The Dos And Don’ts Of Watchdog Training: Avoid Common Mistakes

The best watchdogs are loyal and protective, but they won’t start barking at every passing jogger or petting zoo visitor. They may bark to alert you if something suspicious is going on, but will otherwise be calm in your presence. 

This is why it’s so important for owners to train their dogs how to behave around strangers and troublemakers. 

In this article I’ll cover some common mistakes people make when training their canines as watchdogs and how you can avoid them!

Mistakes Dog Owners Make And How To Avoid Them – YouTube
Key Takeaways
– Consistency is key when training a watchdog.
– Socialization is important to ensure the watchdog is well-adjusted around others.
– Avoid using punishment and instead choose positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior.
– Start training your watchdog as early as possible, ideally as a puppy.
– Regular exercise is essential to keep your watchdog happy and healthy.

Don’t Ignore Bad Behavior

Remember that dogs learn by example. They will repeat actions that are rewarded and not punished, so it’s important to address bad behavior as soon as it happens. 

If you ignore your dog when he barks at the cat through the window, he’ll think that barking is a reasonable response to seeing a cat outside of his house. 

If you yell at him for barking at the cat through the window but then let him have his way with other things, like stealing your shoes or peeing on your carpet, he won’t understand why only some of his actions are wrong and he may not learn anything new about appropriate behaviors at all!

Learning how to train your watchdog takes time, patience, and dedication. Our comprehensive guide on watchdog training provides you with everything you need to know on how to train your watchdog.

Do Be Consistent

Consistency is key. When you are training your dog to be a watchdog, it’s important to be consistent in everything that you do. 

Your dog needs to know what is expected of him, and he also needs to know exactly how he will be rewarded when he does things correctly. 

The same goes for punishments: if your dog gets something wrong, make sure that all of your responses are consistent with what has been taught before.

Use the same commands every time you train your dogUse too many confusing commands or change the commands often
Set boundaries and be consistent about enforcing themLet your dog get away with things sometimes
Always use the same rewards for good behaviorReward your dog only occasionally or randomly
Train your dog every day for short periods of timeTrain your dog only occasionally or randomly
Make sure everyone in the household is consistent in how they interact with the dogAllow family members to use different commands or training techniques

Don’t Employ Physical Punishment

It’s easy to get frustrated with your dog and resort to physical punishment. But punishing your dog can be harmful and ineffective.

  • Physical punishment is not an effective way to train a dog because it doesn’t teach the dog what he should do instead of whatever he did wrong.
  • If you use physical punishment, you risk damaging your relationship with your dog by making him fearful or aggressive toward you.
  • Your dog may also learn that when you have something in your hand like a leash or plastic bottle he should act aggressively because this gets him out of trouble with you!

Do Stay Firm, But Positive

The best way to train your dog is to be firm, but positive. This means you need to be the boss and make sure your dog knows who’s in charge.

But it also means rewarding good behavior and ignoring bad behavior.

For example, if you’re trying to teach your dog not to jump up on people when they come over for dinner, don’t punish them by yelling at them or hitting them. Instead, ignore their jumping until they stop doing it and then reward them with praise or treats whenever they sit nicely instead!

One of the best ways to train your watchdog to be a guard dog is through consistency and proper techniques. Check out our expert advice on how to train your watchdog to be a guard dog to learn the best techniques that really work.

Don’t Train An Aggressive Dog To Be A Watchdog

  • Do not train an aggressive dog to be a watchdog.
  • Don’t train a dog that has a history of biting.

The best watchdogs are those with the ability to protect their owners without being overly aggressive, territorial or protective. They don’t need to have any sort of training in order for them to do this; they’re just naturally good at it!

Work with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to address aggression issuesAttempt to train an aggressive dog to be a watchdog
Use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage good behaviorUse punishment or physical force to try and train your dog
Socialize your dog with other people and animalsAllow your dog to be aggressive towards people or animals
Keep your dog on a leash or in a secure area when outsideLet your dog roam free and potentially cause harm
Follow all local and national laws regarding dog ownership and behaviorIgnore laws and regulations related to dog ownership and behavior

Do Use Rewards Rather Than Punishment

When trying to train a dog, it’s important to keep in mind that rewards are more effective than punishment. 

