Best Family Guard Dog Breeds – Protecting Yet Loving
For as long as humans and dogs have lived together, humans have depended on dogs for protection, whether that be livestock, land, or the family. Many breeds will protect their families, but not all are exceptionally good at it while still maintaining the role of a dedicated family companion. We’ve singled out 10 Family Guard Dog Breeds. Let’s see who they are.
10. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Before I get too far into this video, I’d like to note that most of the breeds on this list are not for timid dog owners. All dogs need training, and that’s especially true with the dogs on this list. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is certainly no exception.
The distinctive Rhodesian Ridgeback was created in South Africa as a versatile hunter and guardian dog. It’s a smart but sometimes stubborn dog, who’s less likely today to hunt a lion as it is to hunt a soft spot on your sofa.
Affectionate with family, yet mostly aloof toward strangers the Rhodie isn’t going to
welcome an intruder into your house, but will most likely just be wary of visitors.
The Rhodesian is a high energy dog, with high intensity and needs lots of exercise. It’s not very well suited for apartment living. It also needs lots of mental stimulation, a bored Rhodesian Ridgeback is not an easy dog to live with. We suggest lots of obedience training.
The Komondor, also known as the Hungarian sheepdog, is a large, white-colored Hungarian breed of livestock guardian dog with a long, corded coat.
Sometimes referred to as ‘mop dogs’, the Komondor is a powerful dog that has a natural guardian instinct to guard livestock and other property.
Komondors are large dogs. A big male can stand over 27 inches at the shoulder and weigh in excess of 100 pounds. While the Komondor is affectionate toward family, even children, this dog does not welcome strangers fondly.
Being intelligent and easy to train, along with a low intensity level makes the breed a better choice for those not highly skilled in dog training.
Obviously, this dog comes with responsibilities though. You need to be a confident leader to win the respect of your Komondor. The meek, and the inexperienced dog owner, need not apply.
Affectionate, loyal and brave, the Bullmastiff is yet another large breed at between 100 and 130 pounds. Fearless at work, docile at home, the Bullmastiff is a natural guard dog, bred to protect poachers in jolly ol’ England.
Large and powerful, the Bullmastiff has a formidable appearance that’s a wonderful deterrent to would-be intruders. But it’s not all about looking the part. It’s also a determined protector when needed and a loving family companion for the rest of the time.
This fearless family protector has a soft spot for its loved ones, especially the kids, but is usually standoffish toward strangers.
Despite its size, the Bullmastiff isn’t a high-energy dog. A couple of short walks a day will meet its needs. They are mellow enough to live comfortably in an apartment or condo, as long as they get their daily outings.
These are reliable dogs, but as with any large guarding dog, owners must begin training and socialization early, while the puppy is still small enough to control. If you let your Bullmastiff get its way, it’ll soon be running the show.
7. American Pit Bull Terrier
Lumped in with the other “Pit Bull” breeds, the American Pit Bull Terrier has surely gotten more than its fair share of bad publicity. But the American Pit Bull Terrier, often just called Pit Bull is affectionate toward family, good with kids and even friendly with strangers if properly socialized.
The Pitty is easy to train, intelligent, for the most part, although often derpy, and a people pleaser.
I’ll go out on a limb and say that most of the fear of this breed is created by negligent owners. However, the breed is not for everyone. You must invest time in training and socialization, as we’d hope you’d do with any breed, especially the large ones.
When raised with the proper training and socialization, the American Pit Bull Terrier makes an excellent companion for children. It’s loving and gentle with people and often makes a lousy guard dog because of its tail-wagging eagerness to greet the person at the door. But, the bad reputation can definitely work in your favor.
Speaking of dogs with less than perfect reputations, the Rottie definitely has its share of bad press, as well.
But Rottie lovers know them as loyal, affectionate and confident guardians. A Rottweiler is a gentle playmate, and a powerful protector within its family circle.
And no one has ever told the Rottie that it’s not a toy breed. It’s not uncommon for a 95-130 pound Rottie to try to crawl into your lap for a cuddle.
