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Top 20 Protective Breeds



Some people love dogs more than cats because when someone breaks into your house, a cat will just walk over to them and demand to be petted. Not so for a trusty canine, who will gladly lay down their own life to protect their masters.

Whether you want a dog that you could take in a warzone or you just want a pooch who helps you sleep easier at night, many dogs have been bred for generations to have fearlessness, loyalty, and the willingness to do whatever necessary to guard and protect their families. Which are the most brave and protective breeds of dog a family can own?

1. Bullmastiff

Search far and wide for all manner of dog breeds, but you will never find one with the size and power of the bullmastiff. That’s because these dogs have been specifically bred for nearly two centuries to ensure one thing: whatever they watch over remains undisturbed. Hailing from Britain, these dogs have a fierce loyalty to their masters without being so over-protective that they are a threat to children.

They’re never a case of a bark being worse than a bite, furthermore, since their jaws can easily crush bone and they rarely bark unless directly approached by intruders. A male bullmastiff can weigh as much as 150 pounds, making them capable of tackling a human their size or larger without a second thought. They’re not as intelligent as other dog breeds that have been trained for work, so they need frequent guidance to learn commands and need to be trained in different ways, since these giants dislike doing the same tasks over and over.

It’s not necessary to train these dogs to protect their family, however, since their prey drive kicks in whenever a stranger approaches. Their prey drive isn’t triggered by other environmental objects, meaning that they won’t bark at other dogs or at squirrels, but are always certain to intimidate anyone who happens to come by. Due to the difficulty in training, it’s common for owners to keep them as outdoors dogs rather than housetraining these massive canines.

As these dogs grow large, however, they often do not live very long, with a median age of only seven or eight years. During that time, however, they’re sure to be a protective force that can intimidate anyone thinking of breaking into a property where they are stationed, no matter what they happen to guard within its four walls.

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  • BigRedDragon

    I suggest a Basenji-Pit mix. Fearless, agile and way too smart for any intruder.

  • Kirsten Landon

    Here’s my two cents: for a site that claims to know about dogs, this article is seriously lacking. A Newfie? They may look big and scary but anyone who knows anything about dogs knows that they only LOOK intimidating. Also left off the list are two guardian breeds that are not only excellent family dogs but are also extremely intelligent and ready to take down anyone or anything that threatens their home/family: the Great Pyrenees and the Tibetan Mastiff. The TM is an ancient breed (with records dating back to 1300 BC) from which many other large breeds came. It’s sweet, tolerant, loving, wicked smart and extraordinarily loyal! TMs and Great Pyrs are well known for all of these traits, as well as being independent decision makers–so being a very strong, devoted owner who’s willing to train is A MUST! Neither of these breeds should’ve ever been excluded from ranking high on this list.

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