Best Dog Breeds For Home Security: Top 5 Protective Pups According To Canine Experts

We refer to dogs as (hu-)man’s best friends because they’ve been protecting us and our livestock for thousands of years. And while many of today’s pet parents just want companionship, some still look for a dog that can keep them and their family safe. But due to a large variety of breeds, not every dog is up for the job. Some are too friendly and will happily welcome a stranger into their home (think golden retriever), some are fierce but not exactly intimidating (think Chihuahua). So which breeds (or mixes thereof) make good guard dogs? StudyFinds researched the best dog breeds for home security to find out.

Most Americans (52%) just don’t feel safe, according to a recent poll. In addition to a nagging feeling of unease when out and about, nearly half of respondents also worry about their safety when home alone (42%) and avoid living on the ground or first floors of apartment buildings out of fear of home invasions (45%). The leading safety measures Americans take to protect themselves in their homes are buying security systems and getting a dog.

While security systems can be a deterrent, they aren’t able to physically defend you. In case of a break-in, you can only hope help will arrive in time. A guard dog on the other hand deters and protects. Dog ownership improves security on a larger scale as well: Neighborhoods with more dogs experience less crime — including murder and assault, researchers from the Ohio State University found. Their study results suggest that more people walking their dogs puts more “eyes on the street,” which discourages criminals from committing both violent and non-violent crimes.

Now, before you run to the next kennel, please be aware that every guard dog needs lots of training, no matter what the breed (mutts can make great guard dogs, too!). Of course this applies to all dogs, but a guard dog without proper training can turn aggressive (which is not the same as protective!) and is a liability and a safety risk. Also don’t forget that every dog needs love and affection — even dogs with jobs. With that in mind, please check out our list of the best dog breeds for home security. StudyFinds reviewed the breed recommendations by experts from ten different websites to find the top five guard dogs. Got any feedback? Please let us know in the comments.

adult brown boxer on gray window
Guard dog (Photo by Don Agnello on Unsplash)

The List: Best Dog Breeds for Home Security Recommended by Experts

1. German Shepherd

Close your eyes and think: “home security dog.” Your brain likely comes up with the picture of a German shepherd. Unsurprisingly, ten out of ten experts recommend this breed for home security, as they are “gentle family pets and immensely courageous — unafraid to put themselves in danger to save a loved one, as many of them do as police and military dogs,” says

brown and black german shepherd on green grass field during daytime
German shepherd (Photo by Dustin Bowdige on Unsplash)

The highly intelligent breed is the top guard dog for several dog experts, including the ones at Canine Journal: “German Shepherds, in our opinion, top the list of best family guard dogs due to their natural instincts to listen, learn, and obey. They are both menacing in their appearance, and loving in their nature, but will respond to a command at any moment’s notice. They have thick fur, which makes them respond well to colder temperatures, and it adds to their toughness. They are very understanding of their homes, and will be wary of intruders. They have fantastic size and can take down any sized human without much trouble.”

“A favorite of the police, these dogs are easy to train, fiercely loyal, have great stamina, and are great under pressure,” knows PetsRadar. “Not only that; they make wonderful pets who love to play with toys. […] So as well as a great guard dog, a German Shepherd is also a brilliant friend.”

2. Rottweiler

Rottweilers are also excellent guard dogs and their “deterrent factor” may be even higher than a German Shepherd’s. These guys are massive! But while they look scary, they are affectionate with their people, as well as versatile. “There is apparently no limit to the jobs they can perform, like herding and carting to name a few. Tire them out enough and they may even pop a squat in your lap,” writes

black and tan rottweiler puppy on red plastic bucket
Rottweiler (Photo by Sabīne Jaunzeme on Unsplash)

However, they are not as family-friendly as German shepherds and may be not the best choice for homes with young children; partially due to their strong build, but also because of the breed’s other traits. “The Rottweiler, if not properly trained, is too aggressive of a breed to have around small children,” cautions Canine Journal. Of course intensive training is non-negotiable with any large dog, especially in a family setting, and Canine Journal walks it back a bit after their warning. “The Rottweiler is great with families if brought up properly, and even small children are safe under the right conditions. Their intelligence can make them very obedient and despite their aggressive snarl, these dogs are very loving and ready-to-please animals.”

