There are various techniques that come into play when you are looking to train a guard dog. This will become easier if you have a good understanding and insight on common dog behaviour.
As is the case for dogs from most breeds, if training is given to them early on, it’s much more effective and will make your job a lot easier. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t train older dogs, however.
It’s like with grooming - if our furry buddies are accustomed to dog clippers being used right from them being a young pup, they will be more comfortable with it as time passes.
But when we speak of training, it is best to leave it to professional dog trainers as they know the most effective tips and tricks that’ll teach companion dogs to work as guard dogs.
However it’s not absolutely necessary to have a professional trainer do it and so if you wish to take up this pet project on your own, here’s how you can go about it.
Teaching your dog obedience
The first aspect of training a guard dog is teaching it how to be obedient and to follow your commands. A guard dog is expected to heed every single command of his master with immediacy.
Use hand signals to make your dog understand verbal commands like sit, stay, come and heel. Make sure that your dog responds to these commands properly before moving on.
When you’re training your dog to be obedient, ensure that it is taught to not respond to commands from anyone other than yourself. This is critical to their training as a guard dog as the entire purpose will be void if anyone is able to control your dog by using the same verbal commands.
Your guard dog should be able to differentiate the commands given by its owner and by someone else. An essential part of guard dog training is perhaps teaching them to not accept treats from any stranger as this can be dangerous.
Training your dog to be indifferent
As an important part of guard dog training, you have to teach your canine friend to remain indifferent to other animals. This will include teaching your pooch to be neutral and non-aggressive towards other dogs and cats and to not chase a female dog in heat.
Also, familiarise your dog with the boundaries of your property’s expanse. This is very important to prevent your dog from crossing the property line in case it has to chase down a burglar or an intruder.
Teaching your dog when to attack
When training a guard dog, one of the steps taught is to attack an intruder or a stranger upon receiving a direct command from its owner - or when the dog senses a potential threat.
This is why you can’t leave a guard dog around or with visitors without your supervision. It is obvious that that they will perceive your dog as a regular harmless pet who enjoys belly rubs. The way in which your guests interact with your guard dog will need to be different than how they usually interct with dogs.
Your dog might attack visitors in response to this as there is the chance that it misinterprets their gestures and actions as a threat to itself or its owner.
When training a guard dog, it’s important to teach it how to be indifferent to overpowering gestures and loud noises. The dog should be able to understand who your friends and acquaintances are so that its attacks and barks are not misplaced.
Interacting with a guard dog
A guard dog should be familiar not just with it’s owner or trainer, but also with other family members and pets. It’s necessary that members of the family, both adults and kids, interact with your dog and give him proper attention and care.
As a result, your dog will recognise the members of your close network well and not consider them a potential threat. If you have other pets in the house, train the dog to socialise with them as that will help in making the guard dog regard them as a part of the family.
Some popular guard dog breeds are:
- Kunming Wolf Dog
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Tibetan Mastiff
- Akita Inu
- American Bulldog
- Giant Schnauzer
- Staffordshire Terrier
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
Keep in mind that you should treat your guard dog as a normal pet, meaning they still require love and attention like other pets.
A guard dog requires the same kind of attention and care from its owners and other family members, so ensure that you play, take your dog out for walks and cater to its grooming needs well.
When you have a guard dog, it is more than just a responsibility. That’s because you have the added commitment to make the dog not only watchful and observant but also a loving member of the family.
Get in touch with us to know more about grooming and training a guard dog.