Twelve Great Dog Breeds to Protect You


Adopting a dog is a wonderful experience on many levels. In addition to a cuddly companion, you get unconditional love and unwavering devotion. In most cases, you also get your own personal security detail. Canines are naturally protective of their families, happily putting themselves in harm’s way if it means saving the life of a loved one. That is, assuming your pet is able to identify a potential threat and respond appropriately. It’s a skill that some dogs are better at than others.  In the pages to follow we present 12 dog breeds that are particularly good at protection…..


1. Bullmastiff

This breed is known for its physical strength, protection instincts, courageousness, and extreme family loyalty.   If you happen to have an intruder around you’ll want this dog around.  Often time they’ll knock the intruder right over.   They happen to make great household pets and are known for their loyalty.  They’re also quite docile!


2. Doberman Pinscher

A Doberman Pinscher is a great guard dog for you and has historically always been so.   They’re great if you have large tracts of land as they are incredibly fast and are able to reach any target in a short amount of time.  They are also known to be one of the smarter breeds out there.  They can be fierce but are extremely loyal dogs.


3. Rottweiler

Rottweilers are known to be relentless protectors of their Pack.  And once you are in their “Pack” then you’re in for life.  Some of these dogs like humans even better than dogs!   They are an intelligent breed and extremely loyal to their owners.   While they don’t like strangers, if they get used to you they can be very friendly and affectionate.


4. Komodor

The Komodor possesses a natural guard dog ability because of their original use.  That was to protect cattle way back in the day.   This breed is active, courageous, loyal and known for its dignity and strength.   While they can be great protectors they can also be great pets as well.  That is, if you properly train them which needs to be done from a young age.


5. Puli

Pulis are known for their distinct coats of hair.  However, they’re also known to be a suspicious breed.   They are always alert and will bark to alert their owners of anything out of the ordinary. Pulis are very smart and require constant companionship. They make great additions to families with active lifestyles, as they love hiking, running, and outdoor activities.


6. Giant Schnauzer

These are dogs that  require strict training.  They need constant attention and need to know who is in charge otherwise they might take over.  Giant Schnauzers are powerful, compact, and intimidating.  But what makes them such exceptional guard dogs is their loyalty to their owners.


7. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are one of the most popular guard dogs around.  It’s simply because they are fearless.   In addition, they are extremely intelligent and easily trained.  You can teach them commands very quickly.   They are one of the ost favorite police dog breeds. German Shepherds have a calm demeanor when in a household but can quickly react when their family or home is threatened.


8. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Just one look at this beautiful dog and you can see why it’s a guard dog.  Very strong and definitely imposing.  This dog even looks like a statue.   Originally bred to hunt lions, this dog has a strong prey drive and tends to be independent in nature. Ridgebacks are loyal and make natural watchdogs. They are said to be selective in their barking so when a Ridgeback barks, it needs to be taken seriously. Rhodesian Ridgebacks must be properly trained and managed, as they are not naturally obedient. The breed loves to cuddle and often thinks it’s a lapdog.


9. Kuvasz

This breed is very territorial and has a strong instinct to guard its family and home. The Kuvasz tends to be aloof with strangers but craves affection from its family.  You need to train these guys from a very young age.  But they are most awesome when it comes to family protection.   Don’t mess with these guys.


10. Staffordshire Terrier

Often confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Terrier was bred for bear and bull fighting.  That alone make them pretty tough.   Thankfully they don’t fight bulls or bears these days but that origin helps make them super tough.   Their aggressive and protective natures make them excellent guard dogs but require them to be properly socialized and trained from an early age. Staffordshire Terriers make great household pets, known to only be aggressive when protecting a family member.


11. Akita

If you’re looking for a guard dog that doubles as a nanny, an Akita may be the perfect pet for you. This large breed has strong protective instincts and will immediately investigate any hint of an intrusion into his family home. But unlike most other dogs, the Akita usually investigates quietly. If it barks, that probably means something is seriously wrong.


12. Great Dane

If you’re in the market for a family guard dog that looks like a fierce predator but acts like a gentle giant, look no further than the Great Dane. This friendly, easy-going breed is somewhat lackadaisical and loves to lounge around the house. He really isn’t much of a guard dog in terms of personality. But the mere sight of him would send any criminal running for the hills,

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  1. Clearly you aren’t familiar with the history of the Great Dane. This dog was originally bred to be a hunter and guardian. While it seems like an oversized lap dog, don’t be fooled. This dog is 150lbs or more of guard dog if required and it will guard members of it’s family or core family with it’s life. They are amazing dogs that may hide behind you during a thunderstorm but they will leap to action of one of the members of their family is in danger.

    1. I’m with you on this one, Mark G; these big dogs are sweet-tempered but will do whatever it takes to keep their family safe from any sort of threat. The same dog who is ok with little ones tripping over their paws and sitting on top of them will climb or jump an enclosure to protect a kid under threat.

  2. Ridiculous list. I’ve owned two of the breeds here and neither one is described accurately. Several of the dogs listed here are very protective but far too touchy and would be a disaster in a house where kids from outside the family might come over and rough house or just run around yelling. Look, posting click bait is a good way to make some money, but giving people genuinely harmful advice is uncool.

