Protection Dog Training

protection dog training

Everyone has heard of guard dogs, but personal protection dogs are less commonly known, although you may have seen someone with a protection dog without knowing it. You may have seen a dog quietly and peacefully walking on a leash next to it’s owner, but if you were to attack that person the same innocuous animal would turn into a ferocious beast and attack you with frightening force. Different breeds of dogs have been used for personal protection and to guard homes and property for centuries. Many of these canines have been bred and trained to be completely loyal to their owners, to the point that they will fight to protect them to the death. Some breeds have the right temperament that make them ideal candidates for protection dog training, and such a canine could potentially save your life.


Protection Dogs Require Specialized Training

All dogs have the natural instinct to protect their home and their families, and this extends to their human owner’s home and their human family as well. It’s this basic instinct that a protection dog trainer uses to train the dog to protect their owner and personal property.

Protection dogs are put through training courses to teach them how to protect an individual, a family and/or personal property (which can include houses and land, as well as vehicles such as cars and RVs). These animals have to be put through this specialized instruction to ensure that they behave in a controlled and disciplined manner, especially around children and the elderly.

This kind of instruction goes beyond basic obedience training, and unless you are an experienced dog trainer you probably won’t be able to complete a full protection dog training course at home by yourself. It can be very challenging to teach a dog personal protection and self-defense, even if you’ve already worked on other training with your dog in the past.

Personal protection training requires your canine to focus on specific commands and to be acutely aware of the external stimuli that could prove to be a danger (e.g. unfamiliar sounds or sights). Your dog has to sense that you are in fact in real danger, and not just playing around with someone. In other words, your dog needs to have the awareness and self-control to not react to false alarms, but the strength, the skills and the experience to be able react fully to a real threat. A protection dog needs to be able to make an instantaneous decision about what’s going on and react appropriately. Although it’s possible to instruct your pet in all of this, it requires a great deal of patience and the ability to consistently use the correct training methods.

protection k9 trainingThe best way to ensure that your dog has been properly trained is to go to a dedicated training facility where they have are tools and resources needed to train canines to protect people, property and vehicles as required. Working with an experienced trainer is definitely going to be the quickest way to ensure that you and your dog make fast progress in this specialized kind of k9 training.

Among a dog’s most natural instincts are the desire to hunt for prey and guard the pack and its home. These instincts are applied to the human family and home so that the dog protects the humans and the household whenever necessary. Different trainers will use different methods and tools, but the most common way to train is: using the dog’s favorite toy to encourage prey drive, and having an expert wear a padded costume with a reinforced sleeve to train the dog how to attack. Usually, multiple trainers are used in different simulated situations and environments to ensure the dog is capable of attacking different people in different places.


The Purpose of a Personal Protection Dog

All dogs can make it through basic obedience school, but training a guard dog or an attack dog is a much more in-depth and challenging process. To begin with, your dog needs to have a suitable personality and disposition and be physically capable of defending you.

Essentially, a protection dog can be trained to protect anyone or any possession, but usually these canines are used to protect members of the family, homes and property. They guard their owner’s property against intruders and can attack any stranger who sets foot onto the property. They are trained to not be frightened by anything the intruder does or to discriminate about when or where they attack (in other words, they are always guarding you and your possessions).

A protection dog, as a member of the family, needs to controlled enough to be with all members of the family, including children and babies. They also need to be able to get on with other dogs and pets.

guard dog training

The Benefits of Putting Your Dog Through Protection Training

Dogs that have gone through the training courses become more confident and can often feel more integrated into their human families. Additionally, the training involves plenty of physical exertion, so you can expect your dog’s stamina, strength and overall level of physical fitness to improve. Personal protection training can also help to strengthen the bond you have with your dog and lead to a greater sense of mutual respect and trust.

As a dog owner, having a canine that is capable and fully trained to be able to protect you against physical harm wherever you go is a very empowering feeling. You, your loved ones and your personal property will be safe from attackers and threats. As you continue to practice with your dog he will retain the high level of physical fitness and you will enjoy spending quality and productive time training with your dog.

beginning personal protection k9 training

Starting Training

Once you decide to begin training, the best way to start is to do a couple of short 15-20 minute sessions per day and gradually increase the time you spend to 1 hour or more a day. During the beginning, most dogs will have difficulty concentrating for longer than about half an hour anyway. Also, remember that very young dogs have very short attention spans and will probably not be able to do long training sessions.

To begin with, just keep your dog on a leash and start to teach your dog the basic commands of “attack” or “bite”. The key to making the commands work successfully is to remain consistent with how they are used – i.e. use the same word in the same tone of voice for the same command each time, which will prevent your dog becoming confused.

Remember to keep training fun and upbeat and to end with a fun reward for your dog such as dog training treats or his favorite toy.


Finding Professional Solutions

Protection dog training takes deliberate and disciplined engagement from the handler and the dog in order to be successful. By taking your pet to a good trainer and working closely with them, you can quickly teach your dog to protect you, your family, and your home as and when appropriate. Teaching a dog to bark only as a warning and to perform controlled attacks to defend you against threats is something that takes time and patience to teach, and professionals will be experienced at working with all kinds of dogs and will be able to work through the process quickly compared to a do-it-yourself attempt.

It’s a very comforting feeling to be out walking with your pet and know that he is ready to defend you. Without the correct experience and knowledge of how to train a dog in these specialized skills, even the most loyal of dogs can be easily distracted. It’s well worth taking the time and not rushing through any part of the instruction.


Problems and Challenges You May Encounter

problems when training guard dogsSome dog breeds and some individual dogs are naturally more suited to being guard and protection dogs. Some breeds are physical stronger and have much more prey drive (such as german shepherds, pitbulls and rottweilers), making them more suited to personal defense than other breeds. Dogs that have a high prey and play drive are much more likely to make successful protection canines. Also, dog’s that have difficulties with anxiety or fear many find the biting and attacks more challenging.

A good trainer will be able to assess and resolve any problems that arise during the training process. Before taking your dog to an expert for protection dog training, it’s a good idea to check your pet’s reaction to stressful events and new experiences, his level of confidence and desire to play to see if you think he would make a suitable self-defense canine.


Training a Puppy and Adolescent Dog

Probably the best way to ensure success is to start training at as young an age as possible. Puppy training can be very enjoyable and rewarding, but puppies will not be ready for any kind of training beyond basic house-training and a few simple commands, but once they reach a few months of age, you can get them started with a little bit work. Most protection dog trainers start to train their canines at an early age to make sure they are very accustomed to their work by the time they reach adulthood.


Purchasing a Trained Canine

guard dogs for saleYou can also look for protection dogs or guard dogs for sale if you need a dog immediately, if you don’t want to put your own pet through the training or for any other reason. There are many online vendors that sell partially and fully-trained protection canines (known as “canine classifieds”), so you can check there to browse their available dogs to get an idea of what you get for your money (and, by the way, trained protection dogs are not cheap). Some vendors sell canines that have been specifically bred to become guard or protection dogs, so you can also look for young untrained dogs if you want to begin training with a dog who’s temperament has been hand-chosen as being ideal for your needs.

Another option to consider is to look for police dogs for sale – these animals will be ideally suited to self-defense and protection and will have undergone extensive training and be used to working with and defending their handlers in a variety of situations and against many different dangers.

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