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Best Guard Dogs for Protection & Family

If you'd like a dog that will be loyal and affectionate while protecting you and the people you love, read on. Today, our Knightdale vets discuss some dog breeds that are well-suited to be guard dogs for families.

There are several factors to consider when selecting a dog to protect you and your family, including whether they get along with children and other pets, their size, and energy level. Our Knightdale team has selected our top picks to assist you in deciding on a new addition to your family.

German Shepard

This popular family pet is brave, gentle, and loving, and will do everything in their power to guard and protect those they care about. They are excellent at learning, listening, and obeying commands when properly trained.

If you choose to get a dog from a breeder, make sure that they are reputable and if possible, meet the dog's parents to make sure they are coming from a healthy environment.


Rottweilers are excellent guard dogs, and if they are trained well can become loving family pets (even for small kids). They are among the smartest dog breeds in the world, and when properly trained they will be loyal and obey the commands you give them.

The key to adding a Rottweiler to your family (especially if you have young children) is to make sure they are properly trained, because they can be aggressive if not properly trained. We also recommend socializing puppies on a regular basis because they are naturally wary of people and other animals they don't know.

Doberman Pinscher

This breed of dog is extremely intelligent, and they appear intimidating in general. They are wary of new people, making them excellent guard dogs. They are also very loyal and, with proper obedience training, will be excellent at obeying your commands. Because they are athletic dogs with a lot of energy, they need a lot of exercise and activity every day.

If you want to bring a Doberman pinscher into a family with kids, you should raise them from a puppy in the family environment instead of bringing one home once it has grown. This dog can be very destructive, so it's very important to have this dog well trained from a young age.


Because of its 'menacing' appearance and ability to sense people's intentions, this dog is an excellent choice for guarding. This medium to large size dog is friendly, fun-loving, and will protect its owners with its athleticism. They are not violent and frequently seek love and attention.

Although, boxers have a lot of energy from the beginning and require lots of exercise from their owners.

Bernese Mountain Dog

This breed makes an excellent watchdog, though it is unlikely to go out of its way to attack an intruder. They are excellent alert dogs, will bark if something suspicious is going on, and are wary of strangers. This large dog is also very playful and enjoys being around children, making them an excellent family pet. This dog, on the other hand, is very furry and will require regular brushing and grooming.

Giant Schnauzer

They are loyal, intelligent, and grow to be quite large, with an intimidating appearance that can deter strangers. If you raise this dog as a puppy alongside your children and family, they will be excellent with children. You must, however, brush and groom them on a daily basis.

Great Dane

Great Danes are large dogs with a loud bark that can keep intruders at bay. This dog, on the other hand, is very gentle and patient with children and easily makes friends. Because of their gentle nature, they make better watchdogs than protectors.

This breed requires lots of exercise through daily walks and lots of positive reinforcement obedience training from the beginning. They also need lots of attention and supervision until they are used to the rules and become accustomed to your home.

Great Pyrenees

With training and guidance, this large, furry breed can make a loyal and protective guard dog. They are gentle and can adapt to the dynamic of your family and home but will be cautious of guests and intruders making them the perfect companion and guard.

The reason this dog was not ranked first is that they are difficult to train. They must be trained with love and attention from the time they are puppies because they have the habit of barking and growling when they are young and will not grow out of this without training. They also challenge their owners' leadership, making them more difficult to train.

Saint Bernard

This huge dog is great with kids and families and is extremely friendly, which doesn't make them good attack dogs. That said, their large size and loud bark can help intimidate intruders and make them rethink entering your home. If you are looking for a mild-mannered dog, with a bark that is bigger than their bite, this is the breed for you.

Saint Bernards are clumsy dogs until they reach maturity and don't understand their size, so they may accidentally knock down small children, so we recommend this dog for families with older children. They can also be more difficult to train and eat more than other dogs, but they only need to be walked and brushed a few times per week.


It doesn't take them long to choose their family as their 'pack' and will do anything to protect you. They also look intimidating and are always aware of what is going on around them making them excellent guard dogs, without putting your children at risk.

This dog shows great attacking qualities and can easily take down a full-grown man. If you raise this dog from a puppy with your kids and family and provide them with constant training they can make a great, loving, member of the family.

This dog does require stern training from a young age in order to obey your orders and get along with others, without it they will become aggressive. They also need strict orders and lots of exercise.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

For more information about finding the best dog to help guard your family, or about integrating a new dog into your home, contact our Knightdale vets today.

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