All dogs are natural guardians. None of them tend to love strangers stepping in their “controlled area.” However, they will still need a bit of push from your side to turn them into the real guards for your house. So, if you wish to get a dog to guard your family, home, personal belongings, have a seat. In this article, I will specifically discuss how to train a guard dog. However, if you’re interested in basic obedience training techniques, check Loobani website for more tips.
Why Do You Need To Have A Guard Dog?
Guard dogs are usually trained to prevent accidental visits by people or animals. If an intruder enters the territory guarded by the dog, the guard dog will restrict or attack the intruder.
However, owners should remember that the dog can only be trained as a guard dog after basic obedience training. Dog obedience training is the basis of your dog’s guard mission. The better your dog’s obedience training is, the quicker and more effective he can receive guard dog training.
Also, before you start training your dog, it is better to hire a professional trainer to evaluate their skills, temperament, and personality to see if they will become excellent guard dogs. Some breeds are inherently friendly and trusting, and it will take more time and effort to be trained as guard dogs, while others are intrinsically protective and take on the role of guard dogs as they are born.
Start Training From Basic Commands
As I already mentioned above, you should only start teaching your dog guard dog training techniques only after the basic dog obedience lessons. Unlike companion dogs, guard dogs should immediately obey the owner’s every command. Use hand gestures to teach the dog verbal commands such as come, sit, come down, stay, and heel.
Make sure that your dog responds appropriately to all these commands. This is a critical element of training because if the intruder can use the same verbal command or treats to control the dog, it means your training failed.
Also, Keep in mind that your trained guard dog will not be a pleasing surprise for intruders, and they might intend to avoid your barking dog with treats. So, you should also teach your dog not to accept any kind of treats from strangers or anyone but the owner’s family.
Intruder’s “treat” might also be potentially dangerous, so protect your dog with the proper dog treat training.
Bark Training: Teach Your Dog An Alert Bark
The primary skill your guard dog must know is barking alertly, which is used when a stranger enters your home. First, find the command word to let your dog bark (e.g., “Bark” or “Speak”).
Next, use this word to teach your dog to bark as commanded. Find a scene that triggers your dog’s barking, such as someone knocking on the door. Then, say “bark” enthusiastically while giving your dog a treat and praise. Continue to practice until your dog barks reliably as ordered.
The next step is to set up a practice scene for your dog. Later the evening, ask a friend to help walk into your house or knock on your door. Use the bark command and reward your dog for showing correct behavior. Keep practicing, and once your dog sees someone in the yard, you will no longer need to order it to bark.
Your dog should also learn when to stop barking. So, you should also teach him the “Quiet” command and immediately reward him with a treat as soon as he stops barking.
Train Your Dog To Remain Indifferent To Other Animals
Another vital step in the guard dog training course is to teach your dog to remain indifferent to other animals. This includes not being aggressive towards cats or other dogs and not chasing female dogs in heat. However, this part of training is quite difficult, and you might need a professional trainer for assistance.
The dog should also be familiar with the boundaries of the owner’s property. This is done to prevent animals from crossing the boundary line, just in case, such as chasing an intruder or a thief.
Train Your Guard For Protective Attack
You can also train your guard dog to attack intruders as an order to the owner or as an immediate action when the dog perceives a potential threat.
Obviously, guests may treat animals as ordinary pets, and dogs may misunderstand their actions or gestures as threatening and harm them. Teaching your guard dog to protect the owners also includes teaching him to be indifferent to loud noises or overwhelming gestures. This is done to prevent intruders from using similar actions to prevent dog attacks.
Teach Your Dog To Guard The Whole Family
The guard dog must be familiar with not only the trainer but also with other family members, including other pets. This is why the adults and children in the family should interact with their dog and give him regular attention and care. This helps the dog get to know the members well, rather than treating them as any threat. If there are other pets in the family, train the dog to associate with them to understand that they are also part of the family.
Socialize Your Dog
Let your dog socialize to not to get aggressive. Take your dog to dog parks and pet shops often to prevent it from becoming too possessive. Non-social guard dogs may be too focused on protecting their people. Even if they are not on their own property, they may lash out. Wrong dog training can lead to terrible accidents.
Off-leash training is another crucial part of guard dog training. If you walk your dog off-leash, your dog should know when to stop barking or attacking in case of a mistake.
Even an extremely well trained dog may overprotect and attack random strangers, so in order to eliminate this possible accident, let your puppy be active and social from a very young age.
Also, another important thing to remember is that guard dogs are ordinary pet dogs, and you should not treat them differently. Guard dogs also need the same attention and care from family members. Owning and training guard dogs is not just a responsibility. This is because you not only have to keep your dog vigilant and protected, but you also have to be a caring member of the family, so you have an extra commitment.
Can You Train Any Dog To Be The Guard Dog?
Although technically, any dog can be trained as a guard dog, there is almost nothing to be aware of when choosing a dog breed. Usually, owners prefer large dog breeds to raise as guardians because of their weight, power, and muscles. A dog with a high degree of territorial awareness, aggressiveness, and tension will not be an excellent guard dog.
These are the most common guard dog breeds: Belgian Malinois, German Shepard, Rottweiler, Puli, Dutch Shepard, Cane Corso, Akita, Bullmastiff, Doberman Pinscher, Giant Schnauzer, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Rhodesian Ridgeback.
How Long Does It Take To Train A Guard Dog?
Even though it highly depends on the dog’s breed and personality, overall, training a dog to be a guard dog can take up to 1-2 months. In the natural guardian dog breeds, it can take several weeks. However, I will repeat that owners should start guard dog training only after training them on basic commands and obedience.
Also, I highly recommend hiring a professional guard dog trainer who will know the proper way to train a puppy and avoid boosting aggression in your dog. Overprotectiveness might make your dog scary and cruel, so they will need an adequate teaching class to stay loyal guard and a loving, joyful partner.
Summary: Should You Train Your Dog To Guard?
Training your dog to protect your property requires the obedience and dedication of you and your pet. Following the steps outlined in this article will help you train your dog properly. A calm, loyal, and obedient dog is best for looking after your home or other property. Choosing the right dog breed is also important for training a good guard dog, and research should be done before making any final guard dog decision.
Keeping a dog is a lifetime commitment, and you should not take it lightly. As a dog owner, you want to be safe to know that your dog will not only protect your family but also protect them from any possible situation where someone may enter your home maliciously.
When training your dog, you want to make sure that you cover all the basics in identifying and solving any problems your dog may encounter and make sure you can control your dog’s behavior.
Every dog needs training for proper daily behavior, and if you are raising a guardian, you need more specific knowledge. Research, find books, reach trainers, and you’ll soon have a well-trained intelligent guarding dog.