9 Best Family Guard Dogs & Why

Throughout history, domesticated dogs have done a great job at protecting their owners against people and other animals. Today, dogs have a natural instinct to protect humans. But certain breeds possess this quality more strongly than others. I mentioned in a previous article that the best way to survive a home invasion is to have an early warning system setup (like a dog). If you haven’t read it, I recommend checking that article out. With a good guard dog, it’s not likely that you’ll be caught off guard by an intruder. Let’s take a look at the 10 best family guard dogs out there.

#9: Bullmastiff

Bullmastiffs are known for their physical strength, courage, protective instincts, and extreme loyalty to their owners. If they notice even a slight change in the surroundings, they’ll go investigate. If they see an intruder, they’ll use their physical strength to bring them to the ground. Just because they’re one of the best security dogs out there, doesn’t mean they’re not loving. Even if you have small children, owning a Bullmastiff won’t put them in danger. As with all dog breeds, it’s best to train them as puppies. Overall, I would recommend them to any family looking for greater protection.

Learn More About Bullmastiffs

Best Family Guard Dogs

#8: Rottweiler

Rottweilers have gotten a bad reputation thanks to the media. The truth is, if you raise them right, there’s no reason why they can’t be loving/affectionate and a great guard dog. As one of the best family guard dogs, Rottweilers were originally bred to protect cattle. Today, they’re known for their strength and bite strength. Despite what you’ve been led to believe, these dogs are not dangerous towards children. I know people who own these dogs, have small children, and there’s never been a problem. In fact, these big tough dogs turn into giant loveable teddy bears when they’re around small children. For protection, they’re quick learners and can definitely keep your home safe.

Learn More About Rottweilers

Best Family Guard Dogs

#7: Doberman Pinscher

For protecting larger pieces of property, there’s no better dog to have than the Doberman Pinscher. They’re fast, smart, fearless, and downright loyal. They’re often referred to as one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. As one of the best family guard dogs, they’ll be able to reach an intruder within seconds thanks to their fast speed. Their bite strength might not be as powerful as a Rottweiler’s, but it’s still good enough to deter a home invasion. Although they might “look” scary, the truth is that they’ve just as lovable as any other dog breed.

Learn More About Doberman Pinschers

Best Family Guard Dogs

#6: German Shepherd

German Shepherds are known for their confidence, boldness, and fearlessness. No wonder why they’re used by law enforcement to chase down and restrain criminals. The reason why they’re one of the best family guard dogs is because they’re super-disciplined. Once you properly train them, they’re extremely good at listening to commands. You can buy them as puppies and train them yourself, or you can buy fully-grown German Shepherds that come already trained. Either way, I think they’re a great investment for keeping your home safe. Here’s a video of one in action:

Learn More About German Shepherds

#5: Komondor

Do NOT allow it’s “odd” look to fool you- these dogs are powerful. Komondors will seriously devote themselves to family, and distrust everyone else. If anyone tries to make their way into your property or home without your permission, you can be rest assured that the Komondor will take action. They’ve actually been known to be overprotective, so it’s important that you get them properly trained. Thanks to their strength and constant vigilance, they’re one of the best family guard dogs you can buy. If you don’t believe me, here’s a video demonstrating their strength and defensiveness towards intruders (notice the viciousness of their bite):

Learn More About Komondors

#4: Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzers are powerful, strong, and dominant. The reason why they’re one of the best security dogs is because of their strength. Although smaller than some of the other breeds on this list, their bite is still extremely powerful. Another thing is that they’re fast. If they catch an intruder in your yard, they’ll be at them within seconds. Because of their protective qualities, they’re commonly used to control prison riots. They’re also very attentive to commands by humans. Once you train them the right way, they’ll react to what you say immediately. Here’s a video of a police force training a giant schnauzer for prison riots:

Learn More About Giant Schnauzers

#3: Rhodesian Ridgeback

Not people many have heard of the Rhodesian Ridgeback. They were originally bred to hunt lions, so you can be rest assured that they’ll have no problems with humans. The reason why they’re one of the best family guard dogs is because they’re always attentive of their surroundings. They’re very selective at what they bark so, so if you hear one barking, take it seriously. The Rhodesian Ridgeback, like most dogs, must be properly trained since they’re not naturally obedient. This isn’t to say that they’re dangerous to their owners though. Despite their aggressiveness, they’re excellent laptops with great and lovable personalities.

