This is a question that more than 7729 of our readers have been asking us! Luckily, we have found the most appropriate information for you!

There are lots of reasons to adopt a dog: There are small pups that you can cuddle, loyal pooches that can offer constant companionship, and even guard dogs to make sure your family feels safe when they’re at home. If the idea of having a protective pet around interests you, start your search by looking at breeds that make the best guard dogs.

Just like their long legs and sleek figure would suggest, they’re incredibly fast and powerful. This loyal working dog breed is identifiable by their rough, tousled coat. That standoffish attitude is sure to keep strangers away, if their strong stature isn’t intimidating enough! That fierceness comes from their history: Caucasian Shepherds were used for centuries to protect properties from trespassers and to guard livestock from predators such as wolves and coyotes.

For as long as dogs have been domesticated, humans have used them to guard their livestock and homes. Some breeds do better at understanding one owner, and other breeds understand the entire family and will protect each member as though it were one of its own. We have researched and ranked the ten best guard dogs for families, and have brought you that list below.

Make sure, as you look over this list, to continue to research the breed you feel most closely matches your families needs. This list is a great jumping of point for you and we feel each breed below brings a tremendous amount of love and protection to you your family. German Shepherds, in our opinion, top the list of best family guard dogs due to their natural instincts to listen, learn, and obey. Their excellent responsiveness to commands and fantastic senses of smell make them perfect companions for K9 units on the force. With proper patience and love, raising a German Shepherd is pretty mild compared to most breeds, and they have relatively few health problems. In more recent years, this breed’s intelligence and aggressive behavior made them great police dogs. The Bullmastiff has excellent instincts and thrives in family settings, as they learn quickly who their “pack” is and will do everything they can to protect it. Whereas some guard dogs will growl and bark, if threatened, the Bullmastiff will show great attacking qualities and can easily take a full-grown man to the ground. They eventually moved from roaming outdoors to being primarily domesticated, and thrived due to their loyal nature and fondness of their owners. Passive owners will lose control of their Bullmastiff, and it will dominate the home with little regard to command and direction. The breed is very alert and cautious of people it is not familiar with, but will respect the command of their owner and this makes them great for protecting families. They were brought back from Germany to the United States after World War 2 and have been used in police and military situations up to this day, though in recent years, they have been used less and less in these roles. They can be difficult to train, and need to be dominated at an early age to establish control and command of these dogs throughout their lives. Great Danes were a popular breed in both World War’s as they have a fantastic sense of smell and were used to track enemies in the field. The lineage of the boxer is littered with strands of numerous European breeds, and no one is exactly sure where it’s true bloodlines lie. Are big eaters and also have a long list of health related issues they deal with in their lifetimes, especially purebreds. In homes where many people come and go, we would steer clear of the Fila Brasileiros, but because they are so comfortable and loyal to what they perceive to be their family, these make great guard dogs. They were also very astute hunters and when they migrated to the United States in the early 19 th century, they were used to track down runaway prisoners. Like the Great Pyrenees, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a very old breed who was used by the Romans for guarding cattle and property. They later were used in high altitude areas of Europe to pull carts of goods over rocky terrain. Bernese Mountain Dogs are descendants of wolves, and their loyalty and strength transitioned them well to farm life in America guarding livestock. They are tireless workers, but their life expectancies are not long and they do have many medical issues owners have to watch out for, specifically bone spurs and other skeletal problems. These dogs do better in colder climates, as their thick coats make overheating very common in some southern states. They are also larger dogs with short life expectancies and a laundry list of medical issues, but if given the proper amount of care and attention, this breed is playful, obedient, and great for large and small families alike. If your first impression of a St. Bernard isn’t from Cujo , it is probably of a large dog trotting through the Alps with a small barrel of liquor around it’s neck searching for lost skiers. The St. Bernard breed originated in Northern Europe in high altitudes where they were used to track and navigate through the rough terrain. We really like these dogs due to their mild nature and massive size, and would do well in most homes looking for the intimidating look without the menacing behavior. Any good quality breeder will never breed a dog that has evidence of such difficulties in their lineage; however, sometimes temperament concerns can go unreported. A dog that is trained to be overly aggressive can easily turn on its handler, other pets or even children in the home. A poorly bred German shepherd that has hip dysplasia is not going to be comfortable with the life of a guard dog. Guard dogs are utilized to watch over property or individuals and deter thieves or trespassers simply by their presence or with a bark. As living things, there is always a possibility that a guard dog can be incapacitated which leaves a thief or other criminal with the opportunity they need to access your home.

If you have more specific needs and you’re searching for a dog capable of protecting you, your family, and your property, you should think carefully about choosing one of the best breeds for this purpose.

