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Training Protective Dogs
Some of the best dog breeds to use for guard dogs to protect your home are Akitas, Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Bullmastiffs, and Australian Shepherds, just to name a few. Dogs, if treated right, will protect both you and those in your household without questions, but they’ll need the right training.
You’ll want to pick a dog that instinctually likes to protect, such as the breeds listed above, but one that also fits your family. Make sure you do your research about each breed before choosing the one you want. Check out the health concerns that each breed has and weigh the pros and cons. Before reaching out to a breeder, try searching online for local shelters and see if they might have the breed you’re looking for, even if it’s mixed with something else.
Where to Start
It’s best to start with a puppy or a somewhat young dog. They can retain information easier and faster than an older dog. Not to discredit being able to train an older dog though, because it is possible.
When you start training, you’ll want to make sure you use short words. Dogs can pick up on small words such as sit, stay, or down. If you want to use different words for your dog to associate with a command, use those. Make sure you are using a confident, but not harsh, tone when teaching your dog these words. Every time they do the desired action, be sure to praise them and give them a treat.
If you’re wanting your dog to not only guard the house, but the property, be sure to choose a space outside to train them. Help them run the perimeter of your property to get them familiar with the territory they’ll be guarding.
Keep training sessions short and end them on a bright note. Never scold your dog. It’s always best to use positive reinforcement.
Be sure to socialize your dog with family and friends. Let them get used to what a happy and healthy situation is. That way, if a situation arises, they’ll be able to tell if something shady is going on and respond with the right intent. When they have good social interactions with the people you introduce them to and follow your commands, give them positive feedback and let them know how good they are. This can be in the form of verbal praise, or a treat, or both.
Barking on Command
You can train your dog to bark on command and by doing so, let him know to bark when there is someone at the door or someone snooping around your property. To do this, use a command such as bark. Every time your dog barks, reward them. You can set your dog near the front door, step outside, knock on the door, and then give the command to your dog from the other side of the door. If your dog gives the appropriate response, reward him.
There may be times that you aren’t home, so having a home security system can help protect your pet, your valuables, and alert authorities to the break in. Even if you are home, it can still be an added layer of protection.
Once you have your dog barking on command, you’ll need to teach them how to relax, because if you’re not able to control their barking, you run the risk of annoying neighbors and people that come over to visit with you.
In order to reinforce your dogs training, follow the same routine you used to get your dog to bark on command. Have a friend or family member step outside like you did, and knock on the door. When your dog starts to bark, hold out a treat to them and say hush, quiet, or whatever keyword you’d like to use in order for them to quit barking.
Training your pet to protect your home and your family can be a great asset. Most criminals or people will ill intent will think twice about approaching your house if there is a dog or two guarding the property. Test your dog every now and then to keep their training up. As they learn, you can add in other things to train them on.
Mikkie Mills, is a freelance writer who often writes about family, home improvements and the occasional DIY project.