  3. I think your claim that the bull terrier being confused with the pit bull is really inaccurate. As far as I understand it, experts have never agreed on the difference between bull terriers and pit bulls. Pit bulls (despite their name) were bread from the Bull Terrier to be working dogs. Many are dual registered as Amstaffs with the AKC and Pits with the UKC. I have a ten year old pit bull and two young children. He is protective of our yard and of my children but is in no way aggressive. He loves children, other dogs, even cats. And you know what? His behavior is typical of his breed. I have no doubt that there are countless families like mine who have a loving, affectionate and trust-worthy pit bull and only a select few that own aggressive pits. I’m really disappointed that an article about the best breeds to protect families–featured on a website that is supposed to be an advocate for dogs–would basically add to the misconception of pit bulls by making such a careless, inaccurate statement. I am by no means one of those crazy bully breed advocates (despite how I may sound here) but the little quip about confusing the breeds really struck a nerve. The statement inferred that Pit Bulls are NOT family-friendly dogs and therefore added more fuel to the anti-pitbull fire. A better article would have been “10 characteristics to look for when selecting a family-friendly dog” as opposed to taking something so subjective and treating it like a fact. Clearly, the comments below indicate that there were several noteworthy breeds that were not mentioned. What makes a giant schnauzer more family friendly than an Irish Wolfhound? Or a golden retriever? Let’s be honest: the only thing that really makes a good family dog is a good family.

    1. I got a picture today of my calico cat (who’s in heat) climbing onto the back of my 9 yr old 85 lb pit bull. He just laid there and let her walk all over him.

      1. That’s so sweet. You should put pics like that out for everyone to see just how good these and most dogs really are! Most people with negative comments just don’t know any better and go by what they have been taught by an uneducated media….We have to show them the truth!

    2. The article was 12 breeds that will PROTECT you, not family friendly. Any breed of dog, when treated correctly, is family friendly. Not all will go that extra yard to protect.

    3. I so agree with you Amy. I have three Pit Bulls, and they are as family friendly as any of the dogs mentioned. I treat mine like they are part of the family and have done so since I got Breanna the first Pit. I have never chained my Pits up outside. They live in the house with us.They grew up with my boys who were 16, 14, 12, and 10 when Breanna came to live with us. She is now 14. I have a granddaughter that all three Pits dote on. Gotti is 13 and Chocolate is 12. They go nuts when my granddaughter comes over. I think they love her more then me now.

  4. My fullblooded. American Bulldog gets a bad rap since everyone thinks she is a pit bull she has gotten shot at dog catcher has tried to pick her up, Both of my dogs are always on a tie out that is only on my property, mind ya, my last Am.Bulldog was 12 or 13 yes. But someone gave here something not sure what but she had a heart attack an died… Now my dogs are only out when I’m out or it’s morning afternoon evveing & just before we go to bed just because I don’t want anything else to happen.. my other is whip pit/lab (30lbs 8yrs) she has also gotten bad rap sweet dog was a service dog to my mother with Alzheimer’s, she has been shot in the hind quarter & her chest she is terrified of anyone… she was a dump dog, that just showed up when she was a puppy… It is people who make animals bad…

    1. Not always Pamela. I respect your opinion but there have been a multitude of attacks by pits that were unprovoked. They have a bad rap because they can kill an adult man. They have a very strong prey drive and are typically not all that good with other animals. Fact is, some owners think their dog is the greatest and force them on others. I have an idiot at they gym who let’s his unleashed pit walk around while he’s lifting. So you’re right in some respects but the pit has killed more than any other dog.

    2. Just saw your comment. I rescued an American Bulldog dropped on the road in Calhoun Georgia last year. Great dog, the vet even wanted to take him but I eventually gave him to a neighbor with a 13 year old girl who loves him. In the summers he escorts kids walking the street, even a neighbor who rides a sulky drawn by a pony. It’s hilarious. He walks them all like he’s a parade band leader.

      1. That is such a great story!! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I don’t know how anyone can do this, but shame on that man. Look at all the joy he missed in his life! smh!!!

      1. The south I bet…. Lots of dogs are shot in the south. Lots of dogs are running loose, whether they have owners or not. Rural shelters have horrific conditions and so many dogs are pts, even gassed. Sad situation.

        1. I live in the south and I’ve 3 times had someone try to shoot my rat terriers. For God’s sake they are ten pounds. If you kill my dogs something unpleasant is going to happen to you.

    3. We have an AB, who is quite large for his breed. He weighs more than his mom and dad put together @ 140lbs. He is quite the lounger around the house type of dog. Has even has his own recliner. However, out where we live his protective instincts are very welcome. He was raised with a stray who is larger than he is. Between the two of them it’s quite a full house. Our AB has also been accused of being a Pit Bull. I can’t tell you how many times i have heard “that’s the biggest pit bull I ever saw”. He will bark, and carry on with strangers, but once the stranger is introduced to him as a friend, he will remember this person forever. His canine buddy is a mix of a St Bernard, and German Shepard. When these two get to playing, it best you stay out of the way. The extra exercise they provide each other is a very good thing. We live out in the country, and these guys get a lot of exercise. Strangely enough we have to protect them in return, since we have snakes, coyotes, wild burrows, big horn sheep, and cougars in the area. As large as our guys are, they are no match for most wild critters. I think owners of large dogs forget this sometimes.

    4. You are so right! It’s people who make dogs nasty! It’s all in the training! I’m so sorry you have had to deal with all the hatred!

