There are individuals who want to become pet parents simply because they want companionship. Some get dogs because they want another being to pamper. Some need canine pets to help them in their daily needs as well as work. However, there will always be individuals and families who will require a dog for one very specific purpose only: protection. Dogs have been used as personal security for many years. Every community will have neighborhoods where each house is actually guarded by a dog. It is one of the most primitive, yet still equally effective, deterrents to home invasion. And if you’re thinking of getting one for you and your family, here are 5 of the best guard dog breeds you can ever get.
Our Picks for the 5 Best Guard Dogs for Your Family
We have listed herein 5 of the world’s best guard dogs you might want to consider for your home and family. Do take note that these reflect our picks and as such may or may not coincide with your own list. Nevertheless, we did manage to provide justifications for our choices.
It would be unfair not to start off this list of the best guard dogs with the German shepherd. This iconic breed has been the epitome of what a protector from the canine world should be like. Large, imposing, regal, and very intelligent. However, underneath its hulking body and stern look is a lovable, adorable, and gentle nature that is well-loved by kids and adults alike. Their natural instinct to learn, listen, and obey are what makes them highly valued not only in law enforcement, search and rescue, and military operations, but also in ordinary households who would like to have a dog that is so easy to train, can display very protective behaviors, yet possesses a charm that can easily endear children to it.
German shepherds show an uncanny understanding of their abodes, their homes, and will display protective behaviors in the event that someone totally unfamiliar to them comes inside this domain. Their stamina can outlast any man and their wit is no match for the most wicked of crooks. Their confidence is highly infectious. They don’t need to growl or bark to announce their presence. Just the mere stance of a German shepherd is already enough to make other dogs cower into submission. Even owners who are considered to be lackadaisical, German shepherds will never hesitate protecting them since they know they are still the leaders of the pack.
These dogs are very intelligent and are exceptionally eager to learn. They have exceptional obedience to commands and have superior sense of smell, making them the favorite of law enforcement and search and rescue units for tracking and retrieval operations. German shepherds also love showing off. They love proving to their masters just how much of their training they have already learned. Raising a German shepherd is also relatively easy. You only need to shower it with lots of love and patience especially in its training needs and you’ll be rewarded with inarguably the world’s best guard dog.
A combination of a mastiff and a bulldog, the Bullmastiff is known for its superior instincts especially when protecting its pack. It learns easily who its pack is and will be very protective of it. Guarding the pack comes natural for this breed as its muscular and athletic build help it present a menacing look to potential threats. Instead of just growling and barking when threatened, a Bullmastiff will never hesitate to attack an intruder, a threat, or even a predator. It has been known that a Bullmastiff can easily take down a full grown man.
Despite its rather formidable nature as a protector of the pack, the Bullmastiff has a gentler side to it. It may be a giant but it sure knows how to be adorable to small kids. It is for this reason that you need to own it right from puppyhood so that it will know its family and learn to grow with your family as a member of the pack.
Everyone is almost afraid of the Rottweiler. It has a reputation for being fearsome and formidable as a family protector and a guard dog. Its fearsome reputation is made even more astonishing by its stance. They are very intelligent and will respond very well to stern commands. Failing to train a Rottweiler properly can be rather disastrous especially if you have children at home. There have been a number of incidents wherein a Rottweiler turned against the very same family it is supposed to protect. You really cannot blame them since they were never trained properly. Once properly trained, however, you will appreciate the gentle and loving nature of these miniature giants. They will show a very menacing and aggressive snarl to anyone or anything that poses a threat to their family. But, with their family, they will always show their soft and loving side.
Rottweilers have been extensively used by the Roman army to guard their camps while they took a respite from the battles. Towards the turn of the 19thcentury, these dogs have slowly been transformed into formidable canine protection units, mostly serving as police dogs. Over the years, Rottweilers have been used for personal protection in residential homes as well as canine security during travels.
Revered for its agility, athleticism, and exceptional size, the Doberman Pinscher makes its way into our list of the best guard dog for the family because of their unparalleled loyalty. A dog’s loyalty will go a long way towards protecting you and your family. Not only is the Doberman very loyal, it is highly alert and very cautious of unfamiliar persons, too. Unlike the Bullmastiff that can go into an attacking position to look very menacing to threats, the Doberman will point its already-pointy ears upwards to heighten its senses and become ever-vigilant. It will keep everything on its radar. Their growl and bark alone are often enough to deter anyone from ever entering your home.
The Doberman is specifically bred to be a guard dog. They are the mainstays in law enforcement as well as military operations, although this role has now been spread to other trainable breeds as well. While they can be quite challenging to train, perseverance and the right approach to training can make them into formidable guard dogs. Do take note however that if you have kids at home, make sure to bring a Doberman pinscher home while they are still puppies so they will grow up with your kids and learn to be loyal to them as well.
The Boxer may be small compared to most of the dogs in our list but its highly energetic personality makes it an exceptionally great dog to have to protect your home and your family. Perhaps what separates the Boxer from other dogs is its uncanny ability to read other people’s intentions. Experts cannot really explain how Boxers are able to work out their somewhat intuitive abilities. Nevertheless, this should come in handy in protecting your family.
Don’t be fooled by its size because the Boxer is quite stocky and is considered a heavyweight, typically reaching more than 100 pounds in weight. Their stern and menacing look is often enough to stop you on your tracks, although if the Boxer knows you that well, you know that it will be lapping at your feet. Boxers love affection and they love those provided by young kids the best. They are very athletic and will use this trait to protect their families. If you want a dog that looks very scary and intimidating but without the danger of a violent streak, then the Boxer is for you.
