Dogs make wonderful companions. They unreservedly love and they will constantly follow their owners everywhere they go. Having a dog at home has many uses. They add life to your home and love you unconditionally.
Dogs have other uses too; one of them is to be guard dogs. Dogs are extremely loyal and will protect you and your family in case of any potential danger.
Dogs are basically of two types – watch dogs and guard dogs. Before you get a dog, you should be clear about which type you want. Here are some basic difference between a watch dog and a guard dog:
Guard dogs are more aggressive than watch dogs. They are also known as security dogs. Guard dogs not only scare away probable intruders but they also protect their owners with their lives. They are very loyal and will ensure that you remain safe no matter what the danger. Guard dogs are better options especially if you and your family live in dangerous or secluded areas.
Watch dogs will warn their owners whenever any strangers approach their homes. They can scare away strangers and alert you whenever someone approaches your home. However, keep in mind that a watch dog will not necessarily protect you from the impending danger.
Dogs such as the Shetland Sheepdogs make good watch dogs but because of their non-aggressive nature, they do not make such good guard dogs. They will alert you but will not be able to protect you much.
The Best Guard Dogs for Your Home
It is a fact that almost all breeds of dogs have a strong sense of protecting their owners and their homes. Nevertheless, if you live in an out-of-the-way area you need to have a dog that will protect you, your family and your home in the best way possible. While some breeds of dogs are better guard dogs than others are, you should not underestimate the value of training.
When choosing a guard dog, first think about the amount of space you have. Usually, the best guard dogs are the larger breeds of dog. However, smaller dogs such as a Jack Russell or a Chihuahua can be just as helpful in raising an alarm in case of danger.
So, if you do have enough space for a large guard dog, you can always opt for a smaller one. Obviously, a small dog will not really provide substantial protection or be an intimidating figure to intruders.
There are many breeds of dogs that make outstanding and lovable pets but not all make good guard dogs. So, to help you out I have compiled a list of some breeds of dogs that I think make very good guard dogs:
Great Danes are really huge dogs. Physically, they look very intimidating but really, they are very gentle dogs. Great Danes make faithful and loving family pets and they are very good with children.
Nonetheless, if they sense any danger, they will immediately raise an alarm with their very loud bark. Their size and their bark is more than enough to scare away any kind of intruders.
Boxers are usually known for their fun loving and playful demeanor. Thus, they may not really be an ideal choice for a guard dog. But, boxers are known to be good judges of character and consequently, can warn their owners of potential threats.
When it comes to guard dogs, many people choose the Doberman Pinscher. These dogs have a daunting persona. This breed of dog is strong as well as fast and thus, is often used in police and military works. The Doberman Pinscher is similar to the German shepherd as they are both intelligent and extremely loyal. It is a misconception that all Dobermans are essentially aggressive. In actual fact, most dogs become aggressive due to negligent training.
These dogs are very strong. Rottweilers are loyal and will willingly sacrifice their lives to protect their owners. Because of their defensive nature, rottweilers need a lot of training. However, they are very intelligent animals and can be trained very easily.
A Rottweiler is an extremely strong and powerfully-built dog. They are intelligent and very quick in learning new things. As with other breeds of dogs, rottweilers need proper training to become good guard dogs. They are loyal and friendly and make wonderful family pets.
These dogs were originally bred to aid in tracking lions. These dogs are very confident and make both good family pets and guard dogs. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a very calm nature and are very good with children.
German Shepherds are excellent guard dogs. Not only is the German shepherd a wonderful companions but it is, in my opinion, the best guard dog. They are gentle and loving and yet, in case of danger, they can be very aggressive toward the intruders.
The German Shepherd is one of the most popular breeds of dogs. They are brave and very intelligent and are often used by the police to aid them in some of their works. German Shepherds also make great family pets as they are calm and loving and marvelously patient with children. In case of danger, the German shepherd will ferociously protect its owners. It has a very loud bark which can be threatening to intruders.
The Great Hunter Argentine Mastiff
Dogo Argentino is another name for Argentine mastiff. It has a close resemblance to American bulldog and American Pit Bull Terrier with regards to the appearance and length, respectively.
Dogo Argentino is purposefully used in big game hunting with other wild animals like the bfoar and puma. They are usually trained to become great hunters. In addition to that, these dog breeds are also used to help security officers and state defenders in the search and rescue activities. Along with other purposes also include tracking, narcotics detection and guiding the blind.
Like any other pure breeds, Dogo Argentino can be amiable, charming and playful to their masters, loyal and quick in noticing suspicious acts and attacks intruder. These protective tendencies towards territories have regarded them as also a good guard dog. Dogo Argentino is also can easily get along with other dogs for they are well trained in the field of socialization, yet they can be authoritative at times.
All these dogs need a lot of training to guarantee that they remain loyal and well-behaved at all times. Because of their protective nature, they may seem aggressive. But remember that like all dogs, guard dogs can also be friendly and gentle.
The Function of a Guard Dog
First and foremost a Guard Dog does not necessarily have to be an Attack Dog. Many of the temperate breeds, such as Spaniels and Labradors, will make very effective guard dogs. A Guard Dog should not simply attack intruders on your property. Training an Attack Dog is a very difficult task which may be best left to a professional service, as the dog will need to learn how to distinguish between intruders and friendly visitors.
However, by training your Guard Dog to be always on alert for any type of suspicious activity will go a long way to protecting your property and family against intruders. Just the presence of a dog barking will deter the majority of thieves from your property.
