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Top Breeds of Guard Dogs to Protect Your Family



VIDEO: Top 10 best guard dog breeds to protect your family in 2023!
Big Gemini Kennels

akita dog

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Akitas represent happiness and long life in Japan where the breed was developed in the 17th century, and are known for being courageous and loyal to their owners. They're independent thinkers and don't always mix well with other dogs or strangers, so it's especially important to provide consistent training and socialization from an early age.

Height: 24-28 inches
Weight: 70-130 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-14 years


Appenzeller Sennenhund

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Animal Insider

appenzeller sennenhund

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Appenzeller Sennehunds are quick and agile, bred to work on farms and drive cattle. They're intelligent and quick to learn, making them easy to train, and also very active, so they're better suited to homes with plenty of space to run and play.

Height: 19-22 inches
Weight: 48-70 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years


Australian Shepherd

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American Standard Dog Training

australian shepherd dog portrait on picnic table

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Popular with ranchers thanks to excellent herding instincts, Australian Shepherds also make great guard dogs as they're clever, obedient, and protective of their families. Aussies are best suited to homes with plenty of space to roam as they're high energy and require plenty of daily activity and exercise.

Height: 18-23 inches
Weight: 40-65 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

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Belgian Laekenois

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Will Atherton Canine Show

tarrytown, new york, united states 20210608 new breed belgian laekenois seen at 145th annual westminster kennel club dog show press preview at lyndhurst estate in tarrytown annual westminster kennel club dog show was canceled in 2020 because of covid 19 pandemic and moved this year to open space at lyndhurst estate outside of new york city during press preview 4 new breeds were introduced as well as demonstration on agility and obedience photo by lev radinpacific presslightrocket via getty images

Pacific Press

The Belgian Laekenois was just recognized by the AKC in 2020, and it is an excellent addition to this list. It is set apart from the other Belgian breeds (like the Malanois) by its rough coat. The herding dog is loyal to its owner and friendly towards people it knows well. Expect a strong and lively dog.

Height: 24-26 inches
Weight: 55-65 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years


Bergamasco Sheepdog

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big shaggy sheepdog relaxing in living room, looking at camera

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Bergamasco Sheepdogs are social creatures, affectionate with their families as well as other animals. They're signature coat is long and layered—and surprisingly low-maintenance—requiring just a few baths per year and zero brushing as they don't shed.

Height: 22-23.5 inches
Weight: 57-84 pounds
Life Expectancy: 13-15 years



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Animal Insider

boxer dog outside

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Keen, alert, and fearless, boxers are natural guard dogs. Their patient, protective, and playful nature—and the fact that boxers crave lots of time with their humans—makes them a good fit for families with kids.

Height: 21.5-25 inches
Weight: 65-80 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

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Animal Watch

the briard french shepherd dog lies in the sand dunes in the forest and rests after playing with the ball outdoor photo

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Sometimes called "a heart wrapped in fur" briards are a well-suited to kids thanks to a loyal, lovable nature. They also love to be active, making them perfect for owners who like four-legged companions while running or hiking. They're also a good fit for humans who don't mind grooming duty, as their long coats require frequent brushing and baths.

Height: 22-27 inches
Weight: 55-100 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12 years



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Urban Side

young bull mastiff in front of white background

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A mix of mastiff and bulldog, bullmastiffs were originally bred to ward off poachers on estates in England. They're devoted family dogs and natural protectors.

Height: 24-27 inches
Weight: 100-130 pounds
Life Expectancy: 7-9 years


Cane Corso

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Belgian Malinois Lovers

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With a history that dates back to the Roman Empire and a name that translates from Latin as "bodyguard dog," the Cane Corso is a noble, intelligent, and sweet-natured breed with excellent guarding instincts. In addition to early and consistent training and socialization, they also need plenty of exercise and excel at canine sports like dock diving or tracking.

Height: 23.5-27.5 inches
Weight: proportionate to height
Life Expectancy: 9-12 years

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Chesapeake Bay Retriever

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4 Ever Green

connestee, north carolina

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Bred to retrieve ducks from the cold waters of the Chesapeake Bay, these athletic pooches make excellent companions for outdoor enthusiasts and are loyal and clever, too.

Height: 21.5-26 inches
Weight: 55-80 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-13 years


Doberman Pinscher

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Ultimate Fact

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Smart, strong, and fast, Doberman Pinschers make excellent guard dogs, and their sweet nature and ability to learn quickly make them excellent companions too. They need plenty of exercise, so owners should plan for long daily walks or hikes.

Height: 24-28 inches
Weight: 60-100 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years


Estrela Mountain Dog

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cao da serra da estrela, portugese mountain dog, portrait of adult with tongue out

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Named for the Estrela Mountains in Portugal where it hails from, this breed was originally a flock guardian, and can be just as protective of its family. Estrela Mountain Dogs are especially lovey dovey and are great choices for families with young children.

Height: 24.5-29 inches
Weight: 77-132 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-14 years

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German Shepherd

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4 Ever Green

german shepherd dog siting on jetty

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Loyal, loving, and intelligent, German Shepherds make excellent pets and are quick to protect their family. With adults measuring between 22-26 inches, German Shepherds one of the most popular larger dog breeds, and are also one of the most common police dog breeds.

Height: 22-26 inches
Weight: 50-90 pounds
Life Expectancy: 7-10 years


Giant Schnauzer

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close up portrait of the dog giant schnauzer service dog

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Originally bred in the Bavarian Alps to watch over homes, inns, and farms, Giant Schnauzers remain excellent guard dogs, and are affectionate with their families, intelligent, and easy to train. Giants need plenty of exercise, as well as weekly grooming.

Height: 23.5-27.5 inches
Weight: 55-85 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years



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puli dogs on a lawn

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They may be on the smaller side for guard dogs, but Pulik make a big impression with their distinctive corded hair and their excellent herding instincts. They're quick, clever, and faithful, and their energetic nature makes them great playmates for kids.

Height: 16-17 inches
Weight: 25-35 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-15 years

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American Standard Dog Training

portrait of a rottweiler dog with space for copy

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Weighing up to 135 pounds, Rottweilers certainly look imposing, but they're generally calm, confident, and loyal family members. They can also be playful and cuddly, just be sure to provide plenty of socialization and training as Rotties can be territorial.

Height: 22-27 inches
Weight: 80-135 pounds
Life Expectancy: 9-10 years


Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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new york, new york february 12 the staffordshire bull terrier stan competes during terrier group judging at the 143rd westminster kennel club dog show at madison square garden on february 12, 2019 in new york city photo by sarah stiergetty images

Sarah Stier

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are strong and muscular. They're known as courageous and highly trainable with a lot of energy.

Height: 14-16 inches
Weight: 28-38 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-14 years


TIbetan Mastiff

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Animal Insider

ankara, turkiye january 25 a tibetan mastiff breed dog walks on a snow covered area after snowfall in turkish capital ankara on january 25, 2022 photo by metin aktasanadolu agency via getty images

Anadolu Agency

Their size alone makes the Tibetan Mastiff intimidating, but they can be cuddly family dogs. They tend to be loyal to family and aloof with strangers.

Height: 24-26 inches
Weight: 90-150 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years


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