For the most part, we love dogs because they make loyal, loving companions. We don’t need them to do anything except cuddle up with us on the couch while we binge Netflix shows or cry over a breakup. Even though dogs make perfect companions now, they have been used as fierce guide dogs in the past. If you are looking to feel a little bit more protected at home, you might want to look into the breeds on this list.
Read on for a variety of breeds that live to keep their people safe.
German Shepherds are the ultimate working dogs. These dogs are known to work with the armed forces, police officers, and various detection units. they are extremely smart and also quite emotionally intelligent.
Their muscular but acrobatic physique puts them at an advantage over intruders, but they are gentle with family and would do anything to save the ones they love. These dogs often have a bark that’s worse than their bite, but when they do bite, you better watch out.
Weighing in around 100 pounds, Akita dogs have a strong build beneath their thick and fluffy coat that makes them great guard dogs. In their ancient home of Japan, they are highly regarded as family protectors and were bred to be both guardians and hunters.
As such, they are often wary of other dogs and of strangers, so they won’t think twice about defending you. At the same time, they have a silly side that they’re happy to share with family and friends.
The Rottweiler is another breed that often comes to mind when we think of guard dogs. These pups are actually quite gentle, but they look very intimidating when they growl or raise their upper lip.
Rottweilers love being around people and are eager to please their owners. They have an aggressive side that shouldn’t be encouraged during playtime. These dogs have great instincts, but you don’t want them snapping at kids who are just learning how to play gently with dogs.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers
Staffordshire Bull Terriers get a bad rap. People think that these dogs (also referred to as Pit Bulls) are naturally vicious or aggressive. This could not be further from the truth. Staffies can fight if they’re trained to fight, but generally, they are very gentle and loving dogs.
These clever dogs are well-equipped to tackle any threat that comes their way, but are sensitive to their owners’ wants. Well trained Staffies will play gently with kids and protect their owners when needed.
Chow Chows are an ancient breed that were actually bred to be guard dogs for Chinese royalty. These dogs kind of look like little lions. If lions are the king of the jungle, Chow Chows are the king of the house. They won’t let in any uninvited guests.
They are easily housebroken and have little odor, which makes sense with their aristocratic looks! Chows are stubborn, so early socialization is key to a well-rounded pooch.
Bernese Mountain Dogs
Big, beautiful Bernese Mountain Dogs aren’t the kind of dogs you want to mess with. Mostly, these dogs love to play and they love to please, but they’re also very big dogs and can easily knock over a regular-sized human.
Although the Bernese is fairly imposing in size, they aren’t threatening in the general sense. They just tend to be aloof with strangers but will switch gears really fast if they think one of their own is in danger.
Bullmastiffs are rather lazy dogs, but they can spring into action if they think their owner is being threatened. This breed has a history of pursuing poachers in England, so you can rest assured that these dogs are well equipped with the skills needed to deter an intruder.
Bullmastiffs can be a bit stubborn, so they’re best suited to experienced dog owners or owners who can dedicate a lot of time to training their furry friend.
The Giant Schnauzer
Giant Schnauzers are certainly giant. These dogs might not be as big as a Bullmastiff, but they can easily weigh in at over 95 pounds. That’s 95 pounds of pure muscle. This stocky breed can really pack a punch.
Unlike a lot of bigger dog breeds, the Giant Schnauzer has a lot of energy and needs to be exercised multiple times a day. Thankfully, this high-energy pooch is very intelligent and trainable. They are very loyal dogs who will protect their owners at all costs.
Boxers are one of the most popular dog breeds in America. These dogs are hardworking, funloving, and full of energy. They are full of curiosity and can be silly at times, which is why we often see them in so many funny internet videos.
These goofballs of the canine world are also really great watchdogs. They take their job as watchdogs and guard dogs very seriously and will rush forward at the first sign of a threat.
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
If you haven’t heard of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, that’s because this breed isn’t as popular as its Labrador and Golden Retriever relatives. Even so, these dogs are just as affectionate and loyal as their cousins. They can be quite wary of strangers, though.
They’ll be polite at first, but the minute they need to they’ll race to protect their humans. These emotionally complex dogs are both obedient and independent. They can fend for themselves if they need to but they much prefer to stay close to their human companions.