  5. I like our 4 P W Corgi’s. Don’t laugh…These little big guys keep tabs on our farm better than any other breed, many on this list, has in 35 years.

  6. I had a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix when I was living in Colorado. My wife called the police about getting obscene phone calls. When the police arrived, the dog went crazy when anyone came to the door. She opened the door to the police officer and the dog sat down right at the edge of the carpet. The cop took one look at him and told her to call them if there was anything left when the dog got done with them.

    1. When they bred a Male Boxer with a Female English Bulldog they created a new breed referred to as a ” VALLEY BULLDOG “. It did away with bad genetics associated with the English Bulldog while retaining it’s physical stature minus the extremely baggy face. They also have twice the life span. My dog Joe is a GREAT watch dog and loves every kid he meets.

      1. Richard, may I make a request for more pics of Joe? with some full body shots? I have a Boxer, and I’m a big fan of English Bulldogs and I’ve always wondered what would a “Bullboxer” look like 🙂 Thanks!

        1. For more pictures of Joe, go to AOL’s website ” Cutest pets ” and click on the top right hand box – ” Cutest Pets ” . Then explore the pictures. When the page comes up with a large picture of him as a pup on the left side of the screen you will notice small triangles in the middle on each side of the picture. Click on them to see various pictures of him. He will be 4 years old in November & he weighs 51 pounds. When you scroll half way down the page you will notice 4 catagories of pets. Joe is #1 in the ” All pets ” & the ” All dogs ” catagories. Plesae cast a vote for Joe. Thank you for your interest in Joe !!!

  7. ADOPT!!!! It’s simple. You provide your new shelter friend with their basic necessities, and they in return give you unconditional love. Sounds like a pretty good deal!

  8. Dutch Shepherd, will protect, herd and amaze you with it’s intelligence.
    Great family dog, but needs a yard to burn off’s eating birds
    right out of air also, so watch it’s diet.

  9. In all these articles … the ones about the most protective dogs, the best for families, kids, apartments, active families, etc. I have yet to see mentioned the best dog (In My Humble but also really Partisan Opinion) in the world, the Bouvier des Flandres.
    When fishing, my Bouv would follow me out to the middle of any river, then fret because my wife was on the shore and I was far out. He wanted us together so he could both protect and herd. I have never met a more loyal, smarter dog.

    1. LOL. My rottie does this too. I love all the comments from people who love their dogs as much as you obviously do yours. Of course, like our children we all think ours is the best ( mine really is-hehe). The bond you can have with that special dog makes me wonder how anyone can hurt them.

      1. That is one of the many great things about dogs. If the human does right we can all have the best dog in the world. Doesn’t matter the breed, they are the best dog in the world to you.

    2. I also wondered why they didn’t mention the Bov. I owned two over about 18 years and trained both in Schutzhund. Their characteristic jump straight up into the face of an intruder can stop ones heart. Once had two guys climb over our privacy fence which was to isolate our back yard along on a lake. I saw them at the fence and start to climb. Then saw my Bov tense his feet (he was lying on the patio) but to the casual observer he gave no indication of attention. He waited until they reached the point of no return across our yard and then he looked like he was shot out of a cannon. It was “loose the Kraken”! They wanted no part of him and decided the lake was a better choice and dove in. They swam to a safer location. It was hilarious!

    1. The list is about dogs that are best at protecting humans. I’ve never had a boxer so I don’t know how protective they are. I do have rotties and they are extremely protective which is why I have them 🙂

    2. My wife and 3 kids from 1958 until 2005 have had 7 Boxers . I type slow so i can’t tell you all the qualities these dogs had in their lifetime. I never had a negative thought or concern or wonder how these Boxers. with our kids coming up would react to anything that could and did come up. They did all good things listed in these post plus too much more to list. Since then we’ve had a Alapaha Blue Bulldog [ plantation dog,South Georgia all purpose working dogs, the breeders have passed on now.} but dogs listed on the net in Calif. for big bucks, Beautiful dogs. Now i have a Rottweiler, all our dogs have been female ,She is a wonderful dog maybe a little overly protective,very strong and big like most Rottweiler .I recieved her because her owners had a young child and either the dog didn’t respect the baby or was so big when she got close she didn’t pay attention to the baby and would knock her down.This type mistakes never would or did happen with any Boxer we had. But we love her,[miss rocky] She guards my wife like i was paying her to do so. Who ever run these studies has no knowledge about Boxers . Lots of great dogs out there , and i certainly don”t know most of them, I believe i do know Boxers and what more would anyfamily w/kids want? They just always seem to get it right and thats what i like.

      1. I find your he comment about the Rott and the baby interesting. I have had quite the opposite experience with a Rott and my youngest granddaughter. This Rott was a rescue that we had adopted about a year before our granddaughter was born. When she came home for the first time and was introduced to him he sniffed her from head to toe and back again. From that moment on he was her constant companion and protector, never leaving her side when she at our house and as gentle as could be with her and our 8lb. Yorkie. Stitch has passed on but he taught our granddaughter what unconditional love is and what it means to have a best friend.

  10. Staffordshire terriers/pit bulls, when raised by a nice family, are one of the LEAST AGRESSIVE breeds out there. And of course, like any dog, they will protect their family. But if a burglar climbs in the window and nobody is home, the only thing the burglar has to worry about is being licked to death. A German Shepherd would kill him.

