Do you want to feel safer at home, and also ensure that your family is safe at all times? Do you need a way to keep intruders, thieves, and other trespassers away from your property?
Getting a suitable and capable guard dog is one of the best ways to ensure that you, your family, and your belongings are protected.
There are many dog breeds around the world that have bred specifically developed to be protectors and guards. Others, which have been developed for other purposes like hunting, herding or fighting can also become excellent guard dogs with the proper training and socializing.
Keep in mind that guard dogs usually are strong, large and have strong territorial and protective instincts, which need to be controlled and channeled via early consistent training and socializing, so they are definitely not suitable dogs for first-time dog owners or for those who do not have the experience, the patience, the confidence or the time to train their pups.
Also, many of these powerful dogs are not suitable for apartment living either.
But if you have the knowledge, the confidence, space, the responsibility, and the time to train your dog into becoming the perfect and obedient guard dog, then there is no alarm system or any other security system which is more reliable than a capable guard dog.
Here are the most reliable guard dog breeds from around the world.
The largest of all Japanese native breeds, the Akita is known for its amazing loyalty to its owners, for its intelligence, and for being one of the best guard dogs in the world.
These courageous canines will quickly become strongly devoted to you and your family and will be ready to protect you all from any strangers.
The Akita can grow to a height of up to 28 inches at the shoulder and a weight of up to 130 lbs.
It has an inborn protective skill, and will readily guard you and your family without special training.
It is a fact that the dogs from this famous Japanese working dog breed need to be socialized and trained properly and from an early age to help curb their natural standoffish and sometimes aggressive instincts to strangers and their intolerance to other animals.
The Akita has been a symbol of dignity, loyalty, and courage for centuries in Japan, as well as for family protection, long life, happiness, and good health.
Anatolian Shepherd Dog
These large-sized dogs are one of the most ancient livestock protection breeds in the world. They are rugged, smart and strong protectors, which are considered one of the best and most reliable dog breeds on Earth.
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog can reach a height at the shoulder of 27-29 inches, and a weight of up to 150 lbs.
They have very strong natural protective instincts and will do anything to protect you, your family and even your other pets from strangers and from danger.
As such large dogs with such strong protective drives, the Anatolian Shepherd Dogs need serious and consistent training by strong leaders. They are definitely not suitable for inexperienced dog owners.
When trained properly and socialized well, the dogs from this breed will become not only excellent guards but will be loving and calm family pets and companions.
Although the Appenzeller Sennenhund is not among the largest breeds, this dog is extremely agile, muscular, and is a superb watch or guard dog, as well as a driving or farm dog.
The Appenzeller Sennenhunds are usually up to 19-22 inches tall and weigh an average of 48 to 70 lbs.
These medium-sized, tri-colored pups are usually very good in herding, obedience, and agility training, and are often used for rescue jobs as well.
Also known as Appenzeller Mountain Dogs, these fearless and self-assured canines are superb watchdogs, which can never be bribed by intruders.
They are hardworking and highly intelligent dogs with strong territorial and protective instincts, so they do need consistent, firm, and proper training by an experienced owner in order to become loving companions apart from one of the most reliable guard dogs.
A symbol of cowboy life, the Australian Shepherd is a sturdy and lean farm and ranch dog, which makes it among the top herding choices by cowboys.
The dogs from this breed have an absolutely incontrollable urge to herd not only cattle and sheep but just about anything that moves, which can include other dogs and even children.
These dogs are highly intelligent, but also have endless energy levels, so they are great companion dogs and guard dogs for owners who can train them, as well as provide daily physical and mental exercise for them.
Left alone with nothing to do, they can easily become bored and destructive.
The Australian Shepherd has an average height of 19 – 23 inches, and a weight of 40 to 65 lbs.
These graceful, strong and beautiful dogs from France are still among the top preferred service dogs for law enforcement, for mine detection and for army services not only in France but around the world.
These multi-talented canines are excellent herders for cattle, and at the same time are reliable guard dogs and quite capable hunters for wild boar.
They are elegant dogs that reach a height at the shoulder of 24 to 27.5 inches, and a weight of 70 to 110 lbs.
The Beaucerons are very handsome, muscular, large and sturdy protectors and companions.
