14 Best Dogs for Protection + What to Look For In a Good Guard Dog



Ben Team


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best dogs for security

Dogs perform a wide variety of services for their humans.

Some perform amazing feats of agility to entertain us, while others assist handicapped people, help those who struggle with anxiety and depression, or offer support to children with special needs.

Others use their incredible sense of smell to find hidden items or monitor blood sugar levels!

But the ones that we’re talking about today hold a special place in my heart – today, we are going to talk about guard dogs.

These dogs have an unrivaled love for their humans, and they are willing to do just about anything to keep their people and home safe.

7 Best Guard Dog Breeds: Top Dogs For Protection

Even dogs of unknown ancestry may perform admirably in a protective context, but if you want a dog that will instinctually protect your family, you should consider the following breeds at the outset. They’ve proven over time that they’re willing and able to guard that which you hold dear.

It’s worth pointing out that the first three breeds on our list – German shepherds, Rottweilers and Doberman pinchers — probably combine to represent the bulk of the guard dog niche.

This is not exactly surprising; after all, these breeds are the 2nd, 9th and 14th most popular in US homes. Additionally, they all three exhibit the traits you’d want in a good guard dog.

There is no guarantee that any dog will act in a protective manner unless he or she has been explicitly and professionally trained to do so. While the following breeds typically exhibit the traits that are important for a good guard dog, wise owners will obtain professional evaluation and counsel before relying on their dog for protection of any sort.

1. Rottweiler

rottweiler guard dog

Originally developed to herd cattle and accompany soldiers into battle, Rottweilers check off every box on the guard dog checklist: They are one of the most intelligent breeds in the world, they love their families in a way that is truly difficult to convey and they are ready to face down any threat – be it a bear, nefarious human or vacuum cleaner – without a moment’s hesitation. And most are ready to back up their bluster if need be.

Rotties are not ideal for inexperienced dog owners, as they require a calm, confident “alpha.” While intellectually independent, they’re emotionally dependent and quite sensitive to their owner’s emotions. Rotties require very high levels of both attention and exercise, so they are not well suited for spending lots of time alone.

Rottweilers are on the shorter side by guard dog standards, but their physical power is both impressive and immediately obvious.

2. German Shepherd

german shepherd guard dog

German shepherds have been used by military and police organizations for decades. They exemplify most of the traits found in good guard dogs, as they’re intelligent, loving and brave.

Shepherds are also physically imposing, despite their modest body weight (relatively few shepherds exceed 100 pounds).

In part, this is due to their long, fluffy coat, which exaggerates their size, but they also have very broad, deep chests and a set of ears large enough to pick up basic cable.

German shepherds, like most other affectionate, sensitive breeds, require plenty of time with and attention from their people, otherwise they can develop behavioral problems. You’ll also have to spend a lot of time grooming your shepherd and cleaning up the ridiculous amounts of hair they shed.

3. Doberman Pinscher

doberman guard dog

Originally bred to accompany tax collectors, Dobermans excel in most protection-oriented applications. Dobermans are very loving, sensitive dogs, who also possess the bravery, size and imposing appearance to make them one of the very best guard dogs available.

Dobermans are in the same size class with Rotties and shepherds, but they make the most of their size with their tall build and pointed ears. Dobermans are a bit lighter on their feet than these other breeds, and they probably require a little more space and exercise too.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Dobermans – like shepherds and Rotties – are sensitive, loving, loyal, intelligent and brave dogs who are instinctively compelled to protect their homes and families.

4. Bullmastiffs

bull mastiff guard dog
Photo from Flickr user Maja Dumat.

Originally conceived to deter poachers, bullmastiffs have provided protective services to their humans since their inception.

Bullmastiffs exhibit most of the same traits the “big 3” do: They’re loving, affectionate and unquestionably protective. However, they aren’t as clingy as these other breeds often are, and they require less exercise too.

Bullmastiffs are very large, powerful dogs, who often exceed 110 pounds in weight. Given the combination of their size and independent nature, they are a poor choice for first-time owners. Additionally, while these are perfectly lovable, handsome dogs, they tend to drool a lot and produce copious quantities of gas, which slightly offsets their otherwise-significant appeal.

