This is a sponsored guest post.
As a single mom or anyone on your own, you may want to get a dog to help serve as you or your family’s protector.
If anyone approaches your home late at night, a fierce bark will scare them away. It’s better than any burglar alarm.
But there’s a fine line between a great guard dog and an overprotective dog. You don’t want your dog too overprotective of your house.
To find a happy medium, here’s how to avoid having an overprotective dog.
Why is My Dog Overprotective?
In a lot of cases, your dog may not have been around a lot of other people or other dogs. This could be problematic with a rescue dog because they may have had previous trauma.
We may also accidentally reward our dog’s overprotective behaviour. You’re out in the park for a walk, a stranger gets too close and your dog barks them away. “Good boy/girl, keeping me safe like that! Who’s Mommy’s protector?”
This response from us reinforces the behaviour and teaches the dog that these barks will be rewarded.
But your dog can’t tell a stranger from a friend. Say an old co-worker spots you from across the road and comes over to say hello, your dog may suddenly lash out to protect you. The closer the person gets, the more serious (and dangerous) your dog’s response may be.
How to Help Your Dog’s Overprotectiveness
The easiest way to deal with this is to work with a professional dog trainer. They are almost always the answer to getting the best results. However, you can also try to train and socialize your dog properly on your own.
It all starts at home. Don’t just bring them to the park and try to teach them. It may be over-stimulating. Protect your dog from being around too many people to start, the same way you would protect your bed with PawPad® bed covers during housebreaking.
You want to slowly bring new people into your home to get your dog used to new faces and new smells. Your calm and relaxed behavior around the new people (and your dog’s barking) will be crucial. You need to set the tone and show them that everything’s OK.
The Most Overprotective Breeds
Is there such thing as overprotective dog breeds?
Any dog that hasn’t been socialized or trained properly is likely going to be overprotective of you and aggressive towards strangers. But some breeds are more prone to this than others.
You may want to avoid a:
- Anatolian Shepherd
- Doberman Pinscher
- Greater Swiss Mountain
- Great Dane
- Giant Schnauzer
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
That’s not to say these breeds are off-limits. But they might need more training than other breeds so you need to know that going in.
The Dangers of an Overprotective Dog
You may not realize that you have a problem until there’s been a scary incident, or even a bite. The warning signs up until that point may have been subtle and harmless.
This can lead to having to stay on top of your dog every time someone enters your home or approaches you in public. If you also have to keep your eye on an active toddler, a dog prone to aggression may be too much to handle.
The most dangerous part is that we may not realize we may have contributed to the problem. If you’re going to bring a new dog into your already-busy home, know that it will take time to train them on how to save their “scary” bark for when it’s really needed.