The Best Dogs for Protection

There’s no arguing that times have changed, and things you may have felt relatively safe doing in the past are no longer true. Statistics from the United States Department of Justice show that a whopping 2.5 million burglaries are happening annually, not to mention other crimes outside of the home. It has forced people to rethink their actions and how to go about them more safely. And for many people, the answer has been to adopt a dog.

Adopting a dog has plenty of fabulous benefits, the most obvious being that you’ll have a loyal faithful companion by your side. But did you know many breeds are hardwired to protect their pack – which would be you? Every dog wants to ensure you’re okay, but some will go above and beyond and offer some serious protection and peace of mind.

If you’re thinking about adopting a dog but want one that will provide a sense of safety and protection, here are the best breeds to consider.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd dog sitting on the grass in the forest.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tetiana Tychynska

You had to know a German Shepherd was going to show up on this list from, as most consider this the ultimate dog for protection and as a companion. German Shepherds are also known for being “highly trainable” and one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. This means you can teach them a wide array of commands relatively quickly and easily.

Another great feature about the German Shepherd is that they tend to be great with kids. They will need lots of training from an early age so they understand what behavior is expected of them, but if you put in the work you’ll have the most fabulous dog imaginable. The police choose this breed for their K9 force for good reason.


Rottweiler dog play with the ball in the garden happy
Image Credit: Shutterstock / nicolas.fontana

The Rottweiler has long-since been a favorite breed for those wanting a dog for protection. Not only are they protective of their family, they have an inquisitive nature. This means if they think something seems odd or out of sorts, they will investigate it. You don’t need to worry about them being scared or skittish.

Training a Rottweiler tends to be pretty straightforward, as they are an intelligent breed. They tend to learn relatively fast, and respond well to constant training. Many choose to teach their Rottweiler the basic command of “stand down” or “leave it”, to let them know there isn’t a threat.

Doberman Pinscher

Young doberman posing in park, autumn
Image Credit: Shutterstock / JELIZAVETA KARAKAJA

Doberman Pinchers also make one of the best guard dogs out there. They have long since been a top breed for those who want to protect their home or even commercial property. They have no problem jumping into action to protect their family, and will act very aggressively if they deem it necessary.

What people don’t always realize however, is that Dobermans can also be one of the most loving breeds. They absolutely adore their families and love their playtime. For such a large and scary looking breed, it can be jarring to see just how gentle they are with their pack of humans.

Belgian Shepherd Malinois

Portrait of a Belgian Shepherd Malinois in a summer meadow
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Julia Malsagova

The Belgian Shepherd Malinois is often described as one of the most intimidating breeds. It’s not the biggest dog, nor is it the most powerful, but it is 100% fearless and highly alert. They have extremely fast response time and do well with agility training. They also need plenty of exercise thanks to high energy levels.

Because they have a strong prey drive, they aren’t always idea as a pet, especially if you have kids or other animals in the house. They are meant for experienced handlers such as military and law enforcement. Because they can become anxious easily, it can make them a lot of dog to handle in a home.


Bullmastiff posing in the woods
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Found in the category of “large breeds” is the Bullmastiff. These dogs are described as protective, powerful, alert, brave, reliable, and loyal. It’s the exact qualities you’d want when looking for a guard dog.

A Bullmastiff requires good training from the moment they are adopted, which ensures they become “gentle giants” with family members. They tend to have an easy-going nature with family, which means they can be good with kids too. It all comes down to training, which means they may not be ideal for a first-time dog owner.

Cane Corso

Cane Corso, Dog Breed from Italy, Adult with Pup Sitting on Grass
Image Credit: Shutterstock / slowmotiongli

If you’ve got the time and energy to put into training and socialization, then you’ll be in for a real treat where the Cane Corso is concerned. They are another breed known for being stubborn, so you’ll need patience and dedication for proper training. Enrolling in professional training classes can help move the process along much smoother.

This breed is not just a great guard dog, but is also known for being extremely affectionate and gentle with its family.

Akita Inu

Beautiful male Japanese dog Akita inu, lying in nature
Image Credit: Shutterstock / FunFamilyRu

Next up we’ve got the Akita Inu. This isn’t as widely known in terms of popular dog breeds, so you may not have heard of it before. What makes this breed good for protection is that even though it’s not loud – not a big barker – it’s smart, alert, and very large.

Akitas tend to be extremely wary of strangers and people in the home that don’t live there. This is part of their protective nature. They are also described as being brave and will be quick to protect their family.

American Pit Bull Terrier

American staffordshire terrier in action.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Eve Photography

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a bit of a mixed bag where guarding is concerned. The key is training, you need to let them know what is expected of them from the get-go. Generally speaking, reward-based training works best with them such as using treats. You want to train them to guard the house and family, and alert you should there be any potential danger.

One downfall about this breed is that they can be stubborn, which can make training a little harder. For this reason, experienced handlers tend to do a little better with the breed.

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff on the rocks
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kat_marinina

Here’s another dog in the Mastiff family, the Tibetan Mastiff. As you’d expect, it too has a large frame making it appear tough and scary if needed. It was originally bred for protection, as it was able to guard huge amounts of land. They are known for being ultra-protective and territorial of their family and their home, so there’s no need to try to coax that trait out of them.

Part of what makes this breed so striking visually is it’s coat, which gives it a lion-like mane and appearance. With that said, it also means you need to be okay with lots of hair, shedding, and grooming needed. Males can weigh up to 150lbs, so this is also a big dog in the house.

Neapolitan Mastiff

portrait picture of a Neapolitan Mastiff outdoors
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Christian Mueller

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a very formidable looking dog. It has a solid frame with a height of up to 31 inches for males and 29 inches for females. Males can weigh as much as 150lbs, which is a whole lot of dog. Because the breed is known for being wary with strangers, they can act as an excellent guard dog. With family however, they tend to be very laid back and not high energy.

Besides protection this breed gets about an average to slightly above average rating in terms of being good with young children, affectionate, and good with other dogs. Just keep in mind its size, which can be intimidating to young kids.

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