How to Train a Dog for Personal Protection – Three Levels of Training for Dogs

protection dog training

Dogs have been used for personal protection since the times of ancient kings, emperors, and royals. Early protection dogs were bred to watch over flocks that belonged to kings and to chase interlopers off of the royal lands to prevent the poaching of the king’s deer.

As time went on, dogs were relied upon for more and more protection. Person protection dog training was likely first done in early Germany, where the Shutzhund training methodology was perfected.

These dogs are put through three levels of training that include different types of guard dog and protection duties.


protection dog training

Today, there are other methods and schools of thought when it comes to protection dog training. For excellent training, most people send their dogs to schools for several weeks.

At these schools is where your dog learns how to take down someone with a gun, how to distinguish the difference between someone who is okay and a bad guy with a weapon, and exactly how to respond to serious commands.


How much does it cost to train a dog for protection?

Sending your dog to a boarding and training school is not cheap by any means. It can cost upwards of $25,000 to send a dog through the entire 24 months of training that is often required to fully certify and train a dog for protection work.

They can start as early as 8 weeks of age, learning how to play gentle games of tug with a rag or toy rope. The training moves through their paces as they age and their body is fully formed with a mouth full of adult teeth that can do some real damage.

protection dog training


At that point, they are taught bite work, which is attacking someone in a bite sleeve or suit.

How do you train your dog to protect you?

Protection dog training isn’t easy and it should be done by those who have experience and understand the canine psyche. It is possible to do everything wrong and end up with a dog that doesn’t listen and becomes aggressive.

A well-trained protection dog doesn’t need to be aggressive, only that he follows instructions and performs the basic tasks that he has been taught to do.

For your home defense purposes, a dog that barks and is large will often be all of the protection that you need. In order to train a dog when you would like it to bark, you must first teach it to stop barking on command.

protection dog training


This involves interrupting the dog during barking and rewarding him for the pause.

Socialize your puppy and give them a solid foundation in obedience before you go into other training. They should sit, stay, walk at a heel, and pay attention to you when you call them.

The earlier you start with these things, the better your dog will be later in further training.

Once you have mastered basic obedience and taught your dog to stop barking when you command, it is time to learn boundary monitoring.

This is about teaching your dog what his boundary is and to protect it. For many would-be burglars, the sight of a large dog out patrolling a yard is enough to deter them.

Walk your dog on a leash around the boundary of your yard. Gradually, let the leash go slacker. If he steps across the boundary, give the leash a tug, and correct him. You will need to do this over and over and over.

protection dog training

When he seems to understand, have people you know walk past your boundary and entice your dog to cross. Do the exact same correction and use whatever word that you wish to teach him to stay in his yard.

In time, he will learn what his boundaries are and to react if someone is in them.


When should I start training my dog for protection?

The younger you start training the better. All of the basics can be started at 8 weeks of age and instilled in your dog from that point on. He’ll get better as he grows up and you continue to train.

protection dog training


Remember that his training is never fully over, it needs to be done consistently to keep them in top mental condition and physical condition as well.

Are protection dogs worth it?

It depends on what you need them for. To train a dog that works as a good watchdog and deters anyone from robbing you, that’s worth a lot. The peace of mind is relaxing for most people.

protection dog training


If you own an estate and have vintage cars or something, then having some dogs roaming your property to deter thieves is definitely worth it if you’ve got millions of dollars invested in your collection.

It really depends on what you are risking to lose. The dogs can help stop a crime before it even starts in many cases.

What dog breed is best for personal protection?

Some of the breeds most often used for this type of work include German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, German Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and in recent years more Pit Bulls are being used and even becoming police dogs.

protection dog training


Any large dog with the right drive can be a protection dog. It’s a matter of finding the right personality in a dog, to start with. A dog that is somewhat bold, highly intelligent, trainable, and hard-headed can make a great protection dog.

Will an untrained dog protect its owner?

In most cases, as much as we’d all like to think that our dog will protect us, he probably won’t. He won’t know what to do and he’s been trained and socialized to be nice to people, so he won’t really understand what he is supposed to do.

protection dog training


Sometimes you will find a herding dog, like an Australian Shepherd, Kelpie, or Australian Cattle Dog that has a good protective instinct and will possibly be a good natural protector. Herding dogs do sometimes come across this protective streak naturally.

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