Which are the Best Dog Breeds for a Guard Dog?

Aniza Pourtauborde
Aniza Pourtauborde

For centuries, dogs have served as guardians of their owners' property, whether it be family members, homes, livestock, or land. While most dogs do this naturally to a certain degree, some dog breeds are definitely more effective than others because of their size, strength, obedience, and intelligence. Nevertheless, the choice is not a simple one. While few would contest that a German Shepherd will make a better guard dog than a Pomeranian, the right choice will depend upon the situation and type of duty needed. Canine protection duty varies in the level of aggression required, and the environment that the dog will defend.

Types of Protection Duty


Watchdogs or alarm dogs simply warn their owners by barking vigorously when something out of the ordinary occurs, such as strangers entering the property. They are sufficient to warn their owners that something is wrong, and may even be able to scare some trespassers away. They do not, however, have the necessary level of training and discipline to physically stop a determined intruder. Attack dogs, on the other hand, are more vicious, and are trained to incapacitate intruders on sight. These dogs are often used in police or military roles, and can become unsafe if not expertly trained and handled.

A dog.
A dog.

What is commonly referred to as "guard duty," offers a comfortable medium between the other two types, and is suitable for a person who wishes to protect their home without the risk of seriously injuring or killing anyone. These animals will physically restrain an intruder, but will attack only on the command of the handler. This type of duty is the focus of the present discussion.

Preferred Breeds


A Labrador Retriever.
A Labrador Retriever.

Rottweilers make great guard dogs and family companions. Their protective instincts ensure their immediate action once a family or "pack" member is threatened by an intruder. Massive in size, these dogs grow to a height of 24 to 27 inches (61 to 69 cm) and weigh between 93 to 110 pounds (42 to 50 kg).

Rottweilers are good guard dogs because of their alertness and wait-and-see attitude. They do not usually bark until they see that harm is about to come upon their owners or the territory that they are guarding. They are also quick learners, but require firm handling and discipline due to their strong-willed nature. They may not be the best choice for less-experienced dog handlers. While experts maintain that a large dog of any breed can become dangerous and unpredictable if not properly raised and trained, unfortunately Rottweilers have acquired a social stigma in some areas for being aggressive and dangerous pets; consequently, local ordinances in some communities have specifically banned them.

Doberman Pinscher

Bulldogs have an intimidating appearance.
Bulldogs have an intimidating appearance.

Standing tall at a height between 24 to 28 inches (61 to 71 cm) and weighing anywhere from 71 to 100 pounds (32 to 45 kg), Dobermans are well-known for their fierce temperament, making them excellent guard dogs. These dogs are used in both the military and police force because of their obedience, intelligence, highly trainable attitude, and ability to bring down human assailants. They do, however, tend to have less mass than some of the other breeds, which could make them less effective against a very large attacker. Additionally, like the Rottweiler, many people associate Dobermans with viciousness; which means that they may not be welcome in some neighborhoods. Despite their ferocious reputation, they are also known for being loving and affectionate pets, willing to do anything for their owners.

German Shepherd

Golden Retrievers are friendly, but still make good guard dogs.
Golden Retrievers are friendly, but still make good guard dogs.

Some experts have labeled the German Shepherd as one of the best guard dogs and family companions. They measure from 22 to 26 inches (55 and 65 cm) high, and weigh from around 49 to 88 pounds (22 and 40 kg). Their gentle nature, especially with children, does not imply a lack of capability to be fierce when necessary. Formidable in size, with long teeth and powerful jaws, an angry German Shepherd is a highly intimidating animal.

These dogs are obedient and are able to attack and release on command, which makes them ideal for guard duty. German Shepherds are also known for their courage and loyalty. Because of their affection and dependence on their owners, however, anyone considering this breed should understand that German Shepherds are prone to separation anxiety, even if left alone for a few hours.

Bull Mastiff

Bull Mastiffs are crossbreeds composed of 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog. Their appearance alone is intimidating. These dogs are tall, standing at a height between 25 and 27 inches (63 and 69 cm), and heavy, weighing from 110 to 130 pounds (50 to 60 kg). Wonderful guard dogs, Bull Mastiffs usually knock intruders down and stand above them, baring their teeth and growling threateningly.

Because of their sheer size, Bull Mastiffs also are very good at preventing aggressors from moving past them. These dogs are fiercely loyal to their owners, and regard strangers warily. For this reason, early socialization is crucial to ensure that Bull Mastiffs do not become aggressive against people they do not know.

Other Breeds

Other dog breeds can also make good guard dogs, even if they are not traditionally seen in this role. Labrador and Golden Retrievers are both large enough and strong enough for this role, even though they are typically thought of as being friendly and docile. St. Bernards are incredibly strong animals, and like Bull Mastiffs, can present an impressive barrier to burglars. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are said to make excellent guard dogs, though they are somewhat rare. The Dalmatian is another potential choice, though it is a bit smaller in size than the preferred breeds mentioned above. Dalmatians tend to have stubborn personalities and require a lot of training, but they have been successful guardians nonetheless.

Advice for New Owners

Though some breeds do require more attentiveness than others, a basic level of experience with dog handling is crucial for the owner of any guard dog. Having one in the family is somewhat akin to keeping a weapon in the home; the owner is responsible for insuring that innocent people are not harmed, and that he or she is able to control the animal even in an emergency. Training classes are widely available for less experienced owners, and this is a very good way to get started. Without consistent and structured handling, even an experienced guard dog may cease to perform as desired.

When selecting a breed of dog, it is critical not to choose an animal that is, or will be, larger and stronger than the owner can physically handle. Another common recommendation is to adopt the dog as a puppy, rather than as an adult. This will make it easier for the owner to become expertly acquainted with dog's personality, and to firmly prove himself to the dog as the "pack leader." It will also make it easier to socialize the dog. Many experts advise as a rule of thumb that female dogs do better at protecting people, while male dogs are often more inclined to defend property.

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Discussion Comments


@Ovcharka101: If you are interested, I just brought home a CO and I noticed that a week later this dog had been nipping me and my husband nonstop.

We are second guessing this decision on keeping the dog because we feel this dog was not a good choice for our life and we cannot provide the proper training.

He is really cute and very good with people but I don't feel we were ready for this dog.


Rottweilers are great with kids, and are excellent guard dogs. I own two, have a 15 month old kid, and they tolerate her climbing over them and pretending they're horses. Very gentle and sweet, they greet every one peacefully, until something goes wrong.

I witnessed my dogs protection instincts when a man jumped my fence and tried to get into the shed. They began barking really loudly, and they don't bark often, so I raced outside. Turns out, he had a baseball bat, and as soon as he raised it, all I had to say was 'Get it!' and then he was locked by the second most powerful jaws in the dog world, and was sent off to the police station. Great dogs, great pets, and great guard dogs. Never would I not have a Rottie.


This is a really well written article, I believe that another good breed to act as a guard dog for your family is the Giant Schnauzer. This is a magnificent animal and very intimidating for any intruders due to its size.

It is also very playful, which is good for a family with children and a very funny breed.


I will tell you a story. Better, two stories.

My mom and her best female friend own respectively a Great Dane and an "oversized" Doberman (he just died few months ago He was from one of the best Italian breeders even though he was huge).

