All dog owners will know that once welcomed in the home, a dog becomes part of the family. A happy dog is there for affection, playtime, or simply just some company whenever you need them to be. Aside from making lovely family pets though, you may also want a dog that can offer a sense of security and protect you and other family members when necessary and a family protection dog can help do that.
When researching family protection dogs, you might assume to go for dog breeds known for their aggression, but this is the wrong approach. Look instead for traits like loyalty, intelligence, bravery and obedience.
You should be able to train and control your dog to be protective in the right ways and at the right times. A dog that becomes highly aggressive in response to every slight noise or movement can actually do more harm than good for family life. Training is key for you to end up with a reliable family pet that knows the difference between intruders or danger and innocent passersby.
So, which are the best family guard dogs? Benchmark Kennels are here to share their favourite family-friendly dog breeds that can also offer protection from potential dangers at your home or property.
To kick-off, we have English Bullmastiff. Strong and powerful, the sheer look of this breed should be enough to prevent potential intruders or threats from coming anywhere near your home. Bullmastiffs are large, muscular and heavy animals, making them a match for any human or other animal that poses a threat.
Aside from the natural strength and immense power they can utilise when necessary though, they are extremely docile dogs. Until there is a threat present, a Bullmastiff’s temperament is largely calm, quiet and loving. Their relaxed nature makes them suitable family protection dogs for those with small children that will want to give their pet plenty of affection and love, without the worry of your dog becoming agitated.
On top of this, English Bullmastiffs, like most dogs, are completely loyal to their owners. They will fiercely protect their ‘pack’ at all costs, so it’s important to teach them the right types of behaviour from a young age. With this breed of dog being so strong, strict and consistent training is required from a young age to ensure that English Bullmastiff understands who is boss and can be easily kept under control with simple commands later in life.
If you’re considering welcoming a family protection dog of this size into your home, an outdoor dog kennel is advised. This way, you can keep your dog safe, secure, and under control without having to allow it free roam of your property. At Benchmark Kennels, our top-quality dog kennels can provide a temporary or permanent home for your family’s protection dog. Available in a range of sizes to suit a large or smaller breed of guard dog, you can also choose from a wooden or WPC eco-thermal kennel to keep your family dog warm and dry in any weather.
Next up is the Doberman Pinscher, a breed originally bred for guard dog purposes meaning these traits are practically ingrained in the dogs still today. Dobermans as a whole are extremely intelligent animals, willing and eager to listen and learn from their owners. Because of their intelligence and athleticism, it’s essential to train them right and keep them in check if you want them to fit into family life as well as offer security.
Doberman Pinschers are large in size and extremely athletic animals, so are fitting family guard dogs for larger properties, where they will need to be agile and fast to detect or catch intruders. Their strong build, intelligence and alert nature make them a popular dog breed used in the police and army, though this doesn’t mean they can’t make lovable family pets too.
German Shepherds are a common dog breed in the UK, popular for their stunning long-haired appearance and sweet nature. They’re herding dogs by nature, originally used on farms to protect sheep from predators – hence the name. While they make lovely family pets, they’re also widely used in the police force due to their strong sense of smell, speed, strength and obedience.
A German Shepherd is an extremely versatile breed. Their willingness to learn and adapt to training means you can mould your pet to fulfil practically any role, whether your main goal is to have an affectionate and loving pet or a guard dog that lives primarily outdoors.
Whereas Doberman’s are naturally quick to be on the defence, a German Shepherd will only do so if it feels their family or ‘herd’ is in imminent danger, making them an ideal family-friendly guard dog. A well-socialised German Shepherd can provide your family home with peace of mind knowing that there is protection available, without the worry of unpredictable or uncontrollable behaviour.
Another more unexpected contender when it comes to the best guard dogs for a family is the Giant Schnauzer. While the Schnauzer isn’t usually associated with protection or intimidation, the size and strength of a Giant Schnauzer make it the perfect mix of family pet and guard dog.
When they need to be a Giant Schnauzer can be extremely loud with their volume being enough on its own to scare or warn off any potential dangers. Unlike the Miniature Schnauzer which can be found in many family homes across the UK, the Giant Schnauzer needs plenty of training and attention if it’s to mix well with children and live happily in your home.
Getting a Giant Schnauzer from a young age is important to ensure plenty of socialisation, early foundational training and consistent mental and physical stimulation. A happy Schnauzer can be a perfect family member, but a bored one can be the complete opposite and lead to the wrong kinds of guarding behaviour.
Bernese mountain dog
Finally, there’s the Bernese Mountain dog. It’s the sheer size and volume of these dogs that put them in the category of family protection dogs, nothing more. By nature, they are especially calm and unaggressive, but this shouldn’t be confused with a lack of alertness. Bernese Mountain dogs are a highly intelligent breed so are ideal to use as watchdogs and are great as a scare tactic if any potential intruders do pass by your property.
All in all, this type of mountain dog is a cuddly, loyal and obedient family protection dog, perfect for families with children of all ages that have space to welcome a large furry friend into their home.
Best guard dogs for a family – who wins?
The right family protection or guard dog for your home will be completely dependent on the size of your property, the ages of your family members and the role you want your pet to fill. Whichever breed you end up going for though, keep in mind that training and rules are the only way to keep a guard dog in check. Passive owners lead to disobedient and unruly large dogs that can wreak havoc in your home and become intimidating to family members or visitors, so be prepared to dedicate time and attention to your pet.
It’s also worth mentioning that although certain dog breeds are better suited for protecting families in terms of build and strength, it still largely comes down to the individual temperament of your animal. Each dog is different, with some being a lot harder to train than others. Always be aware of your dogs’ character and try to understand that not every dog will be made for protection, despite their size!
Family protection dogs as pets – need advice?
If you’re settled on a breed and are ready to bring your new puppy or dog home, it’s time to think about where your large dog will live at your home. Benchmark Kennel’s manufacture and install sturdy, indestructible and highly secure dog kennels to properties all across the UK. Get in touch with our friendly team to hear more or order your custom dog kennel via our website at your convenience.