There has been an age long controversy over whether pit bulls can make good guard dogs. But the truth is that they can really make good guard dogs; if given proper training. And many dog training experts have confirmed this. Those who claim that pit bulls are bad guard dogs are either expecting some sentry work from an untrained dog or getting things wrong in some other way.
Of course, no pit bull is born a natural guard dog. However, with extensive grooming, you can turn yours into a loyal sentinel that watches your back, senses danger, alerts you of threats, and protects you by attacking intruders. The process of training a pit bull to become a guard dog involves some steps. And we’ll be looking at these steps in this article. So, if you’d always felt that your dog is more of an amusement toy, and you want more from it in terms of protection; then follow these steps:
How to Train Pit Bulls to Become Guard Dogs
This process involves familiarizing your pit bull with strange people and animals. Of course, you don’t want to your dog to attack your friends when they come visiting you or your cat if you have got one. So, it’s necessary to socialize it as a way of making it tolerant to a select few people. As part of the socialization process, take your pit bull out on long walks into the neighborhood and to other places. This will familiarize it with strange noises such as traffic noise and other noises in the neighborhood. Socialization with pit bulls should start between 7 – 12 weeks of age. They learn faster at this age and they have the best retention for whatever they are taught.
2. Obedience training
Your pit bull may be familiar with you, your family, and your friends. In fact, it may be familiar with your other pets. But this alone won’t make it a good guard. You will need to teach your dog some basic obedience. Pit bulls, when properly trained are very obedient. So, you won’t have to repeat the this training over again.
The obedience training involves teaching your dog what to do whenever you give a command, either verbally or by gesture. It involves interpreting what each command means and how your dog should respond to it. To make your dog learn faster and boost its confidence and loyalty to you, reward it with treats during the obedience training session. Each time it responds well to your command, show it that you are pleased by giving it cookies, toys, or some other reward. This has two benefits:
- Your dog will learn to accept commands from you alone and ignore commands from anyone other than you. (This is important because a guard dog will be literally useless if it obeys commands by an intruder.)
- Your dog will learn not to accept treats from anyone other than you. So, intruders won’t have their way by simply throwing some cookies at your pit bull, as a distraction tactic.
Through proper obedience training, your pit bull will learn to attack on your command and ignore commands and distractive treats from intruders.
3. Setting the limits
Pit bulls can be really pushy and dominant, and if you are too meek, your dog can become overly willful. So, it is important that you train your dog not to become an alpha dog. You must train your dog with a firm hand in order to keep it absolutely under your control.
When the dog recognizes you as its owner and commander, it learns whatever you teach it more quickly and obeys your commands selflessly. Now, we have covered the basic steps in training a dog. But frankly, the whole task can be very tedious, especially if your pit bull has outgrown the recommended age for training dogs. So, a smart move to make is to find a reputable training facility, as this usually works better than trying to train your dog by yourself. A dog-training expert can help train your dog and teach it how to respond to your commands, within a very short period.
Even if you are considering training your pit bull yourself, it is still very important that you contact a reputable dog-training expert. This is because pit bulls are potentially dangerous and may need some evaluation before you start training them. On a final note, you must bear in mind once again that the best age to train a pit bull is 7 – 12 weeks. If yours has outgrown this age, you may find it a bit tougher to train. But you can train it successfully, after all.