If you are looking for the perfect guard dog, you may want to conduct some research on what dog breed better meets your needs and expectations. While many dogs are naturally protective of their families, there are some breeds that excel in this role better than others, and there are definitively breeds that make poor guard dogs and wouldn’t mind at all if a stranger would trespass your property.
Guard Dog or Watch Dog?
It seems like the terms guard dog and watch dog are often used interchangeably; yet, there are significant differences in these terms. A watch dog is a dog that is “talkative” and will sound the alarm for any unusual activity. If you want a dog that alerts you when there are people near your property, a watch dog will do. Many small and medium dogs make great watch dogs. If on the other hand you want a dog that takes the guardian role more seriously, you want a guard dog. These fellows may alarm bark, and on top of that they’ll take a more active role in trying to send the intruder away or keeping him cornered until you arrive. Their mere presence is often already a deterrent; indeed, most guard dogs are large, imposing dogs.
This loyal breed is known for bonding very strongly with its owners and family, a quality that makes this breed a potentially great guard dog. On top of that, this breed has a tendency to be aloof towards strangers, but can also be confident and fearless in challenging situations. This quality makes them great candidates for police work and military operations. Shyness is considered a serious fault in this breed, according to the American Kennel Club.
Properly trained and socialized Rotties have an innate desire to protect their home and family. Calm, courageous and confident, a Rottweiler can be quite aloof overall and won’t lend himself to immediate friendships. The best part is that these loyal fellows take a wait-and-see approach when they notice certain changes in their environments. Their mere presence acts as a deterrent for any wrongdoers.
This large, powerful dog is very alert and responsive, qualities that make him a good guardian. He takes a quiet, investigative approach to any intrusions. The Akita’s barking is generally spared to situations where there may be something being seriously wrong. Only problem with these fellows is that they can be quite independent and dignified. They will need loads of socialization and training so they can bond with their owners and be better under control.
While nowadays this breed has an undeserved bad rap, in the early 1900’s this breed had a reputation of being America’s nanny. Indeed, these dogs watched over children and kept them safe just as often seen in the Little Rascals show. While the United Kennel Club clarifies that American Pit bull terriers aren’t great as guard dogs because they are very friendly even with strangers, one cannot deny that their mere presence can be quite intimidating alone.
This is another breed that can be goofy and friendly, but its size is what makes it look fierce and intimidating. Criminals won’t ever know that this dog may be running towards them just to greet them and his barking is his way to say hello. When raised around children from an early age, Great Danes have the potential to make wonderful protectors.
This dog’s presence will suffix to send criminals running for the hills, but interestingly, this breed is overall quite a softie with a low tendency for aggression. Protecting the home comes natural in this breed; indeed, in the past bullmastiffs were used to keep large estates free of poachers. According to the American Kennel Club, this breed was capable of pinning the poachers down without mauling them until helped arrived.
Originally used as a water dog, this breed has all the qualities needed to discourage any wrongdoers from approaching the owner’s home. These gentle giants are blessed with an imposing presence and a long coat that makes them look even larger. Yet, Newfies are typically friendly with children and gentle with other pets.
This breed couldn’t miss from the list because of its sheer size. If dog owners don’t mind a bit of drool and a bulky appearance, this breed is a great protector of the home. Loyal and often fond of children, the Saint Bernard has a gentle spirit that makes him a great family dog. As with other breeds, Saint Bernard needs early training and socialization.
The boxer is a bit smaller than the other breeds listed, but his facial features make him look menacing to those who don’t know him. Boxers are overall very alert dogs and their athleticism allows them to be very reliable watch dogs who protect their families. They are natural when it comes to reading people’s intentions, a quality that makes them the perfect guardians. This affectionate breed thrives on quality family time and attention.
Originally bred as livestock guardian dogs, Pyrenees are naturally predisposed to being alert of their surroundings. Add to this natural predisposition the fact that these dogs are quite large and are covered in thick fur, and you’ll have the perfect guardian. While this is a loving and gentle breed, as the Akita this breed, it tends to be independent. Training is a must with these fellows. The time invested in training though pays back as these dogs have the potential for being a great family companion.
It’s often wrong to assume that a good guard dog must have an aggressive streak. A dog with a short fuse is a big liability and often cannot distinguish between a thief and innocent trick-or-treaters. Good guard dogs must receive loads of training and socialization and must have a well-rounded temperament. It’s imperative that families with children carefully evaluate if a perspective family guard dog is a good match for their home.