Best Guard Dog Breeds to Help Protect Your Family

The “king of terriers,” the Airedale is friendly and exuberant—sometimes seeming to have no “off” switch, according to But Airedales are great with kids, quick learners, and generally thought to be hypoallergenic, too, making them one of the best guard dogs for families.

Airedale terrier

The Tibetan mastiff, bred in the Himalayas to guard people as well as livestock, is one of the best guard dogs around. Aloof, mentally sharp, watchful, and a little bit primitive, according to DiNardo, this massive breed is also strong-willed and very territorial.

Tibetan mastiff

The Caucasian shepherd goes by many names, including Russian bear dog, Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian mountain dog, and Caucasian sheepdog.

Caucasian shepherd

This stocky, curly-tailed Japanese mountain dog is revered in its native country as a symbol of good health and long life, according to the AKC.


The AmStaff, which is one of several types of pit-bull dogs, is affectionate, playful, and energetic. These dogs enjoy mental stimulation and have tons of personality, the AKC says.

American Staffordshire terrier

This bearded behemoth lives to protect its family and home, according to the AKC. The breed has the size and strength to be good at it, and the added benefit of being resistant to pain, notes.

Giant schnauzer

Hailing from Switzerland, these medium-sized mountain dogs are cheerful, smart, and energetic. Despite their mostly friendly demeanor, Appenzellers are naturally wary of strangers and are definitely not pushovers.

Appenzeller sennenhund

You might not know it by looking at them, but Beaucerons, which strongly resemble Doberman pinschers, are actually the largest of all the French sheepdogs, according to the American Beauceron Club.


Long used in police work, this dog breed achieved a moment of fame when one named Cairo helped Navy SEAL Team 6 take down Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Belgian Malinois

This massive dog was bred as a kind of “superdog” for the Russian army in the 1930s, according to the AKC. A team of scientists used genes from 17 breeds to develop this friendly-looking but aloof and fiercely protective dog to patrol its borders.

Black Russian terrier