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Best Guard Dogs for Your Family's Protection

Looking for a guard dog? While you'll want your pooch to protect your family, you'll also need to consider how they'll behave around members of your household. Here, our Los Angeles County vets list the best guard dogs for protection and family life. 

If you're seeking a guard dog to protect your family, there are many factors you'll need to consider. These may include whether they'll get along with your children and other pets. You'll also need to consider your prospective dog's size and energy level seriously. In this post, our vets have compiled our top picks to help you choose a new addition to your family. 

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman pinschers are very intelligent and tend to look intimidating. Their loyalty to their owners and caution around new people make them excellent guard dogs. With proper obedience training, they will be great at following your commands. Because Doberman pinschers are extremely athletic dogs with lots of energy to burn, they'll need a lot of daily exercise and activity. 

If you'd like to bring a Doberman pinscher into a family with kids, you should raise them from puppyhood in the family environment instead of bringing a grown Doberman home. This breed can also be very destructive, so it's critical to train this dog well from a young age. 


Its menacing look and talent for sensing people's intentions make this breed a great guard dog. Boxers can grow to a medium or large size and are friendly and fun-loving – characteristics that make them a great family pet. They will also use their athleticism to protect their owners. They often seek love and attention and lack a violent streak. 

From the first time you welcome them into your home, you'll notice boxers have a lot of energy and will need a significant amount of exercise. 

German Shepherd

These brave, gentle and loving dogs are highly loyal protectors. When properly trained, this breed listens, learns and obeys commands exceptionally well – qualities that make them great guard dogs and family pets. 

When you adopt a dog of this breed, make sure your breeder is reputable and meet the dog's parents if possible to make sure your German shepherd is coming from a healthy environment. 


One of the world's smartest breeds, Rottweilers make excellent guard dogs and can become loving family pets if they are trained well. Their loyalty and ability to obey commands are other positive qualities. If you are adding a Rottweiler to your family, it's critical to ensure they are properly trained, since they can become aggressive without stern training. 

They should be socialized regularly starting in puppyhood, since they are naturally wary around strangers.  

Bernese Mountain Dog

While the breed isn't likely to go out of its way to attack an intruder, Bernese mountain dogs do make great watchdogs – they'll bark if something suspicious is happening and are cautious around strangers. A large-sized dog that loves being surrounded by children, Bernese mountain dogs are very playful and will, therefore, be excellent family pets. Keep in mind that this dog has a heavy coat and will need to be brushed and groomed regularly. 

Giant Schnauzer

They are loyal, and intelligent, and grow to be very large with an intimidating look that can ward off strangers. If you raise this dog from a puppy alongside your kids and family, they will also be very good with children. However, you do need to brush and groom them daily.

Great Dane

Great Danes are very big and have a loud bark, making them good at scaring away intruders. However, this dog is very gentle and patient with kids, as well as makes friends easily. They are better watchdogs than they are protectors because of their kind nature.

This breed requires lots of exercise through daily walks and lots of positive reinforcement obedience training from the beginning. They also need lots of attention and supervision until they are used to the rules and become accustomed to your home.

Great Pyrenees

With training and guidance, this large, furry breed can make a loyal and protective guard dog. They are gentle and can adapt to the dynamic of your family and home but will be cautious of guests and intruders making them the perfect companion and guard.

The reason why this dog wasn't placed first on the list is that they are hard to train. They have to be trained with love and attention from their puppy days because when they are young they have the habit of barking and growling, they won't grow out of this without training. They also challenge the leadership of their owners which makes them more difficult to train.

Saint Bernard

This very large dog is typically great with kids and families and is very friendly which doesn't make them good attack dogs. However, their large size and loud bark can help scare intruders from entering your home, making them a perfect addition if you are looking for a mild-mannered dog, with a bark that is bigger than their bite.

Saint Bernards tend to be clumsy dogs until they are fully grown and don't understand their size so they may accidentally knock down small children, so we recommend this dog for families that have children that are a bit older. They can also be a bit harder to train and tend to eat more than other dogs, but only need to be walked and brushed a few times a week.


It doesn't take them long to recognize their owners as their pack and will do anything to protect you. They also look intimidating and are always aware of what is going on around them making them excellent guard dogs, without putting your children at risk.

This dog shows great attacking qualities and can easily take down a full-grown man. If you raise this dog from a puppy with your kids and family and provide them with constant training they can make a great, loving, member of the family.

This dog does require stern training from a young age to obey your orders and get along with others, without it they will become aggressive. They also need strict orders and lots of exercise.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Seeking a guard dog suited to family life? Book an appointment for a consultation at Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach today. Our team can discuss what you should know about different dog breeds. 

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