Your Husky may look big and strong with fierce eyes, but you know they are cuddly and soft inside. In fact, your big fuzzball spends most evenings cuddled up with you on the sofa, barking whenever another dog appears on the TV screen. As much as you love your Husky's companionship, you'd like to put him to work keeping an eye on things around the house. To help you do that, you want to put your Husky to use as a guard dog.
Training your Husky to be a guard dog will do more than just the obvious of keeping your house and belongings secure. It will also assert your position as pack leader, giving you control that you can use to address any problematic behavior. This type of training is also a great way to stimulate and challenge your dog. Finally, training will make for a fantastic way to bond.
Training any dog to be a guard dog is challenging and unfortunately, Huskies are no exception. However, the earlier you start and the more consistently you train, the sooner you may see results. Training will consist of setting boundaries and showing them that what you want them to protect falls within their territory. You will then need to use positive reinforcements to bring out the types of behavior they need to be an effective guard dog.
If your Husky is just a puppy then they should be a fast learner. This means you could see results in just a few weeks. However, if they are older and not such a great listener, then you may need a number of months. Stick with training and you will be able to sleep easy at night knowing your house, family, and possessions are safe and secure.
Before you can start training, you will need to gather a few items. Stock up on tasty bite-sized treats or break your dog's favorite food into small pieces. You will also need a short training leash and a friend to help you for one of the methods.
You’ll of course also need the item or space you would like your Husky to protect. Then set aside 15 minutes each day for training.
Once you have all that, you just need enthusiasm and a positive attitude, then work can begin!
I'm about to take in a 3 month old tricolor husky from a couple in about a week.
After seeing him in person, I found him to be very shy and self-withdrawn. The owner explained to me that he's almost never been outside due to an illness going around that is supposedly fatal to pups. I'm also taking in a kitten who'd just finished weening and spent a lot of time around Elroy. Once I claim ownership of Elroy, I'll get to have 4 days to myself to get to know him and get him comfortable in his new home, but I want to make sure I do it right.
What can I do to help get him to break out of his shell and gain more exposure to the outside world? And when and how should I take steps further to train him to become intimidating and protective on command?
I really look forward to your response, and thank you very much in advance!
Hello Douglas, Check out the link I have included below. At that link you can download a free PDF e-book on puppies. There is a chapter in that book on socialization and puppy classes. I highly recommend attending a puppy class that includes supervised off-leash play time for puppies and handling with treats by dog owners. AFTER You Get Your Puppy e-Book download: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ To get started on protection training, you can start telling the puppy a word that will mean growl and act intimidating whenever he growls while playing something like tug of war with you. This will help him learn to growl on cue. When he growls, praise and reward him for it. It may look like "Stranger", play growling, praise and reward for the growling. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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How can I train him to be a guard dog? Is it too late and how long would it take?
Hello Arman, A guard dog's job is simply to alert to intruders, to scare them off. A protection dog is trained to stop would be attackers physically by holding onto the person the way a police dog does. To train a guard dog you will want to teach that dog to bark or growl whenever he sees someone step foot onto your property or get too close to you. To do that, teach your pup the "Speak" command and whenever a person comes onto your property or gets too close to you, tell your pup to "Speak" and reward him for speaking or growling with treats or a favorite toy. Practice this until he begins to bark during those situations when you have not told him to, and reward him for doing that. Also teach him the "Quiet" command and work on his general obedience, like "Come" and "Sit", so that you can tell him to stop when you need to or can tell him to be "Quiet" if he barks at the wrong thing. To teach the "Speak" and Quiet" commands check out this Wag! article, and simply skip the last steps where you teach him to do it more softly. https://wagwalking.com/training/bark-softly-1 Your dog is not too old to learn how to be a guard dog, but whether or not he can learn to be a protection dog safely will depend a lot on his own temperament and whether or not you have socialized him enough with the right things. Protection dogs actually need to be really well socialized as puppies so that they know what is normal and alright versus what is suspicious, otherwise a protection dog can be dangerous and overly reactive too everything. If you are wanting to teach your pup to protect you, then I would advise that you contact a professional dog trainer who has lots of experience training Schlutzhund, police, or protection dogs. Protection training is not something that should be undertaken without a ton of experience and full understanding of what is involved. To determine if your pup can be trained, I would suggest contacting someone who trains dogs for protection work or a club that does it, and booking an appointment to have your dog evaluated for protection work. That way you can find out if your dog is a good candidate for training before you make the full investment. If you wish to teach your dog rather than send your dog to someone for training, then I would suggest finding a club that offers schlutzhund or protection groups, where you can learn along with others how to train and can practice it under the supervision of trainers. You will also need special padding and people to be "The Bad Guy" in order to train, and somewhere like a club or facility that does this often is set up for that. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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