Learning how to train a guard dog is no easy task, and most people will leave this job to professionals with experience. Training a guard dog is helpful because it will be loyal and protective, while being sociable to its owner and other harmless strangers. Here is a brief guide on how to train a guard dog, but this is by no means comprehensive. Do not attempt to train a guard dog without professional guidance, otherwise, it may be harmful to both you and your dog.
- Pick the right breed. Not all breeds can be trained into guard dogs. Breeds such as Staffordshire Terrier, Kuvasz, Rhodesian Ridgeback, German Shepherd, and Komondor. It is difficult to train a guard dog if you pick lap dogs such as Chihuahuas or Poodles.
- Practice basic commands. To train a guard dog, you first need to ensure that the dog is extremely obedient and will follow commands anytime. Constantly practice commands such as "sit," "stay," and "drop it."
- Encourage appropriate barking. Allow your dog to bark at strangers, and reward it by giving it a treat. However, if the dog barks at your friends, use the "quiet" command. Since this can be quite confusing to the dog, you may want to consult a professional trainer. Once again, learning how to train a guard dog is not an endeavor that you can take on as a game.
- Teach the "get it" command. Dangle old clothing in front of your dog. It is a dog's instinct to try grabbing it with its teeth. Associate that act with the "get it" command and use treats to reward your dog. Make sure that your dog also know the "drop it" command.
- Find a reputable trainer and kennel. After your dog masters the basic skills, it's time to hire a trainer to train a guard dog for you. Since guard dog training is very intense, your dog will usually need to stay in a kennel until the training is complete. Before your dog is enrolled in a training course, the trainer will assess whether your dog has a suitable temperament and size to become a guard dog.
Tip: Begin the training when your dog is young to avoid confusion.