Tips For Housebreaking Training For Dogs

Tips For Housebreaking Training For Dogs

Dogs by nature have an instinct to protect their owner and his belongings. But without proper training, it will not be possible to develop this skill.

Here’s a breakdown of how to train your dog in guard skills, with important safety notes and key takeaways:

How to Train Your Dog as a Guard

  • Choose the Right Breed: Dogs like Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dobermans are naturally more protective. Even small breeds can learn to be alert.
  • Start with Basic Obedience: “Sit”, “stay”, and “leave it” provide a foundation for control during guard training.
  • Work in Familiar Territory: Begin training where your dog feels comfortable to reduce anxiety.
  • Controlled Exposure: Have a stranger approach an object your dog values (toy, treat). The dog barks, you praise, and give the “guard” command.
  • Manage Your Dog’s Boundaries: Walk your dog around your property to establish what they must protect.

Tips for Success

  • Focus on Barking, Not Attack: Most homeowners want a dog who alerts them to danger, not one who attacks without command.
  • Gradual Intensity: Start with mild distractions, gradually increasing the stranger’s “threat level”.
  • Reward Calmness: Praise your dog when they settle down after barking at a perceived threat.

Important Safety Considerations

  • Professional Guidance is Key: A poorly trained guard dog is a liability. Consult a dog trainer for this type of training.
  • Know Your Dog’s Limits: Don’t push a fearful dog into guard work. This can create aggression out of anxiety.
  • Control is Crucial: Your dog must obey commands like “stop” or “leave it” immediately to prevent accidents.

Key Takeaways

  • Guard Training is Serious: This isn’t just teaching tricks; it’s about your safety and the dog’s well-being.
  • Not All Dogs Are Suited: Prey drive and protectiveness are necessary traits for a true guard dog.
  • Positive Reinforcement Works: Even guard dogs should be trained with praise and rewards, not fear.
  • Responsible Ownership Is a Must: Warning signs and secure containment are essential if you have a guard dog.

A Good Way To Train Your Dog’s Guard Skills:

For a pet to learn to protect its owner and his things, it needs to perceive strangers as a potential threat. If the dog is intelligent, then this will take several days.

Shepherd dogs, Staffordshire terriers, Dobermans, Rottweilers, black terriers, boxers, etc. are best suited to such training. But even tiny Yorkies can learn to protect their owner.

Training will require a lot of attention, effort, and patience from the owner.

Important! Before training, the dog needs to be given a good walk and fed well. Unsatisfied physiological needs greatly distract the animal from learning a new command.

So, how to teach a dog the command to guard an item? The best way to train a dog to guard is in a familiar environment so that it doesn’t get nervous.

Experts recommend choosing a yard for training. The future guard needs to be tied near the house or his enclosure.

A favorite toy or tasty food is placed not far from the dog (within its visibility), the main thing is that the item is of some value to the pet, but is out of reach at that moment.

Here you need to correctly calculate the length of the leash, otherwise, the dog will happily eat everything or start playing.

Having placed the object close to the dog, the owner must order it to guard and move away. Then a stranger should pass by the treat or toy.

The dog most often reacts to such a stranger by barking. When the dog gives a voice, you need to come up, touch him and give the command “Sit”. This will give the animal a feeling of safety and the importance of protective actions.

All commands are given in a calm voice. It is not recommended to scold or punish a dog if it fails at something. This may discourage the animal from protective actions.

The speed of learning depends not only on the breed but also on the individual characteristics of a particular dog. Therefore, it is impossible to say unambiguously over what period the dog will learn to protect the owner and his property. One pet can be trained to guard in a week, and another in a couple of months of regular training.

Tips For Housebreaking Training For Dogs:

Teach your dog basic obedience: If you have a yard that you can work in, you should use it for training. He will become more territorial as he learns to obey your commands while working in this area. Be sure to teach basic commands such as sit, down, stay, leave it, and you should also teach him to bark on command.

Part of his more advanced obedience training should include impulse control training. When you have a visitor, he should sit on command, lie down, and then watch the person enter; teach impulse control so he doesn’t have to run, jump and try to play.

