Top 10 Best Guard Dogs
For many people, a dog is more than just a pet – a dog can be a companion, a friend and even a security measure for your home and family. But a lot about their protective character will depend on the natural traits of their breed. While many dogs are likely to be a little protective of their families, some are simply too friendly and willing to cozy up to strangers to serve well as a guard dog. Getting to know the little quirks and traits of common guard dog breeds is very important if you want to ensure that your pooch will perfectly fit in your family and lifestyle. That is why we made a list of some of the best breeds to use as guard dogs.
What Makes a Great Guard Dog?
Before you start looking into specific breeds, it may be useful to learn a little bit about what makes a good guard dog. Good guard dogs will be very loyal and devoted to their family – they may even be protective to the point of becoming aloof or standoffish around strangers. Of course, the ideal four legged protector of your home won’t be excessively violent or unpredictable. The ideal character of a dog has the perfectly balanced combination of loving and protective traits. The best guard dogs should have natural protective instincts, likely to sound the alarm if someone unfamiliar to them attempts to enter the house or set foot on the property. But it is also crucial for the dog to know when danger is not present – no one wants a friend to be greeted by a vicious attack from an overprotective pupper. So, here are our top picks for the best guard dog breeds out there . (Photo credit: Denisa Doudova/Shutterstock)
1. German Shepherd: Everyone knows and loves the noble and elegant German Shepherd breed. Commonly used as police and military dogs, the German Shepherds make excellent guard dogs. In addition to being strong and athletic, the German Shepherd is also a fiercely intelligent breed. These dogs also have very strong protective instincts and they can be very loyal with their families. You are most likely to observe that ideal balance of traits in a German Shepherd: smart, loyal, and fierce when needed, they really have it all. And best of all – they are great around kids too! (Photo credit: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock)
2. Akita: Don’t be fooled by the cute and fuzzy looks of these elusive puppers. The Akita is a very large breed of dog known for its fluffy coat and bear-like appearance. And hiding beneath that fluffy coat is surprising agility, and a host of reliable traits. These dogs are incredibly strong and naturally aggressive which makes them great guard dogs. Of course, this aggression is reserved only for potential threats: any would-be intruder won’t get past your trusted Akita companion. Be aware, however, that these dogs are strong-willed and are not recommended for first-time dog owners – it can take some patience and moderate training to create a strong bond with an Akita. But the companion you get in the end is well worth the effort. (Photo credit: PardoY/Shutterstock)
3. Bullmastiff: A cross between the Mastiff and the Bulldog, the Bullmastiff is a powerful breed. One of the most sought after breeds, they symbolize that iconic hardcore look and a tough attitude. These dogs were originally bred in England to track and tackle poachers, and that protective ability remained throughout the years. This means that if an intruder does manage to get into your home, a Bullmastiff guard dog will tackle him and hold him down until help comes. Just keep in mind that bonding with a bullmastiff can take a lot of time and patience – they can have an energetic and aggressive character, and balanced upbringing is very important. (Photo credit: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock)
4. Doberman Pinscher: Not only are Doberman Pinschers an athletic breed, but they are also very strong and intelligent. These dogs have an intimidating appearance which, combined with their protective instincts, makes for a great guard dog. Dobermans however can be a bit too cold and reserved, and too protective at times. They might not be ideal for cuddling, playing, and goofing around with kids.(Photo credit: WilleeCole/Shutterstock)
5. Kuvasz: Looks can be deceiving with this large, fluffy breed – though covered in curly white fur, the Kuvasz is an extremely territorial and protective breed. A traditional Hungarian shepherd dog, the Kuvasz has a long tradition of protective, guard traits that became a natural instinct over the years. Typically used for herding, these dogs were bred to fend off large animal predators so they will not hesitate to guard your home and family. As a pet, the Kuvasz can portray ideal traits: bonding is fast and strong, and in no time you will have a loving dog that will fiercely protect its home and family.
6. American Staffordshire Terrier: Often confused with the American Pitbull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier is actually recognized by the AKC as a separate breed. These dogs are medium-sized but very stocky and strong. This breed is very warm and trustworthy with family but becomes a fearless fighter when its pack is in danger. American Staffordshire terriers embody that perfect spunky energy and fierce protectiveness of their loving family. And that makes them great pet dogs. (Photo credit: Kazlouski Siarhei/Shutterstock)
7. Rottweiler: When looking at a Rottweiler, it is easy to see why this breed makes a good guard dog – they are powerfully built with strong muscles and jaws. These dogs are very gentle and friendly with family but they are fiercely devoted and will always be suspicious of strangers. Rottweilers are very intelligent and will quickly grasp basic training. They can quickly recognize potential threats and can become an impenetrable barrier for any intruder. (Photo credit: Toloubaev Stanislav/Shutterstock)
8. Giant Schnauzer:When you think of a guard dog breed, you may not picture the Giant Schnauzer – their looks can be quite deceiving. But don’t be surprised to know that these dogs are naturally dominant and fiercely loyal. This breed craves human companionship and will stop at nothing to defend its family. Their fluffy coat hides a powerful and strong frame that gives them an upper edge against any obstacle. (Photo credit: Erik Lam/Shutterstock)
9. Rhodesian Ridgeback: The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a rare breed with plenty of history. Given the fact that this breed was originally developed to hunt lions, it should come as no surprise that they make great guard dogs. Fiercely loyal and devoted to family, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a natural watchdog. One thing to be wary of with this breed is that they are not naturally obedient- they are stubborn and quite strong willed. As such, they require a lot of training. (Photo credit: Tatiana Katsai/Shutterstock)
10. Komondor: When you see a Komondor, protective traits are the last thing to come to mind. But don’t pay mind to the goofy looks. These dogs are very large and were originally bred to protect sheep from large animal predators. Though their thick, fluffy coat may not make them look like the devoted guard dogs they are, the Komondor is a loyal companion that would gladly give its life for its family. And that makes them the ideal family dog. (Photo credit: Piotr Zajac/Shutterstock)
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
More by Kate Barrington