    1. yep, do not trust those GSD’s. If anyone ever watched the show “pit boss”, there’s an episode where this guy had to rescue three pit bulls abandoned in a home. He took a baseball bat to break the window, climbed into a house with 3 pit bulls and came walking out with these 3 pit bulls on a leash. Classic example of how great of guard dogs these dogs are.

  11. It’s the owners that make a dog vicious. Take the time and responsibility to train your dog of any breed. If by chance you have a dog that is stubborn or aggressive to certain people then take responsibility as the pack leader to protect your dog and others. I have owned rotties and pitbulls for 40 yrs. I have 6 children and have never had an incident. Children should never be allowed to hurt an animal. Humans are usually the problem. Don’t get any dog if you aren’t going to do what you need to do. Small dogs bite too. They can kill a baby or bite an artery. You have just shown how an ignorant statement has turned a whole breed of dog into being labeled “bully breeds”. There is only irresponsible owners and stupid people who don’t think before they act. All of our family and friends know that we have dogs, so they give us a heads up before just walking in. Our pets do protect us as they have been trained to do so. Nobody will get near the kids unless invited in. Trust your dogs judgement about people. They sense when a person is not good or trustworthy. A fact mine have proven many times.

  12. Your description of the Great Dane is spot on. I’ve owned, bred and shown them for almost 58 years and I’ve been burgled once. (Turns out that particular Dane was afraid to go down stairs in the dark!!!). They are a loving breed which bonds very deeply to it’s family. Unfortunately, their life span averages about 8 years. The longest I’ve had one is 10 1/2 years.

      1. I still have a picture of my first dane protecting my baby brothers. He allowed the mailman to come into our fenced front yard, but always stood between him and the boys. He was deathly afraid of kittens, though.
        Go figure!

    1. I had a brindle great Dane several years ago. Your description could have been describing my Dane (Zeus). He thought he was the town greater– had to be careful when the school bus came around as he would try to go with them.
      He was impressive if you didn’t know him, but if you knew where the chocolate cookies were hid, he was your best friend.
      One thing that is not mentioned, he would like to lean on anyone standing still, and his drool is probably still on the ceiling.
      My best friend!!!

        1. The “leaning thing” is most certainly not peculiar to brindles. It isn’t even peculiar to Danes. My blue boy was a HUGE leaner (and lap sitter). And I have had labs, goldens, poodles, pitties, rotties, and pretty much every other bread I’ve ever come into contact with lean on me. It’s dog thing.

          1. You’re likely correct, but among my friends who breed and show, the brindles seem to hold a title of sorts for leaning. Harls do it, as well.

      1. We have a Blue GD named Sir Elliott — very protective of the entire family and the house. He loves Loves LOVES chocolate– so much so that he ate 2 boxes of 60 chocolate candy bars each and lived to hear the stories we tell about it..LOL His favorite snacks are raw carrots and green beans. He is so loyal and has such a neat personality. He loves going for rides in the cars and hanging his giant head out– it looks too funny. We always get comments about our “horse”– we hope he sticks around for awhile. He is already 4 years old.

        1. He may love chocolate….many dogs do….but the fact that he survived a massive amount of theobromine, although he may not have gotten as much as you thought because many “‘chocolate” candy items are really “‘chocolate flavored”. However, you might want look into getting him some carob, which tastes like chocolate but is safe for him.

    2. One of my male Danes lived to be 12. I was very fortunate in that regard. My male Dane Conquistador was very particular about people. He seemed to be able to sense if someone was of dubious character. I remember as a young pup, he would not let my neighbor’s husband touch him. He would growl every time. It turns out the man was very abusive to his wife. She finally divorced him. Another time, we had a painter painting our home. I told him not to start on the outside unless I was there, because Conquistador was very territorial and protective of my home when I was not present. The painter did not listen, and attempted to paint the back of the house when I was not present. Luckily, I just happened to be arriving home when I heard someone cry out ‘help me.’ My Dane had the painter cornered and would not let him move. Once I was there, my Dane backed down and was ok with the painter. He sensed, that since I was ok with the painter, he too was ok with the painter. Great Danes seem to be very intuitive about he Karma people exude. Danes make excellent pet therapy dogs.

    1. My 6lb chi is the most devoted little dog ever! When she’s scared and defensively barking, she runs to me to get in my lap and continue to guard mom. My min pin/chi/italian greyhound mutt barrels right toward whatever she think is dangerous to take it right on.

  13. Malinois , GSD, BRT, American Bulldog , Rottweilers, Giant Schnauzers, Doberman Pinchers, Bouviers , Boerboel ,Cane Corso , Am Staffs……in any order you prefer. But these dogs are agile, mobile and are loyal. I’m sure I missed a few other but most of these I’ve worked with at one time or another. Mastiffs are very slow usually. I like dogs that can move , jump and have stamina.

  14. My Fila Brasileiro (Brazillian Mastiff) puppy weighs 115 lbs. and is showing signs of knowing when to become defensive. She has been extensivly socialised with friends and neighbors especially children. My old and declining English Mastiff was slow to do this in his younger days but “Katie bar the door” when he did.

    1. My Fila is 11 years old and 125 lbs. I socialized him outside of home and he is safe to take out in public, but a terror at home. As we rarely have company over, it works well for us. He is also protective of our cats. Great Pyrenees are good protectors as well.

