Security dog or guard dog are the dogs that protect you and your family. Most dogs have natural instinct to protect the member of their pack, in this case, it happens to be you and your family. A family dog may also protect the members of your family as well as close friends.
However this may be a natural instinct in many dogs, but you may have to teach your dog to behave in accordance with this instinct. The best age to start training your dog to protect you and your family is when he is still very young. It doesn’t mean that you can not teach an old dog to do the same task.
The only difference is that it will take longer to train an older dog than a younger one. The more loyal your pup is to you and your family, the more active will be his desire to protect you, it will also make it easier for you to train him. How easy your dog is to train or how efficiently he will protect you is partly dependent on the breed of the dog. Some dog breeds like German Shepherd, Doberman Pinschers, and Rottweillers are natural protectors, so they require minimal training.
You have to train your dog to bark and act in a slightly threatening way when he saw a stranger, but not to attack someone. You are training him to be a protector, rather than a killer. Most guard dogs are not taught to attack, rather, they are taught non-aggressive techniques, like how to stand guard and how to use their bark to alert you of a stranger or any other danger on your property.
METHODS TO TEACH DOG TO PROTECT YOU
Here are some useful methods to train your dog to protect you and your family.
SOCIALIZE YOUR DOG
Proper socialization is crucial to training your dog to be a good guard dog. If your dog is well socialized, he will be more relaxed and less fearful. The best time to get your puppy socialized is when he is between three and twelve weeks of age. After twelve weeks of age, it becomes more difficult for the puppies to socialize, because they become more cautious of new situations.
It can be a bit difficult task to socialize your puppy. So, break the socialization into small parts and him to situations over time at his comfort level. If your dog is an adult and you have already socialized and trained him, then he should be well on his way to becoming a good guard dog.
Before starting the training of your dog to protect you and your family, first ensure that he completely understands the basic commands, including ‘sit’, ‘come’, ‘stay’, and ‘quiet’. The basic obedience skills will ensure that your dog can build up to learning defensive techniques like standing guard and alert barking.
To train your dog to alert you when a stranger is at the door, you need to establish a trigger word to act as a command. You can use “bark” as a trigger word. Some people prefer to use a word other than “bark” so that the command is not so obvious to the others around you.
Use the same trigger word every time you want your dog to bark, otherwise, your dog will get confused and will not respond at all. Once you have chosen a trigger word, say it with the same level of enthusiasm each time you give your dog the command.
Consistency and practice are very necessary to get your dog to stick to this command. If you want to check the response of your dog during a walk then stop walking and look at him directly in the eyes.
Then say the trigger word enthusiastically (“bark”). If he hesitates or looks confused at your command then hold out the treat and repeat the command.
TEACH YOUR DOG TO DEFEND YOU
The next step in the training process is to find someone whom your dog doesn’t know. The stranger should appear during the walk and challenges your dog. He can be wearing an oven mitt, a dog attack suit, or a quilted blanket on his arm.
When you give the command to your dog and he barks at him, then the stranger should act afraid and run off. In this way, your dog will become more confident.
THINK BEFORE TRAINING YOUR DOG TO ATTACK
If the previous step is successfully accomplished then it means that your dog is now fully trained to protect you from a stranger or any other danger. But if you decide to go further and want to train your dog to attack, then keep it in mind that a dog that has been trained to attack is not a good pet to have around the house.
There are many incidents of attack dogs that have injured someone in their household (particularly one of the children). There is also a possibility that your dog might bite someone who is just coming up to talk to you because the dog will consider him a stranger.
All these steps will be helpful for you for protection dog training. Keep in mind that if the dog shows fear of strangers then he is not suitable as a personal protection dog.