The Guard Dog Test: Does Your Dog Have What it Takes?
Your dog might go haywire when someone knocks on your door, but does that mean they would make a good guard dog? We’ve produced a test for you to answer on behalf of your dog, no matter their breed or size, to see if they’d be fit for the job.
Make a note of the letter of each of your answers and then at the end of the test, you’ll find out what they all mean; but remember to answer truthfully.
Q1: Your dog is...
- Still a puppy
- Getting on now
Specific ages aren’t used here as different breeds age at different speeds. For example, the Bernese Mountain Dog is known for its intelligence and loyalty, but the breeds small gene pool means they often have multiple health issues. Their 7-year average life span is dwarfed by the Chihuahua‘s 17 average year life span, which demonstrates just how much ageing can change between dogs.
Q2: How aggressive is your dog?
- Very aggressive
- Even tempered
The obvious answer here might seem to be A, but a good guard dog is built on balance. You want them to be aggressive when necessary, but too much aggression could make them hard to control. Too little, however, would mean that they lack the necessary attitude to become a good guard dog.
Q3: Your dog wants to play...
- Most of the time
- Not that often
This question determines both how good a guard dog your pet would make, but also how easy it would be to train them. It’s always easier to train a dog that enjoys playing as they won’t see it as learning.
Q4: When around other calm dogs, your dog is...
- Loud and aggressive
- Uninterested and submissive
- Calm and controlled
A genuinely strong and well-trained dog doesn’t usually have to shout and act aggressively to know that they can be aggressive. Knowing when to be calm and when to be loud is a talent that guard dogs require.
Q5: When approached by strangers, your dog is...
- Very alert and anxious
- Calm but attentive
A dog’s knack for sensing a potentially dangerous human is incredible at times and is a key part of why they make such good animals for security. How your dog reacts around people they haven’t already met and confirmed are not a threat is an indicator of this knack.
Q6: When you speak to your dog, they...
- Look back at you
- Pay no attention at all
- Listen, but look elsewhere
Your dog could tick none of the boxes you’d attribute with a good guard dog initially, but if they can pay attention and learn from what you say and do, then they have a strong chance of learning the traits necessary.
Q7: Do you treat your dog like part of the family?
Now you’re finished, tally up your points below to find out if your dog could make it in the security business.
Q1: A = 3 points, B = 2 points, C = 1 points
Q2: A = 2, B = 3, C = 1
Q3: A = 3, B = 1, C = 2
Q4: A = 2, B = 1, C = 3
Q5: A = 2, B = 3, C = 1
Q6: A = 3, C = 2, B = 1
Q7: A = 1, B = 2, C = 3
0 to 5 points = you will really have your work cut out for you.
6 to 11 points = they’re showing some potential.
12 to 17 points = they’re a natural.
18 to 21 points = they’re the finished product!
Remember that this test is to determine how good a guard dog your pet would make, or if they could work in a security role. Even if they score the minimum points, it’s important to remember that no test or quiz can decide how good your dog Is. There are no bad dogs; only dogs that don’t know any better.