Australian Shepherds are a wonderful mixture of sweet and sour, being both playful and work-oriented. They have a strong impulse to herd and are bursting with energy, so they love to have a job to do and require strong training.
Aussies form a deep bond with their family and will turn all of that energy toward protecting those they love. The breed’s intelligence and loyalty make them easy to train, so long as the owner is willing to provide them with the attention and activity they need.
The Appenzeller Sennenhund
The Appenzeller Sennenhund, also known as the Appenzeller Mountain Dog or Appenzell Cattle Dog, is both fearless and agile. Their muscular build and lively personality make them ready for action at all times.
They are highly intelligent and top the charts in terms of energy, so they require open land that they can freely play on. Appenzeller Sennenhunds make for not only great guard dogs, but also search and rescue animals. Suspicious of strangers, they won’t be easily distracted with bribes.
Anatolian Shepherd Dogs
The Anatolian Shepherd dog stands at just under 2.5 feet tall to the shoulder and weighs up to 150 pounds due to its muscular physique. Bred to protect their flocks, these dogs are skillfully agile and quick thinkers.
Anatolians’ ancestors are some of the oldest-known domestic canines, dating back 6,000 years to the Bronze Age. They have a longstanding reputation for being outstanding guardians. The loyal dogs are wary of strangers, so they need to be socialized at a young age.
Beaucerons look a bit like thicker and fluffier Dobermans with their pointy ears and black and auburn fur, but they can also have a black-gray-tan coat. Regardless of their fur, their tall and muscular build combined with their confident expression are sure to ward off any threats.
These dominant dogs will own their owner, so they need firm but fair training and plenty of mental and physical exercise. By the same token, they are wonderful protectors of the young and defenseless as they are sensitive and smart creatures.
The Belgian Laekenois
The Belgian Laekenois (pronounced Lak-in-wah) is both sturdy and agile, making it no match for intruders. Its dark snout emphasizes its watchful eyes, which are both observant and full of life.
These dogs are very affectionate when it comes to their family, and want nothing more than to please their owner. As such, they take well to training and are sure to protect their master and their property. They are often reserved around strangers but love being around humans they can trust.
Black Russian Terriers
Black Russian Terriers are brawny, shaggy animals full of power. Though they are energetic, they have a calm side that comes out when they get enough exercise. These dominating animals need firm training, but that’s also what makes them intimidating to strangers.
Full of power and confidence, Black Russian Terriers were bred to protect. They are moderately wary of strangers, but won’t hesitate to make their dominance known since these courageous dogs are built to guard.
This is a Tibetan Mastiff, and they are known to be one of the best guardians out there. Although their size and demeanor are a bit imposing and intimidating, they are very mellow around their human companions.
This breed is devoted to their family, being a built-in security system for their loved ones. While Mastiffs are loving towards their family, they can be very aloof and territorial if a stranger walks through the door.
Boerboels descend from the same ancestor as Mastiffs, which may explain their strong, bronzy build. One characteristic that some say makes them superior to their Mastiff relatives is their agility.
Bred to act as a shield from the fierce predators of remote South Africa, Boerboels are committed to protecting. Their powerful jaws and thick muscles make them a force you don’t want to reckon with. At the same time, they adore their family and are very calm and smart.
Hovawarts have an even-keeled demeanor that, combined with their loyalty, make them wonderful companions. These intelligent dogs are often on high alert and they have an extra sensitive nose, hence, they are a valuable resource in search and rescue organizations.
These self-confident dogs need an owner that is more directive than they are. With the appropriate training, they can make for wonderful guard dogs as they have a strong instinct to protect their family.
Doberman Pinschers look very intimidating, even if they are softies at heart. They have excellent muscle definition, and they look like they know how to stand up for themselves and their families.
Dobermans are fearless and will gladly stand up to anyone or anything they deem threatening. These loyal dogs are eager to please and love to spend time exercising with their owners, which also keeps them in shape for any task, no matter how dangerous.
Between their active character and impressive jumping ability, Thai Ridgebacks are not easy to get past. Bred to hunt and guard, these dogs have exceptional survival instincts and don’t immediately take to strangers.