Research shows that when positive reinforcement (rewards) is used instead of negative reinforcement (punishment), the desired behavior is more likely to become a long-term habit. 

This is because positive reinforcement promotes good feelings and encourages your dog to repeat the behavior again, while negative reinforcement makes him uncomfortable so he’ll avoid doing it again. 

Rewards can be anything your dog likes food treats and praise are common examples and they should be given immediately after the desired behavior has occurred. 

In addition, if you want this new habit to stick for good, make sure you reward yourself every time the desired behavior occurs!

Before starting watchdog training, make sure you have considered all the important factors to ensure success. Our top 15 things to consider before starting watchdog training outline the important factors you should keep in mind.

Don’t Yell At Your Dog For Misbehaving

Yelling at your dog is never a good idea, and it can have several negative consequences. First of all, if you yell at your dog for misbehaving, the dog may become afraid of you. 

This means that the next time you say something to the dog even if it’s just asking for a simple task—it might be hesitant to respond or even answer at all. Second, yelling might cause aggression in dogs who are already aggressive by nature. 

Finally, if done too often or too loudly over time during training sessions (or other times), yelling can confuse a puppy and make it unsure about what its owner wants from them in an intimidating environment such as their own home or neighborhood streets around town where there are unfamiliar people walking past every few minutes!

Do Enlist The Help Of A Professional Dog Trainer If You Need It

If you’re new to dog training and need some help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. A professional dog trainer can guide you through the process, explain why certain techniques work better than others, and teach you how to correct your dog’s bad habits in the most effective way possible. 

Dog trainers may use more advanced methods than those taught in books or online forums and if one of those more advanced methods works with your dog’s behavior, then you should definitely try it!

There are plenty of ways for pet owners to find a good trainer in their area. You can read reviews on sites like Yelp; if a lot of people praise a trainer’s abilities, chances are they know what they’re talking about! 

You can also search Google or Facebook using keywords like “professional dog training near me,” or “best local private dog trainers.”

If none of these options seem promising enough (or if there isn’t anyone qualified nearby), it might be worth looking into online courses; many offer full certification upon completion. 

If none are available locally either (or if none have been updated recently), there may still be some reputable ones available online just make sure they come from an accredited institution such as Western Governors University before enrolling!

A loyal and protective watchdog can bring a sense of security and comfort to your home. Learn the best techniques on how to train your watchdog to be a loyal and protective companion through our training guide and make your watchdog the perfect companion.

Don’t Blame The Dog For Problems Caused By Lack Of Training Or Poor Genetics

Most owners are to blame for their dogs’ behavior problems. And if your dog is having trouble learning, it’s not the dog’s fault. It’s your fault.

It all comes down to training, but it’s not just about teaching him what you want him to do; it’s also about understanding why he behaves in certain ways so that you can address those behaviors and prevent them from reoccurring.

Take responsibility for your dog’s behavior and work to address any issues that ariseBlame your dog for problems caused by lack of training or poor genetics
Use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage good behavior and address bad behavior when it occursUse punishment or physical force as a way to try and train your dog
Socialize your dog with other people and animals to help prevent behavior issuesKeep your dog isolated or avoid socializing them out of fear of bad behavior
Work with professionals such as dog trainers or behaviorists when needed to address behavior issuesIgnore behavior issues or put off addressing them until they become severe
Make sure to provide your dog with adequate exercise and mental stimulation every dayExpect your dog to behave perfectly without providing proper training or care

Note: As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to take ownership of your dog’s behavior and work to address any issues that arise. Do not blame your dog for problems caused by lack of training or poor genetics. Instead, focus on using positive reinforcement techniques, socializing your dog, and working with professionals when needed to address behavior issues.