  15. I have a 10 month old Giant Schnauzer he’s the most calm dog I have ever seen:he can be inside the house looking out the storm door and stay quite while a dog is walking down the street 30 feet from him.On the other hand if he hears something out of the norm he’s on the top of the coach growling and barking.Besides being a good watch dog I would recommend this breed for inside living because you rarely see loose hair.

  16. Great Danes are house dogs. They do not like to be left outdoors. They are real goof-balls. If they roam free, they cover a radius of 4-5 miles. They have a metabolism different from other dogs and do not “eat you out of house and home”.

  17. My last dog was a large rott. He was a very dangerous animal, with his tongue. He could give you a slobber bath in 3.2 seconds.
    But he did know when to get defensive so he made me feel better leaving my wife and daughter at home when I worked at night.

  18. The great Dane is an excellent watch dog and so is the boxer and so many more not to mention some great mixes out there. So many good dogs out there but my preference is of the mastiff line …

  19. I’m not certain how the Newfoundland didn’t make the list. They look a bit like a bear and are certainly big enough to scare someone. I have a sign posted on my fence gate that says “This Home Protected by a Newfoundland, Please Be Careful Not to Trip”. Did I say big and imposing???

    1. Raphael – Newfys are great dogs and I love them to death but Labradors are much more docile. Labradors were bred from Newfoundlands in the 1800s as breeders were looking to develop a dog that had many of the same characteristics of the Newfoundland but more laid back and would also make a good upland bird dog. They were breeding the Newfoundland with Setters/Retrievers and end up with the modern day Labrador originally known as a St.John’s retriever. There are many books on the development of these 2 breeds that explains what the breeders where looking to develop and what we ll ended up with. Essentially the Lab is a mini Newfy with many of the same characteristics of a Setter. Problem is the Lab wants to play all the time like a Setter

    2. My Newfie, Bear was protecting me one day from a neighbor’s big Chocolate Lab that they trained to be mean, and bite folks. He stood up on his hind legs and started snarling and walking and waving his paws at the Lab. The Lab backed down and ran off. Bear was a loyal companion for an unheard of 14 years. He loved to swim and we would swim across the Smith River CA. to the sand dunes near the mouth at the ocean. I have a video of him playing with a young Poodle. They were both on leashes about 10′ apart, and were playing catch with a ball. One guy walked by and he couldn’t believe it. Of course they were tossing the ball at each other and not catching it in the air. My BEar loved the ball so much he would approach strangers with a ball in his mouth while barking at the same time. Then he would drop the ball at their feet and want to play.

  20. Boxers should have been on the list. I grew up with them. They are very protective, very tolerant and patient with small children, and extremely intelligent.

  21. I just rescued 2 female Boxers two weeks ago.
    I’ve always had Greyhounds (in some ways they aren’t dogs LOL) And I had a 3/4 Newf 1/4 Lab (140 lbs) for my last service dog.
    The Boxers are a riot!! I absolutely adore my girls already! I think the feeling is mutual.
    I don’t think they’ve ever been on a leash though… Oh Boy… Not going to be able to walk them together for a while! One by one leash training starting today!

  22. When I read the article today, there wasn’t a bull terrier but, instead, a Staffordshire Terrier . . . and there was discussion on it being confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier.

    IF the article means the American Staffordshire Terrier (and not the Bull Terrier), then there is a good reason for the confusion. Mainly the confusion comes from the fact that the AST is a “manufactured” breed created for the AKC who didn’t want to recognize the APBT. From the records I’ve seen, ALL AST bloodlines originate from APBT with a gamedog named Primo being a foundational dog (and he was a fine APBT).

    Currently, people differentiate between the AST and the APBT due to purpose and trait more than looks. The AST, by reputation, is the “show” version of the APBT while the traditional APBT is a working dog. Both, when bred properly for accepted behavior and health are FINE dogs.

    Also, for the record, a dog can be both. There is nothing keeping a dog from being dual registered with the AKC as an AST and with either the UKC or ADBA as an APBT. Technically, the dog can be both.

    Note I’m not referring to some of the old Staffordshire Terrier lines from way back when nor am I referring to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (another FINE breed). I’m limiting this to the AST and APBT.

    Of course, it’s all pretty much fluff discussion since most people involved in either (or all) of those three breeds will note some differences in some individual dogs, but they all fall under the proud and proper pit bull banner.

    1. My female and male rotties are the most loyal dogs I’ve ever owned. As the article mentions, mine like people more than other dogs and once they get to know you, they are very affectionate. Besides being my first line of protection.

    1. Ma;inois are great dogs, but too much for the average family. Thses dogs are highly driven and active needing a good trainer and a full time job or become nuerotic and destructive. Far too many people get them and give them up in less than a year. There are too many young ones with behavior problems in rescue and shelters.

      1. A friend of mine adopted one that was supposedly trained as a security dog for a hospital. Unfortunately, one day, he was needed to attack and when his handler gave the command and released him, he hid behind the handler and trembled. Too people friendly for that job. Unfortunately, as he was a security dog and used to spending his entire day around people, he was found to have horrible separation anxiety. He was also a houdini. Sweet boy- loved kids- but too smart and very high maintenance. They gave him to another family that had someone home at all times, which worked out well for everyone.

