What are the best guard dog breeds? Is it really true that some breeds of dogs are better at being guard dogs than others? Aside from obvious issues like size, what makes a German Shepherd a good guard dog? Is a German Shepherd a better guard dog than a Border Collie or an Aussie? Is it really about the breed or is it more about the individual dog’s personality? If you’re thinking about getting a guard dog, you’ve come to the right place. All of these questions and more will be answered.
What Should You Look for in a Guard Dog?
Even people that don’t really need to know a whole lot about dogs realize that there are certain qualities that you’re probably looking for in a guard dog. These are qualities that you might not necessarily be looking for in a family pet. For example, guard dogs have to be exceptionally brave, even in highly stressful situations. They also have to know who to protect and who to go after if a particular situation escalates to the point that they need to defend family members. If you’re really looking for a guard dog, you don’t just want a dog to bark when they hear a noise outside. That’s all well and good, but it isn’t really going to keep your family safe unless that dog is able to get between you and whoever is trying to break into your home, for example. The question is, how do you know how a particular dog is going to react if and when something like that does occur? Even the seemingly fiercest of dogs might turn and run when everything is on the line. By the same token, some dogs that are naturally friendly toward strangers might surprise you when they feel like they have to protect you.
Should You Believe Everything That You Hear?
If you’re in the market for a guard dog, there’s a better-than-average chance that you’ve already talked to a few people. As such, you might have heard a lot of advice about what type of dog you should get. The question is, how do you know what to believe and what to dismiss? If you already know a thing or two about dogs, it might be easier to disseminate the correct information from the hype. If you don’t, it can be so confusing that you end up not having the foggiest idea of what type of dog you should actually get. After all, you want a guard dog that will protect the family, but you probably also want a dog that you can enjoy being around. If you have small children, the whole subject takes on a new and more urgent type of importance. The last thing you want to have happened is for your newfound guard dog to mistake your children playing as something they need to guard against and end up biting one of your kids. When you consider all of these different aspects of getting a guard dog, how are you supposed to know where to turn?
Starting With the Basics
Fortunately, you can start with some basic information. Typically, there are certain breeds of dogs that are considered to be better and more effective guard dogs than others. For example, German Shepherds are typically used as guard dogs, as are Rottweilers and Belgian Malinois. While it is important to consider the fact that these dogs are routinely used as guard dogs and as police dogs, it is equally important to realize that there are a number of additional dog breeds that can be effectively trained to be guard dogs. While you can certainly get a German Shepherd or a Rottweiler as a guard dog, simply getting the dog does not necessarily mean that you will have a good guard dog at your feet. In fact, you might have a dog that far prefers to give kisses as opposed to growling at someone and ends up going to hide under the kitchen table every time it hears a loud noise. As long as you’re talking about a dog that is of sufficient physical size and strength to be a guard dog, virtually any breed can be taught. It’s also worth mentioning that traditional guard dog breeds such as Rottweilers and German Shepherds can also be good family pets. They end up getting an unfair reputation in the mainstream media more often than not. While they can be effective guard dogs, they are not typically vicious dogs that can’t be controlled. The same can even be said for the Belgian Malinois, although these dogs do tend to be quite hyper, needing a great deal of physical exercise and mental stimulation to keep them occupied.
What Are the Best Traditional Guard Dog Breeds?
While it is possible for many different breeds of dogs to be good guard dogs, there definitely are breeds that stand out. As previously mentioned, you might choose to go with a German Shepherd, a Rottweiler, or a Belgian Malinois. All of these dogs have the size and strength to pack a punch if they need to. Most of them will end up weighing somewhere between 85 and 110 pounds by the time they’re fully grown. They all have speed and agility, especially the Belgian Malinois. However, you might be interested in finding out more information about other breeds that can potentially get the job done. Believe it or not, you might consider getting a Border Collie as a guard dog. These dogs are smaller than the traditional guard dog breeds, but they are working dogs. They’re traditionally used to herd sheep and cattle, so that should tell you a thing or two about their bravery. In addition, they are quite agile and can get from one location to another so quickly that you wonder how they even managed to pull it off. They’re also fiercely loyal. They have a tendency to bond not just with one person, but with the entire family. Once this bond has been created, the Border Collie sees it as his job to ensure the safety of all members of that family and he will do anything he needs to do in order to keep them safe.