With the proper training by a dominant owner the Beauceron will easily become one of the most reliable watchdogs one can have. These dogs need to be socialized and trained from day one, which can make them the best guard dogs for all family members and for your home and property.
This elegant and versatile herding dog is among the top preferred dog breeds by the police and the military K9 units around the world.
The Malinois has endless energy and an infinite desire to work and to do its best at its job.
The Mal needs quite a lot of mental and physical exercise and stimulation on a daily basis, as well as needs a job to do at all times.
With proper training, you can teach a dog from this breed to perform just about any task, including being the best guard dog for your family or property.
The dogs from this Belgian breed reach a height of 22 to 26 inches and usually weigh 40 to 80 lbs.
They are highly intelligent and form an unbreakable bond with their human owners and partners at the job.
Built for hard work, the Malinois is one of the most impressive canines to watch perform its job or an obedience regime.
Black Russian Terrier
Originally developed in the USSR by the Red Star Kennel as a super dog that can survive in the coldest and harshest conditions, and which can work as an unstoppable guard dog for the soviet borders, the army, and the prisons, the Black Russian Terrier is still one of the most impressive guard dogs out there.
With a height of up to 30 inches at the shoulder, a massive head, and a weight of up to 130 lbs. the Black Russian Terrier will scare away even the most ruthless intruder.
Since it has been bred specifically to protect and guard, the Black Russian Terrier is naturally aloof with strangers. Part of its heritage includes the Newfoundland, the Giant Schnauzer, the Rottweiler, and the Airedale Terrier, among all 17 breeds used to create this unique working dog.
It can withstand even the coldest and harshest weather thanks to its black tousled coat and strong build.
Even though the dogs from this breed are massive, they are very agile and absolutely tireless when it comes to doing the job they were made for – to protect and guard.
Related: Big Black Dog Breeds
The Boerboel is another dog breed that was specifically created to protect homes and families from thieves and intruders in South Africa.
It is a sturdy, fearless and confident guard dog, which does require consistent training in order to curb its natural stubbornness and independence.
The Boerboel is usually from 22 to 27 inches tall and weighs from 150 to 200 lbs.
Plus, they are among the most agile of all the Mastiff dog breeds, so they are extremely fast.
These bright canines are eager to learn but are pretty dominant, and their natural protective and territorial drives could make them dangerous for people who are not immediate family members, especially if they are not socialized and trained properly and consistently.
Like most other large guard dogs, the Boerboel is definitely not a good choice for a newbie dog owner.
Bouvier des Flandres
The Bouvier des Flandres is a herding dog breed, but it is also a hard-working canine with endless energy and the desire to perform any type of job assigned to it, including being a guard dog.
This burly work dog from Flandres is an all-purpose, versatile canine with a really impressive mustache and beard, and with a waterproof coat covering a muscular and strong body and large chest.
The Bouvier des Flandres reaches a height from 23.5 to 27.5 inches, and a weight from 70 to 110 lbs.
The dogs of this Belgian breed need to be given work to do to be happy and well. They can be great watchdogs, herders and do very well at various dog sports.
During World War II the breed became nearly extinct but thanks to the newly established American Bouvier de Flandres club, it was preserved, and today these dogs are again one of the most popular breeds.
They are definitely suitable for owners who will have the time and possibility to keep their pets busy and active.
Boxers are athletic and fast and are very easy to train. They are not only bright and capable guard dogs, but are highly adaptable and can become best playmates for your children, and excellent companion dogs, even for people who live in apartments.
They are the 11th most popular dog breed in the US, and their height at the shoulder is from 21.5 to 25 inches, and their weight is 65 to 80 lbs.
These working dogs look great, and are brave, graceful and sometimes a bit silly.
Boxers have inborn protective instincts but are also naturally calm, patient and great with children. When socialized properly, they will do their jobs as guard dogs very well, but will also be gentle and fun play buddies for you and the kids as well.
The Briard is everything by fearsome looking. This ancient French dog breed has strong herding instincts and is also very protective of its family and home.
With the right socializing and training, you can curb its natural distrust of strangers.
This kind and intelligent dog has an impressive coat and a head topped with a natural peek-a-boo hairdo.
The Briard is about 22 – 27 inches tall and can weigh between 55 up to 100 lbs.
