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.