The 18 Best Guard Dog Breeds

In Home Defense Tips by homedefense

Burglaries happen all the time in the US. To protect your home and family, it might be a wise idea to consider getting a guard dog for the home. Guard dogs are a great deterrent to thieves breaking into your home. Burglars are less likely to break rob a home that has a barking dog.

I lived on a farm when I was a kid and we had three dogs. They were mixed breed and not the pure breeds you see in many homes today. I remember riding my bike up the hill on the street we lived on and turning around to come back down the hill into our drive way. The neighbor’s dog at the top of the hill caught site of me and started a full dead run chasing after me and barking at me. I raced down the hill on my bike and turned into our driveway while yelling for one of my dogs. Blondie, my dog, is maybe 50 to 60 pounds, and the German Shepherd chasing me was probably 70 pounds. Blondie came around the house in a full sprint at this Shepherd and attacked it with full fury, trying to protect me from getting bitten. That German Shepherd was no match on our property with my dog protecting me. The neighbor’s dog ran back up the hill as fast as it could.

This is just one story of what having a dog can do to protect your family and home. Dogs do not want anyone or any other animal messing with their family or their pack.

If you have a dog but not a guard dog you are still good because at least your dog will bark to alert you of danger or a stranger on your property. If you want to add a guard dog to the family then let’s look at the breeds and what each breed offers for the family.

The dogs listed below are in no specific order. We are just providing various breeds and general facts about each breed.

Here is a list of guard dogs to protect the home

German Shepherd

You see law enforcement use these dogs all the time to find criminals or take a criminal down in certain situations. This dog is fearless, plus they are very loyal to the owner and the family. The bond they form with the family is very strong making this dog a great pet.

Boxer dog

This dog stands tall and looks intimidating to any would- be thief looking to steal from your home. This dog is pretty easy to train, very smart and fiercely loyal to its owners. This dog is the top of the line when it comes to working with children. If you have kids, this may be the right dog for your family.

Swiss Mountain Dog

If you are looking for a big dog, then this may be the breed for you. The dog is very large and would probably be a dog where the kids cuddle up next to its body. These dogs are used to colder climates so if you are in a warmer climate, be careful not to play with them too hard in the heat.


Everyone has heard of the Rottweiler breed of dogs. These dogs are great for protection if they are properly trained at a young age. If they are not properly socialized, they will want to dominate anything in their space. If they are properly loved and trained correctly, they make great pets plus incredible guard dogs. No burglar wants to mess with a Rottweiler.

American Terrier

These dogs are very strong and super protective which is why they make a good guard dog. Similar to Rottweilers you have to really train them at a young age to lower their aggressive nature.

Doberman Pinscher

This is a highly intelligent and easy to train guard dog. They can attack swiftly and with power. This dog is pretty intimidating to anyone who hears its bark or sees it running towards them.

My neighbors had a Doberman when I was a teenager. The neighbors had me watch their two younger boys during the day while both of them were at work. One day we were watching TV and the dog started going crazy barking in the house. We all went to the front door to see what was going on outside. The younger boy was maybe 10 years old and he opened the front door.

That dog flew out the door and headed straight for the driveway by the house. I got to the window right when the dog got out and looked at 5 cars full of people in the driveway. We lived in the country so 5 strange cars in the driveway full of people is odd.

There were actually 2 or 3 men getting out of the car but as soon as they saw Sadie the dog, they jumped back into their car lightning fast. We called the dog back and they rolled down the window asking where a campground down the road was located. The 5 carloads of people made sense being they were going to a campground retreat that is on our road. The story just goes to show you how scared people can be of a good guard dog especially a Doberman.

American Pit Bull

The pit bull is stocky and very muscular but also looks very fierce. These dogs are great if raised at an early age with love and good training. The breed has a bad reputation because people would breed these dogs for dog fighting. Training may be tough so you need to know what you are doing if you decide to get this type of dog.


