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Old 12-19-2008, 03:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Training an "Alarm Dog"?

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post but I was hoping people here might have some advice. I read a book a long time ago about training protection dogs, and there was one category they called an "alert dog." Basically it meant a dog which would alert to strange noises or people (by barking and "looking mean") but was not actually trained to bite. I am interested in this type of training (preferably with a cue for the dog to show a 'threat display' and to stop on cue) but I am not sure how to go about it. I was wondering if this would be something a protection trainer or sport trainer might be able to help with?
I would really like to have a dog who will LOOK threatening basically, I cannot do bitework because I want to do animal assisted therapy and the organization does not accept any dogs if they've been trained in any type of bitework.

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Old 12-19-2008, 08:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Training an "Alarm Dog"?

Basically, what you are doing is teaching the dog some high tech tricks. For example; teach the dog to bark at the sound of breaking glass, the smell of smoke etc. Teach the dog to bark on cue and quiet on cue first. Once you've taught the bark and quiet, add cues, ie breaking glass, knock on door, smell of smoke etc. The possibilities are endless. I don't know, since you want to use the dog as a therapy dog, that teaching a threatening pose is a good idea. The actions of those the dog is seeing in therapy session could be misinterpreted. While the dog hasn't been trained to bite, the mere "threat" may be enough to scare the folks that really don't need it.

Any behavior that is reinforced is more likely to occur again.

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Old 12-19-2008, 10:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Training an "Alarm Dog"?

well, i really didn't have to train storm to look mean or bark at a stranger, lol!!! he kind of has that down pat. we're trying to do the opposite and make him not look mean and intimidating, lol!! but when i went to obedience training with him, my trainer taught me how to quietly give him the command "watch um, watch um". if i see someone out late at night on our walk that doesn't look right to me, i under my breath sort of tell him "watch um, watch um", and he knows. if you say it enough it works. most gsd's do have that protection/warning bark already in there, just as most dogs will bark at approaching strangers.
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Training an "Alarm Dog"?

i agree with roger..u dont have to train a gsd to look mean and comes natural. now if u had a small dog, i think it would be another scenario(sp) haha

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