Protective dogs will show even more loyalty than a regular furball to the extent of doing absolutely anything to keep you from harm. The breeds we’ve rounded up today all exhibit the traits you’re looking for in a guard dog, but you should always seek professional advice before you rely on your canine for protection of any kind. The best dogs capable of protective duties will also interact lovingly with owners and trusted friends. The good news is, most breeds well-suited to guard dog work are also very lovable and will interact with all the family, children included. So, without further ado, we’ll walk you through a comprehensive cross-section of the best dogs for protection so you can see if any of these might make a good fit for your household. German Shepherd Great Dane Cane Corso Boxer Rottweiler Doberman Pinscher Komondor Bull Mastiff Belgian Malinois Dutch Shepherd American Bulldog Beauceron Akita Rhodesian Ridgeback Tibetan Mastiff Puli Giant Schnauzer Staffordshire Terrier Kuvasz Appenzeller Sennenhund This breed boasts the core traits of a reliable guard dog: they’re loving and brave as well as highly intelligent. While shepherds don’t typically weigh over 100 pounds, they maintain an imposing physical presence, readily intimidating almost any intruder before they need to act. Great Danes are comical dogs, huge lumbering beasts with a sensitive streak. If you’re a newcomer to dog ownership, a Great Danes doesn’t make the smoothest fit due to a combination of their hulking size and their raw intelligence. For anyone with a little experience and lots of time, love, and patience, a Great Dane makes a very versatile addition to the home, and these dogs will provide plenty of protection on the basis of their appearance alone. With oversized heads, these beasts stand almost 30 inches high and they will intimidate all but the most determined intruder simply on the strength of their appearance. Cane Corsi don’t make a great choice for apartment dwellers as they need a spacious home and a secure yard. If you know what you’re doing with dogs and you have the time and the inclination to train a Cane Corso, you’ll find you get a remarkably loyal pet that will also serve as an around-the-clock guardian. Boxers may seem soft and cuddly – and they are when they’re with their family – but they can also function as highly effective guard dogs. Despite this medium size, their physiques and extreme energy levels combine into a fairly menacing physical presence. Throw all these ingredients together and boxers make one of the best dogs for protection, even though they aren’t the biggest hounds on our list. This dog needs a strong and confident alpha figure capable of controlling them calmly. These dogs have very high activity levels and they don’t thrive if they are left to spend too much time alone. Despite being slightly shorter than many conventional guard dogs, rottweilers are physically commanding and their presence alone should deter most casual intruders. These dogs occupy the same size class as rottweilers and shepherds, but they are lighter and fleeter of foot than these breeds. Dobermans were originally bred to accompany tax collectors on their rounds, and these roots make them ideal for a range of protection applications. If you’re thinking about bringing a Doberman into your home, you should make sure you have plenty of space for him to roam around, and you should also be prepared to give him all the exercise he needs. As well as making lovable pets, these dogs will also instinctively protect your home and family from any potential threats. A working dog, this breed comes from Hungary where it was bred to protect property and guard livestock. Komondors love to be part of a family environment, but they’ll come across as shy and reserved around strangers. Hulking, powerful units weighing north of 100 pounds, these dogs are less than ideal for inexperienced or first-time owners . Most Belgian Malinois weigh less than 80 pounds, so they don’t need huge amounts of space at home. These dogs are naturally wary of strangers, so they won’t be welcoming any intruders into the house like some goofy pets. Even though they are slightly smaller than many conventional guard dogs, their energy levels and presence act as some compensation. This means they have the energy levels as well as the innate bravery to help them flourish as guard dogs. With the right input, they make wonderful pets and they’ll protect your property and family from harm into the bargain. Akitas are intensely loyal dogs bred to guard nobility and royalty in feudal Japan. You won’t even need to train Akitas to perform this protective duty, it’s baked into their doggie DNA. Evidently, anything capable of tracking lions and elephants is more than up to the job of efficiently guarding the average family home. Bred to protect caravans of people as well as herds of animals against the predations of snow leopards and wolves in the Himalayas, they are savages capable of standing down extreme threats. These dogs are perhaps not the most affectionate, but their loyalty is commendable, and they’ll protect you and your family from any conceivable threat in the home. This breed is on heightened alert at all times and you’ll hear them barking loudly whenever anything unusual occurs or appears. Giant schnauzers are huge and intimidating to strangers, but they are fiercely loyal to and protective of family members. The natural qualities of this breed mean it’s vital to put your Staffordshire terrier through a proper socialization and training program. This breed has a partially-deserved reputation for intimidating strangers, but they make superb pets and will only typically show aggression when protecting a member of the family. Over the generations, this breed has found itself heading up households and assuming guard dog and protective duties. A highly territorial dog, the Kuvasz is reserved around strangers but demands a great deal of affection and attention from family. Make sure you’re prepared to give this dog plenty of exercise if you bring one into your home in a protective capacity. Appenzeller Sennenhunds might be smaller than most conventional guard dogs, but they rate a mention before we wrap up for the day. The energy levels and agility of this breed – they were farm dogs over the years – along with their obedience and intelligence means they are well-suited to a variety of protective duties. We’ve tried to give you more choice than the handful of obvious basics so you can see which of these breeds would perform the best combination role of guard dog and loving pet. Ultimately, the most important decision you’ll make is whether you really need a guard dog in the first place.

