guard dog trainingA major part of my background is guard dog training. When I was a goofy teenager (as opposed to the goofy adult that I currently am) working for a dog trainer I was introduced to just how cool guard dog training can be. Following that job I worked for several years at one of the country’s premiere protection and guard dog companies in the world.

My adventures in this arena have taken me around the world. I’ve worked with clients in half a dozen countries and about half of the United States in helping them with their guard dog and protection dog needs.

This style of training is fun. It’s interesting. It’s unique.

Don’t even think about trying to do it unless you are working with a professional.

Having said that, allow me to present some more info on guard dog training:

Guard Dog Breeds

There are several breeds that are most often used for protection training. The most common would be the Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, and Doberman. Outside of those breeds its not uncommon to find the Pit Bull, Dutch Shepherd, Cane Corso, Presa Canario, American Bulldog, Bandog, Beauceron, amongst others.

The question often posed is, why are these breeds used more than others. The simple answer is that these breeds have been bred to have certain qualities that make guard dog training possible. Just as you aren’t going to use a Doberman for hunting ducks you also aren’t going to use a Labrador for guard dog training. The capacity just isn’t there based on traits that each dog was bred for.

Foundation Training

It is critical to have the highest levels of obedience training if you are going to protection train your dog. It is irresponsible and a liability to train a dog to bite, defend, attack, or protect on command if you don’t also have complete verbal control over your dog at all times.

This means that your dog, both on and off leash, will respond to your commands even under heavy distraction. Anything less is setting yourself and your dog up for problems.

Maintenance Training

Training a guard dog isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ type thing. You’ll want to maintain your dog’s skills throughout his or her life. Ideally you can set up surprise scenarios where you call on your dog to protect you when your dog is least expecting it.

Guard Dog Gender

Both males and females can excel at guard dog training. Males tend to be larger, stronger, and more athletic. Females tend to be more nurturing and intuitive. Having said that, there are exceptions to these rules.
The most critical thing with guard dog training is that you employ a professional trainer who knows how to best mold your dog into the guard dog that you want him or her to be. A good guard dog should be part protector and part family pet and only a professional can help you achieve that.

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Image credit: DVIDSHUB