carjacked a few years ago and that really changes who you are emotionally. I used to call Hank my 9mm on 4 legs, that I didn't have to pull the trigger on .

                  LOL Good Luck, Jen

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                  • thx so much jen, that really helped alot. well mines 6 mo now so hes prolly middle of the road, like i said some people he cool with some hes nice but hasnt tried to bite anyone yet or growled, barks at people when hes in backyard though. as long as he protects me and my son il be ok :) i know he still has time but i doubt hes gonna be a 10 liek u said if he hasnt shown it now he probably wont but thx for the insight. where are u located? if you dont mind pm me where you got yours from. the breeder i got mine from was reputable but to be honest wasnt that many i could find online , would say it here but dont thinks its allowed again thx for your time
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                    • Interesting, I would say my boxer is around a 5 just under and my Swinford probably a 6 to 7. From the description of 10 though I could see how problems could easily arise in a standard neighborhood
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                        Hi rome,
                         
                        To my opinion it’s a great mistake, not that specifically your fila will spoil most, probably will guard very well.
                         
                        Socialization to guard dog breeds is not for the benefit of the breed, long term wise.
                         
                        What do I mean?
                         
                        Let’s start from the beginning and what is logic.
                         
                        Filas DID NOT obtain OZERIZA because they use to socialize them.
                         
                        No guard dog breed in the world got the trait of been suspicious towards strangers because they use to socialize them (not logic right?)
                         
                        Ask past generations which actively formed these guard dogs breeds character and they tell you the same.
                         
                        Perhaps your puppy will guard well, but doing so (socializing) for some generations to come, the trait will be lost.
                         
                        Difficult to gain it, easy to lose it remember!!
                         
                        Is it logic a puppy learning to love and accept strangers to expect it later on to hate strangers?
                         
                        For me NO.
                         
                        Even if it gets suspicious, it will NOT perform like should have been perform with no socialization, which means we have already follow the WRONG PATH.
                         
                        Possibilities have already started to count negative for a decent guard dog.
                         
                        Perhaps pp dog but true guard dog?, perhaps a mediocre one?
                         
                        Do you actually believe that Mr. Stefanitz (creator of GSD) and Mr. Doberman (creator of Dobby), both breeds destroyed today by FCI and businessmen breeders for the sake of money, used well socialized dogs to achieve a guard dog breed, suspicious against strangers and protective of their environment and loved ones?
                         
                        Do you believe that Horan the first recognized GSD was well socialized puppy and playful with people?
                         
                        Can you just imagine how many persons could get close to Horan property or close to his master?
                         
                        Do you honestly believe that our ancestors, even few generations ago use to socialize their dogs and expect them to protect their homes, estates and livestock from 2 legged predators?
                         
                        FOR GOD'S SAKE IS THIS LOGIC?
                         
                        Do you "socialize" the hound with rabbits and a harse, wild boars and birds  AND THEN YOU EXPECT IT TO HUNT THEM??????????????
                         
                        The analogy is even WORSE for guard dog breeds and socialization with strangers.
                         
                        Socialization should be forbidden BY LAW for guard dog breeds for preserving and rescue the breed’s temperament and working abilities.
                         
                        MAKE NO MISTAKE, SOCIALIZATION WAS THE "LEVER" THAT BUSINESSMEN AND FCI USED, IN ORDER TO COMMERCIALIZE GUARD DOG BREEDS AND MAKE MONEY, BY DEGENERATING OUT THE INSTICTS AND THE TRAIT OF THE BREED.
                         
                        You want names for the record?
                         
                        Have few: German Shepherd, Dobberman, Rotweiller, English Mastiff, English Bulldog, Mastino Napoletano, Dogue de Bordeaux
                         
                        all excelent guard dogs once upon a time speaking for the average specimen, nowadays average specimen would invite a straner/intruder/robber for coffee, hugs, kisses and belly scratching.
                         
                        What was the key to this happened? SOCIALIZATION!!!
                         
                        DO NOT COMMIT THE SOCIALIZATION CRIME against of few breeds left with instincts in average specimen like Filas, Boerboels, Caucasian Ovcharkas, Central Asian Ovcharkas,Pressas Canarios and few others.
                         
                        ASK A SERIOUS CAFIB BREEDER COMING FROM BRAZIL (COUNTRY OF ORIGIN FOR FILA) NOT AN FCI BUSSINESSMAN (NOT COMING FROM BRAZIL BUT FROM A COUNTRY IT IS NOT ORIGIN FOR FILA AND ASK YOURSELF WHO SHOULD HAVE KNOW BETTER?)
                         
                        HOW OJERIZA (IMMAGINE A SPECIAL TERM TO DESCRIBE A DOG BREED'S HATE AGAINST STRANGERS) BECAME A TRAIT OF AVERAGE FILA CHARACTER,
                         
                         ...WITH EARLY SOCIALIZATION??
                         
                        FOR GOD'S SAKE PEOPLE USE YOUR BRAIN AND YOUR LOGIC, ask your grandfathers that use to have flock guardians for their livestock and their homes and check what answers you will get, strangers hand is forbidden on the puppy's head, judge dogs with your own, socialized vs unsocialized ones and guarding results.
                         
                        Of course is difficult to keep a real guard dog and only people who need it, or they love its abilities and have the mental stability and the proper fence should have it.
                         
                        From the other side it is not logic to water down, degenerate, destroy breeds THROUGH THE SOCIALIZATION for everybody to have one, but they will not have the real one ANYWAY!
                         
                        You know there are Staint Bernards and Newfoundlands out there, THERE IS NO NEED TO DESTROY THE REAL DEAL GUARD DOG BREEDS
                         
                        (I am speaking in general ok?, please do not get me wrong) USING ....SOCIALIZATION, though the salesmen leads you to this direction.
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                          No guard dog breed in the world got the trait of been suspicious towards strangers because they use to socialize them (not logic right?)

                           This argument cannot be broken.  I have often heard people say that a well socialized dog can still guard.  While this is true it will not excel as a guard dog if it is overly socialized.  To be socially accepting of strangers (socialized) is contrary to the suspicious nature really needed in a real guardian. 

                          Depending on societal needs of your location and the litigious and political climate - it is proper that some people do not bring a true guardian into that situation but find a more mondane breed.   Good discussion everyone.

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                          • I have a treu guard dog in a crowded place. I socialised him and  that means to me that  i can walk in my street and when passing strangers, Inar growls but dont dragg me over the floor to attack people but they cant pet him  or come close to him.

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                            • Wow, this conversation has been ongoing for many years.  Things have changed dramatically for me.  I have had two more Fila's since then.  Both Mexican Imports.  One of them was dysplatic by 6mos old.  The next is a little over a year and has great hips and Zero temperament, with ZERO socialization.  I disagree with the theory that no socialization creates a better guard dog.  The best "guard dog" I have now, is a 6yr old Cane Corso that has been socialized immensely.  He loves people as long as he knows I'm  aware that they're there.  If I'm approached from behind or someone rings the doorbell, he becomes a totally different animal.  A stable dog defends because you are suspicious or afraid, not because they are.  In the past, I didn't believe that.  The proof of that theory is in my yard.  I now have 12 Cane Corso, 5 of them are Italian Imports.  The other 7 are American bred, by me or by someone else.  I also have the zero temp Fila.  Like I said before, true guardianship comes from the dog having the confidence to believe he can win, if the fight ever arises.  The Fila I had many years ago was a rare creature and I've come to believe it's not there anymore.  I will admit, I'd love to have another like him, but I don't think that's possible anymore.  He was very socialized by the way,  it just didn't matter.  He hated strangers regardless of whether he'd met them or not.  If they didn't live here, he would attack them, period.  For now, I'm very comfortable with the Cane Corsi that I have and their ability to defend.  They've proven they won't run, on more than one occasion.  I have though, socialized them immensely and the biggest difference is my personal protection doesn't wait in the car for me anymore.  It's right by my side.  JMHO, Jen

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                              • All good points about socialization but I think you are putting too much on the dog. dkoriss is probably right in that no socialization will create the ultimate guard dog. However, as I stated, society demands that in an urban environment dogs must coexist with people and be approachable. There is a fine balance between socialization and ultimate guarding abilities.  Ultimate socialization results in minimal guardian abilities simply because to "trust" strangers is anathema to guarding. Balance is the best case.

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                                • Sorry, No socialization creates a fearful dog, not a guard dog.  The problem with dogs today, is that people don't expect ENOUGH from them.  Balance is the ability to do what's needed, when it's needed.  JMHO, Jen

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                                  • Police dogs are Heavily socialized.