The Dobie: This friend of my mom lives in an independent house in the countryside just next to the Milan borders with her husband and their little daughter. The Dobie always scared the crap (witnessed by myself) out of the pants of anybody, when, during Sunday lunches, we walked him down the streets of the village. But he was so friendly, lovely, that at the end, almost everybody loved him, especially children, with whom he was very caring, lovely and protective

One night, the family was sleeping upstairs where the bedrooms are. All of a sudden, Roberto (my mum's friend husband) woke up and saw his dog growing at him at a very low pitch. He had two paws on the bed. Roberto was still shocked when the dog grasped his arm softly and asked him to follow. Roberto realized that something was very wrong! Seti (the Dobie) rushed downstairs with Roberto behind and pointed towards the cellar. He quickly opened the door and went downstairs, just to see a man trying to come in from the fence. Seti looked at Roberto without saying or doing anything. Roberto just told him: "Seti, attack!" and in a fraction of a second, Seti turned himself into a "killing machine.” He sprang at the burglar with his 42 teeth and he just snapped The thief was lucky enough he wasn't already inside so Seti only snapped his butt or leg and he managed to escape. They had no other problems with thieves. The dog died peacefully (more or less) after 14 years of joy, in Roberto's words. That was the Dobie.

The Great Dane: When I read blogs, forums and articles about dogs, I always laugh because I understand that maybe there is a sort of "Mafia" inside the canine world – a Mafia controlled by the famous or infamous kennels, which say the most absurd things about dog breeds. So I often read about Great Danes and then I think about "Macchia" (my mum's dog, or Spotty in English) and I laugh out loud.

My mum bought the dog, but not from a famous breeder. He was the last puppy left of a litter belonging to one of her colleagues. She was alone and she decided to adopt a "baby Dane" -- her first dog! The dog, when he was a puppy, was friendly with everyone, clumsy like all the danes and Dobes when they are young, playful and in one word: adorable.

Then something (something neither I nor my mum are able to give an explanation for) went wrong -- horribly wrong. Macchia at one year of age became a monster. Before turning into a monster (and I mean it!), he gave some signals that my mum (who wasn't an expert and neither was I) wasn't able to fix in time.

He began to growl randomly at people and became very aggressive towards other dogs. Well, better to say aggressive towards every living thing on earth, except me, my mum and strangely enough, his vet!

One day at the park, just in front of my mum's flat, he tried to kill a Dobie. Four people had to pull him back. One of them who knew about dogs told my mum that he probably wasn't a pure bred Dane, and more, that Macchia was (and still is) a mutt -- a crossbreed with another molosser type dog. He looks like a Dane but he's a bit shorter, his jaw is more the "corso/Mastiff" type than Dane type. When he was three years old, he was nearly 80 kilos and he was, well, huge. And when I say huge, it means that he dwarfs many dogs, including other molossers.

The vet told my mum that his teeth and his jaw are beyond normal for a Dane and he has a bite strength that is unbelievable. One day when he was still young and we were playing, he snapped me softly to take back his toy and I remember I saw his canine enter my flesh like it was butter. Another day I came to visit my mum and he was on the terrace. When he saw me he just rushed towards me and the last thing I remember was me, lying on the (marble) floor with a beast on me, licking me all over. His tail is like a whiplash, and please take my honest word for it. I'm not exaggerating.

My mum had to change her life because she refused to give him away. He was, at the time, the ultimate weapon (now he's very old, and half blind).

She changed her house and moved to the countryside (she lived downtown Milan) in a mansion with a large garden and she just locked him in until now he just can't leave the house. It's impossible. My mum tried everything possible: trainers, psychologists, you name it. But nothing helped. He killed three stray cats with one bite. He's just a hell of a dog. If anybody just steps outside the fence, even though it is locked when he's playing in the garden or beside it, her neighbours freaked out, but my mum is so lovely and gentle a person that she knows how to deal with them.

So, this is the story: a Dobie and a Dane (well, half dane). A Dane who was and still is capable of killing anything that just walks by my mum!

The vet told her during these years that she never saw a dog like him: healthy (he's 11 and still alive), powerful, elegant (he never put on a pound of fat) and so willingly determined to defend my mum from anyone. The stamina and gameness of Macchia (according to the vet) is unsurpassed by many, many other molossers she treats, including pits or American Staffordshires. And his mass and strength are enough to tear down and shred into pieces human beings or other dogs. Because Macchia (and I hate to say it) is a killer dog – a killing machine, actually And nobody has a clue about how he became like that.

But talking about effectiveness, I can't think of a better dog for protecting, guarding and defending his property, including the two human beings inside (my mum and sometimes me when I visit her).


@anon128499 Post 37: "I've never seen a Doberman back down to any dog or human unless commanded." There are always exceptions, but two Dobermans I knew in the past was one named "Killer" by its owner and the dog was anything but. He was one of the silliest, friendliest and most easily intimidated dogs I've known.

The other was a neighborhood bully who loved to attack other dogs, but never messed with my little Spitz mix who was absolutely ferocious. The day I saw them clash I thought my little dog was going to get torn to shreds, but they clashed hard and the Doberman ran away every time it saw the little Spitz mix again.

I'd never consider the Spitz to go high on the list of guard dogs, but the way a dog is raised cannot be underestimated, although I take no credit for that particular creatures nature, I never saw it back down from another dog other than one with puppies, which it had sent running on numerous occasions.


I agree with two of the posters about bullmastiffs being dumb. I've owned one for awhile now so I'm talking from experience. He's definitely not bright at all. As for being cowardly, he is that also. He runs away from surprising sounds that he hears.

When strangers come over, he barks like crazy then he runs into the kitchen and waits until he feels comfortable.

I'm guessing my bully is definitely not from champion lines. I will say this, though: he's a great family dog and very patient with my children.


I have a guard dog. Recently a new neighbor moved into the house next door. She likes to stand looking over the fence just far enough away that my dog does not jump up and get her in the face. I am thinking she must be really stupid.


I have also have to add, if I may, that the caucasian ovcharka, sarmat ovcharka and many other "guardian" breeds have amazing traits such as refusal to eat food thrown over the fence (poisoning is reasonably regular) as they have an aversion to being fed by strangers, amazing tracking abilities that can emerge with the slightest training (“find mummy” command and once the command is carried out, we'll move into the woods and sniffing mummy's jumper and then using the command, then just drop the command to find), extremely patient and devoted, and obviously their ability to naturally defend no matter the cost to themselves.

But, as mentioned below, these traits are from the ancient breeds and when buying one (if you are really and truly able to train your guardian), then make sure you validate it is an ancient line. In the US ovcharkas are mixed horribly with lesser breeds, and this has also happened in Russia, where there are ovcharka mixes with great danes, german shepherds and rottties. This means they lose that "I will not bite my owner or family" instinct. They lose through dilution that fearless and undaunted nature that someone of us require.

Be warned that most of the horror stories you hear must be validated with the dog's blood lines and you will probably find a mix down there somewhere with an incompatible breed "personality,” which, unless it is guardian to guardian, the ovcharka and his fellows are incompatible with any other type of dog.

You must also watch out for "selective" breeding. Breeders breed for less aggression, thus ruining the breed. If you don't want the killer in the home that loves your children more than you, then don't buy one or breed it to other dogs. To ruin the ancient breeds is horrific and once lost can never be returned without heavy agreement and many hundreds of years of repairing the damage, which is unlikely. Please don't promote these breeders. Know the breed you wish to buy, don't buy dogs that are crossbred and bred through selective breeding practices. The ancient and noble breeds deserve to continue untouched. They do deserve a place by our side when needed. Should we mix a rabbit and lion to make the lion more passive? Or do we lose the beauty of the animal in its natural form?

