If you are looking for a guard dog, there are some obvious breeds, like the Rottweiler that you may immediately look to. However, if you looking for a guard dog for your family, your approach may change to what you are looking for in a dog as well as their guarding ability. They obviously need to be gentle with your children and be smart enough to know the difference between friend and foe without causing any undue harm to another human.
However, dogs are the number one way to deter burglaries and thefts from your homes so they are definitely worth looking into if you are worried about your family’s safety. Police believe it is the fear of the unknown that often puts intruders off. Most dogs will instinctively bark at someone they do not know that is in their home, but some dogs are naturally better protectors of a house and its inhabitants.
Below we look at what 10 breeds make the best guard dogs for families. They will often share something in their temperament, intelligence and strength that helps make them ideal pets to have that will also protect your home and loved ones.
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The Doberman Pinscher is a classic guard dog. Their scary and intimidating looks can make one wonder though if they are suitable as a guard dog for a family. However, they are extremely loyal and loving so whilst they are fearless and incredibly strong, in addition to being exceptionally quick, they do make for a good option for a guard dog for your family and home. This is especially true if you have a large home to protect as the Doberman can cover so much ground in a very short space of time. They are loyal and bright so they are easy enough to train for your purposes. If you want one for your family, it is best to buy them as puppies so that your Doberman grows up with your own youngsters and family members. That way, they know who and what is in their pack and needs protecting, and who does not. They are certainly worth considering if you are looking for a guard dog for your family.
The Bullmastiff is a large dog breed that is often used as guard dogs due to its strength as well as natural protective instincts. They love being part of a family as they are extremely loyal creatures that would do anything for a member of its pack. They are perhaps one of the most devoted breeds out there. This makes them fantastic guard dogs especially if you are looking for a guard dog for your family. They are swift to alert homes when their house has been invaded by an intruder and in the past have been known to use their physicality to knock over a stranger who has entered their home uninvited. They are so big, they can sometimes simply block an intruder’s path too. That being said, they are also very cuddly with family members and can often be found trying to ingratiate themselves onto a sofa so that they can snuggle with members of their pack.
This cream dog with a heavy, corded coat was originally used in Hungary to protect sheep – hence their other name, the Hungarian Sheepdog. They are also sometimes referred to as a Mop dog, owing to their unique fur. Either way, their past breeding has left them with a natural ability to be a guard dog – of sheep or of a family. It is incredibly active, thanks to having been bred on spending the whole day outdoors on farms, but they are still good members of a family, particularly one that likes an outdoor lifestyle. They soon become very loyal and devoted to any pack they are introduced to and can be trained fairly easily if enough time and patience are allowed. Families that buy Komondors often don’t buy any other breed once they have one in their home. There is simply no other breed for them.
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The Rottweiler is perhaps one of the best-known guard dog breeds out there. They were originally used as dogs that would protect huge herds of cattle, and are now still, by instinct, natural protectors so they should definitely be an option for anyone looking to buy a guard dog to watch out for their family and home. They are perfectly safe, despite their intimidating looks, to have around a family as they are intelligent and devoted to members of their pack. They are also very quick to learn so are easy to train and will alert owners to any dangers they deem necessary. They need a fair bit of exercise but their strength precedes them so they are not as active as other guard dogs on this list. They are very often used as police dogs in police forces around the world.
Giant schnauzers are a curious breed as their gentle, fluffy appearance does not let on just how strong they are or how dominant they like to be. They are quite independent and bright, which coupled with their dominant nature, means that they do require a fair bit of training with a strict instructor, but once trained they make one of the best guard dogs for families. They love to have constant attention so love being part of a big family pack, to whom they are extremely devoted and loyal. They need a great deal of exercise – either indoors or outdoors – coupled with mental stimulation in the form of games that its family has set up for it. This will only heighten their intelligence which in turn makes them alert to dangers that may harm their family. They aren’t afraid to show their physicality either, helping to make them excellent guard dog material.