                                    Any Real workers are tested, worked and PUSHED. If you leave a dog in a yard and it never experiences anything then it is much easier to cur that dog out.

                                    Experience is necessary for a dog to mature into a balanced adult.

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                                      Police dogs are Heavily socialized.

                                      Any Real workers are tested, worked and PUSHED. If you leave a dog in a yard and it never experiences anything then it is much easier to cur that dog out.

                                      Experience is necessary for a dog to mature into a balanced adult.

                                       I agree dogs that are not socialised are likely to have little exposure to most everyday life occurrences,noises etc and will lack insight and interpretation towards many senarios.Lack of socialisation can cause weak nerve even if the dog has the best genetic attributes for a good gaurding animal.The enviromental influences on the character and temperment of the dog cannot be under estimated .A good gaurd dog is a confident self assured animal that  can be taken anywhere and tolerate anything.Its gaurding abilities kicking in when it is needed and only when needed.

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                                      • There is socialization that brings the guardian into thr real world, teaching him & exposing him to as much as possible yet does NOT require the dog to be pet by the world.  I've been doing this successfully for years.  I have dogs in & out of schools, training in public parks.  I`ve had a 3 yr old come fling her little arms around my dog`s neck 3 minutes after he brought down a mugger.  No harm to the child.  But the Dad had to let me bring his daughter to him.  I let small children pet my dogs.  The adults cannot.  My dog doesn`t need the affection from strangers to be socialized.  We go to public places, have had strangers who don`t listen touch.  This doesn`t provoke attack but will get the person warned generally with a scary look.  Stabilization exercises make the difference. Dogs need to see that raised voices aren`t causefor attack.  Theguardian needs a full education on the odd ways of humans but a threat is to be neautralized.  But socialization doesn`t mean he has to be handled by the masses.  I would never allow a guardian to be fed by anyone...ever.  I have 2emergency people taught to handle my dogs in case we were in a car wreck or something beyond that you have to reside in my home to feed my dogs.  Criminals &sickos posion dogs or feed them to get past them.  I know because I`ve been called in to fix the problems or train their new dogs.

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                                          There is a fine balance between socialization and ultimate guarding abilities.  Ultimate socialization results in minimal guardian abilities simply because to "trust" strangers is anathema to guarding. Balance is the best case.

                                           Well, lets kick this topic up a notch. I see that we are heavily split on the socialization side of this argument.  This is not surprising because most of us live in an urban or suburban environment where liabilities caused by dog ownership weighs heavily on the mind.  It is my thought that most of us who owns a "guardian" breed is fearful of the dog actually harming someone either on or off property. The litigious world we live in today forces us to be more considerate of our neighbor and the criminals than our own protection.  Crazy.

                                          So, here is my thought on socialization, dog selection and living condition.

                                          If you live in an apartment or a development where there are many people around you everyday and you basically have no fear of burglars, muggers, carjackers, thieves, rapists, and livestock predation - Any normal mundane breed of dog will do fine.  If you bring a true Guardian Breed into that situation them you have the responsibility to change the dog to fit into that situation - and the method is socialization.

                                          If you live out in suburbia and have a single family home on a small piece of land and neighbors close by your fear of burglars, muggers, carjackers, thieves, rapists, coyotes and other perils are probably at a higher level.  You can probably bring a true guardian in this situation but you must have a good containment system (fence) from the property and a method to secure the dog when you have visitors. In my opinion socialization is not necessary but can be used to dull the sharpness of a true guardian who is by nature aggressive to strangers and deadly to predators.

                                          Lets say  you live out in the country on 10 or more acres or on a farm - you absolutely should not socialize your guardians because you want them to guard and protect your property and livestock if you have them.  They will be protecting from burglars and predators. 

                                          On a practical level - our Caucasian - met two of our neighbors from across the street when they were pups.  I would take them off property over to the neighbors property and keep then on leash as the learn that these two neighbors are not to be feared. In total as pups they made 6 trips to the neighbors property.  The neighbors made visits to our property - now as the dogs have matured those two male neighbors (not their wives) can enter the property but cannot pet the dogs.  The dogs will bark but not approach them to be petted.  The will sniff, investigate, and retreat to an over-watch position to observe. As pups - they would rush to them for attention - but not anymore.  So in this situation there is enough familiarization with them so that if we have to go out of town we have two options of who can feed and take care of them in a limited sense.

                                          At night when the coyotes are howling and yelping as they kill a fawn, deer, or other peoples livestock - our goats move closer to the house and the protection of the dogs. There are lots of coyote action in this area and then can be heard every night signalling their kill.  

                                          So - your dog is to be chosen, trained, and desensitized according to your situation. Keep in mind that some breeds are better suited for some situation then others. While we talk about our dogs in general you will see most breeders talk and write about "preserving the breed" but most do not know what they are preserving. It is the breed as it is today, the way it will be tomorrow, or the true temperament and function that gave us the form of the dog we so love and admire.  

                                          If the breed is formed by function then it is worthy of preserving.  Different breeds for different situation - choose wisely. 

                                           

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                                          • Giscard,

                                            I agree with you.

                                            Another consideration is the laws of the state/county/province/city you live in. Where I came from a dog bite equals a lawsuit. I have been a professional witness. I've given depositions. I've also done court mandated training as well as evaluations. It's not pretty. The Midwestern state I came from makes it nearly impossible for a dog to defend their human (even when correct in doing so) without the family of the bad guy or the bad guy getting a large cash settlement. It's only been 5 or so years ago that you had to attempt to flee from an intruder before you could use any deadly force. That was an intruder in your home. So the dog biting put the handler in the wrong immediately. Things are changing but dogs still can't be used legally.  I now live in a state where so long as you have a fenced yard, no trespassing signs up & signs saying dogs on premises... guy comes in & gets bitten... you are not liable. I felt like I'd died & gone to heaven. I don't ever want my dogs to hurt someone but if they come into my compound they are not doing so with permission then I'm glad to live where I have the right to defend myself.

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                                              Wow, this conversation has been ongoing for many years.  Things have changed dramatically for me.  I have had two more Fila's since then.  Both Mexican Imports.  One of them was dysplatic by 6mos old.  The next is a little over a year and has great hips and Zero temperament, with ZERO socialization.  I disagree with the theory that no socialization creates a better guard dog.  The best "guard dog" I have now, is a 6yr old Cane Corso that has been socialized immensely.  He loves people as long as he knows I'm  aware that they're there.  If I'm approached from behind or someone rings the doorbell, he becomes a totally different animal.  A stable dog defends because you are suspicious or afraid, not because they are.  In the past, I didn't believe that.  The proof of that theory is in my yard.  I now have 12 Cane Corso, 5 of them are Italian Imports.  The other 7 are American bred, by me or by someone else.  I also have the zero temp Fila.  Like I said before, true guardianship comes from the dog having the confidence to believe he can win, if the fight ever arises.  The Fila I had many years ago was a rare creature and I've come to believe it's not there anymore.  I will admit, I'd love to have another like him, but I don't think that's possible anymore.  He was very socialized by the way,  it just didn't matter.  He hated strangers regardless of whether he'd met them or not.  If they didn't live here, he would attack them, period.  For now, I'm very comfortable with the Cane Corsi that I have and their ability to defend.  They've proven they won't run, on more than one occasion.  I have though, socialized them immensely and the biggest difference is my personal protection doesn't wait in the car for me anymore.  It's right by my side.  JMHO, Jen

                                              One of my male cc's is now 6 years old and turned from a marshmellow to a natural protector just last year. We socialised him as best we could and he was always kind although a bit reserved with strangers. Now a stranger that talkes to me a bit loud gets growled at.  

                                               

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                                                I went (still do) to the city with him,bowling,school everywhere you can think of.He is doing great.Shows almost never agression.Suddenly my man screemed at me behind some boshes and he started growling and he could approch me after he knew it was my man.Normaly he is reserved but people can pet him.On the parc he is used that people pet him when he walks by everything ok.As soon somebody is walking behind me his head change and he is watching backwards.The man said he is paying attention to me and yep again imeras warned him to stay away.Give him time to grow learn all normal things deep down its there dont let it come out on normal situations you dont want that :D
                                                I think in a small crouded country like the Netherlands it is smart not to have a dog with a 9-10 on the scale of protectiveness. A stable dog that makes a well calculated descision is probably much more usefull in most situations then a ''claymore mine'' going off if the ''enemy'' makes a move.  It all depends on your needs i guess. 

