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What breed makes the best protection dog?

Over thousands of years, what was once the grey wolf has evolved into hundreds of different dog breeds. Dogs have been selectively bred for a large number of tasks and purposes such as herding, hunting, companionship, and protection. Humans have an inherent need for safety and security, and dogs’ heightened sense of smell, loyalty, and strong bite can all be harnessed for these purposes. It is thus unsurprising that a wide array of breeds suitable for protection have developed over time. Despite this, the development of protection dogs has been wide-ranging and complex. Some breeds are excellent working dogs, but adapt poorly to family environments and vice versa. This piece will identify the best breeds for family protection work, and explain why this is the case.

For a breed to be an effective protection dog, it must combine the appropriate amounts of obedience, loyalty, natural defensiveness, courage, and deterrent value. Certain breeds are excellent watch dogs, and are highly effective in warning their owners of potential intruders. For example, Jack Russell Terriers, Chihuahuas, and Pomeranians all have loud and distinct barks, and are quick to inform their owners of anyone approaching. However, none of these breeds are large enough to act as a physical deterrent, and only the Jack Russell Terrier is likely brave enough to stand down and defend against an intruder. Similarly, any Labrador or Golden Retriever owner will tell you how loudly their dog barks whenever the house is approached, but this is primarily out of excitement at the prospect of making a new friend!

Conversely, some larger breeds have some, but not all of the characteristics required to make them effective protection dogs. The Akita and Presa Canario are formidable and both have strong protective streaks, but can be somewhat overly stubborn making them difficult to train. As a primitive dog breed, the Akita is also rather reactive, where an effective protection dog should have calmer nerve. The Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherd Dogs have excelled as military and police working dogs, but are generally too energetic and highly driven to happily live in family environments. While some individual dogs can meet our specifications, we have also found that Great Danes and Boxers are more effective as companions than protection dogs.

At Protection Dogs Worldwide, we specialise in training and developing three main breeds for family protection work: the German Shepherd Dog, Dobermann Pinscher, and Cane Corso. We have also successfully trained Giant Schnauzers, and intend to continue doing so into the future. These breeds are loyal, highly trainable, extremely protective, and calm enough to live in household environments with small children.

Each of our dog breeds have particular characteristics that certain clients find attractive and desirable. German Shepherd Dogs are highly recognisable, with a historic reputation for protective aptitude. The Dobermann Pinscher’s sleek and muscled physique is also attractive to potential clients, and they are famously playful which makes them an excellent protection dog for children. As a Mastiff, Cane Corsos are known for their handler loyalty, and the Giant Schnauzer for its size. With so much to choose from, we would also be happy to advise you on what breed is best placed to protect you and your family.

For more enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential and obligation-free discussion about how we can meet your needs.