How To Train A Dog For Protection

Personal protection dog training is essential to creating the ultimate safety measure in your life. Alarm systems and video doorbells protect your home but what safety measures do you have when you are away from home or your home alarm system isn’t activated?

Many dog breeds have a natural instinct to protect their owners and possess a deep loyalty that is unmatched by any weapon. A recent news story about a teacher who was conducting an online tutor session with a student suddenly was approached by a home intruder (1).

The intruder was being abusive to the woman and her two German Shepherds came to her rescue by attacking the intruder and hovering over him until the police arrived. This loyalty and passion to protect an owner can’t be found anywhere else.

Training your dog to protect you and your family is an added safety measure that is a wise investment. The following information will help you train your dog for personal protection.

Training Dog For Protection

1. Obedience Commands

Obedience commandYour dog needs to learn basic obedience commands such as sit, come, bark, leave it and lie down.

Using a reward system during training sessions is recommended.

Hold one of your dog’s favorite treats in your hand during training to keep your dog’s attention and offer it as a reward when they do a good job.

The scent of the treat will capture and hold their attention on your hand which is an excellent opportunity to teach your dog hand signals as well as verbal queues.

2. Socialization

Dog in a social enviromentYour dog needs to feel confident and calm in social situations. The best way to socialize your dog is to begin as early as possible. Expose your dog to different environments while taking them for a daily walk.

Your dog needs to understand what normal everyday life looks like so they can instinctively know when something doesn’t seem quite right.

Remember dogs can sense someone’s energy whether it’s negative or positive. So, exposing your dog to daily life and people will help them determine the difference between good vibes or bad.

3. Command Your Dog to Bark

Dog BarkingBarking at strangers is a natural reaction for some dogs while others tend to be quiet and observe. If you have a dog that barks at strangers you need to teach them the down command. This command is useful when your dog is barking at an innocent stranger such as a friendly neighbor or small child. The down command is beneficial because the physical position makes it difficult for a dog to bark.

However, if you have a dog that is quiet and doesn’t bark naturally or on command, you need to teach them the attack command and only use it when you are 100% confident you are in immediate danger.

4. Defense

Dog attackingBefore beginning this step you need to keep in mind any dog that is trained to chase or attack a stranger is not recommended to be a family pet.

However, the next step of allowing your dog to use their bark to scare away potential risks or strangers is ideal for a family pet. You can train your dog by having someone approach the front door of your home.

During the approach command your dog to bark and have your friend act scared and run away. This reaction will help your dog understand their bark threatens others and gets the job done.

5. Back Off

Back offOnce your family pet scares away the potential risk or stranger, use the backoff command. This command can also be referred to as leave it. Using a leash during training sessions is recommended to guide your dog away from the situation when you command back off or leave it. This command is the most important because if your dog doesn’t know when to stop their aggression they can become vicious and uncontrollable towards anyone they see as a threat.

6. Reward

RewardYour dog is learning plenty of information, commands, and behaviors throughout their training process.

Rewarding your dog with a treat or praise such as petting them and telling them good job will help them understand they are reacting properly to your commands. Create your own reward system your specific dog will enjoy.


How long does it take to train a dog for protection?

Typically, training a dog for personal protection takes 22 to 24 months. The goal is to gradually train a dog to be a reliable protector you can trust in dangerous situations.

How much does training your dog for protection cost?

Training your dog at home doesn’t cost a lot of money. In fact, it’s practically free. Your time, patience, and ability to train your dog is more important when training at home. However, professional personal protection dog training ranges from $15,000 to $40,000.

Professional trainers spend time, effort and provide high-quality training for your dog. The trainer ensures your dog reacts to situations properly and adheres to every command. When hiring a professional trainer, their price can range and fluctuate throughout the process depending on your dog’s behavior.

If a trainer needs to spend extra time teaching a specific command or your dog tends to be a slow learner, the cost can change. However, most trainers will alert you about the price change so you don’t get caught off guard with the cost.

Should I train my dog for protection?

Trained Golden RetrieverYes. If you are training your family pet to protect you and your family by chasing away potential danger with barking, home training is ideal. However, if you are looking for the ultimate personal protection dog that chases and attacks, professional training is recommended. You can also invest in an already trained personal protection dog that has gone through up to 24 months of training by a professional.

Pre-trained dogs are often available through reputable breeders and trainers in your area. You can also choose to travel to the trainer’s destination to pick up your dog.

Are protection dogs worth it?

Investing in your security, safety, and peace of mind is worth it when you live a high-risk lifestyle. In today’s world, many people feel afraid and live with fear and anxiety every day.

Some neighborhoods and communities are dangerous compared to others and having an added element of protection is worth the money, time, and training process. House alarms are great and often succeed by sounding off a loud siren that drives an intruder away.

Some alarms contact the police immediately while other security systems have a point of contact first that requests a password or seeks confirmation it’s an actual emergency. The police take at least 10 minutes or longer to arrive during an emergency.

However, a dog is on the premises at all times and trained to react when danger arises. A dog that is trained for personal protection also helps keep you safe on the street. For example, when you take your dog for a walk, visit a local park or leave your home for any reason, your dog will be by your side to protect you.

What is the best protection dog?

RottweilerBreeds such as Mastiffs, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds are excellent options for personal protection. Avoid attempting to train Golden Retrievers, Chihuahuas, and small breeds or breeds that are known for giving affection or companionship.

Some dog breeds are natural protectors such as German Shepherds.

This specific breed is known to be a gentle giant. For example, this dog breed has been trained on a professional level for combat and police work. However, this same breed is an excellent family pet that loves children and protects them at all costs.

There are plenty of reports explaining in detail how a German Shepherd protected children that were in danger. For example, one story revealed a GS stopped an attempting kidnapping. A young child was playing in a fenced-in backyard and the GS was nearby.

A stranger entered the yard through a gate and attempted to snatch the child and drag her to his car. The GS immediately reacted by barking, attacking, and chasing the stranger out of the yard. This real-life situation was done by a family pet that didn’t have any professional training.

The dog acted on instinct. So, imagine the level of protection you can get with a professionally trained GS. While the GS is an exceptional dog breed that has a natural instinct to protect, there are other suitable dog breeds with similar instincts such as the Bullmastiff.

Bottom Line

Training your dog for personal protection involves patience, kindness, and skill. Developing a strong bond with your dog builds mutual respect and trust which makes your dog more likely to use their instincts to protect you.

Focusing on teaching your dog commands and the proper reaction ensures your loyal pet will protect you when needed. It’s important to train your dog one step at a time. Training your pet at home is an excellent way to step up your personal protection.

However, if your dog is having difficulty following your training regimen, it’s wise to consult with a professional personal protection dog trainer.


  1. Man breaks into Cleveland teacher’s home during online classes, https://www.kiro7.com/news/trending/we-saw-it-all-zoom-man-breaks-into-cleveland-teachers-home-during-online-classes/OKGSZSLPXBA5FBQGIXDMGJENSY/

A pet parent herself, Shellie knows the ins and outs of caring for a furry bundle of joy. She has been researching, reviewing and sharing her findings for the best dog products available for a number of years. A valued team member, Shellie's first-hand experience is invaluable.

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