Best Family Guard Dogs | 11 Top Breeds

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All dogs and by their nature have the instinct to protect their home and family and they make excellent Guard Dogs. Guardian breeds tend to be loyal, fearless, strong and watchful.

If you want a breed that will not only alert you when a visitor arrives, but will also intuitively know when to protect you from a dangerous situation than guardian breeds are for you. Here is our list of the best guard dogs.

Bullmastiff

Bullmastiff
Bullmastiff

This dog is known for its physical strength, protective instincts, courage and extreme family loyalty. If an intruder crosses his path, a Bullmastiff will usually use his strength to knock him down or block him. The breed is very docile in a home environment, however, and makes a great pet.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman
Doberman

If you are trying to protect a large lot, a Doberman Pinscher is an excellent watchdog. This breed is incredibly fast and can reach an intruder in no time. Recognized as the fifth most intelligent dog breed in the world, the Doberman is a fearless, alert and faithful dog.

Komondor

Komondor
Komondor

Traditionally used to protect sheep flocks, Komondor has a natural watchdog capability. This breed is active, courageous, loyal and known for its dignity and strength. Well socialized and trained to obey, this breed makes it a devoted pet.

Puli

Hungarian Puli
Hungarian Puli

Pulis is known for its suspicious nature. He is always on guard and barks to warn his owners of anything out of the ordinary. The Puli is very smart and requires a constant company. It enriches active families because it enjoys hiking, running and outdoor activities.

Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer
Giant Schnauzer

It is a strong, powerful and dominant dog that requires strict training. This breed requires a lot of mental and physical stimulation and requires constant attention. The giant Schnauzer is powerful, compact and intimidating. His extreme family loyalty makes him an excellent watchdog.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Originally bred to hunt lions, this dog has a strong predation and tends to be independent. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is faithful and makes a natural watch dog. It is said that it is selective in its barking so when this dog barks, it must be taken seriously. The Rhodesian Ridgeback must be properly trained and managed because it is not naturally obedient. The breed loves to cuddle and often thinks it is a pocket dog.

Kuvasz

Big dog breeds Kuvasz
Kuvasz

This breed is very territorial has a strong instinct to keep his family and home. Kuvasz tend to be away from strangers, but need affection from their family.

American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier

Often confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Terrier was bred for the fight between bears and bulls. Their aggressive and protective nature makes them excellent guard dogs, but require that they be socialized and properly trained from a very young age. Staffordshire Terriers are excellent pets, known to be aggressive only to protect a family member.

The German Shepherd

German Shepherd
German Shepherd

Remember too that an older GSD will be a very rewarding addition to the family and will be housetrained, won’t chew, well behaved, probably require less exercise than a young dog and will be very loyal and grateful.

The Rottweiler

Rottweiler
Rottweiler

Initially bred as a livestock protection dog, the Rottweiler is known for relentlessly protecting its pack. It is an intelligent breed and extremely faithful to its owners. Rottweilers are known to stay away from strangers until they are properly presented, and they learn very quickly.

Akita Inu

Akita Inu
Akita Inu

This large, energetic dog is extremely protective of family and territory. For this reason, they might be aggressive to other animal and children that they don’t know if they feel that their territory is being invaded. They do best with older, well behaved children and are not recommended for children who might mistreat or tease them. They should be kept in a fenced in yard and never allowed to roam free. The Akita can be a loving, affectionate dog when properly treated. Early training and socialization is highly recommended for this breed. They require regular exercise and love to be with their family.

This big energetic dog is extremely protective of the family and the territory. For this reason, they could be aggressive towards other animals and children that they do not know if they feel that their territory is invaded. They do better with older, well-behaved children and are not recommended for children who may be abusing or teasing. They must be kept in a fenced yard and never be allowed to move freely. Akita can be a loving dog when properly treated. Early training and socialization is strongly recommended for this breed. They need regular exercise and enjoy being with their family. Other breeds known to be natural protectors of the family:

  • Chow Chow
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Belgian Sheepdog
  • Belgian Tervuren
  • Tibetan Mastiff
  • Anatolian Shepherd Dog
  • Black Russian Terrier
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Fila Brasileiro (Brazilian Mastiff)
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Cane Corso
  • Tosa Inu
  • Bouvier des Flandres
  • Ca de Bou

Owning a guard dog comes with an added responsibility. Although all the above breeds are known for making good pets, owners should take into account that they are powerful dogs! To ensure the safety of family members, guests and neighbors, watchdogs must be properly socialized and trained, and they must consider their owners as pack leaders. Those who do not want to take on the added responsibility of owning a guard dog but who are looking for a dog to alert them of intruders should consider a ‘watchdog’ dog. Several breeds are known for their persistent barking and ability to alert their owners and to scare off intruders. Dog breeds known to make excellent ‘watch’ dogs:

  • Terriers
  • Poodle (standard/miniature)
  • Shih Tzu
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Dachshund
  • Chihuahua
  • Miniature pinscher

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