Protecting your family and home is more important than ever. Recent findings show that the number of property crimes and home break-ins are alarmingly on the rise.
Current statistics show:
Clearly, there is a growing need to up your home security. But a reliable alarm system can cost you thousands, and monitoring costs alone can be as high as $30 every month. Even with all these expensive precautions, there is no guarantee that your home will be safe from burglaries and home invasions.
It Doesn’t Have To Be You
According to FBI data, the perpetrators of these crimes are usually male, under the age of 25, and looking for a quick way to make money. They want houses that will be easy targets, with little hassle.
A big, old, protective guard dog is way more of a hassle than these criminals bargained for. A good guard dog can be the perfect alternative to costly home surveillance systems. But which kind should you get? We’ve narrowed the long list of possible pooches down to our 25 most recommended guard dog breeds. When in doubt, use InstantCheckmate to background check your neighbors. Are they hiding any criminal records or shady social media profiles?
1) Fila Brasileiro (Brazilian Mastiff)
These dogs are as loyal as they are huge. According to breeders, “You do not teach this dog to protect you; it does it on its own.” Filas develop strong bonds with their owners, but they tend to remain wary of strangers throughout their lives.
Be advised: this is not a breed for the novice dog owner. Filas need a strong, firm owner who can control them. If your family has experience with dogs, and is looking for a loyal and protective guard dog, consider a Fila.
If you’re looking to get a mastiff but aren’t sure which one, there are many breeds—among them the Bull, Tibetan, Anatolian, an English Mastiffs—that also make for great watchdogs.
2) Great Dane
The Great Dane is really the best of both worlds when it comes to guard dogs. They may look like vicious attack animals, but in reality they are the gentlest of giants. The Great Dane is loving, languid, and even a bit lazy. Despite its massive size, Animal Planet actually recommends this breed as a great guard dog for apartments because they don’t need much physical activity. In actuality, the Great Dane is unlikely to ever attack anyone, so you don’t need to worry about its temperament around friends or family. If you’re going strictly for a forbidding look and don’t want to worry about your dog biting someone, then the Great Dane is the best breed for you.
Akitas are a large breed with strong protective instincts. The Akita’s temperament is a special combination of loyalty, alertness, and familial devotion—the perfect recipe for a guard dog. Although some countries have labeled this breed as a “dangerous dog,” the Akita can be trained to be accepting of non-threatening strangers. Many argue that these dogs are highly intuitive and can recognize who is a threat, and who isn’t. Breeders warn that Akitas are highly intelligent and fiercely independent, which means they need a firm leader who can stay in control.
The German Shepherd is a confident, fearless breed that lives to please its owner. Unlike the Fila or Akita, German Shepherds don’t possess that rebel streak that can make them unpredictable. These are the some of the best guard dogs for a family with children, as they form strong bonds with humans. This breed has a calm, cool, and collected temperament. German Shepherds are the go-to dog for K-9 police units and military operations. If you’re looking for a faithful guardian that has equal parts love and loyalty, then the German Shepherd is the one for you.
5) Caucasian Shepherd
Otherwise know as the Caucasian Ovcharka, this shepherd breed is enormous, furry, and strong. The intimidation factor alone is enough to scare away anyone with an arrest record. These dogs were historically used to guard livestock, protect properties, and kill predatory animals like wolves and bears. Yes, bears. So they can probably handle a 25-year-old punk trying to break into your house.
Used as border patrol dogs to monitor West Germany’s side of the Berlin Wall, the Caucasian Shepherd is very territorial and can be aggressive. If you own other dogs, or have a lot of different people coming in and out of your house, then you may want a more mild pup. But if you’re looking for a no-nonsense guard dog that will be nice to you—and you alone—consider the Ovcharka.
The Boxer has a stalwart appearance that would make any intruder wary of testing its strength; but around friendly companions, it’s just a big, affectionate softie. Originally from Germany, the Boxer is a loyal, alert, and intelligent breed that’s also easy to train and suitable for families with children. Because the Boxer is also a gentle companion that loves to be around people, it currently ranks as one of America’s most popular dogs.
Even if this breed’s only defense tactic was to lick an attacker to death, it would be intimidating at first glance. The Ridgeback is a strong and statuesque dog bred by South African farmers to hunt lion and strong prey. Their short coats require very little grooming, but they certainly need lots of exercise. While the Ridgeback isn’t naturally obedient, these dogs love to cuddle; so keep your Ridgeback properly trained and active, and you’ll have a guard dog and a snuggle buddy.