5. Giant Schnauzer

giant schnauzer guard dog

Giant schnauzers are sensitive, but lack the intensity of some of the other good guarding breeds. These dogs are affectionate and loving with their families, needing plenty of attention from their humans to remain happy.

Giant Schnauzers are proud, territorial dogs, whose size helps make up for their refined appearance. They are actually quite powerful dogs, capable of effectively defending their family.

Schnauzers are somewhat mischievous and very intelligent, so while they can be a joy for experienced dog owners, they are not ideal for beginners.

6. Great Pyrenees

great pyrenees guard dog

While they are not a prototypical breed for personal or family protection, Great Pyrenees are well-suited for a number of protective contexts. They were developed to protect livestock from coyotes and wolves, and nearly everything about their personality and appearance points to this history.

Great Pyrenees are independent, loyal and brave dogs, with an apparent size that will intimidate just about anything short of a polar bear. They’re loving and gentle with their flock (be it comprised of humans or sheep), but their aloof nature can make them challenging for first-time dog owners.

Great Pyrenees may not have the sensitivity and need for human interaction that some other dogs do, but they are generally sweet and loving, if somewhat aloof.

7. Great Dane

great dane guard dog

Great Danes are massive, sensitive and gentle beasts, who bond strongly with their humans.

They are not especially territorial, defensive or protective, but they are ready to act in order to protect the safety of their family. While most are “only” in the 100- to 150-pound range, exceptionally large Danes reach 200 pounds.

While loving and reasonably well-suited for guard work, Great Danes are not a good choice for beginners, given their combination of size and intelligence. However, for those with the time, love and experience necessary, Great Danes are remarkable dogs, who provide protection via their appearance alone.

8. Belgian Malinois


The Belgian Malinois is likely the favorite breed of professional protection dog trainers, and they’re likely the most common breed working for police and military units in the US.

Belgian Malinois superficially resemble small German shepherds, but these dogs have even more intensity and energy than their more common counterparts do. But while this makes them very well-suited for full-time work, it can make them a bit of a handful for typical families.

These are not great dogs for couch potatoes, nor are they suitable for families who spend lots of time away from the home.

But when matched with a good owner or family, Belgian Malinois make loving, loyal and capable companions. And because they rarely exceed 80 pounds or so in weight, they’re a bit easier to house and feed than some of the other breeds commonly used for guarding work.

9. Dutch Shepherd


Dutch shepherds have a lot in common with their Belgian and German cousins, but they’re often regarded as being easier to train. They’re a bit rare by shepherd standards, which is a shame, as they often suffer from fewer health-related problems than the others.

Standing around 2 feet high at the shoulder and reaching only 75 pounds or so, Dutch shepherds are smaller than most German shepherds. But while they may be a bit on the small side, they have all of the intelligence, strength, and courage needed for guard-dog or protection work. They’re also well-suited for working in a variety of climates.

Dutch shepherds can be a bit suspicious of strangers, so early training and socialization are imperative for owners. Fortunately, most Dutch shepherds take well to training and enjoy practicing with their owner.

10. Cane Corso

cane corso

Although their owners typically know just how sweet and lovable cane corsi (that’s the plural of this breed) s are, few people would care to stand toe-to-toe with one of these giant canines. These dogs have an incredibly intimidating appearance, and they exude a calm confidence that is impressive to behold.

Cane corsi are big dogs, who typically weigh around 100 pounds or so, but some reach even larger sizes. They also stand up to 27 inches at the shoulder and have large, impressive heads, which combine to dissuade many would-be threats based on appearance alone.

Cane corsi are not a good choice for novice owners or families who lack the time to provide as much exercise as these energetic dogs need. And unlike some other large breeds who can adapt to apartment life, cane corsi need a big home and fenced yard.

Be sure to feed your cane corso one of the best foods!

11. American Bulldog


The American Bulldog is a sensitive and affectionate breed who is typically fiercely protective of his family.

Originally developed to help control cattle, these dogs are as brave as they are energetic, and they really require a regular job (even if it is simply patrolling the neighborhood with you on your daily jog) to remain happy and well behaved.

