Q: How Can I Train my Labrador into a Guard Dog?
I know Labradors aren't recommended for being a guard dog, but I have heard that it can be done, I just don't know how, so if any of you know how to train up a guard dog, I would appreciate it a lot, my lab is 1 year 7 months. ;)
Answers and Views:
Answer by La Comtesse De Whippet
You need to consult with a trainer who specializes in training guard and protection dogs - doing it yourself, without any real idea of how to go about it, can be dangerous, especially if you train him to accost strangers.
Most breeds are good basic 'guard' dogs in the sense that they'll bark when they hear an intruder, and alert you. There's generally a reason why some dogs are used for guarding and some aren't - some breeds simply don't make good guard dogs, and Labs are one of those breeds.
Answer by COD Fan. & Responsible Dog Guardian.
In short, you can’t. It would be like training a Beagle. Or a Golden Retriever. Too friendly. They make better watchdogs. If you want a guard dog, get a dog breed more suitable for guard work.
Answer by ManitouLisa
Your best bet is to accept your Lab would alert you to an intruder and then roll over on his back for a tummy scratch.
You'd have to send your dog to be trained professionally.
The one night we were away last May someone tried to pry off our sliding glass door. Our Black Lab scared them away. Nothing was taken. The door was off its track and for several days, our Lab wouldn't even let birds land in our garden.
At your dog's age, his protective instincts should begin. You'll have to balance between too much barking and enough. I give my dog a "Thank you" when he barks to let me know when someone is outside. After a few more barks, I may repeat "Thank you" and go to the window and let him know I've seen the person outside. If he continues I say "Settle" or "That's enough." He knows that I want the warning, but not to bark forever.
My dog sounds horrible when he warns me someone is coming to the door, but unless they have a tennis ball or piece of pizza strapped to their head, they're safe.
Answer by Larry
You said that labs are dumb. Then why are they ranked at about number 7 in dog intelligence rating testing? My black lab is only 8 months old and is very smart and a quick learner! He is also very suspicious of strangers. I’m not saying that he would attack an intruder, but that’s not what I want him to do. All I wanted was for him to alert me, and I’ll take care of the rest. It doesn’t hurt that we have two other dogs that are guard dog mix breeds, a Cane Corso x pitbull, and a German Shepherd x pitbull.
Answer by cutetrio2002
Labs aren't suited to be guard dogs. They are great for hunting, wonderful with kids and will bark for hours on end but I don't believe they can be trained for guarding purposes. Our yellow lab Rio did alert me to an intruder once by simply barking her head off. She was going crazy one night and I opened the back door to tell her to be quiet and saw a man climbing over our fence. I was able to call the police in time thanks to her. I don't think if he had come over the fence that she would have done anything to him though. She probably would have rolled over hoping he would scratch her belly lol! I don't think labs have a vicious bone in their bodies.
Answer by PIjush Dey
Labs will protect their family but not as a traditional guard dog
It’s hard to say without knowing what you want from a guard dog, but in my experience, even very friendly dogs display a certain amount of guarding behavior. However, if you are looking for primarily a guard dog, I think you are seeking the wrong breed. Labs are a sporting breed, very friendly (as you know…perfect for your child) and just a little bit goofy/dumb.
- How can I get my yellow labrador to stop shedding so much?
- Should we keep our labrador outside for the winter?
- 7 Best Guard Dogs for a Young Woman in an Apartment
I have had both Golden Retrievers and Lab Retrievers, and even though they are not typical guard dogs, I believe that they both would have protected the family if they sensed a malicious intent. No…they probably won’t ever have general aggression towards strangers, but they certainly will if they feel that there home/territory/family is being threatened in some way.
So, in essence, you would be getting a watchdog and not a guard dog. Do you need more than that?
An online FAQ states that “Some Labradors make excellent guard dogs and most will be protective of a family with strangers, though the Labrador isn’t specifically bred as a guard dog and they are sensitive, gentle dogs overall. If your main purpose for getting a dog is for a guard dog then you would probably be better off with another breed such as the German Shepard or rottweiler.”
Know better? Give your own answer to this question!