Providing your dog with adequate exercise and mental stimulation every day can also help reduce behavior issues caused by boredom or frustration.

Do Start Training As Early As Possible For Best Results

Training your dog should be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. If you are serious about training, start as early as possible! Puppies learn better than adult dogs, and they have an easier time forming strong bonds with their people. If you wait until the puppy is older, it will be harder to train them to obey commands.

Training should continue throughout your dog’s life. Your pup won’t always be a tiny ball of fur; he or she may grow up to become a full-grown adult weighing 100 pounds (45 kilograms) or more! 

Dogs typically need three years’ worth of training before they are considered fully trained adults this means plenty of opportunities for new lessons throughout adolescence into adulthood.

Don’t Give Up On Training If It Doesn’t Work Immediately

You should never give up on training your watchdog. If you’re having trouble getting your dog to behave, it’s important to remember that this isn’t the dog’s fault. Don’t get frustrated or angry with the animal and don’t assume he doesn’t understand what you’re trying to teach him.

Instead, make sure you have a good understanding of what you want from the dog before beginning any training. 

It may take more than one attempt at teaching a specific behavior before it becomes clear whether or not your pet is capable of learning what you want from him or her.

If you’re looking for ways to keep your home safe and secure, training your watchdog is one effective method. Discover the most effective techniques to keep your home safe through our watchdog training guide and ensure that your home is always well-protected.

Do Choose A Breed That Is Naturally Territorial And Protective.

Watchdogs are bred to be territorial and protective of their homes, so it’s important to find a breed that suits your lifestyle and personality. 

Some breeds make better watchdogs than others, but there are also plenty of dogs that make great companions.

  • Australian Shepherd: This medium-sized herding dog is known for being energetic, intelligent, and loyal. They’ve been used as working dogs since the late 1800s—so they’re not afraid to get dirty! Aussies need consistent training to keep them in line (and off furniture).
  • Bulldog: Bulldogs are known for being stubborn yet affectionate—they’re definitely not low maintenance! Bulldogs have short hair which makes them ideal for warmer climates where they can enjoy the outdoors year round without overheating easily thanks to their thick coat. 

They’re also playful with children making them great family pets if you’re looking for something more energetic than what an indoor cat provides but still want a furry friend around (but without all those annoying furballs everywhere).


If you’re looking to get a dog who will guard your home, there are several breeds that are known for their watchdog abilities. However, these dogs need to be trained properly so they don’t become aggressive or disobedient. 

A professional trainer can help you determine which breed is right for you and guide you through the training process. We hope this article has helped shed some light on what makes a good watchdog and provided some tips on how to train one!

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about dog training and avoiding common mistakes, check out these resources:

Common Dog Training Mistakes to Avoid: This article from the American Kennel Club provides helpful tips on how to avoid common dog training mistakes and get the most out of your training sessions.

13 Common Mistakes to Avoid Training Your Dog: This guide from LUKO provides practical advice on how to avoid mistakes and effectively train your dog.

How to Train a Guard Dog: WikiHow’s step-by-step guide is aimed at helping dog owners train their dogs to be effective guard dogs.


How do I avoid common mistakes in dog training?

Make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want your dog to learn, choose positive reinforcement over punishment, and make training a fun and rewarding experience for your dog.

When is the best time to start training my dog?

The best time to start training your dog is when they are still a puppy, ideally between 8-16 weeks old.

How can I train my dog to be a guard dog?

Training your dog to be a guard dog requires a lot of time, patience, and dedication. Start with basic obedience training, and gradually introduce guard dog training techniques such as alert barking and bite work.

What are the most common mistakes to avoid when training a dog?

Some common mistakes to avoid in dog training are lack of consistency, failing to socialize your dog, and using punishment rather than positive reinforcement.

How long does it take to train a dog?

Training a dog takes time and patience, and the length of time it takes to train a dog varies depending on the breed, age, and previous training experience. On average, it can take between 6 months to a year to fully train a dog.