Training a puppy to be a guard dog? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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Training a puppy to be a guard dog?

I have a 5-month old gsd puppy. So far I have trained her the basic commands like sit, come, lay, etc... I am debating whether I should train her to be a guard dog. Although she is a biter (excessive chewing at the moment), she is not aggressive at all. The reason I want her to be a guard dog is because about a year ago, the house next to us was converted into a drug rehabilitation center for teens. There are some very troubled teens out there and I am worried about the safety of my family; however, I don't know if training a gsd puupy to be a guard dog is a good idea. So my question is: Should I train her to be a guard dog or let her become naturally protective of my family? Any input would be helpful. Thanks.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 06:53 AM
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What does that mean "guard dog"? What is your expectation?

If you have never had experience doing this type of training, don't experiment on your dog yourself
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 08:57 AM
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If you're serious about the need then find a good trainer and get their help, it's not training you want to mess up or take on by yourself.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 10:43 AM
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I second the "do not try this at home" sentiment. Also be aware that while many dogs will become naturally protective, some won't. Even more importantly, dogs that have the appropriate temperament for protection training are harder to come by than most think. Only a PP experienced trainer can tell you if she's got the right temperament. In the mean time, keep up the obedience! Sounds like you're working on a solid foundation and that's the best way to start
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by qbchottu View Post
What does that mean "guard dog"? What is your expectation?

If you have never had experience doing this type of training, don't experiment on your dog yourself

I second this. What do you mean guard dog? Perimeter dog, personal protection dog, alert dog, deterrent? All these are very different. What specific things do you want your dog to do? Also know that none of these can be expected from a puppy. The dog needs to mature.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 12:19 PM
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Perimeter dogs are dangerous, most trainers I have encountered lately wont even train them anymore. 5 months is a little early, but I would grab leerburgs foundation of puppy bitework and start with that while you begin researching trainers. They will have to put your dog through an evaluation to decide whether or not your dog is suitable for PP work. Just be prepared, Mine has been in PP training for about 8 months now and it does get a little expensive pretty fast.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 12:30 PM
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Honestly, I think most GSD's will naturally act as a deterrent and bark at strangers. My pup sounds like she'll rip your arms off, until you're welcomed into the house, then she's a big suck.

I agree with whoever said they need the right temperament, you're probably best to buy a ready made dog, although they are quite expensive. Aggressive does not = protection. Aggressive = liability. Trained protection dogs are very clear headed.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 12:34 PM
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A guard dog is trained to attack on command. He should return to you when he doesn't like something himself and look into your eyes: "Should I rip this disrespectful thing into bits?" And you answer him: "Just bark at the moment."
It is a long way for you before your dog will be that obedient. At the moment any agressive behaviour must be disencouraged by recalls and treats for coming back. If you are training a guard dog - bother about his jaw muscles. War-of-tug must be his regular game, he must be responsive to your sweet voice, grab or relese it on command. Also feed him bones, a little but daily. The males start showing what they really are only after one year of age. You physically cannot train the guard dog on your own, while he is five, look for possible training places, find out what they do, and, if possibe, watch their handlers with dogs at work.

Last edited by David Taggart; 05-03-2013 at 12:38 PM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 12:59 PM
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The truth is...without a good trainer, and a ton of dedication on your part, it will probably take you 4 or more years to train a trusted guard dog. Most dogs take a good 2 years of solid training by professionals with hours and hours of work on a daily basis. I won't assume that those guys put in 40 hours a week into a dog, but I have a feeling its not too far off from that.

If you are just talking deterrent...she'll naturally be one once she grows up.

Do not under any circumstances train this do by yourself...not only will it become a BIGGER liability if it ever bites someone and it is found out you actually TRAINED it, but then the training will be called into question, and then your credentials to do this type of training will be called into question, and you'll end up paying a whole lot of money.

Also...look into your homeowners policy, they usually don't like it when your dog is bite trained.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 02:55 PM
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If I were in your situation, I'd be enrolling in a good obedience class, and then another, and then another. In my own experience (and from speaking with other GSD owners) these dogs have a uncanny ability to know when someone is stoned or drunk, and they don't like it. You don't want your young dog lunging at one of the teens when they're going into the rehab, if they've had a relapse. The other nice thing about a great OB is that when people see your dog responding to commands, they wonder to themselves what else the dog knows, but don't want to find out, lol.
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