Best Guard Dogs For First Time Owners (With Dos And Donts Of Getting/Training A Guard Dog)

Dogs are some of the most loyal creatures on earth. It’s always a beautiful thing seeing a dog protect its owner from a gun threat, or helping its blind owner cross the road, or alerting its owner of an unseen threat. 

While all loyal dogs may have this sense of protection for their owners, some dog breeds are just naturally more protective of their owners and make amazing personal bodyguards. These ones can be all cute and cuddly one moment, and the next moment they’re barking down a threat.

What Kind Of Dog Is Best For First Time Owners?

If you’re a first-time dog owner, you have little or no experience with training/handling dogs and so getting an overly protective dog may turn out bad because you may not be able to teach your dog how to differentiate between threatening and non-threatening situations. So your dog may end up being troublesome or just plain aggressive. A dog that is both good at guarding and able to differentiate threats from non-threats is very important for first-time owners. This is why some breeds are more suitable than others for first-timers. 

Best Guard Dogs For First Time Owners

Guard Dogs For First Time Owners

German Shepherd

Ever wondered why these dogs are the number 1 dogs in the military? German shepherds are masters at guarding and detecting threats and can do so much more based on their training. 

Right from puppy age, these dogs are easy to train and naturally love to learn. Unlike some other dogs that just snap when they see a threat, German shepherds have a natural instinct to battle threats in such a way that it won’t hurt their owners/family. This is why they are the best guard dogs for families and kids. 

They have exceptional traits like:

1. Keen environmental awareness

2. Extreme loyalty and love for owners

3. Solid physical features built for training

4. High intelligence and ability to read and understand situations

The fascinating thing is that despite their courage and fierceness in the face of danger, these dogs can be lots of fun. 

Border Collie

Border Collies are some of the best guard dogs you can ever find out there. They are extremely smart and naturally tailored to serve and protect their owners. Their high energy makes them very alert to the slightest threats. 

These dogs are also very intelligent, capable of reading and discerning threats from non-threats. And to top it all off, after all, is said and done (threat-wise), they are very loveable and easy-going pets. 

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Another breed of dog with a natural protective instinct, the Rhodesian ridgeback gives it’s family all its love and protection right from when they’re pups until they die. 

These dogs boast of a very fierce appearance but can be most affectionate and loveable to people they know or become comfortable with. 

They were originally bred to track lions, sp it’s no surprise that they are quick to alert their family to the slightest danger, even if it’s a mouse. 

Most importantly, they are very good at judging situations, and so won’t cause problems for first-time owners. 

Saint Bernard

This dog breed’s name perfectly suits its nature. They are one of the best dogs when it comes to guarding kids. These dogs are not just sweet, kind, and caring, but also very patient with children. 

Saint Bernards are known to usually keep a keen eye over everything their owner’s kids do, and rush in to protect them should the need arise. 


This dog breed is very famous in Japanese culture and is said to be the ultimate protector. The first and foremost instinct of these dogs is protection. Akitas are one of the most loyal dog breeds out there. They typically weigh between 100-150 pounds, but despite this weight, they are extremely agile and hardworking. 

Akitas are very family-friendly and are always on guard when unfamiliar people come close to their families. They can be very friendly with children, but may not tolerate teasing unless such children are part of the family. 

Honorary Mention


Being the most famous guard dog, you’re probably wondering why it isn’t first on the list. Rottweilers are unarguably one of the best, loyal guard dogs you’ll ever find. They are super loving to their owners and can protect them with their lives if the need arises. 

However, Rottweilers are very bad at reading/differentiating situations, so they mostly end up reacting aggressively to a non-threatening event. This factor makes them unsuitable for first-time owners. 

A rottweiler is ready to scare off anyone apart from its family who comes close. They can’t easily tell the difference between a home visitor and a home invader unless they’re properly trained. 

Also, once these dogs snap, even their owners are at risk of getting bitten if they get in the way. 

This is why rottweilers are seldom used by professional security personnel, or in the military. Their poor judgment in reading situations is a huge disadvantage. 

The only way to really enjoy the fierce and loving protection of a rottweiler safely is to give it adequate training, right from a tender age. Without this, a rottweiler is more or less a time bomb waiting to explode any minute. 

Classification Of Best Guard Dogs By Sizes

Large breedsMedium-size breedsSmall breeds
German shepherdBorder collieChihuahua
Sanit BernardAustralian shepherdJack Russell
Rhodesian ridgebackSchnauzerPomeranian
Golden ShepherdStaffordshire terrierBeagle
RottweilerChow chowBoston Terrier

Dos And Donts Of Getting/Training A Guard Dog

Training A Guard Dog


1. Get a dog that suits your home or environment: If you have a small apartment, then a small or medium-sized guard dog will do, unless you have a yard where you can keep a large dog.

2. Consider the people around you: Are you living with your family? Do you normally get lots of friends/visitors come around? If yes, then you’ll need a dog that is family-friendly in nature, and also has the intelligence to differentiate visitors from invaders. 

3. Train the dog yourself: Training is essential for every guard dog. No matter the breed, or the potential the dog has, no guard dog would show correct behavior and a good sense of judgment unless it is properly trained. While getting a trainer may seem more efficient, it’s usually a better choice to train the dog yourself, so it develops that instinct of love and protection for you. 

4. Get it while it’s a pup: There’s a special bond that develops when you cater for and train a dog right from when it’s a pup till when it becomes full grown. These kinds of dogs usually grow to be the most loyal and protective. What’s more, when you purchase your guard dog as a pup, you’ll have all the time in the world to train it the way you like. 


1. Don’t go for a fully grown/fully trained dog: Dogs are loyal to their masters, and in this case, you are not. Even if you learn all the commands to control your dog, you are still at risk of getting disobeyed or even attacked by your dog any day it snaps. This is because that bond between you and the dog that would’ve brought about a strong sense of protection isn’t there

2. Don’t go for the most popular guard dogs like Rottweilers, except you have lots of spare time to train them appropriately (else you may end up having an aggressive and insensitive dog). 

3. Don’t rush to get a trainer: For a home guard dog, it is not advisable to get a trainer. This is due to the fact that dogs naturally bond with the persons who train them. So if you must get a trainer, you should at least give the dog some basic training of your own first, get familiar with it, and then hand it over to a trainer for some advanced training. Or better still, just train it yourself the best way you can. After all, a dog’s sense of protection is born out of its love for its owner/family. It mustn’t necessarily understand 1,000 commands to make a good guard dog. 

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