How to Train a Guard Dog?

Guard Dogs in City Surrounding

Ask yourself: what kind of features are inherent to a guard dog? Many beginning dog owners will answer that these are aggression, suspicious to strangers, physical strength, grip. That's true, all these features are important for a good guard dog.
Experienced dog owners will point out importance of dog endurance, skills of attack with a human, and ability to work in any circumstances: in day and night, in park and bus or lively street. They are right as well. Efficient work of a guard dog is impossible without these skills.
But only those, who happened to use a dog for guard in real and who really got help from a dog in a difficult situation, really know what feature of a bodyguard is of the first importance.
This feature is CONTROLLABILITY.

Aggression seems to be the feature that is the most important for a guard dog. But it is a huge mistake to start training of a guard dog from development of aggression. What is the first point for training a sportsmen-boxer? This is physical strength: power, speed, endurance. Then training to a basic technique. Imagine the situation: a boxer is trained to be aggressive at the first class. Of course this idea seems wild even to people who are far from sports. So why should we start to train a guard dog from this point?
Training of technical skills is much more important for puppy training than development of aggression. Exercises in bite grip, struggle with a helper, training of attack skills may be held as a game, on the basis of fetching reaction. In this case you may start puppy training earlier, since 5-6 months old. In this case till 1 y.o. your dog will have a perfect grip, trained tactical skills (where it should be, when and to which moment to keep the hold, when to start and stop attack). And aggression will appear later, when the helper will raise the level of irritants at a definite stage of training.

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We should wait until the nervous system of your dog gets stronger and stable before start training dog aggression. Otherwise nervous breakdown is unavoidable. Also controllability is out of the question in this case.
Suspicion to strangers is easy trained by definite exercises.
Even a dog without aggression is able to protect you, as sometimes dog growling and barking is enough. But lack of control may lead to a situation when a dog will not be by your side when it is required.
First of all ask yourself a couple of questions. What is the daily routine of your guard dog? In what situations do you need help of your four-legged friend?
You are walking a dog in the morning. May be, it is following you in morning jogging. Daily a dog is at home usually. In the evening your dog should accompany you while shopping, meeting your child from school, or just walking before going to bed. When you go out of town, your dog should be by your side. Your dog should accompany you in all of your activities: fishing, jogging, biking etc.

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In all these situations your dog is to be able to protect you and your family when it is needed. But think about, whether your dog will be with you if it is out of control? Would you take it in the park if it will surely attack strange people? If a dog is controlled with a muzzle on and on a leash only, would you take it to accompany you� in shopping? Because you will not leave an aggressive dog outside the store!
Imagine a situation: a stranger is knocking your door. One way, you may close your uncontrolled beast in a room, another one - to give it a command "Place" to your well-trained dog, and then open the door. In which case you are safe? Your dog will not help you closed in another room.
Attack power of a dog is an interesting skill. But without control it is out of use.
So, what are the skills required for a guard dog in the city?
Move by your side. A dog is to follow you by your side. When you stop or give a command, it should stop and sit quickly.
Coming by a command. A dog is to come to you at once by a command and sit in front of you.
Sit with a hold. Your dog is to come and sit in front of you without move from its place until you come back and get it with you. Hold should be reliable even if you leave the dog.
Socializing. A guard dog should react calm to any irritants of the city surrounding, huge number of cars, people, dogs and others that it may meet in the city or out of town.

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Attack skills with a human. Here are the skills of a bite grip, struggle with an assaulter, who is armed with improvised means. It is quite important to train a dog to stop in time. I.e. as soon as an assaulter stops struggling, a dog is to release him. Further attack is possible only if a stranger attacks again or tries to run away.
Stop of attack by a call. Training of this skill is so important, that it is to be pointed out by a separate class. When a dog attacks a stranger, it is to stop by your command, turn back and come up to you. This skill is to be realized irrelevant from actions of a stranger: he may run away, cry, take a stick and prepare to attack a dog - all these reactions are quite natural.
On condition, that all these skills are trained, a dog is really able to guard you. As you can see, the most of rules are based on dog's controllability and obedience.

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