Stand by Me: Top Tips for Training Your Dog in Personal Protection

Even if you can’t see, smell, or taste danger, your dog can. Mollyanna knows when the boys or hubby are sick, and she never once leaves my side (unless nature calls) when I am having a seizure. She lays beside me and will bark to alert the guys if something is wrong with me.

Dogs are incredible animals. Here’s how to train them to stand by you forever, guarding your home and your life.

stand by me

Start With The Walk

Start out by taking your dog for regular walks – every day, if possible. A daily walk helps get your dog into a routine. By taking dog on a walk every day, you can start the training process, which will be necessary later on for more advanced training.

The walk gets your dog used to obeying your commands and walking at your pace. Ideally, you will use a short leash to start out so the dog doesn’t try to pull or tug at the leash, leading you. You want to lead the dog, with dog either at your side or slightly behind you.

At first, this will be difficult. That’s OK. Dogs are like that. But, once you get the hang of it, your dog will start to fall in-line and recognize his or her place with you. You shouldn’t need to yank or jerk the leash, either. Dogs respond wonderfully to small distractions and corrections (touches) which help them understand what they’re supposed to be doing and where they’re supposed to be on the walk.

Teach Dog Basic Commands

Basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “no” are essential. You can teach dog basic commands by starting with hand targeting. Get your dog to touch the middle of your palm with his or her nose. This hand targeting helps dog accept your commands, and gets him or her used to the idea that a particular response is required when you extend your hand.

From there, you can teach the dog to come, and then to sit.

Teach Dog Advanced Commands

For more advanced training, you may need the help of a professional dog trainer, like JSK9. When training a dog for self-defense, you need to establish perimeter safety and guarding, which can be difficult to teach – especially for new or inexperienced dog owners.

Guarding is a process where the dog will walk or jog the perimeter just to check it out. It’s a territorial behavior. This can be a double-edged sword because dog has to be socialized enough not to attack your friends or family that come over. At the same time, you want to keep strangers and real threats off your property.

This is why a professional trainer can be of immense value.

Socialize Dog

One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to socialize him or her. Dogs that are socialized become less aggressive towards others. And, while you do want your dog to protect you, you don’t want dog to become a liability.

And, unfortunately, many owners have liabilities living in their home. Going to dog parks when the dog is very young will help both of you. Specifically, it helps the dog psychologically. Not every stranger is an actual threat. So, by socializing dog with other dogs, your dog will not become aggressive when strange dogs roam around the neighborhood.

This is a very good thing – especially in areas where aggressive dogs are put to sleep for biting.

Skye Watson has been around dogs all her life. Training to be a vet, she also has experience in training dogs and still does this part-time. In the little free time that she has, Skye writes for pet blogs and enjoys answering dog owner’s questions.

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