Most dogs will try to defend you if you are threatened but the qualities needed for a good guard dogs are somewhat different. For example, your tiny Chihuahua may be fierce enough to chase away someone breaking into your home but he probably doesn't possess the traits most people seek in a guard dog. A good guard dog can often defend the home just by his very presence. The sight of such a dog, who often looks imposing, can be enough to deter someone from bothering you or coming onto your property.
Nor do you want a dog who will kill someone or who goes berserk. A good guard dog needs to be a dog that listens to you and which you can control. The qualities to look for in a good guard dog include a good temperament, though he may be reserved with strangers; physical strength; loyalty; courage; and a resistance to pain.
Experts often recommend the dogs listed here:
: The Bullmastiff is an old breed that is the result of crossing the Bulldog with the Mastiff. These dogs are extremely loyal and courageous. They are devoted to their family and very protective. They tend to knock an intruder down and pin them to the ground. They can also bite when necessary. They are usually somewhat suspicious of strangers but they love their families.
2. Doberman Pinscher
: The Doberman is well-known as a guard dog. As a breed they have only been in existence for a little over 100 years. They were developed by a man named Louis Dobermann in Germany who wanted an agile working and guard dog. He bred Rottweilers, Greyhounds, and terriers to create the first Dobermans. Doberman Pinschers are extremely intelligent and easy to train. They are very protective and they will attack if they think you are in danger. It is important that these dogs are well-trained. At one time in the 1970s and ‘80s there was some overbreeding and some lines had some temperament problems. Today breeders are very careful about breeding good temperaments.
: The Rottweiler is a very intelligent breed and they are well-known as guard dogs. They are also very brave dogs. They are loving, calm, devoted dogs with their families but they are very protective. The Rottweiler has great strength and stamina, too. Be sure to socialize your Rottie well and train them from an early age.
: The Komondor is not a well-known breed in most places but they are an excellent guard dog. They are easily recognizable because they look like a mop. They have a long corded coat. They were originally bred to guard sheep and they would blend into the flock to protect them from predators. They are courageous, loyal, and they can be very independent.
: The Puli is also a breed that was originally bred to herd sheep in Hungary. They are very intelligent and loyal but they are very suspicious of strangers. They are outstanding watchdogs and very active. They are a medium-sized dog with a corded coat.
6. Giant Schnauzer
: The Giant Schnauzer is a large and powerful dog. They tend to have a dominant personality so they may not be a good dog for a first-time dog owner. They can be very willful. They need early training and socialization. They often become very attached to their owners and their families. They are extremely loyal and protective. The Giant Schnauzer has a wirehaired coat that needs to be trimmed every couple of months. They don't shed.
7. German Shepherd
: The German Shepherd Dog is known around the world. They are extremely intelligent and easy to train. They are also very protective and they have succeeded as police and military dogs. They can make an excellent family dog, as well as being a good guard dog, as long as they are trained from a young age.
8. Rhodesian Ridgeback
: The Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred to work with hunters on safari in Africa. They could corner lions and hold them at bay until hunters arrived. They are extremely courageous dogs and they are also very protective of their families. They are intelligent and independent. They can become destructive in the home if they are left alone. They will protect you and your family fiercely if necessary. They are not always easy dogs to train and they may not be the best dogs for a first-time dog owner, but they are devoted to their families. The Ridgeback is a red/wheaten color and is recognizable for having a reverse ridge down its back.
: The Kuvasz is a livestock guarding dog. Historically they have been used to guard sheep. They are another old Hungarian breed. They are fiercely protective and very territorial. They will defend and protect you and your family. They are usually aloof with strangers but devoted and loving with people they know. They are very affectionate dogs. They are a large, fluffy white breed.
10. Staffordshire Terrier
: The Staffordshire Terrier is sometimes confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier but it is a different breed. Staffordshire Terriers are distantly related to other bully breeds but the Staffordshire Terrier is an AKC breed that appears at dog shows and participates in other dog sports and activities. These dogs are not used for dog fighting. However, they do make very good guard dogs. They are strong and courageous. They have a muscular, athletic body and they are quite intelligent. They love their families and they are very protective. Make sure you socialize and train your Staffordshire Terrier from a young age.
The dogs suggested here have been recommended by trainers as the top 10 guard dogs. All of these breeds can make good family dogs, as well, provided they are well-trained and socialized from a young age. If you are going to work with your dog as a guard dog, be sure to contact an experienced trainer to help you.