American bulldogs vary quite a bit – they come in several different “styles” and combinations thereof, and they vary greatly in size. Small individuals hover around the 50-pound mark, but big boys and girls may exceed 120 pounds. Most are around 2 feet tall, but some stand 28 inches at the shoulder.

American bulldogs are not the most intelligent breed in the world, but they are usually pretty easy to train. They do need a ton of stimulation and training, so they aren’t a good choice for owners who don’t want to dedicate plenty of time and attention to their pup.

Need a great food for your American bulldog?

12. Boxer


If you’ve ever seen a happy boxer greeting friends and family, it’s hard to imagine that such a pile of wiggly joy could be an effective guard dog. However, that is exactly what these dogs were originally bred to do.

Boxers are a bit on the small side by guard-dog standards, as few weigh more than 75 pounds or so. However, their impressive physiques and energy levels help to make them quite intimidating when they deem such a posture necessary. They’re also smart, easy to train and loyal, so they really are well-suited for guard dog work.

Boxers have a well-deserved reputation for being fantastic with children, and many families find that they make great pets – whether they’re expected to guard the home and family or simply provide love and companionship.

13. Bouvier des Flanders

Bouvier des Flandres

The one-of-a-kind-looking Bouvier des Flanders was originally developed as a herding dog, but they make fantastic watch dogs too. Covered in a fluffy, wiry coat and more facial hair than a lumberjack, the Bouvier des Flanders is also blessed with a thick, muscular build that helps them back down would-be foes.

Often considered one of the finest working breeds in the world, these dogs need an experienced owner with a strong, yet loving and fair, approach. They excel at just about every task you could want, and they’re just as comfortable in the show ring as they are working livestock in the fields.

The Bouvier des Flanders is a very loving family dog, who is generally very gentle with children. However, they are a bit suspicious of strangers and require early socialization and obedience training.

14. Beauceron


A guarding and herding breed originating in France, the Beauceron is an 80- to 100-pound dog who looks a bit like a three-way cross between a lab, Doberman, and Rottweiler. Like these breeds, the Beauceron is intelligent, affectionate and loyal, although they keep strangers at a greater distance than most labs do.

But while these dogs have plenty of great traits, they’re notable for being quite stubborn. This, combined with their inexhaustible energy reservoirs, can make them difficult to train – particularly for novice dog owners. Beaucerons also have strong prey drives, so caution is warranted around smaller pets.

Most Beaucerons will make fantastic watchdogs without much training at all, but they’ll require a patient and dedicated owner if they’re expected to perform higher levels of guarding or protection work.

As mentioned before, these are not the only breeds that can excel in a protective context. There are plenty of mixed-breed dogs who perform well in these contexts, as well as other pure-bred dogs, whose individual personality lends themselves to these kinds of tasks.

As always, dogs are individuals, who exhibit varying aptitudes and abilities.

Do You Really Need a Guard Dog? Or Will Any Dog Do?

best dogs for protection

A dog that is intentionally bred and trained for protection is quite different from your average family dog.

A reliable, trustworthy dog trained in protection requires a very experience and skilled trainer.

It’s essential you do plenty of due diligence if you’re planning on purchasing a dog trained in protection, as there are plenty of amateurs out there who will say their dogs are “trained in protection” simply to ask for a higher price.

Poorly trained or poorly bred protection dogs are incredibly dangerous. A large dog who has been encouraged to bite without proper guidance or training is huge liability.

The truth is that the vast majority of owners probably don’t need or want a dog that’s truly trained in protection. If you’re just looking for a theft deterrent, nearly any dog will do.

For example, most dogs – whether 5-pound Chihuahua or 150-pound mastiff – will bark when a stranger knocks on the door. And this is likely more than enough to frighten off opportunistic criminals or teenagers who are up to no good.

If you’re looking for something a bit more intimidating, any of the dog breeds listed above will deter a determined criminal with malicious intent – even if they aren’t a trained protection dog.

Guard Dog vs. Watch Dog: What’s the Difference?

Just for quick reference, here are some of the leading terms used to describe dogs involved in different types of guarding or protection work.

Note that the breed is not what distinguishes the label applied to the dog – the training regimen provided to the dog is the important thing.

