10 Best Guard Dog Breeds For First-Time Owners

10 Best Guard Dog Breeds For First-Time Owners

As a first-time dog owner, you may be in search of a companion that can also protect your home and family.  

Yup! The right guard dog can be a perfect fit for your needs. In this article, we’ll be discussing the top 10 guard dog breeds suitable for first-time owners.  

We’ll cover all important factors such as their level of protection, trainability, and overall temperament to help you make an informed decision.  

So without further ado, let’s get started! 


10 – Rottweiler

Starting off at number 10, we’ve got the Rottweiler. Now, you may have heard that some experts claim that Rottweilers need an experienced handler, but let us tell you something, there are also people that claim that they make great guard dogs without much trouble in training. 

Now, imagine having a furry guardian who is not just a loyal companion, but also has the strength, courage and protective nature to keep you and your family safe.  

Rottweilers average between 95-135 pounds for males and 80-100 pounds for females. But they are not just big in size, they are big in personality too.  

They have a calm and confident nature and get along well with children and other pets. 

With their high intelligence, Rottweilers are highly trainable, making it relatively easy to teach them to distinguish between a real threat and a friendly stranger.  

They are also known for being playful and cuddly, however, providing socialization and training is important as Rotties can be territorial. 


9 – Bergamasco Shepherd

Coming in at number 9 is the Bergamasco Shepherd. This lesser-known breed is known for its strong protective instincts, loyalty, and trainability. 

Not only are they social creatures, affectionate with their families, and other animals, but they also have a unique coat of thick, matted dreadlocks that protect them from harsh weather conditions and require minimal grooming. 

Bergamascos are also highly intelligent, making them quick learners of obedience commands, but they can also be stubborn if not trained appropriately.  

These canines are capable of learning a wide range of complex commands and are even known to act without verbal commands. 

The breed is good around other animals and children, but they retain a strong herding instinct, which they may try to use on other dogs, so training is important. They are naturally cautious, making them great guard dogs, but it’s important to socialize them properly. 

Like any other guard dog, Bergamascos are a good choice for first-time owners who are willing to keep up with their exercise needs and provide proper training and socialization. 


8 – Bull Mastiff

The gentle and loving Bull Mastiff takes the 8th place on this list.  

Picture coming home to a loving and easy-going giant who is not just a great companion, but who also fiercely protects your home and family.  

Bullmastiffs are known for fearlessly protecting their loved ones, and they will not hesitate to put themselves in harm’s way to protect you. 

However, as a first-time owner, proper training and socialization is key to having a well-behaved and balanced companion, and Bullmastiffs require proper training while they are still puppies to avoid any dominant behavior down the road. 

But don’t let this discourage you, the rewards of owning a Bullmastiff are endless. Their silly antics combined with their gentle nature toward children and other pets make them a perfect addition to any family.  


7 – American Staffordshire Terrier

In the 7th place, we’ve got the American Staffordshire Terrier, also known as the “Amstaff”. This breed is known for its courage, loyalty, and protective nature, making them a great guard dog for first-time owners. 

Amstaffs are a medium-sized breed, with a muscular and athletic build, weighing between 40-70 pounds. They have a confident and fearless nature, making them great watchdogs. They are also known for being loyal and protective of their families, and they make great companions for active families. 

But that’s not all, the Amstaffs are not just protective but also gentle and good-natured, making them great with children. They are highly trainable and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. With proper socialization, they can also get along fairly well with other dogs and pets in general. 

However, it’s important to note that American Staffordshire Terriers have a strong prey drive, so it’s important to keep them leashed or in a secure area when outside, and they also require proper exercise and mental stimulation to prevent behavioral issues. 


6 – Giant Schnauzers

At number 6, this breed can make a great choice for first-time dog owners looking for a guard dog. 

These gentle giants have a long history of being protective and loyal companions, originally bred in the Bavarian Alps to watch over homes, inns, and farms. They are known for their intelligence, trainability and their affectionate nature with their families.  

But don’t let their gentle nature fool you, these tough working dogs have a strong guardian instinct and will not hesitate to protect their families. Their size alone can be intimidating for strangers, making them an excellent choice as guard dogs. 

Giant Schnauzers are highly trainable and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. They are protective of their families and make excellent watchdogs.  

But, let us warn you,  Giant Schnauzers have a high energy level and they need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are not suitable for apartment living, as they need a lot of space and a big yard to run around in. They also need weekly grooming to maintain their coats. So, if you’re up for the challenge, Giant Schnauzers can make great guard dogs for first-time owners. 


