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Canine Security: Which Dogs Make the Best Guard Dogs? Which Dogs Attack?

Canine Security: Which Dogs Make the Best Guard Dogs? Which Dogs Attack?
When it comes to protecting your home and family from criminals, does it make sense to have a guard dog? How do guard dogs compare to attack dogs and which one is best for your family?

Barking dogs, much of the time, are proven to deter thieves and criminals...

by Tom Brennan, Copyright ©
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Most criminals are opportunists; they burglarize and rob places where they can enter, steal and escape unnoticed and quickly.
They avoid places where breaking or entering are difficult or where they will be detected. Most felons agree that barking dogs cause them to look elsewhere for places to rob.

Guard dog or attack dog? Which should you go with?

There are guard dogs and attack dogs. Which one you choose will depend upon several conditions: your home situation (small children, suburban or rural location) and your personality and ability to command the dog's attention (you cannot be afraid of your own dog). There have been many instances of poorly trained dogs causing damage and injury when they have gotten loose from their home.

There are legal consequences for damages done by dogs. It's a serious consideration to keep in mind when considering one or more canines for property and family protection.

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Attack dogs are best left to police, security agencies and the military. These dogs are not only guards and for security but function as weapons.

Having a guard dog on the other hand is like having a new family member. It is very important to match your personality, security needs, lifestyle and location with the canine. If you have your own fenced in home several breeds will be a good fit. But if you are a city-dweller in an apartment or condo that allows pets, you may have to be more selective.

The dog is for alerting you to an intruder and protection when necessary. The dog absolutely must obey commands and you will be responsible if he or she doesn't. Working with a professional trainer who has experience with the breed is essential to safe and security dog ownership. They can match the right dog to your expectations, living arrangements, personality and abilities.

Here are some criteria to consider before getting a dog for security

- What is your home environment like? Do you live in the city, suburb, subdivision, apartment or rural area? The dog's breed, size and other living factors are important.

- Do you have children, elders or non-relatives living there? Do they have visitors?

- You will be liable for any injuries if your dog goes off-property. Are you fenced in? You will need to have a well- trained dog that will obey all commands.

- Your personality type is critical to your choice. If you are afraid of your own dog, there will be consequences. You and those who live there or visit regularly need to bond with the dog.

Security dogs for property owners

Here are the top five security dogs for home owners. Each breed has positive and negative characteristics and you need to match these to your needs and living situation.

German Shepherd

Most experts agree that the German Shepherd has the best combination of desired qualities for all around protection dog for most home situations. They have the intelligence, body size and trainability to be safe around families and guests and still protect fiercely when ordered. These dogs have an international reputation as police, military and attack dogs when trained specifically.

Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman has a similar reputation to the Shepherd and is widely used in similar roles. They are large, energetic dogs and will need to be exercised. They can be aggressive as well.


The Bullmastiff is a large dog and extremely loyal and trainable. Most home invaders will not risk taking on a dog of this size and its very visible presence on a property will keep intruders away.

Giant Schnauzer

These are very attractive dogs, very much like huge Scotch Terriers but have protective personalities and size.

Pit Bull

The Pit Bull, when fully trained in the hands of a capable owner is a desirable protection dog. When trained and properly handled they are loyal, protective and excellent family dogs. Their reputation (based unfortunately of examples of abused or improperly trained dogs) and size makes them a subject of fear to criminals casing your home or neighborhood. Some communities regulate "dangerous" dogs and some list the Pit automatically, check for local regulations about this breed. If you are not 100% certain you can train and care for a pit bull in such a way that it can also be a loving family dog, then risks increase to neighbors, visitors, and small children. Due to the liability issues, a pit bull might not be the right dog for your situation.

Urban canine security

Dogs to secure your apartment

Here are the top five security dogs for apartment dwellers. After you have checked your lease and landlord for written requirements for pets/dogs you should make sure that exercise areas are readily available nearby. Many cities now have "dog parks", and there are many dog walkers and pet sitters on Craigslist. The size of an apartment will dictate the size of the dog. Usually a dog's bark is enough to deter an illegal entry. But if the thief decides to chance it a good bite helps.


Beagles were bred to be hunting dogs and have a natural energy and aggressiveness. When provoked they are aggressive and have no problem with the size of their target. They are very loyal and can bond with one person. Others in the apartment will have to bond with the dog and the trainer will have to impress this on the dog.


Yes, Chihuahua. These small but energetic and alert dogs notice anything new and will bark at a high pitch until the noise is gone. They can attack with their small teeth and since time is of the essence in a breaking and entry, they will make the thief think twice about getting away before them barking alerts neighbors or police.

Chow Chow

These dogs can range from 40 to 70 pounds and are intensely loyal and protective. They can bark and bite.

Boston Terrier

A small but energetic dog that can be personable and protective. Here the bark can be the alarm that deters a thief.

Cocker Spaniels

Another small hunting dog that seems to be totally fearless and determined as well as a barker. These dogs have to be trained to obey and protect since they can be aggressive.


Selecting a dog for home protection requires an honest appraisal of several items. Does your living situation allow the dog to exercise and socialize with family, friends and visitors? How much space is available for your dog and do you have secure fencing? Do you have the confidence and time to invest in working with a protection dog and is your family comfortable with the choice of dog? Does your home owners association, law enforcement agency or other governing body have regulations about pets and especially security dogs? Once you have definite answers to these questions then you are ready to bring on a security dog as guardian, protector and friend...

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