When most people think of a “Guard Dog” they think of a big and scary German Shepherd jumping at the fence with big signs “Beware of Dog”. These are the dogs you would obviously not want in your living room sitting next to your family or at the door when you are letting your friends in to watch the game.
Most of us believe that “guard dogs” could never be “family dogs”. At best, they are the dogs of the crazy old coot who lives just outside of town that comes to Walmart on Saturday afternoons with his dogs chained to the flat bed of his F150.
So, we now get to the question about “Guard Dogs”. What do you have to do to train a dog to be a guard dog? The first question is if the dog (your student) has the ability to guard. You don’t want to put your dog through an experience that he will never be able to successfully accomplish.
Let’s answer this question by looking at a pack of puppies. They can be Toy Poodles, Spaniels, Boxers, Great Danes, Cane Corsos, Golden Retrievers, or Rotweillers. Any breed, it doesn’t matter. If we watch them for a little bit, we can see all the interactive games they are playing.
Sometimes they will be playing follow the leader. They may be playing tug of war. They also could be playing king of the hill. These are all socialization activities. We can equate this experience to our “human kindergarten”. In most instances, this is all the “training” many owners provide their dogs.
So, when their cute puppies grow up and are now two or three years old, why do they bark when the mailman comes to the door or they hear a strange noise at night? Aren’t these forms of guarding? Who taught them that?
This is the question that you should be asking. The answer is quite enlightening and something that is right under your nose. Robin and I have a great explanation that will make all of this clear. Please read our training blog titled “Do You Train Guard Dogs”.