Are you looking for the best guard dogs?

With so many breeds and information, it can be challenging to know where to turn.

But have no fear. We’re here to help you find the perfect pooch to keep you safe. 

Best Guard Dogs

Feeling protected ranks among the main reasons people get a pup, but you still need to know what exactly you’re looking for.

In our book, there’s no such thing as the best dog. Still, some breeds are better at specific tasks than others. 

Best Small Protective Dogs

When you think of the guard dogs, you probably don’t imagine a small pup. But despite their pint-sized appearance, some of these breeds can do the job.

chihuahua

1. Chihuahua

They’re famous as ankle biters and for a good reason. Chihuahuas hate situations they aren’t familiar with and can be aggressive at times. While these are usually seen as negative qualities, the tiny wonders will always let you know when the danger gets close.

Chihuahuas are also known for standing up to animals and humans about 100 times their size.  Somewhat of a Napoleon complex, it’s still one of their brilliant characteristics. 

These are the best guard dogs for seniors in our book. Plus, they’re easy to walk, meaning they won’t be walking you, and there’s less chance of accidental falls.

Chihuahuas are the smallest on our guard dog list, weighing a mere six pounds on average. They don’t tolerate cold weather well, so we recommend looking into dog house heaters or calming dog beds.

jack russel dog

2. Jack Russell

These are some of the cutest pooches globally that are also the best dogs for home protection.

The Jack Russell is a proud breed that won’t go quietly. If they’re upset or feeling forced into a situation, they’ll let you know the second they’re unhappy.

Besides, they’re incredibly loyal and build unbreakable bonds with their owners.

This small breed is slightly bigger than the other two in the category, weighing around 13–17 pounds.

Although their bark may not be as intimidating as larger breeds, they’ll sound off if there’s any danger, no matter how small. 

pomeranian

3. Pomeranian

I keep a big place in my heart for these tiny furballs. My friend owned four of them, and they could fill the house with barks for hours on end.

I know from personal experience that these pups are some of the best guard dogs for apartments. Any noise or sight that’s out of the norm will set them off like your very own alarm system.

Usually weighing around seven pounds, these dogs are tiny, but their long and luxurious hair makes them look much bigger.

Pomeranians are bold and curious, so you can rest assured that they’ll protect every inch of your home.

Best Medium-Sized Guard Dogs

Moving up a size, let’s explore some of these sweet but fearless breeds.

Chinese Shar-Pei

4. Chinese Shar-Pei

They might look like our grandparents but don’t let the wrinkles fool you. 

These pups are known as some of the best guard dogs throughout history. Bred as a fighting dog, the Chinese used them for palace protection for over 2,000 years.

While the Chinese Shar-Pei is compact, it’ll always defend you if needed. They weigh between 45–60 pounds and are well known for their sweet nature and love for families.

The puppies are the best. Their wrinkles don’t fit, causing a roly-poly ball of cuteness.

schnauzer

5. Standard Schnauzer

There’s nothing standard about this breed. Considered one of the best hypoallergenic guard dogs, the Standard Schnauzer is perfect for people with allergies.

Highly trainable and full of energy, these pups will protect you and your family. Males weigh between 35–50 pounds, while the females are 30–45 pounds.

Their adorable face fur (or, as I like to call it, their mustache) makes them look like a Victorian-style detective, and that’s not too far from the truth. They’ll investigate anything out of the norm.

chow chow dog

6. Chow Chow

This breed is pretty serious-minded. It’s hard to tell from its appearance that it’s one of the most protective dog breeds. These dogs keep it calm and tranquil, but they stay alert and ready to fight.

The Chow Chow has a very distinctive mane, making them look more like a lion, and trust us, they fight like one when it’s necessary. 

They weigh between 45–70 pounds, and they’re generally very muscular, making them a great defense. 

Fun fact: Their tongues are entirely black, so no need to panic if you see one. It’s one of the breed’s distinctive features. Their tongues have highly pigmented cells — a tell-tale sign that you have a purebred pup. 

pit bull statistics cover - pit in the grass

7. American Staffordshire Terrier

Even if this breed is one of the best dogs for protection, it’s also part of the Pitbull family, which holds a lot of controversy in the US. 

