Are Goldendoodles Good Guard Dogs?

This article answers the question, Are Goldendoodles Good Guard Dogs?

We love our Goldendoodles for many reasons. They tend to have sweet personalities, are loyal and just seem to make any kind of day a bit brighter.

Given all their wonderful traits, especially that of being kind, I started to wonder what kind of guard dogs they would make. Would they bark at an intruder and warn them not to go any further or would they greet them happily at the door and invite them in? Also, how would I even start training my Goldendoodle as a guard dog? What should I consider before deciding whether or not a guard dog is right for me?

Would my Goldendoodle be a good guard dog?

Goldendoodle As A Watch Dog

Would my Goldendoodle be a good guard dog? Experts agree that while Goldendoodles will warn owners of someone coming into a house with a bark, once they actually get in your furry friend will most likely great them with a wagging tail and love. Both Golden Retrievers and Poodles are known for their mild temperaments. These traits do not make the best natural guard dogs, but it should give you comfort in knowing they won’t be aggressive toward company invited into your house.

That said, most agree that just about any dog can be trained to be a good guard dog, even if it doesn’t come to them naturally.

What is the difference between an attack dog, a guard dog, and a watch dog?

Are Goldendoodles Good Guard Dogs?

Before you give up on your Goldendoodle as a protector, it is important to understand the difference between a guard dog and a watch dog. Some of the fundamental differences are as follows:

An attack dog has the following attributes:

  • An attack dog is trained to attack on command
  • Most definitions of an attack dog state the dog is trained to be loyal to only one person and is not good in family or social situations.
  • Dogs are generally trained as attack dogs for military and police.
  • The upside to an attack dog is they are trained very well and can handle the majority of dangerous situations.
  • The downside to an attack dog is they most likely will not play well with others and would not be good in a family or social setting.

A guard dog has the following qualities:

  • A guard dog is generally bred and trained to stop an intruder.
    • This means not only will they bark when someone is approaching, but they can also be trained to become aggressive or bite should a person appear to be a threat to their owner.
      • Most often, a guard dog naturally has these tendencies.
        • It is then up to the owner to train them on how to use their natural instincts and become receptive to commands in order to stay in control of a situation.
    • The upside to a good guard dog is you know someone always has your back.
    • The downside is training a good guard can take a pretty significant amount of time and some breeds of dogs are naturally better than others.
      • Breeds that are generally known to make good guard dogs are as follows:
        • German Shepherds
        • Rottweilers
        • Doberman Pinschers
        • Bullmastiffs
        • Akitas
        • Pitt Bulls

There are additional breeds that have made good guard dog lists, but the above are the most common I’ve found.

  • One important item of note is that a guard dog, is not an attack dog. Guard dogs are trained to protect, not necessarily attack on command.

A watch dog, on the other hand, has the following qualities:

  • A watch dog will bark when a stranger is approaching to let its owner know someone is coming.
    • This is all most people need and is a natural trait that is found in nearly every dog, even our beloved Goldendoodles.
  • The upside is there is no special training needed for a dog to be a decent watch dog.
    • Even if your Goldendoodle licks them to death when they get in, at least you were warned they were there.
  • The downside is that if someone were to break in or pose a threat, you would most likely be on your own to ward them off.

Can I train my Goldendoodle to be a guard dog, even though they aren’t naturally drawn to it?

Can I train my Goldendoodle to be a guard dog, even though they aren’t naturally drawn to it? Many experts agree that almost any dog can be trained to be a guard dog, even your sweet-natured Goldendoodle. The common trait we as owners need to be successful at training is patience and consistency.

Following are some tips experts suggest you follow when getting ready to train your Goldendoodle as a guard dog:

  • Start early
    • For the most success, many trainers recommend starting to train your puppy at about six months old.
      • One thing to keep in mind is it can take up to a year and a half to have your Goldendoodle fully trained! Yikes!
      • Again, patience and consistency.
  • Most trainers recommend that before your Goldendoodle can become a good guard dog, they must first learn and obey basic commands such as:
    • Sit
    • Stay
    • Leave It
      • This one is particularly important once they become a guard dog if you are ever in a situation involving an attacker or burglar. Once they start guarding, they should also be receptive to a command to back off.
    • Lie Down
    • Your Goldendoodle should also come to you when called every time you call them
  • Really work with your dog to be social
  • You want a dog that is receptive to training.
    • Goldendoodles naturally have this trait as well.
  • Loyalty is important for a good guard dog.
    • If he is loyal to you, he will be more likely to protect you in a dangerous situation.
  • Determine at what point you want your dog to stop.
    • For example, do you want him to growl and bark and then back off, or do you want him to be more aggressive?
      • This is a very important decision to make before training your dog and one that you should be in line with your trainer on.
  • Once you have figured out the type of guard dog you would like your Goldendoodle to become, find a training program that fits your needs.
    • There are many programs out there that offer guard dog training.
      • Since training programs offered can vary by region, I suggest talking to your vet or other dog owners to see what is available in your area
  • Finally, be ready and willing to put in the work.
    • This process will take time and patience with your dog.

Training my Goldendoodle can be really expensive, do I really need a guard dog?

Training My Goldendoodle Can Be Really Expensive, Do I Really Need A Guard Dog?

Training my Goldendoodle can be really expensive, do I really need a guard dog?  Most dogs instinctively want to protect their owners. While your Goldendoodle may not eat someone if they get in the house, they will at least warn you by barking.

So, here are some things to consider before spending the time and money to train your Goldendoodle as a guard dog:

  • Are there people in your home with certain disabilities for which a guard dog could provide support?
    • Some people have hearing or vision disabilities and a barking dog may not be enough to ward off an intruder.
  • Are you living alone?
  • Do you live in an area that is prone to higher crime rates?
  • Do you often run or walk alone?
  • Have you been victim of a crime recently?
    • Sometimes a guard dog can allow for additional peace of mind after something tragic has happened.
  • Do you want an added sense of security that is more than a bark?

While the above reasons may not be comprehensive, it could help in determining whether a guard dog is right for you. Also, maybe one of the above factors is not enough and there are other items to take into consideration before deciding. The above is simply meant to be a starting point for consideration of your specific needs.

Closing Thoughts

We love our Goldendoodles and while they are a very important part of our family, it is nice to know they have your back when you need them. Whether you decide to keep your furry friend as a watch dog (which comes natural to them) or step it up and really train them to be a guard dog is a decision for you and your family to make. Any way you decide I think we can all agree they are worth having around.

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