The Family Watch Dog: Home and Yard Protection Training Tips


Admit it.

You’ve always liked the idea of your dog being a guard dog – the kind of dog that would foil any burglar’s attempts and keep the family safe. A lot of dog owners share your dream. Here’s how to make it a reality.

Teaching Your Dog Basic Obedience

You need to have a dog that knows basic obedience. Dogs are not robots. At the same time, dog has to know and understand (and respond to) your commands. If you have trouble with basic training, call in a dog trainer or visit a local trainer to look at protection dogs in NJ that are for sale.

As your dog grows up, he or she will become more territorial. Make sure dog understands the basics, like “sit,” “down,” “leave it,” and teach him to bark on command.

Learn Advanced Obedience

Your training should also include more advanced obedience training. For example, you will want to teach your dog to run the boundaries of your property. Start out by doing this with your dog on a leash. When you’re confident the dog knows the boundaries, remove the leash, and keep the dog within close proximity of you. You may also want to employ an electric collar at this point or possibly an electric fence to train boundaries off the leash.

Once you’ve established that dog has a firm grasp of boundaries, you can teach dog how to protect that area.

Letting Your Dog Guard The Yard

Leave your dog alone in the area he needs to guard. When dog is trained, and old enough to be confident, which is usually about 8 months, you can start teaching him to guard the house.

Guarding The Home

Guarding the home is a simple matter once you’ve trained the dog to guard the yard. It’s more intensive, however, because you must walk the inside perimeter of the home with the dog every day and train the dog to monitor all windows and doors.

Train the dog to bark when there is a strange noise. And, make sure the dog knows when it’s appropriate to guard and when it’s OK to relax. For example, you don’t want dog barking or attacking the mailman.


It’s important to keep practicing with your dog each and every day. If you let training slip, the dog will not be as good a guard dog as you hoped for. Daily training also includes going for walks, establishing a feeding schedule, and adding in a non-threatening practice scenario.

Very Advanced Training

If you’ve never done this before, hire a professional dog trainer to help you. Either hire a stranger to help you, or have a friend come over who is not familiar with the dog (and whom the dog is not familiar with).

Have the person wear a protective suit made for training guard dogs.

You will want to test the dog’s responsiveness to having a “stranger” in the yard. Have the friend or hired help enter the yard where the dog can see the stranger. If the dog reacts to get the stranger out of the yard, you’ve done a good job.

Katherine Elliott grew up with dogs, and in 1 form or another, have taken over her life! She runs training classes on weekends and is a dog groomer during the week. In her spare time, when not out walking her furry family, she often writes dog articles giving training and handling tips.