How to Train a Husky as Guard Dog

Hard
1-6 Months
Work

Introduction

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.

Defining Tasks

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.

Getting Started

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!

The Day One Method

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Step
1
Start early
The earlier you can start training your Husky, the sooner you will see results. They are most receptive when they are puppies. So start teaching them basic obedience commands, such as ‘down’ and ‘wait’.
Step
2
Encouragement
You need to encourage any promising behaviors they may need to be a guard dog. That means handing over treats and verbal praise whenever they bark or take an interest in strangers.
Step
3
Obedience classes
It’s also important you take your pup to obedience classes. This is a great place for them to socialize with other pets and people. It is important they learn not to be defensive and bark at everyone.
Step
4
React
If they bark at people or pets they know, then you need to react. Take them calmly by the collar and remove them from the situation. It’s important the defensive behavior is controlled and only aimed at strangers.
Step
5
Avoid punishment
Don’t punish your Husky when they do something wrong or fail to defend against strangers. Fear could make them aggressive and then dangerous. Positive reinforcements are the most effective way to train a Husky.
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The Boundaries Method

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Step
1
Morning march
Each morning, secure your Husky to a leash and walk them around the perimeter of the area you want them to guard. If you do this each day it will show them where their territory begins and ends. They will naturally want to defend anything within that space.
Step
2
Evening walk
Do exactly the same thing in the evening. Walk quietly as you go, you want them to concentrate and take in their surroundings. After a couple of weeks, this will soon feel like their space to defend.
Step
3
Long leash
In the daytime, secure the dog to a long leash. Make sure they have enough space to roam around the area you want them to guard. Also make sure they have access to water and are given meals.
Step
4
Bark
Whenever a stranger approaches, point, talk and draw their attention to them. It may take a while, but eventually they will catch on. Continue to get them worked up until they bark.
Step
5
Reward
As soon as your Husky barks, hand over a mouth-watering treat and give them some verbal praise. You now just need to repeat this each time, until they naturally get into the habit of barking at strangers.
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The ‘Bark’ Method

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Step
1
Monitor
Spend a couple of days monitoring your Husky. You’re looking for situations that naturally trigger a bark. This could be when you are about to feed them or take them for a walk, for example.
Step
2
‘Bark’
Once you have found such a situation, give a ‘bark’ command just before or as they start to bark. Give it just once in a playful voice. Note you can use any word or phrase you like for the command.
Step
3
Reward
As soon as they do indeed bark, hand over a treat and some verbal praise. Now practice this for a few minutes each day, until you can get them to bark with a quick instruction.
Step
4
Stranger approach
Now secure your Husky to a leash at the place you want them to guard and have a friend they do not know that well approach. As soon as they get close, point and issue a ‘bark’ command to your dog.
Step
5
Reward
Have your friend shout and run away and then hand over a treat. It’s important your Husky knows they need to bark until the intruder runs away. Now practice this several times a week and try to use different people each time. Soon enough they will naturally bark at anyone that approaches.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Mishka
Siberian Husky
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Mishka
Siberian Husky
9 Months

How can I train him to be a guard dog? Is it too late and how long would it take?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

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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