5 – Appenzeller Sennenhund

The Appenzeller Sennenhund takes the fifth place on our list of best guard dogs for first-time owners. These agile and intelligent farm dogs are known for their protective nature and fierce barking abilities. They’re also quick learners, making them easy to train.  

A companion that can join you on hikes, bike rides and playtime in the garden, the Appenzeller isn’t just a playful pet. They’re also natural watchdogs that’ll fiercely protect their loved ones.  

Since these guys are avid barkers, you’ll need to train your Appenzeller to bark only on command, or rather how to be quiet and be prepared to provide them with plenty of physical and mental stimulation. 

These dogs are also great with children and other pets if raised together. However, proper socialization and training are important to ensure they are well-behaved. They also need regular grooming to maintain their coat. 

And since the breed is so active, they don’t do well in apartments. Appenzellers require a spacious yard they can run and play around in to burn some of their seemingly endless energy. 


4 – Akita

Coming in at number 4, we’ve got a fierce fluffball of a guard dog, the Akita. These majestic pups have a rich history in Japan, where they were bred as hunting and guard dogs, and are known for their courage and loyalty. They are also known for representing happiness and long life in Japan. 

But don’t let their fluffy exterior fool you, these big dogs pack a punch when it comes to protection. They are fiercely loyal to their families and will stop at nothing to protect them. They are also independent thinkers, which means they require consistent and firm training from an early age. 

However, they can be possessive of their family, territory, toys and food, so it’s important to ensure they are socialized properly and trained to understand appropriate behavior around strangers and other dogs.  

Training them to be well-behaved will be challenging but with patience and consistency, Akitas can be great companion dogs. And if you’re up for the challenge, the Akita makes a great guard dog for first-time owners who are willing to put in the time and effort to train and socialize them properly. 

They are also great with children, provided they are properly socialized and trained. But be prepared for a lot of shedding and grooming, as they have a thick, fluffy coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition. 


3 – Boxer

In the 3rd place, we’ve got the Boxer, a playful and protective pup that’s sure to be a hit with first-time dog owners. These natural guard dogs are loyal, fearless, and always ready to defend their families. With their patient and protective nature, Boxers are perfect for families with children. 

Originally bred in Germany as guard dogs and hunting companions, Boxers have a keen and alert nature. They have a short, shiny coat and are known for being energetic and playful, which means they need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. 

Boxers are affectionate and loyal to their families and are also good with children when properly socialized and trained. But it’s important to remember that Boxers can be stubborn and independent, so consistent training and socialization from an early age is essential. 

In the US, Boxers are consistently among the top 10 most popular dog breeds, making them a suitable option for first-time dog owners. So, whether you’re looking for a playful companion or a fearless protector, the Boxer is the perfect choice for you and your family. 


2 – Doberman Pinscher

At number 2, we’ve got the Doberman Pinscher, the powerful guard dog that’s sure to turn heads wherever you go.  

Bred in Germany in the late 19th century, Dobermans were originally used as police and military dogs, but they also make excellent family pets.  

These sleek and powerful dogs are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature. They are fearless and ready to defend their family at all costs. 

When it comes to playtime, Dobermans are all about fun and games. They are generally known to be goofballs, but when danger arises, they will become one of the best guard dogs in the world. They are gentle with their families, including babies and will protect them with all their might. 

Doberman Pinschers require plenty of exercise, so owners should plan for long daily walks or hikes. They have a short, smooth coat that requires minimal grooming. These dogs are also highly trainable, which means they can be taught to recognize and respond to different situations with ease. 

Again, as with any other dog breed, the Doberman requires firm leadership, consistent training, and early socialization to be a well-rounded family companion. 


1 – German Shepherd

As the ultimate guard dog, the German Shepherd tops our list for first-time owners. With their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature, these dogs make excellent companions and protectors for families.  

Standing at an average of 26 inches tall, their strong and muscular build is not just for show, but also a formidable force in deterring any potential threats. They have been used as police and military dogs for decades, thanks to their trainability and ability to work under pressure.  

And despite their fierce reputation, they are also known for their affectionate nature towards their family. The German Shepherd is an intelligent breed that is easy to train, but it’s important to remember that they have a strong protective instinct and need proper socialization from an early age.  

So if you’re a first time dog owner who’s looking for a furry companion that will also keep you and your home safe, the German Shepherd is the way to go. 


And with that, we’ve reached the end of our article “10 Best Guard Dog Breeds for first time owners”.

Are you a first-time dog owner and looking to adopt a guard dog?

What do you think of the list? What particular breed caught your eye? Let us know in the comments below! 

Check out our other articles for all things dog-related.

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