In an age of perpetual violence and continual uncertainty, teaching your dog to become a guard dog is a necessary way to keep your house and family protected without the need for a weapon’s licence.
A dog will always make a remarkable pet but they are naturally able to defend better than most human beings can. This is because most human beings will naturally retreat from an aggressive dog, even the most hardened of criminals.
Assume that your house is burgled silently during the early hours of the morning and your valuables are stolen. It would leave you with a feeling of unease in your own home and probably traumatize yourself and your family.
Your dog may be incredibly friendly towards most humans but it would still be advantageous, in this instance, to have a command available to ensure that your dog can defend you.
Truthfully, most of us will treat our dogs as pets and not as guard dogs, but they have the ability to be both. Even if your dog is not a breed that, traditionally, has innate guarding instincts and abilities, you can still train it to obey your commands and act from a place of defence.
In this article, I will outline a number of steps that will enable you to train your dog to attack on command. You may be at an advantage if your dog is the naturally aggressive type, but it is always important to take your animal’s welfare into consideration.
Spikes in the dog’s stress levels can lead to disease in your beloved pet and so these commands should only be utilized when absolutely necessary.
1. Wear a protective glove that covers the entirety of your arm. This is an essential precaution to take in order to prevent any injury.
2. Make sure your dog is sat. If you are at a stage where your dog is still in the process of learning simple commands like ‘sit’, ‘stop’ etc. then these commands should be ingrained first prior to undertaking any further training.
3. After your dog is sat, encourage your dog to attack the glove. You do not need to do this in an overly forceful manner, it can start out as a playful routine and you should always ensure that your dog is comfortable with the situation.
4. As soon as the dog’s jaws latch onto the glove, say the word “attack” loudly and firmly, say it multiple times so that your dog understands what the word “attack” is in reference to.
5. Reward your dog with treats or praise when he/she learns to understand the command. It may not be necessary to offer food but it is always helpful!
6. Repeat these steps to ensure that your canine is fully aware of the command. You will know this if your dog reacts immediately to the command and attacks your gloved arm as soon as the command is said.
7. Next, you should stand at a short distance from your canine and give the command. You should carefully observe how your dog responds and if it doesn’t respond at all, then you should repeat steps 3-5 to reiterate the command.
8. If your dog is in fact familiar with the command, offer your canine a reward and plentiful praise again for understanding.
9. You should repeat steps 7 and 8, ten times. This is to fully ensure that your canine has a mastered understanding of the command.
10. Now it is time to move your dog’s focus onto an intruder, otherwise, it will always come towards your arm! Buy or make a human doll and place it at a distance from your dog, then point towards the fake human ‘intruder’ and shout the command.
Although your dog may come towards you upon your first command, it will travel in the direction of the ‘intruder’ if you are firm in your direction and point your finger assertively.
11. Repeat the process until you are convinced that your canine has mastered the command and is no longer heading towards your own arm.
12. Reward your dog intermittently.
13. Next, ask someone who is unfamiliar to the dog to act as an intruder (you should probably warn them fully in advance and ensure that they are protected).
Ask them to stand next to the entrance to your house and be ready to shut the door to prevent the dog from continuing if your canine ignores the “stop” command during the attack.
14. Point towards the unfamiliar ‘intruder’ and use the “attack” command. If your dog runs towards the intruder, then you are in a great position.
15. Repeat these steps but once your dog has run towards the intruder, shout the word “stop” to see if they understand the command and will obey.
Familiarity will be key and this is why it is crucial that your dog understands the “stop” command prior to undertaking any guard dog training. Your dog should stop immediately.
16. Once your dog has finished attacking the unfamiliar ‘intruder’, make sure to double down on your praise and gift your dog with further treats, if necessary.
The more appreciated your pooch feels, the more likely it is that this command will be instilled into him and you will be able to utilize his/her defence skills at any given point.
This extra praise is crucial if your dog also responds immediately to the stop command and as such, should be withheld unless your dog stops attacking the ‘intruder’ immediately.
Otherwise, you will find yourself in a position where your dog is expecting to be rewarded for the attack itself and therefore, it may not let go of the ‘intruder’ until it can see that it will be presented with a reward.
Things To Avoid
Above all, do not punish your dog in the process of training it to “attack” as this will only encourage it to act aggressively in other situations where an aggressive reaction would be inappropriate.
You should be sure to reduce the stress levels in your dog at all times whilst encouraging them to learn new skills. Otherwise they will become agitated in the wrong situations and this may endanger them.
To conclude, training a dog to become a guard dog can be a dangerous and arduous process but only if your pet is unfamiliar with other more common forms of commands like “sit”, “stop”, “stay” etc.
It is therefore imperative that your pet is already engaged in good habits and discipline prior to undertaking any “attack” based training.
Your dog should always be comfortable during the training process and you should avoid invoking any unnecessary stress or trauma for your beloved pet.
This world can be a frightening place for both humans and animals and whilst you may be training your canine in order to prevent further trauma for yourself, your animal’s welfare should also be at the forefront of your intentions.
It is undeniable that dog’s make the best defenders as their loyalty is immeasurable.
Without inducing stress in your pet and taking advantage of this unnecessarily, training your dog to attack (and then, stop) on command is the best way to ensure that your house is protected and your family can rest easily in the knowledge that their dog is a selfless warrior who will always defend them.