There are many reasons to want a guard dog: for personal protection, protection of property, or simply to know when a visitor is at the door. Unfortunately, guard dogs sometimes get a bad reputation, when in reality, the traits that make them fierce protectors are also the ones that make them incredible pets (and c’mon, most German shepherds are just giant goofballs).

Don’t let a Doberman’s sleek body fool you — they’re strong, fast, and brave, making them the perfect dog to guard your house. Be prepared to spend a decent amount of time grooming them, because that thick coat of hair requires regular brushing — they’ve got a beard, after all! This type of guard dog requires someone to be close with, so you won’t want to leave them alone for long periods of time. Romanian Mioritic Shepherd dogs are loving and kind enough to be your closest bud, but they will bark and get aggressive if they encounter strangers they don’t trust. To keep them on top of their game, be sure to socialize your Rottie with other people and dogs in addition to taking them to training classes. According to the American Kennel Club , the best guard dogs are devoted, brave, and know when to fight off an intruder — but that doesn’t mean they’re vicious in their daily lives.

Family Dog First

Here at Canine Journal we believe that guard dogs, like any canine, are family members first. That means you shouldn’t rely on your guard dog as your first line of defense, but rather a deterrent (which they are very effective at). We recommend a home security system as your first line of defense to protect yourself, your pup, and your belongings, even when you’re not at home.

Top 10 Guard Dogs For Families

German Shepherd

About The Breed

German Shepherds, in our opinion, top the list of best family guard dogs due to their natural instincts to listen, learn, and obey. They are both menacing in their appearance, and loving in their nature, but will respond to a command on any moments notice. They have thick fur, which makes them respond well to colder temperatures, and it adds to their toughness. They are very understanding of their homes, and will be wary of intruders. They have fantastic size and can take down any sized human without much trouble.

History

German Shepherds are a relatively new breed of dog, having been bred late in the 19

Tips On Owning

German Shepherds are most effective if properly trained. Their confidence is a natural trait, and they will stand up next to or in front of their owners even with lackadaisical owners. Make sure your Shepherd has a set bed, it is not recommended to let your dog sleep in your bed, as it will understand this as “his” bed, and it will be very difficult to have him move out. German Shepherds are very eager to learn, and will be eager to take command and show its owner how much it has learned. With proper patience and love, raising a German Shepherd is pretty mild compared to most breeds, and they have relatively few health problems. There might not be a better dog breed in the world at protecting your family, and thriving around adults and children alike.

Rottweiler

About The Breed

The Rottweiler, if not properly trained, is too aggressive of a breed to have around small children. However, if properly trained, this is certainly one of the best options for protecting a family and their home. They are described to be one of the smartest dog breeds in the world, and can be trained to be fantastic guard dogs. This is one breed we encourage to have professionally trained. The Rottweiler is great with families if brought up properly, and even small children are safe under the right conditions. Their intelligence can make them very obedient and despite their aggressive snarl, these dogs are very loving and ready-to-please animals.

History

Rottweilers were used by the Roman army in times of war to protect the armies while they slept, and attack when in battle. In more recent years, this breed’s intelligence and aggressive behavior made them great police dogs. They have been used for personal protection in both home settings, as well as protection in travel.

Tips On Owning

The need for intensive and thorough training cannot be overstated. They are intelligent, and their natural instincts make them want to be leaders. If you can raise them sternly, they will submit to you and follow your every command. They have a fantastic health history, and are prone to very few diseases. Their biggest concern is cancer, but that is inherent in most dog breeds. Their feeding should be monitored, and if they are overly exercised, their aggressiveness tends to come out. In home settings, these dogs thrive and are both obedient and loyal and make great family guard dogs.

Bullmastiff

About The Breed

The Bullmastiff has excellent instincts and thrives in family settings, as they learn quickly who their “pack” is and will do everything they can to protect it. They are very aware of everything going on around them, and their intimidating look makes them a great choice at fending off intruders without putting your children at risk. Whereas some guard dogs will growl and bark, if threatened, the Bullmastiff will show great attacking qualities and can easily take a full-grown man to the ground. To get the most out of this breed, it should be raised early with the family and trained constantly through its growing stages. With that being said, once it is familiar with it’s home and who it’s family is, this breed is gentle and loving, and will do great at being a part of your family.

