If you’re looking for a guard dog or the most protective dog breeds, don’t just settle for any breed. Though Great Danes, Doberman pinschers, and German shepherd dogs are popular, they are not the only breeds that make great guard dogs. There are certain breeds that were made to be loyal, fierce, and protective.

Here’s a list of the 10 most protective dog breeds that you can depend on to keep you, your family, and your property safe. These amazing ‘personal protection dogs’ will be there for you whenever they sense trouble or see intruders they don’t recognize.

It’s important to note that just because a dog comes from a breed used for protection, that does not make it dangerous. And these are great family dogs. They need just as much love as popular dogs like the Aussie Shepherd.

What Are Protective Dog Breeds?

Protective dog breeds are generally dogs bred specifically for protection, hunting, or fighting. Often, protective dog breeds are generally not overly friendly and tend to be larger. For more details, see why dogs are protective.

10. Pit Bull

The Pit Bull can get pretty big but they still think they’re lap dogs. They’re friendly, outgoing, and very observant, which makes them a great watchdog. They typically bark out of excitement because they’re eager to make new friends.

The Pit Bull is actually a general term in the United States referring to the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire TerrierAmerican BullyStaffordshire Bull Terrier and occasionally the American Bulldog. People also refer to any crossbreed of these dogs as a Pitbull. Dog enthusiasts in the UK only know the American Pit Bull Terrier as Pitbulls.

Why are They a Good Watchdog?

This protective dog breed doesn’t exactly make them the best watchdog in the traditional sense, but they’ll let you know of unwanted guests in their own way. If their family is ever put into a bad situation with an intruder or anyone else who tries to hurt them, pit bulls are fiercely brave and loyal and will protect their people at all costs.

These were originally bred as hunting dogs which would bite and hold large animals on the face and head. Controversy surrounds this dog but you should check out the facts yourself at The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) website. More data suggests owners are the biggest contributor to bad dog behavior.

They have very powerful jaws so if you want this dog breed make sure you have lots of indestructible dog toys for them to chew on!

Pit Bull Size

  • About 2 feet tall at the shoulders.

Pit Bull Weight

  • 35 to 90 lbs

Pit Bull Lifespan

  • Pit bulls have diverse breeding with a lifespan of 12 to 14 years.

Looking for More Information About Pit Bull Dog Breed?

Try reading a book to see if this is the dog for you! It’s called “I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet“. This book is a great guide on Pit Bulls and helps you understand more about this type of dog.

9. The Akita Dog Breed

A bold, strong-willed dog and Akita is intelligent and loyal, all traits which make him a good guard dog and a great family dog. These dogs don’t bark as much as some other breeds but will make enough noise when the situation warrants it.

Akitas Temperament

Akitas are stubborn and a little difficult to train and might be a bit much for a first-time dog owner. This protective dog breed need plenty of exercise or they will become bored and get themselves into trouble, usually by destroying their owner’s house. Find some good active dog toys so this dog can release lots of energy. Pet Cameras are also useful if you’re gone during the day. They are very social animals.

Akita Size

  • 23-25 inches at the shoulders

Akita Weight

  • 75 to 110 lbs

Akita Lifespan

  • Akitas are healthy with a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

Try an automatic dog ball launcher if you want your dog to get great exercise and have a fun doing it! Manual Launchers are also great for greatly increasing the distance you can throw your dogs ball! Save

8. The Doberman Pinscher Dog Breed

Doberman’s are smart, loyal, and trustworthy but they also know how to loosen up and have a little fun with their family. These dogs are natural guard dogs that will become aggressive when he feels that his pack is under attack but is generally a docile, loving companion.

Doberman Temperament

Dobermans are busybodies and like to be physically and mentally active. Because of their tendency to be fiercely defensive of their family, it’s important to find out from your breeder about the temperament of parents and siblings.

You don’t want to be stuck with a protective dog breed that is unable to control himself around all strangers. Pick one that’s neither aggressive nor shy and you’ll have a guard dog that will protect you with all his heart.

Doberman Pinscher Size

  • 24-28 inches at the shoulders

Doberman Pinscher Weight

  • Most Dobermans will range from 71 to 90 lbs. But you can get miniature pinschers, too. And these do not fit our protective dog breeds profile!

Doberman Pinscher Lifespan

  • Doberman Pinschers live to be about 10 to 13 years.

Looking for More Information About the Doberman Pinscher Dog Breed? Email us using the form at the bottom of the page.

7. The Chow Chow Dog Breed

It’s been said that Chow Chows have the personality of a cat. They like their family but tend to ignore strangers, acting aloof and minding their own business unless they feel that someone is threatening their family, which is why they make excellent guard dogs.

Chow Chow Temperament

Chow Chows do best when they grow up with a family. If they’re raised with young children, they learn to respect each other and figure out how the relationship will work. But this is a semi-serious protective dog breed that doesn’t particularly like to play rough so it might not be a good idea to introduce them into a family with school-aged children who have never had a dog before.

Chow Chow Size

  • 19-22 inches at the shoulders

Chow Chow Weight

  • 44 to 60 lbs

Chow Chow Lifespan

  • Chows are a healthy breed live to be about 9 to 15 years.

Want to know Why This Protective Dog Breed is Good For Kids?

Try Reading the Owners guide to Chow Chows.

Dogs can be expensive if your looking for a pure bred. Learn about the most expensive dog breeds!

