If you are about to get a Poodle, you must understand its characteristics and attributes. That way, you can manage your expectations and know if they are the right breed for you. For example, many families look for Poodle guard dogs. But the question is, can they do the job? Are Poodles made to be guard dogs?
In general, Poodles are not great guard dogs. Yes, they bark easily, even with the slightest triggers. However, this breed lacks aggressiveness. What they are good at is being a companion dog. They are also loyal to their owners and can work well with other pets and even young children.
Don’t worry, though. If you want to train your Poodle to be a guard dog, that’s possible, and they could handle some of its core responsibilities. This is going to be a long process, so you need to have patience.
Characteristics of Poodles, Guard Dogs
Fortunately, Poodles possesses attributes that could make them good guard dogs. A Standard Poodle guard dog is more logical than the smaller ones. For your Miniature and Toy Poodles, it would be harder for them to assume the role.
They are Energetic
If you have been reading articles about Poodles, you probably know that they are extremely energetic. This is also the reason why you need to take them out regularly and play.
They are Attentive
What’s great about Poodles is they are conscious about their surroundings. They are known to be one of the most attentive breeds, which could work to your advantage. With this, they can sense if something is off nearby.
They Bark a Lot
Poodles love to bark, which is a good trait, especially if there are intruders in your home. But you have to train them as well because excessive barking can be annoying for your neighbors. We’ll talk about this further in the succeeding sections.
They are Trainable
Since Poodles have high IQs, you can easily train them to be guard dogs. Of course, you cannot expect them to be as good as the other breeds intended to be their owner’s protector. But they can certainly do most of the critical tasks. With a well-trained Poodle, you can have a companion dog, and a guard dog rolled into one.
Characteristics of a Good Guard Dog
We’ve already talked about some of the traits from Poodles that make them good guard dogs. But in general, what creates a great one? What do you need to look for?
This section will explain it all to you.
Take note that not all the traits must be in one dog. However, the more attributes they possess below, the better.
They are Loyal
First of all, you have to look for a breed that is extremely loyal. Your dog should be able to determine their family members from the strangers. This will help them protect the right persons when there is already a need for it.
They are Courageous
Like a true-blue army, your dog must have no fear of facing your attacker. They know when to step in and help you.
They are Strong
You should look for a dog that has the right physical strength. Just in case you are being attacked, your pet must be strong enough to stop the perpetrator.
They are Energetic
You must look for a breed that has high energy. Otherwise, they might be too lazy to respond to different situations.
They are Aggressive
We are not saying that your dog must be aggressive all the time. That’s dangerous too. But your pet must have an innate aggressiveness so it can dominate in specific situations.
Training, Poodle Guard Dogs
If you plan to make your Poodle your guard dog, it’s best to train them as early as possible. If you got your Poodle while they were still a puppy, then go ahead and start it right away. But if you already got an older dog, that should be fine as well.
You need to train your Poodle to follow commands. Basic obedience is necessary if you want them to become good guard dogs. Start with the easy ones like sitting, standing, or coming to you. They must be able to bark on command. Likewise, teach them when to stop barking as this would come in handy.
If you want to teach your Poodle to stop barking, here’s what you need to remember.
One, you have to make them physically active because excessive barking means they are bored and want to play around.
Two, you need to praise them at their first bark.
Three, be firm when you say no if they bark too much.
The good news is, most Poodles can quickly learn the tricks.
Teaching Their Territory
You must expose your Poodle to their territory so they will have the instinct to protect it. There’s also a possibility that your dog will use their territorial instincts whenever harm is nearby.
Socialize Your Poodle
It’s also critical that your Poodle should learn how to socialize. You can do the training every time you take them for a walk. Whenever you find a strange item, and you see that your dog is quite anxious, slowly bring them closer so they could investigate.
In addition, you Poodle must identify what a normal pedestrian is so that they will not feel threatened every single time.
Train Them to Defend You
When conducting this particular training, you must be with someone your dog isn’t familiar with. The stranger will walk to your dog and challenges them. To be safe, always wear a dog attack suit or something similar. Once you command your dog to bark at the stranger, the person needs to act scared and run away. This can give your dog that confidence.
Remember that teaching your dog how to attack can be dangerous, and you must do this with caution.
Get Them to Know When to Back Off
While guard dogs are taught to protect you, it is also important that they know when to leave a person alone. Teach them the leave it command as well.
You need to be consistent when training. As much as possible, do this every day.
Training Dogs to Guard Your Property
The training is not as intense if you want your dog to guard your home and less of a protection dog. Apart from learning the commands and exposing them to your territory, they need to know how to be alone.
This is a more conservative approach because chances are, you would want to entertain visitors at your home without scaring them off.
Training Can Change Your Dog’s Personality
Bear in mind that training your Poodle might alter some of their innate personalities. If you don’t want this to happen, searching for other breeds to become your guard dog is a better idea.
Grooming Your Poodle
Even if you want a tough-looking guard dog, you should never forget to groom your Poodle. Apart from taking them to professional groomers, you should do the following for your pet.
Poodles Require Brushing Every Day
It’s necessary that you brush your dog’s hair every day, or at least every other day, to prevent matting. When their coat gets matted, it can be annoying and could hurt them in the long run.
Don’t Forget Their Eyes and Ears
Poodles have long and floppy ears, and it’s quite common that they get infections. With this, you must learn how to clean their ears. As a rule of thumb, only wipe the areas that you can see. Do not go overboard as that could be dangerous for your pet.
Light-colored Poodles are prone to have eye stains. Better clean it regularly before they form hard-to-remove stains around their eyes.
Shaving Your Poodle
Many people are shaving their Poodles to achieve a funky and unique hairstyle. However, this is not just for aesthetic purposes. When you shave your Poodle, it becomes easier to manage their hair. Plus, they will be more comfortable, especially during the warmer seasons.
Common Guard Dogs
We recommended the breeds below if you are specifically looking for common guard dogs.
An Australian Shepherd is a good choice as they are excellent at herding. In addition, they are known to be more alert than most breeds, making them an ideal guard for your homes.
With Boxers, expect that they are loyal, courageous, and alert. Going back to our list of characteristics of guard dogs, you can already assess that this breed is the one for keeps.
One of the most popular breeds that could be a guard dog is the German Shepherd. Like Boxers, they are filled with courage too. They are also confident, and they know when to act. Above it all, they always want to please their owners, making them highly trainable.
Do not be fooled by its size. Even if this breed is small, they are strong and are always on the lookout.
This is a German breed used for guarding and doing police and military work. They are big and strong and can successfully alarm their owners if there is suspicious activity.
A Rottweiler is a massive German dog loyal to the family but can be aggressive towards strangers. If you are not an experienced pet owner, this might not be a good choice for you.
What is a Watchdog?
Are you really looking for guard dogs? Or perhaps a watchdog is an ideal option for you. Remember that guard dogs can be aggressive and might not be the best choice if you have other pets and if you live with smaller children.
On the other hand, a watchdog can notify you whenever there is something odd within the surroundings. Whether you have a Standard or a Miniature Poodle, it should do the job just fine.
Conclusion, Poodle Guard Dogs
Poodles as guard dogs might not be the best option. However, this doesn’t mean that Poodles aren’t great pets. Because of their intelligence, you can still teach them ways so they could protect you and your family.
Also, you have to think twice if you need guard dogs. Since they are trained to attack, there’s a possibility that their aggression could hurt you or the people within your household. Again, a watchdog is a more logical solution if you have little children.