  • Watch dogs keep an eye out and bark when strangers approach or anything unusual happens – it’ll be your job to deal with the problem. Many dogs naturally behave this way, so advanced training is rarely necessary for these pups. And because they aren’t expected to get physical with a perceived threat, they needn’t be large. Chihuahuas, for example, can often make great watchdogs.
  • Guard dogs also keep an eye out for danger, but they’re ready to get physical and defend their home or family from threats. Typically, this means they’ll start by barking at the perceived threat, but they will bite if necessary. Guard dogs must, therefore, receive specific training to excel in such roles. Guard dogs are typically expected to guard a confined area, such as your home.
  • Sentry dogs are akin to guard dogs, except that they’re also trained to patrol a given area, such as a large yard or property. Because they’ll be required to work with less human direction, such dogs must be very confident, self-reliant and intelligent.
  • Personal protection dogs are like guard dogs who are tasked with protecting a moving target – typically a person or family. These dogs must receive a ton of specialized training, as they’ll need to learn to distinguish between friends and foes and work safely in crowded situations. Most dogs that excel in this role bond very strongly with their people.
  • Attack dogs are typically only used by police or military outfits. They are not only trained to perform all of the skills the previously mentioned dogs are, they receive additional training to unleash their potential as an offensive weapon too. Such dogs can be extremely dangerous in improper hands.
best dogs for guarding

While most dogs can provide watchdog-like protective services that involve alerting you to intruders, only a handful are reliably willing to provide more advanced levels of protection that involve biting or attacking a stranger.

Guard Dogs and Families: Are They Safe to Mix Together?

It is always important to deliberately consider the implications of adding any dog to your life, but would-be owners that have families must consider these issues even more carefully. This is especially true of those seeking large breeds, such as those often used as guard dogs.

Large dogs of any type can easily injure small children — even perfectly playful pups can inadvertently hurt kids while goofing around. Dogs that are deliberately bred to be as robust, as most good guarding breeds are, can be even more capable of inadvertently hurting your youngin’s.

However, while it is important that you ensure any dog you introduce to your family is provided with plenty of love, affection, proper training and socialization, most guard dog breeds are naturally loyal and loving with their families

Despite assigning your guard dog the job of protecting your home, balanced dogs from properly selected bloodlines are likely to become beloved family members, who treat your children with kid gloves.

Just be sure that you teach your children the proper ways of interacting with the dog (no teasing, no rough-housing), and that you supervise all interactions until you are convinced that all of the kids – both two-legged and four – know the rules for playing nicely.

Qualities to Look for in a Good Guard Dog

It’s important to understand that the breeds listed above typically make good guard dogs because they exhibit the traits you’d expect from a dog tasked with watching over their humans.

Some of the most important qualities a good guard dog can possess include:

  • Intelligence – Good guard dogs must be obedient and respond to at least the most basic of commands, such as sit, lay down, stay and heel. Additionally, canine intelligence helps your dog distinguish between threatening and merely unusual stimuli.
  • Loyalty – To ensure that your guard dog won’t turn into a welcome committee, you’ll need him to be exceptionally loyal. His allegiance to your family must be clear.
  • Courage – Your dog must be brave enough to face any danger that presents itself. Consider that your garden variety criminal is probably about twice the size of even a 100-pound Doberman or shepherd – only a brave dog will be willing to stand up to such threats.
  • Territorial Instincts – Dogs that strongly identify with their home and are willing to guard it from intruders are obviously better suited for guard work than those who do not mind trespassers.
  • Affectionate Nature – All good guard dogs are fearless in the face of danger, but the best guard dogs melt into a wiggly pile of face-licking love when they are with their humans or trusted friends. You want a dog that loves when it is time to love, and protects when it’s time to protect.
guard dog breeds

Most Popular Guard Dogs in Various U.S. States

To the best of our knowledge, there isn’t any hard data available regarding which guard dog breeds are most common in different states. However, Your Local Security has tried to provide some information about this question by utilizing Google search trends data for each state (just click that link to learn more about their methodology).

Check out the results of their analysis in the infographic below!


