Five Large Dog Breeds for People That Like to Be Alone
I guess I could have made this another list of dogs I would not own. There is nothing wrong with these dogs, though, if you like to live risky and don’t mind going to bed each night and knowing that tomorrow might be the day you are sued. My life is one of solitude, but, even out in the isolated area in which I live, I will have an occasional visitor.
Sometimes a neighbor will send over one of their kids to surf the internet, once a month the meter reader comes by to read the electricity and monitor my water consumption, and at odd times I have even had a social call. I can count on my dog to bark and alert me, but that is all. I think a watch dog is enough.
Big, Powerful Breeds That Need Space
None of these breeds are definitely going to bite, but they are all powerful, and if they do bite, you are in for some headaches. They are certainly not meant for an apartment. There was a case in San Francisco where a pair of Presa Canarios were kept in an apartment, and of course the owners had to take the dogs out each day on the elevator. One or both of the dogs ended up killing a neighbor. The dogs were not correctly socialized and really needed to be owned by a hermit living alone at the end of a long road.
I've noticed that Cesar Millan never has any of these big dogs in his rehab center. Does that mean that none of them need rehab, or that they are so big and nasty that he does not want to deal with them? Descriptions of almost every one of these dog breeds include warnings about trying to establish dominance. Is that the problem?
So what are the five perfect dogs for a solitary life?
Ovcharka (Caucasian Shepherd)
These big-boned mountain dogs have the heavy coat and the rugged appearance of a bear. These dogs can be any size, as long as it is big, and males weigh anywhere from 110 pounds and up.
They are in that class of guard dogs that do their jobs but don't always listen. That may be okay in a slacker Maltese, but in a 100+ pounder? The Caucasian Shepherd is well-known as both a territorial and dog-aggressive breed.
If you need a tough livestock guard because you still have wolves and bears running around your property, and you don’t mind whatever else your dog might kill, this is a great choice. (Also, if you are interested, read the comment below from dogsrule3.)
The “Harry Potter” dog is big and has a terrific growl. They have traditionally been used as guard dogs because of their size (males often reach 150 pounds) and fierce appearance, but some dog fanciers complain that they are so overbred that they no longer get around normally.
This is a guard dog, not a watch dog. They are one of the best guard dogs for families, and as part of their job to protect their family, they are more likely to sneak up on a thief than alert him by barking. They do not care for strangers, so even if your Neapolitan Mastiff is well-socialized, he may end up biting just to protect his property.
If you want a drooling guard to maintain your peace, this is the dog to own.
This Italian breed is a little smaller than its cousin the Neapolitan Mastiff, but it is more athletic and just as strong. They were used to watch cattle and also to hunt wild boar, and the dogs that survived their tasks have a mouth as wide as it is long.
Like all the solitary breeds, this dog needs early socialization, good training, and an owner willing to spend most of his time with his dog. The Cane Corso will do best if it has a job to do and is distracted.
This dog breed hasn’t been outlawed yet, but it really has not been around all that long. It was only introduced to the US in 1987. If you want one to protect you, buy it now, as Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) will probably put this dog on its hit list.
The Presa Canario is a little smaller than some of the other “solitude” breeds, but he has been described as a Pit Bull on steroids; the dog is athletic and moves like a big cat. Males can be up to 160 pounds, but most dogs aren’t that big; they were bred to be shepherds and cannot do their herding jobs when they're too large.
They require early socialization, good obedience training, and a household where they can be in charge of the other canine members.
If you can meet all of this dog's requirements, and you need a dog that looks like he can handle anything, a Presa Canario may be right for you.
This is another dog breed that keeps door-to-door salesmen away. They are large, with a big head and a stocky build. One of the breed characteristics that has been selected for, along with the dog's guard abilities, is the Fila's appreciation of solitude. They do not do well in households with a lot of visitors. Like all the guard breeds, they need to be well-socialized, but even that is no guarantee. A Fila does not much care for changes.
In the UK and several other countries, this dog is already among those affected by Breed Specific Legislation. It is illegal to guard your property with one of these dogs if you live in one of those areas. If you don’t, and you need a dog strong enough to herd your cattle and powerful enough to run down a jaguar, this is the dog for you!
I expect lots of negative comments. The only dog on this list that I have never worked with is the Caucasian Shepherd, though, and I have several neighbors that own the other breeds. The Filas on one side of my house are territorial but meek when they escape; the older Fila female who lives on the other side of my house is like any dominant female and always in control no matter where she is.
None of these dogs should be taken on by a novice dog handler, and if you are looking for a good watch dog for your family, the Rottweiler is much easier to work with and an excellent choice.
But are you ready for a little solitude? If you like to be alone, just buy one of these dogs, and I can assure you that few visitors will come knocking on your door.