When dealing with territorial dogs, obedience training is something that you cannot do without. It is the foundation of what we are talking about over here.
It would help you manage and control your dog, especially when they get excited. But, at the same time, it would teach them not to react to other dogs or people.
It is always great if you can perform this training on your own. But first, you would have to teach the basic exercises that a dog is supposed to be taught, such as the following:
- walk on a leash
As far as obedience training goes, these exercises are the foundation of the same. But, apart from them, teach them the “leave it” exercise too. It means telling them to ignore anything they may focus on at a given time.
You should teach them “watch me.” It will educate them about the occasions when they are supposed to pay attention to you. If you do not possess the skills to impart such training feel free to talk to the local dog trainers and get the necessary help from them.
5 Tips for Managing a Territorial Dog
#1 Rewarding calm behavior
Territorial dogs are reactive by nature. Is your dog a watchful individual? Do they pay attention to each and everything out there? Does this get them excited that they manifest in frantic pacing around? If yes, you have to teach them how to get calm by themselves.
Give them an off switch. That way, your pet would learn how to relax and calm themselves. It means that you are permitting them to go off duty. That way, they would understand that they do not have to protect everything.
Begin by teaching your baby commands such as “stay” and “down.” When they start doing both during the training sessions, you can then ask them to lie down and stay at a particular spot at their house – you can do so even when their leash is on.
For example, placing a dog bed next to the desk chair in your home office or the sofa in your living room would be good enough. Increase the time that you ask them to stay over there but do so gradually!
Make sure that they stay there without getting back up immediately. The next level of this training is to ask the dog to stay in bed while creating minor distractions in the household that may otherwise startle them.
It could be kids playing and laughing in that room. You can add to the level of distractions even as the training progresses.
Perhaps you could get others to eat something in front of them. Finally, when you have practiced a lot with them, you can ask them to stay and lie down over there despite disturbances outside the house.
#2 Exercising their bodies
Dogs need exercise every day. It is imperative for the territorial species. If a dog has had a sufficient workout and is tired, it would probably be more appropriate to sleep. It is applicable even for the most territorial dogs out there.
You can take them out for a long game of fetch, a run alongside your bicycle, a good jog with yourself, or a swim. All these would prove to be effective in these cases.
All you have to do is find the best option that you can choose from in this particular regard. Of course, your dog must also be willing to participate with you.
#3 Exercising their minds
There is nothing to deny that obedience training is an integral part of the process of managing a territorial dog. However, if you can keep their minds busy with other activities, it could be helpful for you as well.
When they are mentally tired, they would have less tendency to go ahead and cause trouble. A great way to challenge a dog’s brain is to teach them tricks. This training is akin to obedience training. However, you and your dog must have fun with the entire process.
You can teach your dog sports that the canines can play, such as agility, scenting games, or flyball. You can be sure that these would be highly challenging prospects for them and, at the same time, they would enjoy the entire process immensely.
You can also teach them obedience skills that are of a more advanced nature, like hand signals. It would test their abilities to learn quite well for sure!
#4 Making it hard for them to cause trouble
Does your dog have a favorite spot where they are likely to wait for trespassers and bark at them or show rage in other ways? In that case, you may have to make a few changes so they can no longer behave in that fashion.
So, within the house, you can pull the curtains, move the sofa, close the door, and – for that matter – block your dog’s access to that particular room. You can erect a fence outside your home to block their vision or shut off some parts of the yard.
#5 Praising the behavior that you want to see more from them
Quite often, dog parents are quick to point out the mistakes made by their furballs. However, they are just as slow, if not more, when praising them and rewarding them when these babies behave the way they want them to. As bad as it sounds, this is never the right way to train a dog.
If you yell at them, you would never be able to teach them how to handle situations that they find unpleasant. Feel free to interrupt them when they behave badly, but do so calmly, like removing them using their leash from a bad situation.
Territorial Dog Breeds
- Doberman Pinscher
- Bull Mastiff
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- German Shepherd
- Gian Schnauzer