You can teach your dog to defend itself through training, isolation to make it more territorial, and leashing to make it more aggressive. Additionally, you can build your pet’s self-esteem, and keep it healthy, active, and fit, which will help it defend itself.

There can be many reasons why your pet is unable to defend itself. However, aside from its genetic predisposition, the only way is to train your dog to protect itself. You can teach it to defend itself by making it aggressive, building its self-esteem, and keeping it healthy.

Making your dog able to defend itself may require the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

The professional trainer will help prevent a situation where you train your pup to protect itself; however, it becomes overly protective and violent even towards you, the owner.

how can I teach my dog to protect himself
a black dog protecting itself – image- by trace Hudson from pexels

Table of Contents

3 Ways To Make Your Dog To Defend Itself


The most effective way to teach your dog to defend itself is with the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. Working with a professional will help you understand why your dog cannot protect itself.

A professional will guide you through making your dog aggressive enough to defend or protect itself. In some cases, there is a likelihood that your dog will become overly aggressive; working with a professional will help prevent that.

It is sometimes risky to try to teach your dog to protect itself. Some breeds are easy to train, whereas others can be challenging. Sometimes, your pet may become aggressive and attack you if you are not careful.

It would be best to employ a positive reinforcement technique when training your dog to defend itself.

Build Self-Esteem

Suppose your pet is shy or lacking confidence; it will whimper and scram away in fear. Your pup believes it is inferior to the dog, animal, or person displaying aggression towards it.

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Enrichment activities and relationship-based training can help your pet gain confidence in a more general sense.

Simply feeding your dog through food puzzles and involving him in nose work can boost his confidence. A confident dog can mark and defend its territory, including the dog itself and the owner.

Keep It Healthy And Active

You must ensure that your pet is warm, hearty, and active. To do this, you should endeavor that your dog has the right amount of exercise. Similarly, you must ensure that your pet is given food with the appropriate nutrient content.

Furthermore, the mental health of your dog is also essential. Ensure you stimulate your pet mentally to allow it to exercise its brain and practice its instincts. When your dog is healthy and active, it will quickly obey commands and instructions.

Reasons Why Your Dog Can’t Protect Itself

It Has Underlying Medical Conditions

Suppose your dog suffers from infections, metabolic diseases, or genetic defects. It will lack the capacity to defend itself in an attack. Many of these conditions will make your pet passive or lethargic.

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Furthermore, a dog with underlying medical conditions is unlikely to be active or energetic aside from defending itself. It can seem distant and detached from the activities going on around it. Its level of socialization will also reduce.

Heartworms, parvovirus, gastrointestinal disorders, and kidney diseases are some afflictions that can render your pet inactive. They can turn even the most aggressive dogs passive, and it is because they will lack the strength to stand and protect themselves.

Your Pup Has Sustained Injuries

Injuries to your pet can make it unable to display any form of aggression in trying to defend itself.

Your pet would likely run from an aggressor rather than stay and try to protect its territory. Doing this ensures it does not suffer more injuries trying to protect itself.

Furthermore, just as you would avoid any activities that aggravate your injuries. Your pup will also prefer to isolate itself while it nurses its injury. Isolating itself ensures that it does not engage in unnecessary socialization or activities that may force it to do something strenuous.

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how to train my dog to protect itself
dog having injuries on its leg – image – by nothing ahead from pexels

Congenital Factors May Be Why Your Dog Can’t Protect Itself

Some dog breeds are predisposed to be reserved, shy, quiet, or passive. The Basenji, French Bulldog, Great Dane, Australian Cattle Dog, Shar Pei, and Borzoi are excellent examples of quiet dogs.

Furthermore, the Great Dane, Greyhound, Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, Maltese, Newfoundland, Pug, and Whippet are examples of dogs without the predisposition to be aggressive.

Although training can help make your dog aggressive and defend itself, it is still a tall task. As the famous saying goes, a leopard cannot change its spots; it is also ultimately challenging to change what is inherent in your dog.

Inherent factors will always play a crucial role in the ability of your dog to defend it. A passive dog will shy away from confrontation; however, a passive dog will show some aggression towards strangers and other dogs in some cases.


It is a fantasy of many dog owners to want a pet that can snap back at other dogs and people to protect itself and its territory. However, it is essential to know that dogs are creatures of habit. Once they have gotten used to a particular trait, they often repeat it.

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Additionally, your pet will likely become overly aggressive and terrorize other dogs or people. In such cases, you will need the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They will be able to identify and fix what makes your dog over-aggressive.


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