The “Swissy” is one of four types of Sennenhund, a breed from the Swiss Alps that also includes the the Bernese Mountain Dog. These dogs have a very strong pack instinct, so they’re very protective of their families and get distressed when left alone for long periods of time. Since it’s a working dog that needs a job to do, it makes a great companion for your family’s hiking or backpacking trips. Unless you’re living in the chilly climate, like the Swiss Alps, though, be careful not to overwork this dog in warmer environments; its large size and thick coat prevents it from doing high-intensity exercise at warm temperatures.
Training and grooming this dog requires diligence, as the Swissy takes awhile to be house trained, and its thick coat needs to be brushed once or twice a week.
Sure, this dog may look like a giant, moving mop, and that it wouldn’t even see a trespasser through its tufts of matted hair, but the Komondor has been a Hungarian working dog for 10 centuries. Its coat of heavy white cords, which forms naturally as it develops, actually serves three purposes: to protect vulnerable body parts from attack, to keep warm in extreme weather conditions, and to help it blend in with the flock its charged with watching. The Komondor is generally reserved around strangers, but it is very loving toward its family and familiar companions. So long as you’re willing to put in the time to train, exercise and groom this dog, you’ll have a faithful guardian of the family home.
The Norwegian Elkhound has been bred in Norway since the 11th Century. Though it has a medium build, it’s very energetic, hearty and strong-willed (it was, after all, the watchdog of the Vikings). The Norwegian Elkhound was bred to hunt elk, bear, moose, and other wild animals, as well as to guard Viking settlements. The breed is very people-oriented, but its high stamina and hunting instincts means it’s suited for an active family.
11) Bulgarian Shepherd Dog
Also known as the Karakachan and the Thracian Mollos, this breed comes from Bulgaria and guards mountain livestock of Balkan Greek nomadic shepherds. While it was used as a border patrol dog for the Bulgarian army, it’s now a popular guard dog breed in both Bulgaria and the U.S. The Karakachan is very vigilant and rarely expresses aggressiveness, and it bonds tightly with its family. This dog needs room to roam, so it’s best suited for a more rural environment, or for a family that can take it to nearby parks or on long walks.
Plus, if it’s tough enough to meet Vladimir Putin’s high standards, it’ll stand up to your expectations as a strong, vigilant (and cuddly) guard dog.
12) Giant Schnauzer
This high-energy breed has a mind of its own; unless you train it well, it will take over. Giant Schnauzers are strong, powerful, and intimidating, and they require constant mental and physical stimulation. They also need constant attention and companionship, so they’re fun and exceptionally loyal dogs.
13) Great Pyrenees
Also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, this adorable and fluffy breed is a very obedient family devotee, and a very vigilant guardian of its domain. Bred to protect sheep from bears and wolves, it was also used during World War II to haul artillery over the Pyrenees Mountains (between Spain and France).
The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog is strong-willed and fearless, but its general temperament is also very serene and tolerant.
If you’re looking for an intimidating dog that’s also great with kids, the Pyrenees is well-suited for you and your family.
14) Central Asian Shepherd Dog
This breed bonds first with its human caretaker, and then to its possessions. Described as “a cat in dog’s clothing,” it’s large in size but very agile. Because of its size, strong territorial instincts, and need to obey a respectful, thoughtful trainer, you must be prepared as its owner to adhere to a strict training regime. The Central Asian Shepherd Dog works best doing slow and steady exercise throughout the day.
15) Belgian Tervuren
Because its thick coat can withstand cold climates, the Belgian Tervuren is a great dog if you live in a place with extreme seasonal changes. Since this dog was bred as a herding dog and protector of rural farmsteads in Belgium, it doesn’t display fear or shyness, and stands its ground with confidence. The Tervuren is observant and vigilant, but not as apprehensive as other breeds. If you’re looking for a faithful companion AND an affectionate attention-seeker, consider the Tervuren.
16) Cane Corso Italiano
This breed from southern Italy has been developed as a boar hunter and guardian of the farm, and so its territorial instincts are unparalleled. The Cane Corso is intelligent and easy to train; and while it is definitely big-boned and powerful, it’s also very affectionate toward its owners. It bonds closely with children and family, and because it’s a light shedder, it’s easy to groom. As long as you can give it plenty of exercise, the Cane Corso is great for home security. Plus, in case you doubted its guardian instincts, the Cane Corco’s name actually comes from the Latin word (“Cohors”) for “Protector.”
