Training Territorial Dogs


All dogs have territorial tendencies that are completely normal. However, some behaviors can be dangerous or unacceptable and it’s important to correct these. If a dog is snipping, barking excessively or being aggressive it’s probably time to re-train.

One of the first steps to take is to create an environment that the dog can be calm in while training. For example, if a dog is territorial over food, allow him to eat in a place where he will not be bothered for the duration of training.

After this is established, do a refresher course in basic training. Taking five minutes a day for a training session should be enough of a refresher for both dog and owner. It also allows the dog to bond with you, the owner, which can help in the long run too. Once this becomes a routine, both of you will have a good toolkit for minimizing territorial behavior.

Another important skill for a dog to have is recall. Recall is when a dog comes when it is called. When you and your dog have this tool, it will be easy to control any poor behavior with just one word. It’s always important to reward your dog when they listen, especially in the training stages. For most dogs, it’s best to start indoors and work up to going out into the yard.

In addition, a skill that can help immensely in breaking territorial behavior is teaching your dog that she must work for her rewards. Before getting a scrap piece of food, make her sit. Before going out for a walk, she must sit and stay to get her leash on. Before eating her food from her bowl, she must lay down. This will help a dog learn that you’re in control and this will in turn reduce territorial behavior.

Create a word that will calm down a territorial, anxious dog. Start with a peaceful environment, and gradually increase distractions. This step will take some time, but with patience, it will be an extremely useful skill for a territorial dog.

Using positive training is the best way to correct any dog’s behavior. Always have small treats on hand for when your dog completes any training task. This will allow him to associate calm, obedient behavior with positive rewards and this will help immensely in the training process.