It’s All in the Training
Of course, it’s not just about selecting the right breed for your family. Every dog needs to have proper training. That is even more important when you are talking about guard dog breeds that have the ability to truly injure someone without even meaning to. As previously mentioned, traditional guard dog breeds are not typically vicious like so many people believe they are. However, they are big enough to injure a person by simply running into them and they also have very large teeth that can do a great deal of damage, even when the dog is just playing. As a result, they need to go through solid obedience training in order to ensure that these types of accidents do not happen. Whether you are talking about a German Shepherd, a Border Collie, or something in between, it all starts with basic obedience training. From there, you can work through the levels of training in order to ensure that your dog receives specialized guard dog training. What you don’t want to do is create a situation where you have a dog that focuses on nothing but being a guard dog. The moment it stops being a pet and becomes a tool, like a handgun, you have a potential liability on your hands. A good dog can be both a loving family pet and a very protective animal at the same time. That is precisely what you want in almost any situation. Remember, even police dogs that are trained to go after suspects typically go home with their officers at the end of the shift. When they’re not on duty, they are family pets just like any other dog.
What About Temperament?
People sometimes get hung up on the temperament, especially where certain breeds are concerned. You hear people talking about the temperament of a German Shepherd or the temperament of a Rottweiler all the time. That’s because people have a tendency to stereotype these dogs because they are often used in police departments and as guard dogs in other types of situations. The truth is, every dog is unique. Just because a dog is a German Shepherd, that doesn’t mean that the particular animal in question is well suited for work as a police dog or as a guard dog. The dog may have a tendency to do these types of things, but he could just as easily be the sweetest, most loving dog you’ve ever seen who has absolutely no desire to even bark at anyone, much less become a true guard dog.
Is It Really All About Personality?
In reality, much of it is about the dog’s individual personality. It can be hard because it’s almost impossible to tell whether or not a dog will be a good guard dog if you get a puppy. Some dogs that you would never think of as being a guard dog, even in your wildest dreams, end up being the ones that you have to watch the most. Imagine being taken down by a whippet with an attitude, all while the German Shepherd in the same yard sits idly by and watches it happen. Things like this do happen all the time. In short, you can select the dog based on breed alone, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll end up getting what you want.
What Should You Do?
If all of this has you feeling confused, relax. You’re not alone. Even people who have had dogs their entire lives can’t predict with 100% accuracy what any dog is going to be like based on its breed alone. That said, you can increase your chances of getting an effective guard dog by selecting a breed that is well known for doing this type of work. If you want a dog that can truly be a family pet and a guard dog at the same time, it may very well be time to consider getting a German Shepherd or a Rottweiler. If you’re apprehensive about having a dog this large and this powerful around your children, opt for the Border Collie. All of these dogs can be effectively taught to be extremely efficient guard dogs. If you don’t have a need for a dog to be a family pet, you have one more option available to you. If you’re getting a dog to protect your business or you live alone and you want a dog that can bond with you while ensuring that no one else comes on the property unwanted, perhaps it’s time to think about getting a Belgian Malinois. However, you may want to hold off on that particular decision if you have children. As previously mentioned, these dogs have a tendency to be a bit high-strung.
Aside from choosing the breed that works well for you and ensuring that your newfound guard dog gets all of the training he or she needs, there is little else that you can do. Of course, you want to create a bond with this particular animal and reinforce the training that is received on a daily basis. The rest of it is, unfortunately, left up to chance. You can give yourself the best odds all day long, but you won’t really know how your guard dog will actually react until some type of crisis occurs. Fortunately, most people don’t have to experience this type of situation. Therefore, you should consider which type of dog you’re interested in having based on your needs and the needs of your family and then go from there. In most cases, the best thing you can do is choose the breed of dog that you and your loved ones genuinely want to be around and then teach the dog to be an effective guard dog. This may not work with breeds that are extremely small, but it is typically an effective solution for any dog that is at least the size of a Border Collie. It’s actually much better to have the breed that you truly want and then teach them what you want them to do as opposed to selecting a dog based solely on its breed when that may not be the type of dog that you actually want.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best guard dog for a family?
The best guard dog is one that has bonded with the family, who is also well trained. It’s not as much about the breed here as it is about having a dog with the right temperament who has been properly trained.
Which is the most protective dog?
Again, it is hard to say that one breed is always more protective than another. If you are looking for a starting point, you might go with the German Shepherd, as they do tend to be quite protective.
What are the best guard dogs?
Consider getting a German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Belgian Malinois, Pitbull, or Border Collie. In reality, almost any mid-size to large breed of dog works well if the dog has been properly trained.
What dogs are bred for guarding?
All of the breeds that have been thoroughly discussed here are bred for guarding. However, that does not mean that breed selection alone should take the place of proper training. A dog’s individual personality also comes into play.