6. The Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are born hunters and need plenty of exercise and room to run around. Make sure your yard is secure because this protective dog breed will go after cats, rabbits, and other small animals.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Temperament

As they get older, Rhodesian Ridgebacks mellow a bit. They’re great guard dogs because, while they don’t bark excessively, the will warn you when something is going on. They love their people and are somewhat cautious with outsiders.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Size

  • 24-27 inches at the shoulders

Rhodesian Ridgeback Weight

  • 64 to 90 lbs

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lifespan

  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks do not have the longest life span which is about 10 to 12 years. These dogs are not unhealthy but can suffer from joint issues, hearing loss or sinus issues.

5. The Rottweiler Dog Breed

Rottweilers are aloof, yet confident and brave. They love their family and are quite affectionate but don’t warm to strangers very easily. They have a strong desire to protect their family and their home but shouldn’t be aggressive without a reason unless they’ve been bred to behave that way.

Rottweiler Temperament

Males are a little more standoffish and observant than females, who can be a little more open and friendly. They’re stubborn dogs that can be trained by an experienced dog owner. You’ll need to put a lot of time and effort into training your Rottweiler. Because they have a reputation for aggression, it’s easy to overlook or avoid this breed. Check with the breeder about incidents of aggression in the dog’s lineage.

Rottweiler Size

  • 22-27 inches at the shoulders

Rottweiler Weight

  • 77 to 130 lbs

Rottweiler Lifespan

  • These Dogs have a shorter lifespan of 8-11 years. This dog can have joint issues and health issues if allowed to become obese. Keep them thin and healthy with fetch toys and good food to lengthen their lifespan.

Want to Know More About the Personality of the Rottweiler Dog Breed?

Here is a great book about Rottweilers.

4. The German Shepherd Dog Breed

German Shepherds are laid back and don’t get excited very easily. They’re fiercely loyal and, once they have made a friend, they’ll be protective of them. They are affectionate and loving with their people but aren’t afraid to do what they have to do to defend them if trouble arises. You can depend on a German shepherd to be an excellent guard dog.

German Shepherd Temperament

They’re smart, easily trained, and get bored easily. They like to work and have a purpose and can be taught to do almost anything. German shepherds not only need physical exercise, they also like to use their brains. They don’t like to be left alone and can get frustrated and occasionally destructive when they are. If your German Shephard needs some entertainment consider some good fetch toys.

German Shepherd Size

  • 22-26 inches at the shoulders

German Shepherd Weight

  • 49 to 88 lbs

German Shepherd Lifespan

Want to Know More about German Shepherd?

Are you interested in learning more about German Shepherds? We have an article that talks about anything from feeding schedules to growth charts to temperament. Read all about it in our article “The German Shepherd Life Span and Other Interesting Facts“.

3. The Giant Schnauzer Dog Breed

The Giant Schnauzer is an ideal companion and guard dog—loving and present with their family, assertive and bold in the face of the unknown.

Giant Schnauzer Temperament

They’re protective of their territory and don’t trust strangers but know how to loosen up and have fun when around friends. They’re quite smart which makes them a little difficult to train. They like to be in charge so it’s important that their owner is able to give them consistent guidance so they know who’s the boss.

Giant Schnauzer Size

  • 24-28 inches at the shoulders

Giant Schnauzer Weight

  • 55 to 110 lbs

Giant Schnauzer Lifespan

  • These Dogs have a great lifespan of 12-15 years!

Do You Want to Know More About Training Your Giant Schnauzer?

2. The Boxer Dog Breed

Boxers are fun, clownish dogs that like to make you laugh but they also have a serious side.

Boxer Temperament

This protective dog breed is observant, always paying attention, and confident, but wary of strangers. They’re great with children because they’re patient and playful and polite to strangers unless they sense a threat. Boxers are loyal to their owners and will defend them no matter what. They generally don’t like to be left alone so if you’re gone all day consider a pet camera to check in on them.

Boxer Size

  • 21-25 inches at the shoulders

Boxer Weight

  • 55 to 71 lbs

Boxer Lifespan

  • These Dogs have a lower lifespan of 10-12 years. They can suffer from several health issues and need to be tested for certain genetic conditions. Feeding your dog well will help lengthen their lifespan and cut down on sicknesses such as cancer.

Learn Why the Boxers are a Great Dog Breed:

1.  The Bullmastiff Dog Breed

The Bullmastiff is the ideal guard dog. They’re brave, self-assured, and generally a large dog that can look quite formidable.

Bullmastiff Temperament

They’re smart and dependable and always want to make their owner happy. They were actually bred to be watchdogs although they don’t bark a lot. They don’t need to. Any intruder who came face to face with a bullmastiff would surely go running in the opposite direction.

Bullmastiff Size

  • 21-25 inches at the shoulders

Bullmastiff Weight

  • 55 to 71 lbs

Bullmastiff Lifespan

  • These Dogs have a shorter lifespan of 8-10 years. These dogs are very large and can develop joint issues as well as cancer issues. Feeding this protective dog breed healthy dog food will help with these issues and prolong your dog’s lifespan.

Want to Know More About Why Bullmastiff’s are Great Watchdogs?

Protective Dog Breed Training Resources

With dogs like these, you will want to make sure and get the right toys! These dogs all go through toys quickly due to their strength and size. With indestructible dog toys, you can save money and keep your dog happy and having fun. Find some great indestructible dog toys here.

Once you get your protective dog breed, you will need to train them to be effective in time of need. Check out the following book as great resources to train your dog:

Other Dog Breeds

Are you interested in finding a breed of dog that is well equiped to learn how to catch frisbees? This is such a fun interaction to have with your dog and provides excersize and lasting memories for both you and your dog. This guide “A guide to the Best Frisbee Dog Breeds”  provides details on which dog breeds are the best suited to learn to play frisbee. Check it out!

What Dog Breeds do you Think are the Most Protective and Loyal?

We would love to hear your comments!