                                                 

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                                                  Rome, Chances are if you were going to have one that was a "10" on the ojerza scale like mine, you would already know. Most filas today tend to range in the 5 to 6 scale. Having one that is a 10 is such a huge responsibility and liability that those dogs are only for very few people. I loved mine alot but deep down I wished that he was a little less defensive. On the flip side of that he was also extremely submissive and patient with my small child. So I guess that was a fair trade. Jen
                                                  Sounds like a one in a million dog. Sorry for your loss. 

                                                   

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                                                  • my 2 cents:

                                                    If you add a Fila to your family better be prepared. Owning a Fila comes with more responsibility then most other breeds. The Ojeriza is there... period. Some have it more then others but its always something to be alert and to be on your toes when you introduce them to 'strangers'. that is something you CHOSE and accept. If you get a Fila without knowing anything about the breed you and the breeder who sold it are very well... stupid....

                                                    A good breeder checks you out b4 selling a dog.. I have always had my mind set to a male fila just because they look so much better in my book. The breeder (who I consider to be a friend) denied me a male Fila. 'not were you live you get one... get a female first then move and then but only then we might talk about a male, a cannon..' and boy was she right!

                                                    We take care of a beautiful little shit with the name: O'Jeriza de Sol Casa and boy, she lives op to her name. Having said that, we do socialize her a lot! at 14 weeks old she has been at many shops, malls, schools, camp sites, restaurants and other crowded places she is very well behaved, most kids are fine even some adults are nice creatures in her book, BUT we have NO illusion that she will become a retriever.... nope.. she proven that a couple of times already as young as she is.

                                                    The end of the line is that we KNOW what these dogs are capable of, we know precautions need to be taken and she WILL bite some shithead sooner or later, we know and that is fine, but WE, living in a small town, are responsible for her behavior in the long run!

                                                    We are going to have so much fun and crap with this one :)

                                                    11892274_10155939497665263_8855758592336

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                                                    • She looks awesome and the way she looks upi says enough, a little devil . Good luck with her . 

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                                                        The end of the line is that we KNOW what these dogs are capable of, we know precautions need to be taken and she WILL bite some shithead sooner or later, we know and that is fine, but WE, living in a small town, are responsible for her behavior in the long run!

                                                         And that is what responsible dog ownership is all about.  Know your dog, and its behavior and take the necessary actions to give it a good life and a safe place to live.  Owning a Fila is a huge responsibility and something not to be taken lightly. I am happy to see that you understand this and is doing the right thing -- even in doing the right things you are aware of her potential and when the Ojeriza kicks in - all bets are off.  Good luck with her. She is a nice looking Fila.

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                                                        • Thank you Gary for those nice words.

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                                                            There is socialization that brings the guardian into thr real world, teaching him & exposing him to as much as possible yet does NOT require the dog to be pet by the world.  I've been doing this successfully for years.  I have dogs in & out of schools, training in public parks.  I`ve had a 3 yr old come fling her little arms around my dog`s neck 3 minutes after he brought down a mugger.  No harm to the child.  But the Dad had to let me bring his daughter to him.  I let small children pet my dogs.  The adults cannot.  My dog doesn`t need the affection from strangers to be socialized.  We go to public places, have had strangers who don`t listen touch.  This doesn`t provoke attack but will get the person warned generally with a scary look.  Stabilization exercises make the difference. Dogs need to see that raised voices aren`t causefor attack.  Theguardian needs a full education on the odd ways of humans but a threat is to be neautralized.  But socialization doesn`t mean he has to be handled by the masses.  I would never allow a guardian to be fed by anyone...ever.  I have 2emergency people taught to handle my dogs in case we were in a car wreck or something beyond that you have to reside in my home to feed my dogs.  Criminals &sickos posion dogs or feed them to get past them.  I know because I`ve been called in to fix the problems or train their new dogs.

                                                             You made some good points here Peeper, to my opinion

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                                                              There is a fine balance between socialization and ultimate guarding abilities.  Ultimate socialization results in minimal guardian abilities simply because to "trust" strangers is anathema to guarding. Balance is the best case.

                                                               Well, lets kick this topic up a notch. I see that we are heavily split on the socialization side of this argument.  This is not surprising because most of us live in an urban or suburban environment where liabilities caused by dog ownership weighs heavily on the mind.  It is my thought that most of us who owns a "guardian" breed is fearful of the dog actually harming someone either on or off property. The litigious world we live in today forces us to be more considerate of our neighbor and the criminals than our own protection.  Crazy.

                                                              So, here is my thought on socialization, dog selection and living condition.

                                                              If you live in an apartment or a development where there are many people around you everyday and you basically have no fear of burglars, muggers, carjackers, thieves, rapists, and livestock predation - Any normal mundane breed of dog will do fine.  If you bring a true Guardian Breed into that situation them you have the responsibility to change the dog to fit into that situation - and the method is socialization.

                                                              If you live out in suburbia and have a single family home on a small piece of land and neighbors close by your fear of burglars, muggers, carjackers, thieves, rapists, coyotes and other perils are probably at a higher level.  You can probably bring a true guardian in this situation but you must have a good containment system (fence) from the property and a method to secure the dog when you have visitors. In my opinion socialization is not necessary but can be used to dull the sharpness of a true guardian who is by nature aggressive to strangers and deadly to predators.

                                                              Lets say  you live out in the country on 10 or more acres or on a farm - you absolutely should not socialize your guardians because you want them to guard and protect your property and livestock if you have them.  They will be protecting from burglars and predators. 

                                                              On a practical level - our Caucasian - met two of our neighbors from across the street when they were pups.  I would take them off property over to the neighbors property and keep then on leash as the learn that these two neighbors are not to be feared. In total as pups they made 6 trips to the neighbors property.  The neighbors made visits to our property - now as the dogs have matured those two male neighbors (not their wives) can enter the property but cannot pet the dogs.  The dogs will bark but not approach them to be petted.  The will sniff, investigate, and retreat to an over-watch position to observe. As pups - they would rush to them for attention - but not anymore.  So in this situation there is enough familiarization with them so that if we have to go out of town we have two options of who can feed and take care of them in a limited sense.

                                                              At night when the coyotes are howling and yelping as they kill a fawn, deer, or other peoples livestock - our goats move closer to the house and the protection of the dogs. There are lots of coyote action in this area and then can be heard every night signalling their kill.  

                                                              So - your dog is to be chosen, trained, and desensitized according to your situation. Keep in mind that some breeds are better suited for some situation then others. While we talk about our dogs in general you will see most breeders talk and write about "preserving the breed" but most do not know what they are preserving. It is the breed as it is today, the way it will be tomorrow, or the true temperament and function that gave us the form of the dog we so love and admire.  

                                                              If it the breed formed by function the is worthy of preserving.  Different breeds for different situation - choose wisely. 

                                                               

                                                               Good post Gary,

                                                              I only disagree that: If you bring a true Guardian Breed into that situation then you have the responsibility to change the dog to fit into that situation - and the method is socialization

                                                              My approach is if you don't need a guard dog you don't take one, in order to change his temperament, spoil it and contribute to the crime called breed degeneration, you just chose one of out of the hundreds googy/stupid like breeds out there, meaning no harm for the specific breed.

                                                              I mean you should not force a dog breed to fit your situation, you should just chose a breed that already fits in it, breed preservation is not according to our subjective opinion of what preservation is, is about what the original breed created and used for in order to be preserved, and cannot be more objective than this.

                                                              This is my my point of view.

