A loyal dog will do whatever it takes to protect its master and family. It is, therefore, no surprise that many people choose their pet dog with security considerations in mind too.
Whether you want a big dog to scare off potential intruders or you want a strong and aggressive guard dog for physical protection, here are the 10 best breeds of guard dogs:
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- Giant Schnauzer
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Staffordshire Terrier
To learn more about these ten aggressive breeds and other information about what makes a great guard dog, read on.
The 10 Best Breeds of Guard Dog
The following breeds are considered by many as the best breeds for guard dogs:
Bullmastiffs are well regarded for their loyalty, strength, protective instincts, and courage. Bullmastiffs will use their body strength to run into intruders and knock them over.
When not busy protecting the house, Bullmastiffs are incredibly docile and friendly pets.
2. Doberman Pinscher
Doberman Pinschers are very large and fast. They are best suited to large properties where they may need to run from one location to another quickly.
They are one of the smartest breeds in existence, and can often outsmart intruders with their maneuverings.
3. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are the classic attack dogs you will see on TV. A regular member of police and security K-9 forces, these fast-thinking, intelligent dogs are also well-suited for deployment as family guard dogs.
When not on the offensive, German Shepherds are calm and docile dogs.
4. Giant Schnauzer
Giant Schnauzers are powerful dogs. While they require intense training to become capable guard dogs, their loyalty and size make them an excellent choice for protecting your home.
Kuvasz dogs are incredibly territorial and have a strong instinct to protect their masters. They will often ignore strangers (unless those strangers are intruding) but love getting attention from their family.
In years past, Komondors were commonly used as sheepdogs. Their breeding has given them a lot of strength and energy, and they are very loyal to their owners – which makes them excellent guard dogs as well.
Puli dogs are very suspicious. They are often over-cautious and will bark at any minor disturbances. Pulik (plural of Puli) are also very intelligent dogs that require a lot of attention, but they will protect you if you need them to.
8. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are the opposite of Pulis and will only bark at real danger. They require proper training to be effective guard dogs due to their strong independent nature. Previously bred as hunting dogs, they also have a strong urge to prey on smaller animals.
Rottweilers are smart and loyal dogs. They can be aloof with strangers at first, but once properly introduced, they will provide them with the same protection they afford you.
10. Staffordshire Terrier
Staffordshire Terriers are very aggressive by nature. Therefore, they require proper socialization training before you can safely bring them in to protect the family home.
Once appropriately trained, they will prove to be loyal guards that protect the whole family.
Do you need a guard dog?
The need for a guard dog will vary considerably depending on where you live, and the type of housing you occupy.
If you live in a high rise building in the middle of the city with guarded entrances, you are very unlikely to need a guard dog.
Whereas if you live on a remote country farm or a rough neighbourhood with high crime rates, you may find a guard dog to be quite useful.
And if you’re a commercial enterprise that requires a 24/7 security force to protect your factory or warehouse, guard dogs are a definite plus.
Whatever your reason for needing a guard dog, remember that it isn’t just a security tool – it will also be part of the family.
Therefore, you should carefully weigh the dog’s guard duty strengths up against the desired personality traits of a family pet.
If you live in a safe neighbourhood with good locks, a decent security system, and some CCTV cameras, you probably don’t need a guard dog.
If this matches your living situation, you should base your choice of dog on other traits like size, friendliness, and level of care required.
Guard Dogs vs. Attack Dogs, What’s the Difference?
Many people confuse guard dogs with attack dogs.
A guard dog’s job is to alert its family to potential danger or intruders and to scare the intruder off with its bark. An attack dog, however, is specially trained to demobilize an assailant or criminal. They are usually used in police or military settings.
Unless trained very well, attack dogs can get confused and attack friendly parties. So unless you’re prepared for the realities of caring for an attack dog, you should seek to get a guard dog instead.
Where should your guard dog live?
We’ve all watched the movies where the guard dog lives in a cute little house in the garden or yard, sleeping with one eye open and ready to spring into action at one moment’s notice.
The reality, however, is that most people keep their dogs inside the main house.
Unless you live in a location with particularly high crime rates, your dog and your family is unlikely to gain many benefits in sleeping in a cold, damp doghouse.
Any potential intruders will still hear the barking if the dog is inside the house.
Best Personality Traits For Guard Dogs
A good guard dog will have the following traits:
The more loyal your dog is to you and your family, the more likely it will be to protect you when danger presents itself.
A confident dog will be interested in new places and meeting new people. If your dog is not confident, you should attend socialization classes to help them become familiar with other dogs and humans.
An assertive dog will stand its ground and be comfortable with putting itself in a forward position.
A good guard dog will follow their master’s commands – even in a stressful or dangerous situation. A properly trained dog will even follow commands in the presence of intruders.
How Do I Train My Guard Dog?
Before you can train your dog to be a good guard dog, you should put it through standard puppy training classes. Your dog needs to learn all of the basics, such as sit, stay, down, etc. This will make your dog comfortable with taking commands and teach them who is in charge.
The next step is to teach them to bark on command. One of the easiest ways to teach your dog to bark on command is to tie them up and slowly walk backward with a treat. Tempt them into barking for your attention.
Once they have barked, use a defined trigger word to help them associate barking with the trigger word. After your pup successfully barks at the trigger word, you should reward them with a treat.
To ensure your dog gets the idea, practice the bark command in several locations and scenarios.
Once the bark command has been mastered, it’s time to teach your dog to stop barking. Usually, the word “shush” or “quiet” is associated with stopping barking.
When your dog is barking, use the command and reward them if they stop barking.
Eventually, you can slowly build up to barking when strangers arrive. Use rewards and praise to encourage this action. But make sure they master the quiet or shush command too.
- The Emmy-winning host of “Lucky Dog”, Brandon McMillan is an expert trainer dedicated to building relationships between humans and animals. In his MasterClass, Brandon shares his simple, effective training system to help you develop trust and control with your dog.
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Whichever breed of dog you decide to choose to protect your home, they will almost certainly prove to be loyal and capable guard dogs.
Even the smallest dogs can learn to bark at strangers – though strangers might not be too intimidated if the bark is high-pitched.
In any case, ensure you invest the proper amount of time and effort training your dog to be the best guard dog it can be.
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