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Top 20 Protective Breeds


2. Irish Wolfhound

While all dogs have a far superior sense of smell compared to humans (with some estimated to have a sense of smell several million times superior to our own), not all have been bred and raised with the expectation of sniffing out a single scent trail in the woods, ignoring every other bit of smell to concentrate on tracking their quarry.

Some breeds like the Irish wolfhound have been raised to react to the sight of their prey, so that they go into attack mode at the sight of a new person or animal. Wolfhounds, as their name suggests, are tough and loyal enough to hunt down large predators who pose a threat to the farm or flocks, but are often gentle enough to be kept as family dogs that get along well with children.

When it comes to meeting new persons, however, wolfhounds need to be restrained or else they will bark and even attack someone who comes onto their territory. Wolfhounds are some of the oldest dog breeds around, with archeological records suggesting that Irish wolfhounds have been used for two and a half thousand years to capture and kill wolves from the Emerald Isle.

Today, without any wolves to threaten flocks of sheep or goats, these dogs act as guards against intrusion or theft. They’re extremely aggressive and unpredictable in the face of a stranger if trained to attack first, having been used previously in times of war to attack the enemy.

Any Irish wolfhound that is not seasoned to new persons and faces may need to be kept away from company in order to minimize their aggressive behavior. When it comes to a protective breed, however, there’s few better than these determined, zealous, shaggy pooches, who rarely exercise their vigilance by chewing or destroying the interior of a home.

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