Manage property boundaries with your dog: You should do this every day at the end of your obedience lessons. Your dog will learn his territory and be familiar with the land he is supposed to protect.

Leave your dog alone in the area he is supposed to guard: When your dog is trained and old enough to be confident (usually around 8 months for most dogs), start training him to guard the house.

Ask someone to come and make some noise: for example, if you left him in the yard, he might come and knock on the fence. If he is in the house, the person should come and knock on the window. This must be a person with whom the dog is not familiar. 

When the dog approaches and barks, the person should make a sound as if he is scared and running away: all you do at this moment is to increase the dog’s confidence. If the person reports that the dog approached the fence with a wagging tail and did not bark or show any other signs of guarding its territory, you can try it again.

Keep practicing every day. When a dog barks at a stranger, you should do it again when you’re inside the house: When the person makes noise and runs away, go outside and praise the dog, then give him a special treat.

Bring in some diversions from a “stranger” to assist your dog in concentrating on their work: You can introduce these distractions by sitting a good distance away. Let’s begin with some meat: Tell your dog to “leave it” when he stops barking and investigates. Make sure you give whatever your dog is constantly drawn to a try. You’ve elevated yourself to a whole new level when he dismisses the diversion and returns to watching over the house! Reward him with special gifts and lots of praise.

If your dog becomes fearful of a “stranger” who approaches and makes noise, you are likely moving too quickly for them. The next day, do the exercise with a different stranger.

Your dog must be tested before starting security training. Dogs mature at varying rates. First, you must confirm that the dog is already proficient at gripping. Second, the dog’s capacity for defense is examined. This is where the dog’s level of maturity is assessed.

“Understanding the nuances of effective training techniques is essential for any learning process, be it for humans or animals. In the realm of pet care, Dog training particularly vital as it not only shapes obedient behaviour but also fosters a bond between the pet and its owner. Programs like those offered at Brain Training for Dogs provide in-depth insights and practical approaches to dog training. Their methodologies emphasize mental stimulation that goes beyond the basics, ensuring a well-trained and mentally agile pet.”

When to Start Training?

The time to start training a pet depends on the breed and temperament characteristics. Over time, puppies of initially aggressive breeds themselves begin to demonstrate protective qualities, so their manifestations of anger should not be developed, but controlled and corrected.

Most dog trainers believe that teaching a puppy to bark at strangers before 6 months does not make sense. The dog may not be able to cope with aggression and become not only angry but also uncontrollable. An example of such deviation is submission only to the owner and aggression towards other family members.

If the main goal is to overcome the “puppy delight” with which the dog treats everyone who shows attention to him, you can wait until 9-12 months and then start training. As your pet gets older, it will likely become more reserved and will be much easier to train.

Teaching Methodology:

It should be remembered that a dog, especially a service dog, poses a certain danger to others. Therefore, her training should be approached with all responsibility. The dog should show aggression if:

  • On the street, the owner is threatened by an inappropriate stranger;
  • There is a threat of attack by a stray animal;
  • Intruders are trying to break into a house or car.

Team training starts at home. You need to ask someone to knock on the door. The animal’s natural reaction will be to bark, and the owner should clearly say “stranger” while praising the dog. To consolidate the result, you need to do several repetitions of these actions.

The next stage is outdoor activities. The helper approaches the dog and the owner with a stick in his hand and begins to behave aggressively: screaming, and waving the stick.

The owner should clearly say “Stranger!” and push the stranger away. The dog will most likely growl or bark and should be rewarded, praised, or petted. It is not advisable to give treats so as not to distract from the learning process.

Over time, a connection will be established in the pet’s mind between the command and the need to bark in such a situation.

But another reaction of the animal is also possible. The dog may become frightened by an aggressive stranger, start whining, fall on its back, or try to run away.

Then the assistant should quietly come up from behind and pinch her by the fold of skin on her hind paw. Painful sensations cause a response, and the dog becomes angry. When using this method, the animal must be muzzled.

Stranger Command Training:

Even for domestic decorative dogs, knowledge of the “Stranger” command is important. Those pets that are not used for protection also need to be taught a wary attitude towards strangers. More for their safety, so that they don’t take food from strangers. After all, it is unknown what “filling” such a treat will have.

