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10 Tips on How to Train a Dog as a Perfect Protection Dog

  • Begin early! It is possible to determine some of what a dog’s adult characteristics may be from its first few days, and temperament evaluations of puppies is instrumental in training the prefect protection dog.
 
  • Understand what you are looking for, namely stability and protectiveness rather than outright aggression. An aggressive dog is a dangerous dog, and temperamental reliability and stability are imperative in training the perfect family protection dog.
 
  • Work with an established trainer. Dog training is an art, and at high levels best left to experts to lay all-important foundations. Protection Dogs Worldwide’s team has years of experience in dog training for protection, and are highly skilled at bringing the best out of family protection dogs.
 
  • Know which breeds are appropriate for family protection work. Gundogs and companion breeds are almost never suitable because of their friendliness, lack of courage, and poor guarding reputations. It is highly unlikely that a Labrador or Golden Retriever would deter would-be burglars or assailants, whereas a Cane Corso has significantly more deterrence value.
 
  • Don’t underestimate the power of bonding. A dog which has bonded with its family and handler will ultimately work far harder than one trained purely using compulsion. Feeding your dog (especially by hand), and taking it on fun activities such as walks or fetch games are excellent ways of developing this bond.
 
  • Ensure that your protection dog is fully socialised and exposed to different environments. Protection dogs should be confident and approachable but suspicious. Ongoing socialisation from a young age will support this, and prevent any dog from becoming overly anxious and reactively aggressive in new situations.
 
  • Make yourself as appealing, fun, and interesting as possible. By establishing yourself as the centre of any dog’s life, you automatically reduce how much it will pull on its lead, increase its attentiveness, and improve its recall. In a protection setting, this translates into leaving the bite on first command and increased control.
 
  • Understand that dogs learn and make mistakes. Much like humans, dogs are emotionally complex and intelligent. While certainly clever and capable, learning may also occur through mistakes. These should not result in punishment. Instead, it is far better to simply reinforce desired behaviours.
 
  • Be ready to work continuously. Ongoing training is key in maintaining a dog’s skill level, prevents skill fade, and develops the bond between you. Protection Dogs Worldwide is happy and able to provide continuity training support, both online and through residential retreats.
 
  • Have fun! Owning a dog should be a pleasure, and training is a long-term project that many find particularly rewarding. Seeing how your dog develops and improves its skills is an incredible experience to be treasured, not rushed. For more advice, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to help.

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