Monday, August 21, 2006

Family watch dog

Training your family watch dog to bark

One reason people have a dog is for protection. Since we live in a rural setting, I like my dog to bark when people drive up the driveway. He can hear them on the gravel road long before they come into sight.

Dogs will naturally bark at things that surprise them or things that move. They also tend to bark when they hear other dogs in the distance. Remember the doggy telegraph in 101 Dalmatians?

When your dog barks, go to him and look in the direction he is barking. Acknowledge that he has made a warning. Then, depending on the situation, you can command him to be silent.

Always acknowledge his warning before issuing the silence command. You want to make sure that your dog feels he has performed an important function.

Also, if you truly want a dog for protection, you may want to consider letting him live inside your house. While you dog can be effective as an alarm outside, he can be more protective if he is inside with you. Sit Stay Fetch has a tragic story of a woman who ignored the bark of her family watch dog. She now keeps her well trained dog with her in her bedroom.

One more point about family watch dogs: depending on the degree of protection you desire, you may have to get professional training. There is a bonus book with Sit Stay Fetch about training family watch dogs however they also recommend professional assistance for family watch dog training.

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