  23. Most wont agree. I have a 3 yr. Old weimeraner, who hunts and tracks deer. (Originally breed for big game like deer and bear, now mostly birds) anyone comes near house you will know it. No one can go near my wife this breed very loyal and very smart but thinks he is a 70 lbs. Lap dog he puts himself between you and the danger without hesitation.

    1. Spot On ! 3 yr.s with my 2nd Weimaraner… 1st died of twisted gut – no symptoms until it was too late. This breed will willingly die for family against all odds. 1st trip to my brother’s ranch with 2 young kids, they went to corral to pet horses, when I went to retrieve them, my then 2 yr. old Weimaraner spotted the horses which to him could have been alien GIANTS. When the horses weren’t scared or intimidated by his barking and stance between kids and them, he went behind them in attempt to draw them away from kids. Despite being kicked (knocked yards away twice) and bitten when horses (who’d been raised around dogs) teamed up (3) to fend off my dog, he didn’t give up until I made kids run bk towards the house. My dog only then came out of the corral, looking ?ly at me like “What took you so long, they were kill’n me !” He was bruised and a little bloody, but all-good in couple days. Both have been BEST dogs of my 62 yr.s and many other breeds. Loving, and after 1yr and half to mature, CALM and focused. Very quick to LEARN ANYTHING, and problem solvers. Extremely CLEAN, very careful and attentive to babies and the frail elderly. Would recommend female over males for families w/ kids, and are not prone to roam beyond line of site.

    2. “no one can go near your wife”? So you can’t go near your wife? What if a small innocent child wanted to go near your wife? Why does your wife need so much protection? Sounds like your dog is overprotective and dogs that are overprotective usually don’t have a strong leader. If my dog felt the need to protect me from something silly I would step up to the plate to let the dog know, dog, I can protect myself from that little kitten. Thanks.

  24. My chows are amazing watch dogs and extremely loyal and loving. They do not care about other dogs they walk right past them and enjoy their walk. The only problem we ever come across is other breeds who want to attack us totally unprovoked and that being a pit bulls, boxers and a shepherd. Pits are especially crazy when they see us walking–a few owners who could not control their dogs no longer can walk them in public.

  25. I have two pits, a pit St Bernard mix (yes a Pitnard) and a German Shepherd. And if need be they can keep an intruder busy until mama shows up with her dear friends, Smith and Wesson.

    1. Just recently got my first dobbie and I am absolutely in love with him, super friendly with the family. Gets along with other dogs very very well, and he hates large men. Had never seen him get so vicious until he met my 6″5, 280lb. african american male friend and would not keep his eyes off of him for about 3-4 hours. He has not visited us since, I guess you could say it is a good and bad thing.

  26. What, no English Mastiff? Extremely loyal, protective, yet renowned for being gentle toward family even in the heat of the moment. Plus, 260 lbs. If you’re going for “scary looking,” the most massive dog in the world should get a nod.

  27. I have 2 English Mastiffs and they are awesome, loving, think they are lap dogs but very protective. We do not have a fenced yard but they do not leave their grounds, they sit on the top of the hill watching everything that goes on. Great security for my beautiful girls !!

    1. Great Danes are so regal, they clearly are the monarchs among dogs, but they are not good fighters, simply because its physique, as big (tall) as it is, lacks muscle mass and agility. 🙁

  28. My mother always maintained that if you have the choice of a black dog and any other color of dog for a guard dog, pick the black dog. I have had black labs and yellow labs, none were aggressive, but would bark when people came. People would wait in the car when it was a black lab. They would get out and pet the yellow lab. I guess looking like a giant sugar cookie isn’t very intimidating.

  29. Where dose the Ovicharka fit in to this mess, Ollie ? Read numerous articles that pretty much says they’re intensely loyal, sensitive, fight bears, and downright nasty to anyone who threatens their family ! Reckon feeding them expensive raw steaks might have thrown them out of the running ?

    1. its “ov-charka” not “ovicharka”, which is the word for “shepherd” in Slavic languages (eastern europe, balkans), so which “ovcharka” are you talking about?

        1. Its not spelled with a hyphen, I was trying to emphize the correct spelling of the word….Brad Thor is not a cynologist, and I wouldn’t use his novells for canine related refferences.

          1. The word is Novels, not Novells. You asked a question , I answered politely, so don’t get stuffy on me, I quite frankly don’t care to be a cynologist and you should call/write someone else to have any further discussions on this, because I’ve seen the Dog & the rest I don’t give a damn about !

  30. A patient trainer can turn just about any intelligent dog into a security system. Some will just warn you, others can do a lot more. My wife does animal rescue and we work with lots of different breeds of dogs. We also deploy dogs for livestock protection against bears and coyotes. While the list is good and it is damn hard to beat a German Shepard there are a couple of other breeds worth noting. American Bull Dog, Airedale, Border Collies, Blue Heelers, Aussie Shepherds, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Catahoulas, Akbash, and Bluetick crosses. I am sure there are others but I just have not worked with.

  31. My Chinese Shar Pei have been fantastic at protection, especially my first girl. Had three so far and will probably be what I have for the rest of my life.

  32. I’m shocked to not see a Lab on the list. I own one now and have owned several in my life. They literally wouldn’t hurt a fly. I have had litters of kittens use my Lab as a chew toy. There is only one exception to how docile they are, if my family or house is threatened they can be terrifying. With the size and strength to knock down a full grown man and jaws that can crush bone I don’t even lock my doors at night.

