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Opinions on size for a night guard dog

"Opinions vary as to the weight a night-dog should attain, but a small dog, no matter how persevering he may be, cannot be so effective as one which has the qualities of being large, game, and active. Suppose a dog of 50 or 60 lbs weight only, were to jump at a man, the latter could not be knocked down. A clever poacher would wait his opportunity, catch the animal in his arms, and throw him over an adjacent wall or fence, well aware the dog could not jump back. A night-dog should not be less than 80 and if he is 100 lbs strong and active, so much the better. He ought to be able to jump a gate with ease and to get over ground at a good pace. For color, a brindle is to be preferred, not being so plainly visible at night as a red, fawn, or even black dog."

After reading the above paragraph - what are your thoughts on the correct size for a good and capable watch dog?

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Replies (11)
  • "Opinions vary as to the weight a night-dog should attain, but a small dog, no matter how persevering he may be, cannot be so effective as one which has the qualities of being large, game, and active. Suppose a dog of 50 or 60 lbs weight only, were to jump at a man, the latter could not be knocked down. A clever poacher would wait his opportunity, catch the animal in his arms, and throw him over an adjacent wall or fence, well aware the dog could not jump back. A night-dog should not be less than 80 and if he is 100 lbs strong and active, so much the better. He ought to be able to jump a gate with ease and to get over ground at a good pace. For color, a brindle is to be preferred, not being so plainly visible at night as a red, fawn, or even black dog."

    After reading the above paragraph - what are your thoughts on the correct size for a good and capable watch dog?

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    • question: what is a night-dog ?

                    : what should be the difference between a "night" guard dog and a "normal" guard dog ?

                    : does the job vary from a normal guard dog ?

      Any way i agree with the dog being over 80 lbs, prefered over 100 lbs, there must be some power to knock a man to the ground.

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      • I have not heard of a night guard. But I'd imagine it is the same thing as any guard dog. I prefer a dog 80lbs to about 135lbs. If you get much bigger than that they often lose some of their agility. But I understand some smaller dogs also make great guard dogs. If we look at the Belgium Malinaois they are on the small side and yet they can still take a man off of their feet. they range from 55lbs to 75lbs. They excel in Schutzhund. But for my taste I prefer a larger dog. If you are looking at color black is considered the best color by many. Some like brindle. I asked why black. I was told that people are more intimidated by black dogs. My girl Grace and her pup Princess is a black brindle. You can see them at night. I had the light on on my deck last night when I let them out. I went to check on Grace and couldn't see her until she started moving. After relieving herself she began running like she was hunting a rabbit. She looked like a shadow.

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        • There was a time when the dogs kept by game keepers (people who were to guard estates from poachers) kept dogs to assist them in their duties. These dogs they called the Game Keepers Night Dog because they came out at night.  They were supposed to be quiet and hard to see in the dark so they could attack poachers but not startle the game they are supposed to oversee.  Thus - considering the function of protecting "game" and attacking poachers under the command of the game keeper what then is your opinion.  Thank you EGPresa.

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          • For the sake of a discussion here is the link to the entire article from the snippet was taken. After reading we can continue the discussion if you like.

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            • Well most guard dogs start of with barking at the intruder, so when you say that they can't startle the game i can only think of a tosa inu wich are silent  fighters but

              aren't the preffered color.

              i' am from the region where the belgian malinois originated and i am amazed by these dog and i know what they are capable of ,  but personaly i think they are a bit on the small side 

              kind regards

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              • There is a thought that the Rottweiler and the Doberman were created for this purpose.  I can understand a Cane Corso or brindle Bullmastiff or some other coursing dog having this duty.  The article was written in 1905 so I can assume that the authors experience dates back to the late 19th century.  I wonder what breeds would have stood that duty in Britannia at that time?

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                • Thanks for the link. After reading it I better understand what is meant by night guard dog. I saw someone said a Tosa. Tosa are bred to quiet while fighting. This was a trait desired by the Japanese. But i wonder if they would be too big. The Presa is known as a quiet breed. They could work well in this capacity. In fact this was the original job so to speak of the presa. It was to guard the livestock and property from every undesired visitor man or beast. I believe there are other dogs that would be great for this work. Not just a breed, but it could be individual dogs.

                  I wonder why the author of the article  believe that a 50 to 50 pound dog could not just jump back over the fence if it was somehow tossed over the fence by a clever poacher? Yet they believe the heavier 80 to 100 pound dog can jump over a gate.

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                  • oh that part is easy.. they believe that a small dog did not have the height and the lets to enable jumping over a traditional fence which was 6 feet high.  They are right. Not many small dogs can do this.  A larger dog of taller stature can accomplish this with ease.

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                    • I see. I realize this was written long ago in 1905 or something like that. But if we take into consideration with a dog like a pit bull. They are often under 50lbs. They can generally jump higher than most big dogs that i know. Not only can the jump they will climb. he same can be said for a Belgium Malinois. Personally I really doubt that many poachers were going to be the creative or skilled as to toss a dog over a fence.

                      They would be better of bringing the dog some meat and see if the dog had been trained not to accept food from strangers. They could bring a female dog in heat. Since most people would have likely had a male dog because they are bigger and more intimidating because of their size.

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                      • You have mentioned the weight of a guard dog. I would rather speak about the weight of dog-defender. Such a dog should have at least 100 pounds (if it is more or less slim) or above. Of course, there are lighter dogs who can also be sufficiently strong in the fight with human enemies but there are not many of them.

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