How To Train Your Dog To Guard Your Home

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
You have a guarding dog breed, but you don't know how to start the training process? Read on and discover.

Among homeowners, home security is at the top of their priorities.

Keeping yourself, your family members and your home safe from various intruders is something that keeps people awake at night.

Luckily, those who were raised in houses know how helpful dogs can be when it comes to keeping home and everyone inside safe.

Whether you are living in a house or in an apartment, and you have a dog already, you know that no one can pass by without them noticing it.

You may have the tinniest Pomeranian possible, and your all-white fluff will bark tremendously when someone walks near your front door or any other door. If they press that ring bell button…

Even tiny Pomeranian will sound as if a Rottweiler is about to knock on those doors.

Now, you may have the perfect vision of what a guard dog light looks like, but you should know that the biggest factor here is actually training.

How great your guarding dog is will depend on how well trained he is. Dogs are mainly full-time pets nowadays, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love when there is a job to be done.

After all, dogs were bred to perform certain tasks, which is why today we have herding dogs, dogs who are great at retrieving, dogs who are amazing runners, dogs who are amazing at search and rescue, and dogs who are great at guarding homes and so on… Do you know what are top five breeds that excel at guarding duties are?

If not, check them below:

Dogs are a great support in many areas. They are not only great pets, but they are great at protecting and guarding.

Guard dogs are highly territorial beings who prefer strangers to stay away. This is why they are often used by police and military forces to perform various tasks.

Great guarding dogs have guarding DNK: they are also highly loyal, aware of their surroundings, fast to react, and have natural protection instincts.

Having these traits isn’t enough that doesn’t mean that they will master guarding tasks without proper training.

Now, let’s see why you should get a guard dog, and when is the time to get one.

Why One Should Have a Guard Dog

Protecting your family and your belonging is something that matters. Keeping what you love safe is important. That being said, having a dog who is specially trained to guard is something that can help you sleep better at night.

Guarding dogs are a great addition to families of any size, plus they are great at protecting your business, or your business property.

Many homeowners choose to have a great security home security system as an effective way to have an overview of their homes and extra protection.

The trickiest part when it comes to home security systems is choosing the best one, which is why homeowners usually focus on efficiency, usability, and responsiveness.

Choosing the best home security system isn’t something that should be taken lightly, so if you’re thinking about this option as well, make sure that you do proper research first, and get a home security system that will fit you and your family perfectly.

A great home security system combined with a powerful and intelligent guard dog should be a win-win situation.

You shouldn’t focus on are pros and cons of having a great home security system and having a dog, but instead, look at how these two can complement each other.

Cameras alone are usually not enough to ward off an intruder, but a Belgian Malinois or a Caucasian Shepherd Dog – The Guide To Caucasian Ovcharka running toward them is something that will make them run.

Guard dogs are not only ready to work when you are not home, but they are on alert even when you’re home.

Now, let’s see how to train your guard dog to be the best guard dog ever.

How To Train A Dog To Be A Guard Dog

Before we elaborate on this, ask yourself if you can train a dog in the first place.

If you don’t have enough experience as a dog owner you might think about hiring a professional dog trainer.

If you are thinking about getting a guard dog and you are a first time dog owner, make sure that you understand when a does own guard dogs bring in.

It is usually recommended for novice owners to focus on companion dogs as first dogs.

If you have some experience as a dog owner, but you are not sure how to start again – hire a professional dog trainer, this will speed up the training process, help you gain more training experience, and provide valuable training tips further on.

Did you know that dogs are more than capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age?

In practice, this means that you should start training your dog as soon as you bring him home.

Make training sessions:

  • Short
  • Fun
  • Consistent
  • Packed with treats

Now, let’s see what are the mandatory steps that you should conduct to make your dog the best guarding dog ever.

1. Basic Obedience

Great canine citizens are packed with amazing basic skills. For a dog to go through proper socialization and training are a must.

In other words, all dogs should have basic obedience skills.

By basic skills, we are actually talking about basic commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘come.’

For example, barking on command should be included in basic commands set for guard dogs.

In fact, barking on command is something that dogs should know before their specific training or guarding training starts.

2. Impulse Control

Dogs can be impulsive. You may provide the best training possible, and your dog may still run after a squirrel in your backyard.

Never forget that dogs were carefully bred to perform certain tasks which is why they often have actions that dog lovers and owners without experience find hard to understand. This impulse isn’t necessarily bad.

In fact, this impulse is what makes dogs so great. Do you know those stories where dogs run into burning houses to pull out their human? This is something that they do when they are led by impulse.

Thanks to this impulse dogs can save humans and animals. However, when it comes to training your Fido to be the best guard dog ever, you need to think about impulse control.

If this sounds like too much work for you, it probably is – think about guarding dog lessons, or hiring a professional dog trainer.

All in all, impulse control means teaching your dog to wait for specific permission before he engaged in a specific activity.

Teaching your dog this on your own is not impossible, but it requires patience, practice, and creativity.

As a general rule, once your dog masters obedience skills, you should enter the second phase – managing impulse control in dogs.

In practice, this means that dogs should be able to control their actions around strangers.

