1. Community
  2. /
  3. Pets
  4. /
  5. New pet advice
Find Pet Care

7 of the Best Guard Dogs for Families

Are you worried about finding the right dog for your family? These 7 guard dog breeds make great pets!



Are you ready to welcome a new dog into your home? If you have young children, you might feel that a small dog would be the best fit for your family, but that's not necessarily the case! Despite their reputation for being large and vicious, many guard dogs actually make great family pets. With proper training, they can become loyal and loving protectors.

Here are seven of the best guard dogs for families:


  1. Bernese Mountain Dog
    The calm, good-natured, strong and intelligent Bernese mountain dog is a great pet for kids because she loves to play sports and spend time with her human friends. This breed is not very aggressive, but her large size and loud bark can serve to deter intruders. All in all, the Bernese mountain dog makes a great family watchdog and a loyal, obedient companion.

    bernese mountain dog

  2. Boxer
    The boxer is an active, bright, fun-loving and extremely loyal breed. Though he may look menacing, he has a strong desire for human affection -- especially from kids -- and will go out of its way for love and attention. At the same time, the boxer is astute and alert to danger, and will use his athleticism to protect your family, if necessary.


  3. Bullmastiff
    Strong and powerfully built, the bullmastiff is affectionate, loyal, fearless, confident and eager to please. Though the bullmastiff may look intimidating, she's very docile and sweet-natured when with her family. These dogs also have excellent instincts and a fiercely protective nature. The bullmastiff is an ideal family watchdog because she rarely barks, but will attack if it senses that her owners are in danger.


  4. Doberman Pinscher
    The Doberman pinscher is an intelligent, easily-trained breed, which has made it a popular police and war dog. The dogs are very agile, alert, fearless and cautious around unfamiliar people. But while quite intimidating, the Doberman pinscher will become an obedient family friend and guardian with proper training. Just be cautious if you plan to bring an older Doberman pinscher into a home with small children, as it is best to raise this breed from birth.

    doberman pinscher

  5. German Shepherd
    The American Kennel Club calls the German shepherd "a true dog lover's dog." In spite of its large size and somewhat menacing appearance, this is a very playful and loving breed. German shepherds are very fond of children, and they make great pets because they love to listen and obey orders. These dogs are also courageous, intelligent and naturally protective of their owners.

    german shepherd

  6. Great Dane
    The giant Great Dane, which towers over most other dogs, is surprisingly gentle and wonderful with children. They are also a patient, friendly and dependable breed. The Great Dane has quite an intimidating bark and can deter would-be attackers by its size alone.

    great dane

  7. Rottweiler
    If properly trained, the intelligent and confident rottweiler makes an excellent guard dog for families. These loving, loyal and devoted dogs are eager to please their owners, but they are also inherently protective and cautious around strangers. The rottweiler can be trained to be both an obedient family pet and an excellent guard dog.



During your search for a new pet, it's important to keep in mind that the best guard dogs for a family are those that are loyal and protective, but not overly aggressive. If and when you do get a new dog, make sure that you research the type of training the particular breed requires so that you can provide your pet with the tools he needs to be a well-behaved, loving member of your family.

Jennifer Marino Walters is a Washington, D.C.-based writer whose young children are begging her for a puppy.

Anita in Bethel, MN
May 10, 2018

If I did not have a pet sitting business I may of gotten a Bullmastiff. But due to the other dogs that I take in I need to be careful on what kind of family dog I get.

Thank you for printing this article. All of these breeds are on MOST or at least any people's "KEEP AWAY" list. YET, Just about ALL OF THEM, have bad reputations built, plainly, on fear and ignorance. I adopted TWO of these breeds, and was VERY close to a third and fourth. If this were a "Rated" list, in my humble opinion, you can start by placing the Bullmastiff at the very top. I have "owned" eight dogs in my lifetime, and known hundreds, and the Bullmastiff is one extraordinary animal. Smart as Stephen Hawking, as loving as Cupid, as strong as an Olympic weightlifter, and as selective a protector as one can find. "Boozer" knew friend from foe almost instinctively, and only had to give one good stare down stare down, to stake his claim as Sheriff of the household. Having said that, once allowed in, don't be surprised if you find 130 lbs of dog looking to lay in your lap for a belly rub ! MOST of all, The Bullmastiff could be trusted implicitedly. The breed just does not make a mistake in going after a non-threatening person. Of course, this is all predicated on it's CORRECT UPBRINGING, and ALL large breed canines need to be fully trained in obedience and behaviour, if only for their sheer size and strength. I could go on about my other dogs, but I will simply leave this with my adamant statement. You cannot go wrong with a BullMastiff, if you want love and protection in your household.

Leave a comment

Create a free account with Care.com and join our community today.

Sign up