Some dogs have a natural instinct to protect their homes and family, and make excellent guard dogs. Guarding (or guardian) breeds tend to have the characteristics of being loyal, fearless, and strong.
All dogs are protective of their owner and territory, but some are more protective than others, why? This is all down to years of breeding and socialisation. Guard dogs are dogs breeds that have strong character traits of loyalty, and are fearless as well as strong. These breeds can be counted on to be watchful over their territory as well as their families. Below is a list of guard dog breeds that will make sure you feel safe, no matter what!
It’s important to know that due to the size of these breeds, they need proper training and socialisation and they’re often not ideal for inexperienced owners. Below are a select few of the best guard dog breeds for anyone who wants a powerful, brave, and loyal pup.
Why do you need a guard dog?
Guard dogs are wanted to many reasons, not as a fashion accessory, and nor should they be considered as one. Many people seek out the best guard dog breeds because they want personal protection, protection of property, or simply to know when someone comes to the door. There are many negative reputations associated with certain guard dog breeds, but it is their temperaments and ability to protect that make the such sought after breeds as guard dogs.
What are guard dogs?
There are three types of guard dog breeds: watchdogs, protection dogs and guard dogs.
Watchdogs are similar to guard dogs; however, they aren’t as aggressive in their protecting instincts. Watchdogs are breeds that tend to bark to alert their owners of intruders, rather than biting or attacking.
These breed of guard dogs are trained to act upon your command only, such as a police dog.
Guard dogs, are breeds that have a much stronger protective trait. They have been bred for hundreds or years to protect and defend their family, or land, this is usually done by biting or putting themselves in between threat and family.
Guard dogs are known to be some of the smartest and most loyal dog breeds to mankind. A guard dog is typically trained to stay in a particular place to guard it.
A guard dog is trained to alert their owners to any sort of dangerous or suspicious activity, and to also attack any intruders that choose to enter the property, uninvited.
Top 10 best guard breeds
When it comes to picking the best guard dog for you, there are a number of breeds to choose from. You may feel that a strong Bullmastiff is right for you, or maybe a speedy Doberman Pinscher. The options to choose from are numerous and below is a list of the top 10 best guard dogs to get you started.
The Komondor, looks a bit like a mop, but don’t let this cord coated dog’s appearance put you off. They are a Hungarian bred breed, which were bred to guard livestock. The Komondor possesses a natural guard dog ability. The Komondor is a breed that is long-established in the guard sog breed category and are an active, courageous, loyal breed. If properly socialised and trained in obedience, this breed makes a devoted family pet.
Originally bred by a German tax man in 1890, the Doberman Pinscher are a medium-large breed. They are one of the best guard dogs for protecting large scale property, and are fearless, loyal and watchful. The Doberman Pinscher are fast and agile, and can approach an intruder at fast speed to get to them in a short amount of time.
Known as the fifth-smartest dog breed in the world, they need a lot of exercise, however, and they’re best suited for families with large outdoor spaces and active lifestyles.
Known for physical strength, protection instincts, courageousness and extreme loyalty, the Bullmastiff is one of the best guard dog breeds to have. If an unwanted intruder trespasses onto your property, the Bullmastiff will typically use his strength to knock them over or block them in their path. With the right training and care, a Bullmastiff can make a suitable family pet. Due to their size, they may be better suited to a household without young children.
The Rottweiler may look fierce, but they are big softies at heart, thus making them one of the best guard dog breeds for families. Historically known as Metzgerhund, which translates to butchers’ dog, their purpose was to heard livestock and pull carts of butchered meat to markets. They are extremely loyal, but their temperament can vary which is why it’s important to find a well-bred pup.
Similar to our corded coat friend the Komondor, the Puli looked very similar and was bred in Hungary for livestock guarding. Puli dogs are extremely smart and are always on guard, they will bark to alert their owners of anything out of the ordinary. They make great addition to families with active lifestyles, as they love hiking, running, and any and all outdoor activities.
Known for their ‘old man looks’, the Giant Schnauzer are a breed of dog, developed in 17th century Germany, and are strong, powerful and dominant dogs, therefore making them one of the best guard dogs for homes and families. They are very good natured, but can be quite dominant. The Giant Schnauzer may seem intimidating to strangers at first glance, but once you are familiar to them, they are extremely loyal. However, due to the size and characteristics of the breed, they do require a lot of mental and physical stimulation. Even though they are a large breed, they do love to have constant affection from their families, which is another reason why they become incredibly loyal to those who care for them.
The German Shepherd, also known as the Alsatian, was developed in 1899, by breeding a variety of German herding dogs. Originally bred to heard sheep, German Shepherds are one of the best protection dogs. The German Shepherd are a breed that are selected as favourites for police dogs, this is due to their character traits of being intrepid, assured and fearless. However, despite their herding and protecting abilities the German Shepherd have a calm character when in a household.
The Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a large sight hound breed originating from Southern Africa. The history of the Rhodesian Ridgeback can be traced back to hunting and guarding dogs of the Khoikhoi people. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is considered a selective barking breed, which means when they do choose to bark, it will be for good reason.
The Kuvasz, sometimes mistaken for a Labrador, are a flock guarding breed, bred in Hungary. As history would dictate, the Kuvasz have been used as royal guard dogs, or as livestock guard dogs, but have increasingly been used guard dogs in homes. The Kuvasz tends to be standoffish with strangers but craves love and attention from its family. The Kuvasz is very energetic and therefore would suit a household that is very active.
The short haired, purebred dog, also known as the staffy originates from the Black Country of Staffordshire. The Staffordshire terrier is one of the best guard dog breeds, originally bred for bear and bullfighting, the Staffordshire terrier breed has a reputation for being quite aggressive. Due to this breed having a high aggression trait and temperament, they must be properly socialized and trained from an early age, although they may seem aggressive and frightening to strangers, they make great household pets.
Owning a guard dog breed
As with any pet, owning a guard dog comes with added responsibility, guard dogs can be very powerful, and thus need the correct training to ensure they are well socialised and well behaved. Although, the list of guard dogs above all make great family pets, this isn’t without patience’s and training, so to ensure the safety of you, your family and friends, training is a must. It may also be a good idea to go to specific dog training classes, to seek advice from a professional trainer.
Even though guard dogs may look impressive, they do make great family pets. Once they are comfortable and trust their family, they will show endless love and affection, much like any other dog breed.
That’s our guide on the best guard dog breeds and how to choose the right one for you. Want to find out more about big dog breeds? Read our guide on 10 giant dog breeds, next.