Training a dog for protection isn’t something your average homeowner should take on. It’s a special skill, and if you’re planning to use your dog in this way, it’s best to contact a professional and let them do the training.
But there are some things you can do at home to help enhance the training the trainer will be doing. If you want your dog to be trained to protect your home, keep reading for some tips on how to do this correctly.
The main point of training your dog for protection is for deterrence, so you want your dog to be reactive, not proactive. As with any other training exercise, your dog should take his emotional cues from you.
A dog who has been trained properly will be able to turn his aggression on and off on command, so only the best behaved dogs should be selected for this.
Please note, this is not the same as training your dog to be aggressive or vicious. Police and military dogs are the prime example of this type of dog.
Those dogs are as friendly as any other dog, but when they’re on-duty, they know it and they’re not playing or taking their focus off of their handlers.
This is why it really is best to have a professional trainer who specializes in this type of training to handle this job.
How it Works
Dogs have 2 main drives that motivate them, the prey drive and the defensive drive. This type of training plays into both of these motivations and nurtures these drives in order to mold the dog into a protection dog.
In order to activate the dog’s prey drive, you don’t have to do much. All dogs have a prey drive, it’s just a matter of tapping into it using the appropriate training techniques.
With a young puppy, you can encourage this by using easy items, items you don’t mind losing. Socks, cloth, soft toys, etc.
Toss them and the dog will chase them without even thinking about it. As the dog gets older, use bigger items and make it a game for your dog. Listen to the instructions your trainer gives you and follow them exactly.
Tapping into your dog’s defensive drive isn’t as easy. A dog’s defensive instincts will kick in when he perceives a threat. Your trainer will teach your dog to recognize a genuine threat and to respond to the commands you give him.
Not all dogs are good candidates for defensive training. You can try all you want, but you’ll never see a pug being used in this way.
If you think your dog would be a good candidate, though, get some recommendations for a good trainer, interview them and check their references thoroughly, and follow their instructions exactly.
Your dog will have to learn the difference between an actual threat and your friend coming over, but once you have him trained and focused, he’ll be a valuable addition to your home security system.
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