Do English Bulldogs Make Good Guard Dogs? [Absolutely NOT]

When considering a canine companion to provide security for our homes, many of us wonder whether certain breeds, like the charming English Bulldog, make good guard dogs. With their adorable wrinkles and fierce appearance, it’s easy to assume that they might possess natural guarding instincts.

However, despite their intimidating looks, English Bulldogs are not ideally suited for this role. While they unquestionably have a loyal and protective nature, these endearing pets tend to be more lovable than fearsome. They lack the physical endurance, high energy, and intense focus that characterize the best guard dog breeds.

are english bulldogs good guard dogs
Are English Bulldogs good guard dogs?

Nonetheless, these gentle giants have a variety of qualities that make them wonderful family pets, such as their affectionate demeanor, strong bond with their owners, and adaptability to various living situations. Although they may not excel in the guard dog department, they will undoubtedly charm anyone who gets to know them.

English Bulldogs as Guard Dogs

When considering a guard dog, one might think of an English Bulldog. However, they do not make the best choice for this specific role. In this section, we’ll explore why English Bulldogs aren’t ideal and suggest alternative breeds that are better suited for guarding properties.

Why English Bulldogs Aren’t Ideal

English Bulldogs, while muscular and strong, have some traits that are not suitable for being a guard dog:

  • Low energy levels: Bulldogs are notoriously low-energy, which means they may not be able to sustain the vigilance needed for a guard dog.
  • Stubbornness: They can be quite stubborn, making it difficult to train them for the specific demands of guarding.
  • Health issues: English Bulldogs are prone to various health problems that can shorten their lifespan and limit their physical abilities.
  • Lack of aggression: Although they may appear intimidating, Bulldogs are generally good-natured and may not assert themselves aggressively when necessary.

Considering these factors, is an English Bulldog truly the best choice for a guard dog? Let’s take a look at some alternative breeds.

Alternative Breeds That Make Better Guard Dogs

There are many other dog breeds that make excellent guard dogs due to their size, temperament, and natural instincts. Here are a few options:

BreedGuarding TraitsComparison to English Bulldogs
1. German ShepherdHighly intelligent, loyal, protective, and trainableMore energetic, larger, and more agile than English Bulldogs
2. RottweilerStrong, confident, and protective with a natural guarding instinctMore powerful and muscular than English Bulldogs
3. Doberman PinscherAlert, loyal, intelligent, and fearlessTaller, slimmer, and more athletic than English Bulldogs
4. BoxerCourageous, strong, and protectiveSimilar in appearance, but larger and more energetic
5. BullmastiffStrong, loyal, and naturally protectiveSimilar appearance, but larger and more protective
6. Belgian MalinoisHighly trainable, intelligent, and protectiveMore agile, energetic, and possess a stronger work drive
7. Great DaneProtective, loyal, and largeMuch taller and heavier than English Bulldogs
8. AkitaFearless, loyal, and naturally protectiveLarger, stronger, and more reserved with strangers
9. Rhodesian RidgebackIndependent, strong-willed, and protectiveMore athletic and require more physical exercise
10. KuvaszLoyal, courageous, and protective with strong guarding instinctsMuch larger and possess a thick, weather-resistant coat

In comparison to the English Bulldog, the breeds listed above are generally larger, more athletic, and possess stronger guarding instincts. While English Bulldogs may exhibit some protective behaviors due to their loyalty and courage, they are not specifically bred for guarding purposes.

These other breeds have been selected and bred for their natural guarding instincts and physical capabilities, making them more suitable as dedicated guard dogs.

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English Bulldog Overview

English Bulldogs are a popular dog breed known for their unique appearance and easygoing nature. While they have some positive traits that might make them seem like good guard dogs, they are not really suited for this purpose.


The English Bulldog has a friendly and gentle temperament. They are often described as loyal and loving dogs who thrive on human companionship. Bulldogs have a natural instinct to protect their family, but their laid-back nature may make them an unreliable guard dog.

These dogs can be stubborn at times and require consistent training to overcome their independent nature. However, they generally respond well to positive reinforcement and patience, making them suitable for families, but not as vigilant protectors.

Physical Characteristics

While English Bulldogs possess an imposing appearance with a stocky and muscular build, their physical characteristics can also work against them in a guard dog role:

  • Size: They are considered a medium-sized breed with a heavyset body. Their size may deter some intruders, but their body structure limits their agility and endurance when faced with a genuine threat.
  • Respiratory issues: Due to their flat faces and shortened snouts, English Bulldogs are prone to breathing difficulties. This condition, known as Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), can cause them to become easily exhausted.
  • Exercise intolerance: Another consequence of their physical structure is limited exercise capacity. English Bulldogs are not high-energy dogs and are not able to sustain prolonged periods of activity, which could make them less effective in a security role.

While the English Bulldog may not be the best choice as a guard dog, they are still loving and loyal companions that bring joy to many families.

Guard Dog Basics

Understanding the qualities and characteristics that make a good guard dog is essential when evaluating whether English Bulldogs fit the role.

Desired Traits

A good guard dog should possess certain traits, such as:

  • Alertness
  • Intelligence
  • Trainability
  • Loyalty
  • Protectiveness
  • Strength

It is important to consider if a breed consistently displays these traits to determine if they are suitable for guarding purposes.


So, do English Bulldogs make good guard dogs? Not really. While they possess some characteristics of guard dogs, such as loyalty and protectiveness, their low energy, and lack of aggression make them unsuitable for this role.

Instead, English Bulldogs excel as family pets and companions. They are loving, gentle, and patient with children, making them ideal for families or older individuals seeking a laid-back companion.

When it comes to potential guard dog breeds, there are other options with higher energy levels and a stronger natural guarding instinct, such as:

Ultimately, it is essential to choose the right breed for your needs and living situation. While the English Bulldog might not be the best fit for a guard dog, their loyal and loving nature makes them a fantastic companion for those seeking a friendly and low-maintenance pet.

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.