It is a muscular and tireless dog, which has been recognized as one of the leading herding breeds for centuries.
It does have the tendency to herd the children and the family and to do everything it can to keep everybody at home protected and well.
With a strong work drive and a lot of energy, the Briard requires a lot of exercising and will be at its happiest if you give it a job to do. Still, it won’t mind snoozing at home beside you on a rainy day too.
The Bullmastiff has natural guarding instincts, so it doesn’t require special trading to be an excellent guard dog.
The breed was developed for the protection of game from poachers by gamekeepers.
These dogs are 24-27 inches tall and weigh from 100-130 lbs.
They are fearless and energetic when it is time for work and during the rest of the time docile and calm at home.
The Bullmastiff is a smart, brave and very loyal dog.
Even though it is a loyal and loving companion dog, you will still need to train it and socialize it in a timely manner, just like with any large and strong guarding dog breed.
Developed to hunt boar and other large game as well as for guarding, the Cane Corso is a large-sized working dog that is very intelligent, learns fast and becomes strongly devoted to its human family.
It does require a lot of space and a lot of exercises, so the Cane Corso is definitely suited for homes with large and safely fenced backyards, rather than for apartment living.
This Italian guard dog has a natural drive for guarding, but its other natural skills need honing, curbing and consistent and patient training.
The majestic Corso is 23.5-27.5 inches at the shoulder, and will usually weigh in proportion to its height – and easily reach 100 lbs. or more.
Its muscular body, and the alert expression on its large head, the Cano Corso can be really intimidating to intruders. In fact, these smart dogs often use their appearance as their main weapon against potential intruders, and rarely bark or attack if a stranger is sensed.
As with the rest of the large-sized guard dogs, this breed is recommended for experienced owners only who can gain the dominant role in the hierarchy, and who know how important socializing dogs of this kind is.
If this is not the case, the Cane Corso will happily become the dominant figure in the family, which can be quite difficult to manage and even dangerous.
Catahoula Leopard Dog
This beautiful dog breed originating from Louisiana is medium to large-sized and is a very serious guard dog thanks to its powerful and muscular body structure and its natural endurance and agility.
It is a multipurpose dog breed that has a strong natural territorial and protective dog which makes it a reliable watchdog, but can also be dangerous if left without control via firm training and early socialization.
These intelligent dogs respond only to positive training and will easily become aggressive defending themselves against harsh treatment.
The height of the dogs from this breed is about 22-24 inches and its weight is 50-95 lbs.
As soon as the Catahoula Leopard Dog learns its place in the hierarchy at home, it will become a loving, affectionate and loyal companion dog.
The breed is also known as the Catahoula Hog Dog and has been used as a guard dog, a bay dog, a stock dog, a tree dog, and for all kinds of purposes, apart from being preferred as a loyal companion dog by the owners of this American dog breed.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
The sheer size of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is enough to scare away any intruder or predator.
These giant dogs from the Caucasian Mountain region were and still are used as one of the most reliable guard dogs for flocks in the mountain and steppe areas of the Caucasus.
The dogs from this breed can reach a weight of up to 220 lbs. and a height of 23-30 inches.
They are fearless and are known to fight to death when predators such as wolves, jackals, coyotes, and bears attack the flock or their shepherd.
The Caucasian Ovcharkas still have this strong protective drive, so it comes to no surprise that they are among the best guard dog breeds in the world.
These massive dogs may be fearless and fierce when protecting their flock, family or home, but they are otherwise calm, loving and extremely loyal family dogs and companions.
Naturally, as with all dogs of this size, power, and type, they are suitable only for owners who have a lot of experience training and socializing dogs of this kind and size.
Central Asian Shepherd Dog
These large dogs are incredibly agile despite the fact that they can weigh a minimum of 88 to 110 lbs. so they can easily chase away any intruder out of your backyard or home.
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is known to develop an incredibly strong bond with its owner as well as to all possessions of the owner.
The height at the shoulder of these large dogs is minimum 25.5 to 27.5 inches.
It is a balanced, self-assured and fearless dog known for its ability to fight off even the largest predators to protect its flock and owner.