History

As their name implies, the Bullmastiff is a combination of a bulldog and a mastiff. It was first bred in England and was a fantastic tracker, especially at night. It worked quietly, and made short work of most escapees and criminals. They eventually moved from roaming outdoors to being primarily domesticated, and thrived due to their loyal nature and fondness of their owners.

Tips On Owning

Bullmastiffs, like most dogs on this list, need to be trained early and needs to be raised as a subordinate. Passive owners will lose control of their Bullmastiff, and it will dominate the home with little regard to command and direction. If not raised properly, this breed does not do well with other breeds, as it can see other animals as threats and will growl and bark. Though they are not prone to many health problems, Bullmastiffs often incur hip and joint problems, and sometimes have issues with heart problems. They require frequent exercise, as well as a strong and disciplined owner.

Doberman Pinscher

About The Breed

Doberman Pinschers are extremely loyal and very well tuned to their owners commands if properly trained. Pinschers are a great size, very agile and athletic. The breed is very alert and cautious of people it is not familiar with, but will respect the command of their owner and this makes them great for protecting families. Their growl and bark are equally intimidating, and intruders will certainly think twice before entering your home. They should be raised in the household with children and not brought into a house with small children after they are puppies.Learn About Common Doberman Health Issues

History

The Pinscher was first bred in Germany around the turn of the 20

Tips On Owning

Doberman Pinschers are shorthaired breeds that require little more than exercise and food to thrive in a home. They can be difficult to train, and need to be dominated at an early age to establish control and command of these dogs throughout their lives. Their lifespan is relatively short, but they do not have many health problems if they have routine vet checks. Their tails and ears may be clipped to “maintain breed standards,” however, this isn’t always medically necessary.

Great Dane

About The Breed

Also known as the German Mastiff, the Great Dane is intimidating in stature, but gentle in nature. They are surprisingly great around children and have an even temperament toward other dog breeds. Their strength is well balanced, as they are not clumsy and generally have a great idea of their size and place around a home. The Great Dane is much more of a “watchdog” than a “guard dog.” The phrase “it’s bark is worse than it’s bite” is very applicable to the Dane, as their bark is quite intimidating, but will do very little to actually deter an intruder if one got into your home. The Dane, despite its size, is actually a very timid breed and shies away from confrontations.Learn About Common Great Dane Health Concerns

History

The Great Dane is an old-world breed whose history is rooted in hunting and guarding households. Their exact origins are unknown, but many believe the breed began in Germany and England, but some claim the Romans and Egyptians have had similar breeds as far back as 3000 BC. Great Danes were a popular breed in both World War’s as they have a fantastic sense of smell and were used to track enemies in the field.

Tips On Owning

Because of their great size, Great Danes require regular exercise. However, over-exercising can lead to problems for this breed, so the best exercise is really just daily walks. From the onset, Danes need to be obedience trained with positive reinforcement. Danes require constant attention until they are house broken. Keep their wandering to restricted areas and make sure they are taken outside often until they are comfortable with the rules of the house.

Boxer

About The Breed

Boxers are a high-energy breed of dog that do a surprisingly great job at reading peoples intentions. Boxers are often times smaller than some of the other dogs on this list, but can grow to well over 100 pounds. Boxers look more menacing than they actually are, which is good if you want your guard dog to look intimidating without actually having a violent streak. This breed is very astute and alert, and has an energetic enthusiasm for everything they do. Boxers desire affection both from adults and from children, and will often times go out of their way to command love and attention. But when it comes to protection, boxers are very aware of what’s happening and will use its athleticism to protect its family, making it a great choice for families looking for a reliable watchdog.

History

Boxers are distant cousins to bulldogs, which gives them their intimidating snarls. The boxer is believed to have originated in Germany in the 16

Tips On Owning

Boxers are, from the onset, very energetic, and they require as much in an owner. Are big eaters and also have a long list of health related issues they deal with in their lifetimes, especially purebreds. Some of these issues include cancers, bone problems, bloating and intestinal issues. They are a shorthaired breed that do not require much brushing, but constant exercise do these breeds well. Because of their sensitive bone issues, however, it’s best to keep boxers on soft ground if exercising them for a continued amount of time. They are very versatile, but you should be able to devote plenty of attention early on in a Boxers life if you want it to be well-behaved as an adult.Learn More About The Boxer

Fila Brasileiros

About The Breed

The Fila Brasileiros, also known as the Brazillian Mastiff, is a less common breed of dog, and it should be noted that only experienced dog owners should undertake raising and having one around the house. While extremely loyal, the Fila is extremely protective and have been known to attack intruders if they feel alarmed. A well-trained Fila will be very affectionate and great with kids. In homes where many people come and go, we would steer clear of the Fila Brasileiros, but because they are so comfortable and loyal to what they perceive to be their family, these make great guard dogs. If not for the questionable temperament and difficulty to train, these dogs would be near the top of our list.

