The Ultimate Guide To Watchdog Training: What You Need To Know

You’ve heard of the phrase “keeping a close eye on things,” but what about keeping a close ear? That’s right: watchdog training is your dog’s chance to show off his or her natural instincts and help you keep your family safe. 

When you teach your dog how to be a good watchdog, he or she will bark when someone unfamiliar comes into the house even if they’re just family members who aren’t carrying groceries! 

It’s important that you start training early so that by the time your dog reaches adulthood, he or she will already be an expert at protecting you from intruders. 

In this article, I’m going to walk through everything from how to make sure you’re the one in charge of training (spoiler: it’s not actually possible for anyone else to do this for you), down through teaching your dog exactly what constitutes an intruder and then how we can work together with them every day until they are ready for any situation that comes our way. 

With these tips under our belt and some patience on both sides of this equation, we’ll have ourselves a perfectly trained watchdog in no time at all!

Everything You NEED To KNOW To TRAIN Your DOG!
The key to successful Watchdog training is consistency and positive reinforcement.
Knowing what to do and what to avoid doing is essential, so follow expert tips.
Dog breeds that are well-suited for Watchdog training include German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Boxers.
Building a bond with your Watchdog is critical in creating a loyal and protective companion.
Before starting Watchdog training, consider various factors such as temperament, environment, and your personal lifestyle.

Make Sure You Are The Watchdog

In the dog world, there is no such thing as a rank-less organization. The pack hierarchy is in place for a reason: it keeps the group balanced, safe and healthy. If you want to be your dog’s leader, then you need to make sure that you are the top dog in your relationship.

The most important part of being an effective watchdog is being consistent with your commands. 

When training a watchdog, consistency will ensure that they learn how to respond in all situations so that they can protect themselves and their family members at all times without hesitation or confusion about what is expected of them. 

A well-trained watchdog has full confidence in its ability to handle whatever may come its way because they know exactly what their owner wants them to do at any given moment during an attack or other dangerous situation

With the complexity of Watchdog training, the guidance of 10 Expert Tips for Successful Watchdog Training can aid in boosting your efforts to create a well-trained and reliable guard dog. Learn more about the expert tips that can improve your Watchdog training at 10 Expert Tips for Successful Watchdog Training.

Train Your Dog To Bark On Command

You can train your dog to bark on command in order to help him alert you when he hears a sound or sees something that might be suspicious. This is especially useful if you have an older dog who might not hear noises as well as younger dogs do.

It’s also important to teach your dog how to stop barking when told so that he doesn’t become overzealous or irritate the neighbors. Some watchdog trainers recommend teaching your dog specific words they can use when they see something suspicious, like “speak,” “alert” or “alert me.”

Alerts OwnerCan alert you when someone approaches your house or when there is a potential threat.
Helps with TrainingCan be used as a marker for reinforcement training, helping to reinforce other learned behaviors.
Discourages Unwanted BarkingCan be used to stop unwanted barking almost instantly as you can create a quietness command.
Increases SafetyTraining your dog to bark on command can increase the safety of your home, belongings or yourself & your family.
Presence of MindSometimes bark on command can help an owner to get the dog’s attention in some situations such as danger, running toward the street uncontrolled and so on.
Strengthens BondWorking together to teach a trick can help strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

Decide What Constitutes An Intruder

The first step to training your watchdog is defining what constitutes an intruder. While you may think this is obvious, it’s important to make sure that everyone in the household understands the same definition. 

A stranger is someone unknown to you, who has not been invited into your house, and who is not a family member or friend (this includes babysitters).

It’s also important to consider that even if they have met this person before, they still need to be considered a stranger until they are well-known by everyone in the home.

Train Your Dog To Be Quiet

The first thing to do is train your dog to be quiet when you are not around. This can be done by asking him to be quiet when you aren’t present and rewarding him for doing so.

For example, if your dog barks at people on the street or in front of the television, then he may want a treat every time he stops barking while you’re out of sight. If he keeps barking after receiving his reward, then try giving another command such as “quiet” or “no bark”.