Thai Ridgebacks are loyal to their family and protective of their home, but need an owner who can assert their dominance. These tough dogs require their fair share of exercise, so play and dog sports can be a great way to bond with them.
The Bergamasco Sheepdog
The Bergamasco Sheepdog may look like something you would clean your floors with, but that’s part of what makes them such great guard dogs. Their hair strands morph together to form flat layers of felted hair that act as a shield of protection from predators.
Vigilant workers, these dogs are always on the lookout and are wary of strangers at first. At the same time, they are sociable creatures who won’t resort to violence unless they decide it’s needed.
Also known as the Bosnian or Herzegovina-Croatian Shepherd Dog, the Tornjak is thought to be descended from the Tibetan Mastiff. The sturdy breed is quick to threaten anyone they deem a risk towards their home or loved ones.
These dogs are happy to work for their owners and have a great memory. Though they are suspicious of strangers, they are affectionate toward those they know and trust and are calm in safe situations with their owners.
Briard dogs are full of love and have a high spirit that makes them irresistible to their owners. Though their shaggy fur often hangs over their eyes, they are watchful dogs that are especially protective of children.
Though Briards have a somewhat moderate energy level, their work ethic is off the charts and they need an active job, even if it’s just chasing after a tennis ball. They adore human companionship and will pay it forward two-fold in terms of protection.
According to the American Kennel Club, the name Cane Corso comes from the Latin meaning for “bodyguard dog,” so it’s safe to say that guarding is a part of their nature. These affectionate dogs are deeply loyal to their owner.
At the same time, their confidence can evolve into assertiveness towards their people if they aren’t trained properly, so it’s important to remain dominant. This characteristic can be read in the breed’s domineering stare, which seems to say “don’t mess with me.”
Belgian Malinois, sometimes referred to as Mals, are often confused with the German Shepherd breed. These dogs are best known for their police work, being able to pick up odors such as narcotics and even explosives. They tend to get into this line of work because they are highly intelligent and, therefore, easy to train on challenging assignments.
Mals are even used by the U.S. Secret Service to protect the grounds surrounding the White House! These intelligent dogs are friendly and will protect their owners if they detect a threat of any kind.
There is no other breed that resembles the dreadlocked Puli. They are extremely smart, but don’t let the easy training fool you; they are headstrong and aren’t afraid to walk to the beat of their own drum. That being said, Pulis are bred to work closely with humans.
The Puli breed is very faithful to their human companions, and do not take lightly to anyone or anything that they perceive as a threat. Honestly, anyone trying to break into a Puli’s home is in for a surprise. These dogs are called the “acrobat of the dog world,” after all.
The Bouvier Des Flandres
Bouvier des Flandres may be a mouthful to say, but that’s because the name translates to “cowherd of Flanders.” Indeed, these powerful dogs were known for their herding skills, but are also talented guard dogs.
These worker dogs embody the phrase “work hard, play hard,” as they love affection just as much as they love taking on a task. As such, they need an owner who can give them lots of attention and keep them busy. In return, Bouviers will do their best to keep their owners protected.
The Spanish Water
The Spanish water dog needs to be both mentally and physically active, making them excellent guard dogs. They are relatively easy to train but with their herding nature are prone to chasing after squirrels and rabbits. Don’t fault this precious dog; it’s just in their genes.
Spanish water dogs are very loyal to their human companion, but if you ever want to get this breed, it is important to socialize him with strangers from an early age. This breed is known to be wary of people they don’t know, making them vigilant watchdogs.
Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dogs
The Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog is impressive in both its size and character. This breed is known as lively but very stubborn because it enjoys its independence. But don’t let that stubbornness fool you. These dogs are reliable and loyal, enjoying going anywhere with their human companions.
That loyalty is what makes them fantastic guard dogs. While they love their family and are devoted to them, this breed is wary and mistrusting of any strangers that walk into their lives. They love their territory and are serious guardians when the occasion calls for it.
Perro de Presa Canarios
The Perro de Presa Canario is calm and well suited for guarding. They have an attentive expression, but that quickly goes away when they are in the presence of someone they love. Canarios like exercise, but they are also content to snuggle on the couch and be lazy.
