Robin and I were in Acworth last Wednesday working with a new Home Dog Training client and his two year old Boxer Mix named Hogan. The biggest problem that our client was experiencing with Hogan was pulling on the leash and jumping on guests when they cam into the house. Both of these traits are normally caused by improper leadership assignment and lack of appropriate focus. These are pretty easy things to fix and Hogan responded excellently to our training and the improved relationship we established between our client and Hogan.
Everything was great and we began to wrap up the lesson. It was at that time that our client had one more question. “I know this is coming completely out of left field, but do you train guard dogs?” It seemed that our client was often out of town on long business trips and wanted to make sure his wife was safe when he was gone. We told our client that we have been asked that question many times over our dog training careers. The answer is “It depends”.
What do we mean by that? We often think of a “guard dog” as that big German Sheppard with the spike collar around his neck that is always barking and trying get at you if you get too close to “that fence”. They stay outside all day and their only purpose in life is to go after anyone that enters that yard, store, lot, etc. Well, we don’t do that. Robin and I will never train dogs to be overly aggressive.
Let me rephrase the question. “Would the dogs we train protect their family if a dangerous situation arises?” We would then answer “yes”.
When your dog and your family are properly trained, everyone knows their appropriate position in the family. Everyone understands their roles and responsibilities as well as everyone else’s roles and responsibilities. Your dog understands that it is not his initial responsibility to be the protector of the family. That is the responsibility of Mommy and Daddy.
In almost all instances, you, as the leader of the family, will make the appropriate safety decisions that will impact him and the children. When a guest comes in the house, the mailman comes to the door, etc., you will take charge and make the safety decision. That is why your dog does not bark incessantly, growl, and jump on the guest or mailman. It is not his role at that time. He is trusting that you have taken care of that issue for the group.
Now, if someone jumps the back fence and you aren’t there, someone breaks into the house and your dog feels tension or fear from the rest of the family, something different will happen.
It is not your dog’s role to be the protector of the family, but it is his responsibility to assist when he feels that the family becomes threatened. In the canine world, this is a natural pack behavior. In this case, your dog will guard, confront, and possibly attack.
So, to answer the question…
We do not train guard dogs, but the dogs we train will guard and protect.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 or (770) 718-7716 if you need any dog training help. We are blessed to have been your local dog training professionals for over fifteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.