But Pitbull breed characteristics aren’t all bad. They’re tenacious, protective, energetic, obedient, agile, and love their families.

Because of the Pitbull’s protective nature, early training is a must to socialize these pups. 

Unfortunately, many owners mistreat Pitbulls, which leads to dog behavioral problems. So if you adopt this breed, make sure you’re willing and financially able to train your pet properly

Best Large Guard Dogs

I don’t know about you, but the following breeds are the first that come to mind when I hear about top guard dogs.

rottweiler

8. Rottweiler

These pups look scary. With a weight of up to 100 pounds and their infamous bark, they’ll frighten off anyone trying to invade your home

But they’re one of the best loyal guard dogs you’ll ever find. Rottweilers are super loving and will protect you with all they have if there’s a need.

Keep in mind that dogs can’t differentiate situations, and often they can react negatively to a non-threatening event. That’s why you need to train your animals. Keeping your pets safe on your property is paramount, so consider getting a wireless fence for dogs. 

boxer dog breed

9. Boxer

This muscular breed is one of the more popular protective dog breeds for families. It ranks number 11 out of 197 breeds in the US.

They have a loving nature and build fantastic bonds with children from a very young age. Boxers are brilliant and can be very playful, so you’ll want to keep them busy with indestructible dog toys.

They take their job very seriously and always do their best to protect your family.

boerboel

10. Boerboel

Here’s a breed that originated from my home, South Africa.

Boer is the Dutch word for a farmer, and these dogs were initially trained to protect farmers. They’re one of the best farm guard dogs you can get — calm, confident, and intelligent.

With this breed, what you see is what you get. While they enjoy playing, Boerboels won’t hesitate to attack an intruder.

They can weigh as much as us (150–200 pounds), so be ready for some rough and tumble come playtime.

Best Mixed Breed Guard Dogs

Some mixes are just as great as pure breeds at protecting us. 

borsky-border collie husky mix

11. Borsky

This breed is a mix between a Border Collie and a Husky, hence the name. They’re beautiful and, thanks to their parents, come with unique personality traits.

The Borsky is very clingy and will become obsessed with their owner, especially if kept alone without another dog in the house. This breed would be fantastic for those looking into the best guard dogs for women.

They’re also brilliant so prepare lots of dog puzzles to keep them busy.

A Borsky can spend hours playing outside, so if you’re considering this breed make sure you can set aside enough time and energy for your animal companion.

golden retriever german shepherd

12. Golden Shepherd 

Now, here’s one of the best guard dogs for families.

As the name suggests, it’s a mix between a Golden Retriever and a German Shepherd

This breed gets the best of both parents. It’s more protective than the Golden Retriever but more chill than the German Shepherd.

These pups love to play and get along great with older kids that can keep up with their need for high-energy play. Also, they’re super protective of the ones they love and will always be there when you need them. 

german shepherd-pitbul mix mixed breed dog in the woods

13. German Shepherd Pit Bull

It’s another German Shepherd mix, but this time with the American Pitbull Terrier. This breed tops my list of best guard dogs.

Besides, if you get the German Shepherd mix with Pitbull, you’ll have a hardworking, intelligent, and loyal pet.

Either breed needs proper training, but that’s easy to achieve as they always strive to impress their owner. It’s also why the police force prefers this breed. 

The German Shepherd Pit Bull can be aggressive if left untrained. So always remember that safety comes first.

Best Home Guard Dogs

akita dog

14. Akita

This breed is known throughout history as the ultimate protector, particularly in the Japanese culture. The pups have a fantastic work ethic and weigh between 100–130 pounds. Since they were bred for work since the 17th century, they have excellent instincts.

Akitas are some of the best family-friendly guard dogs when it comes to their own family. They’re very apprehensive of new people and don’t do well with children teasing unless they’re part of their family. 

Since that’s what they were bred for, Akitas are first and foremost protection animals. Plus, your family will gain one of the most loyal companions out there.

australian shepherd

15. Australian Shepherd

Always in the top 20 of the most popular dogs in the US, this breed is also among the best guard dogs for families with small children.

The Australian Shepherd is incredibly smart, but that doesn’t stop its goofy side from showing. It’s a breed that loves to play, and that makes them great with kids.

