Lauren is training for a marathon and she gets up early every morning to run the jogging trails through the local park. However, lately she is very apprehensive about running alone, since there have been reports of attacks on joggers in nearby parks. Since Lauren owns a Rottweiler, she has decided to take him with her on her daily run, but her Rotty, Max, seems like more of a lap dog then a protection dog. Lauren feels she may need to train Max to be protective of her, in case a situation occurs while they are out on the trails.
Fortunately, Rottweilers are naturally protective. They were bred to herd and protect livestock, so they are naturally inclined to guard and protect their people. Even if he has no experience protecting Lauren, Max is an intimidating looking dog. With powerful muscles and jaws, Rottweilers usually intimidate anyone with malicious intent. They make great family protection dogs because they are social with people. Coming from working dog stock, they naturally bond to their handlers and are pretty laid back, even though they can be fiercely protective when required.
Training a protection dog relies heavily on encouraging your dog's natural guarding instincts and common sense so that he can interact with others and protect when needed. You will want to put attack behavior and barking on command and have a stand down command available to preempt errors in judgement. A professional protection dog trainer can help guide you to develop your Rottweiler's natural protective skills.
You will need an assistant to play the 'bad guy'. While training your dog to bark at, and even attack a threatening assailant, you need to control the situation An assistant may need protective clothing like padding or thick gloves. You need to make sure you have 100% control over your dog. Training your dog obedience commands and recall will require positive reinforcement like treats or toys. Be patient with your Rottweiler and work to shape and guide behaviors. Many people only train their Rottweilers to bark at strangers - not to actually attack - as this may be a behavior that makes your dog ill-suited as a family pet. Decide before training what behaviors you will want your dog to perform and consult a professional trainer for advice.