A Look at What Makes a Good Guard Dog
Now that we have an idea of the 5 best guard dogs for your family, let us try to understand the characteristics or traits that are shared by members of the canine family that have made it to the world’s elite circle of protectors.
One of the very first traits that potential guard dog owners like to see in a dog is aggressiveness. There is this popular notion that an aggressive dog will naturally be more protective of its owner and his family. It’s been portrayed in films and even in popular culture that the best guard dogs that are those that are aggressive.
Unfortunately, being overly aggressive can have its downsides, too. If you have small children in your family and your puppy has not yet been trained to temper its aggressive tendencies, you’re actually putting your family, especially your kids, in harm’s way. It is not uncommon that even the best trained guard dogs can turn on their respective owners, especially the hapless ones like young kids, on a whim. It is thus, important to choose a dog whose aggressiveness can be tempered.
When we say tempered, we don’t necessarily mean timid, too. What’s the point of having a guard dog when it cannot even defend itself from a potential predator? It is thus crucial to look at the following signs as these will usually point to a puppy or a dog that has tempered aggressiveness.
- Shows alertness whenever a human gets near it
- Initiates active play or socializes with other pet dogs
- Shows calm demeanor when handled by someone who is familiar to it
- Displays calm attitude towards other friendly dogs in the neighborhood
- Does not huddle or cower in a corner when other people are in the area
This is one trait that we all want from a guard dog. We want them to be aggressive towards threats to our security but will be lovable, gentle, and affectionately loyal to us and our family. It is in the sense of loyalty, the sense of belongingness, that a dog has for its family that it will want to protect it from any threat or harm.
Loyalty is learned, not innate. However, since dogs are naturally gifted to learn, training them to be loyal to you is also easy. We said that dogs need to feel being a part of your family, being a member of your pack. As such, you need to treat your pooch as such – a member of your pack. However, it is also crucial not to overindulge since it may have an adverse effect on how your pooch can protect your family properly.
Training pooches to become loyal defenders require the establishment of rules. You need to demand action and each action, if completed successfully, will be rewarded. It is crucial to let your pooch know that you appreciate it especially its willingness to protect and defend your family.
Before you can begin training your pooch to be loyal to you, however, you need to ask yourself the following questions when determining the potential of a dog to be loyal to you and your family.
- Does the dog come near you seeking attention?
- Does the dog show signs of friendliness such as pawing at your leg or even licking you?
- Does the dog remain by your side even though you are looking at other dogs?
A dominant guard dog doesn’t have to tell anyone that it’s the dominant force in the house. This dog knows it well. And its confidence is at such a level that it doesn’t need to show aggressiveness or dominance every time other pets pay the household a visit. Why? This is because other dogs will already sense your guard dog’s superiority.
In case you haven’t noticed, puppies and juvenile guard dogs will typically bark incessantly even with a passing dog outside the home. But a large, dominant, and confident guard dog will usually sit silently yet intently at the passing dog. You won’t hear it bark nor growl nor show aggression towards the other pet. It knows that it is dominant. And it doesn’t need to show it. It just lets its confident dominance radiate outwards so other pets will be forewarned.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to check if a dog has the potential to show confident dominance.
- What is the dog’s behavior towards other pets, especially other dogs?
- How do other dogs behave or react to your dog?
- Do other dogs keep their distance or give the dog some space to roam around?
- Does the dog firmly put itself in front of you when there are other dogs that may want your attention?
A guard dog should be vigilant to any change in its surroundings. One of the behaviors you might want to look for in a dog you’re entertaining to turn into a guard dog is its reaction to the presence of an unfamiliar person. A guard dog will instantly stand up and leave whatever it is the dog is doing. If the dog remains lying down or continues to do what it is currently doing despite the fact that an unknown or unfamiliar person approaches, then this is a sure sign that it won’t make for a great family protector.
Now, if the dog showed alertness but went right back to what it is doing, it often is not a good sign, too. The thing is a guard dog should remain vigilant at all times. The mere presence of an unfamiliar person should already stimulate the dog to be more guarding, to be more protective since there is no telling what this ‘unfamiliar person’ will do.
This trait goes hand-in-hand with alertness when it comes to guard dogs. The point is for you to train your dog to be alert to whatever is occurring in its surroundings, to maintain vigilance at all times, and to respond appropriately to any kind of threat or impending harm that may be present.
You want a dog that you can train to examine its environment or surroundings intently. You need a pooch that has a sharp, keen look on its eyes, and well-focused on a particular subject. You want a pooch that will never take its eyes off on a perceived threat without losing its sense on other potential sources of danger. All of these can be trained. But the thing is how can you expect a dog to learn these skills if it simply doesn’t have the natural intelligence to go with it?
As such, it is imperative that you look for a dog that will look at you whenever you are addressing it. You need a dog that will listen intently on what you are saying since this is a sign that it is willing to learn. If it will listen to you but quickly becomes disinterested, it’s either you have to change your training approach or you look for another dog to train as a guard dog.
Guard dogs are just like any other member of the canine family. However, they do possess certain qualities such as tempered aggressiveness, alertness, confident dominance, loyalty, and intelligence that makes them highly valued as protectors of the modern family.