Giant guard dog breeds can be both fascinating and intimidating. Take a moment to learn about some of the breeds that fall into this category.
Characteristics of a Natural Guard Dog
There are common hallmarks shared by nearly all the breeds that have been bred and trained to work as guard dogs. These include:
- A natural instinct to protect
- Physical strength and agility
- Steady temperament
- Keenly alert to surroundings
Of course, these characteristics are just the base on which a reliable guard dog is built. Since most of these dogs are quite powerful in their own right, early training is crucial if you want to help them develop to their fullest potential.
List of Giant Guard Dog Breeds
Why the interest in giant guardian dogs? To some people looking for protection, bigger is always better. Many would-be intruders are far more intimidated by the sheer size of a dog than anything else. A large, muscular dog that announces by his very presence that he is in charge is often enough to make most intruders decide to pick an easier target.
As you scan the following list, you'll notice that a number of breeds known for their guard dog tendencies are not included. You'll also notice that some of the largest breeds are also not on this list. That is because this list is meant to represent only the largest breeds commonly used as guard dogs.
- Akita - Originally from Japan, these powerful dogs have strong guarding instincts.
- Anatolian Shepherd - This Turkish dog was originally bred to guard livestock.
- Boerboel - The African Boerboel is a Mastiff-type, fearless yet reliable guard dog.
- Bullmastiff - The Bullmastiff's ability to think for himself is a true asset for a guard dog.
- Cane Corso - A powerful Italian Mastiff, the Latin root of this breed's name means "protector."
- Dogue de Bordeaux - AKA the French Mastiff, this is a massive and impressive beast.
- Fila Brasileiro - This dog is absolutely fierce toward strangers and requires confident, strong leadership.
- Great Pyrenees - A quiet family companion, the Pyrenees will spring into action when a threat appears.
- Greater Swiss Mountain Dog - The large, sturdy "Swissy" was originally bred to guard livestock.
- Komondor - Originally bred to protect livestock, the Komondor is a natural guardian of his family.
- Kuvasz - The meaning of this breed's name is "guardian of the nobility."
- Neopolitan Mastiff - This dog's ancestors were Roman dogs of war. Few dogs look more intimidating.
- Perro de Presa Canario - This is the ultimate alpha dog. It makes a formidable guard dog, but it's not for everyone.
- Rottweiler - Perhaps not a true "giant," many Rotties exceed the desired medium-large stature to make truly intimidating guardians.
Don't Confuse Aggression with Guarding
It's sometimes assumed that any aggressive dog can make a good guard dog, but that's not really the case. The very best guard dogs are capable of independent thought, and they protect the people they serve out of a sense of loyalty and affection for them. A good guard dog thinks its way through any dangerous situation, listens to its owner's commands and only uses the necessary strength and aggression needed to deter or subdue an intruder.
Owning one of these giant guard dog breeds is a huge responsibility. Make sure your dog receives proper training from an early age. Begin with socialization and obedience training, and then enroll your dog in professional guard dog classes. This will give you the most control over your pet, and help ensure the safety of your family as well.