Also a little tip: If you wish to train your dog to stop on command when in attack mode, take him, once basically trained, to a large, empty forest with no one around but a large amount of game (rabbits work best) and allow your dog to chase the rabbits or pheasants and just practice the "wait", "stop", "go" and "enough" commands. You will find your large killer will become accustomed to being stopped while in kill mode. Better a few dead wild rabbits than the local new neighbor who introduces himself to you enthusiastically.


This is an almost impossible question to answer, but as a Caucasian Ovcharka and white (and black and tan) german shepherd owner and breeder, I can offer a little understanding from my perspective.

If you want guard dogs for a country where you aren't jailed for killing an assailant who breaks into your shipyard at night and you don't want to train the dog (s) for long periods, and work out of the box, then the Sarmat and the Caucasian Ovcharka (its cousin breed) are the most lethal breeds. Which means that both breeds have more PSI bite than a lion and can be shot (not in the head or heart) a few times and the target will still die. Even when considering a Fila and other such guardian breeds, there is no match for protection against both two-legged and four-legged assailants. And this goes for a high percentage of the breed. They would kill any other breed, and I have seen it a few times, with the dogs receiving little damage. They have thick coats and fighting styles like a boxer, moving in and out for an opening and preventing damage to themselves. They weigh over 220 pounds, with the speed and agility of a dobby.

But for the home, they are terrible for most owners. You need time and patience with these breeds. Without it you have a nuclear weapon going off. The caucasians, whether the mountain or steppes versions including the Sarmat, are absolutely deadly and should only be owned by the most experienced, caring and devoted trainers in the home. I think they should be license required.

For example, if your fence is not strong enough, and the ovcharka is not trained, he would kill anything within or close to his area. Is the death of another human so easy to sleep over?

They have positives, such as I have never heard of a reliable source of an ovcharka biting his owner unless the dog (tiny percentage) is already insane, or is treated extremely badly. It is not the family or regular friends who should fear this dog. They are gorgeous and cuddly teddy bears, even with younger children, allowing terrible pain without any aggressive response whatsoever. And I could mention numerous positives but it would take me too long. But don't get this dog unless you have a half hour minimum a day to train it, you are willing to learn and to learn how to socialize your dog and have masses of patience and are intelligent enough to use this correctly.

A good example of a problem is a story from the Czech Republic, where a new friendly neighbor came over for a drink at an ovcharka owner's house. They spent the night with the dog outside in the summer air, enjoying conversation together, the owner and the new neighbor, until they got very drunk. The owner then went off to the toilet and fell asleep during his activities. He woke up the next day to find his friendly neighbor, cold, scared and suffering from blood loss. The ovcharka had not allowed him to move and had ripped his arm open when he spoke. The new neighbor was lucky to live and mostly due to the fact he did not look the ovcharka in the eye or try to move and had some understanding of dog reactions. He just was extremely cold and suffering from blood loss because he could not move to dress his wounds. These are the kind of situations you can get into with these breeds and the lesser guard dog breeds. You must understand what you need and why.

I started on the ovcharka because my wife and child were followed home form the supermarket by five 25-30 year old males jeering at her, using obscenities and promises of a “good time.” We then had two huge gentlemen attempt to get into the garden while she was alone in the house. And without these outside circumstances, I would never choose an ovcharka. But the youths are common in the area. I live with the wealthy and not so wealthy sharing the neighborhood. Many carry knives and other weapons, and a GSD, Rottie or Dobby would be dispatched easily. These are local criminals who are not afraid to take on a challenge.

But again, I can own an 85 kg Ovcharka male with medium aggression (tested at five weeks). (I would never take a high aggression ovcharka) because of the following reasons.

1. I am a breeder and have a lot of experience with dogs

2. I am 185cm and 100 kgs and train with weights and can dominate this dog just about, and assign that dominance to my wife as well which is reasonably easy with an ovcharka.

3. I train him hard every day with four main stages of training for this breed, as they change personality with age (so one minute, they are great with male dogs in the park, and the next month they will rip them apart).

4. They are extremely protective of the family, but also incredibly docile towards my children, but I socialize him constantly. I mean constantly. Dogs come into our home, the ones he knows and doesn't know. We go say hi to everyone in the neighborhood, we take him on "dog" outings, we practice attacks within the property to teach controlled response and we leave him with others overnight at times (good and knowledgeable dog owners) which we have done since he was a puppy.

5. I have a large garden and a strong fence and have trained him over many hours to respond to passers by correctly. For example, he will follow people, but will not bark unless they come too close. Once they stop moving towards the fence and move on, he stops barking and follows. This took a while, as their natural instinct is to rip anything and everything apart on sight. I have also trained him to release immediately in attack mode.

Without the above five points in place, I would not even consider taking on such a breed. Some 600-700 PSI with a potential 100kgs coming at you at lightning speed if they turn on you is almost certain death. And remember the 2,000-year-old instinct of these breeds (guard breeds), in this case an Ovcharka, is to eliminate a threat. You can train them on what is a threat, but once that has been determined, they will kill itT they don't want to stop it, control it, make the threat fear them or chase it away. They want to remove all life from it. They are bear killers, usually working in pairs, with one front attack (good chance of the dog dying) and the second coming from behind and hamstringing the bear. Then they selectively rip it apart to prevent damage to themselves. They are fearless killers at best and worst, with inexperienced owners, they are just death to all dogs and man alike. They will drop you to the ground first with their weight and charge and then go for the stomach, your hands will go to protect your abdomen and then the throat will be torn out and it's all over in seconds.

So, most guard breeds tend to be a lesser threat than a caucasian ovcharka. They are hard to train, with low recovery and release times. My Ovcharka will stop on first command, but that is only from a long long dedication to his training which actually becomes more intensive at the age of three to four years, when they have finally matured.

So in summary, unless you are a truly dedicated dog trainer, experienced, willing, caring, reasonably wealthy and dominant, large human male, then I would stay well away from guard breeds. For your own good as well as the dogs. The larger, the more dangerous, mostly. It is unfair to take these noble breeds and then place them in shelters and destroy them because of individuals who want to show how powerful they are in the dog park, or how deadly they dog is compared to the next door neighbor's. Or they haven't the sense to realize that without many years of experience with dogs and training them, they let loose a monster that can see even children as a threat (rare in ovcharkas but definitely a possibility). When they play a little rough with your child and youi decide intervention is needed, a full head on intervention, then 80-100 kgs of 700 PSI bearing down to dispatch a four year old child because the owner isn't watching does not know the dangers and thinks it is great to have the biggest, most dangerous animal possible when a lovely boxer would have done the job.

The standard family home should only consist of the dobbies, rotties and GSDs. These are loving and scary enough for most situations.

My last word is this. My male Caucasian Ovcharka is adorable, lovely, well mannered, controlled, protective only when necessary and has an immediate release timer. My children, cats, neighbours and friends adore him to bits, my cuddly teddy bear killer, but I know what he is and anyone he does not know is supervised around him by his "controllers" – me or my wife. And no one has ever tried to break in. No one has followed my wife home. No one has threatened my children. They don't get bullied at school (after a short but requested appearance of the family dog at sports day with a little show of controlled aggression when a dobby got a little close) So it is not all bad. Le'ts hope that is enough warning to the not so bright.


Central asian shepherds were guardians of the nomads and make excellent family guard dogs. With natural protection drives. Which is why the US soldiers are bringing them home with them from Afghanistan.


Caucasian ovcharkas are thinking dogs not servants like GSD and Roots, etc. They defend when they need to not when you tell them too. They are highly intelligent and would leave any other dog standing.

