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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw on another thread where someone has a Guard command they give their dog, apparently to have the dog start barking at a perceived threat.

Is this a common command to teach? If your dog does this, how did you teach it and is it an advisable thing to teach a GSD who is mainly a pet and not doing SchH etc? I ask because I can see how it could be useful if one felt threatened on a walk, to have the dog start barking (as a deterrant). But I would not want my dog to actually bite/lunge at anyone.

What do you think? Is this command a good or bad idea?
 

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Bad idea. You want a pet-so it should be treated like one. I know some people are going to disagree but I think that pets should be pets and sch. dogs should be sch. dogs-but sch. dogs can still be pets.
The other thing-is that I have never once heard of anyone with a sch dog giving the dog the commands off the field or training sessions elsewhere.
And, before I derail your topic, I'll start my own. :)
 

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Gaurd/Watch

My dog and I are trained in 'personal protection'. This sounds very similar to what you are asking about. A brief description of what we do: at the command 'watch', Indigo will bark, snarl, lunge, snap-ALL on leash. At the command to stop 'out', he stops immediately and comes to a heel position. We do not do bite or chase work; tho I have no doubt that Indigo would do both if he was let off leash. I live alone and frequently walk at night, so I am fine if, when I am threatened, Indigo would bite if I let him.
You will need an experienced trainer to help you, as they act like the bad guy, My trainer is also very good at assessing the abilities of the dog. Not all are able to protect, some take to it well and some do it out of fear, which is a whole 'nother issue. I have seen personal protection offered by other trainers in different areas. Speaking for me and Indigo, it is our favourite part of training!
 

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You can teach your dog to bark on command even if you don't expect it to actually protect you. If you want to use the "guard" command instead of something more benign like "speak", that would probably be enough of a deterrent for most people.
 

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A dog trained in anything that shows aggression towards a human-including just putting on a show(barking, lunging, snarling) is no longer a pet. This animal is a PP dog and I hope you continue your training.
 

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A dog trained in anything that shows aggression towards a human-including just putting on a show(barking, lunging, snarling) is no longer a pet. This animal is a PP dog and I hope you continue your training.
I really don't think thats true. It can still be a pet/companion. Meaning for show you are talking about Sch. right?
 

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You can simply teach your dog to bark on command, but make the command gaurd or something along those lines. The dog doesn't need to know why you are teaching it to bark on command.
 

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I really don't think thats true. It can still be a pet/companion. Meaning for show you are talking about Sch. right?
If you read my posts properly you would see that I wrote two conflicting things.

'I think that pets should be pets and sch. dogs should be sch. dogs-but sch. dogs can still be pets.' and 'A dog A dog trained in anything that shows aggression towards a human-including just putting on a show(barking, lunging, snarling) is no longer a pet.'

What I meant was 'is no longer JUST a pet.

And I did not call sch. for show. I said 'putting on a show(barking, lunging, snarling)' I said barking, lunging and snarling were for show.

There are many MANY differences in Sch. training and PP work. I am not qualified to give you the difference so you'll have to read up.
 

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My opinion, for you cassadee, I don't think I would..Only because you have 5 kids, who have friends, you want to live with this dog, and I'm sure you want the dog to be friendly with your kids, and your kids friends..

I am definately all for obedience training on ANY dog. When you throw a bunch of kids into the equation, I wouldn't want a mean, aggressive, (even if its' for show) bone in it's body..(and I know you don't either)..

And sure you can teach a dog to bark, (it may backfire and you may have one that doesn't shut up! LOL),,but I'm not sure I would want to teach that either..

I think these dogs can be a deterrent just by being "them", and actually being 'silent'.
I have had workmen here before, who were unphased by my barking dog, yet were very very wary of my silent 'watching' gsd who wouldn't have hurt a bug:)\\\

Ok done rambling:)
 

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Kokoda's "speak" command is gib laut, and when I give it she barks like crazy, teeth everywhere, front feet coming off the ground, and we're working on getting deeper barks. I think it would be pretty intimidating - they don't need to know she's doing it to get her ball :)
 

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I would be careful with this. Yes, it's possible to train, but often the problem is that people encourage what is really a fearful reaction and the dog is acting overly defensive. If you *really* want to train the dog for protection, get with a legitimate trainer or club. The dog needs to learn how to show confidence and power while maintaining control. Pestering and threatening the dog into these reactions where there is no "win" for the dog will just cause some dangerous problems.

I am a 26 year old female and live in a not-so-nice neighborhood but I've never actually needed to alert my dog. What really freaks people out is obedience. They see a dog that shows a high level of obedience on the street and wonder what else can that dog do? Just popping my dog into a really formal heel when passing a suspicious person is all I've ever needed.
 

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I would be careful with this. Yes, it's possible to train, but often the problem is that people encourage what is really a fearful reaction and the dog is acting overly defensive. If you *really* want to train the dog for protection, get with a legitimate trainer or club. The dog needs to learn how to show confidence and power while maintaining control. Pestering and threatening the dog into these reactions where there is no "win" for the dog will just cause some dangerous problems.

I am a 26 year old female and live in a not-so-nice neighborhood but I've never actually needed to alert my dog. What really freaks people out is obedience. They see a dog that shows a high level of obedience on the street and wonder what else can that dog do? Just popping my dog into a really formal heel when passing a suspicious person is all I've ever needed.
thank you for the best reply in this thread. If this forum had a 'thank you'button,I would have just hit it.
 

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The dog doesn't need to know why you are teaching it to bark on command.
I was thinking along these lines - barking that's just a behavior, like any other behavior, without any emotions behind it.
 

