Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Best Guard Dogs for a Family

Best Guard Dogs for a Family

When looking for a guard dog, you will also need to keep in mind how friendly they will behave around your family. Here, our Hermitage vets discuss the best guard dogs for families that are protective and lovable family pets.

When deciding on a dog to protect your family, there are many things you have to take into consideration. This can include whether will they get along with kids and other pets, their size, and their energy level. Below we have selected our top picks to help you decide on a new addition to your family.

German Shepard

These dogs are brave, gentle, loving, and will do their best to guard and protect the ones they love making them great for families. When properly trained, this breed is excellent at learning, listening, and obeying commands.

When you are going to the breeders to adopt this dog make sure they are reputable and if possible, meet the dog's parents to make sure they are coming from a healthy environment.


Rottweilers are excellent guard dogs, and if they are trained well can become loving family pets, even for small kids. They are among the smartest breeds in the world, and if trained properly they will be loyal and obey the commands you give them.

The key to adding a rottweiler to your family (especially if you have young children) is to make sure they are properly trained because without stern training they can be aggressive. As a puppy, we also recommend socializing them regularly because they are naturally wary around those they do not know.

Doberman pinscher

This breed of dog is very intelligent and they tend to look intimidating in general and are cautious around new people, which makes them excellent guard dogs. They are also extremely loyal and with proper obedience training will be great at following your orders. They are very athletic dogs with tons of energy so they require lots of exercise and activity every day.

If you want to bring a Doberman pinscher into a family with kids, you should raise them from a puppy in the family environment instead of bringing one home once it has grown. This dog can be very destructive, so it's very important to have this dog well-trained from a young age.


What makes this dog a great guard dog is its menacing look and talent for sensing people's intentions. For families, this medium to large size dog is friendly, and fun-loving, and will use its athleticism to protect its owners. They don't have a violent streak and will often seek love and attention. 

Although, boxers have a lot of energy from the beginning and require lots of exercise from their owners.

Bernese Mountain Dog

This dog makes a great watchdog, though the breed probably won't go out of its way to attack an intruder. But, they will bark if something suspicious is going on and are cautious around strangers. This large dog also loves being around children and is very playful, making them a great family pet. This dog, however, is very furry and will need to be brushed and groomed routinely.

Giant Schnauzer

They are loyal, and intelligent, and grow to be very large with an intimidating look that can ward off strangers. If you raise this dog from a puppy alongside your kids and family, they will also be very good with children. However, you do need to brush and groom them daily.

Great Dane

Great Danes are very big and have a loud bark, making them good at scaring away intruders. However, this dog is very gentle and patient with kids, as well as makes friends easily. They are better watchdogs than they are protectors because of their kind nature.

This breed requires lots of exercise through daily walks and lots of positive reinforcement obedience training from the beginning. They also need lots of attention and supervision until they are used to the rules and become accustomed to your home.

Great Pyrenees

With training and guidance, this large, furry breed can make a loyal and protective guard dog. They are gentle and can adapt to the dynamic of your family and home but will be cautious of guests and intruders making them the perfect companion and guard.

The reason why this dog wasn't placed first on the list is that they are hard to train. They have to be trained with love and attention from their puppy days because when they are young they have the habit of barking and growling, they won't grow out of this without training. They also challenge the leadership of their owners which makes them more difficult to train.

Saint Bernard

This very large dog is typically great with kids and families and is very friendly which doesn't make them good attack dogs. However, their large size and loud bark can help scare intruders from entering your home, making them a perfect addition if you are looking for a mild-mannered dog, with a bark that is bigger than their bite.

Saint Bernards tend to be clumsy dogs until they are fully grown and don't understand their size so they may accidentally knock down small children, so we recommend this dog for families that have children that are a bit older. They can also be a bit harder to train and tend to eat more than other dogs, but only need to be walked and brushed a few times a week.


It doesn't take them long to recognize their owners as their pack and will do anything to protect you. They also look intimidating and are always aware of what is going on around them making them excellent guard dogs, without putting your children at risk.

This dog shows great attacking qualities and can easily take down a full-grown man. If you raise this dog from a puppy with your kids and family and provide them with constant training they can make a great, loving, member of the family.

This dog does require stern training from a young age to obey your orders and get along with others, without it they will become aggressive. They also need strict orders and lots of exercise.

Are you looking for the dog that would best suit your family? Contact our Hermitage vets today.

New Patients Welcome

Hermitage Animal Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Hermitage companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Book Online (615) 889-9150