My CO barked at two police GSD and they crap themselves, there handlers where not happy but they asked me what mine was and then said they wished they had one. They can kill a wolf with one bite; volkodav means wolf crusher in russian. They have good stamina for a dog that weighs 100 kilos! Yes 100 kilos of GSD munching monster, but they are great with a family and kids. So unless you own one then you can't comment.


Anon, you know nothing mate. CO's rule all dogs.


@Anon12785: You are talking nonsense if you think a gsd is more powerful than an Ovcharka. They would mince GSDs up along with their handlers. Also as far as not being intelligent, well that's not right, either.

They are thinking dogs, not servants, like GSDs. Your mate, who got lunged at probably tried using GSD training methods on them, and they don't work. Tell him to learn how to train a CO properly.

I have five CO's and they have never bit me but they hate GSDs and would pulverise one in 10 seconds flat.

COs and knowledgeable CO owners own all other dogs.


Rottweiler is the best. I had a GSD before I got my rottie. The GSD is a good dog and a good guard dog, but the GSD barks a lot, and unnecessarily. Now I have two rotties. Both are untrained but very protective, very loving and absolutely fearless. Rottweiler all the way!


post 24. you're crazy to say that cane corsos are clumsy lazy and lack intellegence. you have clearly never been around the breed. one of the most intelligent dog breeds there are. They are not clumsy, in fact they are very athletic for their size. cane corsos make incredible guard dogs. i would not have any other breed.


Have you ever heard about the Belgian Malinois? Please do research on the net and look for some videos online about this awesome breed. You need to train this breed though, but it will be one of the best guard dogs and a protection dog as well. Belgian Malinois rules!


I have owned several breeds guard dogs and from year 1998 and on my hobby is to read/research about guard dogs breeds and my opinion is:

First of all, specimens among the breed can really make the difference but can also be the exception that confirms the rule, so that's why we can never generalize, like if you get this breed or the other, you get the best guard dog ever etc., or never get this dog because my neighbor had one and it was the worst, etc.

Very important as well is the understanding of the breed and the way you approach the dog in order to get the best out of it. Extremely important is to do your research on the breed and don't just trust a breeder’s opinion or a novice's.

Take into consideration to great extent that dogs are animals under training and their appearance may have been changed dramatically along with their temperament (which is a crime for me), through the years according to financial profits.

A brilliant example is the german shepherd. The true guard dog that Mr. Stephanitz created has nothing to do in appearance (this is just bad working wise) and temperament wise (this is so very bad, working wise) compared to modern german shepherds, which are mostly suitable for shows.

I have nothing against the breed. I have owned three GSD, and one was an excellent guard, one just good and one useless even after training, and I had to do a great deal of research and have yet to succeed in getting a decent guard.

In the past though, it used to happen exactly the opposite, only out of bad luck, very rare as an exception from the rule. The average GSD would not be able to guard even without any kind of training, not to mention the display problems, the fear biters, cowardice, etc (actually how many of you, know that among first places of fear biters and owner aggression for the last decade is always the GSD, and then you dare to accuse other breeds?) which happened due the GSD becoming a fashion victim and breeders (not all of them to be fair) took an advantage to make easy money.

Of course you can find a good GSD nowadays, but it is very difficult, and takes a great deal of research on the working blood lines, then you have to get lucky, then spend a small fortune to train it in order to wake up its dormant instinct and convince it to do what was designed to do with no training, and then it seems endless.

Of course, the same applies to the excellent indeed once upon a time guard dog that the tax collector Mr. Doberman created and next generations of breeders managed to destroy (always speaking about the average specimen). Of course, the same is happening nowadays with the Rottweiler, with the result that many times, it will attack its own family and not strangers (yet my opinion is that you can find more easily a good guard rotty compared to a gsd).

Many people speak about the level of protection and they have a point. But we have to make some things clear. What is the main difference of a watchdog compared to a guard dog? Because they both can bark at a perceived threat. Of course the intention and the capability to use its teeth or not –

everything starts from there.

Otherwise, we do not speak for the guard dog. If this sounds too dangerous to some people, they should never own a guard dog (a big responsibility indeed), but they should also not deceive themselves by saying they have a guard dog. They just have pets -- a watchdog in the best case, but not a guard dog.

For the people claiming that their dog has a calm disposition, but they have no doubt that the dog will defend them to the bitter end if need be, I am afraid that I will make them sad but this is what the "show" breeder told them just to make money out of the sale.

It is important to do research for temperament tests among the so-called guard breeds, as the above results will simply leaves you speechless.

Ninety-nine percent of these dogs will fail the test by showing cowardice. Even the trained ones out of really good working bloodlines, only an extremely poor percentage will do well under real pressure from the agitator and this is not speculation -- this is fact. Do some research and reading and prove me wrong. As for military and police dogs which stand high in security duties, in order to get one like them you have to pay from $10,000 to $50,000 for the really good ones.

On the other side and in contrast you have guard dogs like caucasian ovcharka, fila, boerboel (I currently own one and I say with no hesitation, it is an outstanding guard dog without any kind of training, reliable with the whole family according the highest standards I set), presa canario (not dogo canario though you can find good specimens still), kangals and central asian (but these last two breeds, though they excel against four legged predators, I would say do not present outstanding results with the two-legged predators compare at least with the before mentioned ones) and few other breeds that they are not well known guard dog breeds.

I would say that no one (unless really did extended research) can say that one breed excels, guarding wise as opposed to the others, or we start speaking for outstanding specimens among these breeds.

They all stand high guarding wise. You know why?

Two main factors:

1. The average specimen possesses in great quantity the fuel to move the guard work, "the instinct" to protect and defend. If any dog lacks this instinct (which is obvious in these breeds as puppies), no matter how much money you spend on trainers, you will never have a real guard dog (respectful trainers will tell you this, first thing). If you didn't see this instinct in your dog, even from puppyhood, you have good reasons to suspect that it is not a good guard, if it is a guard dog at all.

2. The average specimen, although somewhere from a large to a very large dog (85-165 pounds, and can take down in seconds any human opponent at least, and this is what we are in danger from nowadays in urban areas) moves extremely fast compared to its size, plus it is stubborn enough not to give up and no way to back down.

Be careful here. It is a fact the softening of these breeds (even with unethical mixings) as well producing something that looks like a fila or boerboel, or caucasian, or presa canario (and in a cunning way, using the respectful guarding wise, name of these fierce dogs) but they are not fila, caucasian, boerboel or presa just look like!

Thank God there are federations for recognition, like CAFIB in Brazil (breeding for "ojeriza" for the ones who are familiar with this term) and organizations like the ones in Russia and in Spain that they temperament test their dogs (breeding stocks) to make sure that the offspring do have the guts to carry the “heavy” name and the history of the breed.

Thank God there are farmer/breeders in South Africa who still breed primarily for temperament and work and then for phenotype.

Many times these dogs are registered with FCI (I name this federation T.D. temperament destroyers) sometimes by using tricks (like getting papers for dog, fila registered to FCI apart to CAFIB, Boerboel do not registered with FCI and I prey to God not to happen in the future as well) but make no mistake, and beware of the registered with fci. A show dog equals nothing but a couch potato.

I want to clearly state that all these are my personal subjective opinions and perspectives, according to my knowledge and experience and according to what looks logical to me. Maybe I am wrong and for sure, other people have other points of view and I respect that, but this is my opinion.

If you want to see what looks logical to me, in guarding wise, click temperament tests out of any of these breeds, see how they spit the armguard of the aggressor and they go for the man and compare it with the well known guard dogs "excel in playing schouzhound" and then they just cannot wait for the helper’s pet.

