How do you train a guardian dog? It is the easiest to start teaching them some simple tricks and then progress to guarding centered commands. After that, you can take a few more steps to turn your dog into an attack dog. However, this isn’t recommended for everyone.
Many people these days feel afraid and try to find something to provide them with more security. It isn’t uncommon for people to turn to their four-legged friends, but how exactly should you go about training a guardian dog?
This article will provide you with useful technics as well as a list of breeds most appropriate for guarding dogs, so if you want to make this process easier for yourself, keep reading.
How do you train a guardian dog?
There are different steps you need to take to train a guardian dog fully. Many people go even further to train their dogs to attack command. While this is perfectly reasonable in certain cases and even necessary in certain dog professions, many don’t recommend it outside said frames.
Attack dogs bond only with their handler, the only person that trains them, feeds them, and shows them any affection. This makes it difficult to introduce them to new people. More often than not, it happens that attack dogs interpret certain behavior coming from other people and animals as ones that require reaction and, in the process, hurt people they were not supposed to hurt.
Some basics traits you should look for in a dog if you want to train it to be a guardian dog are socialized and confident dogs but not too aggressive. It also helps if they display interest in the owners’ behavior and what is going on in the surroundings.
Start by teaching your dog some basic obedience. It is important to know that while all dogs can pick up some basic tricks with a little patience and practice, not every dog can become a guard dog. It would be best to start with a few simple ones and not progress to the next ones until your dog consistently performs them. It is also important that the dog doesn’t forget old commands once you progress to new ones.
This training works best during the sensitive socialization period, which lasts up to 16 weeks. During this time, the puppy will learn with little to no difficulty, making your work in the future much easier. This is a great time to combat your puppy’s nervousness towards certain objects and people. During this step, you should also socialize your dog as much as possible to ensure your puppy reacts positively to new things instead of getting scared.
If you want to take it further, you could teach your dog to bark on command. Start by waving your dog’s favorite toy in front of its face and command it to speak. Once your dog barks, let go of the toy and praise it verbally. After your dog learns this, you can progress to training with people your dog doesn’t recognize. Once the “stranger” approaches, command your dog to bark. The person training with you should act scared and go away. This, paired with praise, will boost your dog’s confidence. It’s important to note that if your dog doesn’t bark on command or at strangers at all, you should consider a different breed next time.
Suppose you want to progress into training your dog to attack the command, you can take similar steps. Training with a “stranger” wearing protective gear will work best. Once the person approaches and your dog starts barking, the person should come closer and verbally encourage biting. It is important to teach your dog to respond to the command of letting go before progressing to this step. However, as stated before, this training is not usually recommended for pets because the dog will only bond with one person.
How long does it take to train a guardian dog?
Training a guard dog is a process that will not give results overnight, and it is important to have a lot of patience. It depends on your dog’s breed, more specifically, how receptive to training the dog is. This can take several months or even years of consistent training.
What breeds are the best guardian dogs?
There are a few breeds that work the best as guardian dogs such as Akita, Appenzeller Sennenhund, Australian Shepherd, Bullmastiff, Catahoula Leopard Dog, Caucasian Shepherd Dog, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Giant Schnauzer, Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog, Rottweiler and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Akitas are large in build and very powerful. This gives them an advantage during fights. While they are intimidating when necessary, they will usually be comfortable with family and friends when introduced to them.
Appenzeller Sennenhund may be smaller than other dog breeds on the list. However, the agility and amounts of energy make them a great fit for guard dogs. They are brilliant, hence easily trained. In addition to that, Appenzeller Sennenhund was historically used as farm dogs, making them a great choice if, in addition to personal protection, you want your dog to protect other pets or farm animals.
Australian Shepherds are natural herders. This trait enables them to perform well while protecting other animals. They are medium in size, but the brave personality makes up for what they lack in size. Playful and energetic behavior makes them the best guardian dogs for families with children.
Bullmastiffs are a designer breed crossed between Bulldogs and Mastiffs. They are large in size and very muscular, which gives them an advantage over attackers. However, since they are very temperamental and easily driven to aggression when provoked, they are best suited for people with backyards that are fenced off.
Catahoula Leopard Dogs are very assertive breed dogs making them perfect for the role of a guardian dog. The high levels of intelligence make them easily trained. These dogs bond quickly, especially to children making them excellent watchdogs. In addition to this, Catahoula Leopard Dogs are known to alert the rest of the pack immediately upon noticing anything unusual.
Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are bigger in size, but unlike other dogs, they are much more appropriate for families with children. Their personality allows them to bond easily due to their tendencies to be loyal towards people they deem family. They respond well towards anything that may present itself as a threat.
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are affectionate towards family and friends but are cautioned when approached by strangers. They bond easily and stay loyal to their family. Since they are energetic, they are the perfect fit for people who need a bigger premise guarded. A bonus is their adaptability to water, making them the first choice for any owner with a body of water on their property.
Doberman Pinscher is a similar pick but is a bit stronger and faster. In addition to this, they are courageous and don’t back off easily from situations they find threatening. However, they do require a lot of space and exercise.
German Shepherds are most known for their loyalty and the strong bond they form with their owners. They have a long history of being trained as guardian dogs, evidenced by the fact that most police dogs and dogs used by other services that need dogs with these qualities are German Shepherd.
Giant Schnauzers are bigger and stronger counterparts of their standard version. Their size and intelligence make them great guardian dogs, but people don’t choose this breed often, especially if they plan to use the dog to guard the outside because their fur makes them very high maintenance.
Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dogs are a popular choice as well. They need some time to become comfortable with their owners, but their lovable nature comes through once they do. They don’t take strangers lightly and will bark and become aggressive when threatened, making them the most suitable guardian dog for people with properties with remote and hard-to-see places.
Rottweilers are similar to Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dogs. They are also very gentle towards their owners but wary of strangers or anyone who may seem suspicious. The only difference is that Rottweilers are a bit more difficult to train. However, this problem is easily fixed through socialization with other dogs that adopted desirable behavioral patterns.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are very muscular and brave, which gives them an upper against most potential opponents. Additionally, this breed produces natural fighters dogs, which gives an amazing foundation for guard dog training. They are one of the few bigger breeds that adapt well to smaller living spaces.
Is Goldendoodles a good watchdog? It depends on what you mean by a watchdog. If you want a dog that tells when someone is coming, a Goldendoodle is a perfect companion. But Goldendoodles are very social and usually love all people. So your dog will tell someone to come but lick to death a prospective burglar.