Most popular guard dog breeds
Almost all dog lovers would agree - man’s best friend is a truly amazing animal. Our dogs know so much about us: Not only do they learn to communicate with us without speaking, but dogs also have an uncanny ability to sense our moods. And that’s just as pets: working dogs can be trained to perform even more incredible tasks, like guiding the blind, detecting bombs, sniffing out illegal drugs, or helping an epileptic person survive a seizure.
And that’s not even considering the most common job assigned to dogs—one they’ve been performing for thousands of years. Since humans first domesticated dogs, they’ve served as our guardians. Whether they’re keeping watch over a flock of sheep or alerting the family to trespassers, dogs perform an invaluable task when it comes to providing security. In honor of hard-working pups all over the world, Stacker ranked the top 33 breeds for guard dogs by aggregating expert and owner reviews of breeds and then ranking them by popularity on the American Kennel Club. Fair warning: you might feel an undeniable urge to adopt a new furry friend after reading this article. Who’s a good boy?
Also check out: The Most Popular House Friendly Dog Breeds
2017 breed popularity: #163
These muscular Hungarian guard dogs are known for their most distinctive feature: the long, dense cords of fur that give them a mop-like appearance. Though Komondor puppies are born with fluffy, shaggy white coats, their fur starts to mat and form dreadlock-style cords after about eight months. Bred to guard sheep, these intelligent dogs have natural protective instincts and will defend their family by jumping toward anything they perceive as threats.
2017 breed popularity: #157
Rugged and muscular, these shaggy white dogs can seem foreboding at first. Get to know a Kuvasz, though, and you’ll find that this breed is sweet, patient, and fiercely loyal. Kuvaszok (yes, that’s the proper way to refer to multiples of these dogs) make excellent family pets.
#31. Tibetan Mastiff
2017 breed popularity: #153
Tibetan Mastiffs are massive dogs: adult males can weigh up to 160 pounds. Their fluffy double coat only makes them look even more imposing. Dogs from this breed can be reserved, aloof and wary of strangers, but devoted to their families.
2017 breed popularity: #142
Like the Komondor, the Puli has a thick coat of matted cords to protect him from extreme weather. This was likely helpful in the breed’s native Hungary, where Puli were traditionally herding dogs. These loyal, loving dogs are very strong-willed, need plenty of activity, and require daily grooming.
2017 breed popularity: #141
Long, lean and graceful, Beaucerons have an air of poise about them. Their black coats with distinctive reddish-brown markings contribute to their elegant look. Gentle and reserved with their families, Beaucerons are very intelligent and eager to please their humans.
2017 breed popularity: #124
Also known as the South African Mastiff, Boerboels have a distinctive block-shaped head and dark coloring around the mouth. Boerboels were bred as farm dogs in the 17th-century in South Africa, where they guarded livestock from predators and helped their owners track wounded game. Today, the calm, stable dogs make excellent guard dogs—they’re particularly sweet with kids.
#27. Belgian Sheepdog
2017 breed popularity: #120
Intelligent but serious, the Belgian Sheepdog makes an excellent working dog. Belgian Sheepdogs served as message carriers and ambulance dogs during World War I; today they often work as search and rescue dogs, guide dogs, and therapy dogs. They’re eager to please and very trainable, but have lots of energy and need plenty of regular activity.
#26. Black Russian Terrier
2017 breed popularity: #116
As its name implies, the shaggy Black Russian Terrier was bred in Russia in the 1940s as a working dog. At 30 inches tall, it’s a smart, courageous and intelligent large breed and a terrier in name only. Due to their heritage, Black Russian Terriers thrive in cold weather and enjoy the snow.
2017 breed popularity: #110
With its powerful neck, substantial body and energetic personality, the Schipperke makes an ideal ratter or watchdog—albeit a small one. This Belgian breed stands no taller than 13 inches. Schipperkes are high-energy dogs, with a very curious and sometimes mischievous personality.
#24. Neapolitan Mastiff
2017 breed popularity: #107
The droopy skin around Neapolitan Mastiffs faces can look a little comical, but we couldn’t ridicule these gentle giants if we wanted to. Sweet and protective of their loved ones, Neapolitan Mastiffs act calm but wary with strangers. Like many larger breeds, these dogs have a shorter lifespan: just 7 to 9 years.2018 All rights reserved.