Don't get me wrong, there are proper training and good guards among the well known guard breeds, but few, very few, plus you have to get lucky as well -- very lucky.


I don't agree with this list. When it comes naturally to guard with intensity without no training. No doubt german shepherd can be one of the easy to train. But then again any dog can be train. My list would be:

1. FILA Brasileiro (built-in hatred for strangers)

2. Caucasian Ovcharkas

3. Kangal (not the ones in US)

4. American Akita

5. Cane Corso

P.S. Giant Schnauzers are pretty dogs. I don't think it would come in the top 10 guard dogs. In America, all the dogs have been or are turned into either lab or show dogs. They have no functionality.


I have a fila brasileiro female. She is an alert guard dog but too noisy and doesn't trust anyone. If the mailman or anyone comes nearby, your ears could go deaf from her barking.

If you want a dog that is very loyal, too loving, follows you everywhere and will guard your child with its life then a fila would be your choice, but you have to let go of your calm environment because once a fila is around, no one goes by without her attention.


I think one factor that we are forgetting is just the "intimidation" factor. My beloved puppy (he just passed from cancer), was a part time therapy dog in children's hospitals and nursing homes, and wouldn't hurt a fly (was even raised on a petting zoo with a piglet and a calf), but in his eight years, I never locked my door (even four years in Hampton, VA!). This is because he just happened to be a 165 pound Rottweiler. No robbers, nobody walks on your side of the street, no pizza delivery to your door (sits in road and honks), and no J.W. knocking on your door.

Nobody would ever "dream" of testing him, nobody would ever get bit, nobody would sue, and nobody would take your dog away. Win, win, win, win. And, you get the smartest, most loyal, loving best friend a man could ask for. Yes, you might get that with a Doberman or Mastiff too, but you also get goofy. He made me laugh every day.


I am a professional trainer and if you went by the perfect specimen, sure I might buy into the writer's list-maybe. The GSD is ranked the all-around top dog, and it's a good guard dog, sure. But they tend to be a one person dog even in a family. That's why they are such good police/army dogs and bad service dogs. Rotts are kind of a gentle giant. Dobermans were mass bred and now you get spaz cases with anxiety disorders and they would bite you as soon as run.

As for the Bull Mastiff, I agree with the guy who said "dumb". How about Danes? Armchair warriors -- lazy until they break your neck. Pits love everybody and just not from the end of a chain. They are the most pack oriented of dogs they must be with the family and kindly trained.

Giant Schnauzers- ugly but bred to be guard and police dogs. Malinois- similar to GSD without the breeding degradation. "Canary" dogs, if you can train them to guard and not attack. Most dogs that are properly shown their place in a pack will guard a home. It's a defense mechanism that is inborn in them. Protect the pack leader and the pack leader will protect the pack.


truly i say that a good dog is one that is trained by a good owner.

some of the people here are right about some of the stuff they are saying, but one thing is, is i think no dog is a natural guard dog. every dog i know of needs a little bit of training. it's just the dogs you name need less training than others.

I'm not an expert or anything, but if you are going to do something do it right. I'm only 15 so don't judge.


I like post # 40 by anon135892. I have kept GSDs and Dobermans before. My family fell in love with Kuvasz after reading about various LGD breeds as it reflects us in our lifestyle. We have just acquired an 8 weeks old puppy from a reputable breeder in southern Ontario and are hoping to see the best from him. Kuvaszok are a tough breed, good for guarding property and their human flock, they prefer to be outdoors even in extreme winters, and are a beautiful breed. We considered pyrs and also Swissies, but opted for a Kuvasz after lot of research. One mentionable aspect is that their food intake is much less than other dogs like GSDs.


if you need a guard dog, go for a doberman pinscher. they are naturals and won't hesitate to bite if there is an intruder.

i feel the bull mastiffs have lost some of their natural guarding instincts that they had 200 years ago. I do not think the modern day bull mastiff can do what its ancestors did. this is really sad as the bull mastiff is great with kids and would have been better if it was more aggressive. I own two of them and a doberman. the doberman outdoes them in all aspects. he is truly a natural sentry.


If a GSD is raised with children, they are very protective of them, from what I've experienced. I grew up with a GSD and he loved me but hated adult strangers. You need to socialize them from the start.

The one I have now is so gentle that I don't think he'd guard our house if he had to.I do think he'd protect our family, though. He loves my boys and every child he comes in contact with. They can pull his tail or do whatever and he just lays there. He just loves everybody.

I also had a female rescue GSD who was perfect in every way. Obedient, smart, good watch dog and great with people.

If you get a GSD as a puppy and have it around your children it should fine with them.I'd watch it with other children though until you're sure about it's temperament. I think a female would be the best.


I have a three year old female bullmastiff. As mentioned in a previous post, she is fantastic with children and knows to be very gentle. Although very friendly with most people, she tolerates strangers in the house (visiting repairmen etc) but is wary of them, she will greet, but then stays by me and watches them. I feel safe with her around as her size alone deters anyone to challenge her.

They are loving pets but i feel will protect their 'pack' should the need arise. Her vet regards her as a 'real find' with a very laid back and friendly personality. I have also owned dobermans and although protective tend to be a bit unpredictable esp females, males are better.


It seems to me, that a lot of posters skipped reading the first paragraph stating the distinction between watch, guard, and attack dogs. The author's idea of top "guard" dogs is a good list. For all of you who posted "better" lists, you entered the realm of "attack" dogs, and need to take some reading comprehension classes. As far as APB's being good guard dogs, they were never intended for such, and are stolen all the time.


Rottweilers are great dogs. A family friend's dog would grab the little kids' britches when they would start to go into a lake at our friends house. She would pace near the lake when the older kids played in the water. It was so funny.


Well I own both a Doberman and a Dutch Shepherd. While both dogs are great protectors, they're totally different.

My doberman can defend the house and family just by being there. He doesn't even have to bark. They have the reputation and they are one of the only breeds to defend with their presence alone.

My dutch shepherd, on the other hand, is the real deal! She is the one that will kill you if you ever got past the doberman.


OK, I feel the need to comment on the bullmastiff. We have two. They're fantastic pets, but man, are they dumb. Dumb, and cowardly!

Don't get me wrong, we love them to bits, but as yet, I have seen no evidence that they have a mean bone in their body.

Yes, we trained them to be calm, as with their size, they could destroy half the house just by knocking into things, but they're the sweetest-natured things you could ever wish to encounter.

Whenever we have friends over, they will run and hide, though after an hour or so they'll come and say hello. Our friends brought their one-year-old child over the other day, and the three of them had a great time playing. It was actually amazing to see these ordinarily clumsy dogs understand that the little guy needed to be treated gently, and they were brilliant with him. (yes, of course they were supervised every second).

We have not yet faced any instance where life or property was threatened, but based on what we've seen so far, we don't think they'd be much use.

But I'd recommend them as pets. 100 percent. Without a doubt. They're great to have around, and their foolishness never fails to bring a smile to your face.


I have owned dobi, rots, filas, ovcharkas, dogos,

shepherds (10) all types of mastiffs and bullys, heck even a canary island. without a doubt the best guard dog ever, especially if your life and your family's life is on the line is the bich poo.


A Fila makes a pitbull look like a hamster? LOL! That's funny but it's also very true. I have a 2 1/2 year old Fila who weighs 175 pounds. I've spent more time trying to re-focus his natural aggressiveness into potentially less harmful behavior than most people spend trying to train their dog into aggressive behavior. He can catch a deer, is afraid of nothing, understands more than a dog should when he listens to people talking or, sometimes just intuitively, and has a sense of humor.

