Top Dogs for Protection

A protection dog’s first priority is to protect his family from harm and not, as some people believe, to maul anyone who poses a threat. The ideal protection dog is not only tough and intelligent, but also loyal and good-natured. Most protection dogs are large and strong, their size and appearance acting as a deterrent. As you can imagine, it is very important to select a dog with a good temperament. Here is a selection of breeds widely thought to be the best in the business.

Two dogs behind house gates looking for intruders

German shepherd

German shepherds are a common choice of protection dog, with good reason. Used regularly by the police, German shepherds are incredibly smart, eager to learn and highly motivated. Unfortunately, due to over zealous breeding there are several variations of temperament on the market. This has caused many health problems too. In order to get yourself a sound German shepherd, you should only buy from a reputable breeder where you can trace the bloodline. Early socialization is essential for producing a stable, confident dog. German shepherds are devoted to their families and, if you choose carefully, you will have yourself the perfect protection dog.

Doberman Pinscher

The doberman pinscher, originally bred in Germany for protection, is naturally a great choice. Careful breeding over the years has formed a good-natured dog that is excellent with children. Intelligent, obedient and fiercely protective, he has a strong natural instinct to look after his family. He excels at obedience training, but does require a firm master and plenty of mental stimulation. A doberman pinscher is loyal to a fault, and will gladly put his life on the line to save his master.


woman walking intimidating dog in park
The right breed will be a loyal companion and a protector
The Rottweiler, strong and intimidating, was allegedly used for bear hunting during the Middle Ages. It eventually became a herding dog, used for protecting the cattle. Today rottweilers are used around the world by police, army and customs. With proper socializing, rottweilers are loyal, friendly and good with children. Due to over-breeding, not all bloodlines have this good temperament, so make sure you get one from a reputable breeder. It is very important that your rottweiler realises that you, not he, are leader of the pack. Self-assured and fearless, your rottweiler will become a hard-working, devoted companion.


Cross a bulldog with a mastiff and what do you get? The answer is lots of bulk, a short muzzle and boundless energy. Bullmastiff's are a great deterrent for would-be intruders. They use their huge size to pin down offenders, but being a gentle giant, they are unlikely to bite or maul. Incredibly social, the bullmastiff will sulk if you leave him alone for long periods of time and may cause some destruction to register his disapproval. They are highly intelligent, can be stubborn and are not always the easiest to train. Warm and friendly, the bullmastiff forms a close bond with his family and gets on well with children.

Giant Schnauzer

Originally bred in Germany during the Middle Ages for cattle-herding, the giant schnauzer has a less intimidating appearance than other protection dogs. It would be a mistake, however, to underestimate him. The giant schnauzer is fiercely protective of his family and has earned himself the nickname ‘shadow,’ referring to the fact that he is never far from his owner’s side. He can be quite stubborn so should be trained from an early age, and made aware who is boss. Highly intelligent with boundless energy, the giant schnauzer has the perfect temperament for a protection dog.

Whichever breed you choose, treat him with respect and a firm but fair hand. The love and devotion he gives back to you will be priceless.