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Discussion Starter #1
Do frequent dog walks decrease a dog's territorial behavior?

Our dog, Luna (belgian shep/doberman mix) used to always bark aggressively whenever anyone would approach our property (whether they be strangers or known family friends). Although this behavior may seem irritating to most dog owners, we actually value it because our house has already been broken into in the past and our neighbors do not live close by. Recently, I decided to take Luna on more frequent and longer walks (1-2hrs in the morning) as I noticed she was putting on weight and was also digging up our garden again. On our walks Luna is surprisingly very well behaved and shows no aggression to people or other dogs. It is only in our territory that she exhibits aggressive behavior to people outside our fence. Recently however, I noticed that Luna no longer barks as often or as fiercely as before and I'm starting to worry that she might eventually become a less effective guard dog because of our long walks.

Would it be advisable to walk her less often or for shorter periods of time? I don't want to spoil her fun especially now that she has become stronger and healthier from all the exercise. However we still need to protect our property and I do not want her to lose her natural "guard dog" demeanor.
 

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No i would not cut down her walks, my Lurcher was a good guard dog, and never stopped barking just because she had more or less walks, my BC does not guard the house from people at all.
 

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I doubt she'll be a lesser guard dog if you go out on walks with her :p A dog does not need to bark like crazy to be a good guardian. There's a saying where I'm from, translating to 'barking dogs don't bite, it's the quiet one you need to beware for'.

I wouldn't cut down on the walks if she's enjoying it and it's good for her health.
 

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The walks help her bond with you and relieve anxiety. She may have been anxious before, due to lack of exercise. Keep walking her, and maybe do a little training, like sit/down/stay. It'll help teach her to focus on you. She will naturally guard your home/bark when needed, but do it when someone is actually approaching/a threat rather than out of boredom/nervous energy. That is much better in terms of protection.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much for the advice, everyone. You gave me the advice I was hoping for. I've also come to enjoy walking with Luna very much and would be sad if we had to stop. Pretty soon' I think she'll be able to run with me as well.
 
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