Learn More About Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Best Family Guard Dogs

#2: Kuvasz

Although they look like a giant cotton ball, this breed will provide you and your family with a high degree of protection. While they’re accepting of family members, they’re always highly suspicious of strangers. It’s this “trust no one” mentality that makes them one of the best family guard dogs out there. With children, they’re gentle and affectionate, but with intruders, they’re highly aggressive. As a side note, if you live on a farm, know that the Kuvasz won’t scare your animals. Quite the contrary, they’re known to protect llamas, goats, chickens, sheep, and horses.

Learn More About Kuvaszs

Best Family Guard Dogs

#1: Staffordshire Terrier

The Staffordshire Terrier is often confused with the Pit Bull Terrier, but they’re actually two different breeds. They were originally bred for bull fighting and bear fighting, so that alone should give you confidence in their protective capabilities. They are small, compact, and powerful, and pack quite a strong bite. This is why they are one of the best family guard dogs you can buy. Despite their relatively small sizes, Staffordshire Terriers can bring down even the largest of intruders. Here’s video that demonstrates just how powerful their bites can be:

Learn More About Staffordshire Terriers

Should You Keep Them Inside or Outside?

Here’s a good question: are guard dogs more effective outside or inside? Personally, I like to keep my dogs outside with the option of coming inside whenever they want (using a doggy door). Being outside, they’ll be able to keep a better eye out on the property, thus catching intruders earlier. By having a doggy door, they’ll be able to enter and exit the home freely, so you’ll never need to worry about letting them out. Just keep in mind that other animals can make their way into your home through this opening, so always be on the lookout for that. The best family guard dogs are most effective outdoors in my opinion (if you disagree, let me know by leaving a comment below).

The Koehler Method of Guard Dog Training

Best Family Guard Dogs – Bottom Line

The breeds above are some of the best family guard dogs you can own. They’re powerful, fast, vigilant, and very loyal to their owners. I don’t think any of them are “better” than the other. Some are simply better suited for certain people and areas. When it comes to protecting your home, there’s no better way to do it than to invest in the best security dogs. They’ll give you the warning that you need to get you and your family to safety in the event of a home invasion. For more information on home protection, check out our article, 10 Cheap Ways to Protect Your Home. Thanks for reading.

  1. Reply
    John Wilder April 17, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I would consider a Great Dane as a great guard dog. They are huge and this
    alone terrifies intruders, especially once they hear the massive and very deep
    bark coming from the chest of one of these giants. They are also fairly easy to train

    They are very protective and very gentle around kids. They are so lovable
    that they consider themselves lapdogs

    • Reply
      David April 17, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      Hi John, thanks for the comment. Yes, I’ve heard that Great Danes can be excellent guard dogs. My friend has one, and they’re just as lovable as they are protective. If and when I update this article in the future, I’ll be sure to include this breed. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Reply
    Karin April 18, 2016 at 7:16 am

    We have a staffordshire terrier mix. She is mostly terrier and people think she is a pit bull. She is a love. But will bark and scare the pants off anyone. Her mix is kind of funny in away. She has a razor back and mini poodle shepherd and Scotty dog. But she is only 1/4 of the mix dogs. Funny mixes. We had her tested. Our daughter wanted a puppy and I didn’t want one from a puppy mill. So we found her up country. Didn’t think about home guard dog. We have one now. The neighbors don’t mess with her and when we walk her people either love her or make a wide path. She is always well behaved it’s just her look.

    • Reply
      David April 18, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      Despite her intimidating look, I’m glad you were able to find a dog that’s protective. Thanks for your input Karin.

