Best Home Guard Dogs

guard dog breeds

Which dog breeds make the best home guard dogs? There’s a lot of debate among dog owners as to what a “guard dog” actually is. Below, five breeds are discussed, all of which should be considered home protection dogs. These are not sentry dogs, though a couple could be trained as such. The dogs described in this article are ones that live in your home or yard and will protect you, your family, and your possessions from intruders.

I chose these dog breeds from my personal experience as a breeder, trainer, and dog aficionado. There are many other breeds that excel in this area. These are just my personal favorite best home guard dogs, based on my personal experiences and observations. Generally speaking, these breeds do not need guard dog training to be protective of their family and property, although you might want to "fine tune" them with a dog trainer.

It is important to understand that these dog breeds are typically very confident, with a dominant nature. They require early, consistent training and proper socialization from an experienced owner or from a professional dog trainer.

German Shepherd

This handsome dog is armed with 500 pounds of bite force and has a naturally protective instinct. Although they make great guard dogs, they are very loyal and affectionate with their human families. They’re also one of the smartest breeds in all dogdom. A male typically stands close to 25 inches and weighs about 80 pounds. Initially bred to herd and guard sheep, the German Shepherd is now one of the most popular family and guard dogs in the US. Their work as police dogs is legendary, as is their performance as a search and rescue dog. This breed is responsible for many random bites, so early training is crucial. Also, some German Shepherds are very animal aggressive, so socialization is also important.


The Akita is perhaps the most intelligent of guard dog breeds, other than the German Shepherd. They tend to think first before taking action. This Japanese breed is large and powerful, with males reaching 26 inches at the withers and weighing over 100 pounds. Their dense coat and their Spitz heritage make them ideal for cold climates. Akitas are usually somewhat wary of strangers but are extremely loyal to their human pack members. They are also territorial and will see anything that enters their yard as a possible threat, including other dogs, cats, squirrels, or strangers. The Akita doesn’t bark much but will let you know when there’s an intruder.

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is a powerfully built Mastiff-type from Italy. They stand about 25 inches tall and hit the scales at around 100 pounds. This guy has been a guard dog since ancient times, so it’s in his blood. These dogs are very agile and athletic, with a short coat and a large head. The Cane Corso is a quiet dog that barks only when needed. They are very loving with their family members but can be aggressive when the family is threatened.

Wolf-German Shepherd Hybrid

These dogs are usually either ½ or ¼ timber wolf, and they are imposing and beautiful. For protection purposes, the dogs that are only ¼ wolf are best. When handled properly from a young age, they make wonderful pets and reliable guard dogs. They have a strong sense of loyalty to their human pack and feel it is their duty to protect them. They seem to be always “on duty.” Unless properly socialized, they can be aggressive to other animals – another reason for early training. Like most good guard dogs, the wolf-dog does not bark excessively. This dog demands special training and socialization and is a bad choice for a first-time dog owner.

Doberman Pinscher

The Dobie is the result of German tax collector Louis Dobermann’s effort of creating a guard dog that would protect him and the money he carried. This breed has a square, compact body with a short, sleek coat. The male might be as tall as 28 inches and weigh as much as 100 pounds. Dobermans are high energy dogs and require adequate exercise. While there have been some problems with this breed’s aggression, a dog from a reputable breeder that has been properly trained and socialized should be a loving, affectionate pet who will protect his family when the need arises. Doberman Pinschers are also considered one of the most intelligent breeds of dog.


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Comments 31 comments

akirchner profile image

akirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

Totally the opposite of my breed - great hub though and beautiful pic. Love the Great Dane on the other link!

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks! Those boys are my babies!

Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia

Great Danes and Rottweilers have been used as guard dogs, as have Mastiffs. All three breeds have great temperaments and are great family pets, but can be fierce guard dogs. Most people don't think of Danes as being aggressive, but they were once one of the worst when their main priority was guard and protection. They're big and scary.

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia Author

I love my Great Danes! I included them in my article, "Guard Dogs for Families with Small Children" because the Danes are so good with kids.

Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia

Wouldn't it be right to include them in this article too then? Since they are still guard dogs, whether you have kids or not? Or were you just going with if they're good with kids, they go on the other hub?

By the way wolf-hybrids are illegal, and potentially more dangerous than dogs- to the owners and any intruders. It's not one that really should be suggested on the sole reason of they're illegal to have as pets, IMO.

