One of the reasons why people warmly welcome dogs into their homes with open arms is for personal protection. Certain breeds of dogs are already very good at protecting their owners and thus will require little to no training in personal protection. Some of those dog breeds include Doberman Pinschers, German shepherds, and Rottweilers.
Other dog breeds, however, will need more extensive training in order to serve as a personal fortress for their owners. So, this is where I come in and offer you a helping hand on how to train a dog for protection. Before I get started, it is important that you don’t want to train your dog to be an attack dog as either this will require a special license or is outright illegal, depending on where you live. Instead, what you will want to have is a guard dog.
1. Practice At Home
The best place for you to train your dog to protect you is for you to practice this with him/her at your home. In order to make this training process easier for you, you will want to make sure that your dog already knows how to bark on command. You can check out this post to learn how to command your dog to bark using the speak command. Once your dog gets the hang of the speak command, you can put it to use for personal protection training.
Now, have your dog stay inside your home in front of your front door. Then go outside and either press the door bell or knock on the door – it is up to you. Once you have already done one of these two things, give your dog the speak command in order to prompt your dog to bark. When your dog barks at your command, make sure that you reward him/her with a treat which can be a piece of cheese or hot dog.
I would suggest that you give your dog a break for about 45 minutes after practicing the door barking with him/her three or four times. You don’t want to overtrain your dog to the point that he/she may become bored or frustrated.
Once you have practiced doing this yourself, you will want to invite a family member or a friend, especially the one that your dog doesn’t know. When that person arrive at your home, have him/her either press the door bell or knock on your door. As soon as that happens, have your dog bark with the speak command. Give your dog the treat once he/she obeys your command.
You will also want to practice this with your dog at night because, even though threats can happen anytime during the day, you will especially want him/her to be alert after dark. Ultimately, your goal is to get your dog to alert bark when the door bell rings or the front door is knocked, without you even having to use the speak command.
Use The Quiet Command
If your dog barks continuously after you have given him the speak command, then you will need to use the quiet command. When you give your dog the speak command, allow him/her to bark up to three times. After your dog’s third bark, gently hold his/her mouth closed and say the word “quiet.” Once the quiet command is given, have your dog sit down for a few minutes.
If, after a few minutes, your dog stays quiet, then go ahead and reward him/her with a treat. If your dog starts to bark again, then restart the process of giving him/her the quiet command. But, before you restart the quiet command process, make sure to dangle a treat in front of your dog so that he/she knows that there is a reward waiting for him/her. Just don’t give your dog the treat until after he/she has obeyed your quiet command.
2. Out Into The World
Now, it is time for your dog to get comfortable being around a lot of people and other dogs. Taking your dog out to the world will help to instill confidence in your dog and his/her surroundings. That will in turn help to make it easier for you to train your dog to protect you. So, let’s make an arrangement to meet up with some family members and/or friends somewhere such as a park.
Make sure that this group is a mixture of people that your dog already knows and those that he/she doesn’t know. Once you have made the arrangement with your group, bring your dog to the meeting spot on a leash. We will start with somebody your dog already knows. So, have that person approach you and your dog as the two of you are walking along.
Once you have approached that person during a walk, invite him/her to pet and give a treat to your dog. That will help to foster friendliness into your dog. After all, good guard dogs are friendly around people. Now, let’s turn to somebody that your dog doesn’t know. Arrange for that person to encounter you and your dog during a walk. Once the encounter happen, have your dog bark at that person by using the speak command.
Once your dog barks, gently pull back the leash that he/she is on. If your dog barks up to three times, give him/her the quiet command to stop the barking. Don’t forget to reward your dog with a treat for obeying your commands.
These are the steps for how to train a dog for protection. The ideal thing is for dogs to be trained as guard dogs at an early age. Remember that guard dogs aren’t meant to be attack dogs. Guard dogs are only supposed to alert you should there be a threat. Attack dogs are normally only used in a law enforcement or military setting. What are your thoughts? Do you own a pet dog who also serves as your guard dog? Feel free to leave a comment below.