Guard dogs, upon hearing the command “Stranger,” must take a step forward, covering the owner.

Training begins as early as possible. For classes, you will need the help of another person, who will pretend to be a “stranger”. The learning algorithm is as follows.

  • The owner holds the dog on a leash or by a collar.
  • The stranger approaches the animal, shouting and waving a stick.
  • When a stranger approaches, the owner constantly repeats the word “Stranger.”
  • If the dog begins to growl and bark, covering the owner with himself, then he needs to be praised. Treats are not given to prevent the pet from choking.

Even the most peace-loving or cowardly dog will not tolerate such treatment and will begin to defend itself. Since he will associate the command with pain from a pinch, the dog will react by growling and barking.

The dog’s wariness should not turn into aggression if the stranger does not attack.

Testing Defensive Abilities:

Before starting work, the dog must be checked. The test includes a test of balance, psychological stability and instinctive reactions.

  1. The owner (or trainer) stands with the dog, holding it on a 2-meter leash attached to a “police” collar (5 cm wide).
  2. The owner (or trainer) pets and encourages the dog to build confidence. Meanwhile, the “criminal” hides in cover or in the bushes at a distance of approximately 15 meters.
  3. At a signal, the “criminal,” using a stick or whip, begins to make sounds that can alert the dog. At the same time, he himself remains in the shelter.
  4. As soon as these sounds are heard, the owner (or trainer) stops physical contact with the dog, thereby instilling additional suspicion in it. At the same time, he warily says: “What is there? Listen!” The owner (or trainer) watches the dog, which should be alert.
  5. The “criminal” amplifies the sounds he makes. As soon as the dog becomes alert, he jumps out of the shelter and quickly jumps back. This gives the dog confidence and at the same time arouses curiosity.
  6. As soon as the dog becomes alert or shows readiness to attack, it should be praised. You can pet the dog only after the excitement subsides.
  7. Now the dog sees the “criminal”, who either hides in a shelter or quickly reappears. Both in the shelter and outside it, he knocks with a stick, hisses, etc.
  8. The owner (or trainer) must show enthusiasm and be not only a spectator but also a participant in what is happening. But at the same time, he should not correct the dog’s behavior. Motivation must also be very limited.
  9. The instructor, taking into account how the dog reacts to the “criminal” at a distance, makes a decision: to continue or not.
  10. If the test continues, the next step is to begin applying pressure to the dog. Now the “criminal” moves forward and challenges it directly – he creeps up to the dog sideways, and makes various movements towards it, but in such a way as not to suppress it excessively. His hand is extended forward as if in an attempt to touch the dog or owner.
  11. As soon as the dog makes the slightest movement in his direction, the “criminal” quickly withdraws his hand and runs away like a cowardly hare.
  12. The dog wins this round, which increases its defensive activity.
  13. The owner (or trainer) immediately praises the dog for a job well done.
  14. The trainer, taking into account the dog’s reaction, decides whether it is overexcited and whether it is possible to move on.
  15. If it is decided to continue, the “criminal” again approaches the “safety zone”, remaining out of reach of the dog, and begins to tease it. It doesn’t last long. The “criminal” runs away as soon as the dog shows a willingness to defend itself.
  16. The owner (or trainer) reinforces the dog’s behavior with energetic and sincere praise.
  17. The trainer gives the dog a final assessment and decides whether it is ready to begin guard training or whether it needs to wait a little longer.

How To Train A Dog To Be Aggressive Toward Other People:

To protect your home, you need to teach your dog to vocalize when a stranger enters the yard. A trained animal poses an increased danger to people, so there should be a sign on the gate or fence that says “Caution! Angry dog”.

Only an experienced owner can properly train a dog to be aggressive. For everyone else, it is better to resort to the help of a dog handler. Classes will be held not only for the dog but also for the owner because he will have to learn to pacify an aggressive pet.

Training should begin at 4-5 months, after the dog is trained to perform the commands “Stranger”, “Come”, and “Fu”.

