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16 Best Guard Dogs: Large, Courageous, and Protective Breeds

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Today’s world seems to be getting more and more dangerous. Whenever you watch the news, you see stories of increased violence, and understandably, you’re going to want to protect your family at all costs. While many people feel that guns are the way to go, we feel that you don’t need to rely on them if you have one of the best guard dog breeds protecting your family.

With that said, you don’t want to choose any large dog because they may not have the qualities that top rated guard dog breeds have. So, what qualities should the dog have?

Qualities To Look For In The Best Guard Dog Breeds

First thing first, we should clarify that a guard dog is not the same as a watchdog. A watchdog is one that will bark whenever someone that isn’t part of the family approaches the home. These dogs will alert you if there is a threat or danger nearby, but they aren’t going to be able to follow through with their bark.

A guard dog, however, will have the power and force to follow through with their barking. They are strong, large, and intimidating. These dogs are protective, and if they are ever provoked, they will attack and ultimately cause some serious damage to the intruder or the source of the threat. Many guard dogs are going to look tough, but with the right training, they can (and will) be lovable family pets, too.

Large Guard Dog Breeds To Consider

If you’re looking for the best guard dog breeds, you’re going to want a vocal dog that is going to have the bite to go with their bark. Here are five examples of big guard dog breeds that will have a bit as big as its bark.

1. Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer

These dogs are large and in charge. They’ve got a fierce bark and will bite at the first sign of danger. These dogs are watchful, and they will become suspicious of anyone that they feel may be a problem.

While they are great guard dogs, we don’t consider them to be one of the best family guard dog breeds because they don’t do too well with children under 12 years old.

Also Read: 10 Facts About Giant Schnauzer Puppies and Adult Dogs

2. Rottweiler

The Rottweiler has a menacing look, but they are pretty friendly when around children. These dogs are one of the smartest guard dog breeds, and when you take the time to train them, they can be fantastic guard dogs.

With professional training, your Rotty can be a good family guard dog, even around small children.

3. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman pinscher is a very loyal dog, and they will listen to your commands if you’ve trained him well. These dogs are athletic and agile despite their great size. These dogs are alert and very cautious of people that they aren’t familiar with, but they’ll listen to you when you command them.

These dogs are best suited to be raised as puppies in a household with children, however, if you are getting them after the puppy stage, they aren’t going to do well with small children.

4. Tibetan Mastiff

When they are puppies, these dogs look like living teddy bears, but when they are full grown, they live up to the title of being one of the greatest rare guard dog breeds. These dogs may have a “solemn but kind” demeanor, but when push comes to shove, they will protect their family with ferocity.

Just be aware that if you want one of these big dogs, it’s not going to be cheap, as the starting price for a puppy will set you back at least $2,000!

Also Read: Tibetan Mastiff: Important Facts and Characteristics

5. German Shepherd

When you think about the best guard dog breeds for families with children, a German shepherd is probably the first dog you’ll think of. After all, if they are used by law enforcement, they have to be pretty awesome right?

These dogs are obedient, intelligent, able to adapt to whatever task you give them, and they are incredibly smart and willing to learn. With a bit of patience and love, you can train your German shepherd to be a fierce guard dog but a loving companion for your toddler—the perfect blend!

6. Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is really one of four varieties of sheepdogs native to Belgium that were all bred for herding. Over the last century, it has been realized that they can be used for many important works. Hence, now they are used in police work and the defense sector.

The Malinois, which resembles the German shepherd in looks, is a powerful, perceptive, and devoted breed that makes it an excellent security dog breed. However, according to the American Belgian Malinois Club, it can also be possessive and jealous. Therefore, families who own Malinois should start training these dogs when young.

7. Caucasian Shepherd

Also known as the Russian bear dog, the Caucasian Shepherd dog is one of the most popular Russian dog breeds. Originating in the Caucasus Mountains, they were first employed for livestock and property protection and during wolf and bear hunting. Later, they were used to watching over Soviet prisoners, as they are excellent watchdogs by nature. 

However, among its family members, the Caucasian shepherd dog has a reputation for being devoted, composed, and affectionate, particularly when given the correct training from an early age.

8. Beauceron

According to the American Beauceron Club, Beaucerons are the largest French Sheepdogs despite having a striking resemblance to Doberman pinschers. Supporters of this large dog breed assert that the animals are perceptive and intelligent. 

Beaucerons make excellent security dogs due to their alertness, poise, and fearless attitude. They are highly independent by nature, and to prevent them from dominating their owners and their families, they will need strict training from an early age.

Beaucerons can weigh up to 100 pounds, and if taken good care of by their owners, they can live up to 12 years.

9. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

According to the American Kennel Club, the Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are naturally the most protective among all the sporting dog breeds. By nature, these dogs can be stubborn and are not nearly as outgoing around strangers as other retriever breeds. But they are extremely sensitive and dedicated to their family and make for excellent guard dogs.

These dogs bred to retrieve waterfowl are highly energetic and particularly like hunting. In addition, they shed a lot of shedders, and at times, their waterproof coat can be a bit smelly. Hence, they are not suitable for families who have sedentary lifestyles.

10. Great Dane

The Great Dane is regarded as a gentle giant. They are loving, mildly playful, and wonderful with kids. Although most Great Danes get along with other animals, especially if they were reared with them, some of these dogs can be violent with canines they do not know.

Great Danes make fantastic guardians because of their imposing stature and distinctive bark. Despite their amazing height of nearly 30 inches, Great Danes are elegant. They also have a fearsome bark and are highly alert. They don’t bite intruders in spite of their enormous size.

11. Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherds are quite enormous in size. They may weigh up to 150 pounds, and their booming bark is sure to scare away any potential intruders. They are a really old dog breed. It is believed that they were bred more than 6,000 years ago to guard cattle, so they are by nature cautious and alert their masters if they sense any unknown danger. 

The drawback is that they can be very violent against guests and dogs they don’t know. Additionally, since they are territorial, if you live in an apartment, these dogs might not be the best choice for you, as they require a lot of room to patrol. Also, it is always recommended to give them proper training from a young age. With training, they become easier to guide and control, and they learn to be devoted to their masters.

13. Cane Corso

Cane Corso

Also known as an Italian Mastiff, the name Cane Corso literally translates from Latin as “bodyguard dog.” This denotes that this dog breed has some specific purpose. They are extremely loyal to their owners and are among the best guard dogs in the world. In fact, the dog can be hostile toward strangers and has a short, stiff coat that contributes to its imposing look.

These fearless dogs need to be properly trained from an early age. Otherwise, they begin to dominate their owners and their family members. It is not recommended for novice dog owners despite being a true guard dog.

14. Akita

In Japan, this stocky mountain dog with a curled tail, known as Akita, is cherished as a sign of longevity and good health. In the past, the Japanese emperor and his family were protected by Akitas in the Middle Ages because they were naturally extremely protective.

Akitas are playful and goofy dogs that are also incredibly social creatures. They don’t bark much, but because they can be aggressive toward other dogs, it’s important to train them early to socialize and engage with them in a suitable manner as well as with people.

15. Bouvier des Flandres

When looked at, Flandres’ fluffy bodies and pleasant nature make them look timid and easily tamable. But in reality, they are solidly built, and these intelligent dogs can weigh more than a hundred pounds. Physically, they don’t shed much, but their long hairs and beard can retain dirt and water. 

They are excellent guard dogs and are rather affectionate and relaxed back when they spend time with their family. They get hostile only when they sense an impending threat to their owners or their family members.

16. Rhodesian Ridgeback

The distinct characteristic of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is the fur ridge that rises up along the dog’s spine and grows in the opposite direction of the rest of its coat. This is where the breed got its name from. Being vigilant is nothing new for this canine, according to the American Kennel Club, which argued that these dogs were initially bred to assist in lion hunting. 

Like all other guard dogs, they need to be trained because they can be independent and domineering. They need to be trained on how to deal with and behave around young children. Otherwise, ridgebacks are affectionate, patient, sociable, and devoted to their family.


Q1. Which is the Most Protective Dog?

Ans. Dogs are inherently protective of their owners. There are some dog breeds that are known for their protectiveness towards their owners and their owners’ children. Some of those dog breeds are Malinois, Rottweiler, Bullmastiff, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, and Giant Schnauzer.

2. Which dog is Best for Guarding the Home?

Ans. You can feel comfortable at home if you have devoted dogs to provide constant company and security. If the thought of having a protective companion around appeals to you, some dog breeds make excellent guard dogs and will save your home from unknown dangers. These dog breeds are Doberman Pinscher, Caucasian Shepherd dog, Rottweiler, Tibetan Mastiff, Cane Corso, Belgian Laekenois, and Belgian Malinois.

3. What is the most Fearless Dog Breed?

Ans. There are some fearless and courageous dog breeds that you should look into first if you are seeking a dog that will defend you and your family from danger. These dog breeds are Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, American Pitbull, and Cane Corso.

4. Which guard dog is best for first-time owners?

Ans. For first-time owners, not all dog breeds are suitable. Dogs are unique animals, and as pet parents, it is important to develop a bond with them, which might be difficult if you have never had a dog before. But there are still some guard dogs that one can still own, even if one has never had a dog before. Those dog breeds are Beauceron, Doberman, Akita, Staffordshire Bullterrier, Appenzeller Sennenhund, Giant Schnauzer, Boston Terrier, and Black Russian Terrier.

5. What is the easiest guard dog to train?

Ans. Guard dogs become even more efficient with proper and timely training. Some of the well-known guard dogs that can be trained easily are Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Giant Schnauzer, and cane Corso. There are some guard dogs that can be easily trained as well.

6. What is the smartest guard dog?

Ans. Guard dogs are by nature very smart and alert and will bark at any impending danger to let their owners know that something is not right. Some smart dog breeds that make for excellent guard dogs are Doberman Pinscher, Appenzeller Sennenhund, Rottweiler, Bullmastiff, Akita, Australian Shepherd, and German Shepherd.

7. Will my dog protect me from an intruder?

Ans. Dogs are, by nature, protective of their owners and their families. But how well a dog is ready to protect you from an intruder depends on a number of factors. To begin with, even an untrained family dog will defend its owners, but a trained dog is far better prepared to do so. Hence, it is always recommended that irrespective of dog breed, begin training them from an early age to help them prepare for any situation.


Protecting your family should be your main priority, especially in today’s world. Instead of relying on guns alone, welcome a dog into your home. These dogs have the bite to go with their bite, unlike smaller water dog breeds who’s bark is worse than their bite.

By welcoming a puppy from one of the best guard dog breeds into your home, you don’t have to worry if your family is safe when you’re away at work. With proper training, these dogs can be everything you would want in a guard dog, but still, give you the loving companionship you’re looking for.

Many large dog breeds will make good guard dogs. The ones we discussed in this article is just a small selection. When you do want to bring a puppy into the family, you will want to find a reputable breeder to ensure your dog will be healthy.

Also, if you are unfamiliar with raising a dog, especially a guard dog, we recommend that you hire a professional dog trainer to help you out as soon as you get your dog. When you begin training them early on, the better adjusted they will be and the better they will listen to you and your commands.

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