A guard dog can be trained to protect your house. Most people think that a guard dog is trained to attack, but that is wrong, a guard dog isn’t trained to attack. They are trained to protect without attacking, for example they can patrol around the house and keep watch, and they can bark when they spot a stranger around the house or if there is anything that may cause danger to their owner.
Training a guard dog takes time and patient but don’t worry it’s worth it. Your dog will not only be able to guard you but also be friendly and relaxed towards you. Here are 3 easy tips to train a dog to guard your house.
1. Preparations before you train your dog
- Know the differences between an attack dog and a guard dog
Guard dogs are trained to signal their owner that there is a danger nearby by barking or howling. They aren’t trained to attack and don’t recognize any attack commands. That’s why they can’t be attack dogs. Attack dogs are usually trained by the police force, they are trained to follow attack commands and act aggressive to their targets. Most dog owners don’t need an attack dog.
- Know what type of dogs do you own
Even though most dogs can be trained to be a guard dog, only certain type of dogs are good at being a guard dog. For example, small dogs like Chow Chow, Pug and Shar Pei are known to be excellent at being a guard dog. Also bigger dogs like Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, and Akita are good at being a guard dog. German Shepherd and Doberman Pinscher are special, they can be trained as both attack or guard dogs. If you own a pure bred or local dog, they can still be trained to be a guard dog, as long as they are well trained, have guard dog characteristic and are socialized.
- Learn a good personality for a guard dog
A common perception of a guard dog is that they aren’t afraid or aggressive to potential danger. A good guard dog is territorial and loyal to their owners and their properties and still obedience. A good guard dog trusts themselves and their surroundings. A confidence dog is always curious about new people and new areas, they aren’t afraid or shy. They are very confidence but not aggressive, they are comfortable to be anywhere and won’t run away when they see strangers.
Socializing is very important for guard dogs. A guard dog who can socializes well can recognize if someone is a stranger or not. And they will be on guard when someone unknown is getting close to their owner. A good guard dog can be easily trained, Chow Chow is naturally curious around strangers, independent and easily trained. A loyal dog is always a good guard dog, more loyal they are to you the better they can guard you.
- Socialize your dog since they are a pup
A well socialized dog can be an excellent guard dog, because they will be comfortable with normal environment or surroundings. Your dog need to be relaxed and brave in order or be a guard dog. A pup older than 12 weeks is sensitive about new things and usually having difficulty socializing. Praise your pup a lot by petting them, or giving them a treat. Motivating and rewarding them before and after socializing is very important for the pup. When the pup has grown up, they should be a bit to be a good guard dog.
- Make sure that your dog follows simple commands.
Before you train your dog to be a guard dog, they should already be able to follow simple commands like ‘silent’ ‘sit’ and ‘sleep’. Learning these skills will make it easier for them to bark or howl in order to protect you.
2. Train your dog to give a warning by barking
- Choose one word as a trigger for the command
Before your dog can give a warning to strangers who got too close to your property, first you need to invent a trigger word. You can use ‘bark’ as the command. Some people prefer somethings like ‘yell’ or ‘shout’.
You have to say the trigger word in the same intensity every time you say it and always use the same trigger word all the time.
- Now train your dog the trigger word
Most dogs naturally love barking and don’t need to be asked to do it. The key here is to train your dog to bark only when you say the trigger word. You can start the training by tying your dog to a fence or table, hold a treat in front of them and slowly backing off until they can’t see you. If your dog bark, run back at them and give them treat. After doing this several times, your dog will associate barking with something good, such as treats.
After your dog is used to bark on command at the same place, move your dog to your yard, you can try the command on different places or when you’re taking walks. Remember that you have to be stern and clear when giving commands, let’s say that the trigger word is ‘bark’, then you have to say it loud and clear.
Later on you can try to create a scenario, ring your door bell and say the trigger word, do this over and over again until your dog follow your every command and give them a treat. After sometimes, you can ask a family member or strangers to knock or ring the door bell and see if your dog bark or not.
3. Teach your dog the ‘silent’ command
After successfully teaching your dog to bark on command, now it’s time to teach them to stop barking. The easiest way to do this is to, make your dog associate treats with ‘silent’ command. Whenever your dog is barking, give them a treat to make them stop. Don’t yell at them to make them stop, yelling will only make them barking even louder.
Do the barking and silent command in order to get better control of your dog. Just like previous training, you have to use the ‘silent’ command over and over again, this training is just as important as the bark command. Of course give them treats afterward.
Keep motivating your dog to bark at everyone who approaches your property or at the sound of doorbell or knocking. It doesn’t matter whether you know them or not. This is to prevent your dog from forgetting their training.
So here are 3 Easy tips to train a dog to guard your house. Don’t forget to put a sign that there is a dog in your residence, make it big enough so everyone can read. This is your responsibility as a dog owner. You want to prepare everyone that your dog will bark at them and you don’t want to scare people, especially if they don’t know anything about dogs and think that they may get attacked.