An Ultimate Guide On Training A Dog To Protect The Family

Author Clara Cole

Posted Jun 17, 2023

Reads 124

Dog looking out over mountains

Dogs are naturally inclined to protect members of their pack. When you have a dog in the family, it believes that all family members are part of its pack and does its best to ensure their safety.

Some dog breeds are better at protecting their families and know how to react when strangers are around. Even if your dog doesn't belong to such a breed, you can still train it to protect the family.

Here is an ultimate guide on training a dog to protect the family.

What Makes A Dog Protective

The protective attribute in dogs comes from their wolf ancestors and centuries of breeding. They consider their owners and their family as members of their pack.

Dogs will also be a part of the family as much as you consider them part of yours. Your dog will naturally feel that you care for it and will show you its care by protecting your entire family.

Some dog breeds are incredibly loyal and also aggressive. Both these types of dog breeds tend to be very protective of their families.

However, dogs should not be protective due to aggressiveness and harm anyone they see approaching. Therefore it's essential to train your dog to protect the family.

The Importance Of Training A Dog To Protect The Family

Training a dog to protect the family is essential. A well-trained guard dog will protect your family, home, and personal belongings.

A guard dog is beneficial to protect not only your personal belongings but also your business and other investments.

It's true that many people utilize security cameras at their homes and business sites. However, this alone is not enough to protect your belongings.

You can leave a guard dog at your home or business premises, where it acts as a frontline defense system.

Some people also have guard dogs when they feel defenseless, especially if they have been affected by some sort of trauma in the past.

It could be an incident where their home or business premises were subjected to theft, so they feel uneasy being alone in the house. Having a guard dog can prevent these feelings and keep such individuals calm.

An Ultimate Guide On Training A Dog To Protect The Family

Although some dogs are natural at protecting their families, otherwise will do once they're trained well. Therefore, you must take a step-by-step approach to train your dog to protect the family.

Step 1: Basic Obedience Training

Basic obedience training is a starting point and is essential for training your dog to protect the family. Your dog should know to respond to basic commands before learning how to protect you.

Without basic obedience training, your dog wouldn't be able to grasp the concept of how to protect the family.

Your dog should first learn to respond to commands like sit, come, and drop it. It should also bark when commanded to do so.

Step 2: Impulse Control Training

Impulse control training is what you should do after obedience training. You must train your dog to control itself when it is among welcomed strangers.

You don't want your dog to jump or growl at visitors. Therefore, you should train your dog to learn to differentiate between known and unknown strangers.

Your dog should sit, stay, and lie down on command when in the company of welcomed strangers.

Step 3: Teaching Property Boundaries

The next step is to teach your dog the boundaries of its territory. It is an integral part of training your dog to protect the family.

After each obedience training session, you should rerun your property with your dog. It is done to ensure that your dog knows what it should protect.

When your dog learns about property boundaries, it will protect your property even in your absence.

Step 4: Alone Training

Alone training is when you're ready to keep your dog alone to protect your property. A GPS training collar, like those you can read about here, can be a great tool to assist in this process. Once your dog is well-trained and equipped, it's time to test its skills.

Allow your dog to be left alone on the property it should protect. See how it reacts and what it does to confirm that it's ready to take over protecting your property when you are not there.

Step 5: Test Your Dog

Testing your dog for its protective skills by giving it some scenarios is the next step in training your dog to protect the family.

Leave your dog alone on the property within the fence boundary or in the house when the stranger approaches. The stranger should knock on the fence or front door and come to where your dog is.

If your dog is well-trained, it should bark at the stranger's approach. The stranger should pretend to get scared and back off.

You should ask him to observe the dog's behavior so that you know that now your dog is well-trained and that you can confidently leave him alone on your property.

Step 6: Daily Practice

Practice makes perfect, and it's the same when training your dog to protect the family. Simple training and testing your dog once is not sufficient to confidently leave him alone on your property.

You need to continue testing your dog's training continuously. Test your dog's protective skills daily and reward it with treats when it barks at approaching threats. Don't forget to praise your dog as well verbally.

All of this will give it more confidence in its protective skills, which is good for you to protect your family and belongings.

Step 7: Increase The Distractions

Now is the time to test your dog's ability to withstand distractions while protecting your family and property.

Has the stranger become a nuisance to the dog by bribing the fog with treats and making all sorts of noises? Ask whoever approaches the dog how it behaved and if it gave in to the distractions.

You should test your dog's ability to protect your family and property, even if a stranger offers treats. It is when you can leave your dog alone on your property and know that it will protect your belongings, no matter what happens.

Step 8: Confidence In Your Dog

Once you have confidence that your dog is well-trained and has completed all the above steps, you can leave it alone on your property.

Have confidence in your training and see if any more areas need to be improved while it's on duty.

Tips On Training A Dog To Protect The Family

Here are a few tips when training a dog to protect the family.

- Use a leash if you require it to keep your dog under control. - Choose several areas for training, especially where there are other people and dogs. - Be very patient while training your dog to protect the family, as it could take a very long time, depending on its breed. - Use an enthusiastic tone when giving your dog commands while training

The Best Dog Breeds To Protect The Family

Some dogs can protect a family with minimal training. If you have a breed already good at protecting the family, then you are lucky, as there is not much for you to train.

Large dog breeds are the more common guard dogs due to their weight, muscle, and intimidation. Here are the most common dog breeds to protect the family.

- Rottweiler - German Shepherd - Belgian Malinois - Dutch Shepherd - Puli - Bullmastiff - Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Cane Corso - Rhodesian Ridgeback - Akita - Doberman Pinscher - Giant Schnauzer

A guard dog's key features are obedience, loyalty, bravery, and alertness. Aggressive, nervous, and highly territorial dogs don't make good guard dogs.

There are more chances of violent attacks on someone who is not a threat when you have aggressive or highly territorial breeds such as guard dogs. Guard dogs should remain calm when protecting the family and property.


A guard dog is an asset to a family. Training a dog to protect the family is essential to ensure the safety of your loved ones and your property.

Although some breeds are meant to be guard dogs, most other breeds must be trained to protect the family. Once you have confidence in your dog, you can leave it alone to protect your family and property.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Protection Dog For A Family?

Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, Giant Schnauzers, and Bullmastiffs are some of the best protection dogs for a family.

Do Dogs Naturally Protect Their Owners?

Dogs are instinctively wired to protect their owners because they descend from wolves and want to keep their pack safe.

At What Age Do Dogs Become Protective?

Dogs generally stay exhibiting protective behavior between one and two years old. At this age, most dogs reach emotional maturity and start to sense what is theirs and what belongs to others. You will notice your dog becoming protective around six months of age.

Are Males Or Females Better For Protection?

Both male and female dogs are good at protection, depending on how well they are trained. Apart from good training, their protective skills mainly rely on the breed rather than the gender.

Clara Cole

Clara Cole

Writer at Nahf

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Clara Cole is a prolific writer, covering a range of topics from lifestyle to wellness. With years of experience in the blogosphere, she is known for her engaging writing style and ability to connect with readers. Clara's approachable demeanor and relatable voice make her an ideal source for readers seeking practical advice on everything from self-care to personal development.

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