They are a confident breed and have no issue making it known. While this breed is loyal to their family, they’re cautious around strangers, especially on their home turf. It is obvious when this breed is on high alert because their stance becomes vigilant and solid.
The national dog of Israel, Canaan Dogs are agile and energetic. This clever breed is loving to family and wary of strangers. Intelligent and confident, they require a strong owner who isn’t afraid to make their dominance known, or the Canaan Dog will take over the household.
With proper training, these ancient dogs will be your most vigilant sidekick and protector. Territorial by nature, they take time to warm up to new people and new environments. With positive reinforcement, they make for well-adjusted guardians.
At their heart, border collies are herding animals. They excel at running sheep and cattle back to their pens. While this might seem like they’re not great guard dogs, they are extremely loyal.
Collies often can be protective of their families and to show that will bark if they see or hear something they don’t recognize. Since they use their bark for herding purposes, it is loud and will ward off most strangers from your home.
Caucasian Shepherd Dogs
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a floofy, sturdy guard dog with a heart of gold. You get the best of both worlds with this breed as they are both fierce and kind, and give back what is given to them.
Devoted to their family, Caucasian Shepherd Dogs have a history of guarding flocks in mountainous territories. The gentle companions have a modest energy level making them lifesize teddy bears that are braced to protect at a moment’s notice.
Great Danes are known for their imposing size and weight. But while they are intimidating, this breed is a joy to live with. They’re patient with kids and are only looking to please their humans. But despite their sweet at-home nature, they are not to be trifled with.
This breed is an alert guardian, and if an intruder is silly enough to enter a house with a Great Dane, they are going to be met with an animal full of spirit and courage. This breed will do everything in their power to keep their loved ones safe.
Central Asian Shepherd Dogs
Central Asian Shepherd Dogs have a soft pride that makes them fit to be both a companion and a property guardian. The highly independent dogs are selective about who they bond with, so owners can rest assured that this breed will not be fooled easily.
Once you have the loyalty of a Central Asian Shepherd Dog, you have a fierce protector who will be quiet and calm in the house but fearless in the face of danger.
With a similar coat to the Bergamasco Sheepdog, Komondorak (plural for Komondor) are buried in their thick layer of white cords. Beneath their natural coat of armor is a dignified guard dog with a respectable history of chasing ferocious beasts away from the sheep of Hungary.
Both loyal and protective, the Komondor is a heavy-boned but light-footed breed that lives for the chase. Though their energy level is medium, they were built to protect and won’t hesitate to investigate anything they deem a threat.
American Leopard Hounds
Known as being one of the oldest dog breeds in the United States, American Leopard Hounds are intelligent and loving. The former is said to be the breed’s best attribute, making them easy to train.
This breed is eager to please their family and is always up for some fun exercise. Leopard Hounds are loyal and love their family. They are also extremely protective of children, so if there is one in the family, this is a great breed choice for a guardian!
According to fans of the Kuvasz, the most beautiful part of the dog is its elegantly proportioned head. We’re not going to disagree! The Kuvasz is a gorgeous breed and looks quite majestic. Honestly, it makes sense why kings would choose this breed for a companion.
This breed is very smart, but they tend to enjoy a bit more independence than other breeds. And while they are great dogs, they might be a bit of a challenge for anyone new to owning a dog. But it doesn’t matter, the Kuvasz is loyal to their family and is a natural guardian who will protect their own at all costs.
The Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees, Pyrs for short, is a thickly coated and immensely powerful mountain dog full of energy. Despite topping the scale in terms of vitality, Pyrs are known for their tremendously calm nature and patient personalities.
Mellow one moment and springing into action the next, these dogs make for wonderful companions and protectors. The smart breed will conserve its energy for when it’s needed, and pack a punch towards any imposing threats. You’re not going to want to threaten this pooch’s family!
Although Chihuahuas are known as “purse dogs,” they are very feisty. This breed is the perfect example of a small dog with a big dog’s personality. They don’t realize how little they are, which makes their personality so funny. Even though they don’t realize their small stature, Chihuahuas are very intelligent and know how to get their way.
But they are very eager to please their family and they excel at obedience training. This loyal pooch isn’t the best with strangers and might bark if someone unknown walks into their home.