Is it too much asking for protection from your Miniature Schnauzer? Just because this small fella doesn’t look much dangerous is it mean he can’t do a guard job? Let’s dig in, and let’s figure out if miniature schnauzers are protective dogs.
Although miniature schnauzers are alert, fearless dogs, they cannot be protective mainly due to their size. Since they are very sensitive to incoming threats and unusual activities, they can be made to be protective by unique training methods, training alert bark, obedience training, & proven tactics.
So how can you train your schnauzer to be protective? Are they suitable as watchdogs or guard dogs? How do you make sure that your dog is trained enough to be an excellent protective dog? Let’s find out!
Can miniature schnauzers be protective? Can they protect your family?
The miniature schnauzer is a breed of schnauzer type size in small. They usually weigh 4.5-6.8kg (female) and 5.0 to 8.2kg (male).
They have a double coat, and usually, the coat colors are black, pepper and salt, black and silver, and pure white.
Though they are smaller in size. They are a very active, affectionate, and playful breed. They are very sensitive to any kind of threat and bark when they see an incoming stranger.
Though they are smaller in size. They are a very active, affectionate and playful breed. They are very sensitive to any kind of threat and bark when they see an incoming stranger.Mr. Sudharaka Gambheera (Veterinary undergraduate)
These dogs are originated from farm dogs, but they can adapt to any kind of living condition or climate. So there will be no issue keeping your little bodyguard even though you switch to a smaller apartment.
Even though we cannot expect that a miniature schnauzer can be vastly protective of you, if there is any danger, he can alert you like an alarm protection system.
Schnauzers are an intelligent breed; therefore, they are easy to train. Do you know that they are able to make decisions and take charge when their owners are absent? Yeap. They are that smart. And also, they are very committed to their family that makes them the perfect companion for your family.
Recommended reading: Are Mini Schnauzers good off leash?
How to teach your miniature schnauzer to be protective?
As we need Dogs as life companions, sometimes we need them for providing us security for protecting property and our family.
So a good watchdog needs unique breeding and training. So let’s how we can train miniature schnauzers to be protective.
When it comes to the term “Watch Dog”, they don’t do ATTACK. Usually, they use the bark to inform you about a danger or a stranger that interferes with your space.
So making a watchdog need time and patience, but it makes your schnauzer adapt to any situation. (threatening and non-threatening situations)
So first, you have to identify the difference between a watchdog and an attacking dog so you would know the proper way to train the type you want.
Watchdogs are not going to jump up to the intruder’s body and attack them; therefore, they can’t become attack dogs.
It is essential to socialize your miniature schnauzer to train him to be a good watchdog. By associating him, He will be able to adjust to stressful conditions by exposing to fearful situations.
It is pretty obvious since a dog caged in a house can learn nothing from the surrounding. So it is better you can socialize your puppy between three and twelve weeks of age. After 12 weeks, they become more cautious of new situations. Therefore, it is hard to socialize.
If you really wanna make your miniature schnauzer protective of you or the family, the need for proper socialization is exceptionally high.
So the first thing first. You have to socialize your dog before make him a watchdog. It’s pretty simple but takes time. Let’s see how.
- So, in the socializing period, you should enhance the connectivity of your miniature schnauzer by getting him used to meeting new people and interacting with a brand new environment but make sure you don’t rush it. You can gradually increase the procedure because it is effective.
- In the training, you should reward your good boy/girl by petting, treats or extra playtime when they show some progress in the process.
- Keep your puppy’s vaccinations and deworming treatment up to date. This will keep your schnauzer healthy and free from diseases that can be spread while socializing.
Then you should make sure that your schnauzer is following your commands. It is like you should be familiar with basic commands like “stay”, “sit”, and “down”.
So now your dog is socialized and trained to respond to basic commands well. Now your dog is ready to go advanced training.
- Training the alert bark.
- Teaching the “quiet” command.
- Switch between the “Bark” and “quiet” commands.
Training the Alert Bark
For this, you must choose a word that stimulates your miniature schnauzer to become protective of you and the family. So what’s now im going to say is kind of fun and should practice with closed attention.
When there is a stranger at the door, you should call the trigger word as a command. Many dog owners use “Bark” as a trigger word. Choose a word that is easy for you, but you have to call it constantly.
Practicing the command
Barking is in the dog’s nature. But you have to train your schnauzer to bark on your command. This is how we gonna do it.
- Tie your dog to a fence by the leash. And hold and show him a treat, then start to move it away from its sight.
- When your schnauzer makes a noise like barking or whining, go near him again and give your treat and praise him with a good call. Repeat this several times.
- And when he’s getting used to what you are doing, change the location and try it out again. And also, when you are taking your schnauzer for a walk, try this out.
Stick to your command
It is not easy to train your schnauzer to command. You are not a professional trainer, but the constant training and patience make it easier to get your schnauzer there.
You can test your progress while walking. Just look at your buddy and command the trigger word(Bark). And yet, if he’s confused, hold out a treat and repeat the same.
Something to mind is that you shouldn’t let your dog bark continuously. When he does that, don’t give out the treat like, “No, no buddy, that’s not how we do it !”
