Being aggressive doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Unless we’re talking about salespeople, then it’s definitely always a bad thing.
However, when it comes to choosing a new member of your pack, a little controlled aggression can come in handy. Having a pet that will not only provide you with top notch cuddles, but will also have your back during a home invasion is actually a pretty smart plan.
We’ve done a little research and come up with the top 10 breeds to consider if you’re looking for a furry body guard.
Keep in mind these dogs are all naturally territorial. They protect what they love and have the ability to back up their bark with their bite.
However, as long as they are properly trained and socialized they are all perfectly safe to call a member of your family.
I thought I’d start this list with the most obvious and well known breeds a. And what better pupster to lead the way than the Pitbull.
The Pitbull, whose full name is actually the American Pitbull Terrier, has garnered a great deal of attention and controversy for being considered the most aggressive and dangerous dog breed.
In all honesty, the Pitbull has earned this reputation a little unfairly. The truth is, any animal has the potential to be dangerous if they are mistreated and/or aren’t properly socialized.
Unfortunately, this has been the case in a lot of the recent news stories regarding Pitbull attacks.
In reality, the Pitbull has a very goofy temperament. In fact, they aren’t typically great guards of property as their friendly nature makes them a little too welcoming.
However, Pitbulls are extremely intuitive. If they sense there is a real threat at hand, they will not hesitate to protect themselves or their loved ones.
Pitbulls don’t do well being left alone for long periods of time and are sensitive to cold climates. They are also a pretty active breed and will require at least an hour of exercise a day.
When it comes to grooming, however, they are pretty low maintenance. Their coats are short and stiff and only require the occasional bath and brush.
The Rottweiler, aka Rottie, is another breed synonymous with aggression and protection. Just ask Principal Rooney!
Rotties can be a little stubborn and aloof and are best for an assertive owner.
There is also a pretty noticeable difference in temperament between males and females. According to The American Rottweiler Club, the females are usually easier to control and more affectionate.
They need a moderate amount of exercise and their double coat sheds heavily in the spring and fall.
Rotties are good with children, but their natural instincts as herding dogs can cause them to bump the child and accidentally knock them down, so just keep an eye on the pair.
The statuesque and athletic Doberman Pinscher was originally bred in Germany for the specific purpose of being a guard dog.
With this breed, the temperament will vary slightly from pup to pup. Dogtime explains that there are two distinct personalities, the outgoing Doberman and the more reserved Doberman. Both personality types are highly loyal and intelligent.
Dobermans also maintain a puppy like playfulness until about 3-4 years old, but are very easy to train regardless.
Dobermans are very energetic, require lots of exercise, and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods.
You will need to make sure to assert yourself as the alpha early on otherwise your Doberman will consider himself pack leader of the household.
4. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is probably the most popular guard dog on the list—and for good reason. These courageous and highly intelligent pups are loyal almost to a fault.
They are fearless and extremely easy to train which has made them favorites for working with police, military, and search and rescue units.
German Shepherds are a relatively quiet breed and can actually do ok living in an apartment as long as they are adequately exercised.
However, they suffer from separation anxiety and should not be left alone for long periods. They are also happiest when they have some sort of job or task to perform.
The German Shepherd comes in both long and short haired variety. Although, the short haired German Shepherds coat is still fairly long. Both variations shed regularly and will require daily brushing.
Standing at over two feet tall and weighing up to 130 pounds, the Bullmastiff certainly looks the part of a guard dog. While they may look pretty menacing, they are usually extremely friendly.
However, like the Pit Bull, they are intuitive and will protect their loved ones if they sense a threat. These gentle giants are pretty low maintenance and extremely laid back.
Their short coats don’t require regular grooming, and they aren’t really barkers. Be prepared to clean up some drool, though.
According to The American Bullmastiff Association, contrary to their size, Bullmastiffs are great for apartment dwellers. They aren’t concerned with being left alone and only require a couple of short walks a day.