When around strangers, dogs should show amazing control of basic commands. They should sit, stay, and lie down all on commands when around strangers.

Having properly structured house dog rules can help you with this step if you have frequent people coming over.

3. Setting Space Boundaries

Dogs love following rules.

After all, they were bred to perform certain tasks, and they are more than fine when there is a job to be done. This is why they follow rules.

For dogs to follow rules, they need to know what is allowed. That being said, make sure that your dog knows the boundaries of his territory. This is a big deal when it comes to providing successful training.

After every training session, you should do a proper run of your property together with your dog.

This way they will understand better what they have to protect and what is actually ‘theirs’.

Extra tip: Once you get enough confidence in your dog that he can be left alone, let him be alone. It is important to know your dog’s behavior when they are left alone.

4. Test Your Dog

Once you provide the proper training and you see that your dog is confident in his everyday obligations, you should test him.

This means that you need to see how serious (sort of speaking) your dog is when it comes to his guarding duties. This is where your friends step in.

You need a friend who knows around dogs. If you don’t have that kind of person in your surrounding, contact a professional dog trainer, and explain what you need.

All in all, you just need someone who is a stranger to your dog. Allow the dog to be alone on the property in the area seen as his.

The ‘stranger’ should knock on the fence or your front door, or just start approaching your dog.

This simple move should be enough to show you if your dog is serious when it comes to guarding duties, or not.

If your dog is well-trained in guarding he should bark and let the ‘stranger’ know that strangers are not welcome.

The stranger should ignore the dog or run away. Instead, the stranger should not act afraid and run off to signal to your dog.

Once the test is completed, make sure that you get complete feedback on your dog’s behavior.

5. Practice Makes It Perfect

With dog training never ends. Know that best-trained dogs are dogs who are continually trained. That being said, make sure that you serve your dog delicious treats whenever he displays good behavior.

Dogs are creatures who thrive on rewards. No dog should ever experience any harsh behavior.

Make sure that you always use reward-based training.

If you are not sure how to do this, hire a professional dog trainer for more input.

Otherwise, keep training sessions:

  • Fun
  • Short
  • Regular
  • Reward-based
  • Packed with treats

No matter how great of a guard dog your Fido might appear, continue testing his training.

To achieve the best results, all you have to do is to monitor your dog carefully and reward him.

When someone approaches your property, and your dog reacts, make sure that you reward him with a treat.

6. Think About Distractions

When on duty, dogs should be focused. This means that when a stranger comes over, there should be more distractions.

Make some noise, call your dog, toss around treats, and see how your dog reacts.

If he is easily distracted from defending your territory it means that you should provide more training sessions.

On the other hand, if your Fido is deeply focused on his duty and cannot be easily distracted, it means that his training is completed.

Distractions should serve you as an easy tool to check your dog’s ability to guard. If he doesn’t pass on it immediately, try again.

Your dog will perfect it, he just needs more time. Bear in mind that some breeds are better at guarding than others, and some need fewer repetitions to master a skill, so be patient.

Whenever you want to test your dog make sure that you provide osm distractions to see how he acts.

This way you will exactly how he will behave when on his own.

7. Trust Your Dog

When your dog passes all tests you can leave him on his own. This means that you are ready to leave your dog alone, or that your dog is ready to be left alone.

It is never easy to leave guarding your home to someone else, but you need to have faith.

Know that well-trained dogs are more than capable to keep your home and property well-guarded and well-protected.

Have confidence in your dog’s training, skill set, and ability to guard your property.

Do not forget to reward a nice dog job, and always monitor your dog to see if there is any space for any improvement.

What Type Of Dogs Are Best For A Home Guard Dog

If you want to be extra sure that your home and property are well-guarded, you should think about getting the best guarding breed possible.

Any dog can be trained to be guarding dog, but some breeds are simply better when it comes to guarding in general.

Getting a dog is easy, but getting the right breed is where you need the right knowledge, directions, and expertise.

As a general rule, larger size dogs are mostly used as guard dogs. Primarily, people always vary of large size dogs.

In other words, large size dogs have that intimidation factor that keeps strangers away.

As mentioned above German Shepherd and Rottweiler are often among the first choices for guarding dogs, but there are other breeds to consider.

Here are five extra breeds that are great when it comes to guarding property:

Other breeds may serve perfectly as guard dogs, just make sure that you do the proper research.

Not sure if you need a Bullmastiff or Akita? Whenever you’re in doubt about which breed is the best fit for you, use compare breeds tool to learn about the breed’s specific, traits, personality traits, and other factors.

When it comes to guarding dogs, you should focus on finding breed with the following traits:

  • Alertness
  • Obedience
  • Bravery

On the other hand, highly aggressive dogs, extremely territorial, or nervous are not recommended as guard dogs. Why? Dogs with these traits are usually highly defensive.

As such, they often cannot make a difference between a real threat and a harmless visitor, which may result in a devastating outcome. Guardian dogs should be alert, but calm when protecting.

The Bottom Line

Training your dog to guard your property is something that should never be taken lightly.

In reality, this means that you need experience working with dogs, patience, a certain skill set, and a willingness to call in for help if you need one.

If you feel that training your dog to be the best guarding dog is too much work for you, hire a professional dog trainer.