True guard dogs are friendly to people, so long as their owner is not being actively threatened. Guard dogs should be trained to wait for their owner's instruction and guidance, and should respond to commands to stand down. A dog that attacks everything and is operating on fear is not a good guard dog. The cost of a guard dog depends on breed, the type of training attained and the cost of insurance.
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The cost of purchasing a fully trained dog can be upwards of £6,500. Attending guard dog training classes with your dog can cost £32-$100 per session. The number of sessions required depends in large part on the temperament of your dog and your dedication to its training, according to Mrazovac K9, a dog training company. However, training your guard dog yourself can be no more than the cost of a puppy. This is a high-intensity project that requires constant attention and a high level of dog training expertise.
Guard dogs carry with them an elevated risk of attack, according to the Complete Guide to Responsible Dog Ownership. The law is much harsher for professionally trained guard dogs than it is for companion dogs, though it varies state-to-state. Professionally trained guard dogs are considered a loaded weapon in many states. Training schools advise owners of trained guard dogs to purchase insurance in case of attack. The cost of guard-dog insurance varies widely from company-to-company and depends in large part on breed and certification, but can be as high as £325 per month.
Skittishness, fear and overt aggression are all bad traits in a guard dog, according to Dog Training Basics. Good guard dogs are typically high-energy, focused, adaptable, able to quit on command and able to keep calm under pressure. Guard dogs should be able to pass the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizenship Test. This test costs £6. The certificate costs £3.
Guard dogs need to be exposed to new people, animals and environments, especially during the first few months of life, according to the Complete Guide to Responsible Dog Ownership. This helps adult guard dogs determine what stimuli is a threat. Socialisation can be accomplished for free, in dog parks and with friends and family.
According to the website Canine Breeds, certain breeds are known for their trainability, attentive temperaments and loyalty. Ideal guard dog breeds include: Dobermans, Belgian shepherds, Akitas, rottweilers, giant schnauzers, mastiffs, German shepherds and American bulldogs.
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