How is a Security Dog trained?

By K9 Patrol 22/03/17, Posted in Dog Training

K9 Patrol has a range of security dog services. The dog teams at K9 Patrol are highly trained to search people, vehicles and buildings to safeguard residential or business premises, festivals and events. However, have you ever wondered how a security dog is trained? Once a dog is selected and recognised for having the potential characteristics of an excellent security dog, these characteristics need to be strengthened, and the canine needs to be trained correctly


Socialisation is an important learning process that a puppy must undergo in order to learn significant life skills to ensure that is happy and confident in its environment, and so it can communicate effectively with humans and other dogs. During the early age of 8 – 12 weeks, it is essential that a future guard dog is exposed to as many new people, animals, objects, and places as possible. This process of socialisation must then continue throughout the canine’s life, in order for the security dog to always cope with changing people and situations. It also helps to build their confidence. These Certain security dog breeds such as German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers are naturally wary of new people, objects, and surroundings; however, they are trained to accurately decipher and evaluate what is and what is not a threat.

Obedience Training

Once a future guard dog is socialised, they are more easily trained. A puppy that will one day be an integral part of canine security services will begin the fundamentals of obedience training at an early age. Most dogs can be accurately and well trained in a primarily positive manner. This obedience training often comes in the form of motivation based training. Motivation based training means creating an environment where the dog has a desire to perform an exercise. The trainee guard dog actively tries to understand what the trainer is trying to teach him. It is crucial that the dog has a solid foundation of obedience skills and reliably performs them in all environments, as this replicates real-life scenarios they may one day be put in.

Rules and Communication

Setting rules for the future guard dogs are essential. Rules create a sense of order and a reliable hound. Security services dogs must have clear and defined leadership from their trainer and then after essential rules have been implemented, the trainee dog grows to recognise that there are expectations of their behaviour. Once rules and methods of communication have been implemented, trainers create scenarios that will develop the confidence of the dog and their ability to undertake the roles required.

Fun and Positivity

There is a great misconception that training a security dog is tough and hostile. This is far from the truth, often, before and after each training session, the handler plays a game with the dog or serves it some treats. Consequently, this creates a positive experience and encourages the dogs to learn faster. By keeping the dog happy and creating a calm atmosphere it encourages a smooth learning process.

Smells and Rewards

Dogs have a strong sense of smell and when trained they can detect drugs, explosives, blood, and more. But, how are dogs trained to specifically detect these scents? Handlers often will play with the dog using a towel, which has been washed very carefully to not smell of anything. Later on, a bag of drugs (for example) is rolled up inside the towel. After playing for a while, the dog begins to associate the smell of the drug with the smell of their favourite toy. Then, the trainer hides the towel from the dog, with the drugs hidden in, in various places, to challenge the dog to find it. When the dog sniffs out the drugs, he will dig and scratch to try and get to his toy. The dog will then soon learn that if he detects the scent of drugs he will be rewarded with a game after he finds them successfully. As training continues and develops, a variety of drugs are placed and hidden in the towel, until eventually, the dog is capable of detecting a variety of illegal substances.

Guard dog security services can aid security issues in a variety of environments and situations. Not only are static security dogs visual deterrents but due to intense training they can detect drugs, protect their handlers, and can complete a full perimeter search. Essentially, K9 Patrol can provide an unbeatable team for any assignment.

If you’d like to find out more about our security dog services, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 01423 551526 or email us at

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