A highly protective dog was a major complaint felt by a minority of people on a recent survey about bad dog behaviors. But for them it was the major issue they faced.
At face value, dog protection is usually seen as a bonus by most people, in fact many women and drug barons get dogs for their protective values alone, their guarding abilities or watch dog skills are supposed to make them feel safe.
By highly protective I assume that those that are happy with the level of protection mean the dog is bonded specifically with them and aggressive towards other people and other dogs on command. Again in some circles this is a bonus, but in urban environments when the goal of owning a dog should be its social nature, ability to get on with all humans and animals, highly protective actually translates to non social and aggressive towards others.
DOG BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS WITH OVER PROTECTION
If you have ever had much to do with dogs, and heard of small dog syndrome, you will mostly know its a myth created by people trying to put small dogs down. There are just as many anti social large dogs as small dogs it would seem in many locations.
The reason that small dogs often seem to be more aggressive is if they are not social and not given a chance to learn to be social, and over protected by owners, who pick them up in dog parks, then this gives a dog the perfect opportunity to try and protect the owner from a heightened advantage position. Rather than saving the dog, the owner is giving them insecurities. The dog is forced to try and protect itself and its owner, but has no control over the situation. They cannot run around and sniff the dog, or submit or try and dominate in a social way. The dogs automatically fall into the default anxiety protection mode of attack.
The thing is, that with a small dog, people will get annoyed and stop visiting you, and you will stop bringing it to cafes with you, but they will dismiss it as small dog syndrome. The real problem as far as most of society is concerned is when a medium or large powerful dog becomes over protective and threatens major physical harm to dogs and people. THIS is when an annoyance turns serious and is rarely tolerated.
If a dog is red zone, it has to be treated by a dog behaviorist professional or is usually euthanized.
If a dog is close to this level, but you find a good solid trainer, they can sometimes bring the dog around. A slightly more social dog can be brought fully around by good dog walkers, using on lead and muzzle combinations. Slowly exposing these dogs on solo walks to social dogs in off lead parks.
Whilst the reason that most dogs get in this state is either well meaning or bad meaning owners, it doesn’t excuse the dog entirely. And different breeds have more stubbornness or difficulty in learning new things than other dogs.