Dogs do all sorts of useful things for their humans, but one of the most important roles they play in our lives is protecting our homes from intruders. Often times your household’s greatest defense is keenly alert canine. Actually, roughly 65% of convicted burglars have said that a big guard dog would prevent them from targeting a home.
Back in the very early 1900’s German Shepherds became a mainstream breed sought after to protect people homes. After this concept started to spread police and military groups started using German Shepherds to guard and track for them.
They have much better hearing than their human counterparts, but it’s their sense of smell that is astoundingly better than ours. It’s estimated that they can smell up to 10,000 times better than us. It’s no wonder that dogs are used to help military and police forces to smell out narcotics, explosives or cadaver detection. They are also used to detect IED’s in Iraq and Afghanistan. While American armed forces can locate IED’s at about 50% effectiveness, dogs can find them with 80% effectiveness.
Best Type of Protective Dogs
There are a few different aspects of guard dogs that you might want to consider before committing to a breed. In fact, there are actually different classifications that protective dogs fall under, so knowing the difference will help you figure out which breed complements your family’s needs most effectively.
These dogs are trained to spot unknown figures are spotted on the premises. These dogs are not trained to attack intruders but to warn the intruder with intimidating snarls. Since these dogs are not trained to be aggressive and attack intruders they are much safer around small children. Complemented with a home security system, watch dogs are an excellent home defense option.
Guard dogs are trained to attack or pin any perceived threat upon command. These breeds are especially favored by police departments because they can typically apply up to 750 pounds of force in a bite, which is enough force to tear muscles and tendons. This lethal ability has given this particular type of protective dog the nickname “Kill Dogs”, but that name can be a little misleading. These dogs are typically extremely gentle until called upon by their owners to be aggressive.
These dogs are trained to be a bit of a mix between guard dogs and watch dogs. If trained properly these dogs will attack an intruder if compelled to do so, but this behavior is not natural to them. These breeds are typically territorial and independent which makes them very intimidating to intruders.
How Safe are Guard Dogs for Families?
While it’s always important to carefully consider all of the different implications behind adding a dog to the family, for families with small children it is even more crucial. Large dogs of any type and with any amount of training are always going to run the risk of injuring small children. This runs especially true when it comes to dogs that are deliberately bred to be strong like guard dogs tend to be, but it’s important to know that most of these breeds are naturally very loyal and loving.
Carefully selecting the breed of your dog and making sure to train your children the proper way to interact with them can go a long way. Teaching your kids not to tease or rough-house with your dog and supervising all of their interactions until you are convinced that both your two legged and four legged kids play nicely together are good steps to preventing any unwanted injuries.
Good Guard Dog Qualities and Traits
There are a few basic traits that make different breeds fit different roles more effectively. A good guard dog will exhibit these traits which makes them effective at watching over and protecting their humans.
- Intelligence —this is important because you want your guard dog to be able to understand your commands, especially during emergency situations. Not to mention that intelligence helps them determine whether someone or some situation is a threat in the first place.
- Loyalty — you wouldn’t want a dog that will easily be tempted to the dark side with treats by a complete stranger. Your dog’s allegiance to your family must be clear.
- Territorial Instincts — obviously dogs that are more sensitive to trespassers on their territory are much better suited at guarding your home than dogs that will welcome strangers on your properly uninvited.
- Courage — your dog must be brave enough to face dangers that are very formidable. Take into consideration that a burglar is likely to be at least twice the size of your dog. Only a very brave dog is likely to stand up to such threats.
- Affectionate — a good guard dog will protect your family and ward off threats, but a great guard dog will be a laugh inducing, face licking bundle of wagging joy with family and trusted friends.
Best Guard Dogs — Top Dogs for Protection
Even mixed breeds of completely unknown origin can perform admirably when it comes to protecting your home, but if you want a dog that you know for sure will instinctively protect your home from intruders you should consider one of these breeds.
It’s not surprising that a lot of the dogs on this list are also some of the most popular breeds in US homes today. Most people prefer a dog that can guard their home than one that cannot.
It’s important to note that there is no guarantee that any of these dogs will protect your home unless they have been trained by a professional. While these breeds are likely to perform a certain way in emergency situation, it is probably a wise decision to also consult professional counsel before relying on your dog for protection.
Without further ado… the best guard breeds are:
These dogs were originally bred to herd cattle and accompany soldiers into battle, so it’s no wonder that these dogs check off every checkbox on the guard dog list. These dogs are extremely intelligent (among the smartest in the world) and love their families with an uncommon depth. They are ready to face down any threat whether it is a fiendish human intruder, a pack of wild lions, or a dirt devil.
Rottweilers are not an ideal dog for inexperienced dog owners. They tend to require a confident alpha type owner to keep them in line and they can be a bit emotionally dependent and sensitive to their owner’s emotions. They are also not suited for long periods alone and require a lot of exercise.
2. German Shepherd
German shepherds are the epitome of a good guard dog, which is why military and police organizations have been using them for decades. They are intelligent, loving and courageous and exemplify most of the traits of a good guard dog.
They may not be the largest dogs (rarely exceeding 100 pounds), but they make up for it with their deep chests and imposing fluffy coat that exaggerates their size. They are sensitive and affectionate breeds so they will require a lot of attention from their owners. They also require a lot of grooming and tend to shed a ridiculous amount of hair.
3. Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman is unique in that it is the result of purposefully selecting breeds to product characteristics of a protection dog. The purpose of this dog was determined before the breed existed, which is unique and makes them one of the very best guard dogs available.
Dobermans are in the same weight class as Rottweilers and German shepherds, but they are a little lighter on their feet which makes them need a little more room to exercise. These breeds are sensitive, loving, and loyal and are bread to protect their owners.
Other breeds to consider:
- Bull Mastiffs
- Giant Schnauze
- Great Pyreneesr
- Great Dane
- Belgian Malinois
- Dutch Shepherd
- Cane Corso
- American Bulldog
- Bouvier des Flanders
The Best Protect for your Family
While it is definitely a good idea to have a guard dog around the home, you might also want to consider backing it up with a home security system. For the most part, dogs will keep any intruders outside of your home at night, but you might consider having security cameras around your house to prevent someone from breaking into your car or shed. On top of that, if someone does manage to get inside of your home they might be able to isolate your dog in a room or lure them outside.
You can get a smart security system they you install yourself in minute installed straight to your door. Talk to an agent today about getting your security system customized and make sure to ask about two day shipping. Get a free quote or call today!