  33. I would have to say a 185 Lbs Male Saint Bernard is a very good protector.Only house in my area never robbed.Will not let anyone come near me except my wife.His bite pressure is over 500 lbs.The most of any dog breed.Not all Saints are like the ones you see in the movies.

  34. I agree with you I don’t want a dog killing my neighbors either!.. which is why I have a pit bull not a german shepherd. But understand that just because a dog is big, does not necessarily mean it’s aggressive. Small dogs can me just as aggressive, if not more. There’s plenty of cases of small dogs killing humans. But, yes adopt. And if you adopt an adult dog (big or small) you have a much better idea of the dogs overall temperament.

  35. I don’t understand saying that Great Danes are not guard dogs as far as personality but just the sight of them would scare away attackers. I have had Great Danes for 12 years. They are gentle giants. They love people and other dogs as long as they are socialized. They will also fight to the death to protect their family. They will even let other dogs pick on them but if that same dog acts aggressive to the Danes family, he will tear them apart. At least this has been my experience. I have been ruined for any other breed.

  36. It is Dobermans for me, all the way! Her name was Taza. She seemed to be unaware of anything other than me. But not true. A single hint of behavior from myself or a stranger would not be missed. She at all other times ignored all people and other animals, including dogs. She was capable of all wolf, all at once if needed.

  37. I have a Cane Corso she is 7 months old My friend is a breeder and gave her to me for my birthday! I have watched my friend with this breed for the last 10 years and she has always praised this breed for intelligence, loyalty, and protection! I myself have normally had Dobermans, Rotties, and always Bostons. Needless to say I am in awe of this dog! She shows complete trust to my husband and myself! You must socialize this breed as they can be very dominant! I have never felt more safe in my home!

  38. When I was 9 to 11 years old, I had a Dalmatian, I named her pepper. The love of my life. Inseparable. She would walk me to school, stop with me at the street corner across the street from school. Watch me cross and go into the building, return home, then be there when school was out to walk me home. She would not let my parents nor my older sister strike me. It they were going to spank me, they had to take her out of the house. When I was almost 12 we moved and they gave her away. My heart still aches for that dog. I am 57 now. They say you only have one good dog in your life, I have never tried to replace her.

  39. Really quite surprised you didn’t include Great Pyrenees. They are the consummate guardian dogs, not just for livestock but their humans and pack family.

  40. I lost my Parson Jack Russell last Oct. She was the best dog I ever had. Smart, great with kids and death to moles. The neighbors always wanted me to bring her over to kill off the moles in the yard.

  41. I had a Ridgeback and she was amazing. Wonderful with women and children and very protective with strange men. And like Lt_Scrounge below, she would have eaten anyone who was a “bad guy”.

  42. LOL, Five of the 12 breeds are German dogs… Doberman, Rott, Giant Schnauzer, GSD, Great Dane… I would add the Weimaraners to the list too, they are very protective and loyal. Don’t know what it is about German breeds, the Germans bred their dogs to be smart, loyal and protective… As a K-9 dog trainer I love all dogs but my personal favorites are German breeds, from GSD to German short hair pointers to Rotts, love them all, even Dachshunds

  43. Most of the breeds on this list are also some of the mostly likely to bite and cause serious damage or even a fatality.

    Now, before people start giving their own anecdotal accounts about how wonderful their dog is, not that I’m not saying your dog is the same as others, it may be a great dog.
    I had one of these breeds (G. Shepperd) and was a great dog to have, very smart and protective.
    But I know it was more breed inclined to attempt to bite a person or even another dog and so I took responsibility to protect against that (5 foot chain link fence, socialization dog classes, a head control leash for walking) because I did not want my personal feelings for the dog to obscure the facts that is is a dog that as breed to be more aggressive on average.
    People that say their dog would never do such and such are much like parents of kids that say similar things.

    1. Best comment Ive seen in a long time!
      Other then the whole most likely to bite.comment but I never think that is a fair (nor supported by real statistics) statement to make
      Unless you meant most likely to cause damage/death from their bites,,Then the whole thing is perfect to me!
      This post is from a truly responsible dog owner! If.people would actually take the time to learn about the breed of dog they choose to own..and tho there are exceptions to the rules dont assume your dog is one!
      The personal feelings thing..also perfect! Most of us love our dogs like they are one of our kids. that does not make them human! They are dogs.
      These traits/jobs have been bred into these dogs for years and years..Some for centuries! you are setting the dog up to fail if you think for a min that..a GSD wont herd/guard or that a Lab wont retrieve..or a Pit bull wont fight another dog!
      Seriously..It really is pretty understand certain things your dog does and why they do it..
      Knowledge is power!

      1. The sources were not specific on that. I agree on the point of bite with damage. For example Chihuahua’s are listed as being more likely to be aggressive towards people. But they are much less likely to cause major damage with a bite.

  44. I’m disappointed you did not list one of the best family protectors who is often used in jails to watch inmates and assist guards/police. They are protective of children and look out for their well being, both on land and in the water. The Bouvier des Flandres. Ours would knock down a great dane and play with it, not letting it up. He did the same thing with one of my mechanics who weighed 240 lbs. Chaska had a 27″ collar. Loved out baby boy and would watch over him as he slept on a blanket on the LR floor.

  45. The most dangerous breed? Out of control humans that believe they have the right to bastardize anything into what they want – for their own greed, stature, pleasure. You can start to curb this problem by getting rid of these people – all of them.