You’ll need to start training them from an early age. Otherwise, the pup will herd your kids like a flock of sheep, which might sound pretty adorable, but with a weight between 50–65 pounds, it’s not the best idea to encourage.

These tough pups will protect your family, and especially the kids.

doberman pinscher_

16. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers might not be as fluffy, but they’re sleek and shiny, making them one of the best short-haired guard dogs. 

When I think of a protective dog, they’re the exact picture that comes to mind. With a weight of 75–100 pounds, they look scary and will attack if threatened.

These pups remain vigilant and on constant guard to ensure their owners’ safety. They’re fast, too, giving intruders no chance of even attempting to run away.

The breed, known as a protector worldwide, is a massive deterrent for home invasion.

Best Guard Dogs for Kids

German shepherd

17. German Shepherd

These pups are built for training and love to learn. Their instinct to protect in a way that won’t harm their family is why they’re considered one of the best kid-friendly guard dogs.

German Shepherds are often used as service dogs because of their keen environment awareness, solid physical features, and ability to learn quickly.

With a weight between 65 and 90 pounds, they can take down a human in a few seconds if their family needs protection.

This muscular breed is courageous and loyal without fault. It’ll bring your family lots of fun but, above all, protection.

saint bernard dog breed

18. Saint Bernard

It turns out that Disney’s Peter Pan had a point. The Saint Bernard classifies as one of the best guard dogs for babies.

This giant breed weighs between 140–180 pounds, making it one of the largest on our list, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most aggressive. 

Saint Bernards are kind, sweet, and caring. They’re patient with children and usually keep watch over everything the little ones do.

If you’re looking for a kid companion, they’d be the best choice, but only if you have enough space. Saint Bernards require a lot of room and need daily walks to stay in good shape.

Best Guard Dogs for First Time Owners

 Rhodesian Ridgeback

19. Rhodesian Ridgeback

I have a lot of personal experience with this breed, and let me tell you, the protective instinct is there from the moment they open those puppy eyes.

If this were a competition, the Rhodesian Ridgeback would be my number one pick for the best guard dogs of 2021. The pups look fearsome, generally weighing about 95 pounds, but they’re the most loveable and affectionate breed once they get comfortable with you.

Bred to track lions, the Ridgeback will alert you to any danger, from the squeak of a mouse to a home intruder. They’re an easy-going breed that can handle different situations well, making them suitable for first-time owners.

border collie dog breed

20. Border Collie

The Border Collie is one of the best guard dogs since it’s in their DNA to serve and protect their owners.

The breed has high energy, so it needs a lot of attention and exercise. But you’ll find it on constant alert to any out-of-the-norm situations.

Border Collies weigh around 30–55 pounds. They’re not the biggest, but they’re one of the most intelligent breeds and love completing tasks. 

When it’s downtime, this fluff ball will snuggle you half to death, so if you want a loveable yet easy-going breed, this could be a great option. 

So, What Is a Good Guard Dog?

You’ll find protective instincts in breeds of all sizes, weights, or coat types.

Plus, a well-trained pup is a must. Dogs that thrive off completing tasks do well here. 

But the most significant aspect is loyalty. If you build a close bond with your pup, it won’t let anything happen to you, and that’s why it might become aggressive if the situation calls for it.

The trick is finding the balance between an all-around aggressive dog and one that can put on a fighting face when needed. That’s where training comes in. 

Wrap Up

The question is — what are the best guard dogs for your needs? 

Small breeds are like little alarm systems, including the Chihuahua, Jack Russel, and Pomeranian. Some of the best medium dogs with solid protective instincts are the Chinese Shar-Pei, Standard Schnauzer, and Chow Chow.

That said, people usually imagine large dogs when they think of the best guard dog breeds, like the Rottweiler, Boxer, and Boerboel.

If you want to protect your home, the Akita, Australian Shepherd, and Doberman Pinscher are breeds to look into. Keep in mind that the German Shepherd and Saint Bernard are also great company for kids. Lastly, if you’ve never had a protective dog, consider the Rhodesian Ridgeback and Border Collie. 

There’s a great variety when it comes to the best guard dogs. The trick is finding one that fits your lifestyle and needs.