ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Guard Dogs for Families with Small Children

Updated on August 31, 2013

Finding a dog breed that’s gentle and patient with children is easy. Likewise, finding a dog breed that’s aggressive and protective isn’t difficult, either. But how do you combine these salient characteristics into a single breed – one that will be tolerant of your kids, but still provide protection should the need ever arise?

All the breeds discussed below will fit the bill IF they are properly trained and socialized. While these breeds are slow to bite, they are all large, powerful dogs. It’s never a good idea to leave any dog alone with a child. Even the sweetest dog is not 100% safe and can be provoked into aggression. Always provide adult supervision for any dog-and-child interaction.

Great Dane

This is my #1 choice for a breed that is an effective guard dog and that is also great with kids. These gentle giants just love children! They’re very patient and gentle, and if properly socialized, will follow the kids around to keep an eye on them. An adult Dane is calm and requires little to moderate amounts of exercise. These big guys are not normally aggressive, but they are protective of their homes and families. They can intimidate intruders by sheer size, and their barks are LOUD and menacing. Every Dane I’ve owned has been extremely alert to anything or anyone out of place. For example, they notice when there’s a strange car in the neighbor’s drive or when someone is in the yard who is not a regular visitor.

English Mastiff

Mastiffs are huge. In fact, they’re the heaviest breed, with many males reaching 250 pounds. They’re patient and kind with children and are very loyal to their human family. They also get along well with other dogs in the household. These dogs are quiet and are not overly aggressive, but they usually handle intruders by knocking them down and standing on their chest. If a member of its human family is approached by a stranger, the Mastiff generally stands between the stranger and its master until the other person backs down. Mastiffs are slow to anger, but when necessary, they will take appropriate action. They are routinely found on lists of the five best guard dog breeds.

Anatolian Shepherd

This is a large dog from Turkey. Males stand around 30 inches tall and weigh up to 150 pounds. Anatolians were bred to guard – but not herd – flocks of livestock. When an Anatolian becomes part of a human family, they fall under his watchful, protective eye. Dogs that are introduced at an early age to children and other household pets will guard and protect them. They are usually very patient with kids from their human family, but not always with other children. Sometimes this can be a problem because the dog might not understand the screams and yelps of playing children and could think that “his children” are in danger. The Anatolian will most likely make your yard his “pasture” and make regular patrols of the perimeter, or at least watch it from a vantage point. They will accept your friends after being formally introduced.

Argentine Dogo

Also referred to as the Argentinian Mastiff, this is a large powerful dog with a massive skull. The maximum height for a male is 27 inches. They have a short white coat that requires little grooming. The Dogo is extremely loyal to its family members and is playful with children. They were bred as hunters and have an unusually high pain threshold, making them very patient and forgiving with less-than-gentle kids. The Dogo is extremely affectionate with family members and craves attention. They are protective of anything they perceive as theirs, whether it be you, your kids, your home, or your yard. They can be aggressive toward other dogs if not introduced at an early age. Even so, they want to be the top dog.


These “big bears” love their families. A male Newfie can weigh up to 150 pounds and be 28 inches tall at the withers. These dogs are also powerful. Their webbed feet make them excellent swimmers, and they’ve been known to rescue drowning adults and children. While not normally aggressive, they are protective of their human pack, and they have a deep, loud bark. Instead of growling at or biting someone they perceive as a threat, they instead tend to stand between danger and their human in a protective stance. Newfies are kind and patient and seem to adore kids. One drawback to this breed is the grooming it requires. They have a thick undercoat that must be combed out periodically.


To read more about dogs, click on the article links below.


Tristan and Hamlet.
Tristan and Hamlet. | Source
Lexi, Hamlet, and Audrie.
Lexi, Hamlet, and Audrie.
Tristan's favorite "chair."
Tristan's favorite "chair." | Source
Lexi takes a ride as Hamlet enjoys his birthday cake.
Lexi takes a ride as Hamlet enjoys his birthday cake.
Audrie on her canine "pony."
Audrie on her canine "pony."

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)