Ellen Britt for CNT #wooftips
There are some dog breeds that are just naturally suited to be guard dogs. These canines are fearless, observant, high alert and very trainable. They are also usually large dogs as well.
And yes, while guard dogs are all these things, one thing they are not is aggressive. A guard dog is not an attack dog and should have a thorough grounding in obedience as there is a fine line between protecting and aggressively attacking.
There are many dog breeds that have great guard dog qualities, and we will profile three of the most popular here today.
Akita – This loyal and courageous dog was first bred in feudal Japan as guards for nobles and royalty. Naturally cautious and suspicious in the presence of strangers, these handsome canines take their work seriously and do their jobs without much training.
Training can either be obedience oriented or can be specifically guard dog training. All guard dogs require socialization so they will not become aggressive or aloof.
Belgian Malinois – These beautiful and athletic canines are favorites for their work on K-9 units for both the military and police. In addition to guard dog duties, they excel at search and rescue and are highly trainable. (This is the breed that is shown in the image.)
Belgians are high energy dogs and love to work. Proper training and socialization are essential and of course they need plenty of daily exercise.
Cane Corso – The Cane Corso (say “KAH-nay CORE-so”) has its roots in Italy where it was used as a war dog, hunter and guard dog. The Cane Corso has a large, heavy build and it’s deep voiced bark will give any trespasser pause. This dog has a natural instinct to guard so training should be oriented towards obedience.
Although there are many other dog breeds that make great guard dogs, canines that are very naturally friendly like Labrador or golden retrievers, or low energy such as Basset hounds, are not the best choices
By Ellen Britt
Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.