If someone gets too close to me he raises up, pushes them away with his paws folded down, and then kisses them on the lips. He loves passing time in the back of my open jeep looking like a cute, friendly dog, wagging his tail and smiling at people until they approach my jeep. When the unfortunate people get close enough, he explodes into his "werewolf" persona, lunging and snarling while my jeep rocks like it will fall over. Usually it's the people who fall backward, screaming, and my dog, having accomplished his mission, wags his tail and openly laughs at their antics.

Once he snapped his harness and actually leaped out of the jeep at the people. Rather than kill or maim them, he jumped back in and waited for me with a sheepish look.

That all being said there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that he would give his life in a heartbeat for a member of my family (including the other dogs and a cat) or myself. There is no dog in the world like a well raised Fila Brasileiro.


Fila brasileiro! The best!


Proper temperament in a bull mastiff gives you second to none family protection. They don't need to snarl and bark (unless necessary) and make other guardian breeds back down through intimidation. I've seen this with my bullys with APBT, akitas, boxers, GS and French mastiffs.

Having said that, they are awesome with kids! It is said that they have an "on/off" switch, which means you may never see aggression with a bull mastiff in it's whole life if the threat is never valid. I believe this.

However, I've personally witnessed home protection from a bull mastiff where an intruder hiding in the back yard was apprehended. I know Russian breeds and am impressed as well. Can't trust a Fila, dogo or presa canario, due to their breeding and hair trigger aggressiveness to anyone (even children) over history. Bull mastiffs rule.


I've had Dobs my whole life also. They were bred to guard and protect. Shepherds were bred to herd sheep.

Dobermans were bred to guard and protect from humans. Dobs are not a breed to fight other dogs.


You can't lump GSDs, Rottweilers, Dobes, Komondors and Ovcharkas all in the same category. It's insane for me to think about.

When it comes to protective dogs there are two main categories, Guard dogs like the GSD, Rotts, Dobes which are trained to guard and attack on command. And guardian breeds, dogs that define threats and think and act on them without human guidance or intervention.

Guardian breeds require an owner who understands them. These dogs are difficult to train as they were bred to think for themselves for centuries. Owning a guardian breed is a huge responsibility that comes with a lot of challenges and potential liabilities in today's society but it also has great rewards.

Within the guardian breeds there is yet another split with livestock guardians such as the Komondor, Great Pyrenees, Akbash, Kuvasz to name a few. The Tibetan Mastiff is a guardian breed but not the best choice for livestock guarding as they tend to guard territory rather than bonding and moving with a flock.

Livestock guardian dogs or LGDS, are the ultimate dog. They will look out for whatever they are raised with with the utmost care, whether it's your sheep, your chickens, or your children. They bond intensely. They will fight to the death for you if need be. We ended up choosing the Great Pyrenees for our dogs. I couldn't ask for a greater companions. Loving, devoted, extremely intelligent (although stubborn) stunningly beautiful and courageous. They are the epitome of loyalty. Even as two 2 month old puppies they showed amazing care and were extremely gentle with young children. It took my breath away that a puppy so young could show such restraint and had such an intuitive nurturing instinct. Fabulous dogs!


I agree with the distinctions made by anon102177 (post #26). There are dogs which have a natural guardian instinct which is first and foremost in their character. Then there are some which are trained to act as guardians in the way the handler chooses.

Some of the breeds discussed here interest me and that is why I happened upon this site. I'm doing research for myself on the breeds that are identified as natural guardians. As for personal experience or verifiable testimony from those I know who are experienced with these breeds, I can only add something about two breeds.

1. Caucasian Ovcharka - A friend/co-worker of mine was an experienced dog breeder of Irish Wolfhounds and after his last Wolfhound died, he turned to acquiring a variety of different giant sized dogs. Among them was a Caucasian Ovcharka. He told me that these dogs are not supposed to like anyone but their owners and had one for a time. On two separate occasions with no provocation, the dog lunged at and attacked him. After the second attack, he reluctantly made the decision to have the dog euthanized. It was a mentally unstable dog.

That factored into my decision-making when I set about to acquire a protection upgrade over the Boxers which had been a part of my life as a child and owned by me as an adult. By recommendation and with a little bit of study, I settled on the:

2. Dogue de Bordeaux - I currently have two Dogues de Bordeaux (French Mastiff). The females in general are a little high strung when it is time for activity. However, if you get a male that has a standard disposition for the breed type, this animal is a fantastic natural guardian.

He watches carefully, sounds off loudly when a stranger approaches and delights in intimidating those that have not been identified as approved by his master. They love children but have very dominant personalities and are not good with another dog of the same sex. Health testing of the parents is highly advisable due to health problems.


As a Caucasian Mountain Dog owner and trainer (first U-CD trained CMD in the US), I've learned a good deal from reality rather than books and dog shows. There are two different types of dogs that can be applied to guardian work. One type is driven by a desire to contact an aggressor and the other is driven to remove the aggressor without contact.

Dogs commonly used in police and schutz work, hunting, or fighting, while excellent as property guardians, are IMO less preferable in a free-roaming family setting where children play and strangers enter the home. The LGD breeds are more considerate and responsible, instinctively protecting without instinctively using force. There is a difference between your kid's best friend wrestling with your kid, and your kid getting attacked. The dog that can tell the difference is preferable to the dog that can bite hardest.

One poster mentioned how terrifying it is to walk past a CMD in her neighborhood, and she is correct. I have personally witnessed a grown man wetting himself confronted by my male - through a fence without any contact whatsoever. And when controlled by a responsible owner in an appropriate setting, this is far preferable to having a dog that takes a chunk out of a phone repair man - like the one I saw (ignore the "beware of dog" signs, you get what you deserve).

A dog that can successfully protect from bears knows that it can't win a fight - intimidation makes the bear run away and the dog gets to go home, job well done. That's the instinct you want when an accidental bite costs the dog its life and you your home through the lawsuit. Intimidation over brute force - with brute force to back it up.

Gauge your needs and your abilities properly before choosing a guard dog. Not every situation requires nuclear weapons! Train the dog formally - it will thrive on the routine and learn to treat you as a partner rather than a master, respecting rather than blindly obeying. Dogs smart enough to be good guards are smart enough to recognize good partners and to really mess up bad ones. Losing the alpha battle to a smart, aggressive, massive dog is a miserable at best and dangerous at worst. Good luck!


I've had Dobermans all my life. The person who wrote this "Dobermans are a better fit than the other two," truly doesn't know the breed.

I certainly challenge that theory. They are pretty much fearless with the one exception of their owner. To them they are obedient and family loving. Depending on size a Rottweiler is strong, but not always stronger. The strongest dog my professional trainer ever handled was my Doberman girl and they have trained thousands of dogs. I've never seen a Doberman back down to any dog or human unless commanded. Being the official dog of the US Marine Corps, I'm not sure if it can be said otherwise.

Rottweilers do not have half the stamina of a Doberman. German Shepherds are better suited for cold weather operations and tend to be larger in size, but are not any stronger or more intelligent. That is the job the Doberman was actually "invented" for. Was created to be a fearless guard dog and companion. That's what it exists as today. Look it up.

My more than 30 years experience with them says this as well.


i own a german shepherd, a cane corso, rottie and an american bulldog. All are purebreds. My GSD barks a lot and is a good watch dog. The cane corso doesn't bark much but has chased people who come into the yard and shows teeth, my rottie and AB are calm and love everyone. All are good with my kids, but the AB is not one to play with them as he doesn't like small kids.

