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9 Dog Breeds that Make Good Guard Dogs

Portrait of a Bullmastiff

A guard dog must be devoted, brave, and a little less friendly with strangers. Similarly, an intimidating appearance can help keep unwanted visitors away from your property. A good guard dog is the one who is aggressive towards intruders but is affectionate to his/her family. The following is a list of dog breeds that make good guard dogs.    


Akita laying in a field

This is the tallest dog breed of Japan and was originally developed for fighting and hunting wildlife. This aggressive background of Akitas gives them the aggression and bravery that you need in a guard dog. In contrast to that, these loyal canines are incredibly docile with family members.

It is important to train and socialize an Akita at an early age to control his/her aggressive traits. If that’s not done properly, they can be hostile towards other pets and people. For this reason, it is believed that this affectionate (but stubborn) breed requires an experienced owner.  


Boxer standing in grass and wildflowers

This medium-sized dog is known for its square muzzle and strong jaws. It was developed by crossing Old English Bulldog and the extinct Bullenbeisser. Boxers are regarded as one of the best guard dogs because they are extremely protective of their family. They are extremely kind to children and are quite friendly until they encounter an intruder.

Boxers have a gentle temperament and are reasonably easy to train. These intelligent and confident canines can be a little willful, but you can overcome this issue through consistent training. Their friendly and loyal nature allows them to become great companions.   


Bullmastiff standing on a beach

As the name suggests, these muscular dogs are a cross between Bulldogs and Mastiffs. These dogs were originally bred by gamekeepers to protect their game from poachers. The strong build and bull-like looks of this large dog breed can be quite intimidating to intruders.

In contrast to their appearance, Bullmastiffs have a very loving attitude towards their families. They like to spend time with their people and have natural protective instincts. Just provide a Bullmastiff with some structured training and he/she will turn into an ideal guard dog.  

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher standing on front of a brick wall

The Doberman Pinscher is one of those dog breeds that were originally developed as guard dogs. They still carry those protective instincts and are incredibly obedient to their people. Although they are associated with several breeds, Pinschers resemble the most with Greyhounds and Terriers.

Despite their large bodies, Doberman Pinschers are extremely agile and athletic. They are always alert and cautious of strangers but have high regard for the command of their owner. Likewise, they have an intimidating growl (and bark) that is quite effective at keeping the intruders away. The combination of all these qualities makes them perfect for protecting families.  

German Shepherd

German Shepherd on a wooded path

German Shepherds have all the traits that we could expect in good guard dogs. They are intelligent, brave, loving, and incredibly loyal to their people. Similarly, they have a physically imposing body that is quite helpful in keeping strangers away from your property. Although they have modest body weight, their long and fluffy coat exaggerates their size.

Being a sensitive and affectionate canine, German Shepherds need a lot of time from their parents. Lack of attention can lead to negative behavior that can be quite challenging to handle. However, you can have a life-long companion by your side if you could develop a strong bond with this breed.

Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer on natural background

This large and powerful breed makes one of the best guard dogs for families due to its utmost loyalty. Likewise, Giant Schnauzers are generally very calm and won’t bark unless they sense some trouble. This is another excellent attribute for a dog who is performing security duties.  

In addition to that, this intelligent dog breed can become an amazing family companion. However, early socialization and strict training are necessary to avoid negative behavior. The Giant Schnauzer is a super-active breed that will require plenty of exercise to burn their excessive energy. Therefore, you should only go for this breed if you have an active lifestyle.


Rottweiler laying in grass

Originally bred for protecting cattle, Rottweilers are known for their power and commitment. These intelligent canines are very quick to learn new things and would do anything to please their owner. Although Rottweiler is regarded as a medium-large breed, it can match the power and build of any large dog.

This working dog has all the characteristics (alert, aloof with strangers, and happy to serve humans) of a good guardian. On the other hand, they are incredibly cool and playful pets when they are off-duty. Due to their high intelligence, Rottweilers can exhibit willful behavior and stubbornness. Therefore, you must train and socialize them properly at a young age.  

Rhodesian Ridgeback

close up of Rhodesian Ridgeback

This dog breed was originally developed for hunting large game, like lions. Nowadays, Rhodesian Ridgeback is a happy and loyal family dog with instincts for protection. These canines don’t require any specific guard dog training because they already have all the necessary abilities. However, basic obedience training is necessary because of their independent nature.  

Ridgebacks have a long history of assisting humans in their ventures. They don’t like anyone interfering with their pack and that’s the reason why they make excellent guard dogs. This affectionate pup can be an amazing companion for those parents who can train him/her properly.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier standing in grassy field

Are you looking for a powerful guard dog that is suitable for apartment life? Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the perfect choice to meet your needs. This muscular dog is known for its bravery and tenacity, and it won’t even mind fighting for its family. The intimidating appearance of this breed is also quite effective at scaring intruders away.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers were developed in the Black Country of Staffordshire by crossing the Bulldog with English White Terrier. In contrast to their fighting background, these canines are quite popular family companions, nowadays. They like to play with their people and are incredibly patient with children. However, this loving pet can instantly turn into a guardian if he/she sees any danger.

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