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Best Guard Dogs For Family

Best Guard Dogs For Family

When choosing a family dog, you may be considering your options. One popular choice is to pick a medium to large-sized pup that can also help to keep your family safe. Today, our Toledo vets share some of the common choices of guard dogs suitable for a family.

When you are deciding on a new dog for your family you may consider having one that will also act as a guard dog. If this is the case then you will want to also take their size and energy level not consideration. Below, our Toledo team has chosen our top picks to help you decide on a new addition to your family.

German Shepherd

The German shepherd is a common choice for a family guard dog. They are incredibly loyal and loving. When properly trained, they are excellent at learning, listening, and obeying commands.

If you choose to get a dog from a breeder, make sure that they are reputable and if possible, meet the dog's parents to make sure they are coming from a healthy environment.


If you are looking for a great guard dog, look no further than a rottweiler. Once well trained, a 'rottie' will care deeply about your family, especially the smaller children. They are among the smartest dog breeds in the world, and when properly trained they will be loyal and obey the commands you give them.

Rottweilers can become aggressive if not properly trained so you will need to focus on this when you first bring them home. As a puppy, we also recommend socializing them regularly because they are naturally wary around people and other animals they don't know.

Doberman Pinscher

Dobermans are incredibly intimidating. This makes them a good choice as a guard dog along with their caution around unfamiliar people. They are also extremely loyal and with proper obedience training will be great at following your orders. They are very athletic dogs with tons of energy so they require lots of exercise and activity every day.

If you want to bring a Doberman pinscher into a family with kids, you should raise them from a puppy in the family environment instead of bringing one home once it has grown. This dog can be very destructive, so it's very important to have this dog well-trained from a young age.


Boxers are quite intuitive and will hone in on people who are less than honest about their intentions. This intuition, along with their menacing appearance, makes them great guard dogs. For families, this medium to large size dog is friendly, and fun-loving, and will use its athleticism to protect its owners. They don't have a violent streak and will often seek love and attention.

Although, boxers have a lot of energy from the beginning and require lots of exercise from their owners.

Bernese Mountain Dog

While this dog will watch for danger and alert you if it happens, they are not known to be outright aggressive or attack. They are great at alerting, will bark if something suspicious is going on, and are cautious around strangers. This large dog also loves being around children and is very playful, making them a great family pet. This dog, however, is very furry and will need to be brushed and groomed routinely.

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

The vocal abilities of a Great Dane may be enough on its own to scare away any potential threat or intruder. However, this dog is actually 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

As long as you have time to train, this large fluffy dog makes for a loving and loyal guard dog for families. 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 huge dog is great with kids and families and is extremely friendly, which doesn't make them good attack dogs. That said, their large size and loud bark can help intimidate intruders and make them rethink entering your home. If you are looking for a mild-mannered dog, with a bark that is bigger than their bite, this is the breed for you.

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 choose their family 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 in order 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.

If you have added a new puppy to your family and need to bring it in for routine care, please contact our Toledo veterinary clinic.

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