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Best Guard Dogs: Which Breeds Can Protect My Family?

best guard dogs

So you just moved into a beautiful bigger home with an ample yard to run around in. Now that you have plenty of space, you can finally get that dog you’ve been wanting. Whether you are looking for peace of mind or protecting your family, finding some of the best guard dogs may help keep you and your loved ones safe!


Guard dogs are loyal and protective but are also very friendly with children. They can defend homes and property while also having the energy to play catch and go on long walks. With specialized training, these canines can become certified guard dogs.


Learn about some of our favorite breeds that make excellent guard dogs!



What Is Considered A Guard Dog?

Generally, guard dogs are a cut above the rest in their protective instinct, fearlessness, and strength. If you close your eyes and picture a mighty, tough-looking dog, the chances are that breed would make a fantastic protector for your home.


Classic guard dog breeds have been popular since ancient times. Farmers often used guard dogs to protect their livestock, and royals used them to defend their palaces. Whether maternal or territorial, all dogs have a natural n instinct to defend their owners, property, or pups.


A common trait in guard dogs is their large size. However, not all large canines are considered guard dogs. Golden Retrievers, for example, are more likely to befriend everyone they see instead of barking at strangers.


Police dogs are a fantastic clear example of guard protection dogs. German Shepherds are the most common breed trained as police dogs. These dog breeds that are trusted to work alongside law enforcement and the military can definitely make an excellent choice for a guard dog at home.



Do Guard Dogs Make Good Pets?

You’re probably wondering if that intimidating-looking Rottweiler you saw roaming a junkyard will make a good pet. The short answer is, yes, of course!


Although guard dog breeds can have a reputation for being mean and nasty, they are still dogs at the end of the day. They enjoy playing fetch, digging, going on walks, and playing with kids. Good guard dogs can make even better family additions!


Like all dogs and animals, guard dogs can become disciplined and playful with the proper training and socialization. With their instincts, they can still effectively defend you and your family from danger.


Since most, if not all, guard dogs receive some training, they can be taught to be friendly toward your family members. A well-trained guard dog breed will obey its owner’s commands and relax around accepted strangers. Your family members or visitors will feel more at ease and feel safe around dogs that can listen and behave.


If you received your guard dog as a puppy, make sure to introduce positive socialization early on to help it distinguish between people as friends or threats. Although they grow up to be well-built and large, remember that they are still puppies that love to play and cuddle!



leashed Rottweiler walking on grass



What Are the Benefits of Owning a Guard Dog?

Guard dog owners enjoy the benefit of having a family-friendly pet that is also top-notch in security and protection. These family pets are best suited for homes or properties where they can receive plenty of exercise. Besides being man’s best friend, these dogs also are exceptional when it comes to protecting their loved ones!



The best guard dogs offer unparalleled protection from intruders, both human and animal. You might live somewhere with plenty of intrusive animals like possums, raccoons, or even giant rats. These wild animals can carry diseases and even damage your property. With your guard dog’s bark and bite, those wild creatures will think twice about trespassing.


Guard dogs will also protect against potential home invaders or robbers. If they detect a potential intruder outside their circle of trust, they will quickly spring to action and scare them off. Your dog might even discourage those pesky solicitors from approaching the house, saving you many headaches!



Aside from defending your home and family, these excellent guard dogs will also provide you joy and entertainment. Many of these large, mean-looking breeds are actually gentle giants and love spending time with their families. Since it’s recommended to train your dog as early as possible when you get them, you can also teach them a few nifty tricks for fun.


Guard dogs can also learn how to do common tricks like rolling over or sitting upon command. These breeds of dogs can also learn more fun, advanced tricks such as:


  • Shake hands
  • Wave
  • Play dead
  • Take a bow


These neat tricks can be fun when you have friends over or to impress your guests! Many of these dog breeds need a lot of exercise, so having them learn and perform tricks is a great way to expend their energy.


Can Guard Dogs Be Friendly?

Guard dogs are not wild wolves or rabid beasts, so of course, they are friendly! Unfortunately, guard dog breeds are depicted as angry creatures constantly barking and looking to bite. Although they might be intimidating in appearance, these gentle giants want to play with a tennis ball and receive belly rubs just like any other dog.


Not all guard dog breeds are born super disciplined. Like other regular canines, guard dogs require early training and positive socialization. By taking the time to train your dog, you are building a foundation of trust and love.



Training & Socialization

With proper training, you won’t have to worry about your dog pooping everywhere, chewing up your stuff, digging up your garden. A well-trained dog is more likely to be friendlier than a mischievous, undisciplined dog.