Wag! seems less concerned about mixing “Rotties” with kids: “The Rottweiler was bred to guard cattle and the family, and with their size of about 100 pounds, they can be ferocious beasts when they need to [be]. However, they still know how to be lovable pets and understand when it is time to be gentle and sweet with kids and other animals.”

3. Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher is another “classic” protective breed that, fun fact, originates in Germany, just like the German Shepherd and the Rottweiler. This breed got as many experts’ recommendations, but their fearsome image combined with their athleticism secured them the third spot (except for families with children; more on that later). “Their reputation and name precedes them as the ultimate guard dogs,” writes security equipment provider Kuna on their blog. “Intelligent, determined, loyal, fearless, and vigilant, […] Doberman[s] have been serving as the notorious guard dogs in Germany since the late 19th century. Their muscular stature allows for high speed and endurance, as well as effective attacks when imperiled by threatening strangers.”

black and brown short coated dog
Doberman (Photo by Anna Kozakova on Unsplash)

Reader’s Digest also thinks highly of these dogs: “One of the best guard dog breeds, the Doberman is a sleek, powerful, fearless, and fast dog. Considered the fifth-smartest dog breed in the world, it is loyal in protecting its people and always alert. Dobermans also bark a lot. If they need to, they will take a threat seriously, pinning an intruder against the wall or cornering it until humans take charge. When they’re off duty, Dobermans can be big-time goofballs. They have high energy needs and make great running companions.”

Unfortunately, like Rottweilers, these dogs are also not necessarily great for homes with young children, as Canine Journal (again) points out. “The breed is very alert and cautious of people it is not familiar with, but will respect the command of their owner and this makes them great for protecting families.” But “they should be raised in the household with children and not brought into a house with small children after they are puppies.”

4. Bullmastiff

For a “gentle and loving” family protector, consider the bullmastiff, suggests Canine Journal. “The Bullmastiff has excellent instincts and thrives in family settings, as they learn quickly who their ‘pack’ is and will do everything they can to protect it. They are very aware of everything going on around them, and their intimidating look makes them a great choice at fending off intruders without putting your children at risk. […] To get the most out of this breed, it should be raised early with the family and trained constantly through its growing stages. With that being said, once it is familiar with its home and who its family is, this breed is gentle and loving, and will do great at being a part of your family.”

a brown dog standing on top of a lush green field
Bullmastiff (Photo by Albert Dávid on Unsplash)

Safe for families, dangerous for burglars: If worse comes to worst, this dog is a force to be reckoned with! “You’ve probably heard of the phrase, ‘his bark is worse than his bite.’ This may be true for many dog breeds, but the same can’t be said for the Bullmastiff. This breed has the highest amount of bite force of any dog at 552 pounds per square inch – that’s around three times higher than the average dog,” knows PetsRadar.

According to Kuna, Bullmastiffs are a great guard dog choice for families if you can handle their size (and their appetite) — they only have one downside: “Bullmastiffs are highly defensive of strangers due to their unbounding love and affection for the family. An average Bullmastiff weighs around 150 pounds, making it capable of taking down humans of larger builds. […] The only hitch to keeping a Bullmastiff is coming to grips with their perpetual slobbering.”

5. Akita

If you’re looking for a dog that would 100% die for you and don’t mind making some social sacrifices in return, meet the Akita. These dogs are natural born protectors. “Akitas are one of the most loyal dog breeds. Bred for guarding royalty and nobility in feudal Japan, this courageous and alert breed is naturally suspicious of strangers. Akitas will keep watch over you and your family at all times. This breed takes this task seriously and will typically perform its guarding duty with little to no [guarding!] training,” mentions The Spruce.

white and gray siberian husky lying on green grass field during daytime
Akita (Photo by Hrihorii Sheldunov on Unsplash)

But while they may need little encouragement to guard, Akitas are serious working dogs and can’t just be thrown into the “family mix,” as Kuna explains. “The fearless and bold Akita is a breed that deserves the utmost praise and respect. […] Akitas are famous for their strong protective instincts, intense suspicions of other animals and strange people, and their rigid loyalty to only their owner families makes them one of the worthiest companions to men. […] However, here’s a word of warning; Akitas do not cohabitate well with other animals. In addition, their loyalty and trust can only be earned by an experienced and firm owner. So, this breed is to be steered clear of if you have never had a dog before.”

