“Small watch dogs? You’ve got to be kidding me? Small Watch Dogs?” I hear you yelling through the screen. While they do lack the size to actually do anything about an intruder; it’s not like a Chihuahua is going to tackle a stranger in your living room, these breeds can warn you of danger and in some cases, because of a big dog bark, can even deter potential home invaders from entering. At least in their own minds, these small dogs are huge and in charge.
If you’re searching for a small dog that can not only keep you company but keep unexpected guest from entering your apartment or tiny home, you might consider one of these “vicious” breeds.
10. Miniature Pinscher – Small Watch Dogs
When you think of Guard Dogs, the Doberman Pinscher probably comes to mind. But at 8 to 11 pounds, you’re probably not expecting a Miniature Pinscher to start off any guard dog lists.
Although this is a rather delicate looking toy breed, the Min Pin is a sturdy dog with a dynamic, vigorous personality. The German word Pinscher refers to dogs that were bred to be guardians and to hunt vermin.
Nowadays, the self-assured and muscular for its size Min Pin is a great watchdog. It’s suspicious of strangers and is typically fearless when faced with a threat, be it real or imagined.
9. Dachshund – Small Watch Dogs
Warning: This House is Protected by a Highly Trained Wiener.
The Wiener Dog might be, as the literary critic and journalist H. L. Mencken said, “half a dog high and a dog and a half long,” but this small, funny-shaped dog is tough enough to take on a badger. In fact, that’s what it was bred to do and how it got its name Dachs mean badger; Hund means dog in the breed’s native Germany.
Although the Dachshund loves to cuddle with its people, the breed is known to be fearless when facing a threat. They are loyal alert and protective, and have loud, cutting barks of a dog much larger than their size.
Yo Quiero you out of mi casa. No, the Taco Bell dog doesn’t seem like the biggest deterrent, but this little dog can be an effective watchdog.
According to breeders, they are protective, jealous and will guard their person using their yappy bark when they see fit.
The Chihuahua is known for being a barker, but when properly trained the breed is actually an outstanding watchdog. Many Chihuahuas get away with yapping, but they can learn to bark only when needed and can be counted on to be dedicated alarms. Chihuahuas are generally very sweet and affectionate dogs that make great companions with the right training.
7. Boston Terrier – Small Watch Dogs
You gotta be tough when you grew up on the streets of Boston, right?
This small dog has several traits that make it a great watchdog, but the most important is that he normally does not bark a lot. A good trait, as false alarms can hinder overall effectiveness.
A Boston Terrier, however, will bark when it needs to and everyone will be aware that there is something foul going on. They are usually happy and friendly but they are also known to be protective, and barking at strangers is part of their job. A job the Boston does happily.
6. Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa is a really good dog, happy to sit on your lap and to alert you in case it hears any strangers, and to guard you like a Rottweiler if the situation calls for it!
The Buddhist Monks of Tibet would have been proud of the little guard dog they created.
Despite its fierce personality, the dog is small, only about 13-15 pounds. The Lhasa is not tiny, though, and knows it—not some animal that can be pushed around. The Lhasa is a little wolf!
“A wolf? Sure don´t look like no wolf.”
No, actually the Lhasa looks more like a little wooly Ewok, but according to some sources, they were bred from a species of wolf found in Malaysia about 4000 years ago. And, you just don’t go messing with a wolf, protecting its family.
5. Scottish Terrier – Small Watch Dogs
Terriers, in general, are excellent watchdogs, bred to hunt vermin and to act as property guardians. The Scottish Terrier maintains a true terrier temperament; strong-willed and confident. They are wonderful watchdogs and typically reserved toward strangers.
Unfortunately, although they have a bold boisterous bark, they do not bark with a Scottish accent. A shame really.
That said, they become very attached to their families and make great active family companions.
4. Toy or Miniature Poodle
Both the Toy and Miniature Poodle are listed here because their temperaments and watchdog capabilities are both excellent. The size difference is not huge; Toys being roughly 10 inches tall and Miniatures 10-15 inches tall at the shoulder.
Poodles are extremely alert and intelligent dogs. Their heightened sensitivity helps them detect when something is wrong and they are very obvious in communicating this to their owners. They are prone to barking and easily trainable, so owners can get their Poodles of any size to bark in certain situations in order for them to announce new developments around the house and yard.
3. Miniature Schnauzer – Small Watch Dogs
Miniature Schnauzers may be smaller than their Standard and Giant counterparts, but they are no less courageous.
The breed was originally used as a ratting dog and has a strong-willed, terrier-like personality. They make great watchdogs and take their job very seriously.
Miniature Schnauzers like to bark. They are not big (usually less than 15 pounds), but they are almost never timid. Miniature Schnauzers are usually easy to train and will usually back off when told to.
Most American Eskimo Dogs are conservative with strangers, keen of eye and acute of hearing, and serious about their watchdog responsibilities, though not usually progressing to the point of aggression.
Their high-pitched and loud bark can be quite effective as a warning, as well as being extremely annoying to intruders, and the neighbors and everyone else involved.
Barking is common among American Eskimo Dogs. They can be trained to obey a stop barking command, but rarely can the desire to start barking be trained out of them.
1. Miniature Bull Terrier – Small Watch Dogs
Larger than most dogs on this list, the Miniature Bull Terrier weighs in at between 23 and 33 pounds. Not a big dog by any means, but still larger than most of the toys and terriers on this list. And it packs a lot of muscle on its sturdy frame.
The Mini Bull Terrier is devoted, friendly and playful. Like many Terrier dogs, the Miniature Bull Terrier was bred to be a vermin hunter and has a fierce fire when it comes to its job of watching over its loved ones. But is also friendly with strangers in the appropriate situations.
They are not as protective as some of the other dogs on this list, in fact, they may be a little too friendly for the role of “Guard Dog”, but they are alert and inquisitive and make excellent watchdogs, alerting you to someone at the door or in the yard.
And that, after all, is really what we expect from these small dogs. None of these dogs have the size needed to be fierce guard dogs, but rather act as alarms and deterrents to would be invaders. And to wake up the big dogs that we’ll be covering next time.
So, which breed guards your home? Let us know in the comments below.
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