If you live alone, it’s wise to consider having a dog for protection and companionship. Late at night when we hear unexpected sounds or creaks, our minds tend to create a haunting image of the worst thing possible. Or if you live alone as a woman you worry you may be more targeted for home invasions.
The good news is that often thieves and those who wish to harm are simply deterred by the presence of a dog, especially if it’s a large one with a bite to match its bark. In this article, we look at the 9 best dog breeds for single women living alone and how to pick the best one for you.
Picking the Best Breed
People are diverse in their personalities just like animals. So before you invest in a protection dog, it’s good to examine which personality traits best mesh with yours so you both have a rewarding experience.
Here are a few things to consider before searching for that perfect animal:
- What kind of woman are you? Are you outgoing and energetic or more reserved?
- How much time do you have to commit to caring for your animal?
- What is your living situation? Do you own or rent a house with a fenced-in yard or are you in an apartment?
- What kind of social life do you have? Active or are you a homebody?
- Do you have an interest in continuing to train your dog?
- What safety concerns do you have?
It’s important to think carefully about the answers to these questions and be honest with yourself because you don’t want a dog breed that clashes with you. Also, remember that not every purebred dog in a litter shares the same attributes as the others.
Golden Retrievers are naturally friendly and playful, but sometimes you get one on each end of the spectrum. Some are aggressive and some are shy – just like siblings from the same household.
Be honest about your activity level too. Puppies are full of energy, but what happens when that dog grows up? If you’re not an overly active person, getting a dog that requires a lot of physical activity won’t be fun for either of you.
Pay close attention to the breed that will best adapt to your living situation. Some dogs do well in small apartments while others need plenty of room to stretch and run like a backyard. Regarding safety concerns, are there any immediate threats that are making your life difficult?
If so, maybe consider an adult dog that’s already trained to deal with such threats instead of a puppy. Most well-trained protection dogs aren’t even for sale until they are 2-3 years old.
Best Dog Breeds For Women
Now that you’ve nailed down what dog traits best match up with yours, it’s time to think about which breed of dog to get. Fortunately, there are a variety of breeds that work both as companions and trained protection dogs, so picking the perfect pooch shouldn’t be too difficult.
The Doberman pinscher is a dog that was originally bred to be a protection dog, so it’s a perfect choice for women living alone. One of the best traits of the Doberman is its appearance. Dobermans are big, imposing animals, and are certainly enough to make anyone think twice about breaking into your home or doing you harm.
Dobermans are often called ‘velcro dogs’ because they insist on clinging to their owner’s side. So, if you love having a dog that follows you around this would be a great breed for you.
2. German Shepherd
Another imposing animal, the German Shepherd is a dog bred to be guard dogs or service dogs, which makes an ideal choice as personal protection dogs. German Shepherds have a deep, intimidating bark and are aggressive when they need to be.
However, they’re also very loving and loyal to their owners, which makes them great pets. This breed is often known as the jack-of-all-trades because they work well in a variety of situations that require specific tasks to complete and need to have a purpose.
The Boxer doesn’t have the fierce, intimidating look of the Doberman or the German Shepherd, but don’t let that fool you. These animals are fantastic companions and are also very affectionate with those they love. Being smaller, they don’t require as much space as the dogs above, which is great for those who live in apartments. Boxers are great barkers and make good watchdogs for single women.
The Rottweiler is another dog that has a menacing appearance and is a great deterrent to people up to no good. Like the German Shepherd, Rottweilers are extremely loyal to their owners and do very well as personal protection dogs. Consider them protection dogs with a heart of gold. Rottweilers are big dogs and can weigh up to 130 pounds, so take that into consideration if you live in a small space or are petite and may feel uncomfortable with a large dog.
The Akita is another big dog that is very loyal to their owners. Akitas are energetic dogs and need a lot of attention and stimulation to keep them happy. This breed is best for women who have a yard and can spend the time to play or exercise with their dog. Also, Atika’s are quite willful and require a strong owner to keep them in line.
6. Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier isn’t normally associated with personal protection because of its small size. However, these animals are very intense and can be aggressive with much larger animals. The Jack Russel is a great choice for someone who wants a lapdog, but also an animal that will stand up and fight for its owner.
This is a perfect breed if you live in an apartment and don’t want a large protection dog that requires space and continual training.
7. English Bulldog
English Bulldogs are ideal for women who want a good couch companion. These dogs are fine with short walks and don’t require a lot of exercise or room to run. While these animals aren’t bred to be protection dogs, they are great for people who want a furry friend to hang out with.
If you don’t feel any immediate threats then having a little companion that can warn you of unfamiliar guests is a great option for a single woman.
8. Great Dane
Yes, the Great Dane is a big animal and needs a lot of space to stretch out. While their commanding presence is enough to scare off many would-be attackers, the fact is these animals are very friendly and affectionate.
They are known for being one of the most patient breeds and behave well around other pets. Great Danes are also very laid-back dogs and will only get “aggressive” if need be.
9. Golden Retriever
Perhaps the most popular breed on this list, the Golden Retriever is a great dog for anyone who wants a loyal and fun companion that loves to play. These dogs are friendly with virtually anyone they encounter and their bubbly personality makes them a great fit for almost everyone.
While Golden Retrievers are not your typical protection dog, studies have shown that simply having a dog (especially a larger dog) can deter thieves.
Just like there are no two people alike, the same is true for animals. The key to getting a good companion is to know exactly what you’re looking for before you go shopping. Do you need an animal to protect you from potential harm? Or are you looking for a dog to be your pal and have fun with?
While the two traits aren’t mutually exclusive, it’s important to know what you need so you get the right animal for the job.