Reader’s Digest seconds this: “This stocky, curly-tailed Japanese mountain dog is revered in its native country as a symbol of good health and long life, according to the [American Kennel Club] AKC. Akitas are fiercely protective by nature […] Typically, they bark only when there’s a really good reason […]. Akitas can be aggressive with other dogs and need to be socialized early on to interact appropriately with them as well as with people.”

Note: Always thoroughly research any dog breeders to avoid obtaining a dog with health or behavioral issues or supporting a puppy mill. This applies to all dog breeds. In addition, purebred dogs can be prone to specific health issues. Be sure to read up on any breed you are considering.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.


  1. Have you ever heard of a Dogo Argentino?? By far a better protection/guard dog than most of these breeds listed.. and I’ve owned a few of the breeds you have mentioned. She has by far been the best dog I have ever owned! If you can handle an very active dog that is super smart loves their family including young children & will definitely give their life for you..this is a breed you should consider. Just like all other powerful breeds make sure you do your homework.. this breed definitely requires experience!!

    1. Fila Brassareo …look them up. No more to say !!! NOT ALLOWED IN DOG SHOWS …because they will LITERALLY tear any PERSON coming near it, or his owner !, to PIECES !!! The MOST guarded dog on the planet !!!

      1. I am on my second Fila Brasileiro, and I won’t get another one, and the breeder who sold me the last one neither. They are not a pet. This dog is good only for guarding business. It is not good for a family house.
        1-They have uncontrollable aggressiveness toward anybody that is not part of the family
        2- You can’t take it to a veterinariy at least it is heavy sedated.
        3- The breeder who sold me the dog hasn’t taken vacation since he have their Filasing because they won’t eat at least the food came from the owner or owners hand, so forget about leaving the dog with somebody.
        4- If you can sell them before 6 months forget to find a buyer. The aggressiveness started very early.
        6- This is not a German Shepherd or a Rottweiler, Belgium Malinois, for the Fila Brasileiro everybody that isn’t member of the family is a threat.
        7- The Fila that I had before she was a beauty. She was not aggressive with nobody at least she was by herself in the house.
        8- Some people brag about their aggressiveness, but if you know what you have. It is a big liability. My has 6 years. My first one died when she was 9.

    2. I have a dogo and love him to pieces. He is mine but protects whomever is in our home. I have had red nose and chows since adulthood and as a child dad had Shepard. Can’t beat the Dogo!!

      1. I can’t keep with the barking constantly of my Malinois for everything that hear. If she see a cat at 2:00AM on the morning she goes off. I had problems with my neighbors.
        No more Belgium Malinois for me. It is all the contrary for my Fila. He only bark when he see people and very close to my property.

  2. I would have to vote for a German Shepherd as we trained one in German and had the best guard dog loving friend and also she worked as a watchdog over senior citizen. The difficult part is when you lose them too soon.. after having several dogs she was without a doubt absolutely the best.

    1. I have a say I totally agree I just got a female puppy she’ll be one this month and she is the greatest most loyal dog I’ve had throughout the years and have to say sorry if you lost your dog too soon
      Be safe from Jacksonville Florida

    2. I love the temper of the pitbul .people miss understand the breed . They very loving and Protect there family’s .the bad pitbuls have bad oners .a dog will take on the owners temperament .and follow the owners demands .so please stop hating the beef hate the owners dog will do what it’s trained for

      1. I’ve had and got all the breeds you’ve described. Hands down my German Shepherd, Bull Mastiff and like they just said my baby. My 6yo blue Pit Bull. Hate the owner that gives the Pitts a bad name !! My baby loves my family and all 8 of my grandkids. And she is very protective. But wouldn’t hurt anyone in the family. SO STOP GIVING THE PITT BULL A BAD RAP. They’re in the top 5 best guard dogs in my book.

      2. I’ve owned two pitbuls both.over 15 years. The best dogs our family owned. Protective kind loving dogs. I raised them to be a family dogs. They loved othe animals, children never had a problem.

