The process of training guard dogs requires a special skill. If you are like the majority os dog owners, you may feel that your dog is your friend and your companion, and you hope way deep down insidethat he or she would naturally spring to your defense if the situation ever arises.
But unfortunately this is not necessarily true. There are numerious stories of people being robbed or even killed while out on a stroll with their dogs and the dog didn’t respond accordingly.
In fact, a high percentage of dogs would do little more than bark at a stranger who proved to be a threat to their owner or broke into the home. They will likely make a bunch of noise and they may be successful in frightening the stranger off, but in a majority of cases they will not attack.
As pets, it has been instilled in them not to bite and they have a healthy respect for human’s. So if you have a desire for your dog to act as a guard dog, he should be trained that way from an early age. You need to prepare yourself to treat him as a guard dog first and a pet second.
In fact even before you think of training, you need to consider whether your dog has the right temperament for a guard dog. There are dogs that are bred to guard and it is evident in their behavior.
I heard of a chow once that would immediately run the perimeter of the yard as soon the owner opened the back door to let her out. When new people that she didn’t know would come to visit, her ‘guarding instinct’ was obvious just in her posture.
Dogs that are bred for guarding, herding, hunting and retrieving are ‘working breeds.’ Without a job to do, these animals can become bored and find things to do which can sometimes be mischievous.
If you can learn about training guard dogs, you can give your pet a job to do, keeping him happy and out of trouble. So if you have this kind of dog, training him to guard your home can be a big boost to his confidence and happiness.
But if you want a professional guard dog, you will probably need professional training.
Training guard dogs requires patience, devotion and lots of rewards for the correct responses to implied threats of any kind. It is not so much a question of teaching the dog to attack or to bark, but of teaching him the difference between ‘friends’ and ‘enemies’.
Consider for example the dog’s well known hatred of delivery men. What is it about these nice guys that makes them enemies in the dog’s eyes? Well, just think what they do. They come up to the house, apparently trying to get in.
They may leave something on the porch and go away, or they may knock and have you open the door, but one thing is sure, you never let them in. So they can’t be friends, right? Therefore they must be enemies. This is how a dog’s mind works.
So when you want a guard dog, you need to show him very clearly who your friends are. This means that you have to introduce the dog to people. Let him see you shake their hands and invite them in. Let him get a good sniff of their scent so that he will recognize them.
But don’t have them give him treats. Don’t let him get to thinking that anybody who feeds him is a friend, or he will be easy for a real enemy to bribe with treats. The dog must only obey commands and accept food from you, his owner.
Another key factor in training guard dogs is consistency. You must work with your dog on his training each and every day. Dogs respond well to schedules and routines. This does not only reinforce the training, but continues to keep their minds working.
As a matter of fact, most dogs that are trained to be guard dogs attend a training school where they receive intensive trainingby a professional.
These are only a few of the tips to help you decide if a guard dog is really what you want. If you do, and you decide to forge ahead by yourself without help of a professional, you will need to investigate the best training systems to have a thorough understanding of training guard dogs.