Guard dog training is a challenge because even though dogs are naturally protective, it’s difficult to train your dog to be aggressive towards strangers while also being comfortable with you and your family.
The majority of guard dogs are bred and trained specifically to be guard dogs (and they are trained to do this by professional dog handlers). It’s not easy to keep a dog that’s trained to be aggressive around the home (particularly if you have kids). If you do desire to have a guard dog, they need to be extremely well-trained and obedient.
There’s also a major difference between guard dogs and attack dogs. Unless you are a professional, you should never be training your pet dog to attack people. We’ll explain the difference in more detail in the article below. Keep reading to find out more about guard dog training.
What is a Guard Dog?
One of the reasons to get a dog is for its protective nature. Dogs have been bred throughout history to protect their human masters, to protect property, or to protect livestock.
Dogs are protective, territorial, and have the potential to be loud, aggressive, and quite scary in particular situations. Guard dogs are often trained to protect a family home, to work for security companies, or to perform roles in the police or military.
It’s important to note that in this article, we aren’t discussing how to train dogs to perform serious roles, such as those a military guard dog would do. This sort of serious protection training needs to be undertaken by a professional dog handler, and if that’s you, you probably wouldn’t need to be reading this article in the first place.
We will be focusing on how to train dogs to ‘guard’ a house or a family. Again, we aren’t going to be talking about guard dogs training that involves attacking people. Attack dogs (such as police or military dogs) are very different from personal protection dogs. They are trained and conditioned to be fearful and aggressive to all people, except for their handlers.
This just doesn’t work in a family home. We don’t recommend training your dog to attack anyone or anything. It’s dangerous for you, your family, strangers, and other dogs and animals. Attack dogs are difficult to train and control and need to be kept in very controlled circumstances.
However, guard dogs can be trained at home to a level where they are able to show aggression towards strangers but refrain from attacking. Good guard dogs can be taught to bark on command and bark at strangers. If you have large, protective dogs, this is almost always enough to deter any potential attackers or intruders without harm being caused.
What Makes a Good Guard Dog?
Guard dogs need a particular set of skills to be effective at their job. Usually, guard dogs are larger breeds — their physical size and strength act as an excellent deterrent.
They also need to be obedient and easy to train and condition. For this, they need intelligence and patience. They also need to be territorial and certainly need to be loyal to their owner or family.
Some breeds are naturally more suited to this task (usually as a result of selective breeding over the years). The following breeds make for some of the best guard dogs: