In general, can a Labrador be a guard dog?
A Lab is a good choice for guard dogs. They can alert you to potential dangers and warn you if you have children.
You might be looking for an aggressive guard dog to patrol your property and get into fights with other dogs.
The Role of a Guardian Dog vs. Protective Watchdog
Most people picture a guard dog as a vicious attack dog that bites and growls at anyone it deems dangerous. You might see certain breeds of dogs that were bred to guard or protect you in the past.
Dictionary.com defines a guard dog as “a large, aggressive, German shepherd or Doberman Pinscher trained to guard people or property and to often attack or restrain upon command.”
Individuals may interpret the definition of a guard dog differently. Perhaps you think of guard dogs less as attack dogs and more as dogs that live on your property and alert you for intruders, disturbances, or other concerns.
Labradors are able to possess these qualities and do these tasks well if you want a dog that can be protective and alert (more of a vigilant attack dog than an aggressive attack dog).
Labs make excellent watchdogs. They are large and have a strong bark.
Labs often alert you to packages being delivered, cars approaching your home, and people in your driveway who have not yet detected the package (or your home camera).
Labs are protective and instinctive and can bond with their family. Labs can also be alert and protective when it comes to keeping an eye on their family members.
Labradors are Protective Dogs because of their Characteristics
You might not be familiar with the characteristics Labradors have, especially if you are new to this world.
You can find a more complete breed overview here. However, Labs have been around for many hundred years because of their friendly temperaments, friendliness, and bond with people.
Labs are smart, friendly, even-tempered dogs. It is rare to see Labs that are aggressive, hostile, or disinterested in people.
This is due to their lovable and amazing personalities. Labradors are the most loved dog breed in America for the past 30 years.
Because of their closeness to people and friendliness, Labs don’t often show aggression towards strangers. However, they will alert you if something isn’t right.
Labs are often protective of their pack and their people. They may bark, growl, or even raise their fur hackles when they sense something unusual in their environment.
We have had the gentlest and most loving Labs. They will suddenly switch to “full protection mode” and growl viciously and bark when they feel threatened by someone or something in their environment.
Our Labradors have shown this behavior when they saw a bear or another wild animal in our area.
They quickly return to their playful natures and friendly selves after we have reassured them!
Can a Labrador Be a Guard Dog?
A Labrador is not a suitable choice if you are looking for a dog who is more reserved, suspicious of strangers, and more likely to attack or subdue strangers (or on command), than a Labrador.
Labs are not known to be aggressive, so they don’t often respond aggressively when provoked. They are usually more friendly and playful, and they tend to be more cheerful.
It all depends on your dog’s personality and the training you give him.
It all depends on how close you are to your dog, and whether or not they learn that strangers should be treated with kindness.
Labs aren’t known for being territorial, aggressive, or confrontational.
They are adaptable and can be alerted to problems on your property but they might not want to take action – unless it is a squirrel, bunny or bird.
Labs will be more likely to tell you what’s wrong and help you fix it.
Although Labradors have a bite force of around 230 PSI, which is among the top 20 dog breeds, it’s not something they use very often.
The original purpose of lab dogs was to retrieve upland games and hunt waterfowl. They are still being bred for these traits. To avoid causing damage to the item they are retrieving for their owners, labs are taught to have a soft mouth when retrieving.
Dogs with hard teeth and a strong bite response would be unable to eat the wild game they are attempting to retrieve. Although any dog can bite, it’s more common for Labs to be too gentle with what they have in their mouths.
Labs for Professional Guard Dogs and Working Dogs
Professional Labradors are not often used as guard dogs or “bite dogs” in the workplace. Labradors are more commonly used in detection work such as explosives dogs, arson dogs and drug-sniffing dog.
Other types of dogs might be used in police training for more aggressive training.
Labs are able to detect things with their noses, but they are more likely used for friendly sniffing than for more serious work.
Labradors are often used to assist the blind and are one of the most popular dog breeds.
Labs are more at home in service environments than those where aggression is valued due to their kind and friendly personalities.
Is it possible to train your Lab to be a guard dog?
Labs are not the best option if your dog behaves in a manner that is consistent with the technical definition of guard dogs, such as attacking when you command it.
You can encourage Labradors to use their protective instincts, and reward them for being alert and a good watchdog in your home.
Your Labrador’s personality will determine how seriously they take their role as family watchdog. However, you can reward your Labrador for alerting you and fulfilling the duties you require.
Reward your Labs for noticing things in your environment, such as people at your door or anything else that may be different.
Do not punish or scold your Lab for barking at the doorbell, or alerting to noises in their environment they may be worried about.
They don’t need to be exaggerated or made a big deal about it. However, you shouldn’t make an association with protecting you.
Your Labrador will become afraid of you if they are repeatedly scolded for alerting you.
You’ll be less likely to hear from them about something you may have been interested in.
Labs are able to be alerted to unusual situations in their environment by being watchdogs. A Lab would not be the best choice to guard their home in an aggressive guard dog role.
Labradors are friendly and playful, with a happy disposition. They make great family members.
It all depends on your dog’s temperament and the amount of training you do with him to reinforce or suppress certain behaviors.