30 Best Guard Dogs For Families

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Are you looking for the best dog for home protection or a guard dog in general? In this article, you will find the 30 best guard dogs.

You are interested in finding the best guard dog for your family, or do you want to learn more about your guard dog?

In both cases, we have got you covered, as this articles talk about the best 30 guard dogs for families.

Guard dogs are one of a kind. They are highly devoted, excellent when it comes to training, and fast to react when needed. In fact, both guards and watchdogs are fast to react.

They will not only bark loudly, but they will be fast to move on the stranger. In other words, they will do what is needed to keep their family safe.

What is the difference between a guard and a watchdog? A watchdog will be fast to alarm people through their barking, while a guard dog is capable of attacking or restraining the intruder.

Check out the best guard dog breeds:

1. German Shepherd

These dogs are not only calm with people, but they are fast to recognize intruders from friendly visitors. This is not a breed to mess around.

In fact, they are not for you if you are a first time dog owner, as you won’t get from this breed what they can give.

Getting one of the best guard dogs won’t mean a lot if you don’t know how to enhance their skills.

German Shepherds need an owner who knows their way around these powerful dogs, and moreover knows how to train them. When properly trained, this breed can master any skill and command.

Good to know about German Shepherds: They need regular and a lot of exercise as they are prone to joint issues.

2. Giant Schnauzer


Schnauzers come in three different sizes, but they all share similar traits.

These dogs are great family members, love being surrounded by people, and are highly agile.

Giant Schnauzer is a breed that will make everyone think twice if they should approach your home when you are not there.

However, don’t think that the Standard Schnauzer or Miniature Schnauzer won’t be fast to react, as their bark is naturally very loud.

Whilst miniature schnauzers will not do much help when it comes to guarding and protecting, the Giant Schnauzers most definitively will.

Good to know about Giant Schnauzer: This breed is superb when it comes to dog sports, such as agility

3. Beauceron


Beauceron is a breed of one-of-a-kind watching skills. This is a large breed, originally from French, making it the most popular in France.

They are rarely known outside France and they are usually in the ownership of experienced dog owners who are passionate about preserving this native French breed.

From day one, these dogs were used to herd cattle, be hunting companions, and work in military or police lines. Beauceron can often be praised as one of the finest police dogs.

They are so dedicated to working, that this breed was used by the French army to deliver messages on the front lines during both world wars.

Happiest when given a task, if trained to guard – you may rest assured that everything will be in perfect order.

Good to know about Beauceron: There are two varieties of this breed: the long-coated, and short-coated

4. Bullmastiff

Bullmastiff is of the most powerful dogs that one gets to see. This is a huge and strong dog that can easily weigh up to 150 pounds.

It is fair to say that Bullmastiff can overpower pretty much anybody. These dogs aren’t not much of barker, but they are very fast to react.

These powerful dogs may appear calm and peaceful, and usually, they won’t make much noise. But… If a Bullmastiff perceives a situation as threatening – he will react and be sure with little to no noise, his jaws will react.

Good to know about Bullmastiff: Bullmastiffs are only recommended to experienced dog owners

5. Cane Corso


Some breeds may be trained to become guard dogs, such as German Shepherds, while some breeds are born to guard. This is the case with Cane Corso, as this breed is genetically predisposed to do guard.

This Italian breed is powerful, tall, and loud. With them, when properly trained, safety is guaranteed. If untrained, these powerful dogs may become overprotective or even aggressive. Novice owners should avoid getting Cane Corso.

Good to know about Cane Corso: This breed doesn’t like to be left alone and needs a lot of attention

6. Rottweiler


Rottie is one of the best guard dog breeds alive. They are notorious for their devotion to their people.

This breed is never recommended to first time dog owners, and they are best fitted in homes where everyone knows their way around dogs.

Rottweilers are fast to react, and if they perceive a situation as dangerous or harmful to their owners, they may react on their own.

What may seem harmless to you, may be perceived as a dangerous situation for Rotties, which is why on walks leash is a must.

Walking your dog on a leash is something that should be done with any dog breed.

When trained right and only with positive reinforcement methods, these powerful dogs will be gentle, especially with children. However, that doesn’t mean that they will be less of a guard dog.

Good to know about Rottweilers: Rottweiler was named after the German city of Rottweil

7. Boxer


Unlike the Rottweiler, which remains focused on protecting, the Boxer is a true family dog. Devoted, playful, and energetic, yet still very strong and capable of keeping an eye on the family and property, and more than capable to defend them.