17) Bucovina Shepherd
Raised to protect sheep from wild animals and thieves, this mountain dog was for centuries the companion of Romanian shepherds roaming the unforgiving climate of the Carpathian Mountains. Because of its even-keel temperament and ease with children, it has now been adapted as a suitable house dog for both rural and urban settings. Give the Bucovine Shepherd lots of space to run around, and it’ll do well with your family.
Over time the Beauceron has adapted to three major roles: a herding dog for cattle and sheep, a hunting dog for wild boar, and as a guard dog for the home and for law enforcement. Its self-assuredness and gentle nature made it useful as a messenger and mine detector for the French Army during World War II. Like other herding dogs, the Beauceron is happiest when given a task, so make sure you’ve got plenty of activity around the house to keep it busy. Though it’s not so well-known outside of France, this breed is favored as a loving, loyal family dog.
Considering the Boerboel was bred in South Africa for the purpose of protecting the homestead, you can imagine it’s used to scaring off large animals and holding down wounded game. Its appearance and name are intimidating enough (any pronunciation combining “boar” and “bull” conjures a threatening image), and it has a very fearless and confident demeanor that also requires an owner to give it ongoing positive training. Since the Boerboel needs lots of activity and a wide area to roam, (its name actually translates in Afrikaans to “farmer’s mastiff”), it’s ill-suited to the confines of urban life. Like other guard dogs, the Boerboel should be controlled around strangers, as its strong protective instincts could provoke aggression toward someone it doesn’t recognize.
With origins that go back more than 2,000 years, the Kuvasz is one of the world’s oldest dog breeds. Seeing as the Kuvasz is a beautiful and regal-looking dog, it’s no surprise that its name comes from the Turkish word meaning “armed guard of the nobility.” But don’t be fooled by its the fluffy, seemingly docile appearance: originally bred to fend off predatory animals like the wolves and bears of western Asia, the Kuvasz is a very intimidating herd dog with a strong will and an extremely territorial nature. It is aloof but polite around strangers, and very affectionate with its family. So long as you stay on its good side, the Kuvasz will be a diehard protector of your family and home.
If a Rottweiler hasn’t been properly trained, it could also make the list for most dangerous dog breeds. A dog that hasn’t been trained or socialized early will assert dominance and have the potential to be very aggressive and destructive. A socialized and well-trained Rottweiler, however, is alert, intimidating but steady, and very loving. It’s happiest when given a task, and its obedience and love for people make it a suitable service and therapy dog.
The Doberman Pinscher’s reputation precedes it as the ultimate guard dog. Its muscular stature allows for high endurance and speed, and a powerful attack when provoked by threatening strangers. Originally from Germany, the Dobie is very intelligent, determined, and obedient. Because of its high intelligence and training retention, it’s in high demand as a police and war dog. The Doberman is a fearless and affectionate dog for an owner who’s willing to properly nurture and train it.
23) American Pit Bull Terrier
The Pit Bull certainly looks intimidating, and its sullied reputation as an aggressive dog does precede it as a threatening breed to encroaching strangers. Unfortunately Pit Bulls have a bad reputation, but unless they’re brutalized and trained to fight, they aren’t as dangerous as many people think they are. Though stubborn, the Pit Bull is a good-natured, affectionate pet with a strong desire to please its owners. While generally friendly, it has been bred as a fighting dog, so it will have natural aggressive tendencies toward threatening animals or strangers. If you’re willing to properly socialize and nurture this strong-headed and active dog, and not promote the development of its fighting instinct, you’ll have a lifelong family companion.
Don’t confuse this breed with American Pit Bull Terrier. Thought to be a mix of the Bulldog and game terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier is no doubt a tough dog with the athletic build and protective nature inherent in effective guard dogs.
While they are known to be great household pets and are dutiful protectors of the family, they need to be socialized and trained at an early age.
25) The Moscow Watchdog
After World War II, breeders combined the Caucasian Shepherd (#5), for its wariness and aggressiveness, with the Saint Bernard, for its large size and gentle temperament, to get a watchdog with a gentle nature and large size. The Moscow Watchdog is massive and powerful, but it’s not clumsy. Since the Moscow Watch dog thrives off regular exercise, it’s not a recommended breed for apartment living.
A guard dog is a great way to keep your family safe from any criminal elements lurking in your neighborhood, along with a subscription to Instant Checkmate! Get the protective power you need from a solid guard dog, and the information you want from our premium background reports.
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This content was originally published here.