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What really freaks people out is obedience. They see a dog that shows a high level of obedience on the street and wonder what else can that dog do?
This has been my experience as well. People see a dog like a GSD performing that kind of obedience (and adding in those exotic sounding German commands seems to add to the impression) and it seems they automatically assume the dog is some form of police dog, protection dog, etc...


Teaching a bark command can be useful though, but you do have to think about all angles.

First off, with a typical speak command, even if you use an intimidating sounding command like "sick 'em", what seems like a good idea rarely works as intended in reality. The problem with a speak command is that the way it is typically done makes for a dog that invariably turns to bark AT the owner because that's what he's been taught... owner has my ball/treat, I need to bark to get it. At best the dog may bark back and forth from owner to other person, wondering who has that ball, but either way it's really not the impression you want to give if you intend to use the dog to scare off a suspicious person.

A true alert bark can be taught IF the dog has the right temperament for it and IF the training is done correctly. This doesn't require a full regimen of protection work, but does require some suspicion work and basic agitation work by a competent individual. While it can be handy, really think about if you need it and the potential disadvantages it can bring in certain situations... waking up suspicion in a dog who was previously social but now has been rewarded for the opposite and now you have to manage, potentially rewarding fearful reactions as Lies mentioned if not done properly with a properly temperamented dog, not to mention just finding someone to do it correctly especially when inexperienced yourself and not sure what to look for.
 

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Kudos to Liesjie! That was exactly what I was trying to say about the training- there are a LOT of variables regarding any kind of training, protection work included. My trainer stresses that control and balance in protection. I will add that in my case, I would agree that living with protection-trained dog (who is also a superstar in obediance) is an additional responsibilty and one that I take very seriously.
 

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Nikon is a major barker (which I've embraced, lol) so besides teaching him to speak (which usually results in him barking at me like Chris is saying) and whisper, I taught him to do kind of a fake alert bark in front of me by tossing out a toy or something besides me for him to bark at. I actually trained this so I could work on calling the dog back to heel "Hier Fuss!" without having to actually do it in protection work the first time. Of course training things in obedience mode is a totally different frame of mind than protection, but I've taught a few things this way so the dog has somewhat of an understand of what I want (another example is I taught Nikon to run all size blinds just using a ball). However, when I command him to "alert" at a toy (or thinking a toy is there) the barking is different than his barking like in SchH when he is guarding. Hard to explain, but I definitely know the difference, maybe a suspicious person would not but like I said, I've never had to ask my dog to alert for real even with a sex offender across the street. The obedience is what scares people!! The barking/alerting might get you in trouble if you jump the gun. Obedience is always safe. I can also get my dog to act with a tad more suspicion based on my body language. I might whisper to him, "whooozzat?" and give some anxious cues and this tends to solicit a more wide-eyed look with the mouth closed and the ears up (as opposed to the happy, prancy obedience). But I would caution doing even that until it's clear that the dog has no issues as far as nerves and is not a young dog possibly going through a fear stage age.
 

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You can teach your dog to bark on command even if you don't expect it to actually protect you. If you want to use the "guard" command instead of something more benign like "speak", that would probably be enough of a deterrent for most people.
What CM said!

It might have been me the OP was referring to.

I recently taught my dog to "guard" ( i.e ; speak / bark ) on command but that is all. I am not trying to get her to posture or lunge or what have you. I have no idea how to do that nor would I want to. However my general surroundings are such that I want a dog that sounds off when I tell her to. Simple as that.

Maybe it would be more acceptable if I said GIGGLE ! instead of GUARD.:rolleyes: However I also understand this excellent advice from Chris ; "waking up suspicion in a dog who was previously social but now has been rewarded for the opposite and now you have to manage, potentially rewarding fearful reactions as Lies mentioned if not done properly with a properly temperamented dog, not to mention just finding someone to do it correctly especially when inexperienced yourself and not sure what to look for. "

And yes...Liesje nailed it too. People see the obedient nature of my dog and that generally makes them take extra notice. I mean... a GSD walking in sync at your side with ears on high alert and looking left and right is enough to make most people stop in their tracks HE HE HE HE :cool:
 

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I do not teach a GUARD command. But when I leave my car, and I have a dog in my car, I put on my command voice and say GUARD.

The dogs do not have a clue what I want.

People stop and look. It is simply a deterrent. If anyone goes near my car, my dogs do bark. Now people THINK they are trained to guard my car and are not just barking their heads off.

But as for obedience being the best. My Babsy used to be a 58 pound stick of dynamite, but always VERY obedient. Contractors come to my house, Babs and I meet them at the door. We go to whatever needs to be done, and I put Babs on a sit stay. Every muscle is tuned and ready and alert on the contractor, but she is absolutely not moving.

Did I mention that Babs does not like contractors.

I thought it must be the tools, but my brother who she does not know, came to fix my lawnmower with tools and Babsy was fine with him. She KNOWS who is family, and who is a contractor.

I think that they do think twice when they see a trained dog.

I haven't trained any in German, but I bet that makes them even more nervous. Babs, Platz!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What CM said!

It might have been me the OP was referring to.

I recently taught my dog to "guard" ( i.e ; speak / bark ) on command but that is all. I am not trying to get her to posture or lunge or what have you.
Yes, it was you :)
And Cassidy's mom is right on with what I mean by a guard command... just basically barking, but someone else hearing the word "Guard" might think it means more than that.

I appreciate all the insights here. I have no interest in having a PPD or doing any kind of anything that would bump up a dog's aggression or suspicion. Sure do not want lunging or snarling at all! And I hadn't thought of what Chris said... that the dog would probably turn and bark at the owner instead anyway!

Thank you for all the comments on this.
 
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