18 best protection dogs
German Shepherd at the park (Photo: Adobe Stock)
helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on June 24, 2019

If you want a guard dog, looking for a breed with a natural instinct to protect the home is a good start.

While some dog lovers want a pup to provide companionship, others require watchdogs to protect their family and home.

These types of dogs need to be alert and watchful, while displaying qualities such as courage and loyalty.

Guard dogs need to be able to sense danger and act intuitively in order to be good protectors of the family and home.

Often substantial in size and boasting muscular frames, these dogs need to be socialised and trained to harness their power in the right way.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at 18 of the best protection dogs that are often used to guard the home.

18) Akita

Akita’s can grow to a heigh between 24 and 28 inches depending on whether they’re male or female. A male Akita can weigh up to 130 pounds. They come from ancient Japanese lineage and are known for their courage and loyalty. In their native Asia, Akita earned a reputation for being protectors of the family.

17) Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd’s may not have the intimidating appearance of some other breeds in this article but they still make great watch dogs. They weigh between 55 and 65 pounds, which is light for a protection breed. But they’re extremely loyal to their owners. Their herding instincts mean they’ve got a natural drive to protect the family.

16) Belgian Laekenois

If you’re looking for a dog that is protective of its master and property, the Belgian Laekenois could be the breed for you. As their name suggests, they’re native to Belgium. With a scruffy appearance, they’re careful and observant around strangers, which is a key trait for any good watch dog. They’re medium sized dogs with a background in herding.

15) Belgian Malinois

Described on the American Kennel Club’s website as a “world-class worker”, it’s little surprise that the Belgian Malinois is very popular with police and military services. Like the Laekenois, they’re native to Belgium. Male Belgian Malinois can weigh up to 80 pounds and grow to a height of 26 inches. They’re fiercely loyal to their owners, which means they’ll protect those they’re bonded to at all costs.

14) Bernese Mountain Dog

As the name suggests, these dogs are substantial in size. The Bernese Mountain Dog can weigh up to 120 pounds, with their big frames built for hard work. They’ve established themselves as good family dogs due to their patient nature with children. However, their booming bark and big size should act as a deterrent for any unwanted visitors.

13) Boxer

Boxer (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Boxer (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Like the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Boxer is a dog that loves to be in the company of their owners. Their goofy personalities and good temperament with children make them an excellent choice for the family home. Given their deep-rooted affection for their fellow family members, they can be extremely protective.

12) Bullmastiff

If you’ve encountered a Bullmastiff out and about, you’d be forgiven for being slightly intimidated. Males can grow to between 25 and 27 inches, while they can weigh up to 130 pounds. These powerful dogs were used to protect against poachers in centuries gone by in England. It’s thought the breed originated from a cross between a Boxer and Mastiff.

11) Cane Corso

As the name suggests, the Cane Corso’s history can be traced back to ancient Roman times. These Italian dogs are described by the AKC as “peerless protectors”. Indeed, their name Cane Corso, can be roughly translated into English as “bodyguard dog”. You may not have encountered this breed before, but they’re the 40th most popular breed in the USA.

10) Catahoula Leopard Dog

The Catahoula Leopard Dog are protective by nature. Once they’re integrated into the family unit, these athletic and beautiful dogs become very loyal. Used by many around the world as guard dogs and watch dogs, they need a lot of socialisation to make sure they develop into balanced and rounded dogs.

9) Doberman Pinscher

When you think of guard dogs, Doberman Pinschers are one of the first breeds that are likely to pop into your mind. These German dogs have been used by the military and the police throughout the centuries. They’ve got a good sense for potential danger and their natural instincts are to protect the family. With the right training, this breed can become polished protection dogs.

8) German Shepherd

German Shepherd (Photo: Adobe Stock)
German Shepherd (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The third most intelligent dog in the world, the German Shepherd is a big hit with families around the world. Perhaps the quintessential guard dog, they’re quick to learn new tricks and obey commands. They are loyal dogs to their family. German Shepherds are brave, courageous and obedient, thriving as working dogs in the police force and military.

7) Giant Schnauzer

Weighing up to 85 pounds, the Giant Schnauzer can be intimidating but majestic dogs. These large dogs are athletic and loyal. Their size should be enough to deter any unwanted visitors to the family home. With the right guidance from an experienced trainer, these dogs can function as protection dogs.

6) Great Dane

Given a Great Dane can grow to a potential height of 32 inches, these dogs can be enough to put off intruders. While they’ve got a reputation for being friendly dogs, larger members of the breed can weigh up to 175 pounds. This “Apollo of Dogs” is more of a watch dog than a guard dog but their size should still act as a deterrent.

5) Rhodesian Ridgeback

These hunting dogs have a natural inclination to protect the family home. They have muscles bulging out of everywhere! Given their drive to protect the family, they usually fulfil the role of guard dogs without much guidance.

4) Rottweiler

Like the German Shepherd, the Rottweiler is breed that most people would associate with protection dogs for the home. Described as a “robust dog” on the AKC’s website, their reputation alone should prevent unwanted strangers from entering the property. Rottweilers like to be given a function given they’re hard working dogs. They’ve got a natural suspicion of strangers until their trust is earned.

3) Staffordshire Bull Terrier

These muscular dogs usually reach a heigh between 28 and 38 inches. They’re not as big as some other breeds used to guard the home – but they’re just as brave. Often called “Nanny dogs”, they strive to protect the family rather than the home.

2) Thai Ridgeback

The AKC’s website describe the Thai Ridgeback as a “loyal family dog”. They were initially bred to be guard dogs and have maintained that trait. Thai Ridgeback can be suspicious and wary around strangers. Given their history, these dogs will look to protect the home.

1) Tibetan Mastiff

Potentially weighing up to 150 pounds, Tibetan Mastiff are sometimes called “supreme” guard dogs. It’s a fitting title given their incredible size. As their name suggests, these dogs were used as protection dogs in Tibet. Now, they can be found worldwide. The AKC remark that it’s “impossible to discuss this breed without leaning on words like ‘powerful’, ‘muscular’, ‘massive’, and ‘substantial’. Wary of strangers, the Tibetan Mastiff should deter any intruders with their sheer size.