5 Dogs That Will Keep Intruders Far, Far Away

Alarms, security systems, and locks may all increase home security, but there’s nothing quite like a good guard dog to make you feel safe at home. Dogs have the advantage of being thinking, loyal creatures who can often discriminate between ordinary visitors and people who shouldn’t be lurking around your home. While any large dog can appear intimidating and serve as a deterrent to intruders, some breeds are simply better suited for guard dog duty than others.

Here are five of the best guard dog breeds.

English Mastiff


The English Mastiff is a large, sturdy dog that makes an excellent guard dog for families with children. English Mastiffs are known for their extreme family loyalty, and they tend to be very gentle with children. They have strong protective instincts, and they defend their families by physically placing themselves between their people and the intruders. The large size and assertive, courageous attitude of the English Mastiff can be intimidating to people who do not know the dog. English Mastiffs instinctively protect the people they’re bonded to and often do not require extensive guard dog training other than basic obedience classes.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

Originally bred to protect herds of livestock, the German Shepherd is the quintessential guard dog. German Shepherds have a calm demeanor around family members, but lightning-quick protective instincts when the family is threatened. German shepherds are intelligent and learn commands quickly. Extensive socialization is recommended, as German Shepherds can be so loyal that they identify everyone who is not an immediate family member as a threat. Their physical strength, moderate size, and intelligence make them a favorite with police departments and military units. Many German Shepherd breeders and enthusiast clubs offer Schutzhund classes and competitions. These are highly regulated and scored competitions in which the dogs receive commands to protect their owners in traditional German. Not only is the German Shepherd a breed that is ideally suited to being a guard dog, but if you want your dog to protect your home, there is a structure present within the breed to help you teach your dog to do it safely and effectively.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

rhodesian ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very large, strong dogs that are courageous, loyal, and fearless. They were originally bred to hunt lions, which should give a general idea of their mental fortitude and physical strength! Rhodesian Ridgebacks are quiet dogs and selective in their barking, so when they sound the alert, it usually means there is a good reason. Not only are these dogs an effective early warning system of trouble, but the presence of this impressive, bold dog serves to deter any would-be wrongdoers from your neighborhood. Although they are an independent breed and require extensive and consistent obedience training, they are loyal to their families. They love to cuddle and your biggest challenge with a Rhodesian Ridgeback in the house may be finding a spot to sit on your couch.



Rottweilers were originally bred to protect herds of cattle, and as such tend to be calm and quiet dogs with extremely loyal tendencies. Rottweilers form strong attachments to family members and seem to recognize family members that need special protection. It’s not unusual for rottweilers to attach themselves to children in the family and assign themselves the special duty of following the children and looking after them. Rottweilers are very large, muscular, and sturdy, and their distinctive broad heads and black and tan markings are synonymous with the words “guard dog” in many people’s minds. For this reason, just having a rottweiler on your property can serve as a deterrent to anyone who may wish you or your property harm. Rottweilers are intelligent and learn commands quickly. Their protective instincts are also relentless — if they perceive a threat, they will not stop trying to defend the family until the threat is gone. They are good family dogs, but require socialization, as they tend to be suspicious and aloof with strangers until they are sure that no threat exists.

Doberman Pinscher


Dobermans are one of the smaller breeds of traditional guard dogs; females may be as small as 70 pounds, while a few large males may weigh in at over 100 pounds. Dobermans are very smart and very, very fast. They excel at protecting large acreage. If you have a farm or outbuildings, this is the guard dog for you. A running joke among Doberman owners goes, “My dog can make it to the fence in six seconds. Can you?” Dobermans are confident dogs with an intimidating appearance and have the ability to efficiently patrol large areas. Their intelligence allows them to learn commands quickly and to swiftly determine whether or not someone should be on the property. Dobermans are very loyal and enjoy being active with their families.

Any dog can alert you to an intruder or serve as a deterrent, but these dog breeds truly excel at protection. If you’re looking for your next guard dog, consider one of these five specialized breeds that are the best in the business.

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