                                                               

                                                              Take care Gary

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                                                                Wow, this conversation has been ongoing for many years.  Things have changed dramatically for me.  I have had two more Fila's since then.  Both Mexican Imports.  One of them was dysplatic by 6mos old.  The next is a little over a year and has great hips and Zero temperament, with ZERO socialization.  I disagree with the theory that no socialization creates a better guard dog.  The best "guard dog" I have now, is a 6yr old Cane Corso that has been socialized immensely.  He loves people as long as he knows I'm  aware that they're there.  If I'm approached from behind or someone rings the doorbell, he becomes a totally different animal.  A stable dog defends because you are suspicious or afraid, not because they are.  In the past, I didn't believe that.  The proof of that theory is in my yard.  I now have 12 Cane Corso, 5 of them are Italian Imports.  The other 7 are American bred, by me or by someone else.  I also have the zero temp Fila.  Like I said before, true guardianship comes from the dog having the confidence to believe he can win, if the fight ever arises.  The Fila I had many years ago was a rare creature and I've come to believe it's not there anymore.  I will admit, I'd love to have another like him, but I don't think that's possible anymore.  He was very socialized by the way,  it just didn't matter.  He hated strangers regardless of whether he'd met them or not.  If they didn't live here, he would attack them, period.  For now, I'm very comfortable with the Cane Corsi that I have and their ability to defend.  They've proven they won't run, on more than one occasion.  I have though, socialized them immensely and the biggest difference is my personal protection doesn't wait in the car for me anymore.  It's right by my side.  JMHO, Jen

                                                                 Hi Jen,

                                                                I definitely disagree with almost everything you stated but of course I fully respect your opinion, I just have different one. I believe that you arbitrary generalize judging only from your dogs. Having a fila with zero temperament though with ZERO socialization proves NOTHING BUT THIS FILA IS JUST OUT OF BREED'S STANDARDS. The rest one million filas with no socialization are formidable guard dogs, CREATING THE BASIC OPINION ABOUT THIS GUARD DOG BREED. There also thousands of socialized filas with mediocre temperament (poor once speaking for filas) that just prove how much the socialization spoil the guard dogs. Also it sounds quite funny to me to measure OJERIZA on a ...scale !!!!! 1-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-10 !!!! You should mention at least that this a scale you have invent. OJERIZA is the Brazilian word specially created by Brazilian people to describe THEIR NATIONAL DOG'S DEEP AVERSION AGAINST STRANGERS, and been corner stone for this outstanding guard breed creation. Suspicion is CORNER STONE for GUARDING, socialization is the natural enemy of the suspicion, equals socialization is INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL TO DECENT GUARDING !!! I strongly believe you cannot say I HAVE A FILA WITH 1-3 OJERIZA (sounds like the dog have extremely little of ...deep aversion against strangers!! extremely few of really ...lots of money, a really slow of an extremely fast car etc) MUCH LIKE A WOMAN CANNOT SAY I AM 1-3 PREGNANT TO A SCALE OF 10 !!!! either she is pregnant or she is NOT. For God's sake I REPEAT A FILA WITH NO OJERIZA IS OUT OF STANDARD. At this point we should make clear to people an important issue. There is CAFIB organization recognized from ministry of Agriculture in Brazil (at list till few years ago to my knowledge) promoting and preserving THE ORIGINAL FILA with necessary examination for the ...OJERIZA THINK !!! and there is the COMMERCIALIZED SHOP OF EUROPEAN-AND NOT BRAZILIAN-FCI(profit  makers responsible of many breeds official degenration) A SHOP CALLED CBKC PROMOTING THE WATERED DOWN USELESS FILA BRAZILEIRO WHICH ACTUALLY SHOULD BE NAMED FILA EUROPEANEIRO OR FCIEIRO ! This organization of course promotes the couch potato edition of Fila without working examination of course. But I surely believe Brazilians should know better their own national dog. To prevent any weird questions, some Filas registered with CBKC and having really sharp temperament and strong OJERIZA is because not all these dogs are completely destroy. This will come with time. Just like GSDs, Dobbies, Rotties, Mastiffs, English Bulldogs, Dog de Bordeux,Bullmastiffs JUST TO MENTION FEW DEGENERATED BREEDS, struggling nowadays to find a decent working dog, in SPECIALLY CREATED WORKING LINES BECAUSE THE ORIGINAL ONES ARE DESTROYED!!!!, MUCH IRONIC DON'T YOU THINK ??? Of course PROFIT WISE IS MANDATORY TO BE DONE THIS WAY, I FULLY AGREE ON THIS. But lets stop talking about breeds preservation here Mr Stephanitz's and Mr. Doberman's bones will rattle into their graves. When you preserve a breed primarily you preserve the spirit and the working ability and then the phenotype, or you speak for another breed deserving a new name. Make no mistake, specially speaking for guard dog breeds, traditionally it was the working ability been based on the sharp instincts that formed and preserved the breed through the centuries and NOT the 100% genetic purity of the breed.

                                                                Also I would appreciate your opinion on what I stated years ago in this discussion "No guard dog breed in the world got the trait of been suspicious towards strangers because they use to socialize them (not logic right?)"

                                                                Your reference on your socialized Cane Corso's guarding ability, sorry but again in not much of a proof for me. I get to know dozens of socialized Cane Corsos completely useless guarding wise, my best men is breeding them and the few ones he keeps zero socialized for REAL USE, they made formidable guard dogs. I am happy for you that your dog can work as guard dog, but for me is the exception to confirm the rule that socialization is inversely proportional to guarding, period.

                                                                The living proof are the poor breeds as above stated GSDs, Dobbies, Rotties, Mastiffs, English Bulldogs, Dog de Bordeux,Bullmastiffs THEY DID NOT DESTROYED AT ONCE, SOCIALIZATION WAS THE LEVER TO SUCCEED  !!!!! How many persons you beleive they could get close to Mr. Stephanitz's Horand (first recognized Gsd) and his early offsprings? how many persons could get close to tax collector Mr. Doberman's early offspings ??? NONE BEYOND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILY. CLEVER MERCHANTS THOUGH THEY USED IMMENSE AND THOROUGH AS A GREAT INSTRUMENT TO DESTROY THE INSTINCT AND THE TRAIT OF THESE DOGS IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO SELL REALLY A LOT OF THEM, BILLIONS OF THEM MUCH LIKE THE MONEY TO PUT IN THEIR WALLETS. LITTLE TO NO ATTENTION AT ALL THOUGH THEY PAID FOR THE WELL BEING AND THE PRESERVATION OF THESE BREEDS, EVEN THE PHYSICALLY ONE AS PHENOTYPE, THE SLOPE OF NOWADAYS GSD HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH THE STRAIGHT BACK OF HORAND IS MAINLY RESPONSIBLE FOR DISPLASYA, .....BUT IT REALLY SELL LIKE CRAZY, SAME GOLD AND TAN COLOR, THOUGH HORAND AND VAST MAJORITY OF EARLY OFFSPRING USE TO VARY INTO THE RANGE BETWEEN BLACK GREY SABLE.

                                                                So this is what comes to my mind when I hear about the socialization marshmallow.

                                                                Much like you said, but completely the other way around I would say, I have the living proof of what a non socialized guard dog means into my yard. My Caucasian Ovcharka much like after my Boerboel, is the kind of the dogs that to my opinion justify the definition of the term Guarding, these dogs cannot get deceived by no means, will not accept food to destruct them from their job, will not low their tails or pull their ears back hearing the sweet voice of my lady neighbor they see her every single day, still is considered to be dead meat if they have the chance, in a temperament test 1st and last one same time (i emphasize no training ever took place with these dogs like no socialization ever permitted up to one year old, after this no matter how hard one can try they just want to eliminate any stranger no matter what), my CO attacked the agitator when in a full body suit and a helmet going hard on the dog at once, NO FRACTION OF A SECOND OF HESITATION, NO SECOND THOUGHTS, NO TIME EVALUATE THE SITUATION, NO MERCY, NO RETREAT THE DECOY ENDED UP INTO MY CAR DRIVING HIM TO THE HOSPITAL, HIS RIGHT ARM (HOLDING THE STICK) WAS CRACKED AT 2 PLACES, THOUGH THE PROTECTIVE GEAR !!!! Before he breaks into the yard he asked me not to be present and stay in home (2nd floor). I warned him that the dog most probably would attack brutally and he ensured me he dealt with caucasians in the past as well. He was certain the dog would need encouragement to attack because it was its first evaluation after all. That's why he asked me to stay inside in order to evaluate its physical instincts for guarding and the level of courage. By the time I spend to get down and help him out of dog's teeth, he confessed he started bit the dog hard in order to make it leave his arm. IT WAS THEN WHEN HE CRACKED HIS ARM IN AN ANOTHER PLACE AND HOLD HIM MORE FIRMLY, SHAKING AND JERKING HIM LIKE A RUG. When I was next to him he was in shock and he couldn't speak at all. On our way to the hospital he asked me what exactly I mean that I NEVER SOCIALIZE MY GUARD DOGS. I told him that though they got familiar to walk them out late in night, drive them up to mountains, or by the sea, they get to know town's noises, cars, cats or other animals when possible, THEY NEVER BEEN INTRODUCED TO A HUMAN AND WHEN THEY START TO SHOW AGGRESSION TOWARD HUMANS AT ABOUT 2 MONTHS OLD NEVER BEEN STOPPED. HE  REPLIED THIS IS THE EXPLANATION, THE PREVIOUS CAUCASIANS HE DEALT WITH THEY HAD BEEN, .......YES YOU GUESSED WELL ....SOCIALIZED AT LEAST WITH FEW HUMANS. ACTUALLY THAT'S WHY THEY CALLED HIM, BECAUSE THEY DID NOT SEEM TO PUT THEIR HEART IN GUARDING !!!!!!!!!

