When it comes to dogs, there is actually a surprisingly large number of ways that they can be used and relied upon.
For some people, dogs play a valuable role on the farm as they herd sheep and cattle to where they need to be. For other people, dogs help to guide them around the bustling streets of today’s world.
There are some people out there who rely on dogs for emotional support, and there are people who train their dogs specifically to become therapy dogs that can provide the emotional support that people are looking for. Then, there are the people who choose to rely on their dogs as guard dogs.
What Exactly Is a Guard Dog?
As many people probably know, guard dogs are dogs that are specially trained to guard their home, property, and owners. Guard dogs can be used in residential settings to protect houses and families, and they can be used to protect commercial properties as well, making sure that nobody tries to trespass on the property late at night. Guard dogs can also be used for military and police purposes as well, making them an incredibly versatile type of dog.
With that being said, for you to turn your dog into a reliable guard dog, you are going to have to make sure that you begin training your dog from a young age. There are a fair few factors that you are going to need to consider when you are thinking about turning your dog into a guard dog.
For one, you are going to want to make sure that your dog is ready for the course in the first place. This involves knowing what the specific dog-training course will involve, and knowing your puppy well enough to expect that it can handle the intensity of the course.
When all is said and done, however, the most important thing to note is going to be whether your dog is meant to be a guard dog or not.
Can Your Dog Become a Guard Dog?
In most cases, and especially for most guard dogs that are going to be protecting residential housing, there are really no rules that dictate whether or not your dog has to be a particular breed, size, color, or shape. Do keep in mind that there are, of course, some breeds that are simply inherently better at being a guard dog than other ones.Chances are that you will never really see a shi tzu working with the police.
On the other hand, some of the most common breeds that people use for guard dogs include pit bulls, German shepherds, rottweilers, and Dobermanns. Whether or not your dog qualifies as a guard dog depends almost entirely on the attitude of the dog itself.
There are some qualities that are more important in a dog who is going to be guarding something than others. If you want to prepare your puppy to become a guard dog, you will want to make sure that your dog has the right characteristics.
Typically, guard dogs need to be physically strong, loud, and able to be on alert for danger while they are working. These dogs also need to have considerable training in obedience and know how to show restraint in situations that might be tough for the dog.
Making Sure Your Dog Is Ready for Training
Before you can enlist your dog in any dog training service, you are going to want to make sure that your dog truly has what it takes. Also keep in mind that while it is certainly possible to teach a young or even adult dog how to be a guard dog, it ends up working much, much better for everyone if the training starts when the dog is extremely young, typically a little over four months old, depending on the course.
The age of four months, or 16 weeks comes from the fact that most puppies are done with their vaccinations by this age. Because the bulk, if not all, of the guard dog training is going to be outdoors, it is important for your dog to have a healthy immune system so that it can focus all of its energy on becoming the best guard dog that you could ever ask for.
Depending on what course you choose to go for, there are also a few things that you will want to consider. Some courses will be more than happy to handle basic training, such as housetraining and understanding basic commands, and will even cover this for you during the training program.
Other programs, however, are not going to be so outgoing when it comes to teaching your dog how to guard a property. If you want to play things safe, then you should air on the side of caution and wait until your dog is fully trained in basic obedience before you send it to guard dog training.
Some courses will only require that your dog be housetrained. Other courses will require that your dog knows basic commands, such as “sit,” “stay,” and “heel.”
After all, when your dog has a grasp on obedience, it will be much easier to enforce that obedience as your dog transitions into a guard dog. Last, but most certainly not least, there are some courses that will want to ensure that your dog has a full grasp on obedience before you send them to a course. These are all aspects that you will need to consider before you do so.
What Does the Guard Dog Training Involve?
There are a few different levels of training that you will want to consider for your dog, depending on how much knowledge of being a guard dog you want it to have.
At the most basic level, guard dog training courses will open up as obedience courses, first teaching your dog how to swiftly and correctly obey most common commands and to associate your voice with one of authority, stating your place as the alpha dog.Courses that start with this level tend to be extremely inclusive courses, meaning that there is a good chance that your puppy would be on such a course for a very long time.
From there, the guard dog courses will turn toward agility and helping your dog get used to situations that might typically be overwhelming or stressful for the dog. This helps the dog adapt and overcome any fears they might have if a dangerous situation does occur and they need to spring into guard dog action.
Once your dog has fully grasped the idea of not being afraid of things that would typically make a dog afraid, the courses will then involve training for security and bodyguarding protection. This typically involves having the dog learn how to chase people down, grasping people and objects, and protecting belongings.
Finally, one of the last parts of guard dog training is teaching a dog how to become accustomed to a routine in such a way that they can expect a situation and act upon it without needing to hear a command for it.
Of course, there are also some more advanced courses for commercial guard dogs, such as learning how to defend against weapons, learning how to threaten intruders, and learning how to attack people who are brandishing weapons.
However, the majority of people are not going to need courses that are this intensive for your brand-new guard dog.