Boxers are medium to large size dogs who are highly playful and suited for first time dog owners.

They are easy to groom and their drooling level is low. They may seem silly, but they are always protective.

Good to know about Boxers: Boxers are called the Peter Pan of dogs, due to their playful spirit

8. Black Russian Terrier


Black Russian Terriers are, it’s fair to say, some of the most amazing working dogs on the globe.

What makes them so special is their ability to adjust to conditions that they are exposed to – they can be guard dogs like no other (to the level of cruelty), as well as cuddly family pets.

Black Russian Terriers, as opposed to their stunning beauty, tend to have a mind of their own, therefore in order to prevent instinctive aggression towards strangers, they need training.

Good to know about Black Russian Terriers: Black Russian Terrier is a relatively young breed, as these dogs have been around for less than 100 years

9. Komondor


Do not underestimate this amazing dog`s ability to guard only because of its dreadlocks-like appearance. The Komondor was originally used for herding sheep and for protecting them from wild animals.

Unlike breeds that enjoy being given tasks, Komondors may appear stubborn in their instinctive need to protect what they hold dear even if told otherwise.

Good to know about Komondor: You will have to invest significant amount of time into grooming this breed

10. Doberman


The Doberman is a dog that is characterized with self-control and personal discipline like no other breed.

Eager to learn, and even more, eager to fulfill the task to the very maximum of its potential, a trained Doberman is a guard dog that you can rely on in any situation.

These elegant dogs are gentle with their family members and hate being left alone.

They will tolerate children as long as children know how to behave around them.

Doberman Pinscher is a great breed when it comes to grooming, as they are easy to groom.

Good to know about Doberman Pinscher: Doberman Pinscher is recognized as one the world’s finest protection dogs

11. Belgian Malinois


Belgian Malinois is a breed that can be seen in various fields of work. They are highly trainable dogs who can do a vast spectrum of jobs. From service dogs to military dogs, they are present everywhere.

People love them for their affectionate side, and eagerness to learn. Their body agility is above average and their sense of smell is something that separates them.

Belgian Malinois should never be a choice for first time dog owners, as they need more time to reach maturity, and even then their energy levels will be massive. For personal protection, these dogs are highly recommended.

Good to know about Belgian Malinois: Belgian Malinois are superb jumpers as they can jump more than eight feet into the air

12. Caucasian Shepherd


Caucasian Shepherd is a breed that originated from the mountains of Caucasia. These are massive dogs who were bred to endure long sharp winters and protect the farm and sheep from wolves and bears.

That being said, this breed isn’t for everyone.

Caucasian Shepherd is a breed for really experienced dog owners, who know their way around massive and heavy dogs. Since they are independent training them from day one is a must.

They have strong guarding instincts, and if they believe that an intruder is standing in front of them they will attack.

Good to know about Caucasian Shepherd: When Caucasian Shepherd attacks they commonly go after the neck first (neck bites are something that is this breed’s natural instincts)

13. Rhodesian Ridgeback


Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally used to hunt lions. It is fair to say that dogs who can track lions are fearless.

Today they’re not that active when it comes to lion hunting, as they are mostly household pets or guard dogs.

Rhodesian Ridgeback is a breed of high-energy levels and they need a proper exercise regime to keep them in shape. Bear in mind that a proper exercise regime and a lot of exercise are two different things.

This breed is great when it comes to guarding, and even better when it comes to personal protection.

Rhodesian Ridgeback will be more than happy to follow you on a nice run, long hike, or any other outdoor activity.

Good to know about Rhodesian Ridgeback: If left alone too often, this breed will experience sadness and eventually separating anxiety

14. American Staffordshire Terrier


Agile and devoted, the American Staffordshire Terrier can be a perfect family dog.

Around their people, these powerful dogs will be cozy and calm, while monitoring the surrounding. With strangers, they will be more alert, and with a stand. Who they hold dear they will guard with their life.

American Staffordshire Terriers are great with children as long as children know how to behave around dogs.

They are highly trainable dogs who in hands of an experienced dog owner will thrive.

Good to know about American Staffordshire Terrier: American Staffordshire Terriers are good-natured, but they are always protective

15. Bull terrier


Bull terriers were originally bred for fighting. Luckily, this is ancient history.

Nowadays Bull terriers are common family pets, fun-loving and devoted to the family, with tremendous jaw strength and alertness at any moment still present. Sleep tight if you have a Bullterrier watching over you…

Good to know about Bull terrier: One Bull terrier was the official greeter of Juneau, Alaska

16. American Bulldog

American Bulldog originated from the Old English Bulldog.