                                                                He told me how much he regrets he didn't pay much attention to what he been warned by me in first place, he said he never seen such an inhered reaction on the spot to his career, such confidence and such guarding ability and he evaluated very positive the solid fence around my property.

                                                                He has asked me to breed the dog with the tough big female of his associate, so to keep a dog for his personal protection and as his property guardian (for time be he owns a Cane Corso trained by him in realistic scenarios) and sell the rest for serious guarding in big estates. I refused, for me guard dogs is only passion and service, NOT MONEY MAKING, WHEN MONEY GETS INTO THE MIDDLE MOST THINGS GET SPOILED, DOG ARE NO EXCEPTION.

                                                                Well this is my perspective and I still respect yours.

                                                                 

                                                                Take care

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                                                                  Sorry, No socialization creates a fearful dog, not a guard dog.  The problem with dogs today, is that people don't expect ENOUGH from them.  Balance is the ability to do what's needed, when it's needed.  JMHO, Jen

                                                                   Sorry Jen, but after my post as above you understand I have quote this. My CO as my Boerboel as all non socialized guard dogs ARE FAR FROM FEARFUL AND THE CLOSER POSSIBLE TO GUARD DOGS. On contrary I have scared off dozens of socialized "guard dogs" by simply stepping my foot hard on the ground, or yelling at them, or pretending I get a rock, the been bold and courageous as long as you just play with them and when you really mean bad and show them a situation they have not been expose to, they lower their tails between rear legs and they pull ears back and run away not all of them but vast majority. The owners friends of mine tried the same with my dogs you can imagine the outcome if you cannot please refer to my reply as above...

                                                                  I respect your opinion but mine is there is no comparison here, imagine the same dog when been socialized its suspicion lowers along its guarding ability and the possibility to get deceived increases accordingly to the extend of the socialization, exceptions are only exists to confirm this rule.

                                                                  Same dog with no socialization to destroy its natural instincts and trait it will get a lot harder and sharper approach on any stranger, possibilities to get deceived are minimal here, again exemptions are to confirm this rule.

                                                                  ...and as always to remind, that no guard breed in dog history through the centuries gained the trait because of the extensive, immense and thorough socialization, it is AS  RIDICULOUS AS IT SOUNDS, in contrary dozens of breeds they LOST IT EXACTLY BECAUSE OF IT, NOWADAYS.

                                                                   

                                                                  Regards

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                                                                    Police dogs are Heavily socialized.

                                                                    Any Real workers are tested, worked and PUSHED. If you leave a dog in a yard and it never experiences anything then it is much easier to cur that dog out.

                                                                    Experience is necessary for a dog to mature into a balanced adult.

                                                                     ...Hmmm Mastini, looks like you haven't complete the sentence which should be like:

                                                                    Polece dogs are heavily socialized ....and same dogs are meant to attack criminals are heavily,heavily, heavily trained to attack people under realistic scenarios, Right?

                                                                    Have you any idea how much this kind of training costs? from a small to big fortune. Also the nature of the job for these dogs commands to be handled among innocent civilians, which should not been hurt be any means.

                                                                    MAKE NO MISTAKE THIS JOB HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TERRITORY GUARDING.

                                                                    you can socialize your trained personal bodyguard after you pay a fortune for it, in order to walk easily in public, but it may guard your territory, when you are not there to give a command and may not, may gets deceived by smooth speaking little lady, maybe not.

                                                                    You may pay another fortune to train him for territory guarding (nothing to do with personal protection) but any decent trainer, specialized on this kind of training he will test for the proper trait and instinct first and then he will tell you that socialization will get inverse proportional to its guarding ability.

                                                                    Something to be mentioned here, a personal protection (bodyguard) dog will definitely defend its master and may guard its territory or maybe not.

                                                                    A real guard dog, will definitely guard its territory with no chance to get deceived and will definitely defend its master under any circumstances also.

                                                                    LET'S ASK NOW THE CRUCIAL QUESTION TO MY OPINION:

                                                                    DO THE MILITARY GUARD DOGS ARE MEANT TO GUARD MILITARY AREAS GET A TINY BIT OF SOCIALIZATION??? AND WHY IS THAT????

                                                                    DO THE SENTRY MILITARY GUARD DOGS GUARDING MILITARY TARGETS GE A TINY, TINY TINY BIT OF SOCIALIZATION??? AND WHY SO ???

                                                                    FOR THOSE THEY DON'T REALLY KNOW THE ANSWER AND FOR THOSE THEY KNOW IT BUT THE HAVE A DIFFICULTY TO SAY IT, I WILL MAKE THE THINKS EASIER FOR THEM AND I WILL ANSWER FOR THEM:

                                                                    AND THE ANSWER IS........................., NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, NO WAY, BY NO MEANS, THEY AVOID SOCIALIZATION LIKE HELL, IS THE WORST THINK IN THE WORLD TO HAPPEN FOR THESE GUARD GODS, EQUALS DISASTER.

                                                                    NOW I WILL ANSWER WHY IS THAT, AND WHY MILITARY PROFESSIONALS THEY DO NOT SOCIALIZE THEIR GUARD DOGS NOT THEIR SENTRY DOGS, SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY WANT THEM TO GUARD, SIMPLY BECAUSE SOCIALIZATION IS AGAINST GUARDING.

                                                                    REALLY AFTER THIS THERE IS NOTHING MUCH TO SAY ABOUT SOCIALIZATION AND GUARDING, THIS ALONE SAYS IT ALL !!!

                                                                    THE EPITOME OF GUARD DOGS ALL AROUND THE WORLD THEY ARE NOT SOCIALIZED !!!!, ....AT ALL, ...AT ALL, ...AT ALL.

                                                                    Only one question to make do you know if Police SENTRY DOGS ARE MEANT TO GUARD PRISONERS OR MILITARY DOGS ARE MEANT TO GUARD CAPTURED SOLDIERS, ARE SOCIALIZED JUST A LITTLE TINY BIT ???? AND WHY ???

                                                                    THIS TIME EVERY ONE HAS TO ANSWER BY HIM SELF, FOR IS FULLY EQUIPPED FOR IT NOW !!!!

                                                                    Of course I respect any opposite opinion.

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                                                                      Police dogs are Heavily socialized.

                                                                      Any Real workers are tested, worked and PUSHED. If you leave a dog in a yard and it never experiences anything then it is much easier to cur that dog out.

                                                                      Experience is necessary for a dog to mature into a balanced adult.

                                                                       I agree dogs that are not socialised are likely to have little exposure to most everyday life occurrences,noises etc and will lack insight and interpretation towards many senarios.Lack of socialisation can cause weak nerve even if the dog has the best genetic attributes for a good gaurding animal.The enviromental influences on the character and temperment of the dog cannot be under estimated .A good gaurd dog is a confident self assured animal that  can be taken anywhere and tolerate anything.Its gaurding abilities kicking in when it is needed and only when needed.

                                                                       perhaps you can refer to my replies to Jen and mastini

                                                                       

                                                                      take care

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                                                                      • I started to reply to all of the individual comments and after consideration I decided to thank Contact Combat because he truly was a one in a million dog and to this day his ashes are in an urn on my shelf because I can't bear to let him go.  Beyond that, I will say that this dog turned 9yrs old today.  He is the biggest marshmallow you will ever meet with his puppies, with kids, etc.  He will also kill you if he thinks you are threatening me.  He has placed in different working events more than once.  He is the only CC that I know of that spit the sleeve out in trial to bite the decoy rather than taking the prize back to mama (oops, I asked them not to slip the sleeve until I could pick up the leash).  There are a few videos on youtube and other places of him working.  I don't know how to link them here.  He is socialized to the point that I take him with me everywhere as a legitimate service dog.  With all of that said, there is NOTHING that you will do to him during his attempts to protect me to make him back off.  He will NOT run.  Best of luck to all of you in the path you choose in socializing your dog or not.  Jennifer

                                                                         

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                                                                        • Hello Jennifer,

                                                                          Thank you for your heartfelt post. It is obvious that your dogs mean the world to you.  How to add videos - follow this link

                                                                          How to insert a video in your forum post.. just click the video icon on the editor tool bar while you are replying to a topic. It looks like a filmstrip with the play arrow.

