Do you want to train your Labrador to attack on command?
If your answer was “yes”, continue reading below to learn the 6 easy ways in which you can train your Labrador Retriever to attack on your signal.
Can you train your Labrador to attack?
Labradors are popular for being well-tempered and kind dogs. In fact, their reputation as a friendly and accommodating dog breed precedes them.
For some, these characteristics are amazing and already make up everything they would ever want in a dog.
However, one thing that makes these characteristics not so endearing is when you want to get a dog that can guard you and attack whenever necessary.
Before anything else, it has to be pointed out that knowing how to train a Labrador to be a guard dog is a serious matter.
Dogs do not function nor process things the way humans do. That said, you will only be disappointed if you expect them to separate the contexts of situations.
For example, you may want them to be kind inside your house when you are together with the children. But, you also want them to guard the house in case anything happens.
This is going to be difficult for your Labrador to process, so you need a lot of patience if you are serious about learning how to train a dog to attack.
Before you get into Lab guard training, you have to be mindful of your personal expectations and try to understand that the task at hand is not an easy one at all.
Don’t worry, though. Training your Labrador to attack despite their friendly nature is not an impossible task.
Yes, you read that right.
Labrador training that is meant for such purposes may take a long time, and you might need a lot of patience.
But, if you are determined, the results can be promising.
Do you require professional help in training your Labrador to attack on your signal?
One of the first concerns to tackle in any form of training is whether or not you will need a formal trainer.
If you want to train your dog to attack, you do not expressly need a professional, but it comes highly recommended.
Training your Labrador to attack on cue can be potentially dangerous. And, if you are not an expert, you may not know how to navigate the situations that will arise.
So, get a professional trainer if you can to help make the process easier and lessen the dangers of anything untoward happening.
However, we also understand that there are areas where access to trainers may be difficult to come by, so training your Labrador by yourself may be the better option in such a case.
If you are going to train your Labrador Retriever to attack by yourself, be sure to use proper protective equipment throughout the duration of the training.
You will also need to do a lot of research and preparation beforehand to do it well since guard dog training is not something that you want to botch.
Although it can get difficult, you can still achieve proper training if you dedicate your time and effort to it. Take note that you may need to get additional tools to aid you with the entire process.
When should you start training your Labrador to attack on command?
Because habits are incredibly important in dog training, you should start as early as possible.
This way, your Labrador will be able to absorb all the lessons that you will be teaching them.
Of course, this does not mean that they will immediately take to the training.
You can start training your Labrador at about 5 or 6 months. Although you can start in between those times, the general rule of thumb is that the sooner you train your Labrador, the better.
Also, keep in mind that any form of training will require a significant amount of repetition.
Thus, you need to start as soon as possible so you can inculcate in your dog’s thinking that these actions are related to these commands.
When they become a bit older at around 7 or 8 months, the training will become much more difficult.
You should take advantage of their young age as much as you possibly can and train them early.
How to train your Labrador to attack on command
Just a heads up that the training itself will be a difficult and tedious process. Plus, most people usually only train their Labrador Retrievers to attack on their signal if they want an added layer of protection for themselves.
But, if you are already decided on learning how to train your Labrador to attack on command, here are our suggestions:
1. Prepare yourself for Labrador attacks.
The first step in training your Labrador to attack is to prepare yourself.
This is not an option.
Before anything else, you should conduct sufficient research so that you will feel comfortable with the training process. It will benefit you in the long run if you know what to do in the beginning.
Additionally, you should gear up and wear protective clothing. Things like thick gloves and proper protective clothing can help you prevent injuries.
You have to make sure that any part of your body that your Lab can easily attack is covered and safe from their bites.
2. Get into an area with a lot of space.
Training your Lab to attack on command will take a lot of training with a lot of space.
You will want to move a lot while training them, so it is vital that you ensure that both you and your dog are comfortable.
Also, make sure that the space is enough for your dog to be able to follow the basic commands, such as sit or roll over.
You need to place your Lab in an environment that is conducive to them and that they are comfortable in.
3. Provoke them.
The key to training your dog to attack on your command is to put them in a situation where they would want to attack you.
Your Labrador will not want to attack you under normal circumstances, so you will have to fabricate the provocation, according to this study.
To provoke your Lab, you will have to learn what triggers your dog to become annoyed or what irritates them the most. You can then implement these triggers during the training.
Training your dog to attack on command is a process that varies from dog to dog, so you need to think about your approach thoroughly.
Once you’ve got that down, and your Lab attacks your hand or arm, you have to say the command or cue immediately.
This will ensure that your dog understands that this is what attacking means.
It may take you a couple of tries to even get your Lab to understand what it means to attack on your signal, so you just need to be patient with them.
Once your dog has learned the meaning of attack, you can proceed to the next steps. However, don’t forget to reward them for their hard work.
Incentives in training go a long way, especially when we are talking about Labradors and their voracious appetites.
4. Repeat the training process.
The key to proper training is repetition. Training your Labrador just one time will not work. It is a time-consuming process that requires doing the same things over and over so that your dog understands what you are trying to do.
Remember that success in training is by no means linear. One day, your Lab may seem to understand what you mean but then forget it the next day. That’s normal and is perfectly okay.
Try to extend your patience in dealing with them as all forms of training need persistence.
Remember to reward them for their successes and never punish them for making mistakes or forgetting what they are supposed to do. You can do the initial set of provocation for a time until you feel your Lab is ready to take it to the next step.
5. Intensify the training.
Training your Lab to only bite your arm will not work on other people. Instead of your dog attacking other people when you say the cue, they will be more likely to bite and attack your arm.
To solve this, you can try using objects that imitate human beings. This way, they will understand that they are supposed to be attacking ‘someone’ when you say the command.
You may need to purchase a good-sized doll for this, or you can use whatever human-looking thing you can get a hold of.
At first, they may not respond well and will try to attack your arm. But, over time, they will understand that the cue means they have to attack whatever you are referring to.
6. Don’t forget to reward them.
A very crucial aspect of training your Labrador to attack is to give them rewards for a job well done.
Not only will they be happy; they will also associate their actions with treats. Consequently, they will also be more likely to follow what you want them to do.
Ideally, you will no longer need to reward them every single time they are able to do your instructions right. But, you still need to give them treats every once in a while to keep them motivated.
Labradors are a dog breed known for being well-mannered and widely lovable.
However, even with this natural temperament, your Labs can still learn how to attack on your command or whenever the situation calls for it.
We have incorporated a few easy steps above that are guaranteed to turn your Labrador Retriever into a fierce and fearless guard dog.
Just be patient and open-minded if you choose to train them on your own.