The Best Guard Dog Breeds
Man’s most loyal supporter has always been his best friend, the dog. Of all domesticated animals, dogs have historically been the best pick for anyone looking to guard their property. Their inherent territorial nature and intelligence make them perfect for the task. Besides, who doesn’t want a four-legged friend to brighten up their living situation? Now the only real question is which pup to bring home. What are the best guard dog breeds?
Do Guard Dogs Reduce Crime?
There are plenty of great reasons to add a dog to your family. But if you’re specifically trying to protect your home from intruders, it’s important to know whether a dog is up to the task.
So, do dogs deter burglars? Yes, to an extent. Some incarcerated burglars have reported that a dog is a deal breaker when they’re casing a house. Statistically, a burglarized home is more likely to be dog-free than not. And even small dogs can be a deterrent, particularly if they’re apt to bark loudly.
But remember that statistics can be misleading. Homes with dogs can and do fall victim to burglars.
Training Your Dog
If you want an effective guard dog, it’s important to get your dog trained. Preferably, you’ll want to put your pup under the careful hand of a professional.
Dogs are great at bonding with their families. Some are bred specifically to bond most with a singular person. However, what makes them so good at guarding your property can also make them dangerous to everyone else. Because dogs can’t read human intention perfectly, even the best guard dog breeds can make an honest mistake. Delivery people, visitors, landlords, gardeners, and any unfamiliar person in your house can cause a tense situation or even an attack.
An animal attack can be a scary situation for everyone. Millions of Americans are bitten by dogs every year, with a few hundred of those leading to fatal injuries. Dog owners could face fines or even criminal charges if such a thing occurs. And the dog may be in trouble, too.
Good guard dog training goes beyond preventing unwarranted attacks. A trained dog is a happy, healthy, and safe dog. Make sure your new pal is well-versed in the basics of canine behavioral training:
- Obedience commands like “sit,” “stay,” “heel,” and “leave it”
- Responding to its name and coming to you when you call
- Socialization and desensitization
- Barking (and stopping) at your command
Any training beyond this (like attacking on command) is best handled with extreme care and professional help.
The Best Guard Dog Breeds
As previously mentioned, any dog is better than no dog for stopping crimes. But some breeds are especially well-suited for protecting your home.
There’s a reason this breed is the gold standard for police K9 units. German Shepherds are strong, agile, and fiercely loyal, making them ideal for protection. They are also very intelligent and can learn almost any task they must physically perform. These clever dogs have a certain aloofness that makes them suspicious of strangers. That’s perfect for scaring off burglars, but could be problematic if you frequently have guests at your house. This breed is ranked among “canine royalty,” according to the American Kennel Club.
- Highly intelligent and trainable
- Strong, fast, and muscular
- Great all-purpose working dog
- Require a lot of physical and mental exercise
- May take some time to warm up to people
- Heavy seasonal shedding
This breed’s hallmarks are its aggression and territorial instincts. If socialized young, they can grow to be playful, silly dogs. However, they require training in order to get along constructively in a domestic setting. That’s partly because these burly dogs often don’t know their own strength and partly because of their extreme loyalty. Don’t be afraid to welcome one into your home, though! They are very social animals and thrive with regular attention. Rotties are happiest when given a job to do. If you can get them as a pup and train them young, they are a great breed to keep you safe.
- Extremely strong, especially for its size
- Playful and friendly with their owners
- Relatively low maintenance from a grooming perspective
- Requires daily exercise
- Must be trained early, including living in the owner’s home
- Roughhousing can encourage aggressive behavior
Meet “The Beast,” for fans of The Sandlot. This dog is huge, with males growing up to 230 lbs. and 30 inches at the shoulders. They are more docile than the other large dogs on this list of the best guard dog breeds, but their sheer size makes them great to dissuade would-be intruders. Though they are smart, they do require gentle training and can easily become bored. Make sure to start training early. And if you’re looking for a breed to go jogging with, look elsewhere. This furry giant is built for quick bursts of effort, not endurance runs. As a bonus, they’re just plain cute. Look at that big, floppy face!
- Friendly and lovable
- Less bark-crazy than other guard breeds
- Relatively low exercise requirements
- Large dogs can be difficult for some owners to control
- Love to drool
- Can get bored by long or repetitive training sessions
If you have kids or a cat, this fluffy, curly-tailed breed is known for its exceptional kindness—to its family, that is. They love the people they are brought up with and other furry family members. On the other hand, these striking curly cuties are fiercely independent and can be a handful to train. They’re great if you don’t get many guests, but can be a hassle in high-traffic situations. If you have ample space and you’re looking for a protective buddy, this might be a great choice.
- Loving toward other household members, including pets
- Extremely intelligent
- Strong protection instincts
- Long-haired varieties need daily grooming
- Difficult to train
- Not friendly to guests or visitors
(Gesundheit!) Despite being smaller than many of the other best guard dog breeds on this list, these little pups are poorly suited for apartment living because of their high energy levels. Dogs of this confident breed are happy to have time to themselves. Due to their high intelligence and suspicion of strangers, they are difficult to bribe. And, in case you’re wondering, their German name refers to their heritage of protecting Alpine dairy farms.
- Won’t fall for a bribe from a stranger
- Versatile working dog
- Long lifespan (13-15 years or more)
- Needs to burn lots of energy by working or exercising
- Strong herding instincts can be a turn-off for some owners
- Require firm, consistent training
If you need an inside dog, then you’d be hard-pressed to find one better than the distinctive Puli. Known as the acrobat of the dog world, these small, agile pooches are a great herder breed. Because they’re working dogs, they require lots of stimulation. Giving them the job of protecting the house could be the best thing for them. Besides, could you imagine the look on a burglar’s face when the throw rug comes alive and chases them out of the house?
- Excellent at agility and other canine sports
- Highly affectionate toward their owners
- Small, convenient size
- Naturally corded coat requires frequent maintenance
- Strong prey/chasing instincts
- High intelligence makes them prone to mischief
Security Beyond Guard Dogs
Here’s the truth. Whether you pick one of the best guard dog breeds or you opt for a mixed breed pup from the local shelter, any dog can make a home safer. Canine companions are great for making a home feel cozy and safe. They occupy your house or apartment full-time and enjoy keeping watch over you.
The only protector that would be better than a watchdog would be a human guard. And that’s where Deep Sentinel comes in.
While Deep Sentinel guards won’t run around in your yard or play fetch, they will keep watch over your property 24/7. Deep Sentinel’s live security guards monitor your property through smart home security cameras. Using two-way speakers and a built-in siren, the guards can “bark” loud enough to scare away intruders. And, if needed, they’ll also call the police with details about any verified crime in progress.
Deep Sentinel also won’t chew on your slippers, which is a leg up compared to even the best guard dog breeds. You can feel safer knowing Deep Sentinel (and your chosen canine friend) on the watch.