This funny looking pooch is often considered as one of the best guard dogs for families out there. This is mainly down to their highly suspicious nature that means they are always on alert for danger, new sounds and anything out of the ordinary. They are smart and like the companionship of being in a family so will often bark to inform their owners of any intruders or other dangers that they need to be aware of. They do take some work in terms of the amount of exercise they need, which is something to keep in consideration if looking to buy this breed. They were originally a herding dog that was out on the farm or prairies of Hungary so they can keep going a lot longer than their fluffy nature lets on. Families who own Pulis will need to have active lifestyles that their Puli can accompany them on – be it running, cycling or any other outdoor activity you can think of.
This elegant looking dog breed is one of the strongest species. They were bred with the intention of helping their owners to hunt lions so they not only have incredible strength, but they also have a natural instinct to hunt prey. They can be known to be very independent but that does not mean that their loyalty to their owner should even be questioned. Their loyalty makes them fantastic at being both guard dogs and watchdogs depending on your needs. Unusually for dogs, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is often seen only to bark in certain situations, which is another reason they are brilliant dogs for guarding a home or family – when they bark, an owner knows that something out of the ordinary is happening and requires further investigation. For such a strong, athletic breed, they are also very loving and one of their favorite activities is to cuddle up to their owners and family members. They may need a little more training than some dogs owing to their independent nature, but once they are, they make fantastic additions to any family.
German Shepherds have long been used as guard dogs. More often than not, they are the breed that most people will move out of their way from if they cross the breed when out on a walk. They can actually be incredibly soft, loving and caring animals however so their reputation is a little misleading – though that is not to say that they were not guard dogs for good reason. Indeed, as a breed, the German Shepherd is often seen as one of the most fearless of dogs out there. Couple with this their gregarious and confident nature, it is obvious to see why they have been so long used for protecting families around the world as well being used within many police forces. They are bright so are quick to train but are calm around children of any age.
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The Staffordshire terrier is often seen as a breed to be afraid of – often because they have been reared and bred in the recent past for bear and bullfighting. They have also become a social symbol within gangs and often very sadly end up in dog pounds and rescue homes when owners cannot be bothered with their upkeep. It is a shame that these dogs have such a reputation as they are often exceedingly loving when brought up in the right home. They are devoted pets which makes them excellent guard dogs – in addition to their intelligence. Couple their quick wits and devotion with their naturally protective temperaments and the Staffordshire terrier becomes an ideal option to become a guard dog for a family. When they are socialized properly from a young age, and shown love, care and affection from their family members they will soon learn when to be aggressive and when not to be.
This fluffy looking breed makes a great guard dog for your home as they are so territorial and have one of the strongest instincts out there to look after its home and family. They make great additions to any home as they are so loving to their fellow family members, though they can be very aloof with strangers – hence why they make excellent guard dogs. They were originally used to protects flocks from their original home of Hungary. While they can be quite challenging to train, they are exceedingly intelligent – another reason why they are good choices for being guard dogs. They are loyal to a fault and very devoted pets. They are gentle and caring around children. Their coats do need some attention so may not be great for those that aren’t after a dog that needs regular grooming, plus it is not ideal for families with allergic adults or children. They can live to around 14 years.
Choosing The Best Guard Dog For Your Family
There are many breeds of dog therefore that are suitable for both guarding a family and home as well as being safe to have around a family with children of any age. Guard dogs do not need to be aggressive all the time so that they are a danger to humans whenever they are off the leash. All the dogs listed here are smart enough to be trained as to who is an intruder and who is safe to let into their home or onto their property. That’s not to say though that due care and research should not be taken when investigating what dogs are suitable for your needs. Whilst some guard dogs are placid and do not require much maintenance, some do need a great deal of exercise to deter negative behavior in the home like destroying furniture or attacking food bins.
With the right love and affection, however, any of these dogs will become loyal and devoted members of the family with whom everyone will enjoy the companionship.
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- 13 Best Guard Dogs to Protect Your Family and Home, Good Housekeeping
- Best Guard Dogs, American Kennel Club
- Top 10 best guard dogs, Cesar’s Way