When it comes to security, a dog can be one of the best-known deterrents. Depending on the breed, a dog can bark and intimidate would-be intruders, or even attack if necessary.
Picking the right guard dog for your security needs is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are many factors to consider, including the size of the dog, its temperament, and how much training it has received.
If you’re looking for a guard dog to add an extra level of security to your home or property, read on for our list of 26 best guard dogs, as well as what to consider when choosing one.
26. Doberman Pinscher
Doberman Pinscher is one of the best guard dog breeds because of their loyalty, intelligence, and strength. They were originally bred in Germany in the late 1800s as guard dogs and police dogs.
Thanks to their size, strength, and protective instincts, Dobermans are excellent at deterring intruders and keeping their families safe. With proper training and socialization from a young age, they can be gentle and loving family companions.
25. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are frequently used as guard dogs, assistance dogs, and police dogs.
They are also the most popular breed of dog in the United States, according to American Kennel Club registrations (AKC), although Labrador Retrievers have more total registrations than any other single breed due to their widespread popularity as pets.
German Shepherds are working dogs developed originally for herding sheep. Because of their strength, intelligence, and abilities in obedience training they are often employed in police and military roles around the world.
24. Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiffs are suitable as guard dogs , since they are fiercely loyal to their family and have a natural instinct to protect their home.
They can be aggressive towards strangers, but with proper socialization, they can be trained to be gentle and friendly. Tibetan Mastiffs are also known for being independent, stubborn, and protective, so they may not be the best choice for first-time dog owners.
Their size makes them a deterrent to any intruder, and their deep bark will alert the family to any potential danger. Tibetan Mastiffs are also known for being good with children, as they are patient and tolerant. With proper training, they can be a loving and loyal addition to any family.
Beaucerons are known for being obedient, gentle, and faithful. They weigh 70 to 110 lbs and can be up to 27.5 inches tall on average. This type of canine is rugged and muscular with a balanced appearance.
This is one of the best guard dogs that you should only get if you are an experienced owner, as the breed can easily dominate its humans.
When trained and socialized properly, Beaucerons make level-headed guardians, guards, and watchdogs.
22. Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terriers are balanced, agile, powerful, and large. They have well-developed muscles along with large bones, endurance, and strength. These canines tend to be courageous, self-assured, and reliable.
They can be as large as 140 lbs and 30 inches tall at their shoulders. Thanks to their warm coat, they can easily guard your home, even if you live in a cold climate.
21. Anatolian Shepherd
Anatolian Shepherds are working guard dogs that were bred for utility with sizable bones and muscles. They can weigh up to 150 lbs and are usually 27 to 29 inches up to the shoulders. This breed is known for being territorial and protective, ideal traits in a guard dog.
They are also very loyal, intelligent, and patient, which only adds to their usefulness for protection.
20. Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Caucasian Shepherd Dogs can grow up to incredibly 170 lbs and are bred for guarding. The breed is fearless, fierce, self-confident, and bold to strangers yet kind and soft to family. This extends to children as well as other pets in the family.
This dog has a history of guarding hundreds of years-long when it guarded livestock against predators and protected properties. There are two standards of the breed, with the Steppe weighing less and having a shorter coat than the Mountain.
19. Appenzeller Sennenhund
The Appenzeller Sennenhund is medium-sized and commonly used to guard, as well as for working on a farm. The breed is obedient and agile as well as reliable, fearless, and high-spirited. Its slight suspicion of strangers makes it a great watchdog that will not be bribed.
They are capable learners as well, thanks to their intelligence.
The Komondor, also known as the Hungarian Sheepdog or Common Mop or the Mop Dog, is a livestock guard dog known for its corded, lengthy coat. These canines were bred to guard livestock, leading to a temperament that is calm and steady in normal situations but can switch to fearless defense quickly.
Komondors are also affectionate to their family and warm up to strangers if it is clear they do not mean to cause harm.
The Kuvasz is known for being courageous, fearless, and loyal and comes from Hungary. This is a large working dog, weighing up to 115 lbs. These pooches were bred for hunting with royals or guarding livestock.
This breed is also gentle with kids but acts quickly and is agile when necessary to protect those in the dog’s family. Kuvaszok (the plural) are also intelligent and good at problem-solving and known for having a sense of humor.
16. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees is known for this thick white coat and power, especially as a working dog that protected sheep from predators.
Today, those temperament traits have adapted the breed into being a guard dog of families and houses while being mellow with its humans. The Great Pyrenees tends to appear calm when not in action but moves quickly and with grace to protect or meet a threat.
15. Puli Dog
The Puli Dog is instantly recognizable for the natural cords that cover it from tail to head. This breed is compact yet powerful and was bred to herd. Despite only weighing up to 35 lbs, this canine is faithful, smart, and agile, helping it immensely in its protective duties.
Before you get a Puli, however, keep in mind that its coat requires a lot of time and care.
14. Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds are known for being hard workers and ranch dogs, commonly working with rodeos as well. They also do well as guard dogs thanks to their agility and rugged nature.
This breed is smart, so make sure you are ready for a canine that may try to trick you. Once you train the pup, he will be ready to guard your home or help you with other dog-appropriate work.
13. Chow Chow
Chow Chows are muscular canines from ancient China and are known for their aristocratic feel. Despite their power, Chow Chows only reach up to 20 inches at the shoulder. These pups are refined and dignified.