        1. I had three kids between ages 15-6. I rescued and trained my beautiful blue pitt. She was extremely gentle – laid next to my teen after knee surgery, while my daughter did her PT exercises on the floor. SMART-she’d come and sit down in front of me and walk me to the door or to her bowls. We loved her to death, and vise versa. We have her ashes. I made each of my kids a glass bottle on a ribbon. I believe all 3 have them hanging on their rear view mirror. The rest are in my mantle. There will never be another Lyla. Happy to run and chase a tennis ball or curl up and cuddle for a nap. ALSO- as far as seniors getting a small breed for companionship,…. Mistake!!!! Small breeds have the longest lifespan and will most likely outlive a senior. Tripping hazard and nobody who’s broken a hip or has spinal arthritis could be able to get the bowls off the floor and put them back down. I’ve watched it. Heartbreaking. Thank you!!!

      3. I totally agree with you to me the pit bull is the most loving and loyal dog ever. Mine used to keep a very close eye on my children. He was very gentle with kis period. He was a big part of the family.

        1. I have 3 adult pittbull’s and our new baby they are the best dogs ever. My mom never liked the breed till she met my boy Red he’s the best dog by far I’ve been around he will steal your heart in 2 sec’s. He’s loved in our local stores if I don’t bring him I have the employees asking about him. Pitt’s by far are the best dogs ever.

  3. There are a few dogs with a higher bite force than a bull mastiff. Cane Corso 700 psi and the kangal 743 psi. The kangal has the strongest bite force of any domestic dog.

    1. Yeah, I totally agree. I have a Cane Corso and I promise you his bite force is much more than the Bullmastiffs. And Kangal is most definitely number 1 in that category.

    1. Cane Corso….that’s what I was looking for on this list. I was shocked they weren’t here. Mine is not the easiest to train. I will give her that. And I have had multiple dogs on this list. I’ve worked with multiple breeds on this list. Hands down, my girl would give everything she has for me or my kids, or my other pets. And where are the Dogue De Bordeaux? Easy to train and fiercely protective.

    2. …and will CRY DAY AND NIGHT because they’re home alone. Then they become destructive in the house. Pieces of crap !!!

      1. You must not have had a good trainer. Responsible Corso owners do their families, their dogs and neighbors a disservice if they are not HIGHLY trained. Best dogs ever in my opinion.

    3. Sorry but Rhodesian Ridgebacks belong on this list. “Keeping a lion at bay?” Yeah no one comes into my house unless invited

  4. I would taken the German Shepard over any dog for every reason.
    So smart ,sensitive,loving and have camp frieb both the Will and the ability to protect and serv
    There owners!

  5. I HAD A DOBERMAN & Shepherd Mix. This was a dog of ALL DOGS When it comes to Security and Protection!
    Loved Kids unless they picked at him. Didn’t care how many times anyone came to our home, he wasn’t going to allow you there. Only barked when needed. He would inform me as to what location a person was by the tone of the bark.

    I would be Alerted whether in the street, near my yard.
    People knew not to come into my yard. I never had that problem except once and he tried to eat the culprit up.

  6. The Kangal has the biggest bite force of any dog. Its something like 150 more than the Bullmastiffs.

    1. Thank you so much, I am only 5 ft tall and I have a Kangal. She is a big precious baby to me , but don’t let anybody look sideways at me or you are in trouble! She is my baby girl! No one comes near our yard! They all know about our Ny Ny!!!

  7. I had a Golden Retriever/Labradoodle Mix named Dixie several years ago. She weighed 90 lbs. and was super sweet! However, most people were afraid of her because she would bark and carry on like she wanted to rip your throat out! The reason she acted like this was because she wanted to be petted!!!
    The UPS driver that normally came by was deathly afraid of Dixie. One day I told her that Dixie just wanted to be petted and that she should do so. After telling the driver I’d give her $1,000 if Dixie bit her, she did in fact pet her and from that day on, they were best buddies!!!

  8. Two breeds that deserve honorable mention:
    The American Bulldog
    The Beauceron
    Personally, I’d take either over a Doberman or Akita.

    1. I am a animal lover. Dogs are ten times more smarter and got more sense than human beings. You can call a dog to come to you than calling a human being. In the future I will be getting me a dog that will protect me from harm and keep dangerous people away from me. I don’t know what kind of dogs that I want because I love them all too much to choose from when I do decided to own my own home and have a yard for them to play in too. Again I am a animal lover.

      1. If you have 5 acres a great breed is Tibetan mastiff we have 2 and they are very much a loyal, family and aware protective dog. We take them everywhere so they love to go and people love to meet them. They are aloof and not high energy which works good for us. Check out all breeds and what living space for your new dog so everyone is happy at home. Enjoy every day.