History

Like most guard dogs on this list, the Fila Brasileiros was developed to guard livestock. This particular breed has its origins in Brazil, where farmers needed a large, strong breed to protect their homes and livestock. They were also very astute hunters and when they migrated to the United States in the early 19

Tips On Owning

We cannot stress enough the importance of being a well versed and dedicated dog owner if considering this breed of dog. If you have small children, you might be best looking elsewhere, although with the proper training, you should have nothing to worry about. For their size, Filas have a long life expectancy and relatively few health concerns. Make sure you do your research and are comfortable with this breed before bringing one into your home.

Bernese Mountain Dog

About The Breed

Bernese Mountain Dogs are another large breed of dog whose roots in guarding and protecting trace back to Roman times. They have in recent years become less associated with guarding, but they are very smart and very wary of people they are unfamiliar with. This aspect makes them great to have around the home, as they will surely alert owners if something suspicious is going on around the home. They are not overly aggressive and expecting them to do much more than bark and growl might be expecting too much. But, because of their large size and fondness of children, Bernese Mountain Dogs are great to have around the house and would make great watchdogs.Read About Common Bernese Mountain Dog Health Concerns

History

Like the Great Pyrenees, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a very old breed who was used by the Romans for guarding cattle and property. They later were used in high altitude areas of Europe to pull carts of goods over rocky terrain. Bernese Mountain Dogs are descendants of wolves, and their loyalty and strength transitioned them well to farm life in America guarding livestock. They are tireless workers, but their life expectancies are not long and they do have many medical issues owners have to watch out for, specifically bone spurs and other skeletal problems.

Tips On Owning

Bernese Mountain Dogs have a thick coat full of (usually) long straight hairs. They require frequent brushing and will shed a tremendous amount of hair in their lifetime. These dogs do better in colder climates, as their thick coats make overheating very common in some southern states. They are also larger dogs with short life expectancies and a laundry list of medical issues, but if given the proper amount of care and attention, this breed is playful, obedient, and great for large and small families alike.

Great Pyrenees

About The Breed

Great Pyrenees are generally thought of as great guardians for livestock, but in many cases, they can be great guard dogs for families if given the proper training and attention. Their thick fur and large stature allows the Pyrenees to work great outdoors or indoors. The Pyrenees is a gentle breed that is both loyal and protective without being overbearing. They are smart dogs that will understand the dynamic of the home, while being very wary of guests and intruders. If well trained, the Great Pyrenees would be a great addition to any family as both a companion and guard dog.

History

Throughout history, the Great Pyrenees have been associated with livestock herding. Their origins date back over 2,000 years and they have been thought to come from regions in central Asia. Because of their thick undercoat and tough skin, these dogs flourished in high altitude areas, and their roots in herding have developed into a very loyal breed of dog.

Tips On Owning

Great Pyrenees are a difficult breed to train, which is why they are not higher on our list. While Pyrenees are very loving and gentle in nature, they do not do well if not trained with constant attention and love. As puppies, Great Pyrenees often bark and growl constantly. Without proper training, these habits can continue into adulthood. They become very independent as they begin to mature. They will try to become the leader of your household, which can be very frustrating for owners who are passive. But, with the proper amount of enthusiasm for raising a Great Pyrenees, one will see the benefits of a loving and gentle dog breed great with children and other animals. Make sure to brush its hair once or twice a day, as they can develop health problems from this lack of attention.

Saint Bernard

About The Breed

If you have ever seen the movie C

History

If your first impression of a St. Bernard isn’t from

Tips On Owning

St Bernards, for the better part of their development, are tough to train and overly clumsy until they are nearly full-grown. Their massive size also limits their life span, as they usually only live to be about 10 years old. They do not require a lot of exercise, but should be walked a few times a week. They will probably eat more than most dogs. They should also be brushed a few times per week. We really like these dogs due to their mild nature and massive size, and would do well in most homes looking for the intimidating look without the menacing behavior.

What You Should Remember About Getting A Guard Dog

While the breeds listed are dogs that have been bred as guard dogs it is important to remember a few key points when you go looking for the ideal guard dog breed for your family.

Individual Temperament

As with people, every individual dog has their own temperament. Just because a breed like the Doberman pinscher has the reputation for being a good guard dog breed does not mean that every dog of this breed is going to make a great guard dog. There are many factors that determine a dog’s temperament and consequently whether or not they will make a good guard dog.