Once your dog has learned how to control himself when you’re away from home, it’s time for step two: teaching him how to control himself when others are around or sleeping at night (if this isn’t already part of his routine). 

It’s important that these methods don’t cause any anxiety or aggression in your pet because then they won’t work as well!

The path to successful Watchdog training involves knowing what to do and what to avoid doing. You can learn more about the dos and don’ts of Watchdog training and how to avoid common mistakes at The Dos and Don’ts of Watchdog Training: Avoid Common Mistakes.

Teach Your Dog To Stand Guard

You can teach your dog to stand guard by teaching them the command “stand”. If you have a large breed dog, they may already be naturally inclined to stand on their hind legs, but if not, this is something that can be taught with some patience and practice.

A good place to start is with the help of a chair or stool that your dog can easily reach. Place it in the center of an open space where there are no distractions (for example, somewhere near a wall).

Make sure there is nothing nearby for your dog to jump on or off of either side except for their own paws or nose! You want them focused entirely on standing up straight and making eye contact with you when they hear the command “stand” from across the room.

Teach Your Dog To Target Strangers

Teach your dog to target a stranger’s hand, face, feet and knees.

Targeting is an invaluable skill for your dog to have if you ever need him to help you out in the field and can be done quickly and easily with some simple training. 

Start by having someone hold a treat at their side (their palm facing away from them) just above waist level and your dog on leash. When he looks at the treat move it behind their head so that his eyes follow it, then give him the command “target” or “take.” 

Once he has looked at the person’s hand for two seconds, take his attention off of it with another treat in front of him. 

Then repeat this exercise but start moving away from where he was looking, towards their face instead. Keep repeating these steps until your pup is targeting strangers’ faces without hesitation!

A well-trained Watchdog is more than just a guard dog; it can be a loyal and protective companion to its owner, and proper training can help develop this bond. To learn more about how to train your Watchdog to be a loyal and protective companion, visit How to Train Your Watchdog to be a Loyal and Protective Companion.

Train A Little Every Day

Training your dog is like any other activity. It takes time, practice and patience to get good at it. Just like you wouldn’t expect to become an expert skater or a professional athlete overnight, the same goes for training your dog. 

The best way to do this is by training a little every day. Your goal should be to train in short bursts that last no longer than 5 minutes each (or even shorter if needed).

Give both yourself and your dog some time after each session so that they have time to process what just happened during their training session and go through their own “mental reset” before moving onto the next one.

Training can take on many forms: you could teach them new tricks; train them how to walk nicely on leash; or maybe even use toys as rewards during playtime! 

Whatever it may be, remember that consistency is key when teaching new things – so keep practicing with them until they’ve mastered their skill set completely!

Builds ConsistencyDaily training builds consistency and familiarity and makes the training process more effective.
Establishes RoutineDaily training establishes a routine that helps create structure and reinforces discipline.
Encourages LearningDaily training helps keep a dog’s brain active and promotes continuous learning.
Maintains ProgressDaily training helps maintain progress, ensuring that skills once learned will not be forgotten.
Promotes BondingDaily training is a great way to improve the bond between you and your dog.
Increases ConfidenceConsistent daily training can help increase the dog’s confidence and sense of security.

Keep The Lessons Positive And Fun

When you’re training your dog, it’s important to keep the lessons positive and fun. This will help keep your dog interested in the activity, more likely to obey commands, and less likely to develop bad habits.

Use treats and play as rewards for good behavior. If your dog sits when asked or barks on command, reward them with a treat or game of fetch. You should also continue playing with your pup after they’ve been trained so they don’t forget what they learned!

Keep training sessions short so that it doesn’t start feeling like work for either of you (and make sure not too much praise at once). 

If your puppy seems overwhelmed by either too many commands or praise at once, take a break from training until their head stops spinning around; then try again later on when he or she has calmed down some more!

Watchdog training is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and different techniques can be used to keep homes safe and secure. You can learn more about the best techniques to keep your home safe via Watchdog training at Watchdog Training – The Best Techniques to Keep Your Home Safe.

