Characterized by its muscular physique with graceful curves and easy trot, the German Shepherd is the finest and most sought after breed. Its ability to learn quickly and willingness for a purpose distinguishes itself from other kinds.
Bred initially in the 1800s, it served to the farmers for herding livestock. Its speed, strength, and sense of smell identified it as a “work dog”. It is because of its intelligence, agility, and curiosity that it marked itself in several fields. Today, it is considered as an ideal dog to guard, search, and guide.
What to expect from a protecting dog?
The term “protection dog” is often unclear because of the misconceptions about the tasks of a protection dog. A German Shepherd, when trained to protect, combines guarding and attacking behaviours. A protection dog does not attack or defend unless there is an indication of distress. Based on its judgment, it acts to protect in a threatening situation. Besides, due to herding heritage, it reacts aggressively when commanded to protect by its owners.
Though this breed is a natural protector, it is necessary to harness its potential so that it turns into a smart, socialized dog that can take independent decisions as and when required. Hence, it is essential to impart proper training to turn your dog into a “protector”.
As the training involves instruction of complex behaviours, there are some prerequisites that your German Shepherd should have:
1. Proper deference to react to the attacking command promptly to tackle a misread situation (in case protection is not required).
2. An exceptional off-leash recall and well-socialized.
3. An ability to read the situation and categorize it as threatening or nonthreatening.
Training to Protect
Training a German shepherd is a difficult task. This breed requires autonomy rather than totally dependence on the owner for directions. Professional trainers with quality equipment enable safe training.
How to train: The basics
This is the first step that will make your dog distinguish between typical and threatening situations. Make a bond with your dog by engaging with it in exercise and other activities. Take your dog to events that allow it to meet different people and other animals. This would make it courageous and comfortable in varied conditions.
2. Smart obedience
Teach your German Shepherd to act immediately on your commands. Other than the basic commands, it is necessary to instruct the dog to cease barking on command. Also, introduce a variety of situations to train the dog so that it learns to independently assess the situation and reacts without waiting for the command.
3. Coach to ‘Break off’
It is more important to teach the dog to break off the attack. Practice by repetitive commands to make and break strikes. This allows you to take control of the situation. Avoid using a common word for attacking commands as it may confuse your dog.
Proper training ensures that your German Shepherd turns out into a great companion, yet protecting you and your property with loyalty.