FAQ About Protection Dogs

What is the #1 guard dog in the world?

There is no hard data available, but the Belgian Malinois is generally the most popular guard and protection dog in the world.

Will my dog protect me from an intruder?

Most dogs will cause some kind of commotion if an intruder breaks in, with plenty of barking and possibly some growling. However, not all dogs will get physical. Most family dogs have not been bred to react with physical violence to fear, as that can make them more difficult to manage around humans.

Which dogs make the worst guard dogs?

Generally, dogs that are known for being especially friendly, like Labrador Retriever, Golden Retrievers, and King Charles Cavalier Spaniels, make the worst guard dogs.


Do you rely on a dog to help protect your family? My Rottie seems to fit the bill and then some, but I’d love to hear how your Dobbie, shepherd or magnificent mutt helps keep you safe. Share your stories with us in the comments below.

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Written by

Ben Team

Ben is the managing editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his spoiled-rotten Rottweiler named J.B. Chances are, she’s currently giving him the eyes and begging to go to the park.

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  1. Watchtower Bullmastiffs Avatar
    Watchtower Bullmastiffs

    As a 20+ year Owner/Handler/Occasional Breeder of AKC Grand Champion Bullmastiffs, I must correct you. Bullmastiff is one word, not two. A wonderful, amazing and most loyal Canine’s name should be spelled correctly. It is well deserved. Thank you

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      You’re 100% correct, Terri. Thanks for pointing out the error.
      It’s ironic, though — one of my personal pet peeves is people spelling pit bull as one word.

      Thanks for checking out the site!

  2. Linda Berch Avatar
    Linda Berch

    The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a great watch dog and guard dog. They seldom get aggressive with owners and are very affectionate but they have property protection in their genes. Ours never ran far from home when let out in the woods. If someone comes to the door or car they will bark and guard it. If you have two that get along they will work as a team and chances are good that nobody will bother your property. They do like to swim and retrieve so they need to be able to do that.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Linda.
      Chesies certainly aren’t one of the first breeds people think of when talking about “protection dogs,” but just about any pupper can make a good watch dog and make you less of a target.
      Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ben Team Avatar

    Hey, Cal. We approve comments manually, and it was the weekend.
    For the record, we allow readers to share controversial opinions all the time. We approve just about everything but disrespectful comments and spam.

  4. Cal Avatar

    I won’t say you missed the Chesapeake Bay retriever most all dog lists leave them off. One of the first American bred dogs. Developed on it’s namesake the Chesapeake Bay the dog it’s good sized very loyal to its family and very suspicious of everyone else needs early socialization not a good dog for first time owners but if you have experience training dogs you’ll find no more loyal dog the Chesapeake Bay retriever. They were bred to hunt waterfowl in cold icy conditions and then they were expected to guard that catch till the market hunters could bring the ducks to market. They are no nonsense dog to Intruders and will engage if necessary. I’ve raised and had Chesapeake’s 40 years.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Cal. Chessies are great dogs — no question!
      They probably don’t appear on many protection/guard breed lists simply because they look pretty Lab-like. That said, they can certainly serve as a good deterrent in some cases.
      Thanks for contributing to the discussion!

  5. JIMINYA Avatar


    1. Ben Team Avatar

      One of my favorite things is people SCREAMING IN ALL CAPS about things we’ve allegedly omitted, which are clearly detailed in the article.
      Thanks for visiting the site, Jiminya. Maybe next time, read the article before ranting about it.

      1. Steve Avatar

        High Five

      2. Lex T Avatar
        Lex T

        Dittos on the yelling. A very annoying habit.

  6. Vicki Hodges Avatar
    Vicki Hodges

    Rhodesian Ridgeback are in no way the most popular guard dogs in the state of Colorado, I live here and that is ridiculous, as I think some of the other breeds listed here as representing other states are. Where do you get your statistics from?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Vicki. That’s not our infographic — it comes from Your Local Security.
      It’s based on data available from Google.

      But my language was sloppy and probably didn’t accurately explain that, so I’ve tweaked it to eliminate the ambiguity.