In addition to regular training, you should also include your dog in positive socialization training. Positive socialization is necessary for dog owners because it teaches them how to get along with other people and pets with real-world experience. The more socialization your dog experiences, the more suited they are to deal with unfamiliar situations.


Even with training, dogs can feel anxious and nervous because of thunderstorms or fireworks. Puppies might feel separation anxiety from leaving their mom. For situations where your guard dog is feeling overwhelmed, consider supplementing them with CBD (cannabidiol).


Holistapet’s CBD products for dogs are safe and non-toxic. CBD targets your dog’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps regulate your dog’s internal balance. CBD treats can boost your dog’s mood in times of stress and can make them a lot more friendly.


Are Guard Dogs Dangerous?

Guard dogs are only dangerous when they feel threatened, or their family is in danger. Many people have a misconception about guard dogs being extremely dangerous when in reality, they are not. They are easy to get along with and make a great addition to your home and family!


People should only worry about getting bitten by a guard dog if they are trespassing somewhere they shouldn’t be in the first place. If you plan on getting a dog to protect your family, remember to train them properly to avoid any potential incidents! As a good practice, keep your dog away from other pets or people if they tend to be on the more defensive or protective side.


It’s highly recommended to have a visible warning sign alerting guests and strangers about your protective guard dog.



police canine sitting on street



The Most Popular Guard Dogs

Each dog breed on this list is incredibly loyal, great protectors, and adorable in its own right. Intruders and wild animals are no match for these dogs!


Although not included on this list, many other great guard dog breeds include:


  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Cane Corso
  • Black Russian Terrier
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Anatolian Shepherd


American Akita

When it comes to loyalty, there are very few guard dogs like the American Akita. These dogs originated from the island of Japan, where they were kept to protect the palaces of Japanese royalty. American Akitas are known for being exceptionally devoted to their owners and displaying a playful and kind side with their families.


One of the largest dog breeds in the world, the American Akita can weigh anywhere from 70 to 100 pounds. They have fluffy coats, giving them a resemblance to giant teddy bears. The Akita’s furry coat is ideal for families that live in colder climates.


Australian Shepherd

An active and energetic canine used on ranches to help herd livestock. Australian Shepherds are among the best guard dog breeds despite being medium-sized. However, don’t let their smaller sizes fool you because they are extremely fearless and intelligent.


Australian Shepherds are very work-oriented and love working alongside their owners. These excellent guard dogs are full of energy and thrive in homes with plenty of space for exercise and play.



The Boxer dog is a very popular guard dog. They are intelligent, good-looking, courageous, but also sweet with children and full of fun. The Boxer’s appearance and physical qualities make it one of the most recognizable dogs in the world.


These dogs are also medium-sized but have broad chests and muscular limbs. They are loyal to their families and ready to protect them from danger. They can weigh between 65 to 80 pounds.



You probably recognize the Bullmastiff from the movie “The Sandlot” as the giant dog protecting the junkyard. Although their enormous size makes them seem intimidating, Bullmastiffs can be quite the goofballs. They can grow into whopping sizes, ranging between 100 to 130 pounds!


Once trained, this breed will be highly alert and relies on its size to intimidate unwanted intruders. Your family will love having this dog around to protect the home while also being playful with your children!


German Shepherd

German Shepherds are among the most popular dog breeds in the world. This extraordinary breed is also commonly found working with the police and the military. They have a recognizable coat and typically weigh between 65 to 90 pounds.


German Shepherds are incredibly intelligent and will protect families from outside intruders. They are highly trainable to learn a wide range of commands and actions. German Shepherds are very highly regarded among all dog owners!



Are There Certifications for Guard Dogs?

Yes, you can have your dog go through training to receive various certifications!


Some courses offer training to teach your dog how to become the best protector they can be. A protection dog certification shows that you have taken crucial steps to build important skills like off-leash discipline, alert on-command, obedience training, and even how to attack intruders properly.


Certifications can be costly, ranging from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the level of training you want them to receive. The most rigorous courses are typically reserved for the most advanced levels of law enforcement or protection for celebrities.



Final Thoughts – Best Guard Dogs

It is impossible to think of another animal that will defend your family and home with its life and act as a goofy playmate. Guard dogs are friendly, gentle creatures devoted to staying loyal and providing protection to your family. When thinking of adding a pet to your family, consider a guard dog, and it will provide you with happiness and companionship!

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