So far my cane corso and GSD are the only two that are guard dogs. Both are good with grandpa's cattle and horses, but do have to be raised with them from puppy hood!

The american bulldog is not good with the livestock, nor is the rottie. I do have an easier time with the training of the females and would tell you to get females as they listen better in my opinion!

But i do have to say a cane corso and german shepherd are the best breeds i have ever owned for being a good balanced guardian and family pet.


we have alsatian, dobermann and rhodesian ridgeback and i can say that they have different characteristics. so far i am satisfied with them.

people here are really afraid to enter our compound because of this big dogs.

i might say dobes are really frightening and bark vigorously and you need to have kennels and chains to control them. otherwise our alsatians and ridgebacks are easy to control and will not bark for no apparent reasons.


Someone listed the Caucasian Shepard. Please don't buy one of these dogs. they are huge, scary, and the one that lives close to me the people gave up on trying to train it and just leave it locked up behind a big fence by the main road. When people walk by and that thing comes running at you, and there is nothing to describe the terror that you feel. I don't want to see a bunch of these things running around like the APBT's. there will be blood.


I refer to anon102177's comment: I totally disagree about his comment on rottweilers. I owned an untrained Rottweiler, and it's a perfect guard dog. I'd get another Rottweiler if the one I own now dies.


The best type of guard dog is the Belgium malinous. They are slightly hard to obtain thought because they are pre-predominately used by police as drug sniffing dogs.


i have a rottweiler which is a natural guard dog which received no guard or attack training and he chased an intruder out of my property at six months old, he later chased two more intruders out at the age of 10 months that just shows that it depends on your dog's characteristics to explain if your dog is a natural guardian.


kerry blue is easy to train and barks only when necessary and also very brave.


The South African Boerboel is a phenomenal guardian and excellent with children. They were bred to guard the homestead on farms in South Africa. I own two and have small children and they are wonderfully protective/ playful with the kids.


in my city home invasion is on the rise, and now assailants are bringing american pit bull terriers with them in case a dog in the home is present. Any recommendations on a dog that can protect and guard the home in these conditions?


I tend to agree with #26. Caucasian shepherd, CAO, maremma, fila, boerboel are all natural guard dogs with a defensive drive, and are the best protectors. They are also the worst pets (in family urban situations).

With most others you cannot guarantee a good guard dog without training, like the GDS, doberman, dutch shepherd, rottweiler and such.

I have seen many rottweilers that are territorial enough to fall into the first class of dogs, but less than 20 percent, i would say, but they are very easy to train to to do any task, as with the dutch shepherd/Belgian malinois.

I love to train and keep guard dogs and pets. I prefer to employ the dutch shepherd and the rottweiler for their intelligence (trainability) and willingness to please.

Never ever get a caucasian shepherd or a central asian shepherd until you understand defensive drive in flock guardian breeds. These two breeds are the pinnacle of the K9 guardian world, not to be used or abused by amateurs.


There are two different types of guard dogs: natural (independent) and the ones you need to train (dependent on command). Dogs like the Doberman, German shepherd, Rottie and few others -- most of these need training and they are more working dogs and perfect for police work or any other work where the dog's work strictly depends on command.

The real guard dogs, according to me, are the ones with natural ability to guard property as well as members of the family outside of their territory. Dogs that will realize the task without being trained to protect. There are dogs that don't need any special training to guard property and protect owner. These dogs are more independent in their minds. My list is: Fila Mastiff, Caucasian ovcharka, Komondor, Central Asian Ovcharka (true bloodline), South Russian Ovcharka, South African Boerboel, Refiero de Alentejo. I heard the Kangal is pretty good but I do not have enough information on this dog.

I heard also Spanish Mastiffs have some of these temperaments, but still not enough information on this dog, either. By the way, to say a Pit Bull is not any kind of guard dog at all when it comes to their nature. They are dogs created for fighting, unless you teach them to attack people.

Most of the dogs that possess high protection and territorial instinct are LSG dog, i.e., live stock guardians. There are some mastiffs like the Fila which are amazing guard dogs.

I don't know about that show in Germany with 10 top best guard dogs which was posted by anno82655, but some of these dogs do not have a natural guarding ability at all. The tosa inu, pit bull, Rottweiler, English mastiff? Come on, give me a break. It makes me laugh. If these are dogs chosen to be the best guard dogs, then the earth is flat. Do not trust the judges on the show. Do research on your own.

I've spent years and years of doing the research I've done, and also have experience in owning these dogs. Also, see what other owners have. See for yourself how different types of dogs are guarding.

Maybe the best dogs for you are dogs that work on the command and need to be trained, or maybe natural guardians are better. It depends on you.

Anyway, good luck but I recommend the Fila, Caucasian Ovcharka and Komondor, if you are looking for natural guardians. The Komondor is very rare and very few people know this breed. By the way -- never judge the book by the cover and never judge the dog based on his look. If you are buying the dog based on his look, then you don't need a dog at all.


a doberman is an excellent guard dog as well as a family dog. it's very loyal and protective of its family.


German shepherds are the world's best guard dogs! No other breed combines power, speed, agility, endurance, bravery, will, loyalty, and very high intelligence into one like them! The closest runners up are the Doberman, Rottweiler, Belgian Malinois, and American bulldog. There is a lot of hype on some other breeds like the Caucasian ovcharka, Fila brasileiro and Cane corso, but these dogs are slow, clumsy and lack endurance and intelligence.

Best bet for a home family protection dog, get a German shepherd if you want the best! Or the Rottweiler, American bulldog, Belgian Malinois and Doberman are great choices too!


i can see many people don't know what they are talking about. rottweiler/doberman/german Shepard, they are by far not the best guard dogs. 1. They are not strong enough and the only dog with a really hard bite force is the root. but the root is not strong enough, it's actually very weak when it comes to it's size. i was so lucky to overcome a competition they had in germany where they tested some of the best dogs of various breeds.

Fila Bras, Dogo Argentino, Presa Canario, Boerboel, english mastiff, cane corso, tosa inu, am.pitt, asian ovcharka, kangal and some other breeds. there where 10 dogs of each breed. the tests were: agility, biteforce, strength, intelligence and how they appear around children and people and temperament and of course how they bring down the unwanted intruder.

i can't remember for sure but i think there were 16 tests and all of the 10 dogs of each breed had to go through them.

I'll give you the top 10 list and remember this is the elite of guard dogs in europe and united states. 1. Cane Corso (actually by far) 2. Tosa Inu 3. Dogo Arg 4. Boerboel 5. asian ovtcharka 6. rottweiler 7. the moscow watchdog 8. caucasian shepherd 9. Pitbull 10. English Mastiff. so there you have it.

I don't care about people's favorite dog breeds and think they are best, that i can read all over the internet. there will always be people taking water over their heads and think they know what they are talking about, but they don't.

This, i think, has to be the most accurate list there is. PS! sorry for my really bad english writing.


It is not possible for me to tell you how good a German Shepherd is. By far it outshines all other dogs with an unmatched combination of strength and intelligence; love and loyalty. Hands down the best friend you will ever have -- you will be the center of his world and he will lay his life down for you in a heartbeat. If there is a God, His greatest creation yet is the German Shepherd by far!


When trying to determine which breeds are best for guard duties there are certain criteria that you need to look at, such as protective instinct, mental soundness, Intelligence, nerve, obedience, ability to take, and athleticism.

