The Untrained Guard Dog

Sarah Bowman
Sarah Bowman, trained my problem rescue dog for safe walking in crowded public spaces

Like others said, an untrained dog is unpredictable. My dog is a prime example. I wanted a pet and got this specific rescue dog because I liked her. Obviously, one gets a package when one gets an adult rescue dog. She’s naturally aggressive toward:

  • strangers of all ages from babies in strollers to seniors using canes and walkers; 1–3 year-old toddlers are her worst enemies.
  • other dogs on leashes
  • cats, birds, squirrels, small game like ducks, geese, and rabbits
  • bees, ants, and anything else that moves.

When she tugs at the end of the leash barking fiercely at adult men or large dogs, I’m told she’s being protective of me. And I do feel safer going out at night with my dog at my side. But I have never felt the need for protection against babies and squirrels. Also, I don’t need a lawsuit because she mistakes a friendly handshake in the park as an assault and nips the other person’s hand.

The nipping has happened, as well as drawing blood; the lawsuit hasn’t but it could.

I have since taken measures to prevent the nipping and blood-letting. My point is that an untrained dog may well be protective but this “protection” may not always be in your best interest.


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