A well-bred and properly trained Rott should not be aggressive without cause and should be aloof toward strangers. Inside the home expect playfulness and downright silliness.
But, the Rott needs a confident and stronger leader, or else it will take that role for you. You don’t want that.
5. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees is a large, powerful protector, but likely one of the calmest and patient dogs on this list.
They may have once guarded their flocks from wolves and other predators in harsh mountain terrains, but today the GP is much more content to be a mellow companion and courageous home guardian.
Don’t let the zen-like calm fool you, however, the Great Pyrenees is capable of jumping into action if it perceives a threat.
Although affectionate with family, and good with kids, this is not a breed for novice owners. The Pyrenees is not one of the easiet dogs to train and its size, energy, and intelligence can cause trouble for timid owners. Let’s just say you don’t need an uncontrollable 160 pound dog.
Bright, fun-loving and active, the Boxer might not be as large as the breeds so far at 65-80 pounds, but it’s the whole doggy package.
This intelligent, yet goofy dog, with the work ethic of a pro has been among the most popular dog breeds for a very long time.
Boxers are upbeat and playful and their patience and protective nature have earned them a reputation as a great dog with children. But, they take the job of watchdog and family guardian seriously and will meet threats fearlessly.
Boxers, originally bred to be medium sized guard dogs, are one of the easier breeds on this list to train. They are both intelligent and malleable. But, they also tend to retain many puppy-like personality traits until about 3 years of age.
It’s a friendly dog, even toward strangers. And this is a good thing, because you’re going to need to be out exercising your Boxer quite a bit. They also do well in apartments, as long as they get that daily workout.
3. Great Dane
When a dog can flat-footed stair you in the face, it definitely gets the attention of both friend and foe. Standing on its hind legs, the Great Dane is taller than most people.
But the Great Dane is friendly, patient and as dependable as any dog breed.
This easy-going giant is a joy to live with. Because, despite its imposing size, the Great Dane is truly one of the most well-mannered dogs around- a sweet, playful, affectionate dog that adores children.
Because of its size and high need for exercise, it might not be the best choice for any apartment though.
Don’t let the friendliness fool you. This is an effective guardian, because if the size doesn’t ward off an intruder, the fearlessness of this breed will.
You might need something a bit more compact in your home. At 22-33 pounds, the Puli is certainly no giant. But, don’t mistake the small size as being a weakness.
Best known for its long, corded coat resembling dreadlocks,like the Komondor, the Puli is a hardworking herding dog and family companion.
Energetic and lively, this moplike dog appears much larger than it is due to that distinctive coat. And, thanks to its self-confidence and intelligence, the Puli will have no problem being the center of attention in your home.
With family, this small guard dog is friendly and affectionate. With strangers not so much. They’re also quite sensitive to the needs of the elderly and sick making them great therapy dogs.
The Puli is a highly intelligent and independent dog, which is common among herding breeds. Which also means that training is a must to have a pleasant family member.
Although not for the timid dog owner, the German Shepherd Dog is considered dogdoms finest all-purpose working dog. And the breed definitely finds its way into a lot of homes all around the world.
This obviously German breed is a large, agile, muscular dog of noble character and high intelligence. Loyal, confident, courageous, and steady, the German Shepherd is truly a dog lover’s delight.
There are many reasons why German Shepherds remain so highly adored, but their defining attribute is character: loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their lives on the line in defense of loved ones.
German Shepherds will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians, but there’s a “certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.”
Like every dog on this list, the GSD needs exercise and training. Lots of it. These versatile dogs need a job to do. Give it that and you will have a family friend that will do anything to keep you safe.
There’s another thing most of these breeds have in common. They are power chewers. My German Shepherd and my American Pit Bull Terrier Mix destroy any toy you give them. That’s what prompted me to get them BullyMake. I’m tired of buying toys from the pet store that only last a few days if not only a few minutes.
Bullymake offers a subscription box service that sends tough dog toys for power chewers, along with treats and other fun stuff to your door every month, each month with its own fun theme. These toys are tough. My dogs haven’t managed to destroy them yet.