Being comfortable in your own home and the protection of your family is a high priority. One of the best strategies you can utilize is having a devoted guard dog by your side. Training a dog for guarding your home is a project that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it’s worth the work.
Guard Vs. Attack Dogs – Know The Difference
First, if you want a firm but friendly canine that you can love, you are going to want a guard dog, not an attack dog. Attack dogs can be dangerous and tend to be overly aggressive, which isn’t a good trait for a family dog. They are mostly used by the military or by law enforcement.
Guard dogs, on the other hand, aren’t taught to attack. They are trained to scare away strangers in the night and warn you of their presence. Many different breeds make excellent guard dogs from pugs to pit bulls, but as long as your dog is energetic and loyal, you can train any breed. There are five effective steps you can take to train your pup to defend your home.
Step 1 : Obedience Is a Must
The biggest step is the first step. Your pup must be obedient. If your dog is unable to take simple commands, then he might make a poor guard dog.
Training at a young age is the best course of action. Puppies, between 7 to 12 weeks old, can retain information not only easier but faster.
• Keep your commands short and straightforward.
• Single words are no trouble for dogs to learn. Sit. Stay. Down.
• Use a consistent (not harsh) volume and tone each time.
• Don’t use negative words like “no” or leave training on a negative note.
• Praise your puppy every time he does well. Give him a treat.
Step 2 : Socializing Your Dog
It is the easiest step with little effort needed. Curious and friendly are not bad traits for a guard dog. In fact, they are the great trait for a guard dog! You want your dog sociable and confident.
Once he gets used to a healthy environment, he will be able to sense shady situations and suspicious people. Every time your pup has a real social interaction, give him positive feedback, whether it’s a “good boy” or a treat.
Step 3 : Guard Barking
Guard barking is a great system to implement. Most dogs will naturally bark if someone knocks or enters your home, but it’s training him to bark on command that is important. Two tactics can be used to teach guard barking.
• Again, you want to use a single, constant word like “bark” or “speak.” Put your dog on a leash and tie him somewhere in a place that you feel needs protecting, like by the front door or a bedroom. Hold a treat to his eye level and slowly back away. Once you are out of eyesight, if he barks or whines, give him positive feedback, including the treat.
• Leave your pup by the front door while you step outside. Knock or ring your door bell while making sure you say your command word loud and clear. Don’t forget to give him positive feedback once he barks. He will start to connect your positive feedback with his barking. Repetition is a key component, but you don’t want to over train him. You’ll want to train your dog in intervals, so your pup doesn’t get stressed or bored.
Step 4 : Quiet Time
Once you have your pup barking on command, it’s time to teach him to relax! You want to be able to control his bark. Barking is always annoying for you and your visitors.
• You will want to create a similar scene as before, but instead, have a family member or close friend step outside to knock on your door. When your pup begins to bark put a treat eye level and use another constant word like “hush” or “quiet.”
• Do not use a loud or menacing voice when you do this activity. You will want to say your command word firmly but softly. A strong or aggressive voice can scare your dog into feeling that there is a bad situation.
• If a stranger comes to your door, let your pup bark a few times before you use your command word. Then have your dog sit or stay while you open the door. The stranger will be able to see the dog waiting, watching, and know that you are in sole control of his actions.
Training your dog for protection can be crucial for you and your family. Guard dogs can apply a safety net that you hadn’t had before. They are ideal for warning you of danger, but they are even better at scaring intruders from coming in.
Most people with bad intentions won’t attempt to deal with a home they know has a canine or two to back up the family. Don’t forget that your training sessions should always be short, to always end sessions with positive feedback, and even after these skills are employed; test your pup once in a while to keep him sharp!