                                                                           

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                                                                            I started to reply to all of the individual comments and after consideration I decided to thank Contact Combat because he truly was a one in a million dog and to this day his ashes are in an urn on my shelf because I can't bear to let him go.  Beyond that, I will say that this dog turned 9yrs old today.  He is the biggest marshmallow you will ever meet with his puppies, with kids, etc.  He will also kill you if he thinks you are threatening me.  He has placed in different working events more than once.  He is the only CC that I know of that spit the sleeve out in trial to bite the decoy rather than taking the prize back to mama (oops, I asked them not to slip the sleeve until I could pick up the leash).  There are a few videos on youtube and other places of him working.  I don't know how to link them here.  He is socialized to the point that I take him with me everywhere as a legitimate service dog.  With all of that said, there is NOTHING that you will do to him during his attempts to protect me to make him back off.  He will NOT run.  Best of luck to all of you in the path you choose in socializing your dog or not.  Jennifer

                                                                             

                                                                             Hi Jen,

                                                                            This dog looks majestic, judging from the photo above passion should have been its middle name, I am really sorry for your loss.

                                                                             

                                                                            Take care

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                                                                              He was certain the dog would need encouragement to attack because it was its first evaluation after all. That's why he asked me to stay inside in order to evaluate its physical instincts for guarding and the level of courage. By the time I spend to get down and help him out of dog's teeth, he confessed he started bit the dog hard in order to make it leave his arm. IT WAS THEN WHEN HE CRACKED HIS ARM IN AN ANOTHER PLACE AND HOLD HIM MORE FIRMLY, SHAKING AND JERKING HIM LIKE A RUG.

                                                                              That is what a real Caucasian Ovcharka is supposed do. I really enjoyed reading your post. It is full of very valuable information for those who desire to own a true guardian dog. We know that not everyone who wants one should one and are not capable of handling such a dog.  Thanks for sharing.

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                                                                              • "We know that not everyone who wants one should one and are not capable of handling such a dog. "

                                                                                Really?  As an administrator of this forum, did you just take an opinion different than your own to that level?  Sadly enough not everyone that thinks they know what correct temperament is, actually knows.  What most of you fail to realize is that you've taken a question regarding Fila temperament and migrated to encompass temperament for all guardian breeds.  If you truly knew what specific temperament was expected from each breed, you would have never attempted to lump a Fila in with a CC, a Boerboel or any of the others you've mentioned.  Some of us are confident enough in our knowledge and level of understanding in regards to breed specific temperament, that we don't feel the need to write an overly long article full of insults and rants to make us feel that we were heard.  Your dog, your choice.  Have a great weekend folks.

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                                                                                  "We know that not everyone who wants one should one and are not capable of handling such a dog. "

                                                                                  Really?  As an administrator of this forum, did you just take an opinion different than your own to that level?  Sadly enough not everyone that thinks they know what correct temperament is, actually knows.  What most of you fail to realize is that you've taken a question regarding Fila temperament and migrated to encompass temperament for all guardian breeds.  If you truly knew what specific temperament was expected from each breed, you would have never attempted to lump a Fila in with a CC, a Boerboel or any of the others you've mentioned.  Some of us are confident enough in our knowledge and level of understanding in regards to breed specific temperament, that we don't feel the need to write an overly long article full of insults and rants to make us feel that we were heard.  Your dog, your choice.  Have a great weekend folks.

                                                                                   Hi Jen,

                                                                                  I just hope that writing a long article is not considered to be a crime here.

                                                                                  Please correct if I am wrong but I believe you have been writing about your cane cosrso's temperament here, which is not a fila brazileiro either, posting photos and videos in order to make a point, and nobody complained about it, and as matter of fact why should have? we speak for a guard dog (actually one of the sharpest out there) and its temperament here. So it sounds normal to me that you start speak for your cane corso's temperament and their guarding abilities, to make your point, you were not speaking about greyhounds and how fast they are after all, fine and well done. But perhaps you should recognize same right to other persons having different perspective than yours. The truth is that every one has its own subjective opinion of what correct temperament is, including you Jen. Otherwise we would have no reason to discuss here, we would all have same opinion upon every thing and forums should have been closed.

                                                                                  I respect you opinion, I really do and for sure I am NOT asking your to respect mine. Opinion are not to be imposed, are to be expressed and judged according the arguments. So what you are asked to respect is one's right to express his opinion. Is this much for you ?

                                                                                  Also and not that Gary needs my defense, not at all, but I really believe is quite unfair your stance towards him, it was obvious to me out of his reply that he didn't refer to you and your abilities handling your dogs and actually I CANNOT SEE HOW COULD HE..., you run how many by now 17 ?  beasts  like Cane Corso's  and fila's are, BY DEFINITION THIS TAKES A CAPABLE PERSON TO DO IT !!!

                                                                                  I just wonder why you got it all wrong ? He referred to another member of the forum (me), a different dog(mine), for a specific different situation concerning.

                                                                                  I know, you know and for sure Gary knows many guys though physically strong enough, by no means capable to handle a strong dog, either ignorant about dogs, or specific dog breed, or body language and mentality of dogs and as a result to trigger dog aggression against themselves (owner) or family member, veeeery easy.

                                                                                  These guys are not capable of handling nor should they own such dogs, though a dedicated young girl could be proved an excellent handler for instance,  which is one of the situation that fits like a glove to Gary's statement as above, which you got it so wrong and you replied such way. Most probably this happened because you just felt Gary has a different perspective on the specific subject and this way you personalized his answer to me in a negative way, but this not fair.

                                                                                  This is my opinion after all, as my opinion is that administrators SHOULD HAVE THEIR OWN PERSPECTIVES AND SHOULD NOT APOLOGIZE OR JUSTIFY TO EVERY SINGLE MEMBER FOR IT, they should only support it with arguments to prove their point. For sure they SHOULD NOT PRETEND that they agree with everybody to keep all members satisfied, or then from administrators they become ...none and I don't know about you but for sure I wouldn't like such and administration (keep in mind that I barely know Gary we have exchange in public 3-5 replies and that's all, for not to get anything wrong)

                                                                                  We are no enemies here, I am convinced we all share same passion DOGS !!!, we just have opinion, right or wrong, arguments to prove it, very important we learn from each other exactly due to our disagreements and perhaps sometimes we should be superior enough to accept to ourselves or in public we are wrong (and don't get it wrong Jen by no means I am pointing you, I speak in general, as by anymeans I include myself)

                                                                                  I really hope you see it this way.

                                                                                  Take care

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                                                                                  • I do not "lump" all guard dogs capabilities in the same category.  A Fila is in a class by themselves in my opinion.  If you go back and reread the things I said about my Fila you will see that.  From the time my Fila was 16 wks old he could not be out in public without a muzzle.  You could NOT get within 10 feet of me and my Fila or he would launch to attack you for violating that threshold.  He broke more than one glass storm door trying to attack the mailman because he dared to stop in front of my home.  THAT is what I feel the true Fila temperament should be.  I would give my eye teeth to be able to own just one more like him in my lifetime.  A Cane Corso is not a Fila.  The Fila temperament is not, nor has it ever been the temperament that the Italians expected from the Cane Corso.  Unlike the Fila that WILL attack a stranger regardless of command, the Italians expected the Cane Corso to be controlled by the master's voice.  I learned that several years ago during my visit to Italy.  I put my hands on over 1500 Cani Corso from various breeders throughout northern and southern Italy.  The Cani Corso when bred correctly is a very confident, tolerant, stable dog that does well or at least much better in public settings than a correct Fila.  A correct Cane Corso is also a fierce opponent when they feel that their master or home is threatened.  I can only base my opinions on my life's experiences.  Those that I have just shared with you.  Tonight I celebrate my 32nd wedding anniversary.  Tomorrow we can talk dogs again.  Have a great night! :)

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                                                                                      Really?  As an administrator of this forum, did you just take an opinion different than your own to that level?  Sadly enough not everyone that thinks they know what correct temperament is, actually knows.

                                                                                       Not sure how to respond to this at all. "Did I just take an opinion different than my own to that level?" Well, opinions do differ but they don't always have to.  Can we agree to that?  So, regarding the temperament of the Fila - when I first became familiar with them in 2000 the one I met and came to know were very different from today's. They had the defining trait of the breed - hatred toward strangers and it was prominently display. Those were the days when we took or Caucasians to the rare breeds shows by ARBA, Rarities, and IABCA because at that time the UKC and AKC judges were not capable of understanding whey they could not open the dogs mouth and get in front of its face. So, in 15 years there has been tremendous changes in the temperament of the Fila and YES other dogs that are not supposed to like strangers.