  7. Kai Avatar

    You did a good job by choosing a lot of these breeds but you forgot a really good guardian dog breed the eastern Shepard it was breed to defend Russia’s borders It’s a improved version of the German Shepard they grow much bigger have short coats to adjust to Russia weather and aren’t as prone to hip dysplasia since the hind legs were altered so they wouldn’t have the same problems as a German Shepard I have one he works along side my Pyrenees Doberman and Caucasian ovcharka I work a government job and they are always there without fault to defend my property and me I’d recommend this breed for guarding they are tall intimidating and do good in any weather.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kai! Your pooch sounds awesome.

  8. Oluchukwu Anya Avatar
    Oluchukwu Anya

    I live in a big bungalow fenced round with massive gate. I have 5 kids with the oldest being 10yrs and youngest a few months old. My kids have been asking for a dog. So i need your candid advice on the breed of security yet children friendly dogs i should bet for my family.
    I live in Ibadan, Nigeria.
    Of course i would also love to have the dogs properly trained.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Oluchukwu!
      Because you have several kids (including a very young one), I’d recommend picking one of the breeds above that’s known for being good with children.
      The boxer is probably at the top of the kid-friendly list, but Dobermans, German shepherds, and Rottweilers are also good with kids in many cases.
      Just be sure to work with a trainer to ensure everything goes smoothly.
      Best of luck!

      1. Walter Geoffrey Avatar
        Walter Geoffrey

        You said great danes were not especially defensive or territorial yet you say they’re good for guard work. What?

        1. Ben Team Avatar

          Hey, Walter.
          Admittedly, my language does sound confusing when you put it that way — lol.

          Inherently, Great Danes aren’t especially defensive or territorial the way some other dogs are. Individuals of some breeds seem to have a lower threshold for what they consider a threat deserving of a reaction (defensive), and some have a similarly low threshold for animals or people encroaching on their space (territorial). But this isn’t common in Danes, who are usually pretty easy going.

          But, when trained to do guard work (as mentioned earlier in the article), they can perform capably and admirably.

          Make sense?
          Thanks for reading!

  9. Gail Avatar

    Ages ago I had a Basenji and when I saw a mouse ordered Princess to kill it
    Which she caught it in a flash but cried
    When she accidentally killed her n e w toy. Years later, some pervert in an overcoat was prowling the neighborhood in 85 degrees so I pointed my Basenji to an open field
    and ordered her to “kill!”
    The weirdo took off & we never saw
    him again.
    The lesson: it isn’t what you know
    about your dog but rather what the other person thinks your dog may do; he had no idea she was looking for a mouse & she never even threatened him.

  10. Mickey Avatar

    My Thor is a Rottweiller service dog. He and I are always together and he is a gentle giant until somebody becomes aggressive with me. His predecessor, Bear, was another Rottweiler service dog. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

  11. Elad Lending Avatar
    Elad Lending

    What about Black Russian Terriers? Number 1 on my list in most categories, yet you seem to ignore this wonderful breed.

    1. Shin Avatar

      They make good guardians another good guardian from Russia would be the Moscow watchdog I have and he makes an excellent guard dog he works with his Great Pyrenees property defending my property

  12. Darin Avatar

    Any list for best guard dog that excludes the Caucasian shepherds (mountain dog). Is a JOKE. An that’s a gross understatement!
    The three that I owned were amaz… . To be honest, words can’t describe who great they are at protecting their family and property. With them, I Never locked my door s, ever!
    To see their defensive drive in action is something to marvel at!

  13. Craig Smith Avatar
    Craig Smith

    One of the best written articles on this topic that I have seen. Well done.

  14. Tim Newell Avatar
    Tim Newell

    I think the dogo argentino could be added to this list

  15. Sayan Bose Avatar
    Sayan Bose

    How about Turkish Kangal, Caucasian Shepherd,Boerboel??

  16. SirJiWAAHID Avatar

    What about an old Mastiff (english) hope its the Lion among Dogs for Always or does it Quit Loyalty Due to Circumstances
    Mention its Features Briefly if you have really understood the Breed

  17. Thomas Horn Avatar
    Thomas Horn

    My personal preference for a protection breed is the Hungarian Kuvasz. Highly intelligent, extremely territorial, these dogs have had the guardian instinct bred into them for hundreds of years. I have had personal experience with them as well as other breeds and I would choose the Kuvasz above all others. Protector is not what they do, it’s what they are. They should be at the top of this list.