These dogs were generally used as working dogs that were often given the role of guarding the homes. American Bulldog definitely has a strong, muscular body that might seem dangerous to some.

In combination with his very protective nature, he really does make a great guard dog.

Good to know about American Bulldog: American Bulldogs are not fond of other dogs in the same household, especially those of the same sex

17. Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino was bred to be a hunting dog. As such, they will have strong instincts and will be fast to react.

This is a powerful dog that no one wants to mess with. One look at this breed should be enough to tell potential intruders – skip this place.

Dogo Argentino is a brave and highly protective breed that will take guarding duties seriously.

As an intelligent dog who may be stubborn, Dogo Argentino can thrive only in hands of an experienced dog owner.

Good to know about Dogo Argentino: Dogo Argentino was bred in Argentina as a hunter in 1928, making these dogs a relatively new breed

18. Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff is a great choice for a guard dog if you want a dog between 130-150 Ib to patrol at your home.

Also known as Mastino, this breed is large, powerful, and highly protective.

This Italian breed loves to keep its people safe, which is why guarding duties are something that this breed always takes seriously.

Neapolitan Mastiff is a perfect guard dog who will always protect well its family and property.

Despite their big and fearsome appearance, these dogs do not bark a lot. They will rather sneak up on the intruders than alert them with barking.

Early socialization of these dogs is necessary so that Mastino can learn the boundaries in games and in overprotecting his owners.

Good to know about Neapolitan Mastiff: Neapolitan Mastiff is an ancient dog breed making it one of the oldest dog breeds alive, as their ancestors can be traced back to 3000 BCE

19. Kuvasz

Kuvasz is a breed that many describe as a little bigger Retriever, due to its sweet nature.

They are giant dogs, who are very playful around their people. Kuvasz is not only a great family dog but also a great guard dog who will keep his people safe.

Kuvasz, the Hungarian flock-guarding dog, is rather independent and might even be challenging to train.

They are protective of their people and can be very suspicious of strangers. Being so large, they reminded shepherds of wolves but were easily distinguished because of their white color.

Good to know about Kuvasz: Kuvasz is a breed that can easily reach 115 pounds

20. Akita

The loyal Akita is a large and fearless dog that comes from Japan. If seeing this dog on this list confuses you, then you probably haven’t heard of the royal history of this breed.

Loyalty is something that comes naturally to them and they will usually stick to one person.

Akitas were bred for guarding nobility in feudal Japan, and they often hunted wild animals. Despite being powerful guardians, they are still very affectionate with their owners. Akita will never let you down.

Good to know about Akita: Akitas have webbed toes to help walk on snow. This helps them distribute their weight equally

21. Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff is one of the largest dog breeds out there. He is also known as the “Nomad dog” because of his origins within the nomadic cultures of Tibet.

This dog’s primary instinct is to protect, so there’s no surprise that he’s one of the best guard dogs you could get.

In Tibetan local tribes, these dogs were used to protect sheep from wolves, leopards, bears, and even tigers! With the Tibetan Mastiff, you can sleep peacefully at night.

Good to know about Tibetan Mastiff: Tibetan Mastiff is the ultimate guardian dog who is only for owners of extended dog experiences, perfectly with experience of owning and training giant breeds

22. Sarplaninac

Sarplaninac (originally named Šarplaninac) is also known as Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog, and is a dog breed used to protect livestock in the mountains.

Having this important function, it’s no wonder where his protective, guardians’ instincts come from.

The Sarplaninac is a strong dog and a reliable friend that in lack of sheep, will often herd their owners. Whatever happens, this dog will protect you with his own life.

This breed may be a bit independent as they were bred to work on their own, but that doesn’t mean that they will show less loyalty.

Good to know about Sarplaninac: Sarplaninac is named after the Sar mountains and is even a national symbol in Macedonia

23. Leonberger

Leonberger is a giant dog breed that originated in the city of Leonberg in Germany.

His lion-like appearance and baritone bark make him a fearsome guard dog. However, with enough training, socialization and exercise they will become a family’s friends like no other.

Also, this jumbo-sized watchdog will need a lot of time to run and work out, so better choose him if you have enough space for his requirements.

Good to know about Leonberger: They may be large in size, but they are one of the most sensitive breeds, so make sure that provide a proper socialization

24. Combai

The Combai dog is a terrier dog breed that has origins from the state of Kerala India. These intelligent dogs make great watchdogs as they used to guard cattle from leopards and tigers.

