Dog Training Tips: How To Make My Dog A Guard Dog

Nov 1, 2023 | Dog Behavior, Dog Training

Looking to make your dog a guard dog? I get it. Having a protector pup around can give you some peace of mind. But teaching Fido to be a responsible guardian takes some work, and you must know how to do it right. Discover effective training tips and techniques to transform your furry friend into a reliable protector. We’ll explore the benefits of having a guard dog, the difference between a guard dog and a personal protection dog, and the best breeds for guarding your home or family.

Training A Guard Dog Key Takeaways

Orange Paw Bullet Point  German Shepherds are considered the best breed for guard dogs due to their intelligence, loyalty, and natural protective instincts.

Orange Paw Bullet Point  Proper training is crucial for both guard dogs and personal protection dogs, with guard dogs focusing on obedience training and personal protection dogs focusing on socialization and threat differentiation.

Orange Paw Bullet Point  Working with a professional dog trainer specializing in guard dog training is recommended for effective results.

Orange Paw Bullet Point  Basic training, socialization, and mental stimulation are all important aspects of training a guard dog, regardless of the breed.

The Benefits Of Guard Dogs?

Noisy labrador retriever guarding house

You should consider getting a guard dog because they can provide added security and peace of mind to all in your house. Simply knowing your guard dog is watching over your home provides comfort and security, allowing you to relax. They become reliable protectors with proper guard dog training and obedience training.

Statistics show homes with dogs, especially large breeds, are burglarized much less frequently than homes without dogs. Guard dogs are also alert and attuned to unusual sounds or movements. Their barking can alert homeowners to suspicious activity.

Guard dogs become beloved members of the household. Kids especially benefit from having a protective canine companion. And a dog trained to guard your home is a great addition to existing protection measures. Adding a guard dog to locks, alarms, and cameras results in enhanced home protection. Their acute senses complement other security systems.

The Difference Between A Guard Dog And A Personal Protection Dog

Aggressive dog is barking

Knowing the difference between a guard dog and a personal protection dog is essential in understanding their unique roles and training techniques. As a dog owner, working with a professional dog trainer who specializes in training these specific types of dogs is important. While guard and personal protection dogs require strength, stamina, and intelligence, their training focuses differ. Guard dogs are trained to protect property and often undergo extensive obedience training. They’re not trained to act aggressively against any threats but merely be an additional warning system for any possible dangers or intruders to your property. On the other hand, personal protection dogs are trained to protect people and their families through aggressive action. They require a different type of training that focuses on socialization and the ability to differentiate between potential threats and non-threatening situations. Different breeds, such as Doberman Pinschers, can be effective guard dogs, but proper training is crucial regardless of the breed. Understanding the difference between these two roles and the best way to train your dog will ensure you have a well-behaved and reliable protector.

What Breed Of Dog Makes The Best Guard Dog?

Portrait of a German Shepherd

One of the top three breeds that make the best guard dogs is the German Shepard. These dogs are known for their loyalty and bravery, making them excellent protectors for your family. From a young age, German Shepards can be trained to be alert and obedient. They have a strong instinct to protect their family members and will bark at potential threats. German Shepards are not easily frightened by loud noises, making them ideal for guarding your home. When choosing a guard dog, selecting the right breed that fits your lifestyle and needs is important. German Shepards are not only great guard dogs but also make wonderful companion dogs and can form a strong bond with their owners. Consider working with professional dog trainers to ensure your German Shepard is properly trained to be an effective guard dog.

Training Advice To Teach Your Guard Command Dog To Protect Your Home

If you want to teach your guard command dog to protect your home, there are a few training tips to keep in mind:

Woman trains with two dogs

Basic Training

To make your guard dog a reliable protector, start with the basic training techniques to teach them how to protect your home effectively. A good guard dog should be able to respond to different people and easily handle new situations. It’s important to teach your dog basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come, leave it, and heel. Consistent training will ensure your dog knows how to follow instructions in different situations. Additionally, advanced commands can be taught to create an excellent guard dog. Using hand signals along with verbal commands can further enhance their training. Remember to reward good behavior and provide positive reinforcement. Training is not limited to large breeds; even small dogs can be trained to protect their owners in dangerous situations.