This is one of the oldest dog breeds, which unlike most others was not specifically developed by people, or by a distinct population or country. In fact, artifacts of this breed were found in the vast territory of Central Asia, and some of them have been dated back to 5,000 years ago.
These livestock guardian dogs are still used as guard dogs by the nomadic tribes in the central Asian regions.
They are amazing guardians and will do everything in their power to protect their humans, their flock, and whatever else is placed or located on their territory.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
This bright and upbeat duck dog from the Mid-Atlantic is not only an excellent retriever but is also overly protective of its owners. Even though it is polite to strangers, it does have a natural suspicion towards them.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is usually from 21 to 26 inches tall and weighs from 55 to 80 lbs.
It has a powerful build, an oily and wavy coat, and distinctive amber-yellow eyes.
These dogs are affectionate, sensitive and very intelligent, and even though they can be trained pretty easily, they are still quite independent canines.
Chessies are pretty good athletes, gundogs and guard dogs, and with proper socializing and training they can become perfect companions for families, and for hunters.
The Doberman is among the best guard dog breeds in the world. These elegant dogs are muscular, very fast and can attack intruders very powerfully.
The Dobies are highly intelligent and will become very obedient and loyal dogs when trained properly.
They are excellent protectors of the family and of large properties, and at the same time are docile, loving and can even be goofy when spending time with their human families at home.
According to various tests and ratings, the Doberman Pinscher is the fifth most intelligent dog breed in the world.
It doesn’t need professional training to become a reliable watchdog, but it is essential to spend the time and effort to socialize and train your Dobie to be obedient and tolerant of other dogs and strangers if you want to avoid problems with visiting guests and with friends in the future.
These alert and incredibly agile guard dogs reach a height of 24 to 28 inches and a weight of 60 to 100 lbs.
They are elegant but powerful, beautiful and smart and are among the finest protection dogs in the world.
Also, check this incredible crossbreed between Doberman and Lab: Doberdor
Estrela Mountain Dog
The name of this breed comes from the Estrela Mountains located in Portugal. This mountain dog is among the oldest breeds from the region.
These dogs reach a height of 24.5 to 29 inches at the withers and a weight of 77 to 132 lbs.
They have highly distinctive rosed ears, black masks on their faces and hooked tails.
They are intelligent, brave and alert guard dogs that were originally bred to be livestock guardians.
The Estrela Mountain Dog does have a natural domineering nature which is why it is absolutely crucial that the puppies from this breed are trained and socialized from as early as possible, in order to prevent aggression and dangerous situations when the pup grows up.
The dogs from this breed are known to bond strongly to the whole family but to develop a special connection and love for a chosen person from the family for life.
They are excellent guard dogs for farms and houses but are quite calm and gentle with their owners.
Otherwise known as the Brazilian Mastiff, the Fila Brasiliero is a giant dog breed that is naturally wary of strangers, and thus a superb guard dog.
The problem with the dogs from this Brazilian breed is that they can be stubborn and thus hard to train.
The Fila Brasiliero has a unique appearance, figure, and gait. It is believed that the breed was developed by crossing Bloodhounds, English Mastiffs, and Bulldogs back in the 15th century.
They have higher back ends than their fronts, wrinkles, loose skin, and are very large-sized. Yet they move very quickly, with feline-like strides.
The world Filar in Portuguese means to grab, arrest or hold.
These dogs were used as guard dogs which were taught to sense, chase and capture predators, as well as cattle.
The Filas then would capture the animal by the neck and would hold it until the owner appeared.
In fact, this instinct can still be observed when you observe puppies from this breed playing with each other or with other dogs.
Their natural protective instincts remain very strong even with serious training, so they are not suitable for people who like to entertain a lot of guests at home. Even the judges at dog exhibitions will evaluate Filas by observation and physical examination only, without handling the dogs.
So, this amazing guard dog breed is definitely not for everyone.
German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd is one of the most recognizable dog breeds in the world, it is also one of the most popular ones too. In the US, the German Shepherd Dog is number 2 in popularity.
The dogs from this breed are largely recognized as one of the best protection dogs too.
They are confident and fearless and are among the top preferred breeds for the K9 services and units of the police and army. Due to their high intelligence, athleticism, and loyalty, the German Shepherds are also considered one of the finest all-purpose work dogs in the world.