They are also quite aloof towards strangers, and if not trained on time, they might also become aggressive. Today, Combais are mostly used as guard dogs on farms.

Don’t let his fearless attitude scare you, as a Combai actually thrives with loving human companionship.

Good to know about Combai: These dogs are on the verge of extinction

25. Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier is also known as the King of Terriers. The largest of all terriers were originally bred to catch otters and rats in the Aire region.

However, it turned out that the Airedale Terrier served their master the best as a watchdog. He might not look as strong as other guard dog breeds, but he is an alert dog that will warn you whenever needed. An Airedale makes a great watchdog that is outgoing and playful with his owners.

Good to know about Airedale Terrier: Airedale Terriers were originally used to hunt rats

26. Canis Panther

Canis Panther dog was bred to be the most effective guard dog ever. It is actually a cross between four powerful breeds : Great Dane, Doberman Pinscher, American Staffordshire Terrier and Labrador Retriever.

Don’t let his fearsome appearance fool you, this dog will be very affectionate towards his family. However, strangers won’t have a good time around the Panther dog.

Canis Panther is the ultimate guard dog who will do his best to keep the family safe. These dogs are not to be messed with, and they need proper training and early socialization.

Canis Panther is not recommended for first time dog owners, or for those who don’t have enough time and energy to provide proper training.

Good to know about Canis Panther: This breed is prone to bloat

27. The American Pit Bull Terrier

Just like the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier has a bad reputation for being overly aggressive. This is due to dog-fighting these dogs were used in.

Today, they are mostly loving family members who are great as guard dogs.

Even if they make great guard dogs for their high alertness, they are also very gentle with little children. Therefore, choosing a Pit Bull will not only be a great way of protecting your home, but it will also ensure your kids have a real, loving companion.

Good to know about American Pit Bull Terrier: They are often very misunderstood, although they are softies and true people, lovers

28. Kangal Dog

Kangal dogs are large-sized dogs that were used as livestock guardians in ancient Turkey. They were successful sheep guardians thanks to their appearance and temperament.

Kangal dogs were trained to protect their herds from predators and therefore they have inherited these protective instincts. However, this Turkish dog is very gentle with children and will make a great companion dog on farms or freeholdings.

When they are not busy spending time with family, they will guard their home.

Good to know about Kangal dog: This is an ancient breed, dating back to about 1200 AD

29. Canary Dog

Canary dog also known as Canary Mastiff or “Perro de Presa Canario” was originally bred for working livestock.

This rare, large dog is the symbol of the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. The Presas were used in dog fighting rings due to their size and strength, and his appearance generally looks a bit hostile.

Today, they make great guard dogs that are often very suspicious of strangers and other dogs. If you want to a Presa, you should provide him with proper early socialization and training in order to control his aggression.

Good to know about Canary dog: This breed is best suited to guarding and traditionally used for herding cattle

30. Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is an ancient breed believed to be one of the dogs that were imitated in the stone guardians in front of Buddhist temples and palaces.

Chow Chow is a sturdy, fluffy dog that looks rather as a lion-looking teddy bear than an alert watchdog. And his genes prove it!

The Chow Chow dogs were used for a long as guardians of their owners’ possessions and as hunting dogs. A Chinese legend even says that one Chinese emperor kept 2,500 pairs of Chows as hunting dogs.

Good to know about Chow Chow: This breed of little doggy odor is one of the oldest. Dog experts believe that this breed has been around for 4,000 years

Hope you found this article interesting. If so, feel free to spread the word! Now, let’s see what are the most common questions of the best guard dogs for families.

Frequently Asked Questions On Best Guard Dogs For Families

1. Which Is The Most Protective Dog?

This is one question that is very hard to answer, as each breed comes with its own traits.

Some of the top three dogs that many labeled as best guard dogs are Bullmastiffs, Belgian Malinois, and Rottweilers.

2. What Is The Best Guard Dog For A Family?

To many, Tibetan Mastiff is the best guard dog that one can have.

Since this breed isn’t for everyone, it is always best to do proper research on the breed, discover the pros and cons of owning a Tibetan Mastiff, and then decide if this breed is best suited for this home.

In general, this breed is so intimidating that no one would dare to approach your fence without reaching you on the phone first.

Tibetan Mastiffs are not only intimidating, but they are giant, watchful, and powerful.

3. What Is The Most Alert Dog?

German Shepherd is usually the number one dog when it comes to alertness.

They are fast to sport anything, smell anyone, and are strong enough to take down anyone moving.

In fact, German Shepherds are all-in-one as dogs as they are alert, protective, and loving.