Obtaining a guard dog may be a good choice to protect one’s business or home against intruders. A dog that is well trained can prove to be a valuable companion, committed in protecting its guardian and his/her possessions. However, a dog trained to attack humans comes with much responsibility.
There are several levels of guard dog training, ranging from watch dogs that will alert the owner, to protection dogs that will defend the owner with no hesitation. The breeds that are most commonly trained for such purposes are Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. Herding breeds are also very good watch dogs, as they are naturally inclined to protect their flock/family, while at the same time are very gentle and affectionate with their owners. Virtually, all dogs are capable of becoming guard dogs, however the training approach and the time required may vary. A tip for people wanting to give the illusion of calmness to would-be burglars, and train their dog even more in the process, might want to consider installing the top wireless pet containment system before guard dog training.
A puppy intended to become a guard dog has to have certain characteristics. It should not display signs of anxiety when placed in new surroundings. It has to be confident and fearless. It has to show assertiveness, without being aggressive. It should not be sound sensitive, however it has to be sensitive to movement and other’s actions to be ready to defend itself, instead of fleeing. Some level of sociability is required, as the dog should be able to be in the presence of others besides family members. Loyalty and trainability are both very important qualities. To determine those though, one has to rely on the traits of the breed.
The early stages of training will determine the effectiveness of later guard training. The dog has to be exposed to as many animals, humans and stimuli as possible, especially at the age of 8-12 weeks and throughout its life. A guard dog is suspicious, so it must have a clear understanding of what constitutes a threat and what does not. From day one, it must begin with the fundamentals of obedience. It must perform its obedience skills consistently and reliably every time in any environment. Household rules must be placed and followed at all times. Finally, it must have well defined leadership to avoid incidents of disobedience.
Remember that as you are training your puppy, if you have other security devices that are sensitive and are outside, you may want to protect them with a pet barrier like the Pawz Away. This will be another way to train your dog and will also stop him or her from getting into trouble while it is still learning to be trained and behave. If you don’t have anything outside, and you want to go with the option we mentioned above with the pet fence, you can also try the great Havahart system we recommend.
Most protection training techniques are based on Schutzhund. This is a German training program that focuses in shaping dog behavior overall. It has three components which are obedience, tracking and protection. Teaching a dog to attack on command is very dangerous, so the dog must be shaped in the whole. No dog is worked in only one aspect. This is very sensitive work that can only be safely implemented by professionals. Here’s a video of Schutzhund in action to give you a better idea:
However, before deciding to go ahead and protect train a dog, one has to assess their needs. Most dogs are protective of their home regardless of their training and are very likely to bark at the presence of a threat. Furthermore, a protection trained dog may cause you legal problems, issues with your insurance and significantly increases your liability. So, there are a number of factors to consider before settling on the level of commitment that having a guard dog entails.