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15 Best Watch Dog Breeds

Written by: Scott H
Scott Haiduc is the Director of Publishing for iHeartDogs, iHeartCats and The Hero Company. When not working, Scott spends his time on the farm, taking care of his animals and crops.Read more
| Published on August 10, 2015

Many people get a dog because they want extra security around their homes. A guard dog, or a dog that will actually stop an intruder, typically takes special breeding and training, but there are many dogs that are excellent watch dogs. A watch dog simply alerts their owner to someone approaching their property, be it friend or foe. Even if your dog isn’t a police dog, most barking dogs will deter an intruder even if they aren’t that big and scary looking. Most guard dogs also make great watch dogs, but not all watch dogs make great guard dogs. If you’re looking for a reliable canine alarm system, check out these breeds.

#1 – Rottweiler


The Rottweiler is a large German guard dog breed that is deeply loyal to its family but wary of strangers. They are not a good choice for novice dog owners but make excellent watch dogs and guard dogs.

#2 – Doberman Pinscher


The Doberman Pinscher is another German breed originally used for guarding, police and military work. They are large, powerful dogs that will alert their owners to suspicious activity and can make good guard dogs as well.

#3 – German Shepherd Dog


The German Shepherd dog  is renowned for being the Jack-of-all-trades and it is still used as a police and military dog today. They are excellent guard dogs that will notify their owners of any strangers just a little too close to their homes.

#4 – Cairn Terrier


Although small, the Cairn Terrier is mighty. They are strong-willed, feisty little terriers that are very observant of their surroundings and will alert their owners to any novel activity in no time. Because of this, they make excellent watch dogs.

#5 – Bullmastiff


The Bullmastiff is a large, powerful breed that makes an outstanding watch dog. Their looks alone will deter any intruders and the breed will bark at any suspicious activity. Despite their size and appearance, they are known to be gentle giants and are very affectionate toward their family.

#6 – Akita


The Akita is a large Japanese dog that was originally bred for hunting and guarding. They will quickly alert their owners to any unusual activity. They are powerful dogs that are not well-suited for the novice owner, but are almost unparalleled in their loyalty to their owners.

#7 – Schipperke


The Schipperke is a small Belgian dog of the spitz type. They were originally used as sheepdogs but are very independent, stubborn and intelligent dogs. They are quick to alert of strangers approaching and despite their small size, they are not recommended for novice owners.

#8 – Belgian Malinois


The Belgian Malinois is one of four Belgian Shepherds and is the short-coated variety. They are arguably one of the best working dogs in existence and are the most widely used in police and military work. They are excellent guard dogs and watch dogs, but they need a job to do or else they can be a handful.

#9 – Cane Corso


The Cane Corso is a large, powerful mastiff that will deter any intruders on its looks alone. That said, they will quickly alert their owners to abnormal activity, like a stranger approaching the house. They are fairly active for mastiffs and need a very consistent and dedicated owner.

#10 – Miniature Pinscher


The Miniature Pinscher resembles a small Doberman Pinscher, but the breeds actually aren’t closely related. That said, Miniature Pinschers still make fantastic watch dogs. They are very alert to their surroundings and will notify their owners of suspicious activity consistently.

#11 – Giant Schnauzer


The Giant Schnauzer is the largest of the Schnauzer breeds and has been used as a guard dog and watch dog. It still does well at both jobs today and takes the protection of its home and family very seriously.

#12 – Great Pyrenees


The Great Pyrenees is a very large livestock guardian breed that still excels at this job today. Although typically used to protect large flocks of livestock, the breed will also consistently alert to strangers approaching their home. Thankfully their size alone will deter most intruders.

#13 – Miniature Schnauzer


The Miniature Schnauzer is the smallest of the Schnauzers and arguably the best watch dog of them all. Part of the terrier group, they are feisty little dogs that are very territorial and will threaten any strangers they feel are too close to their homes.

#14 – German Pinscher


The German Pinscher is often mistaken for the larger Doberman Pinscher, but the two are different breeds. In fact, German Pinschers are more closely related to Standard Schnauzers. Like the other breeds, they are keen watch dogs and are deeply loyal to their families.

#15 – Airedale Terrier


The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terriers and has been used for both hunting and police and military work. They make excellent watch dogs, quick to alert their owners of any unusual activity. They are incredibly loyal dogs but are not recommended for first-time owners.

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