Are you looking for the best guard dog for your family or homestead? There are so many breeds how do you choose the one that's the best fit for your family? There are 10 that come up in almost every Google search.
According to the American Kennel Club, Guardian breeds tend to be loyal, fearless, strong and watchful.
"If you want a breed that will not only alert you when a visitor arrives, but will also intuitively know when to protect you from a dangerous situation than Guardian breeds are for you."
Experts also recommend proper socialization and training with these specialized breeds. You should also check with your vet and let them know the desirable behaviors you're hoping to see in a guard dog.
10. Anatolian Shepherd
Anatolia is the peninsula that constitutes the Asian portion of Turkey.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) explains,
"It was at this crossroads of early civilization that sheep and goat herders developed a livestock guardianknownas the Coban Kopegi ("shepherd's dog"), forerunner of today's Anatolia."
American ranchers began importing Anatolians in the postwar 1950s, but the breed really took hold in this country in the 1970s.
These fast and agile dogs with superior hearing are more than a match for predators.
The Anatolian Shepherd dog was developed to be independent and forceful, responsible for guarding its master's flocks without human assistance or direction. They weigh between 90 and 150 pounds so this breed needs a strong pack leader! The general appearance of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a tall, rugged and powerful livestock guardian dog with a dense double coat, and a broad, strong head.
9. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees was once known as the royal dog of France and, with his stunning white coat and imposing presence, is considered to be one of the most beautiful breeds.
In France, the Great Pyrenees is nicknamed Patou, a word meaning shepherd.
This livestock guard dog weighs between 85 and 115 pounds. Thanks to his long, thick double coat, he thrives in colder environments. They will bark at anything that seems to be a threat. And this could be a suspicious-looking friend!
For many centuries the Komondor (Koms) has been the king of Hungarian flock dogs. Koms guard sheep at pasture and are known to run off wolves.
The AKC explains that the working Komondor lives during the greater part of the year in the open, and his coat of heavy white cords serves to help him blend in with his flock and to protect him from extreme weather.
His main role is predator protection.
A big male can weigh over 100 pounds. The beautiful corded coat requires special care. They are agile and light-footed!
7. Tibetan Mastiff
Known as the guardian dog supreme, they are aloof and territorial with strangers.
Our staff found this interesting fact in research: The Tibetan Mastiff is so ancient, and Tibet has always been so isolated, that it's impossible to say how or when they came to be! They were the mighty guardians of the Himalayas.
They weigh well over 100 pounds. They are protective and loyal but they do not display aggressive behavior as some may believe. Other breeds in the Mastiff family include the Pyrenean Mastiff and the Spanish Mastiff.
They are known for being tall with a heavy coat and a bushy tail that curves over his back.
This 100-pound dog is loyal, fearless and sweet.
The livestock guardian dog came to Hungary in the Middle Ages, but it's thought their lineage goes back to ancient Turkey and Tibet. These nimble footed protectors make wonderful companion dogs, too.
This guardian dog breed is not only for livestock protection but they're self-thinkers.
The Kuvasz can tend to become overweight so you must watch the amount of dog food that is given each day. They are very willing to do anything for treats!
A Rottie needs to be socialized from an early age.
The AKC tells us that a well-bred and properly raised Rottie will be calm and confident, courageous but not unduly aggressive.
"The aloof demeanor these world-class guardians present to outsiders belies the playfulness, and downright silliness, that endear Rotties to their loved ones."
A male Rottweiler will stand anywhere from 24 to 27 muscular inches at the shoulder; females run a bit smaller and lighter.
4. The German Shepherd
This is an intense and active breed. Confident, courageous and smart is how this breed is typically described!
They will put their life on the line in the defense of loved ones. The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is often thought of as the perfect "guard dog" when folks start doing research. They are known for their ability to learn commands for many tasks.
Your GSD will need a lot of daily exercises so make sure that fits into your lifestyle.
The Boxer is known to be loyal, intelligent, alert and fairly easy to train. They're also very good with children, so aside from being one of the best protection dogs, they make a great family pet as well.
They're alert and also described as watchful. Many are bred for guarding and protection.
When it comes to loyalty, the Akita is said to be the most loyal dog you can find! The average Akita is quiet, wary of strangers and often intolerant of other animals.
Yet Akitas will gladly share their silly, affectionate side with family and friends. They thrive on human companionship. The AKC confirms they are hardwired to protect their families.
"The large, independent-thinking Akita is hardwired for protecting those they love. They must be well socialized from birth with people and other dogs."
1. Doberman Pinscher
Dobie's natural instinct is to protect their family.
According to CertaPet, the Doberman Pinscher is well known as one of the best guard dogs available.
"With a muscular appearance, they are an intimidating foe to come toe to toe with. Not only are they fast, but their attack is quite powerful, enough to bring a grown man to the ground.
This is among the best watchdog breeds that are highly intelligent, which makes them easy to train, and they're very obedient once they've bonded with their owner."
Other guard or watchdogs to consider are the Giant Schnauzer, Bullmastiff, Chow Chow, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Belgian Malinois, Cane Corso, Pit Bull, Bull Terrier, Puli and Bouvier.
All of these breeds will need significant dog training to be good family dogs and good guard dogs.
I have hunting dogs and hounds and they're also great watchdogs but I'm not sure I'd consider them "protection dogs" or great guard dogs. They are wonderful family members.
Do you have a fave guard dog from the above list? Did we miss any of the most popular GD's? Please let us know in the comments below!