Protective Large Breed Dogs

Many large breed dogs fall into the category of being protective towards their owners. Some are best at guarding the family, while others are better suited to protecting an individual owner.

However, just because a dog is big doesn’t mean it is a good guard dog. Some big dogs, such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers, are just as likely to lick an intruder in the face as they are to bar them from entry.

If safety and protection are high on your list of desirable traits for a dog, here are our choices for the 11 best ones to consider.


Boxers are great-looking dogs with their flat faces and muscular build.
They make wonderful guard dogs. While they can be silly with their families they take their job as guardians and watchers very seriously.
Boxers have the reputation for being excellent with small children and playful and affectionate with their families. They are powerful, quick, smooth, and graceful in their movements.

To make sure Boxers are well socialized, they need to have a lot of exposure both to multiple people and other dogs early in their puppyhood.

Doberman Pinscher

Dobermans have a fierce look with a sleek build and are highly intelligent. This breed is easy to train and is fearless in protecting its family. Their looks alone are enough to scare off most intruders.

Despite their reputation as superior guard dogs, Doberman Pinschers are wonderful with small children and make excellent family dogs as long as they get enough exercise. They are high-energy dogs and need regular play and walks to be on their best behavior.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds need a lot of exercise and interaction and can get destructive if they are bored. They are highly energetic dogs and do best in environments where they have work to do.

There’s a reason that German Shepherds are used as police dogs and military dogs. They are wonderful guardians, highly trainable, and smart.

This breed makes a wonderful family member and is great with young kids, but only moderately good with other dogs. German Shepherds benefit from early socialization with a variety of other dogs and people.

Great Dane

Owners of Great Danes are an enthusiastic bunch. That’s because Great Danes are huge, fun, and enjoyable dogs that also make wonderful guardians of the house.
This is a breed that is wonderful with older children, but not as good with toddlers so you’ll need to make sure younger kids are supervised with this breed.
Danes are one of the tallest breeds in the world clocking in at almost a full three feet at the shoulders and can stand taller than most humans on their hind legs.

You are unlikely to be attacked if you have a Great Dane in your home or on a leash walking as their size alone is enough to scare off most people who would wish you harm.


Rotties have a fierce look with a muscular build and rippling muscles. They are protective by nature and love their families, but can come across as aloof with strangers. But don’t let that fool you. Rottweilers are playful and silly with the people they love.

Rottweilers are easy to please and can be fast learners. They are also remarkably quiet dogs and don’t bark much.

Rotties can be territorial. To harness their naturally protective nature in a positive way they must be socialized and trained properly from an early age.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a duck hunting dog bred in America and has a lovely personality. This dog is tireless, affectionate, and loyal.
They are naturally protective in nature and their powerful build will scare most intruders away on site.

One of the unique features of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is that they have a waterproof coat and striking yellow eyes.

It’s important to note that while you can train a Chessie, they do have a mind of their own and can be stubborn about doing exactly what they want.

Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzers are magnificent animals and they are wonderful if you don’t want a lot of shedding in your house. That’s because this breed has hair instead of fur and as a result won’t shed much. They do however need regular grooming.

The Giant Schnauzer makes a wonderful family guard dog and has a beard and short luxurious coat that is typical of all three sizes of Schnauzers.

This breed does need a significant amount of exercise to be on its best behavior.

Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is a gentle giant to their family and people they know. They are normally described as powerful, muscular, and substantial animals and are quite intimidating to anyone who isn’t their family or a friend.

These dogs make amazing guardians and are not friendly with strangers, but are sweet and loving with their families.

This is an ancient breed of dog that is known as the guardian of the Himalayas and is potentially the species from which all other mastiffs have been bred.

Spanish Water Dog

The coat of the Spanish Water Dog will stop people in their tracks! With their wooly-looking curls, this dog has a distinctive look.

These dogs are inexhaustible workers and make good guard dogs, but need lots of exercise and things to do if they are going to be at their best. Spanish Water Dogs are often described as lively and take well to life in an active family where they get plenty of attention.

Their coat does need regular grooming but doesn’t shed. So if you are allergic to shedding breeds and have the energy to put into this dog then it may be a good breed for you!


The Pulli is another breed with an extremely unusual coat. These beautiful dogs have natural cords and are bred to work extremely closely with humans.

Their naturally occurring cords are dense, waterproof, and wooly and their coats require a huge amount of attention.

These are powerful dogs that like to work and are quick learners. If you have the time and attention to give a Pulli they can make faithful watchdogs and companions.

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is a proud, independent, and stubborn dog. If you own this breed you need to be patient and persistent with training.

The Airedale has the nickname “King of Terriers” because they are strong, big, and noble.

Like their cousins, they can be stubborn, but they will protect their homes with diligence.

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