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Whitney, you might want to read this:

Wolf hybrids are NOT illegal. I've owned 9 and my best friend has owned 3. They're great dogs. Out of those 12, only one was "strange."

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Clarification: Wolf hybrids are legal in most states, but not in every state. Some states treat them no differently than dogs, some require a special permit, some have other requirements for owning one. Check with your specific state's guidelines before buying one.

Jennifer D. profile image

Jennifer D. 7 years ago from Canada

I've worked with dogs of all sizes and so many different breeds. I would never suggest to someone that a wolf hybrid would make a good pet with their tendency towards being unpredictable. Also, I have known Akitas to attack their owners. Was this because the owners were not being "proper" pack leaders? It makes me wonder.

One breed I would most definitely say is a good guard dog would be the Belgian Malinois. These are often used as police dogs because of their high inteligence, keen awareness and total loyalty.

Great subject and great hub!

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia Author

I'm sure the Malinois is a great breed, but I've never had experience with any. My Akitas and wolf hybrids were great pets and excellent guard dogs. As I mentioned in the hub, I would not recommend the wolf-dog to an inexperienced owner. You made a good point about the Akita's owner not being the pack leader.

Thanks for reading. Always nice to meet another "dog person"!

dogpawfile pet community 6 years ago

We have a German Shepherd called Mr.Khan what you say is so true!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

German shepherds are awesome!

Alice 6 years ago

I own a tall purebreed male siberian husky and a large sort-muzzled purebreed male rottweiler and both are professionally trained guard and attack dogs(my siberian husky protected AND FOUGHT FOR ME TWICE and he was only 2 at the time . It depends on how a person makes their dog into what they want it to be. Also wolf- hybrids are great dogs and can be trained into a guard dog,though they naturally growl at and dislike strangers and are very protective of their pack, which is a plusIAlso I had a 3 quarters Australian dingo and 1 quarter german shepherd who was the best guard dog and my best friend when I was a kid.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

alice, I loved my wolf hybrid! your dogs sound awesome!

sash 6 years ago

id say american bull dogs

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Sash, my brother has American bull dogs. Great dogs!

clark farley profile image

clark farley 6 years ago

I gotta step up and say "Go German Shepherds"!

Have always had shepherds, they are the perfect dog (for a person who likes large, strong-willed dogs, that is). Their natural instinct to protect their pack (you and your family) is really interesting to watch being expressed.

Our first shepherd, 'Ola' whose pictures grace most of my hubs to-date) was not trained in any special way, but our 'pack' consisted of myself, my wife and Ola. I was alpha to Ola I bring this up because if the three of us went for a walk, Ola would be quite socialable with anyone or anything we met on the walk.

However, if my wife went for a walk with Ola, she (Ola) would not let anyone or anything get too close to the two of them. Nothing overly aggressive or anything, she just made it clear that the two of them did not need any company on that particular walk.

This was not any deliberate attempt by us (humans) to train or instruct her, Ola simply assumed that if I was not there (the alpha of the pack) then she was in charge.

(Alpha is a very special status/relationship, after Ola died our next dog Bella picked my wife as the alpha, so I got the 'third in line treatment') lol

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Clark, German shepherds are awesome - I've had several. They were all very protective of their human pack without any formal training!

Mischa Safdie' 6 years ago

To the girl that wrote about a Siberian Husky being a good protector and fighting for! I had always read that Siberians were too friendly to strangers and to independent for any protection training. I am curious...when you say the dog fought for you or protected you...was it from another human or was it from an animal. I could see them intervening an attacking another animal just by the high prey drive alone, but not a human. I am not saying though that it is impossible. I researched this once, as I had a Siberian, and found one other person that said their Siberian actually attacked an intruder but that was it. I always believed that any dog that has a strong bond with his owner will protect that owner if push comes to shove....some more quickly than others. It is nice to read your article and I wish you the best with your Siberian. :-)

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Mischa, I've read that about huskies, too, but every dog is unique. Thanks for reading! profile image 5 years ago

Hey Habee:

Having had both a Wolf and an Akita I will say this from my experience: the Akita is the best protector of all time.

They are loyal to a fault. You must be careful of the temperament which is evident from puppy stage. (In Japan (I don't know if this is true any more but it was when I lived there), Akitas must be submitted to state training when the dog is 6 months old, They decide if you get the dog back or if it too aggressive and needs to be put down.)

