Watchdog vs. Protection Dog: Are They the Same?

dog breeds

People tend to mix watchdogs and protection dogs quite often. There has been a confusion between these dogs with people thinking they are the same thing. Each type of dog serves different and specific purposes. If you are planning to get or adopt a dog, then you should know what fits your needs. 

 

What are Watchdogs?

Watchdogs serve a specific purpose, and the key to the way these dogs help best lies in their name. They are “watch” dogs. Their primary function is to watch your surroundings and environment and to alert you in any disturbance they notice. In addition to being a watchdog, they could also be called an “alarm dog” because they alert you to intruders and threats. For these dogs, their primary duty is to alert you or your family to intruders. They are trained to be your home warning system and detect people that could be dangerous. 

Watchdogs can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They don’t have to be the biggest or most commanding dogs. When trained, these types of dogs, from tallest to smallest, can serve your family as a top-tier watchdog. 

 

Breeds to Consider

Since a watchdog is trained primarily to alert you to danger, they don’t have to be the strongest, toughest, and largest dogs. They can be nearly any size and can fit in any environment from an apartment to a sprawling home with land. 

Airedale Terrier protection dog breeds

These dogs are known for their friendly disposition, courageous attitude, and clever intellect. They are highly versatile and can function as a hunter, athlete, and companion, in addition to a watchdog.

Great Pyrenees

While they are quite large, these dogs are gentle giants around their families. They are known for being smart, patient, and calm. Originally bred as a working dog, they are wonderful companions and vigilant guardians. 

Akita

Akitas are known for their courageous and fiercely loyal disposition. Once they have a family, they are dedicated to protect and love the members of their “pack.” They are wary of strangers, quiet, and affectionate with their families. 

Rottweiler

While these dogs can be incredibly intimidating to strangers and to people who don’t know them, for a Rottie’s family, they are loyal, loving, and confident members of the family. They are a working breed with tremendous strength but gentle with their family. They are aloof toward strangers and see themselves as the family’s protector.

Doberman Pinscher

The “Dobie” is a loyal, fearless, and alert dog that stands on guard for its family as if its life depends on it. Aloof and imposing for strangers, these dogs are loving and dedicated to serving their families.

Cairn Terrier

This pint-sized dog is one of the most loved breeds for its alert and cheerful disposition. They are happy, busy dogs that love being part of a family. Despite their size, they are fearless and will hunt out foxes and other small animals. They are also fantastic warning dogs and will use their higher pitch bark to alert you to any trouble.

Bullmastiff

These dogs are known for their highly affectionate, loyal, and brave disposition. Bred as working dogs, they are fearless while working yet docile at home. They are large and muscular, making an excellent visual for would-be intruders. They are keen guards who aren’t afraid to alert you the moment trouble arrives.

Schipperke

Despite its small size, this dog is built to work, guard, and watch. They are intensely confident, highly alert, and always curious. Bred as ratters, they have a keen intellect and make excellent companions.

Cane Corso

These lovable dogs are affectionate around their families but wary of strangers. They serve as fearless protectors. They are traditionally used in ancient Rome as bodyguard dogs.

 

What are Protection Dogs?

Protection dogs have many similar characteristics to the watchdogs mentioned above. Like watchdogs, their purpose is to alert you to intruders. Unlike watchdogs, protection dogs go above and beyond and defend your family. These capable dogs are trained, not only to defend but to attack if necessary. They are incredibly intelligent, and they easily distinguish friends from enemies. A protection dog shouldn’t be overly aggressive, but neither should they be too friendly with strangers. When you strike the right mix, you’ll have a dog that is a loyal protector for your family.

 

Breeds to Consider

Doberman Pinscher

As mentioned above, these dogs are loyal, fearless, and alert. They make an excellent watchdog and an even better protection dog.

Rottweiler

Intimidating in appearance to all strangers, they take both watchdog and protection dog duties seriously.

Staffordshire Terrier

These dogs are known for their confident, smart, and good-natured temperaments. Their courage is known around the world. And as protection dogs, they are trustworthy until the end.

protection dogGerman Shepherd

They are favorites of police, military, and families alike. These highly intelligent dogs make excellent guards and protectors. They are loyal and will defend their families at the cost of their lives.

Kuvasz

These furry, sweet, lovable dogs are also fearless and wonderful guardians for both animals and people. They are imposing and dedicated to their “pack.” They need a lot of training but can be excellent protection dogs.

Bullmastiff

Large, brave working dogs; these K9s make loyal protection dogs. Their appearance alone is often enough to ward off intruders.

Komondor

Known for being loyal and brave, these unique-looking dogs make perfect protection dogs for both farm animals and family. Once trained, they excel at protection duties.

Puli

These dogs are known for being loyal, smart, and home-loving. They are unique-looking work dogs and incredibly fast learners that will protect your family with ease.

Giant Schnauzer

These imposing looking dogs are incredibly loyal, trainable, and loving around their families. They are also always on the alert, making them ideal protection dogs.

Belgian Malinois

Next to the German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois is the most-loved dog by the military and police. They are incredibly intelligent, and they can be trained to do anything. They will put their lives on the line even if it means protecting their family.

 

The Main Difference Between Guard Dogs and Watchdogs

Protection dogs and watchdogs both have important roles for the families they live with. Their primary purpose is to keep the home safe and guard against intruders and threats. Both dogs are wonderful companions and excellent family dogs. The most significant difference is that protection dogs need a lot more training to perform their duties properly rather than watchdogs.

 

Why Should You Get a Protection Dog?

Watchdogs and protection dogs are both beneficial to have around. For ultimate security, protection dogs can do more, including guarding, sensing threats, and attacking intruders, rather than watchdogs. Protection dogs are extremely intelligent, and they can be a great companion as well. No matter which type of protection dog you choose, either can be an excellent investment for home security.