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Best Guard Dogs For Protection & Family

If you're in search of a family guard dog that is both protective and affectionate, our veterinarians in Benicia can help you identify the perfect breed. 

If you're looking for a family protector dog, there are several factors you should consider. These include the dog's compatibility with children and other pets, size, and energy level. To help you choose the right dog for your family, we've compiled a list of our recommended options.

German Shepard

These dogs are known for their bravery, gentleness, and affection and are highly suitable for families due to their protective nature towards their loved ones. With proper training, they are quick learners, attentive listeners, and obedient.

When visiting breeders to adopt this breed, it's essential to check their reputation and, if possible, meet the dog's parents to confirm they come from a healthy environment.


Rottweilers are great guard dogs and can make loving family pets, even for small children, if they are trained well. They are considered one of the smartest breeds in the world, and with proper training, they will be loyal and obedient to their owners.

However, it's crucial to remember that if you're considering adding a Rottweiler to your family, especially with young children, it's important to ensure they receive appropriate training to avoid any aggressive tendencies.

Additionally, it's recommended that they are regularly socialized as puppies since they tend to be naturally cautious around unfamiliar people.

Doberman pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher is a dog breed known for its high intelligence and cautious behavior around strangers, making them great guard dogs. They are also incredibly loyal and can be easily trained to follow commands. However, daily exercise is necessary due to their athletic build and high energy levels. 

If you plan to have a Doberman Pinscher in a household with children, it is best to raise them from a puppy in a family environment. This will help them acclimate to the environment and avoid destructive behavior. Proper training from a young age is also essential to ensure a well-behaved and obedient dog.


This dog is a great guard dog because of its menacing look and talent for sensing people's intentions. This medium to large dog is friendly and fun-loving for families and will use its athleticism to protect its owners. They don't have a violent streak and 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 excels as a watchdog, even though the breed typically doesn't actively seek to confront intruders. Instead, they bark when they sense something suspicious and exhibit caution around strangers.

Furthermore, this sizable dog thoroughly enjoys the company of children and readily engages in playful interactions, making it an ideal choice as a family pet. However, it's important to note that this dog boasts a thick coat, requiring regular brushing and grooming to keep it well-maintained.

Giant Schnauzer

These dogs are known for their loyalty and intelligence. They grow to be quite large and have an intimidating appearance that can help keep strangers away. If you raise one of these dogs from a young age alongside your family, they can be very good with children. However, grooming and brushing them daily is important to keep them healthy and happy.

Great Dane

Great Danes are a very large breed of dog with a loud bark, which makes them great for scaring off intruders. However, despite their intimidating appearance, they are known for being very gentle, patient with children, and highly sociable with other animals. While they are good watchdogs, they are not typically aggressive or protective due to their inherently kind nature.

To keep a Great Dane happy and healthy, they require plenty of exercise in the form of daily walks and positive reinforcement obedience training from an early age. They also need a lot of attention and supervision until they become accustomed to the household rules and routines.

Great Pyrenees

With the right training and guidance, this large, furry breed can become a loyal, protective guard dog. They are gentle and can adapt well to your family's dynamics and home environment. They tend to be wary of strangers and intruders, making them excellent companions and guards.

However, training this breed can be challenging. They require early training with love and attention as they tend to bark and growl when young, and this habit can persist without proper training. Additionally, they may challenge their owners' leadership, which makes them somewhat harder to train. That's why this breed doesn't top the list of easy-to-train dogs.

Saint Bernard

This breed of dog, known for its exceptional size, is well-suited for families with children because of its friendly nature. However, it is not recommended for guard duty as it is too friendly. Despite this, its imposing size and loud bark can effectively deter potential intruders. If you're looking for a gentle dog with a matching bark, a Saint Bernard may be a good choice.

It's important to note that Saint Bernards can be clumsy until they are fully grown and may accidentally knock down small children. We suggest that families with older children consider this breed. While they can be more challenging to train and eat more than other dogs, they only require a few walks and brushings per week.


It doesn't take them long to recognize their owners as their pack; they will do anything to protect you. They also look intimidating and are always aware of what is happening around them, making them excellent guard dogs without risking your children. 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 family member.

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.

Want help finding the right breed of guard dog for your family? Contact our Benicia vets today.

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