St. Bernards, like all very large dogs, must be well socialized with people and other dogs while young if they are to be safely kept as a pet. Due to its large adult size, it is essential that proper training and socialization begin while the St. Bernard is still a puppy, so as to avoid the difficulties that normally accompany training large animals. An unruly St. Bernard may present problems for even a strong adult, so control needs to be asserted from the beginning of the dog’s training. While generally not as aggressive as dogs bred for protection, a St. Bernard may bark at strangers, and their size makes them good deterrents against possible intruders.
The Siberian Husky has been described as a behavioural representative of the domestic dog’s forebear, the wolf, exhibiting a wide range of its ancestors’ behavior. They are known to howl rather than bark. Hyperactivity displaying as an overactive hunting drive, a characteristic of kenneled dogs, is often noticeable in dogs released from their captive environment for exercise – a behaviour welcome in hunting dogs but not in the family pet. They are affectionate with people, but independent. A fifteen-minute daily obedience training class will serve well for Siberian Huskies. Owners are advised to exercise caution when letting their Siberian Husky off the leash as the dog is likely to be miles away before looking around and realizing their owner is nowhere in sight. They also get bored easily, so playing with toys or throwing the ball at least once a day is essential. Failure to give them the attention or proper exercise they need can result in unwanted behaviour, such as excessive howling, marking, or chewing on furniture.
The Rottweiler is good-natured, placid in basic disposition, fond of children, very devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work. Their appearance is natural and rustic, their behaviour self-assured, steady and fearless. They react to their surroundings with great alertness.
A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in its environment. It has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog of extreme hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making them especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog.
Rottweilers are a powerful breed with well developed genetic herding and guarding instincts. As with any breed, potentially dangerous behaviour in Rottweilers usually results from irresponsible ownership, abuse, neglect, or lack of socialization and training. However, the exceptional strength of the Rottweiler is an additional risk factor not to be neglected. It is for this reason that breed experts recommend that formal training and extensive socialization are essential for all Rottweilers.
Portuguese Water dogs make excellent companions. They are loving, independent, and intelligent and are easily trained in obedience and agility skills. Once introduced, they are generally friendly to strangers, and enjoy being petted, which, due to their soft, fluffy coats, is a favour that human beings willingly grant them. The modern PWD, whether employed on a boat or kept as a pet or a working therapy dog, loves water, attention, and prefers to be engaged in activity within sight of a human partner. This is not a breed to be left alone for long periods of time, indoors or out. As water dogs, the PWD’s retrieving instinct is strong, which also gives some dogs tugging and chewing tendencies. Because of their intelligence and working drive, they require regular intensive exercise as well as mental challenges. They are gentle and patient — but not ‘couch potatoes’ and boredom may cause them to become destructive.
The Newfoundland dog is legendarily known for its benevolence and strength. It is known to be one of the kindest and gentlest of all dogs. It is for this reason that this breed is known as “the gentle giant”. International kennel clubs generally describe the breed as having a sweet temper. It has a deep bark, is easy to train, makes a fine guardian or watchdog, and is extremely good with children.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is fearless and extremely protective of its home and family. They prefer to be with their family and to remain in and around the home at all times. The Neapolitan Mastiff rarely barks unless under provocation, renowned for sneaking up on intruders as opposed to first alerting them of their presence.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is not a breed for most people, and certainly not a dog for beginners. As a general rule, Neapolitan Mastiffs are not appropriate for homes with small children, as Neos are large, powerful dogs and don’t always know their own strength.
Though calm and affectionate to its master, it is capable of protection. The breed is characteristically innately good natured, calm, easygoing, and surprisingly gentle for its size. It is a well-mannered house pet, providing it gets daily exercise and activity. The Mastiff is typically an extremely loyal breed, exceptionally devoted to its family and good with children and small dogs.
When well socialized and trained, the Leonberger is self assured, insensitive to noise, submissive to family members, friendly toward children and strangers. Robust, loyal, intelligent, playful, and kindly, he can be taken anywhere without difficulty and adjust easily to a variety of circumstances.
The Great Dane’s large and imposing appearance belies its friendly nature; the breed is often referred to as a gentle giant. Great Danes are generally well-disposed toward other dogs, other non-canine pets and humans. Some individuals may chase or attack small animals, but this is not typical of the breed.
Doberman Pinschers are the target of a mistaken stereotype of ferocity and aggression. As a personal protection dog, the Doberman was originally bred for these traits: it had to be large and intimidating, fearless and willing to defend its owner, but sufficiently obedient and restrained to only do so on command. These traits served the dog well in its role as a personal defense dog, police dog or war dog, but were not ideally adapted to a companionship role. In recent decades, the Doberman Pinscher’s size, short coat, and intelligence made it a desirable house dog. Although these dogs are mistaken for their aggression, they are extremely loyal.