                                                                                      Now to the part about me being an administrator of the forum - let me rephrase that "the owner of the website on which this forum is hosted" I do have opinions that run contrary to others from time to time.  Since I am not always online and not trying to drum up activity by being mean or nasty to people, I conduct myself with some level of civility.  It may mean that I chose not to respond in a manner that may be expected or to temper my posting to be more conversational rather than combative.

                                                                                      Over the years I have realized the there really is not wrong or right answer to any question regarding dogs, behavior, temperament, training, genetics etc.. so I may not be as passionate about any one position as may be expected and I may generalize in my writings.

                                                                                      I did not imply anything about you at all.  

                                                                                      Sorry I disappointed you. Best regards

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                                                                                        Tonight I celebrate my 32nd wedding anniversary.

                                                                                         Congratulations - I wish you many more.

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                                                                                        • I have been reading all the comments here and I am greatly concerned about the ownership of dogs by people who do not understand what socialization, defense/guard and protection really means in the life of a working breed dog.  Ojeriza is a term most often used in specific recognition of the Fila Brasilero/Brazilian Mastiff.  The other breeds including the mastiffs are described as an "aloofness" to strangers.  The Fila is known to go beyond this to an expressed hatred of strangers big difference in temperament characteristic. 

                                                                                          I have one of three males from the same litter.  At one time my family had all three males.  My Yogi is now the only one left out of the litter.  The largest at birth was Louie the Lips - we actually took ownership of him at 6 months as a rescue he had been sold to people who stupidly used him as bait for fighting pit bulls and Cane Corso's need I describe his temperament to anyone knows what a 6 month old Brazilian is like?  He weighed in at 95 pounds was 26 inches to the shoulder the most beautiful burgundy color and this precious soul rode 7 1/2 hours in the back seat with me laying over him and his brother Yogi the Bear.  Their brother owned by my son Vinnie de Smooch was awaiting their reunion at home.  Louie died when he received his vaccinations the previous owner did not get his puppy shots the rabies vaccine activated the parvo vaccine and our beloved Lips died receiving medical care at our veterinarian.  He was an amazing animal.  He was loving, he adjusted to his new surroundings and family including my then 4 year old grandson and the Ojeriza was not only present it was active.  He did not want strangers around and it took more than 10 feet it was out of scent of sight detection.  He would stand guard at scent and at sight he was in defense. 

                                                                                          Vinnie de Smooch had been a very large and very friendly pup, until Louie de Lips moved in.  Louie seemed to teach Vinnie the guard side of his personality and the two of them together were a force to be reckoned with.  Vinnie followed the lead of his big brother and developed a quirky Ojeriza, he liked people he loved faces covered with anything yummy, he was exuberant and full of life and then in the flash of a second he was ready to protect.  Although socialized from 6 weeks, taken to school, inside stores, the dog park, walking in public places, exposed to children, adults everywhere he became unpredictable and dangerous.  He bit three people protecting his family - truly protecting his family and unfairly euthanized.  It is important to remember that on all occasions people were aware he was defending his family and yet they proceeding to provoke him by coming on my son's property, approaching the dog after my son had repeatedly told them not to come near.  He was leashed and under control he bit when the individuals swung at him and attempted to grab him. 

                                                                                          This brings us to Yogi Bear who at 31 inches to the shoulder is the tallest of the three big boys.  He had been the runt, and he shared a special bond with his brothers.  I think to understand Ozeriza and it's development it is important to look at the development of the dogs.  My Yogi like his brother Louie had been sold to persons who abandoned him tied to 12 inches of rope he endured a snow storm and starvation when the neighbors finally noticed that he had been abandoned by the owner of the home they called the breeder who went back and took him home nursing his frozen and starved little self.  Louie was sold to monsters and the breeder was notified and rescued him as well.  I had called to see if they were going to have any more pups because we loved Vinnie he was so wonderful, full of life and absolutely the Belle of the ball he loved everyone.  He was so intelligent and easy to train he would learn anything and look at you like is that your best more please.  When they explained the plight of his two brothers of course I said I am coming to get them. 

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Yogi is quite a boy.  My grandchildren can do anything with him.  You see him in the pirate outfit wearing an eye patch, that is nothing my granddaughter paints his nails and puts makeup on him including yes imagine it bright red lipstick it would appear that Uncle Yogi is the perfect fashionista as she develops her "makeup mastery."  Oddly when I first brought him home he was not confident neither was his brother Louie.  Within 24 hours both were standing up, commanding the leash with skill and confidence and working the house finding their boundaries and discovering their territory.  It all happened very quickly.  Yogi actually snarled the first time my grandson hugged him no bite no growl just a quick flip of the lip - a gentle but firm correction (I said no) and he relented to the hug - that was the only time he ever rejected a hug from my grandson he not only welcomes them now but cuddles with the children watching TV or just taking a nap he insists on "cuddling" with them. 

                                                                                          At age 22 months my grandson who was 6 was attacked by a young male who was under the influence of substances Yogi leapt into action.  It is not a sight to behold when your best friend turns into fierce protector - it was both amazing and horribly terrifying.  The end result was that without a single bite he was able to defend, diffuse and contain the threat to my grandson until I could intervene safely. 

                                                                                          My Yogi is not aggressive I have had him temperament tested every year.  He is not an aggressive dog.  He is however a guard dog.  His Ojeriza level is 10 and he is perfectly able to be controlled.  Is he socialized he has been - and it is a great thing.  I had broken my foot severely and was confined to the house for almost a year.  It was Yogi who picked me off the floor and assisted me to the phone so I could call for help when the injury occurred.  That greatly diminished his training time.  I had people come to the house so he would let people in.  Due to a medical treatment I developed PTSD.  That was a wonderful experience that he picked up on and as a result he became very protective of me.  Thanks to the removal of a diseased thyroid, and a non cancerous tumor in my uterus the anxiety and fear I lived with is under control and guess who is much calmer?  He is really great at understanding where I am and providing a safe environment for me.  An environment he can control when I cannot.  That is what a guard dog does. 

                                                                                          I have been training dogs for over 40 years.  If your dog does not like people to the extent that you cannot control that dog there is a problem.  Please don't give me the pack leader theories because I will tell you that while I agree with this there is a part of that pack leader theory that its teachers fail to communicate - the change of the guard.  Pack animals challenge the pack leader for the role of leader and you do not want to get into that conversation with an animal that is intent on doing what it takes often those disputes are to the death.  I think that people forget we cannot control, lead or manipulate everything.  We must learn that trust and bond come by learning who each other is and what our limits are.  My Yogi is well aware that at this point he is stronger than me - and yet he yields to me, if he perceives I am in danger he stands his ground until the threat passes (a neighbor's dog is fence aggressive, lol), I pay attention to his alerts - I face the danger he learns my limits and respects them.  I value his discretion and respond to his signals.  This is how you get a dog with level 10 Ojeriza to control himself.  Is he safe in public - if the public is safe.  Can I control him - yes.  What if he decides to protect me.  Yes, I control him all the time it is the way I present myself if I cannot take control of the situation he will stand over me between me and the present danger - he will do whatever necessary to preserve my safety - if it is a medical situation he just knows and has always allowed emergency staff to treat me.  Guard dog breeds are intelligent and they know instinctively - So I would say stop encouraging people to feed and pet your dog.  Personality traits may dictate that your dog doesn't like being handled by others.  Do all people like being hugged or kissed or you know "socialized".  Yuck!  My big boy is very affectionate this is not always demonstrated by allowing you to slop sugary kisses and booger faced hugs and gooey little chocolate covered fingers all over his glistening coat - well almost always the gooey chocolate covered fingers.  A lot of times he shares his affection by doing his "tricks"  he can count to four yes you can say Yogi what is 1 plus 3 and yes he will bark 4 times.  Yeah, he is a smart bear!  He does have a picnic basket with all his stuff in it he may bring you a brush, a toy or a costume!  He loves to play with people and interact with them.  He may not want to take a treat from a stranger.  Think about that why would you want your best friend to take food from a perfect stranger?  He/she would not let you eat something from a stranger it might be poison - no he/she would give it a good smell or investigation before you would put that in your mouth, and in truth a dog does not eat or drink when they are alarmed, concerned, nervous.  So you are putting a behavior to them that is against their logic.  Sometimes socializing just means letting them be in the moment and refraining from a displayed behavior that is unwanted.  Dogs don't just walk up to each other, they notice each other from a distance, they watch and smell.  They get the picture so to speak.  They introduce theirselves and their intentions. 