One of their best traits for guarding is that they are loyal to their family and aloof with strangers. Another plus is that Chow Chows do well in the city as well as in more spacious areas, as they do not need extra exercise.
12. Bouvier des Flandres
Bouvier des Flandres are strong-willed, so don’t get this breed without some consideration. When you do, you will be happy to have an excellent watchdog that can also help you with other all-purpose canine work.
This breed intimidates intruders with its barrel-chested and burly nature and weight of up to 110 lbs. It also has powerful muscles and heavy bones, hidden under a waterproof coat to help him guard in all weather.
11. Malinois Dog
The Malinois or Belgian Malinois is a hardworking canine that forms a very close bond with his human, making him a great guard dog.
This breed needs to live an active lifestyle and loves working, including guard duty. Just be sure to give your Malinois a job to do, or he may get bored. With exercise and lots of time with you, this breed will be a happy, smart guard dog.
10. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is a majestic and highly trainable breed that is known for being confident, assertive, and protective. Even the breed’s name hints at its nature as a guard dog, as it is a rough translation from Latin meaning “bodyguard-dog.” This is among the older breeds, as ancient Romans counted on it to protect them.
Still, need more convincing? The Cane Corso frequently weighs over 100 lbs and they are very loyal.
9. Thai Ridgeback
If you want an active, tough, and intelligent guard dog, then look no further than the Thai Ridgeback. This breed is a good family pup and is loyal when socialized properly. This is a guarding breed, meaning that your Thai Ridgeback will naturally be protective of your home, including being suspicious of strangers.
These pups also have a high prey drive and strong survival instincts, as their initial purpose of guarding and hunting required self-sufficiency.
8. Great Dane
Great Danes are sometimes called the “Apollo of Dogs” and are friendly, dependable, and patient, but require a great deal of commitment. They can weigh up to 175 lbs and reach 32 inches at their shoulders.
If your Great Dane stands on its hind legs, he will likely be taller than you. This breed is sweet and good with children, yet alert and intimidating when guarding your home.
Akitas are known for their profound loyalty and dignity and can weigh as much as 130 lbs. These Japanese dogs are muscular and are traditionally known as protectors of the family as well as symbols of long life and good health.
If you choose an Akita, expect a quiet dog that will be wary of strangers and not like other animals but loves spending time with you and your family. Just be sure to socialize your Akita from birth.
6. Giant Schnauzer
Giant Schnauzers are very trainable, something which helps them in their guard duties, as does their weight of up to 85 lbs. This breed will be very loyal to you and have a substantial, muscular body.
People bred the Giant Schnauzer as a working dog during the mid-1800s and it was originally bred to help drive cattle and as a guard dog for innkeepers, merchants, and farmers. That legacy continues today and your Giant Schnauzer would gladly serve as your guard pup.
Boxers have a strong work ethic and are bright, alert, and courageous, all of which contribute to their status as one the best guard dogs. They can weigh up to 80 lbs and be up to 25 inches to the shoulders.
You can see their muscles at a glance and they are protective yet patient. This makes them an excellent guard dog for families with small children.
The Bullmastiff has a long reputation of being a guard, pursuing poachers in England. This breed is a cross of the Mastiff and the Bulldog. Your Bullmastiff will be docile at home, showing the family affection while being fearless at work, treating invaders like its ancestors treated poachers.
It is also intimidating at up to 130 lbs and 27 inches to the shoulder. Just remember that if you want a Bullmastiff guard dog, you need to start socialization and training as a puppy.
Rottweilers are descendants of the mastiffs that fought with Romans, a history that helps them be confident guard dogs. The breed is strong and protective of its family yet is gentle when playing or interacting with family.
When you raise a Rottweiler properly, you will get a courageous, calm, and confident canine that is not overly aggressive. During family time, don’t be surprised if your Rottweiler decides it’s a lap dog.
2. American Leopard Hound
The American Leopard Hound can have a brindle, leopard, or solid pattern and a range of colors, with 60 percent being solid-colored. In addition to being guard dogs, this breed is also popular for hunting a range of game.
American Leopard Hounds will enjoy themselves even in extreme weather. This breed has a dense and smooth double coat, along with nails that are strong and grow quickly. This breed is very energetic, something which helps it perform guard duties.
1. Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are frequently used as guard dogs because of their large size and intimidating appearance. They are very versatile and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks.
Some of the most common tasks that Bernese Mountain Dogs are trained to perform include: guarding property, herding livestock, tracking lost people or animals, and providing assistance to disabled individuals.
What Is The Most Aggressive Guard Dog?
Chihuahuas are known to be the most aggressive dog breed, but you certainly wouldn’t want one for a guard dog that is not of proper size. Of those on our list of best guard dogs, the Chow Chow is the most aggressive guard dog, closely followed by the Dobermann. Other highlights include Rottweilers and German Shepherds.
What Dog Breed Has Killed Most Humans?
Pit bulls are typically the dogs that kill the most humans each year in the United States, but there are not many deaths from dogs. The year 2018, for example, had seen only 36 fatalities from dog bites. If you socialize and train your pooch properly, it is unlikely to kill.
Which Dog Has The Strongest Bite?
The dog with the strongest bite is the Kangal, followed by the Bandog, Cane Corso, Tosa Inu, and Dogue de Bordeaux. Of these, only Cane Corso is also one of the best guard dogs on our list. Other guard dogs with strong bites include Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Boxer, and Dobermann.