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Choosing the Best Family Guard Dog Breed


In addition to having a monitored security system, owning a guard dog can be a great way to protect your family’s security. However, many people often ask the question, “Which dog is best for my family?”. A good family guard dog should be a balance of obedience, intelligence and protective instinct. It’s best to choose a breed that will be able to form a strong bond with your family, enabling them to protect from danger and intruders. Not all dog breeds are suitable for being guard animals, so it’s highly recommended that you choose carefully. Here is some information about the most effective guard dog breeds.

The Difference Between a ‘Guard Dog’ and ‘Watchdog’

Before choosing a dog breed, it’s important to make the distinction between a ‘guard dog’ and a ‘watchdog’. A watchdog is a type of dog that has an instinctual desire to alert against danger. This means that if they sense an unwanted intruder present, they will usually begin to bark.

A guard dog is a dog that is designed to protect its “pack”, or human family. Guard dogs are much more difficult to train than watchdogs, since you need to teach your dog to discern between friendly and threatening behavior. If you do not have sufficient resources to devote to training a guard dog, you may simply want to choose a watchdog instead. An improperly trained guard dog may not only be ineffective: it may try to protect your family when they are not in danger. However, if you do want to own a guard dog, you still need to make the choice of breed with extreme care. Different types of dogs will require entirely different approaches to training, which will require you to have a thorough knowledge of some of the best guard dog breeds.

Why Color is Important

A study relating to criminal psychology noted that many criminals find dark-colored dogs to be most threatening. While this may not be the case with all potential burglars, choosing a dark-colored dog may help to deter some intruders.

Choosing a Breed

Not all dogs are suitable to be guard dogs. There is much debate among dog behavioral experts as to which breed is “best”. However, there has been a consensus on several key breeds. When choosing a dog for your family, you may also want to choose a breed that will be safe to raise around small children. Here are some of the most loyal, obedient and effective dog breeds that may be used as guard dogs.

  • American Akita
  • Akita Inu
  • German Shepherd
  • Rottweiler
  • Fila Brasilerio
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  • Bull Mastiff**

**Note: Bull Mastiffs may need more patience with training than some other guard dog breeds. This is because they are a cross between a Mastiff and a Bulldog, both of which are breeds that require specialized training.

Training Your Guard Dog

Depending on the specific duty that you wish your guard dog to perform, you may have to adopt certain training methods. To train a guard dog, it’s best if you first decide if you will be training your guard dog to attack intruders. If you want to simply train your guard dog to protect your “territory”, you can read a short guide called “How to Train a Guard Dog“. You may also want to check out these “4 Advanced Guard Dog Training Tips ” for additional information.