Make a SCENE!
For testing the training outcome, you can do this. Step outside of the house and ring the bell. While doing it, give your buddy the command “Bark”.
Then reward him after he responded with a bark. And then knock on the front door and again command. Reward to the correct response.
You can give your schnauzer a 45-minute rest to do something else. Otherwise, he might get bored of the training. After the break, you can continue the training again.
Testing the Bark
You can test this with the help of your family member by asking them to go outside and repeat what you’ve done.
Training your miniature schnauzer to bark when something suspicious happens is crucial to becoming protective of you and the family.
Teaching the “quiet” command
Command your dog to bark.
Okay, now you’ve got a schnauzer who barks on your common. Now what? Now you have to teach him to be quiet on command.
It is necessary to complete your dog’s training to barking on your command to reach this step. Let’s see how to do this. First, you have to give the command “Bark” to start barking and do the rewarding.
Commanding to stop the barking
To start, ring the doorbell. Then your dog begins to bark. When he does that, place a treat in front of his nose. For the instant when the dog stops barking and sniffs, the treat says “Hush” to indicate the stop.
But be aware to avoid using a loud voice when commanding your dog to be quiet. Because it might make your dog feel alarmed, and he may become excited and bark continuously.
And also, don’t use “Shut up”, “No” as commands because they negatively connotate.
What if you don’t teach him to stop barking? Previously you worked hard to train your miniature schnauzer to be protective. Still, now it can be developed up to a behavioral issue. So, guys. Don’t skip these steps!
Switch between the “Bark” and “quiet” commands.
Practicing switching between these two commands gives you better control over your schnauzer’s barking.
Barking at strangers
Make your schnauzer bark at strangers. And do the same again but do not encourage him to bark at people you know.
Train these methods accordingly to make your schnauzer a good watchdog. It is not about a matter of time. The quality of the process is only mattering. So, take your time and patiently do the training process.
It is better if you can make a bark list so you can train your schnauzer to bark at those things only on the list.
As an example, you can put the unusual entrance of the strangers on the list so your dog won’t bark every time someone enters your property like your family members.
Suggested Reading: Are miniature schnauzers jealous dogs?
The characteristics of a good guard dog.
Take a look at the following characteristics and check if miniature schnauzers can be protective or become good guard dogs.
- Guard dogs notify you about inbound intruders and keep them occupied until the necessary actions are taken, maybe engage by biting.
- It is known that Fear and aggression should be left behind when a guard dog reacts to something. A miniature schnauzer should be more protective and territorial of his owner’s property but still should be act on the owner’s command.
- Another characteristic is confidence. A confident dog is always curious about the surrounding. So he tends to identify new places and people. A dog can be confident or not genetically. But you can make him confident by socializing with the dog, which I already mentioned before.
- A good dog is always ready for an adventure. He will approach brand new situations or people without dodging them.
- Sociability is also an important characteristic of a good guard dog. They can deal carefully with the appearance of a stranger. They would be alarmed about them but do not attack aggressively.
- they have a good concentration level. They remain focused on every time and waiting for a response from their handler.
So, now what do you feel? Can miniature schnauzers be protective? Can miniature schnauzers be good guard dogs?
Recommended reading: How high can a mini schnauzer jump?
Top 5 Best Guard Dogs
1. Doberman Pinscher– They are a german breed usually using for safeguarding, police, and military work.
2. Cairn Terrier – small dogs but very curious about the surroundings and alert their owners about the unusual activities.
3. Rottweiler – large breed and super loyal to the owner. But if you are a first-time canine owner, it is not very recommended to choose this one.
4. German Shepherd – they will also alert their owners about any stranger closer to their territory.
5. Akita – these dogs tend to alert their owners very quickly about unusual activities.
What’s the difference between a guard dog and a watchdog?
A watchdog is also called an alarm dog. They alert their owners when an unusual thing is happening. They usually by do bark to alert their owners.
When guard dogs are alert, if their barking is not enough, they tend to engage the threat.
So miniature schnauzers are good watchdogs as they are much intelligent to choose when to alert and when to not. You can easily transform him into a watchdog through a suitable training method.
But miniature schnauzers can be further trained into guard dogs and be protective. This is something you should do carefully.
If you can’t get along with the process or do have not enough confidence, you should ask the help of the professionals; otherwise, your dog might get more aggressive and create a harmful environment for your visitors.
Things to be aware of.
- Schnauzers are a very active kind of breed, and they love to play with their owners. They are eager to explore the surrounding and curious about the environment. So you have to walk your schnauzer daily. Otherwise, they may likely display some kind of behavior problems or dominance issues.
- Your dog should be appropriately vaccinated before you start socializing him. Otherwise, he might get diseases from the surrounding and other dogs with he interacts.
- Miniature Schnauzers are attention seekers and can be very attached to their owner. So the lack of attention can cause them some mental problems.
To sum up, Miniature Schnauzers are good protective dogs as they are active, energetic and intelligent. And they do need proper training to be protective. They are good watchdogs and can be further trained into guard dogs, but the process should be done under the supervision of an expert.