                                                                                          The biggest problem with the socialization I have witnessed on this forum is it appears you interpret socialization as the act of forcing a dog to socialize like a human.  How many humans do you really trust.  I think that the desire to have a guard dog comes from a need to feel secure and to have a companion who gives you the ability to maintain a boundary.  There is nothing wrong with that - sometimes Yogi become Cujo that is why I have him.  I would encourage all to enjoy their companions and their distinctive personalities. 

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                                                                                          • Thank you for reading this topic and also for posting your thoughts on it.  You make great points regarding the interaction of us and our dogs and the projection that some seem to do regarding training and socialization. When we expect dogs to behave like people be things usually happen and someone gets hurt. Understanding natural canine behavior and how we can influence it to make our canine companions acceptable members of our homes is a lost art.  Thank you for the refresher course.

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                                                                                            • I have been reading through this thread and I find it very interesting! Here is my take on "socialization".

                                                                                              Before I got my two Co pups in 2012; I did ALOT of research on the breed. One thing I kept hearing was that it was VERY important to socialize my pups before they became adults. Now, because I had never owned or even seen a Co before I was hell bent on following the rules on how to raise a "Well behaved" Co.

                                                                                              My sole purpose for getting my Yasha and Sezja were to be guardians of the home, yard, family etc. I wanted dogs that would kill anyone that was a stranger to my home! Period! And my house is located in an area  that is isolated and surrounded by bush. My closest neighbor is about a half mile away.

                                                                                              Once I got  them, their socialization started . For the first year and a half of their life in The Bahamas, they went to the beach at least 4 times a week. This was a great time for us because we bonded, they got to swim a lot, and this is where I did their obedience training. However, they would also walk past many strangers (on leash) . There was also one time when I allowed a stranger to pet the pups (because this was what I was told to do). Also, when family members came by,  I would give the command "friend"  and then allow my family members to meet them (again, I was told to do this).

                                                                                              Once my Yasha and Sezja became adults, I will admit that I became  disappointed in my female Sezja's "aggression" towards strangers. Yasha, well he was everything I wanted him to be and then some. His aggression was always on point for my liking towards strangers. Unfortunately, he died a few months ago.

                                                                                              Sezja does bark at strangers and she protects the yard but she is just not assertive enough for my liking. My wife says to me that Sezja is intelligent and that she knows when she needs/should react. This may be true BUT, Yasha reacted to ALL strangers. Period!

                                                                                              Before Yasha died, I was going to have a trainer do a break in scenerio to test them but it was obviously postponed. But, I am still going to do it to test Sezja.

                                                                                              But my point for writing this is to say that I am 100% convinced that doing that socialization crap  turned Sezja into a lesser version of what she is supposed to be.

                                                                                              I will be getting two new pups this year and I will do the opposite of what I did with Yasha and Sezja. They will of course be fully obedience trained but I will do that solely at my home. Sezja's level of aggression is just not what I expected or wanted. Thus I will do everything possible to ensure my new pups are fire breathing dragons!

                                                                                              In conclusion; socialization of a true guardian breed will result in a lesser version of said breed!

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

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                                                                                              • Hello Bahamian, you know animals have personalities.  It is important to remember what socialization is, what it produces in us and our dogs and how important the outcone is to successful training of guard dogs.  

                                                                                                If you look at the breed standards of these dogs especially my Brazilian Mastiff you will read the words instinctively knows.  These dogs do many jobs including assistance to people with disabilities including epilepsy, diabetes, seizures, strokes and other illnesses including cancer and heart attacks.  The reason why is that our body chemistry changes and they can smell this and alert the person to the upcoming or present danger.  This is also why we socialize our dogs so they are exposed to our world, it's sounds, smells, dampers, joys acceptable and otherwise and in what degrees.  Remember there are levels of danger and levels of defense mandated by law everywhere.  Socialization does not mean everyone gets to touch, pet and play with my dog.  It does mean that when I take my grandchildren to the park I want to be safe so I take my Guard dog with me.  He rides down the slides, plays in the sand box, rubs across the fields with them he tolerates humans around them but is always mindful of what is around us and alerts me to activities beyond my range.  He goes into the rest rooms with my grand son and I know he is safe.  What he doesn't do is act like an out of control fire breathing dragon.  He has learned to control himself and use his instincts to assess the situations we are in and then behave according to what is best.  Your guard dog must learn what and when this is important so they can be safe as well.  I think your female is much stronger than you realize.  Also aggressive is not what you are looking for in a guard dog.  Aggression always stems from a negative such as fear, anxiety, lack of confidence in nature this animal would most likely be run off or even killed.  It is unstable it is a bully.  This is an animal that is out of control an not useful because it acts without duscretion.  

                                                                                                You want a guard dog that has the ability to work with you anywhere anytime.  I can assure you that if you or your fire breathing dragon dog come to my home you will not get in I can also promise you that because of your dog's expressed aggressiveness my Yogi would have to kill it because your dragon dog does not understand accepted behaviors only aggression.  All this is unnecessary.  But if I am at home when you come I can tell Yogi you are entering even your aggressive dog and he will tolerate you.  The difference is you will know he is waiting and watching and if you mess up he will be there.  This is only if I allow you in and give him a command.  

                                                                                                I have used the friend command in the past and I use it today for my grand children to use when they bring friends.  It does not tell your dog be all lovey dove with these people it tells your dig they have permission to be there and interact with you dogs don't interpret words they interpret our chemistry.  I can say friend all day but if I am upset and anxious Yogi is on guard.  So I have to control myself if my chemistry is saying anxiety but my actions are calm and controlled he knows I have a medical situation and help is needed.  There is too much to write here.  As I have said I have Yogi tested he is not aggressive he is protective and wonderfully gentle with my grandchildren and elderly persons.  Allso thr official scaling of ojeriza Is not about how aggressive they become it is a definition of the "distrust" of strangers and how the individual animal uses it.  Some very aggressive dogs are low level ojeriza and determined to be fearful.  So look at your female closely and socialize your digs so they can be the best guard dog possible living a healthy and safe life with you.  Socializing, exposing our companions and teaching them appropriate behaviors saves them from unnecessary euthanasia.

                                                                                                 

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                                                                                                  Socializing, exposing our companions and teaching them appropriate behaviors saves them from unnecessary euthanasia.

                                                                                                   Well said. Socializing does not change the dog but modifies how the react to certain stimuli in certain situations.  Basically, it enables them to become a better member of your surroundings.  When you are socializing your dog there is only one thing that stays the same - you.  You are always there with your dog.  If you remove yourself from the social environment they will behave differently even if properly socialized.

                                                                                                  Very good post. Thank you for sharing.

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                                                                                                  •   If you remove yourself from the social environment they will behave differently even if properly socialized.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    Well Said !!

                                                                                                    When i walk my co in the parc he even sit down when he sees a biker. He avoid people and when they want to pet him he avoid the hand and walks further. Always off leash. I am always alert because when somebody shows agression he will react.

                                                                                                    I live in a crowded street, kids are playing, parents are around and i had to socialise him so that i can leave my street without accidents.

                                                                                                    I have my dog for rotection so i disagree with peole who say that my dog doesnt belong in this surrounding. He fits in perfectly, cost time to socialise him but now he is a great dog. He didnt loose the co character and he is the real deal from Russia.(ucrania).

                                                                                                    Ofcourse it has consequenses, i cant let anyone in, must be alert with family or visitors but i choose for this breed and i know what i can expect. 

                                                                                                    Yesterday when i was upstairs my sonn fallowed (lives in my house) his girlfriend wanted to go upstairs he blocked her and didnt let her go up.

                                                                                                    He blocked her and growled so i get down and told Inar to back off.

                                                                                                    Socialising is also to teach the dog to be clear without using theeth immediatly precent accidents.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    When i walk alone no one is allowed to come near me. He stand up growls, showing his theeth but dont dragg me around.

                                                                                                    And he is very clear and no one will approch me.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    He is a great dog and my next one will be also a real co.

                                                                                                     

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                                                                                                    • Hi Des,

                                                                                                      Thank you for your post. It is very good to ready about your observation of your CO.  You have a good one there. This goes to show that proper upbringing and training however slight can modify a dogs reaction to certain stimuli but the hard wired instincts are always to default behavior.  These can be suppressed with training and socialization but they are still there and ready to launch the dog into action with the right set of circumstances - as determined by the dog.

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                                                                                                        question about socialization with a fila
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