Genetics

One of the biggest determining factors for an individual dog’s temperament is its genetic line. A dog that comes from genetic lineage that has unstable temperaments present could well develop temperament issues themselves. An example of this type of temperament concern is a dog that has sudden aggression that develops during adulthood. If this type of “snapping” is evident in previous dogs from the same genetic line, then it is obviously a genetic trait. One way to try and weed out individual dogs with genetic temperament concerns is to thoroughly research the family line of the sire and dam of a dog before bringing them home. Any good quality breeder will never breed a dog that has evidence of such difficulties in their lineage; however, sometimes temperament concerns can go unreported.

Environment

Another of the biggest determining factors in an individual dog’s temperament is the environment in which the dog is raised. There are a great number of influencing factors that can contribute to how a dog ultimately behaves. Unfortunately there is no set “blueprint” that can link a specific contributing factor to a specific type of temperament. One good example of how environment can influence a dog’s temperament however, is a dog that is used in dog fighting. This dog is wrongly trained to be overly aggressive and as this behavior is rewarded the dog will continue trying to please its master. The problem with this (aside from the fact that dog fighting is a repulsive activity) is that even dogs that are trained to have aggressive temperaments are temperamental and cannot be trusted. A dog that is trained to be overly aggressive can easily turn on its handler, other pets or even children in the home.

Individuality

While people have the tendency to peg one particular breed as being a “good guard dog” because of traits that were initially desired in a breed, it is important to remember that over the years breeds have changed considerably. Dogs that were initially bred to excel at bull baiting are no longer used for such sport and have been genetically modified over the years to better suit our needs as domestic dog owners. Changes along a dog’s lineage as well as individual likes and dislikes of a dog are also contributing factors in how a dog ultimately behaves. For example, while a German shepherd may be noted for being a good guard dog breed, a German shepherd that is afraid of loud noises or who has severe separation anxiety would not make a good guard dog at all. These types of phobias can occur as a result of individual neurosis within a dog or as a result of poor breeding.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions are another concern that should be factored in when looking for a good guard dog. A poorly bred German shepherd that has hip dysplasia is not going to be comfortable with the life of a guard dog. Additionally, a dog that has any significant health concern may not be a good guard dog candidate due to the distraction their condition may cause from guarding or medications required that may dull the dog’s senses.

A Guard Dog Is Not A Fighting Dog

It is also important to note that a guard dog is not a fighting dog. The Schutzhund sport trains dogs to be aggressive on command, these dogs are utilized as police and riot dogs; however, this is an entirely different type of dog than the guard dog that most families require. Where Schutzhund dogs are trained to fight or at least defend with aggression, guard dogs are generally utilized as a deterrent rather than an active fighter. Guard dogs are utilized to watch over property or individuals and deter thieves or trespassers simply by their presence or with a bark. Breeds that make good guard dogs are generally larger breed dogs that are intimidating in appearance, have a deep throated bark and that are naturally protective of their property or family. The best guard dog breeds are those that will not attack unless absolutely left no other choice.

What Isn’t A Guard Dog?

A guard dog is not a dog that comes from a breed that is notorious for being sociable, amiable and open to strangers entering the home. Obviously there are exceptions within breeds as mentioned above, but it is not advisable to choose a dog breed that is known for “licking people to death” if you are looking for a dog with protective tendencies. Certainly any dog that loves its master will defend them to the death; however, the very act of looking intimidating is often enough to deter criminals and this is what most guard dog owners want. Deterring criminal’s means that the home never gets broken in to in the first place, where a dog that is forced to defend its master will do so happily, but this means that a potentially violent situation has already occurred.

II. Are Guard Dogs Safe Around Children?

Now, before we push on exploring the different breeds best suited to protective work, we’ll go over some basics.There are several types of dogs for protection:

