The 5 best-known guard dog that are a burglar’s nightmare: proper training is important

Szénási Szimonetta

2023. July 1 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

It's not easy to choose a good guard dog, but the following breeds are excellent. And dog trainer János Szénási will help you find out what to focus on during training.


We’ve written about the bravest dog breeds on several occasions, and we’ve also compiled a list of the most outstanding guard dogs. This time, as well as five typical guard dog breeds. We asked a trainer about the criteria for choosing the right one and what to look out for in training.

How to choose a guard dog?

– First of all, it is important to note that the term guard dog is a collective noun, like the term for martial arts. Within this, dogs are different in terms of their habits and the purpose of their keeping – starts teh conversation János Szénási cynologist, dog trainer.

– Basically, I could distinguish two broad groups. One is the dogs with a violent temperament that will go to the extreme in a conflict. They are the ones who want to win at all costs, even at the risk of their own lives. These include American Pit Bull Terrier, mastiffs – especially the Neapolitan Mastiff – and the Fila Brasileiro, to name but a few – he says.

– The other group is the sheperdog-type dogs, which do not engage in duels, but rather “pulse”, attack and retreat, and then attack again. These dogs are always on guard for their own safety. Their fighting style is more ancient, similar to that of the wolf, which also attacks in pack, and their aim is to inflict as much damage as possible. For example, to wound as many sheep as possible. Never to fight as individuals – explains the trainer.

Quick reaction is important

When choosing a guard dog, it is important to be clear about the purpose. If it is for personal protection, it is better to be more assertive. If you are going to guard animals, you should choose a shepherd dog. Intelligence is also important: where a dog is likely to have to recognise a dangerous situation quickly, the more intelligent the better. In the old days, dobermans were often employed at petrol stations, where armed attacks could be expected. These dogs are able to assess the situation in seconds and are ready to fight at the flash of a gun. Contrary slower reacting mastiffs, for example – says him.

How choose a good puppy?

János Szénási highlights several important factors in choosing the right puppy. Firstly, it is worth observing the animal’s posture, which should be firm and proud. Then, its relationship with its siblings is also an indicator. A good guard dog will be one that is dominant from an early age. As the dog trainer puts it, prefer a “growling wasp to a little mimosa.”

It is also important that the puppy is not frightened when you touch it. Respond consciously rather than crying or whimpering. The former indicates a stronger nervous system.

Bully is a big mistake!

It is important to train a dog for guarding and protection from a young age! It is worth asking an expert for help, especially if the owner is inexperienced. János Szénási also pointed out a very serious mistake in training these dogs.

– It is a big mistake to train your dog by pushing it on others. I myself have seen people encouraging their friends to stimulate their dogs from outside the fence. Who, of course, was furious. This is terribly dangerous because once the dog gets out, it can cause serious injury! – warns the trainer of the dangers of irresponsible behaviour.

– I could compare dog ownership in this respect to the equipment of a car. The more powerful the vehicle, the more serious the braking system. Same with dogs: if you teach them to hold, teach them to let go! If the animal doesn’t know the stop command, it can be a big problem – warns the dog trainer.

Some good guard dog breeds

Here are five dog breeds that are according to experience well suited to guarding and protection.

1.) Doberman Pinscher

Dobermans are vigilant and brave caretakers. They are extremely reliable, loyal and protect their family members in case of danger. They have unparalleled intelligence, a great need for movement and are also very agile. These traits make them excellent working dogs. Although they love children, they also expect respect and kind treatment from them. Therefore, introduce them to small children gradually and never leave your little one unsupervised with the dog! He wants an active, playful but determined owner.

2.) German Shepherd

The well-balanced German Shepherd has protection in his blood. Lifelong loyal to his family, he gets on well with children but is very reserved with strangers. He is intelligent, very brave, tireless and loves to perform tasks. All of this makes him an excellent guard dog and working dog, and one of the most popular police dogs. It also has a highly developed sense of smell, making it an excellent search dog. His socialisation should start as early as possible so that he gets used to the company of people.

3.) Bullmastiff

Bullmastiffs are characterised by a fierce protective instinct. They are ideal watchdogs, who will spring into action as soon as they feel their owner or a family member is in danger. Not a barking breed, bred to be a silent guard dog. He is smart and reliable, but very confident and likes to make decisions on his own. For this reason, it is only suitable for inexperienced owners if they seek the help of a trainer! His socialisation: familiarisation with other people, animals and sounds should start as soon as possible. His activity varies. He does not tolerate confinement very well and keeping in kennel is not recommended.

4.) Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is also a good choice for a guard dog, as it has a very strong territorial instinct. It makes a great watchdog, but it is important that the owner trains it well from the start, otherwise it can easily take over. He has an extremely strong jaw and bite, so it is a good idea to buy strong toys. He likes to exercise, swim and be given tasks to release his excess energy. Although his stern appearance may at first seem alarming, his character belies this harshness: the Rottweiler is a very loyal, devoted companion for life.

5.) Japanese Akitainu

Although Akitas are quiet, independent dogs, they are fierce in their defence of their owners. They are reserved around strangers and other animals. They are not for everyone: their determination often turns into stubbornness, which their owners need to be able to handle. That is why it is important to start training them early. They are very resourceful and clever dogs.

Dog Training dog training at home guard dog guarding protection dog guarding-protection dogs trainer Training watchdog

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