They are exceptionally loyal and will never be rebellious, unlike many other dog breeds.
The German Shepherd Dogs form very strong bonds with their humans, and are ready to defend them even this means dying for them.
This is a highly active and intense breed that requires serious training, and while it has natural instincts to guard and protect, the dog from this breed will benefit immensely from training to become a guard dog by an experienced owner or handler.
These dogs need to be socialized well in order to avoid them from becoming nervous or fearful later on.
The German Shepherd is usually from 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulders and weighs from 50 to 90 lbs.
They are capable of learning a multitude of commands for various tasks and are gentle family pets along with being reliable guard dogs. still, the breed is known to be kind of aloof, which prevents these dogs to form indiscriminate and immediate friendships.
Giant Schnauzers are truly giant-sized and have an average height of up to 25.5 inches for females, and up to 27.5 inches for males. Their weight is from 55 to 85 lbs.
They are strong, dominant and powerful dogs that require consistent and firm training. They are energetic and smart and require constant attention as well as daily physical and mental situation.
The Giant Schnauzers are extremely loyal dogs that will protect you at any given moment, which makes them one of the top guard dog breeds in the world.
They are alert, smart, loyal and powerful dogs that were bred in the 17th century in Germany from Great Danes, German Pinschers and the Bouvier des Flandres dog breeds. The initial purpose of this dog breed was to drive livestock and to guard farms, but later on, the Giant Schnauzers started being used to guard breweries, factories, and shops in the city too. During World War I and World War II, the dogs from this breed were used as military dogs, and this is when the breed first became known out of the state of Bavaria, Germany.
Where it is legal, the dogs from this breed can have cropped ears and docked tails, they come in either black or in pepper and salt colors.
Perro de Presa Canario
The Perro de Presa Canario, aka the Canary Mastiff, is a large, rare and fiery mastiff-type guard dog from the Island of Gran Canaria.
The dogs from this breed were used to herd cattle and to guard. They have a calm and confident appearance, with well-proportioned strong bodies and black masks on their faces.
The height of the Canary Mastiff at the shoulders is from 22 to 26 inches, and its weight is usually from 84 to 110 lbs.
This self-confident dog has a deep bark and a balanced temperament. It has a firm stance when alert but is docile with its human family.
Due to its instincts to protect, and its suspiciousness to strangers, the Perro de Presa Canario should be bought or adopted only by owners who have owned dogs of this size and type, and know how to properly train and socialize them in order to prevent aggressive and potentially dangerous behavior later on.
The Puli may not look as intimidating as many of the larger dogs from our list, but this unique-looking dog is actually a great guard dog.
Pulis are constantly under alert and will bark any time any stranger or something out of the ordinary is happening.
They are intelligent dogs but require constant entertainment and companionship, which makes them perfect family pets and guard dogs for active families who prefer spending their time outdoors.
Pulis are small-sized and reach a height of up to 17 inches and a weight of just 25-30 lbs. but they are agile, athletic and alert.
They love hiking, running, spending time outdoors with their humans, and will always keep them informed if danger or something suspicious is sensed.
They are smart and quick learning canines with highly recognizable cord-like coats which are dense and weatherproof.
They are natural acrobats and require daily exercise and play, as well as human companionship at all times.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is known best for the recognizable ridge on its back, as well as for the fact that the breed was originally developed to hunt lions, boar, and bears in South Africa.
These athletic, elegant and noble dogs are highly adaptable and are used for hunting, for agility, as running and sports buddies, as well as for hiking companions and for guard dogs.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is extremely loyal to its family and has a natural inclination to protect it. this is why specialized guard dog training is not recommended for the dogs from this South African breed because it can intensify this strong drive to a point where it becomes dangerous.
Obedience training, on the other hand, is absolutely essential. So are early socialization as well as daily walks and exercise.
These dogs are known to bark only when it is absolutely necessary, so when your Rhodesian Ridgeback barks, then something definitely worthy of your attention is happening.
When trained properly, these dogs can become loving family pets and companion dogs which will love acting as cuddly lapdogs in the privacy of your home.
Their height at the shoulder is from 24 to 27 inches, and their weight is from 70 to 80 lbs.