IV. Which Breeds Make Good Watch Dogs?

German shepherds are one of the go-to breeds for police and military. This breed boasts the core traits of a reliable guard dog: they’re loving and brave as well as highly intelligent.While shepherds don’t typically weigh over 100 pounds, they maintain an imposing physical presence, readily intimidating almost any intruder before they need to act. Deterring threats is one of this breed’s key strengths.You’ll find most German shepherds are deeply affectionate, but they’re also acutely sensitive and quite demanding. Be prepared to invest time into interacting with your shepherd, or you might find he develops behavioral issues.Although these dogs make great guard dogs as well as wonderful pets, they shed profusely, so be prepared to spend a lot of time on grooming and cleaning up after these dogs.Great Danes are comical dogs, huge lumbering beasts with a sensitive streak. Danes also bond strongly with humans, making them ideal for protective duties.Most Great Danes weigh from 100 to 150 pounds, although some beefier Danes reach 200 pounds. They all make a threatening presence for strangers.Although these dogs are not especially territorial, they will protect their family and their home.If you’re a newcomer to dog ownership, a Great Danes doesn’t make the smoothest fit due to a combination of their hulking size and their raw intelligence.For anyone with a little experience and lots of time, love, and patience, a Great Dane makes a very versatile addition to the home, and these dogs will provide plenty of protection on the basis of their appearance alone.Cane Corsi are towering dogs weighing well over 100 pounds. With oversized heads, these beasts stand almost 30 inches high and they will intimidate all but the most determined intruder simply on the strength of their appearance.These dogs make the best fit for more experienced owners with active lifestyles. This breed has very high activity levels and needs an abundance of vigorous exercise.Cane Corsi don’t make a great choice for apartment dwellers as they need a spacious home and a secure yard.If you know what you’re doing with dogs and you have the time and the inclination to train a Cane Corso, you’ll find you get a remarkably loyal pet that will also serve as an around-the-clock guardian.Boxers may seem soft and cuddly – and they are when they’re with their family – but they can also function as highly effective guard dogs. Indeed, these dogs were originally bred for that very purpose.Most boxers are slightly small for guard dog duties, weighing 75 pounds or less. Despite this medium size, their physiques and extreme energy levels combine into a fairly menacing physical presence.Boxers are smart and loyal. You should also find that most dogs of this breed are easy to train.Throw all these ingredients together and boxers make one of the best dogs for protection, even though they aren’t the biggest hounds on our list.Rottweilers were first bred to accompany soldiers into combat and to herd cattle on farms.This breed is ideally suited to guard dog duties in all respects. Before anything, they look menacing and threatening from a distance. Most people approaching a Rottweiler proceed with extreme caution, or retreat completely.These are among the smartest of all dogs and they attach themselves strongly to families more than most dogs.Buying a rottweiler is not for the light-hearted, and it’s inadvisable for inexperienced pet owners. This dog needs a strong and confident alpha figure capable of controlling them calmly.You’ll need to invest plenty of time into interacting with your rottie, and you will also need to ensure he gets plenty of exercise. These dogs have very high activity levels and they don’t thrive if they are left to spend too much time alone.Despite being slightly shorter than many conventional guard dogs, rottweilers are physically commanding and their presence alone should deter most casual intruders.Dobermans are loving and very sensitive dogs, but they are also brave, imposing, and well-suited to protective work.These dogs occupy the same size class as rottweilers and shepherds, but they are lighter and fleeter of foot than these breeds.Dobermans were originally bred to accompany tax collectors on their rounds, and these roots make them ideal for a range of protection applications.If you’re thinking about bringing a Doberman into your home, you should make sure you have plenty of space for him to roam around, and you should also be prepared to give him all the exercise he needs.As well as making lovable pets, these dogs will also instinctively protect your home and family from any potential threats.The Komondor is a very distinctive dog with thick matted hair hanging in cords. Despite these arresting looks, the breed is very strong and brave. A working dog, this breed comes from Hungary where it was bred to protect property and guard livestock.Komondors love to be part of a family environment, but they’ll come across as shy and reserved around strangers. This, obviously, is a desirable quality in a guard dog. Socialization training is necessary to get the most out of these dogs.With the proper structured training program, you can hone the innate protective instincts of this breed and transform them into highly efficient dogs for protection.Bull mastiff have provided protection to humans in many ways. They were first bred to help landowners ward off poachers.Loving and highly affectionate, you have the two core qualities you want in a household pet. That said, you won’t need to constantly fuss after these dogs as they are pretty independent and not too demanding.When it comes to strangers, though, bull mastiffs won’t show the same friendliness.Hulking, powerful units weighing north of 100 pounds, these dogs are less than ideal for inexperienced or first-time owners. As well as drooling a great deal, this breed is also notorious for producing a large amount of gas.Many professional dog protection trainers use Belgian Malinois. They are also a common sight in police and military K-9 units in the United States.Superficially, these dogs resemble German shepherds. They are more energetic and intense than shepherds, though. If you’re using these dogs in a working capacity, those qualities are desirable, but rather less so in a family setting.You’ll need to be braced to exercise these dogs frequently and vigorously. They love to spend time outdoors.Most Belgian Malinois weigh less than 80 pounds, so they don’t