Your grown child is finally leaving the nest, have you condidered getting them a properly trained guard dog? Whether they’re moving out for college or are planning to get their first apartment with friends, it can be tough to watch your grown-up baby move out. All parents worry about their childrens safety when first starting out. One of the best things you can do to keep you child safe when living on their own is to provide them with a properly trained guard dog.
Guard dogs are companions, friends, and protectors all in one. They are usually sweet-natured and loving dogs that are protective by nature and then trained to know how to be a polite protector in an active city lifestyle. A guard dog will ensure that your child has someone to watch over them while they sleep, keep intruders at bay, and a protector to walk outside the apartment. Of course, guard dogs don’t just spring ready to protect from puppyhood. They need to be trained.
Giving the gift of a guard dog requires careful planning that will result in years of joy and peace of mind. Here’s how to do it right:
Schedule 2-6 Weeks of Time Together
The first step is to make sure you have plenty of time to a properly trained guard dog. Use your graduate’s summer break or the weeks leading up to their move-out as your planning and training time. You’ll want two to six weeks of training your dog and graduate to work together before they leave the nest.
Adopting the Right Dog for the Job
Next, you want to find the right dog to be your graduate’s new protector and companion. There are a surprising number of suitable options, including adopting a retired police dog or finding an appropriate beed mix at the local shelter. Good guard dog breeds include German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Akitas, Rottweilers, Dobermans, and several other naturally protective breeds.
Send Your Dog and Child to Guard Dog Training Together
When you find the right dog, the most important part of gifting a guard dog is training. And not just for the dog. A guard dog works best when they know and trust the person they are guarding. It’s best if you can send your graduate and their new dog to training together for several sessions. Training won’t just teach the dog how to be a good protector. It will build a system of communication, manners, and command words between the dog and your child. This way, they can work as a team to maintain safety.
After training together, your child will know how to tell when the dog is warning them of danger, how to work with their dog to stay safe, and how to tell their dog to stand down when new friends come to visit. Your child will also learn how to keep their dog close when they leave the house and how to set up a home so that their dog can best protect them.
Help Them Find a Dog-Friendly Apartment
If your child hasn’t found one already, the next step is to help them locate a great dog-friendly apartment. It’s important that they have somewhere to live that is welcoming to dogs so they can gain all the benefit of their new companion’s protection. Young graduates are often not skilled and certainly not experienced at sourcing a great apartment, so lend them your expertise in researching, visiting, and vetting a good place to live.
Talk about Guard Dog Safety
Before you leave them to their unpacking in the new place, have at one serious conversation about guard dog safety. Emphasize how important it is to lock their doors at all times and to trust in their dog when a warning is shared. Their dog will often have better instincts about dangerous people and ill intentions. Encourage them to take the dog any time they are going on a walk, to get their friends used to the idea of the dog as a plus-one guest, and to take wonderful care of their dog, so the relationship is symbiotic.
Launch Your Graduate with Confidence
Finally, and you don’t need us to tell you, give your graduate a big hug and launch them with all the confidence and encouragement to take their new independent life by the horns. With a well-trained guard dog, you can rest easy knowing that your grown child is protected waking and sleeping and that they will never get too lonely. Plus, you’ll always have a friendly furry face to scruffle when you swing by for visits.
If you live in Long Island and are planning to give a guard dog to a recent graduate, trust Canine Commander for the important training phase of this process. Long Island dog training is something we are dedicated to providing with paired lessons for dogs and owners together. Let us help your child and their new dog learn to work as a safe, mutually supportive team. Contact Canine Commander today to schedule lessons or talk about programs ensure a properly trained guard dog.