Sometimes known as working dogs, guardian dogs were bred to guard homes, people and valuables, as well as livestock. While they might sound like a useful sort of dog to have around, these dog breeds are not for everyone. Large and reserved in nature, the guardian breeds are gentle with family and friends but fierce when provoked.
Some, such as the Rottweiler and the Doberman, were bred to live closely with people as personal guards. Although their guarding instincts can work for you, they can also work against you if your dog is poorly bred, poorly socialized or untrained.
Throughout history, one of the main jobs of the domesticated dog has been to protect its owners and guard against unwanted people or animals. While many modern dogs will instinctually act as home guardians, there are specific breeds that are known for possessing the characteristics needed to best ward off unwanted intruders.
A prized cross between a bulldog and a mastiff, the Bullmastiff was originally bred in England as a gamekeeper’s dog to track and tackle poachers. If an intruder happens to make it into a home, he’ll meet a powerful dog who will knock him down and hold him until help arrives.
Search far and wide for all manner of dog breeds, but you will never find one with the size and power of the bullmastiff. That’s because these dogs have been specifically bred for nearly two centuries to ensure one thing: whatever they watch over remains undisturbed.
This breed is known for its physical strength, protection instincts, courageousness, and extreme family loyalty. If an intruder crosses its path, a Bullmastiff will typically use its strength to knock them over or block their path. The breed is very docile in a family environment, however, and makes a great household pet.
The quiet and docile Bullmastiff is patient and gentle with friends and family, especially children. Bullmastiff’s will, however, be protective and territorial. This breed can weigh 100 to 130 pounds. They have a low activity level, but needs socialization and training. The Bullmastiff does well with a family and can adjust to most living situations but may be too large for apartment life.
As these dogs grow large, however, they often do not live very long, with a median age of only seven or eight years. During that time, however, they’re sure to be a protective force that can intimidate anyone thinking of breaking into a property where they are stationed, no matter what they happen to guard within its four walls.
All that you need to know about a Doberman’s instincts to protect its master is that they were originally bred to be dogs that accompanied a tax collector around as he made his rounds. Today, Dobermans are considered some of the very best guard dogs in all the world, with an aggressive nature that often makes them stereotyped as dogs that are harmful to strangers and children.
If you’re looking for the ultimate guard dog, the highly intelligent, strong and athletic Dobie may be for you. This intimidating pawed protector is considered one of the most dangerous canine breeds.
This breed is incredibly fast and is able to reach an intruder in a short amount of time. Known as the fifth-smartest dog breed in the world, Dobermans are fearless, alert, and loyal dogs.
In reality, Dobermans only ever attack on the command of their owner, having been bred to have great restraint and personal discipline, even in the face of a new threat. Over the years their ability to obey a command in a high-stress situation made them invaluable as military or police dogs, although they’ve become less used in recent years since they do not have the size or raw strength of some other large dog breeds.
These are some of the smartest dogs out there, however, and an owner needs to carefully exercise their Doberman’s mind as well as its body to keep it fit, happy, and obedient to their commands, or else the dog will grow restless and end up chewing whatever’s in the vicinity.
- Saint Bernard
- German Shepherd
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Staffordshire Terrier
- Chow Chow
- Dogue de Bordeaux
- Belgian Malinois
- Belgian Sheepdog
- Belgian Tervuren
- Tibetan Mastiff
- Black Russian Terrier
- Great Pyrenees
- Dogo Argentino
- Cane Corso
- Tosa Inu
- Ca de Bou