Rottweilers were originally developed in Germany as cattle drivers as well as cart pullers. They are muscular and strong dogs with broad chests. They are confident and calm animals that are aloof of strangers but never fearful or aloof of them.
Rotties are superb natural guard dogs and are commonly used as service dogs by the police, the army, customs, and border control, as well as for family protectors and companions.
In order to curb and be able to control their natural instinct to protect their families and their natural drive for being aggressive to strange humans and animals, you should work on socializing the Rottie puppy as early as possible. Without proper, consistent, firm and fair training these strong dogs can easily become dominant, and dangerous rather than loving protection dogs. in fact, left without proper control and training these dogs can easily become aggressive to people they know including to family members as well.
The size of these dogs is typically from 22 to 27 inches at the shoulder, and their weight is from 85 to 115 lbs.
Needless to say, Rottweilers are exceptional guard dogs, but they are definitely not the best choice for people with no experience in training and caring for dogs of this category, strength level, and breed type.
On the other hand, with proper socializing and training, the Rottie can be a lovable and even goofy family pet that will love cuddling and spending time with its humans – young and old.
Don’t worry about early training and socializing harming the Rottweiler’s ability to guard and protect. They will only harness and direct these natural instincts and abilities in the right way further on as the dog matures.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier often gets mistaken for an American Pit Bull Terrier.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is actually a crossbreed between a Bulldog and a Terrier. It is muscular, powerful and territorial.
This dog breed was originally developed for fighting bulls and bears, which has made it naturally protective and aggressive. These traits along with the physical traits of the dogs from this breed make them excellent guard dogs, but of course, when they are trained, socialized and can be properly directed and controlled at all times.
With proper care, attention and love, the dog from this breed can become loyal and loving family pets and companion dogs.
They are known to be tenacious, smart and fearless canines, which reach a height of 14 to 16 inches, and a weight of 24 to 38 lbs.
Today, thanks to responsible breeding these former fighters are more common as playful and loving companions which will show aggression only when protecting a member of the family.
Still, Staffies do need consistent, fair, and firm training and socializing from an early age in order to ensure that you, your family and the guests of your home, as well as other dogs you meet in the park, will be safe at all times.
Originating from Thailand, the Thai Ridgeback is a relatively new breed recognized by the AKC. Like the Rhodesian Ridgeback, it has a specific ridge that runs across its back and in the opposite direction of the rest of its coat.
Another typical feature of these rare dogs is the fact that their tongues are either spotted or completely blue.
The Thai Ridgeback is typically 20-24 inches tall and weighs from 35 to 75 lbs.
It is a highly active, tough and muscular dog that is known for its agility and especially for its ability to jump.
It is a loyal and highly intelligent dog breed with strong survival and protective instincts.
The breed was originally developed for hunting and guarding, and the ancestors of today’s dogs from this breed often had to hunt for their own food and be self-sufficient.
This has made them one of the dog breeds with the strongest survival skills and the highest intelligence levels.
Like with other dog breeds, when the Thai Ridgeback is properly socialized and trained it can become a loving and loyal family pet. It has natural protective instincts and is suspicious of strangers which should be channeled and controlled with consistent, firm and fair training by an experienced owner.
When we talk about guard dogs, there is no way that the Tibetan Mastiff doesn’t make it to one of the first places on the list. This ancient dog breed is the ultimate protection dog.
It is massive in size and is instinctively suspicious of strangers and very territorial.
The Tibetan Mastiff may not be the most affectionate of all dog breeds, but it is a loyal canine that will protect you and your family at all times.
The height at the shoulder of these dogs is from 24 to 26 inches, and its weight is from 70 to 150 lbs.
These huge dogs with dense coats are pretty intimidating and are extremely watchful and aloof with people they don’t know.
Any intruder will be worried when they meet this substantial dog.
Despite their massive size, the Tibetan Mastiffs are actually quite quick and can get to a suspicious intruder very fast when needed.
During the rest of the time, the Tibetan Mastiff will happily spend its day keeping an eye on its property.
In fact, this naturally intelligent dog will much prefer to spend the day outdoors watching over your home and property rather than going on long walks or obeying your commands.
Then again, this smart, beautiful, and capable guard dog is one of the best ways to keep yourself, your family, and your home protected.