Many PetParents have their pups simply for companionship and enrichment of their lives. But our canine companions can provide us with so much more than we ever anticipated, becoming an exercise companion, loyal road trip pal, and even guarding our home and property. For families with children, a guard dog can provide peace of mind, knowing that an alert companion is always watching your back, and ready to let you know if something is amiss. We’ve listed some of the best guard dogs for families below:
The Bullmastiff is an excellent family dog, who excels at a guard dog role. Considering this was their original intention- to guard homes and estates it makes sense that they excel at guarding to this day. Surprisingly agile for their large size, a bullmastiff is a mellow dog unless action is needed. Then he is swift and fierce- able to run down, tackle, and hold an intruder without causing injury. Bullmastiff’s are known to be great with children and fit in with most family lifestyles.
2. Doberman Pincher
The Doberman Pinscher is a breed that many think of when guard dogs come to mind. Traditionally the ‘junk yard dogs’, Dobermans are great at patrolling their territory to be on the look out for anything out of the ordinary. They are powerful and fast. Dobes are highly trainable, smart, and extremely loyal to their families. This breed must be both physically and mentally active, and they love nothing more than accompanying their owners everywhere possible.
Rottweilers have a natural guarding instinct and tend to feel protective over their families- making them a natural fit for a family guard dog. They are smart, loving, and highly trainable. While many have been trained to be ‘aggressive’ guard dogs, this is not the breed nature, and most rotties are quite docile unless they feel their family is being threatened, in which case, they’re a force to be reckoned with. Proper socialization with strangers, and other animals are essential for a well-rounded Rottie.
4. Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a breed originating from Africa, where they were used to protect the home and village, as well as hunt large game and chase down lions. Needless to say, they are a brave, fierce breed of dog, who must be socialized with strangers and other pets to ensure a well-adjusted pet. Ridgebacks are good with older kids, their energetic tendencies may be too much for younger children to handle. Extremely loyal and devoted to their families.
5. Giant Schnauzer
Giant Schnauzers are guard dogs who believe their most important job is to protect their family. Large and sturdily built, the breed is highly territorial and very focused on the family. They are a dominant breed who requires a firm owner and life-long training. Mental and physical stimulation is essential to have a well behaved giant schnauzer. Unlike some guard dog breeds, the Giant Schnauzer is more likely to alert to suspicion with a deep, low growl rather than a bark.
The Boxer makes an ideal family guard dog because they are loyal and absolutely love kids. Known to be quite silly, the Boxer may not be the first breed that comes to mind when thinking of guard dogs, but they are not tolerant of anyone disturbing the family peace. Always active and alert, the Boxer will happily patrol his home and yard, ensuring everything is as it should be.
7. Chinese Shar Pei
The Chinese Shar Pei is another breed that originated with a guard dog purpose in mind. They were intended to guard the home and are great with kids. One of the easiest breeds to housebreak, Shar Pei’s are highly intelligent and trainable if offered the right motivations. This breed forms a strong bond with the family, and is not known to be friendly toward outsiders.
Many small breed dogs also make excellent guard dogs because of their alertness and propensity towards barking. Even the smallest dog bark can deter a potential burglar from entering your home simply because the excessive barking will call attention to something going on.