Most dogs are designed to protect a member of their pack. Family dogs have an instinct to protect you and your family. They will also protect extended family members and friends who come around your house often.
Sometimes you have to teach your dog or your puppy to act according to this instinct. However, you should keep in mind that your goal is to teach your dog how to protect and not attack. Training a dog to be an attack dog may require special licensing, and in some cases, it is illegal in your state or country.
The best time to start training a dog to become a protector is when they are still young. Teaching an old dog to be a protector might take a little more effort and time. Please also pay attention to how loyal your dog is.
The more loyal your puppy is to you and your family, the higher his desire to protect you. It is also easier to train a loyal dog.
How to get started
The first step to training a dog to be a protector dog is ensuring that the dog fully grasps the concept of basic commands. Ensure that he responds to basic commands such as ‘come’, ‘sit’, quiet, and ‘stay’.
You need to ensure that your puppy is fully socialized with people and other animals, or you will have to include this in training. During the training, always keep in mind that by training your dog, you are just enhancing their skills.
It would be best if you were very patient, and your efforts will pay off soon enough.
There are three methods of training a dog.
- The panic word method
- The tugging on his leash method
- The command method
The panic word method
With this method, you will have to choose a panic word that can be used by all members of your family; you can select the name ‘help’. Ensure you don’t use a common word.
When you are introducing your puppy to this word, do not use a frightened or angry voice. Use a happy and excited voice tone; this works best.
An average dog will most likely start barking at the sight of strangers approaching the house. Take advantage of this behavior by getting a stranger to approach your door.
When your dog is about to bark, say the panic word, and once he starts barking, let him bark three of four times and give him a quiet command for him to stop when he does give him treats and praise him.
Please make sure you train him on the panic word and hush command until he associates the name with the action. It might take some time, keep practicing, and be patient with him. After a while, take him out for a walk and position people along your way.
Have some people he knows to approach him in a friendly manner pet and hive him treats. Have those he doesn’t know the approach, and as he is about to bark, give him the panic word, bark three or four times, and give him the hush command.
When he is quiet, please give him a treat. Repeat this training process until he can distinguish between the good and the ‘bad’ people and how to protect you on command.
The pull-leash method
For this method, get a leash on your dog and take him for a walk. Scatter people both familiar and strangers along the way. As he meets the ordinary people, let them give him a treat and pet him. When the strangers approach, please give him a slight pull on his leash as a cue to bark.
When he barks, let him do it three or four times, and then give him a command to be quiet. Reward him for reinforcing this behavior.
Keep practicing these steps until your dog masters the concept of barking to protect you. The final test should be on members of your family. Have them repeat this exercise and be sure to reward the dog when he follows through with it.
The speak method
This method entails you taking your dog to a park to socialize with people and other dogs. Let him get used to socializing with these people and let them pet and even give him treats.
And while you are out giving him the standard commands and when he obeys give him gifts. Train him on the panic command after he understands then train him to be quiet when he is barking at strangers. Ensure you repeat till he gets the hang of it.
Usually, he should be barking at strangers. Make sure to give him the panic word when he is about to bark at a stranger. With time he will associate the panic word with barking if you choose to let him bark three times ensure you only reward him when he stops after the third word.
Repeat this method when your dog is on a leash, as well as when he is not. This will teach him only to bark and not attack strangers.
When he tries to growl and show aggressive behavior towards strangers or approach them in attack mode, reprimand him and show him that it is bad behavior.
If you notice your dog is trying to gain attention by doing this, do not give him any attention and ignore him completely, he will stop this behavior.
Most dogs have an innate nature to protect members of their pack. In this case, the pack is comprised of you and your family, and you should ensure the dog knows you are the alpha.
Training a dog to be a protector will also increase his value. Once trained, the dog will be on the lookout checking for threats, strangers to any members of the family.
The idea is to train your dog to bark and act in a somewhat frightening manner towards strangers and any forms of danger. You should, however, not teach your dog to attack, train him to protect not be a killer dog.
It is important to note that if your dog does not respond to the ‘leave it’ command when you are starting to train him, he can become vicious later, and you will not be able to control him; you must stop considering him for any personal protection training.