Managing An Overprotective Dog

If you have an overprotective dog, it doesn’t mean you can never have friends over to visit. Several reasons may cause your dog to be overprotective. Still, luckily there are several things you can do to help your dog become more socialized and friendly with other people and animals.

Reasons Why Your Dog Becomes Overprotective

While most dogs become overprotective of their owners because they weren’t properly socialized as a puppy, some other reasons can cause their aggressive behavior toward others:

Accidental Reinforcement

Dog owners are often the reason their dog becomes overprotective. You can unknowingly reinforce overprotective behavior by rewarding your dog with attention, and the person they are being aggressive toward will often go away. It doesn’t matter if you’re mad at the dog for the behavior. The attention is still a reward.

Lack of Structure or Rules

Dogs need a structure, schedule, and house rules. Otherwise, your dog will think he is the alpha dog of the house, and part of his job is to protect the family and its territory. You don’t need to rule with an iron fist, but your dog needs clear rules and guidelines to help them feel confident and secure within the family.

Anxiety and Fear

Dogs can be overprotective and aggressive when they are afraid or anxious around new people and animals. This fear and anxiety can stem from not being socialized enough while a puppy and some dogs breeds are more susceptible to anxiety and fear from strangers.


3.3 million dogs are sent to shelters each year, often for abuse. If your dog is a rescue dog that came from an abusive home before you rescued it, it can make the dog very nervous and act aggressively toward others. There is still hope for your dog, and with training and management, you can train your dog to stop being overprotective.


Some dogs are more overprotective by nature. The most overprotective breeds include:

  • Belgian Malinois
  • German Shepherds
  • Rottweilers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Bullmastiffs
  • Giant Schnauzers
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks

If your dog is one of these breeds, it is essential to socialize them as much as possible.

Can You Train a Labrador to be a Guard Dog

Yes, even though Labradors are one of the friendliest breeds, they can also be trained as guard dogs. Labradors are big enough, obedient, and intelligent enough to be trained to protect. This home security site has some great tips for training your Labrador as a guard dog.



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