Most of us assume, and in some cases rightly so, that our four-legged furry friend will naturally want to protect our home and property. However, there are those dogs who believe that having a stranger come into the yard is more a reason to become excited and happy rather than to defend it. It may take some training to have your dog understand and defend the territory of your yard.
Worth noting here is that you are training your dog to protect your yard and scare away strangers, not to be aggressive and attack them. If your dog attacks and bites someone, you could find yourself being held liable in a civil court. What you are doing is training your pup to act in an aggressive manner by barking. Not only should this scare the intruder away, but it will alert you to their presence.
The task in and of itself is pretty simple: you want your dog to protect your yard and home by barking in an aggressive manner without actually attacking the intruder. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? After all, your dog barks at strangers anyway, but the trick is to teach him when to bark and when not to. Before you can train your dog to protect your yard, he must first know the basic commands, 'sit', 'stay', 'come' and 'down'. Any age dog can be taught to protect, but the early you start the training, the easier it will go and the faster your pup will learn.
Caution must be exercised during the training to instill a sense of restraint in your pup so that he will defend your property without physically attacking an intruder. The training sessions should take place daily over a period of weeks using different people your pup doesn't know to act as strangers. Be patient and work hard, your pup will soon learn to make the most of his natural instinct to protect.
You can start training your dog to protect your yard at a young age, but you should wait until he has mastered the basic commands. You may also want to talk to your vet to make sure your pup is physically capable of performing the task. Typically, this means waiting until he is a young adult and his bones and muscles have fully formed. For training purposes, there are a few things you might find come in handy.
The most important thing to remember is that training your dog to protect your yard is going to take time, more with some breeds than with others. Be patient, reward your pup when he gets it right, and never punish him for getting it wrong. This will only confuse and dishearten him, it will not lead to a successful outcome.