If you’re serious about getting a Bullmastiff, check out this article for a quick run down on the different Mastiff types.
Another pupster on the list who was originally bred with the purpose of being a guard dog is the Akita.
Dogtime explains that these courageous canines used to serve as guardians and protectors to nobility in feudal Japan. These powerhouses have some pretty unique traits.
Firstly, they bathe themselves like a cat.
They also “talk to themselves” exhibiting grunts, moans, and mumbles instead of frequent barking.
Lastly, don’t be alarmed if your Akita grabs you by the wrist with his mouth. This isn’t a form of aggression, but his way of leading you to what he wants.
The Akita is best suited to one-dog households and isn’t recommended for first time dog owners. His stubborn nature also makes training a somewhat lengthy process despite his intelligence.
7. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees is a beautiful large, white dog with heaps of personality. Originally bred to help shepherds guard their herd, the modern Pyrenees has maintained his protective instincts throughout the years.
These pups don’t do well in apartments due to how loud they are. They will warn you at any little noise. You should also be prepared for lots and lots of shedding.
Don’t worry though, he makes up for these minor details with his devotion.
The Pyrenees prefers cooler climates and needs 20-30 minutes of exercise a day.
An interesting characteristic of the Great Pyrenees is their double dewclaw which is like an extra toe that acts like a thumb to help them climb.
8. Giant Schnauzer
Call me dense, but I actually didn’t know there was a large version of the Schnauzer. Boy was I missing out! There’s so much more Schnauzer to love!
These beauties definitely have the typical playful and stubborn nature that can make Schnauzers a little bit of a handful.
However, these super sized versions also make extremely loyal and courageous companions. They are highly intelligent and can be trained to do most anything.
This intelligence also means they will need a job to do, as a bored Schnauzer can easily turn into a destructive one according to Dogtime.
Your Giant Schnauzer will need at least an hour of vigorous exercise a day and does not do well in apartments or homes without a yard for him to play in.
The Giant Schnauzer is also not recommended for households with children under 12 because of their well-meant, but sometimes forceful behavior.
They also require quite a bit of coat maintenance, needing to be brushed 1-3 times a week in addition to getting a professional haircut every 6-8 weeks.
Good thing those Schnauzer beards are so adorable!
The Kuvasz (pronounced Koo-Vahss) is a Hungarian pup who was originally bred to be a flock guarding dog. In fact, their luxurious white locks were actually intended to help shepherds distinguish them from wolves.
Considered a one-family dog, the Kuvasz displays an almost fanatical loyalty. They will be courteous towards friends in your home (only if you approve of course), but that’s about as far as the friendship will go.
They are also extremely sensitive to praise and blame and are known to hold grudges.
These white knights don’t do well in apartments because of their high energy and frequent barking. When I say high energy, I do mean high energy. The Kuvasz can trot for 15 miles without tiring according to the Kuvasz Info website.
The Kuvasz does extremely well with children, and thanks to a patient demeanor and high pain tolerance, even does well with smaller kids. Just make sure to keep an eye on them as they can accidentally knock your little one over.
10. Belgian Malinois
The Belgian Malinois is the short coated variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog.
A lot of people actually mistake the Malinois for a German Shepherd due to their striking resemblance to one another. They even share some similarities in occupation as both are heavily involved in police and military work.
However, the Malinois is typically smaller, a little more agile, and quicker to respond to commands. While they are highly intelligent, they are also highly sensitive and don’t respond well to harsh training.
For this reason they are only recommended for those with prior experience in some form of canine training, either personally or professionally.
The Malinois is a heavy shedder and requires a good amount of exercise, but their playful personalities make these tasks less of a chore.
A perfect match is someone who enjoys a lot of outdoor activities such as jogging or hiking who can take their pooch along with them.
The Malinois prefers to be with his humans and will not do well in households where his owner works long hours or travels often.
Bonus Fact: Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson has a Pitbull named Driver!
If you didn’t find your doggie soulmate on this list, also check out our article on choosing the best puppy for you!