This dog can get big anywhere from 100 to 130 pounds. If you like big dogs then you need to check out this breed. The dog is the top of the line in home and family protection. Like most dogs you want to start training early and get them socialized to the family.

Giant Schnauzer

This dog can weigh anywhere from 55 to 85 pounds depending on if you get a male or female. This is just a larger version of the standard Schnauzer. These dogs are very loyal to the family and are super intelligent. They make a great companion for anyone looking for a dog to watch over them or the family. This breed is not for the casual owner . You have to really work with the dog and want to be around it often.


This dog will weigh between 70 to 130 pounds when fully grown. The dog comes from Japanese lineage showing great courage and loyalty to its owner. This dog lives for protecting the family and is happiest when with the family. Akitas have really dense coats so if you are not into hair all over the house this may not be the dog for you. They do not really like other animals and are very apprehensive when strangers are present.


I remember one of my old high school friends had a Shar-Pei. When I first met the dog the rolled skin was really fascinating for me. The dog was really friendly and nice to everyone that came to visit. This dog was made to watch over a family and guard them from harm. The old days they used these dogs on the farm helping with herds and protecting against other deadly animals.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

I have actually never heard of this dog but I know from research it is a great guard dog. This dog is known for keeping lions in Africa away from the prey while the owner makes the kill. These dogs do not like strangers and they need really good training. You also need to make sure they are socialized if you have them around other people or pets.

Bull Terrier

The breed is very strong for the size and has a very strong “prey drive”. This dog can be dangerous towards smaller animals such as cats. They do have that distinctive oblong head which makes it easy to recognize.


I lived with my sister out of college for a year and she owned a husky. These dogs are very good looking with the black and white hair. They can be destructive if you have to leave them alone for long periods. If you are gone all day like my sister would be, these dogs bark like crazy. The breed was made to pull dog sleds so they need exercise. The thick coats were made for colder weather so having them in a hot climate is not recommended.

Alaskan Malamutes

This dog is related to the husky and can grow to be 100 pounds. Many of the same things go with this breed as the husky. They need exercise, cold weather is better and they can be difficult to train.


This is a great dog to alert you of any visitors or unwanted guests on your property. The Puli breed likes you to be around all the time, so this is not a dog to leave alone for long stretches. You need to be very active because this dog loves all activity. I would not get this breed if you are in an apartment or you don’t have much room for the  dog to run.

Great Dane

These dogs are very tall and look intimidating. This dog is great at protecting your home and family. The great Dane is very family friendly and a great dog for kids. My buddy had a great Dane when we were kids and that dog was the nicest dog ever. I remember just how huge it was compared to my 10 year old body. The dog is more intimidating than an actual attack dog like a German Shepherd would be if there is an intruder.

Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is well known in China. This dog was used in the cold to guard prisons, pull sleds and help with herding, plus hunting. Most people have the dog as their pet but it also serves as a great family protector. The dog really likes the cold with its layer of fur, so consider that when looking to bring one into your family.

You have great responsibility when you own a guard dog. These dogs are very powerful and the breeds we talked about above make great pets if trained correctly. You must properly socialize many of the dogs listed so they do not attack guests, friends or even family members.

You may not want a guard dog but rather simply want a dog that can alert you of any unwanted visitors come to your home. The following list of dogs would be great dogs to alert you of any strangers on the premises. They probably will not attack the perpetrator but they sure will let you know they are there. The dogs listed may be small or medium but they can pack a good loud bark.

  • Terriers – Boston, Airedale, Cairn, Scottish, Silky, Smooth
  • Poodle
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Chihuahua
  • Shih Tzu
  • Dachshund
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Mutt or Mixed Breeds
  • Many more breeds

There are probably many more dogs that can alert you to trouble, but we just wanted to mention a few. When I was a kid, we had dogs that were mixed breeds and I thought those dogs did a great job protecting the house. They also did a great job protecting our large garden from the forest animals like ground hogs, rabbits and raccoons. We would put their dog houses by the garden in the summer and animals never came around to bother the garden.

I hope you found this list of guard dogs helpful.