Socialize Your Dog Well

Make sure you take your dog out and about, exposing them to different people and animals so they can learn how to socialize well. Socialization is an important aspect of dog training, especially if you want to make your dog a guard dog. By regularly exposing your furry friend to unfamiliar people and animals, you can help them develop a calm and non-reactive demeanor. During training sessions, simulate scenarios where a stranger approaches your front door. This will teach your dog to distinguish between threats and non-threats. Remember to reward your dog for good behavior and provide them with positive reinforcement. Regular practice and consistent training will enhance your dog’s protective nature, making them a reliable guard dog.


Work On Recall Training With Your Pet

Practice recall training with your pet so they consistently come back to you when they hear a specific command, and reinforce their good behavior with rewards. Use positive reinforcement and reward-based methods to teach this command. Make sure to practice the verbal cue regularly and test it out in different environments with various stimuli. Consistency is key, so work on recall training with your dog regularly by taking them to different places and exposing them to different distractions to ensure they respond to your command no matter what. By working on recall training, you’ll be one major step closer to making your dog a reliable and obedient guard dog as you can be certain you can control their actions when needed.

A small dog jack russell terrier in red collar running, jumping, playing and barking on gray sidewalk tile at sunny summer day

Train Your Dog To Bark On Command

Get started by rewarding your dog for barking when you command them to, reinforcing their protective instincts. Follow these reward-based training tips to train your dog to bark on command:

Start with a trigger – Capture your dog’s natural barking instinct by waiting for them to bark at a noise, person, or situation. Reward them with a treat when they do. This connects the bark to a reward.

Add a command – Once they’re barking reliably at the trigger, start saying a command like “speak!” right before they bark, then reward.

Practice the command – Gradually introduce the command without the trigger. Say “speak!” first, then reward as soon as they bark.

Use a hand signal – Pair the verbal “speak!” command with a physical hand signal, like an upward-pointed finger. Then, reward them for both.

Increase criteria – Now, only reward when your dog barks after you give the verbal and hand command cues. This solidifies the behavior.

Practice in different environments – It’s now time to practice in more distracting environments so they can master barking on command no matter what’s going on around them.

Remember to reward – Always reward with praise and treats when your dog successfully barks on command. This positively reinforces the behavior.

Avoid overdoing it – Limit training sessions to a few minutes at a time to prevent your dog from becoming hoarse or frustrated.


If training an adult, be patient, as older dogs may take longer to learn new commands. It’s important to take into account your dog’s personality traits, as some dogs may naturally be more inclined to bark on command than others.


Get A Professional Dog Trainer Involved

If you want your dog to protect your home effectively, consider involving a professional dog trainer who can provide expert guidance and ensure safety. Training a dog to be a guard dog requires the specialized skills and knowledge that a professional trainer possesses. They understand the training process and can equip your dog with the behaviors necessary to recognize and respond to potential threats. When it comes to guard dogs, certain breeds like Chow Chows and Cane Corsos are commonly trained for this purpose. A professional dog trainer can tailor the training to suit your dog’s and your home’s specific needs. They can also provide you with valuable dog training tips and resources, such as dog training links, to help you maintain a well-trained dog.

Training A Guard Dog Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost To Train A Dog To Become A Guard Dog?

It depends on the training program you choose and your dog’s specific needs. Prices can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.


Can Any Dog Be Trained To Be A Guard Dog, Regardless of Breed Or Size?

Yes, any dog can be trained to be a guard dog, regardless of breed or size. It requires proper training techniques and consistency. With dedication and patience, you can teach your dog to protect and alert you to potential threats.


How Long Does It Typically Take To Train A Dog To Become A Reliable Guard Dog?

Training a dog to become a reliable guard dog typically takes several months to a year. Consistent training, socialization, and reinforcement are key to developing the necessary skills and instincts.


Can I Train My Current Pet Dog To Become A Guard Dog, Or Do I Need To Get A Specific Breed?

You can train your current dog to become a guard dog regardless of breed. Any dog can learn to protect and alert you to potential threats with proper training and consistency.

The Tail End

Training your dog to be a guard dog can provide numerous benefits, such as enhanced security and peace of mind. It’s important to understand the distinction between guard and personal protection dogs and choose the right breed for this role. Guard dogs are meant to alert you to threats and deter them through barking or vocal cues. Personal protection dogs are meant to use active aggression to stop a threat. With proper training and commands, guard dogs can be taught to protect your home effectively. Remember to prioritize positive reinforcement and consistency throughout the training process.

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