  18. Patti Avatar

    I’m looking for a great dog to help protect myself and my property. We have other dogs on the property so it’s important that they all get along. I live on fenced property 2 acres lots of fun romping. I would have my dog sleeping in my bedroom and living room with me. I love adopting because they need great homes and lots of love.

  19. CJ Avatar

    We are the proud owners of a 200lb black mantle Dane. While many Dane breeders focus more on the sweet side of their natures, some still produce an old fashioned guard type. But, those are harder to handle than ones with puppy temperaments. Ours has a high prey drive, is territorial, is the smartest dog we’ve ever owned, and has a major stubborn streak. On the flip side he loves being the center of attention, caring towards sick and older people, and is very careful (and adoring of) children. He also (must) confidently greet strangers into our home, especially males, placing himself between his family and them and demanding they pay him attention. And it’s very different than it is with approved family and friends who get the super wiggles, but I’m not telling the cable guy that. Without going into detail, he has shown on a few occasions a complete willingness to fiercely stare down threats, but the restraint to not be the first to attack (unless they, or another family member does). He had ended up for adoption at a year old and had a difficult time finding the right home because of his old type temperament and massive size. He is our fourth guard dog, and think he’s just pet. We adore our Dane, he’s truly awesome.

  20. Pamela S. Cunningham Avatar
    Pamela S. Cunningham

    One breed that’s missing from the list is the Black Russian Terrier. Purported to guard military installations and prisons, the Blackie is a very large imposing-looking dog. I get people commenting on him every time we’re out in public. In addition, he’s very good about keeping an eye out around our house and shows tremendous awareness. The BRT has the size, the intelligence and the temperament to be an outstanding guard or protection dog for the right owner.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Pamela. I thought about adding BRTs to the list several times, but we had to draw the line somewhere. We may add them in the next time we update the article.

  21. John E Fender Avatar

    I was recently attacked by a guy an my Rottweiler just tried to get in the middle but didn’t protect me at all !! He’s been well trained in German does all commands .. So i ended up with a server head trauma and back an neck injury. I’m not happy with him because i was injured an he didn’t protect me. What do i do ” He protects the house an yard but he forgot about me . Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      That’s horrible, John! So sorry you were attacked and injured, and we certainly hope you have a speedy and complete recovery.
      You said your pup was well trained — have you reached out to the trainer and explained what happened?
      Let us know what he or she says!

    2. Ben Team Avatar

      That’s horrible, John! So sorry you were attacked and injured, and we certainly hope you have a speedy and complete recovery.
      You said your pup was well trained — have you reached out to the trainer and explained what happened?
      Let us know what he or she says!

  22. John E Fender Avatar

    I was recently attacked by a guy an my Rottweiler just tried to get in the middle but didn’t protect me at all !! He’s been well trained in German does all commands .. So i ended up with a server head trauma and back an neck injury. I’m not happy with him because i was injured an he didn’t protect me. What do i do ” He protects the house an yard but he forgot about me . Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. Mel Trott Avatar

      Get him train for personal protection!!! By a professional!!! As long as the ’s of good genetics!!! It’ll learn fast!!! Or buy a real protection !!! Like a bourbel!!!


    A doberman would be thrilled to run 5 miles with you but make sure you ask the breeder/vet at what point. A puppy of any breed shouldn’t be exercised that hard. It’s not good for developing bodies. Once a doberman pup is done growing you can run with him to your heart’s content and he will love you for it. Make sure he gets his needed calories though.

    A doberman would not only run with you but would LOVE to run with you. Have fun.

  24. Clifford Khudu Avatar
    Clifford Khudu

    Thanks, to me this is very educative. However i like Doberman Pinscher and would like to know more about it.

  25. J Coletti Avatar
    J Coletti

    Finally, an article about the best protection breeds that correctly identifies those breeds that have the genetics and a history of successful protection work. Only one I disagree with is the Great Dane which may be a deterrent but is not suitable to protection work.

