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.
Here are the 3 key points from this article:
- Training a German shepherd to be a protection dog takes time, effort, and expense.
- German shepherds need to be socialized and have obedience training before protection training can begin.
- There are different levels of protection training, and each level requires different skills.
TLDR: Protection training a German shepherd requires obedience, socialization, and knowledge of what is normal and what isn’t. It is an advanced skill that requires experienced trainers and real-life conditions and scenarios.
Table of Contents
- Before Starting the Protection Training
- Levels of Training a German Shepherd to Attack
- Process of German Shepherd Protection Training
- 1. Teaching Obedience Commands
- 2. Socializing your German Shepherd
- 3. Teaching your German Shepherd the “Bark” Command.
- 4. Teaching your German Shepherd to Protect You.
- 5. Teaching your German Shepherd about Your Property’s Horizon.
- 6. Teaching your German Shepherd the “Leave It” Command.
- Should You Get Qualified Help?
- What is Schutzhund Canine Training?
- Schutzhund GSD Training vs Personal Protection k9 Training
- How Much Does A Protection Dog Cost?
- At What Age Should We Start Protection Training A German Shepherd?
- What Are the Required Items/ Equipments To Start Protection Training?
- What’s The Purpose Of A Helper In Dog Training?
- How Long Does It Take To Train A German Shepherd To Be A Guard Dog?
- Can German Shepherds Make Good Guard Dogs?
- Will My German Shepherd Protect Me Without Training?
- Do German Shepherds Know When You’re In Danger?
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: training 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
German shepherds make great companions for horses and provide excellent protection against cougars and other predators.
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
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:
- Leave it
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
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.
Check out these 7 easy ways to stop a german shepherd puppy from biting, if your gsd puppy aggressively biting you.
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.
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.
Worth reading: How Much Does Dog Training Cost?
What is Schutzhund Canine 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.
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.
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.
How Much Does A Protection Dog Cost?
The cost of a protection dog can range from $5000 to $50000, with higher prices from reputable breeders. These dogs are known for having good temperaments and providing protection in any situation.
At What Age Should We Start Protection Training A German Shepherd?
To start protection training for a German Shepherd, it is recommended to wait until the dog is between 2 to 3 years of age.
What Are the Required Items/ Equipments To Start Protection Training?
To start protection training, you will need a collar, treats, and a leash.
What’s The Purpose Of A Helper In Dog Training?
The purpose of a helper in dog training is to provide a safe and realistic environment for the dog to practice the technique for biting by wearing a bite suit and acting as the “attacker”.
How Long Does It Take To Train A German Shepherd To Be A Guard Dog?
Training a German Shepherd to be a guard dog typically takes up to two years.
Can German Shepherds Make Good Guard Dogs?
Yes, German Shepherds make excellent guard dogs due to their loyalty, protective instincts, and fearlessness.
Will My German Shepherd Protect Me Without Training?
Yes, a German Shepherd can protect you without training, but the protection it provides will be less effective than if the dog had been trained.
Do German Shepherds Know When You’re In Danger?
Yes, German Shepherds have a strong protective instinct and are known for their ability to sense when their owners are in danger.
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A German Shepherd becomes protective at 12 weeks, but his desire to protect becomes noticeable at 6 months. When the pup reaches adolescence, he categorizes his world into in-group and out-group. You should socialize him before this stage, so he isn't aggressive towards your friends.How long does it take for a German Shepherd to be protective? ›
A German Shepherd becomes protective at 12 weeks, but his desire to protect becomes noticeable at 6 months. When the pup reaches adolescence, he categorizes his world into in-group and out-group. You should socialize him before this stage, so he isn't aggressive towards your friends.What are protection dog commands? ›
Teaching your dog basic obedience is a critical step in training a guard dog. Basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay, come, and heel, are essential for controlling your dog and building a strong bond. Start by teaching your dog the sit command.What age should a dog start protection training? ›
Assuming you have a dog with the genetic background to do the work, protection training should begin around 8 weeks of age. Certainly, this is rather infantile work at this age but begin! Begin early. Prey development will be a necessity.How do you know if your dog is protective? ›
- Immediate barking or growling.
- Overly aggressive, threatening stance (e.g., head forward and raised hackles)
- Overreacting to new situations.
- Lunging towards their perceived threat(s)
- Baring teeth or snapping at the perceived threat.
- Urinating to mark territory.
Since GSDs are prone to hind leg weakness, they are at an increased risk for severe arthritis. Dogs with bad hips and arthritic joints may change their gait and walk lower to the ground, causing German Shepherd legs to appear even more bent.What is a guarding behavior in German Shepherds? ›
Growling or Snarling: One of the most common signs of resource guarding in German Shepherds is growling or snarling when someone or another animal approaches their food, toys, or other possessions. This behavior is often accompanied by a tense body posture and a defensive stance.Is it hard to train a protection dog? ›
Protection training, when it is done properly, is one of the most demanding and difficult dog training tasks out there. Most dogs can learn obedience, scent work, or agility. But few dogs can be trained in handler protection.How do I train my dog to be aggressive towards strangers? ›
Try to use dog training treats during the period. When your best friend starts to bark seeing the stranger at the door, regard it as an advantage. Make him bark for few times. Practice this method and every time he sees the strangers.How do dogs know when to protect their owners? ›
They grow up knowing you and get used to having you around. Dogs do not take too kindly to those who seemingly pose a threat to their family for this reason. Protectiveness comes from a dog's wolf ancestors and centuries of breeding, which means that dogs instinctively know when a human child is in need of care.
There are 3 levels of guard dog protection; alarm, sentry, and attack dogs. Alarm dogs warn you of intruders by barking or growling. They're great for protecting smaller homes and businesses.What is the German command for bite? ›
Since a dog's motto is will work for food (and other resources), begin by taking control of his cherished goods, and allow him to enjoy them with your permission, he will naturally look to you for his needs and guidance. You will be pack leader in his eyes and help prevent unwanted behavior problems before they start.Why is my German Shepherd scared of everything? ›
A common reason for fear in dogs is a lack of positive exposure to new people, animals and environments during the critical fear period of the puppy socialization process.