Protection Training: How to Train a German Shepherd to be a Guard Dog

Training your German shepherd as a protection dog from the ground up takes time and can turn out to be a bit expensive, so it’s up to you to make use of it and prepare a well-trained protection dog in the end.

Before German shepherd protection training, there are some factors that should be taken into account. First of all, it requires obedience, socialization, and precise knowledge of what’s normal and what isn’t.

Prior to training; Your German shepherd should’ve gained some life experience. Your dog should be 2 or 3 years before you train him to become a protection dog.

This training is not easy, and if anything goes wrong you’ll be in a lot of trouble, this guide will help you get through the process without any major problems.

So keep reading.

Before Starting the Protection Training 

Before initiating the training, your dog should have great socialization and obedience. If these aren’t met, your german shepherd cannot be qualified for protection training. 

Your german shepherd needs to be physically fit and free of disease when it comes to training.

Protection training a german shepherd is an advanced skill. No inexperienced trainer can pull off or even think of completing this kind of training. 

It requires highly experienced trainers in this field and real-life conditions and scenarios. A training club can be perfect for assisting your german shepherd.

As I said before: to train a german shepherd as a protection dog takes time and loads of expense, so keep this in mind before you initiate the training. 

Levels of Training a German Shepherd to Attack

When it comes to what types of protection training to teach your german shepherd, there are so many aspects that your dog needs to learn to protect you in different kinds of scenarios.

This is the list of protecting situations that your GSD must learn:

  • Carjacking protection
  • Outdoor protection
  • Home burglary protection
  • Assaulter protection for both indoors and outdoors
  • Home break-in protection

A well-trained GSD can protect their owners flawlessly in these scenarios, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. Your dog will need to work hard to master these types of protecting situations. It is a must that your dog obeys your callings when any of the above scenarios take place.

Process of German Shepherd Protection Training

GSD Sitting

Before you begin the training, as I said before, your dog should’ve been well socialized and mastered the basic obedience training. 

1. Teaching Obedience Commands

The first and foremost thing that you need to take care of, teaching obedience is the most important. Your GSD should respond to all your callings near-instantly without having you repeat the command several times. 

Basic commands you should teach your dog:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Down
  • Leave it 
  • Come 

Plus for a complete guide on German Shepherd training commands list, check this article here.

Most importantly, your German shepherd should be able to respond to “leave it” and “bark” commands, plus it should also heal without a leash.

If you want the best obedience training program check out Brain Training For Dogs or check review here, which uses positive reinforcement to train your dog.

2. Socializing your German Shepherd

Socialized two dogs

Socialize your dog by taking him to places where you regularly visit parks and let them get to know their environment and interact with it, play with them, teach them some basic commands, and do stuffs that creates a strong bond between each other. 

After this, it’s time to up the training a little bit; take your German shepherd to unfamiliar territories where he’s never been and let him interact with it too. An unsocialized dog in an unfamiliar place can become fearful. A dog with fear will look on to bite anything that gets in the way. 

3. Teaching your German Shepherd the “Bark” Command.

Teach your Dog to bark and stop barking on command. If you want your dog to stop barking, you can use words like “quiet” and “enough”. 

4. Teaching your German Shepherd to Protect You.

Steps to train your GSD to protect you;

Get some assistance to help you in this training. First off, the helper should wear a dog bite suit for his safety and tell him to act as an attacker or an intruder who’s trying to break into your property. Inform the helper to act as he’s afraid and run away as the dog starts to bark. This can spark some confidence in the Dog.

As the intruder approaches the property, command your dog to bark, and after he flees, rule out the barking by commanding “quiet”, “enough,” or any other similar words that you feel is right.

If your German shepherd responds to your commands correctly, make sure to praise them with treats. 

Related: German Shepherd Mastiff Mix

5. Teaching your German Shepherd about Your Property’s Horizon.

Take your German Shepherd Dog around your property boundaries and let him know that this is his territory. Anything beyond this is not. This avoids any unnecessary barking and chasing, matter of fact, guard dogs can be kept tied. 

6. Teaching your German Shepherd the “Leave It” Command.

This is the most important one to take care of in german shepherd protection training, your dog might be ready to protect you no matter what goes down, but you should remember if anything goes down, it’s upon you. So make sure he does not harm any people.

Suppose if anything goes wrong, and as he starts to lunge towards the person and put his teeth out, make sure to command “Leave It” as soon he obeys the command, praise him. 

Watch the video below about Incredible German Shepherd protection dog.

Should You Get Qualified Help?

This depends on your choice. If you need the best guard dog possible and want to understand more about a dog’s protection drive, seeking some international canine training clubs like Schutzhund club is the only way they can help you get the best out of your dog.

Not only the Schutzhund club, any other clubs with experienced trainers and helpers can also help you to get your german shepherd trained. 

However, before taking a decision, make sure to have some knowledge and think twice before getting engaged in these kinds of training.

What is Schutzhund Canine TrainingSchutzhund training

Schutzhund is a german word that means “protection dog”, so it refers to a sport that focuses on evaluating and developing three main traits: obedience, tracking, and protection.

Schutzhund Canine Training is specially designed for German Shepherds. Even though the training is designed for German Shepherds, other dog protection dog breeds like; Doberman pinscher, rottweiler, and boxer can also take part. 

And these days, Schutzhund Canine Training is considered as a dog sport that has three distinct phases. 

  • Obedience
  • Tracking 
  • Protection

Dogs can enter their competitions after they learn Schutzhund skills.

Schutzhund GSD Training vs Personal Protection k9 Training

As Schutzhund training Is specifically designed to train GSDs into a protective K-9 role, this can be more effective if you need a quality protection dog. However, if you’re not interested in taking part in their canine contests, it’s better not to sign up for Schutzhund Training classes.

If you’re ok with a regular dog that can protect you in different scenarios, then you’re good to go with your own German Shepherd protection training.

But in the end, what matters the most is that both of these training starts with the basic obedience training, this one’s the important thing that you should follow before beginning these kinds of k9 training

Conclusion

To explain everything in german shepherd protection training, one day is not enough. There are so many things that you need to experience on your own, but anyways before you start your personal protection training, follow every step mentioned above to get the most out of your dog. 

By the way, I hope this guide helped you get your answers on how to protection train german shepherd dogs. 

FAQ

How much does a protection dog cost?

A protection dog can cost between $5000 to $50000, but if you decide to buy them from a renowned breeder, it’ll cost even more, but you’re assured to get a protection dog with a good temperament that’ll guard you in any circumstances no matter what.

At What Age Should We start Protection Training A German Shepherd?

To start protection training, your dog should be around 2 to 3 years old. 

Required Items/Equipments to start Protection Training

  1. Collar
  2. Treats
  3. Leash

What’s the purpose of a helper in dog training?

Helpers are the ones who act as the “attacker” with the bite suit on to train the technique for biting. 

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