What is your favorite guardian dog breed

Rottweiler or German Shepherd: Which Dogs Are Best As Guard Dogs?

Burglars strike especially in the dark. Instead of alarm systems, many people rely on watch dogs. An expert explains which breeds are particularly suitable as family and guard dogs and what needs to be considered when keeping them.

Thanks to their fine hearing and good sense of smell, dogs immediately sound the alarm even at late hours if intruders try to get into the house. "Just the barking of a dog scares off many burglars," says animal psychologist Julia Blüher t-online.de.

Before you buy a guard dog, however, you should consider that it will be more expensive than an electronic alarm system over the course of its life. Because in addition to the cost of feed, there are also veterinary costs and dog tax, for example. "However, a dog is rarely kept in private households as a pure watchdog and rather as a family member with watchdog qualities," says Blüher.

These dog breeds are suitable as guard dogs

Guard dogs are supposed to protect the house. They should not attack intruders, but warn of them by loud and persistent barking and thus scare them. According to the expert, these dog breeds are particularly suitable as guard dogs:

  • Doberman Pinscher
  • rottweiler
  • Sheepdog
  • Moscow watchdog
  • schnauzer
  • Mudi
  • boxer
  • Pointed
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Hovawart
  • German pinscher

"These breeds are suitable because they are large and their appearance alone is a deterrent," explains Blüher. "However, family contact should never be missing, because these breeds have been bred for a long time to work with humans."

Shepherd dogs bring special watchdog qualities with them, as they have courage and fighting instinct and have been bred for many decades to protect people and to guard them, according to the expert. Even the Moscow watchdog looks threatening through its body alone, without being clumsy with its 60 kilos. He is self-confident, has a strong protective instinct and was specially bred in Russia for use as a guard dog.

Guard dog as a family dog

Chow Chow: He's a good watchdog who is confident and suspicious of strangers. (Source: jankovski.photography/Getty Images)

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"In principle, every dog ​​is suitable as a watchdog in the family, provided it is well socialized," says Blüher. Smaller dogs that behave particularly brave and territorially are for example:

In terms of body size, however, small dogs are less or not at all scary. "However, these dogs are also very attentive and loudly report unwanted visitors. Since they require less space than a large dog, smaller dogs are becoming more and more popular, especially in urban areas," explains the expert.

This is what makes a good watchdog

Doberman Pinscher: Large breeds of dogs are suitable as guard dogs, whose appearance can act as a deterrent to intruders. (Source: imago / imagebroker)

A good watchdog should be close to his family and be more cautious with strangers. He should also have the following behavior:

  • He should be very confident and attentive.
  • He should display a certain territorial behavior.
  • He should have strong nerves and not be intimidated.

Before you buy a watchdog for the family, you should also clarify in advance what you expect from the animal and how you want to use it:

  • Are you sporty and want to do a lot with your dog?
  • Do you live next door to each other in the city or lonely in the country?
  • Are there children in the household who also want to experience a dog as a playmate?

Some farm dogs, such as the Hovawart, are very independent and not very playful with age. "Herd guard dogs only belong in the hands of experienced dog owners, because they make decisions completely independently," says Blüher. "That can cause problems because the postman or a visitor can also be undesirable. Keeping such a dog in the family area as a watchdog can be extremely difficult."

Training as a puppy guard dog

German shepherd dog with puppy: A dog can only be used as a guard dog from the age of around three years. (Source: sergio_kumer / Getty Images)

A guard dog is not to be confused with a protection dog. Guard dogs should guard their territory, i.e. a house or property. Guard dogs, on the other hand, are often used by the police for the targeted intimidation or position of a person. Both guard dogs and guard dogs undergo thorough training with a specially trained dog handler.

"The basic requirement to become a good watchdog is good socialization in puppyhood," says the expert. This means the puppy should be used to meeting strangers early on. The training should be based on the basic idea that the dog is not a dangerous weapon, but that it regards guarding as a game.

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"Ultimately, a dog can only be used as a guard dog from around the age of three," says Blüher. Only then will he have the necessary self-confidence and maturity to defend his territory. In addition, the expert points out: "A good watchdog must absolutely master the basic commands. Apart from the financial aspect, special training to become a watchdog is one thing that belongs in the hands of a professional."