  46. I had a Great Dane and 3 times he defended me or my brother to the point that nobody would mess with us and we had to get rid of him. You severely underestimate them.

  47. I had a fawn great dane in the 70’s and she was about the best dog in the world. Loved to play with children,loved it when my children crawled all over her. Very protectve over my brand new babies. She was the Best, RIP Fancy Girl!!!! <3

  48. I grew up around Great Danes . Their size frightens a lot of people and they will protect children but they are just a big old lap dog . Sad to say their life span is a very short one . ( 7 to 10 years max )

  49. Two breeds are missing that are number one and two on my 10 Best list; the Caucasian Ovcharka and the Turkish Kangal. Watch their videos on youtube and you will see why I have them at the top.

  50. My beautiful red & white husky protects my family very well! He makes sure I know if my children try to leave the yard! He runs to them if they scream or cry. My chihuahua also will take someone’s ankle off if they come in without permission!

  51. Really enjoy reading all the comments and hearing about so many great dogs. Sure, this list leaves off many breeds, including Pit Bulls, but brings one basic principle to light. Some of the biggest, fierce looking dogs are actually the most lovable, trustworthy ones out there. About 5 years ago I adopted a German Shepard mix (not sure of the “mix” part). She is a great girl and immediately became part of my family. My 5 year old daughter considers her her older sister. When my wife and I had our second child, our dog took right too him and doesn’t want to leave his side. My son hugs our dog and our Shepard doesn’t move in fear of knocking him over. All I can say is I would rather have my Shepard walking around the house should anyone ever try to break in then any other security measure or gun. I know she would give her life to protect her family.

  52. When i was about 15 I had a Siberian Husky that knew when aggression was necessary. A neighbor that had to register as an offender just walked into my home when my 13 year old sister was home alone. Nothing is scarier than a husky in full protection mode, Looks exactly like a wolf cornering prey. Would lick anyone to death in any other situation, but she knew he was up to no good. That guy never came to our house again. Awesome animal. I really miss her.

  53. I’d have thought the standard poodle would have made this list.
    Much hullaballoo in the social media world about dangerous breeds; training & discipline is the key- & that goes for kids & visitors too. The majority of incidents are due to people treating dogs like people & dogs responding as they would to another dog. Be smarter than the dog y’all!

  54. does any one have any pics , of a king corso mixed with a pit bull I was told that’s what my dog is.and I cant find any on internet

  55. Pittbulls are great….unless they kill someone.
    With every other breed an “accident” means stitches, with pittbulls it means a coffin. I am sure that the owner of every pittbull that ever killed a child talked about how kind and loving it was. I am sure that is a huge comfort to the mourning parents.

  56. unfortunate boxers aren’t on the list…..they are incredibly loyal, goofy but definitely know how to get serious when they need to. Years ago I was single, living alone, had a broken ankle in a cast…strange guy comes into my backyard ….Alec went after him, warned him first, but once the guy didn’t walk away, it was on. Even the cops were shocked when they arrived Alec took him down like nobody’s business. I learned then they WILL protect and can be all business when they need to.

  57. I have a Valley Bulldog and a Colorado Bulldog. Both of them are great Family dogs! They love people!! Nike is the Valley Bulldog, she is 80 lbs. Adidas is the Colorado Bulldog, he is 120 lbs. They both think that they are lap dogs.

  58. Anatollian shephere dogs, new to the U.S. but not to Turkey where they guard flocks from wolves, bears and everything else. Great dogs, but protective. I’ve had large German Shepherd Dogs, large Ridgebacks, and airedales, but the Anatolians are my favorites. I have to confess, however, for smarts, you can’t beat the GSD.

  59. Great Danes can be quite lovable; they can also be extremely good at protection. I’ve heard stories of Great Danes knocking down formerly “friendly” people who turned into threats (including one who raised a gun) and one who sent a fence-jumping intruder running away missing one of his arms.

    BTW: Belgian Malinois are also great for protection, and are used by many in law enforcement.

  60. Our family had a Rottweiler (male) for 9 years. He was 6 weeks old when we first got him, and was only 8 lbs. He grew to be a stout 175 lb “baby”. He was fiercely loyal, protective, and so loveable! He even jumped on a car door when the car almost hit my son and I along side the road. I could barely hold him back! That dog was like my own child. There will never be another “MOE”.

  61. It’s funny that these things never mention the best WATCHDOG on earth, Norwegian Elkhounds. Come near the house and you are greeted by a dog that looks like a wolf and acts like it will eat you alive. Now they don’t bite, so that’s probably why they are not on this list. But we consider that a positive, no lawsuits from attacked girl scouts. Watchdog is the key word, take a look at how many people some breeds have maimed, killed and you get the picture. It is crazy, I don’t want intruders but I don’t want to lose my house over a lawsuit either. a lot of the breeds on this list have killed people, mostly children. Norwegian Elkhounds had one (1) reported bite in 2015. They are the classic “all bark no bite”, think about it. Go to that report and ask yourself, how much would it cost me, emotionally and financially if my dog killed the cute neighbor child ??

  62. Maybe people are confused because the article has a picture of an American Staffordshire terrier (which is the AKC version of UKC’s American Pit-Bull Terrier) but are referring to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (different breed). AmStaff are known to be bad guardians because their natural tendencies have been bred out of them.

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