While dogs have been excellent companions to us, humans, for centuries, our favorite four-legged friends are also highly treasured for their ability to serve as protection dogs. If you’ve been thinking about grabbing yourself a protection dog for your family, we can assure you, you won’t be disappointed!
A family protection dog will not only provide you and your family with the peace of mind you deserve, but they’ll be the perfect cuddle partner for rainy Sunday afternoons watching TV. Feel overwhelmed about where to start?
Don’t fret – we’ve compiled this helpful guide to serve as a resource for you during the decision-making process.
So, to begin, let’s go over how to choose the best protection dog for your needs and what breeds are known for their top-notch protection skills.
Need help with choosing the best protection dog? See our guide
How Do I Choose the Best Protection Dog?
#1. Consider Your Overall Lifestyle
Protection dogs are an immense responsibility to take on. Why? Because they require ample space for exercise – like a roomy backyard – and they need continuous training to perfect their skills.
Let’s face it:
If you have a busy lifestyle and you’re away from home most of the week, you won’t be able to make the commitment needed to raise a protection dog.
What breed works best for your family will be contingent upon the type of lifestyle you live. For example, some breeds better excel in environments without small children, while other types of dogs are ideal for both their guard dog duties and being a loving family pet.
Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds, and Boxers are all known for being great with families. Akitas and Rottweilers, on the other hand, are typically not recommended for families with small children.
#2. Select a Breed That Is Trainable
Some dogs are born with the natural instinct to be protective over their owner/family and therefore thrive when exposed to exercises related to guard dog training. You’ll also want to opt for a breed that is known for its intelligence and shows a level of eagerness to learn and please their owners by following their commands.
#3. Consider Their Temperament
When selecting a breed, you want to go with one that is motivated to work and easily responds to training. Working dog breeds, like Dobermans, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers, usually exhibit the best temperaments, as they’re intelligent, loyal, and courageous.
There are other breeds, such as Irish Wolfhounds, St. Bernards, and Bulldogs that are instinctively protective and will naturally become fiercely loyal and protective of their owners.
#4. Look for a Quality Breeder & Trainer
It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to find a reputable breeder. Trusted breeders always exercise transparency and provide full health reports, as well as documentation of each puppy’s pedigree.
Just like hiring a babysitter, you wouldn’t simply select one off the internet and trust them with your kids (at least we hope not). Instead, you meet in person, see if they have references/reviews, and ensure they have the proper licensing.
For dog breeders and trainers, you want to align yourself with someone who exhibits ethical training practices. Always invest time in having in-person conversations with breeders you are considering.
It’s important to understand the type of training your potential pup will undergo and ensure they possess the proper licensing to adequately train your guard dog.
What Are the Best Protective Breeds?
Rottweilers were originally bred to be cattle-protecting dogs and are known for their unwavering protection when it comes to their pack. Many people wind up choosing this breed because of their extreme intelligence and loyalty to their owners.
Oh, and let’s not forget: they are incredibly quick learners as well.
#2. German Shepherd
There’s a reason German Shepherds are often chosen to serve and protect alongside police officers. They’re fearless creatures that are both bold and confident. Because of their immense intelligence and ability to learn commands quickly, they are often a favorite among individuals and families alike.
When introduced to a household, they exhibit a calm demeanor and are very lovable. But, make no mistake, if their home is threatened, they won’t fail to swiftly react and protect their loved ones.
#3. Doberman Pinscher
Does your property span a large piece of land? Keeping a wide berth protected is something Doberman Pinschers excel at. This breed is insanely quick, meaning they can reach an unwanted intruder before you can blink.
They are also highly alert, loyal, and fearless animals, which has earned them the title of the 5th smartest dog breed across the globe.
#4. Belgian Malinois
Highly energetic, the Belgian Malinois can match all the power of a large dog without carrying any of the heavy bulk. Like Dobermans, this breed is incredibly smart and alert. As with a majority of protective breeds, Malinois’ require frequent physical and mental stimulation in order to thrive.
This heavy-boned and powerful breed were originally bred as working dogs that would accompany and help hunters take down large game. Today, they continue to be tenacious, independent, and bold.
It’s important to note that the Akita is known for being aggressive around other dogs and surprisingly reserved around strangers. They are, however, unconditionally devoted to their family.
Boxers are a highly popular breed because they exhibit a bright and fun-loving temperament. While they’re extremely intelligent, they’re also patient – making them a great companion for homes with children. Boxers will meet threats fearlessly and take the job of family protector very seriously.
When you’re searching for a dog breed who will defend your family and alert you to the presence of an intruder, it’s always best to seek the advice of a professional dog trainer. Since this is their area of expertise, they’ll be able to help you uncover which dog fits your lifestyle and needs the best.
Plus, since this is a big and important investment, working with a professional dog trainer gives you access to the information and resources you need to find a companion who will provide you with the best protection.