Proper Training Of Your Guard Dog
You have made a good choice if you have decided to keep a guard dog. However, you should understand that your work does not just end by bringing a dog to your home and keep it fed. You will need to give it good training.
One of the major reasons for which people keep guard dogs is to have more security in the home, hence their name. Although dogs are instinctively protective, there is need for proper training in order for them detect likely danger and deal with it adequately. While you may take your dog for professional training, you may as well do the training by yourself. In such a case, there are a number of things that you need to bear in mind.
Training a Guard Dog: Socialization
Before starting to train your dog to be an effective Guard Dog it is very important to socialize your dog. Socializing your dog allows them to become familiar to loud noises, other animals, friends and visitors, traffic, storms etc. If a dog isn’t socialized they will have an extremely difficult time distinguishing between threatening scenarios and normal day to day life. Socialization training should begin as soon as the dog comes into your care.
Once your dog has been properly socialized it is now time to begin the training. The best way to start is with basic obedience training. Basic obedience training will train your dog that you are it’s master and to listen to your commands. Once your dog has a firm grasp of basic commands you can begin training your dog as a guard dog.
In order for any dog training to be effective, the dog must first of all be taught to be obedient. Obedience training will not just help the dog to obey instruction but also feel more secure and confident. The understanding between your dog and you will likewise be enhanced, and the dog will follow your instructions well. You may make your dog more obedient through such things as exercises and social interaction. There are basically five major commands that you should teach your dog to obey, which are: down, drop, sit, stay, and come.
The most successful program is using what is known as positive reinforcement. You will reward your dog for desired behavior whilst just ignoring them for bad or unwanted behavior. Using this training method requires that you do not physically punish the dog, as this could lead to uncontrolled aggressiveness or could break their spirit and resolve. Instead the dog will learn that good behavior is rewarded with treats and attention whilst bad behavior will see them ignored entirely.
Training A Guard Dog: Controlled Barking
If you want your Guard Dog to only bark at specific situations, they must be trained when it is appropriate to bark and when to stay quiet. For example, if you have a lot of visitors to your property during the day you may not want your dog to bark uncontrollably every time somebody approaches. However at night time you may want your Guard Dog to bark whenever they see someone approaching.
To enforce this, it is best to choose a verbal command which will tell your dog that they must stop barking. This can be as simple as “Quiet” or any other command that you choose. It is important to use this command once your Guard Dog stops barking accompanied with a reward. Over time they will recognize the command and associate with stopping barking.
Obedience is very important in teaching your guard dog, but there’s more. For instance, you should train your dog on proper barking. One of the simplest ways of doing this is to respond by going to your dog whenever it barks. Do not underestimate a dog’s intelligence. A dog will take note of your action from its very first bark. If you do not seem to take any action, it will not be inclined to give you any warning when it detects any suspicious activity.
Lessons on Not Barking
As much as it is important to train your guard dog to bark, you should as well train it not to bark when there is no need, such as when someone passes on the road. Just patiently tell it ‘No’ as you tap your finger until it gets the message that that is not the time to bark. When the dog has understood this instruction, it will no longer bark under similar circumstances.
Training A Guard Dog: Property Boundaries
Whilst training a guard dog, your dog must know exactly where your property starts and ends and know that it is only meant to protect your property and nowhere else. This will prevent the dog from barking at someone just walking down the street or visitors next door etc. Walk your Guard Dog around the perimeter of your property once a day and the dog will start to recognize your property as their territory and will only take action on intruders that come into their “territory”.
Training A Guard Dog: Advanced Technique – Aggressive Behavior Snarling Dog
As a general rule, it is not recommended that you train your Guard Dog to attack intruders. Training your Guard Dog to be an “Attack Dog” is best left to professional trainers who use very strict training programs and have years of experience. However it is still possible to train your Guard Dog to exhibit threatening and aggressive behavior towards intruders. Letting your Guard Dog raise it’s hackles, growl and bare it’s teeth is very effective at scaring away would be intruders.
Using this advanced training technique, it is very important to have a command which will instantly tell your dog to stop and just act normally. This will prevent your Guard Dog from intimidating normal visitors and give you more control over your Guard Dog. Unfortunately it is very hard to train your dog to just act aggressively.
An effective method is to have someone come over that the Guard Dog does not recognize and act in a threatening manner to the dog. Reward your Guard Dog when you successfully utilize the ‘Stop’ command after it has been acting in an aggressive way. Never encourage or reward your Guard Dog for attacking someone.
Speed Up Your Training
The easiest way to speed up the training of your guard dog is to use the services of professional dog trainers. However, you may as well speed the training process yourself. For instance, you may have a neighbor sit on your lawn and give the dog a pat when it barks. This will not just boost the dog’s confidence but also encourage it to bark in case of any trespass.
Many people think of dogs as loyal companions, who are able to form a strong bond with their owners. However, owning a dog can also be a great way to increase the security of your property. A properly trained guard dog can help to deter potential trespassers and thieves, and is also an effective alarm against intruders that may be on your property. By following a proper training regime, it is possible to train your dog to be a great Guard Dog, whilst still being an affectionate and loving companion.
Training your Guard Dog is a time consuming but rewarding endeavor. Remember above all else that your Guard Dog is NOT an Attack Dog. Your Guard Dog should be effective at alerting you when something is “not right” and act as a deterrence against would be intruders. An appropriately trained Guard Dog will serve as a great companion to you and also as added security to your property and loved ones.