Q & A: The Friendly Guard Dog & An Obedience Training Issue
Question: Too Friendly To Be A Guard Dog?
“I purchased my Rottweiler about a year ago when he just turned eight weeks old. I got him for the specific purpose of being a protection dog – to attack on command, and protect myself and my family. His particular strain is supposedly noted for their ability to do this, but now I’m beginning to think I got fooled by the breeder.”
“Toby is my dog’s name, and he is so friendly, everyone tells me he could never be trained to guard. Can anything be done? Of course I do not want to give him away, as I have bonded with Toby, but if I could train him to do what he is supposed to do then that would be great.”
The good news is that, yes, you certainly can have your friendly Rottweiler trained to do the job of guarding. Have him trained if he’s a year older. If Toby was vicious, no knowledgeable trainer would take on the job. But since he’s friendly, and of obvious good temperament, a good trainer can have Toby “on duty” in just a few months.
Notice, though, that I said “good trainer”. A lot of trainers and would-be trainers lack sufficient knowledge for proper protection work. Take a little extra time and investigate the background of the trainer you select, and make sure his credentials show lots of experience in that type of training.
Question: Trouble With Obedience Training
“I am obedience training my dog, but am having problems getting her to sit straight. She knows to sit when I stop walking, but she walks around in front of me before she sits. Is it too late to correct this bad habit? And if not, do I need to hire a trainer to help me with the issue?
This is a small problem that can be easily corrected, so the answer is no, it is not too late to fix. And no, you do not need to hire a trainer. The following exercise will have your dog sitting straight each and every time when commanded.
Here is your homework assignment: For the next four days, use the verbal command “sit” at the same instant you come to a halt, followed one second later by the appropriate sit correction. That is, straight up on the leash.
From the moment you give the command “sit” do not give your dog the option of walking another step without obeying you. Be consistent, and your dog will realize that she has but one second to respond to your command in order to “beat the race” with the coming correction.
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