  26. Sheila Sanders Avatar
    Sheila Sanders

    I have had great success with a Catahoula female. When I lived in Millbrook , New York, she and I trained for therapy in nursing homes hospitals children’s homes. She is incredible with all. We were with the Good Dog Foundation. Now in Mississippi, we have done hog baying, racoon freeing etc. She is incredibly sensitive, intelligent and obedient. Knows her hand signals and almost reads my mind. I am replacing her with a young male,who nay be the smartest dog I have ever had. If I survive his teething on the furniture. I would love your opinion on the breed.

  27. Lady Avatar

    This was so educative. Thanks

  28. Generic Name Avatar
    Generic Name

    Shoot, my guard dog is a Chihuahua

  29. Paula Christen Avatar
    Paula Christen

    I am a walker and live in Minnesota, hot in summer very cold in winter. I will be arunner soon, I need personal protector for my activity and home. Recommend ? I don’t want to give it a heart attack. I walk 4 to 5 miles a day, very fast paced my location options to walk are ok but there have been problem as I usually get out in the evening

    1. Mel Trott Avatar

      Get a real APBT!!! It’s perfect for all your needs!!!

  30. Jason Coletti Avatar
    Jason Coletti

    The author of this article is clearly not knowledgeable about “guard” dogs, which would be better described as personal protection dogs. How do you leave off this list the number 1 police canine – Belgian Malinois. Also, why is the Dutch Shepherd, another common police dog not on this list. The Great Pyrenees is a livestock guardian and too independent for personal protection. The Great Dane is at best a watchdog, not a protection dog. Other dogs you could have put on this list would have been the Cane Corso, American Bulldog, Boxer, Bouvier des Flanders, Beauceron, and maybe Airedale Terrier. Protection Dog sports include DVG/IPO, French Ring, Mondio Ring, and KPNV (dutch sport for police dogs). The breeds I listed along with the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, and Giant Schnauzer are the breeds that you will most often see participating in the protection sports, and the breeds that will most often be used as personal protection dogs.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hi Jason – thanks for commenting! We chose to focus more on dogs that would intimidate or frighten away would-be intruders because we don’t believe most people need a true “protection” dog that is trained to attack strangers. For most individuals, a large or intimidating looking dog is all you need.

      However, I do understand that maybe it’s a bit misleading not recommending some of the breeds you listed, as they are certainly more traditional protection breeds. We will work on incorporating your suggestions and making a clear distinction between tried and true protection dogs vs. intimidating breeds. Thank you for the feedback!

      1. Josue Avatar

        Why even bother making a list of you won’t focus on what the subject is then? Makes zero sense and I agree with the previous commenter, you know nothing about protection dogs.
        Lol at the updated list. It’s like those dog lists I see all the time trying to forcibly change the origins of pitbulls from bull bating supersogs to “nanny” dogs. Please.
        Skewing people’s perspective on different dog breeds will only harm the breed in the end.

        1. Meg Marrs Avatar

          As I said above Josue – many owners don’t need or want a bred protection dog, they want a dog that will intimidate intruders and keep unwelcome people away. I’m not really sure what issue you have with the breeds on this list… feel free to explain more if you’d like.

        2. BoPeep Avatar

          I disagree about Danes not being protection dogs. I have a Daniff rescue and a Dane rescue, these dogs know when to exert aggression. The Daniff is incredible at offering just the right amount defending: dominating in seconds and then releasing on command. The Dane is the ultimate “chamber dog” sleeps at the bedroom door and nothing comes in that is not invited. Same with the front door and people passing through the alley. He is a black mismarked cast off from Harlequin breeding – I think breeding for color rather than breeding out their original temperment is producing some throwback dogs that are capable of doing their old jobs just fine.

    2. Malloy Avatar

      You are absolutely correct on this information. Lots left out and a lot of these are watch dogs , not guard dogs. Big difference.

    3. Angela G. Avatar
      Angela G.

      Belgian Malinois is on the list.

  31. Julia Avatar

    What is your impression of the Fila Brasileiro?

  32. Guard Dog Security Avatar

    I love Great Pyrenees’. They look so lovely, I never knew that they could be so useful as a guard dog.

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