During training, the dog handler, teasing the dog, will show him that strangers can be dangerous. Therefore, you need to be wary of them. To calm the dog after such activities, the owner should praise it, caress it, and give it a treat.

Important! The owner should speak calmly and not make sudden movements. Then the pet will also quickly calm down and feel safe.
How to praise a dog correctly

The tone in which the owner pronounces praise is very important for the pet. It is the tone of voice that expresses a person’s emotions and is well understood by a dog.

The dog is praised immediately after acting. That is after he barked at a stranger.

Praise doesn’t have to be wordy, just saying, “Well done.” A flood of words can confuse a dog.

Other types of rewards for successfully following a command could include treats or petting.

Teaching A Dog To Bark At Strangers:

Many dogs themselves bark at strangers with pleasure. But any “quiet” pet can be taught to vocalize when a stranger appears. Here you will need the help of another person, who will be the object of the dog’s attention. The main condition is that the assistant should not be familiar to the pet.

The animal must be tied, because some dogs may not limit themselves to barking.

With the help of a specialist or on your own, you need to teach the dog to shut up with the command “Fu”. If everything is done correctly, then the owner must praise the pet.

Don’t accustom yourself to strangers

A dog guarding a house should not trust strangers. This is especially true for food received from the hands of another person. After all, before stealing, criminals either euthanize or poison the dog. Therefore, the animal must divide people into “friends” and “strangers”. You cannot run up to strangers, play with them, or caress them.

To achieve this, only the owner or his immediate family should feed the dog. The pet must be taught not to accept any treats from the owner’s guests or strangers on the street. Even if they treat him out of sincere sympathy.

Important! An exception to this rule cannot be made for anyone. Otherwise, the dog may get confused and start accepting food from everyone else. The ban applies not only to treats but also to toys and other items.

How To Develop The Right Reaction To Strangers:

After the dog has mastered the “Voice” command, you can move on to teaching the correct reaction to strangers. Here it is not even necessary to involve a specialist; classes can be done independently. But you still can’t do it without an assistant, because the owner must be next to the guard to monitor his reaction and guide it.

Another person at this moment should be making noise from the other side of the door or gate. You can knock, shout, or pull the handle.

The owner gives the dog the “Voice” command. After the dog starts barking, the command “Guard” follows. The animal must understand that it needs not just to bark, but to be on alert. And, if something happens, rush to protect the owner and his property.

Defense Training From Specialists:

The process of raising a four-legged guard can only be done by an experienced owner. A beginner should not undertake independent training, especially if the pet has a difficult character.

In this case, they turn to professional dog handlers. They will teach both the dog and its owner all the nuances of protection. You need to choose a dog handler based on the following parameters:

availability of veterinary and canine education;
positive reviews.

These should be reviews given by people you know. Flattering words on the Internet should not be completely trusted;ease of communication, calmness, and confidence. Dogs do not understand scientific words; they do not need an abundance of professional terms. As well as their owners.

It is recommended to attend a trial lesson before paying for the full course. You can also watch another dog being trained. You should ask about teaching methods. If the dog handler is reluctant to answer questions, then it is better to contact another specialist.


A beginner should not attempt security training alone or with another beginner. This type of training should only be carried out under the supervision of a professional trainer.

If during the first year of your dog’s life, you somehow managed without the help of a professional, you will not be able to do without the help of a professional when starting security training, which must be taken very seriously. An inexperienced person can (and most likely will) ruin your dog for life.

“Understanding the nuances of effective training techniques is essential for any learning process, be it for humans or animals. In the realm of pet care, Dog Training (Course) is particularly vital as it not only shapes obedient behavior but also fosters a bond between the pet and its owner. It offers an extensive course that is cost-effective, with the entire course priced at just the equivalent of what a dog trainer might charge for a single hour ($40 to $120). It covers a wide array of behaviours including Potty Training, Lunging, Jumping, Digging, Whining, Chewing, Excessive Barking, Impulse Control, Hyperactivity, Ignoring Commands, and much more. Plus, they provide a 100% money-back guarantee if you cancel within 60 days, ensuring that your investment is risk-free.”

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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