      2. Hello, get a Kangal , they are beautiful, loyal , big and hands down the best guard dog in the world. They’re barks are aggressive and they have the world’s strongest bite to back it up!!!

    2. Sorry the Akita is the best breed out there. There strong, smart, beautiful, and cunning. Can’t bedestinyat that

      1. I have had 3. 2 reds and a white. I have kittens….they always got along. Love this breed. My friends bring their dogs over a mixed rescue and a standard poodle can they be trained to get along?

  9. We personally breed cane Corso’s and let me tell you one thing. I can guarantee you, no one will ever break in. Obviously, unless they have a gun, and even then, this dog will risk its life.

    1. I just posted about the Cane Corso, and saw your post. We are thinking of getting another one. Where are you located, and do you have a website or IG page?

  10. All good choices, but the Cane Corso is the only guard dog we use. They are in love with their family, and protect them by any means. Our big boy Lennox Lewis is 176 lbs and thinks he’s a lap dog, but under no circumstances could anyone enter the backyard without us introducing them to him.

  11. Hands Down my two Miniature Schnauzers are the best guard dogs for my home! Because the unwanted will never get inside.
    I’m a 72 years old female and my Glock (I have a concealed carry permit) will handle “the rest of the story!”

  12. Your wrong you have forgotten the best , try a Belgium shepherd other wise know as a
    Belgium Balinois equally as good or better than a shepherd as i have owned both.

  13. I think everyone has their own opinion on what types of dogs are the best to have for protection. I’ve had just about every breed that you can have. I think, for me, my German Shepherd and my Pitt Bull are doin exactly what I trained them to do. But like I said, everyone will have their own opinion. I will always have both breeds in my home to protect my family as long as I live. I’m 53, as long as I can take care of them, they’ll always take care of me.

  14. My Uncle was in the Army and a Officer and the German Shepherd is a good watch dog and family dog , they are also good for the police .. We all have are own speeches!!!

  15. I’ve had 2 Akitas. They took care of my kids when they were growing up. The absolutely most wonderful dogs. I now have a big goldendoodle who is very protective of me. Also unbelievably wonderful.

  16. There are several intimidating dogs. I owned 5 Siberia Huskies and their looks alone questioned their intensity. Most people would not come near them and they guarded very well. Nothing came in my yard. In actuality they were very nice and great family pets. They all lived for 15 to 17 years.

  17. I am on my second Fila Brasileiro, and I won’t get another one, and the breeder who sold me the last one neither. They are not a pet. This dog is good only for guarding business. It is not good for a family house.
    They have uncontrollable aggressiveness toward anybody that is not part of the family
    You can’t take it to a veterinariy at least it is heavy sedated.
    3- The breeder who sold me the dog hasn’t taken vacation since he own his Filas because they won’t eat at least the food came from the owner or owners hand, so forget about leaving the dog with somebody.
    If you cannot sell them before 6 months forget to find a buyer. The aggressiveness started at very early. This is not a German Shepherd or a Rottweiler, Belgium Malinois, for the Fila Brasileiro everybody that isn’t member of the family is a threat.
    Some people brag about their aggressiveness, but if you don’t know what you have. It is a big liability. My has 6 years. My first one died when she was 9.

  18. My Cheekie is a Belgium Mallinois shepherd and has proven time and time again her loyalty and protection over myself and our property. I live alone at the moment and have never felt more safe. She is a beautiful blessing! The breed is often mistaken for German shepherd.

  19. Be careful recommending large breeds. Not only are they potentially dangerous in the wrong hands but Americans are terrible dog breeders overall and create inbred unstable animals.
    Some dogs should not be owned by the average person. One comment suggested a Pit Bull as a guard dog. No, they’re hunting/fighting dogs and go blood crazy if engaged in a fight. I’ve seen 4 men struggle to pry a pit off a feral hog.

    The Argo, Cane Corso, Boerboel (which is the superior mastiff type guard dog as it has been bred for 300 years to protect south African farms; fights leopards and such, are not for the inexperienced, timid or those without the proper property and time.

    Just a barking rescue dog of 45 pounds discourages most intruders. A 125-160 (Boerboel can weigh up to 165 pounds) isn’t usually necessary and if not impeccably trained and socialized can easily kill a person.

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