The Best Guard Dogs: 12 Top Breeds

August 26, 2019

The Best Guard Dogs: 12 Top Breeds


A pet can add brighten any home with more happiness. The simple idea of having another living, breathing being in your house does that. Some families want more than just another family member by taking the step further and bringing in a dog than offers more than just companionship but protection as well. This is easier said than done.

One of the main jobs of a dog has been to protect its owners and guard against uninvited strangers or unwelcomed animals. Most dogs instinctively act as guardians but there are specific breeds that are known for having the characteristics of a guard dog.

The following breeds are excellent pets, but when properly trained, even better guard dogs. Expert dog trainers consider the following breeds to be the top 10 best guard dog breeds in terms of temperament, physical strength, courage, loyalty, and resistance to pain:



This dog breed originated from Japan. They were specifically bred to protect royalty and nobility during the Feudal Japan, the era of the samurai when the country was rife with war and swordplay. These dogs are also used to hunt wild boar, deer, and even bears. The modern Akita makes excellent guard dogs with proper care and training. They can be quite stubborn and tough, but they are very affectionate and respectful to their owners. If you’ve seen the movie Hachiko, a true story of a dog who waited for years for his master to return, then you know how loyal they can be.


#2. Boxer

This large breed is usually full of energy and require a bit of exercise to keep them calm and obedient. They are named for their unusual behavior of standing on their back legs and punching with their front legs. Give them enough attention and energy and they’d reward you with their loyalty as this breed is known for being a loyal companion to its human. They are very patient with children. Having said that, they make excellent family dogs. But don’t mistake the patience for weakness—they are viciously protective of their home and property, especially against intruders and unwelcomed guests.


#3. Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff is extremely large and intimidating in appearance, that alone is already a deterrent to anyone with nefarious intentions. They make good guard dogs because they are very strong and domineering that no stupid thief would dare confront. You wouldn’t think that these dogs are very friendly to family and friends due to its countenance, but they are! You don’t have to worry about aggression directed towards you (except if you are the intruder of course). Though they don’t require much exercise like the Boxers, they will wear you out if you let them since they can be very difficult to manage due to their massive size.


#4. chow chow

Though they may look life cute and cuddly stuffed animals, don’t let the fluffy appearance and cute name fool you. Chow Chows are impressive guard dogs. It’s been said that this breed is one of the oldest, dating back as far as the Han Dynasty (around 206 BC) or further. They supposedly originate from northern China and Mongolia. The Chinese emperor back then supposedly kept as many as 5,000 hunting dogs, a big testament to their strength and talent. This breed is independent and fiercely loyal, important qualities of a good guard dog. They are known to be low maintenance too.


#5. Doberman

When we say guard dogs, dogs that come to mind are the German Shepherd, the Rottweiler, and of course, the Doberman Pinscher. The Doberman has been guarding for a long time. They were specifically bred as guard dogs in Germany during the early 19th century. If that doesn’t put them on top of the list, I don’t know what will. Their loyalty is unheard of—they can actually tell the difference between an intruder and a family member or visitor. They are extremely smart, which is a big factor in putting them on top of anyone’s list.


#6. German Shepherd

The German Shepherds are known far and wide as a hunting or service dog. They have proven themselves time and again as talented, excellent, and loyal companions. The fact that they are used everywhere in the military to the police force would say a lot about this breed and instill confidence to anyone looking for a great guard dog. These dogs are incredibly smart, easy to train in a variety of skills, and lovable companions as long as they are taken cared for. They can even act as guide dogs for the physically disabled. They can almost do anything, except talk. But who knows?


#7. Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer is not a very popular dog breed but they are undeniably possessing more than above average intelligence and the ability to learn many skills. However, this breed gets bored easily so they require a bit of mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy or they’ll become a handful. This breed is playful, and would make great guard and family dogs. They are best for older children rather than small children or toddlers. If you have small kids, it may not be the best idea to get this breed during that time.


#8. Great Dane

Did you know that the lovable but scaredy-cat, mystery-loving Scooby Doo is a Great Dane? Great Danes are not cowardly like how Scooby Doo is portrayed, far from it actually, especially when trained as guard dogs. They are not the type who can be easily intimidated. Their height is also a scare factor. They are closer to horses in size compared to your average dog. Despite their size, they are known to be gentle giants because of their kind and family-friendly nature. When given the proper training, they make great home protectors and would ward off any unwanted people or intruders. They are more of an intimidating deterrent than an actual attack dog.


#9. Pit Bull

Though Pits have this bad image due to them being used as fighting and guard dogs, they are definitely good in that arena. People may not know this but the term “pit bull” actually refers to a group of breeds that share many of the same characteristics. These dogs are the American Pitt Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, and Staffordshire Terrier. Some argue that these dogs are all different, or just the same breeds but there is no argument that their strength, tenacity, and loyalty make them great guard dogs. These dogs are actually mellow and mild-mannered, making them good for children. Don’t believe the rumors about them being bad, aggressive dogs, unless you are an intruder.


#10. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Believe it or not, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was originally bred to hunt lions. These excellent guard dogs are strong, athletic, easy to care for, and very intelligent. However, they are not the easiest to train because their intelligence and wandering nature can be a challenge to an inexperienced dog owner. You’ll get a loyal pet that will stand with you until the end if you win them over and have them properly trained.


#11. Rottweiler

The Rottweiler, just like the Doberman Pinscher, is known to be one of the most classic dog breeds due to its intimidating appearance, growl, and easily trainable. They were one of the earliest police dogs. They have also functioned as cattle dogs, butcher’s assistants, and family guardians. Even if they are mellow, lovable, and natural guardians, they stand their ground without overstepping their boundaries.


#12. Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar-Pei may look goofy and unreliable but you definitely don’t want to mess with them. They’ve literally been around like forever, doing what they do best—hunting, herding, guarding. They are known to be aloof, and have the tendency to overreact to intruders and visitors so a strong hand is required when training them. These dogs are calm, suitable for apartment living. They are also to care for in terms of grooming.


Owning a dog comes with responsibility, much more a guard dog. Your dog should be a pet first, and guard dog second. If you plan on getting a guard dog, make sure first and foremost, that you are willing and committed to properly care for one. You must respect, care, and be kind to your guard dog. That is a necessity, not a whim.

Though the breeds mentioned above make good family pets, owners must remember that these are powerful dogs. Guard dogs must be properly trained and socialized to ensure the safety of family members, guests, and neighbors. These dogs need to understand that you, the owner, is the master and the leader of the pack.

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