But there is no better dog for guarding their person.

Nice article. I vote up.


habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Quester! The Akita is a great dog for the right owner.

Suhail Zubaid-Ahmad 5 years ago

I think a dog from any of the LGDs (Livestock Guardian Dog) breeds can become a good guard dog when allowed to bond with people and the property premises, because it is in their nature to guard (with low prey and attack drive). Therefore, Pyrs, Kuvaszok, Anatlian Shepherds, Akbash, Maremmas, Komondorok, etc. can be good natural guard dogs. Btw, I have historically kept GSDs and Dobermans and I agree that they are awesome guard dogs (but with high prey and attack drive).

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

I think you're right. The LGDs are naturally protective dogs.

dog security 5 years ago

awesome hub for guard dog good work

marpauling profile image

marpauling 5 years ago

Great information, I've learned more.

MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 5 years ago from United States

NICE HUB! What about my fearless 4lb Chihuahua? He is a great ankle biter and barks at everything outside he sees through the window. He guards the house all day long, and lets me know if anyone is outside. :)

I am serious!

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, dogsecurity!

Marpauling, thanks for reading!

Marlo, small dogs like Chihuahuas are excellent alarm dogs!

monika thapa magar 5 years ago

i like german shepherd

Shanny 5 years ago

I own a wolf husky mix who is about 71-72 cm tall at the shoulders and weighs about 100 pounds. I know for 100% that he will protect me from strangers,other dogs if they attack me( he has alright proved to do so twice when I was set upon by two big stray gun dogs)but normally he is doesn't bother anyone who passes us when we are out walking in the park,he only becomes protective when a stranger tries to talk and approach me. By the way I love him so much and he has inherited one icy blue from his siberian husky heritage and 1 amber/wolf yellow eye from his gray wolf heritage. His fur colours are reddish/copper,black,cream,wolf-grey and white.

Mischa 4 years ago

To Shanny....I think because of the high prey drive and territorial instincts of both the wolf and Siberian Husky that this, as well as their love for you and considering you a "part of their pack" accounted for their protection of you from other dogs. I mentioned above that I once had a male Siberian and although I had been told these dogs were way too friendly, trusting of strangers and independent to be depended on to protect an owner from a "human" attacker or threat, that mine seemed to pick it up and learn from a Doberman and Boxer we also had at the time. I would be interested to hear more about woners of Siberians where the dog actually defended them against a human threat or attacker. I love the breed and think they are beautiful dogs but am not personally sure they could normally be depended upon to protect you if someone tried to hurt you....not sure they would intervene. With the wolf, although they can certainly fight if cornered, they seem to have a tendency to be shy and avoid human contact unless, of course, in a pack of hunters. Usually the wolf's first instinct is to take away. They are, of course, different when defending their territory of pack against another "animal" intruder such as another wolf or a dog, coyote, etc. For those with pure wolf or wolf-Siberian crosses, I would like to hear if you have had different experiences where they protected against a human threat. I am a professional investigator and have a 115 pound male German Shepherd who in his breeding line out of Europe has at least 3 pure wolves bred into his linage over about a 70 year period. He has the dark wolf fur of those in his linage and a sable undercoat, someehwt thicker of a coat in general than most GSDs and he has the thick bush tail you seem more in wolves than GSDs. He is quite protective of me and would easily defend me against either an animal or human attacker. But I am not sure if this attribute is more from the "dog side or GSD" in him than then wolf side. Most of what I have read is that in wolf hybrids...whether a GSD or Husky, the protective instinct of the animal against humans comes from the dog side.....not the wolf. We ll have seen TV shows or movies where someone has a Siberan husky or perhaps a wolf in the wild and it becomes a pet and protects them from humans trying to harm their master, but I am really interested in reading "true" accounts of this from some of you who have owned them so I can determine if uts the truth or just "urban legend". Thanks so much and I love the posts from everyone out there. :-)

Tim 3 years ago

What about Rottweilers? Consistently ranked 1 or 2 in just about every list out there for best guard dogs. Better and more intelligent than, fir example, the Akita. Perhaps you simply haven't had any experience with them? Though surely you have encountered one guarding behind his gate which should tell you everything you need to know about their guarding abilities.

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