Practice With Friends And Family

Practicing with friends and family is a great way to get started. It is important to practice in different places so that you can see how your dog reacts in different situations. 

For example, if you’ve been practicing at home and then go outside or travel somewhere new, it can be difficult for your dog if he has never been there before.

Practice will be much more effective if you are having fun while doing it! Make sure that your training sessions are positive experiences for both of you by keeping them short (no longer than five minutes) and providing plenty of treats throughout the process.

Don’t forget: You can always train at home but find ways to get out of the house as well!

Use Food Properly As A Training Tool

Food is a powerful motivator. It can be used to reward your dog when they do something you like, or it can be used to teach your dog that doing certain things will result in food.

You’ll want to use food as a motivator for training because it’s easy and effective but don’t use food as the only motivator for training. 

You should also have other ways of rewarding your dog, such as playtime or affection. Otherwise, using food exclusively may make the behavior less reliable once you stop using food all together (which happens eventually).

Motivates the DogFood can serve as a powerful motivator and reward for good behavior.
Easy to UseFood is easy to carry around and use as a training tool, and can be cut into small bite-sized pieces for convenience.
Health BenefitsChoosing high-quality, nutritious treats provides health benefits and can supplement a dog’s diet.
Understand ConsequencesUsing food as a reward/consequence allows the dog to learn cause-and-effect relationships with their choices.
Varies RewardsOffering a variety of treats, dry food or wet food, can give owners flexibility in rewarding their pet.
Training ReinforcementTraining your dog with food can be especially effective when reinforcing trained skills.

Be Consistent And Persistent

Consistency is key to successful training. Remember, your dog will learn at his own pace, so don’t rush through any lessons. 

Patience is important when it comes to training your dog, as well as persistence. The process takes time and often requires many repetitions of a single exercise before the behavior becomes ingrained in the dog’s memory.

If you feel like you’re not making progress with your watchdog training (or if you’ve been working on it for a few months and still aren’t seeing results), don’t give up on him! Instead, take a step back and try another approach maybe something new will click!

 If nothing else seems effective at this point, consult professional help from an expert who specializes in working with guard dogs or trained attack dogs (however much those may differ).

Before embarking on Watchdog training, it is essential to consider various factors that can affect the outcome of your training efforts. You can learn more about the top 15 things to consider before starting Watchdog training at The Top 15 Things to Consider Before Starting Watchdog Training.

Have fun!

A final note: as you gear up for your dog’s training, remember that it’s not just about the task at hand. While a good watchdog will keep your home safe, the best part about having a dog is spending time with them. You’ll have fun together, and the bond between you will grow stronger every day.


If you follow these tips and practice regularly, you’ll have a happy and obedient watchdog in no time. 

Training your dog isn’t just about making sure they can protect your home—it’s about building a bond with them and having fun together. So go ahead, get started!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for learning more about dog and guard dog training:

The Ultimate Guide to Dog Training: A comprehensive guide to dog training covering topics such as obedience training, behavior modification, and more.

Service Dog Training 101: An informative article that covers the basics of service dog training and includes tips for effectively training your furry friend.

How to Train a Guard Dog: A step-by-step guide for training a guard dog that covers important topics such as choosing the right breed, socialization, obedience training, and more.


What is Watchdog Training?

Watchdog training is a process of training a dog to identify, alert, and protect the owner and its property from possible threats, such as intruders or burglars.

What are some popular dog breeds for Watchdog training?

Some of the popular dog breeds for Watchdog training include German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman, Boxer, and Pit Bull.

What are some essential commands used in Watchdog training?

Some of the essential commands used in Watchdog training include “sit,” “stay,” “down,” “heel,” “come,” and “watch me.”

How often should I train a Watchdog?

It is recommended to spend a few minutes each day training your Watchdog, consistently. This keeps the training exercises fresh in their mind.

Can aggressive temperament be trained in a Watchdog?

It is generally not encouraged to train aggressive temperament in a Watchdog, as it can lead to unwanted and unsafe behaviours. They should have a natural protective instinct, but must be well-socialized and controllable during training.