  3. Reply
    Kevin S April 18, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    I had a Rott for many years, best dog I ever had, even over a shepard. She was magnificent wth the whole family, even with the little ones. Inside or out, didn’t matter to her, she still detected anyone close to the house. We kept her inside at night – as a protection critter, it was best that way because from the back yard (fenced/gated) she could do nothing if someone came in through the front. Inside is where we, and she, were after lights out.

    • Reply
      David April 18, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      Hey Kevin. Yeah, they’re very good guard/watch dogs. It’s a shame that they’ve been given such a bad rep. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Reply
    Rocketsled April 18, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    I will put my money on a Chesapeake bay retriever every time ! No dog is more tough, or protective. And they’re smart

  5. Reply
    Sylvia April 19, 2016 at 2:22 am

    Presa Canario’s are great dogs to have and will protect their family to the death.

  6. Reply
    Sybil April 19, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Àdd a Briard, Bouvier, Beauceron to the list. A komondorok puppy can weigh over 100 pounds & tàkes no mess from ànyone. I grew up with GSD’s, Komondorok, Rottweiler, Dobermànn.

  7. Reply
    Meewolf April 25, 2016 at 3:52 am

    Wow, I am surprised Akita’s did not make your list…

    • Reply
      David April 25, 2016 at 4:01 am

      Hey Meewolf. I’ve heard about Akitas and how they make for great guard dogs. If and when I update this article in the future, I’ll consider adding them. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Reply
    RedStateKitty April 26, 2016 at 12:49 am

    I mainly got my first puppy since our Sheltie passed in 1998, and got a border collie. Did not know they don’t bark. Then I got her a dog. Yes you read right. We got our dog her own dog, a female border-black lab mix and the lab side shows more in the barking, the nose, and the paws. She is super-alert and has a deep bark. With both of them I’m not too leery of being home alone.

    • Reply
      David April 26, 2016 at 1:31 am

      That’s great to hear. I’m glad that you were able to find a dog that makes you feel safe at home. Dogs will sacrifice their lives for you, and are one of the best forms of home protection you can have. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Reply
    Donna April 26, 2016 at 2:58 am

    I like my boxers. They are protective of their yard and family. Great with kids. They do not bark unless someone is near our yard. I do keep them inside because they do think they are part human. We are looking into an outside dog, so this article had great information.

  10. Reply
    Tom May 29, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I had ( both have passed now) two Golden Retreivers, a male (Hoot) and a Female (Annie) Hoot-n-Annie! My neighbors were broken into one year. They caught the culprits and during there interigation the thieves were actually planning to rob us but because we had dogs they decided against our house even though if it came right down to it HootnAnnie would have probably licked them to death. bottom line, any larger breed dog with a deeper bark will most likely do the trick!

    • Reply
      David May 29, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story Tom. You’re right- sometimes all it takes is a good loud bark!

  11. Reply
    Bill Stark June 1, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Thanks good article, I have owned many of the dogs you mention, however the best and one of the smartest I have ever owned for all around guard dogs did not make your list, you should have included an American Akita in that list, very smart, loyal, large, attentive and make excellent guard dogs. Just my personal opinion.

    • Reply
      David June 1, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      Hi Bill, thanks for sharing. Perhaps in the future when I update this article, I’ll add the American Akita to this list.

  12. Reply
    James Dolmage June 4, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I have met many Rotts who were great dogs but I also owned one that wanted to kill every dog male or female he met and he bit my niece in the face. So you can’t say they can’t be dangerous as most dogs CAN be.

  13. Reply
    Hannes June 8, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Hello from Hannes
    I just want to add that one should never , ever put a little dog house in the garden for your large dog .
    A dog should never sleep in an enclosure of any kind if you want him to be effective as a guard dog because the enclosure like a dog house limit the ability of the dog to hear and to respond . If a dog is inside his cozy little dog house all warm and snug he is usually also reluctant to leave the doghouse to investigate any breach of security because he feels safe and warm where he is.
    A dog need a cover to keep rain and snow of him , like a roof of sorts and a carpet or some insulation from the cold ground but never an enclosure around him of any kind – you do want to be able to rely on his superior sense of hearing and smell.
    another 2 cents (from experience)

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