First off, let's start with protective instinct, because if the dog is not protective by nature then he will be much less effective than one who is naturally a protector (in my opinion the most important).

Mental soundness means the dog is stable in attitude and judgment, so the dog can make sound judgments and act independently. Nerve is the ability to stay confident in an adverse situation and not to be timid nor shy, because when a situation arises it may not be in a ideal or friendly surroundings (Also dogs that are fearful will bite and be overly aggressive).

Obedience is not to be overlooked because with a dog trained in this manner, you must have authority and control at all times. If not, the dog will be a danger to you and anyone else around.

Ability to take is when it is asked to protect it will not release nor back down when counter attacked by the assailant, also it refers to the dogs ability to recover.

Athleticism is pretty much summed up by the ability to run down and subdue the assailant, because if the dog is not fast enough to catch the person or strong enough to hold them then all is for naught.

There are many breeds that have the attributes that are needed, but the main breeds mentioned from what I have read are rottweilers, German shepherds, dobermans, bull mastiffs and pit bulls.

In my opinion, bull mastiffs have some attributes but fall short in others, because they fall way short in intelligence and are too bulky to be as athletic as the other breeds.

Pit bulls were bred as fighting dogs not as true working guard dogs and fall short of the natural protective instincts of the others.

Dobermans are a better fit than the other two but in my opinion it does not have the rock solid nerve of the German shepherd nor the rottweiler and lacks the strength of the rottweiler.

German shepherds have all the attributes except size and power when compared to the rottweiler. In closing I believe the rottweiler is the perfect blend of the criteria to be the ultimate guard dog.

Some of the rare breeds are good also but over aggression is not what you look for, because you have to have that balance so they are not a danger to everyone including themselves.


What is the fiercest dog breed, please?


What is the best type of guard dog that is both large and fierce as well as intelligent?


The staffordshire bull terrier is a fearless companion. it is great with children and will not back down from anything. The staffie is incredibly in tune to its owner and is a potent package.


i have free range chickens. i also have a fenced in acre and a half and i need a dog that will protect my chickens against any intruder of any kind.


A good guard dog isn't simply a mean or vicious breed/dog. A vicious dog is a liability. What you need is a well trained dog. Whether it's a German Shepherd Dog or a Central Asian Sheepdog, a well trained guard dog will be able to intelligently identify friend from foe.

You can have a bad - ass Fila Brasileiro that hates everyone and wants to rip them to shreds. You can also have a lawsuit against you from your dog tearing apart your neighbor's kid. An effective guard dog keeps your family and property safe.

I have two English Mastiffs that are canine good citizens and completely safe to be around. When they are working it's an entirely different story. They will not let a stranger in the house or yard unless they are told it's OK.

Mastiffs aren't known to be the scariest guard dogs but they do the job and fit my lifestyle. I don't need overkill, just a safe house.


i live in south india. I want a guard dog for my farms. any suggestions, please?


Well personally i went with the Thai Ridgeback. Excellent guard and watch dog. I have two Thai Ridgebacks and they are amazing animals. I have also owned German Shepherds.

Friends of mine have Rottweilers and pit bulls, and they all are amazed with my Thai Ridgebacks. The Thai Ridgebacks are a rare breed so that is why they get so little recognition, but do some research and get one or two or more and you will see what i am talking about, because i cannot explain how great these dogs are. Seeing is believing.


Well, this is the typical AKC guard dog list, which is more like the 20th-24th slots if there were a best guard dog list. In actuality these dogs need to be trained to be any kind of protection dog.

Before i go on ranting and raving why, I'm just going to leave you with my top four dogs. You do the research and then you can tell me why a rottweiler makes a better pet than a guard dog.

1. Caucasian shepherd

2. Boerboel

3. Central Asian Ovcharka

4. Kangal dog

These dogs are no joke, so don't get one!


Fila Brasileiro! Hands down, the best guard dog. I have had shepherds, (both German and anatolian) as well as a Cane Corso.

But a Fila is second to none. A 170-pound dog who can run 35 mph and dislikes everyone.

Read up on the breed and you will understand what I am talking about. They make a pit bull look like a hamster!


anon39906 - Anatolian Shepards are superior guard dogs that will guard and protect any person or animal (cats, ducks, sheep, chickens, etc.) that it considers its family. Good luck!


I have a mastiff dog. It is about 4 and-a-half months old. It is friendly to strangers. What should I do?


one of the previous readers was accurate when highlighting other guardian breeds, but certain guardian dogs are better than others depending on the situation. A kangal, cacausian ovck, tibetan mastiff are all good and probably better than most of our familiar guard dogs. Although I am a huge fan of the bouvier as a family protector here are a few in the top tier second to none: tosa, borboel, spanish mastiff, antolian shepherd, english mastiff, fila, and presa cana. The Russian breeds would probably be mingled in there as well.


Hello. Unfortunately, when I see a topic about best guarding breeds, or something like that, I find on and on, the same answer: rott, doberman, bull mastiff, in some occasions pit, and now you can see, the usual breeds. Seeing that makes me sad, especially since I'm a breeder of another guarding breed, and have friends with other good guardian breeds. I must say, i respect and recognize the goods of the rotts, dobermans, etc. but there are some other breeds that make these look infantile. Caucasian Ovcharka (the one I breed), Central Asian Ovtcharka, Moscow Watchdog, Kangal, Tibetan Mastiff, and also some known breeds, Cane Corso, Tosa Inu. Really hope you can use the information, and hope after seeing my post, research the breeds I mentioned, and see the difference. Good luck.


does anyone know dogs that would be great guard dogs but gentle with chickens and cats ducks and to us?


We also live on three acres in the country. We own a German Shepherd - raised her from a puppy. We do not have a fence around our property. She knows her boundaries and is protective of her territory, yet she is great with children. She can be aggressive toward other dogs that may wander into our yard, however, but that's why we got her. She is protecting the kids, the house, etc. If you decide on a German Shepherd, make sure they get plenty of time to run & play outdoors. If you drain their excess energy / anxiety, they are less likely to arbitrarily attack. I recommend a female, purebred German Shepherd.


bigmetal-Old English Mastiffs are great with children except they may knock them down because of their size. They are great guard dogs and won't bite unless owners are in danger. They much rather keep strangers at bay but if they ascend closer they will knock them down with no problem. Males can reach over 200 Ib. Females a tad smaller usually 180. Have fun finding a dog!


This information is very interesting on the particular breeds. I have 3 acres on which I plan to raise a few farm animals such as chickens and maybe a pig or goat. I could put the farm animals in crossfencing so that the dog would not harm them. But I would like the dog to protect them against other predators. Which breed would be the best as far as not running off my property? I don't want to tie a dog outside and the property is all enclosed in horse fencing, but a dog could go through it.

I know Shelties are really good about learning to not go off your property, but they aren't exactly good guard dogs. Also, I have young grandchildren who will be playing in the area with the dog. So, it has to be safe for them. I would plan to socialize early and often with them. Thanks so much!


I've had all kinds of dogs before, but the best one of all has been a German Shepherd. He was great with kids and enjoyed playing games with them or just lying close to them and keeping watch while they played. He was a great family dog and smart to boot! I have been wanting to get another one for my girls who are 3 and 6.


what would be the best breed that was not only a great guard dog, but a good family dog as well...one that is good with kids? we had a german shepard growing up that was a phenomenal guard dog, and took really good care of us kids too. she was very good with kids, but i've heard that german shepards aren't always the best with children. any suggestions?

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