need huge amounts of space at home.Dutch shepherds have many shared characteristics with German shepherds and Belgian shepherds, also great guard dogs. They don’t suffer from too many health-related problems, but you may struggle to find one of these rarer breeds.These dogs are naturally wary of strangers, so they won’t be welcoming any intruders into the house like some goofy pets.Even though they are slightly smaller than many conventional guard dogs, their energy levels and presence act as some compensation.Socialization and early training is key with this breed. Take care of this and you’ll enjoy both a loyal and protective pet as well as a first-class guard dog.American bulldogs are cute, affectionate, and extremely sensitive. At the same time, this breed is fiercely protective of family.The dog was first bred to help with controlling cattle. This means they have the energy levels as well as the innate bravery to help them flourish as guard dogs.American bulldogs benefit strongly from structure and from having a job to do, so keep them engaged and be sure to keep them active.This breed comes in a variety of shapes and styles, all varying in size. They can weigh anywhere from 50 to over 120 pounds.These dogs are certainly not the smartest cookies, but they respond well to basic training and they are pretty obedient. Be prepared to put in plenty of effort stimulating and training your American bulldog. With the right input, they make wonderful pets and they’ll protect your property and family from harm into the bargain.This breed is used for guarding and hunting. Hailing from France, the Beauceron weighs up to 100 pounds and looks like a cross between a Doberman and a rottweiler.Affectionate and loyal in the home, these dogs don’t take so kindly to strangers.Beaucerons can be very stubborn, though. This means there are better choices for first-time owners. There’s no need to make things unnecessarily tough on yourself when it comes to your first fur baby.This breed has a seemingly endless supply of energy, so you must be prepared for a great deal of exercise. You should keep a close eye on this breed around smaller pets, too, due to their strong prey drive.These dogs make great watch dogs with very little training required, but you’ll need to be a patient and capable owner if you want them to perform intensive and demanding protection duties.Akitas are intensely loyal dogs bred to guard nobility and royalty in feudal Japan.These dogs are by nature suspicious of strangers. This is just what you’re looking for in a guard dog. You won’t even need to train Akitas to perform this protective duty, it’s baked into their doggie DNA. That said, they often need obedience training and will also benefit from socialization to minimize unnecessary aggression.These dogs are traditionally used to hunt big game. Evidently, anything capable of tracking lions and elephants is more than up to the job of efficiently guarding the average family home.Affectionate and loving, this breed is a great pet. You won’t need to give these dogs any guard dog training either, although they would benefit from some basic obedience training.Tibetan mastiffs are enormous beasts packed with muscle. In many ways, these dogs are the archetypal guard dogs.Bred to protect caravans of people as well as herds of animals against the predations of snow leopards and wolves in the Himalayas, they are savages capable of standing down extreme threats.Over time, these characteristics have softened and the Tibetan mastiff is easy-going around family. The same cannot be said when strangers arrive, though. They won’t go looking to trouble, but they’ll exhibit territorial behavior if threatened.These dogs are perhaps not the most affectionate, but their loyalty is commendable, and they’ll protect you and your family from any conceivable threat in the home.A puli is a miniature version of a komondor, also hailing from Hungary. Bred for herding duties, these dogs also work well in a variety of protective applications.This breed is on heightened alert at all times and you’ll hear them barking loudly whenever anything unusual occurs or appears.These are very smart dogs and they need plenty of exercise along with continuous attention. They love the great outdoors and would be great for families with active lifestyles looking to take a dog hiking, running, or out on the trail.This breed is another with a very strong, powerful physical presence. Many of the best dogs for protection achieve that status on the strength of such dominance.Giant schnauzers are huge and intimidating to strangers, but they are fiercely loyal to and protective of family members.On the flip side, this breed demands physical and mental input almost around the clock. If you have the time and attention to lavish on giant schnauzers, you won’t regret bringing one into your home.Staffordshire terriers are sometimes mixed up for American pit bull terriers, and they look broadly similar.Staffies are among the best dogs for protection as they were bred for bullfighting and bear baiting. This means they are by nature both fierce and protective.The natural qualities of this breed mean it’s vital to put your Staffordshire terrier through a proper socialization and training program.This breed has a partially-deserved reputation for intimidating strangers, but they make superb pets and will only typically show aggression when protecting a member of the family.The Kuvasz was bred to protect livestock. Over the generations, this breed has found itself heading up households and assuming guard dog and protective duties.A highly territorial dog, the Kuvasz is reserved around strangers but demands a great deal of affection and attention from family.Make sure you’re prepared to give this dog plenty of exercise if you bring one into your home in a protective capacity.Appenzeller Sennenhunds might be smaller than most conventional guard dogs, but they rate a mention before we wrap up for the day.The energy levels and agility of this breed – they were farm dogs over the years – along with their obedience and intelligence means they are well-suited to a variety of protective duties.

V. Which Breeds Make Poor Guard Dogs?

Most calm dogs with low energy levels are not the right fit for protective duties. These dogs will either welcome strangers into your home or ignore them completely. Golden retrievers, labrador retrievers and Irish setters are all breeds that will make any intruder feel welcome rather than threatened.