Written by: Kate Voss
Last week we discussed the benefits of small breed dogs for home security. If you have the space and the appropriate living conditions medium size and larger dogs can add even more home security.
Living alone in a big city, I decided to rescue a Chow Chow/Australian Shepherd mix puppy whom I named Margot. Having her makes me feel so much more secure when I am home alone because she can somehow sense danger. She is constantly looking outside the window and if someone approaches our home, she runs to the door and barks. She keeps her eye out for me. However, she is a huge lap dog who wouldn’t actually hurt a fly. She is my friendly watchdog.
There is a difference between a watchdog — one that simply barks when it feels threatened or when it is protecting you — and a guard dog — one that is trained to attack if danger presents itself. Guard dogs and watchdogs can be very different and you must get the breed that fits well with your family and lifestyle, and train your dog well. Below are the top family guard dog breeds that are known for being great protectors.
Large, Intimidating Watchdogs
Larger watchdogs are used a physical threat to intruders — their size is used as intimidation, yet they usually will not attack as most are gentle breeds.
English Mastiff: Remember the movie the Sandlot, where the kids were all terrified of the neighbor’s massive, slobbering dog — but then, in the end, it turns out it was the most loveable dog in the world. That was an English Mastiff, an adorable and powerful breed that is known for their strength. They are very friendly, but will guard their owners when they feel they are in danger. They are great dogs to have to ward off intruders because of their sheer size.
Newfoundland: These friendly, sweet-tempered dogs get up to 150 pounds and 29 inches tall — they are massive. Again, much like the English Mastiff, their size would instantly scare away an intruder. They may look aggressive, but are a very generous and peaceful breed. They would more likely trap an intruder than attack. Newfoundland’s are also very sensitive to your tone of voice and can sense danger. They make great cuddlers and are a perfect fit for families with children.
Large, Aggressive Guard Dogs
Larger and more aggressive breeds are usually highly intelligent and can be trained to be protective and attack dogs. Note, these dogs need rigorous and consistent training as puppies, as they are prone to being very aggressive towards humans if poorly trained.
Akita: These beautiful pups are fearless, docile and need lots of exercise. They may be aggressive towards other dogs and humans that are strangers so you and all other humans must be higher up in the pack to get its respect. They are very loyal to their family but if teased they may bite, so be careful with them around children. Akitas are not excessive barkers, so they are much more suited as guard dogs than watchdogs.
German Shepherd: Known for their work in the military and police force, German Shepherds are highly intelligent, strong and alert and very eager to learn. They remain close to family and are weary of strangers. This breed should not be left isolated for long periods of time — they must be constantly socialized with people or else they may get aggressive. German Shepherds need to have a task at all times, and are a great family companion.
Rottweiler: This muscular breed is very calm and protective of owners. Rotties are seemingly immune to pain, very courageous and needs an owner who is firm in their training. You must be high up in the pack order to get their respect and obedience. Rotties need a lot of leadership and socialization but can be very good with other animals if trained well.
Dogs are great companions can be ideal protectors for you, your family and your home. Depending on what type of home security you are looking for — a dog who would simply warn you if someone was in the home, a dog who would scare away intruders, or a dog that would attack if needed — make sure you learn about a breed’s characteristics before you adopt to make sure your new dog is a perfect fit for you and your family.
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