When it comes to home security, there are many available options to us these days. Security ranges from a simple, obvious placed sign warning would-be thieves of a system in place (whether this is or isn’t true), to elaborate digital systems including cameras and a service that checks in with you when the alarm goes off.  Somewhere in between those methods lies the long-trusted use of guard dogs.

Most family dogs will bark at the sound of a doorbell or knock and you will find that some families encourage this behavior.  Once the visitor is being handled by the human, however, the family pet goes back about their business. There are people around the globe who go that bit further. They deliberately seek out a dog for the specific purpose of protecting their families and homes.  Much like house training a puppy however it is imperative to receive safe and humane training for any dog, especially in the guard dog business.  Below outlines what have been described thus far, as some of the best breeds for this purpose.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the literal top dog for the family and home security is the German Shepherd. These dogs are famous for their intellect and training ease. Due to their particularly large and intimidating stature, they can deter intruders simply by their presence.  They can leap and capture any threat with great power. Despite this natural ability, they are also very well-known for their loving attitudes towards people.  They make wonderful and loyal family members and can instinctively, and often quite literally, smell trouble and know when/how to react.

One breed of dog that might surprise you is the Great Dane. One of the biggest reasons for their popularity in home security is just that, they are big, big dogs. The average male Great Dane can measure up to 36 inches, 34 for females. Their size alone might just be enough to deter intruders and they naturally have wonderful temperaments towards children and other dogs. Despite their size, they will happily live in an apartment as they don’t require an enormous amount of exercise in comparison to a German Shepherd for example.  They are seen more as “watchdogs” than guard dogs but their bark can sound so big and scary that they might just be the perfect pet and protection for your family and home.

The Fila Brasileiros, also known as the Brazilian Mastiff, is making its ranks up the security dog list. It is not a common breed among dog owners perhaps due to their need for a very well experienced dog handler. They were developed to protect livestock and homes in Brazil and are noted to be incredibly loyal to the people who raise them. They are very strong dogs and require a lot of training — not in protection — that comes naturally to them, but in their ability to behave in a socially acceptable manner. With proper training and constant exposure to the people they can trust, they will inevitably protect those people and their home.  They have been known to attack intruders, which some would argue is the point of a guard dog, but unfortunately, accidents happen and they never end well for well-intended owners. If you feel a mastiff breed is for you but the Fila might be a bit too much, consider the Bullmastiff.

The Bullmastiff is most known for its unique and large appearance. This alone makes people cross the street when out walking which might give you just enough satisfaction to know that nobody would enter a home uninvited with him on the other side of the door.  Apart for that, they are very smart dogs and learn very quickly who their family is and instinctively protect them.  Unlike the Great Dane, the Bullmastiff will not only bark but attack an intruder when necessary.  In saying that, they make a wonderful addition to the family, especially when brought into the home as puppies and raised with the same family.

Other dogs that are common in-home security are Rottweilers, Dobermen Pinschers, Japanese Akitas, Saint Bernards. All these dogs widely differ in looks, personalities, and traits but all have one thing in common, their large appearances.  Anyone with any dog experience will tell you however that appearance means nothing in the dog world. The most intimidating looking dogs more often than not turn out to be the sweetest and vice versa.  So, do the work and make sure you select the right breed of a guard dog for your family and home. Training should be of the utmost priority for your whole family and your dog. Humane training methods are increasingly being promoted to all dog jobs but it is you as the human and all humans in the house, who has to accept the responsibility in being able to communicate efficiently and effectively with your dog.