List Of Best Attack and Guard Dogs


These dogs do more than just bark. For example, livestock guardian dogs are often large enough and strong enough to attack and drive away predators such as wolves. In cases where intruders are more likely to be human, guard dogs are sometimes trained simply to restrain an intruder with his owner’s guidance, as in Schutzhund or K9 Pro Sports training. Occasionally, guard dogs are trained to attack human intruders. Some breeds (such as Keeshonden) are excellent watchdogs but not so excellent guard dogs, as they bark loudly to alert their masters of intruders but are not given to attack behavior.

Many of the now prominent guardian breeds such as Rottweilers started as farm dogs but then developed over many years into guard breeds. Some breeds, such as the Weimaraner and Rhodesian Ridgeback, were originally bred for hunting, but their large intimidating look and territorial instincts have helped them evolve into guard dogs in today’s society. Others like Dobermans were specifically designed as guard dogs. Many of the below breeds have a greater amount of molossoid or mastiff DNA. This is confirmed by a DNA study done on pure breed dogs.

The St. Bernard is also somewhat different from the mastiffs and is not in the molisoid group; however, the Swiss mountain dogs are. The Moscow Watchdog thus likely inherits its guarding ability not from the St. Bernard but from its other major contributor, the Caucasian Ovcharka (no evidence other than speculation and the known breed characteristics). Great Danes are odd because they are not in the mollisoid group and traditionally behaved as though they should be.

The original Saint Bernard was used for alpine rescue in the Saint Bernard Pass by monks. An avalanche killed off many of the dogs used for breeding. The Saint Bernards had to be bred with larger dogs like mastiffs that gave it the large size and the guard dog instinct we know the Saint Bernard to have today.

Perhaps the best way to find a guard dog is to look at the history of the breed. Dogs like mastiffs have been used in the guard role for centuries. These dogs have had the territoriality literally bred into them typically by killing those who fail at their job. Common guard dogs with breeders are found using the above method. Two of the most successful include the German Shorthair Pointer and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. These two breeds are so aggressive that it limits their popularity. They are also very dominant breeds and should not be owned by inexperienced owners.

Female dogs tend to make better personal guardians than males, due to their natural instinct to protect their young. However, males are better for guarding property because they are more territorial than females.

Best Attack and Guard Dogs:

These dogs are the best of the best when it comes to guarding. They not only have mental bravery and fearlessness required to take on an intruder, but they also have the physical weight and muscle to make sure they can get the job done.

Akita - The Bear Dog

The Akita is a large game and fowl hunter from Japan. By "large game", I'm talking about bears. They are not a good dog for the inexperienced dog owner. Akitas are fearless, territorial, and same-sex aggressive. They're independent, yet very loyal and protective. They will form a close bond with people they are familiar with and remain suspicious of strangers. This makes the Akita an exceptional guard dog.

Akitas are not a clingy dog that need constant companionship and affection, however, owning an Akita does take some work. Akita owners have to understand how to become a dog pack-leader or else they risk losing the respect of their Akita.

Akita Facts:
  • Helen Keller returned from Japan with the first Akita to enter the US in 1937. She described her Akita as "gentle, companionable and trusty".
  • Expecting Akitas to befriend fowl is like expecting a cat to befriend a mouse.
  • Akitas will often softly bite your hand or arm in order to lead you to something they want you to see.
  • Akitas don't like staring contests.
  • Hachikō is the most famous Akita. Hachikō's owner died while at work. Hachikō returned daily to the train station to pick up his master until his own death 9 years later.

Dogo Argentine - The Hulk Dog

With a formidable lineage that includes Great Pyrenees, Wolfhound, Boxer, Great Dane, and Dogue de Bordeaux, the Dog Argentino is not to be laughed at. They are a very muscular dog with massive amounts of stamina. They were primarily bred for hunting wild boar, mountain lions, and other large game, but guarding instincts were a major focus of the Dogo development.

The Dogo is often used in rescue and military work.

Dogo Facts:
  • The Dogo is Banned in many countries including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Ukraine and some parts of the USA despite not being as aggressive as other legal breeds.
  • The Dogo is a great pack hunter.
  • The "Cordoba Fighting Dog" was used in the development of the Dogo. The Cordoba Fighting Dog is extinct due to the difficulty in getting the dogs to mate instead of fight.
  • Dogo skin is sensitive and susceptible to sunburn.
  • If you like the Dogo, be sure to check out the "Dogue de Bordeaux".

Bandog - The Night Watchman

Unlike many other attack dogs, the Bandog was bred purely to do nothing but protect. With Mastiff roots, the Bandog is a bulky, heavy build dog that can reach 150lbs (males). They are calm, gentle, loyal and loving dog that needs to be around family to be happy. However, when faced with an intruder or attacker, they instantly enter fight mode.

"Bandogge which is a huge dog, stubborn, uglier, eager, burthenouse of bodie, terrible and fearful to behold and often more fierce and fell than any Archadian or Corsican cur." -William Harrison (Description of England, 1586)

Bandog Facts:
  • "Bandogge" is derived from "bondage" or "bound". As is, "Chained by day, released by night".
  • The Bandog roots point back to war dogs from the medieval Crusades.

Cane Corso - The Gladiator

The Cane Corso is an Italian Mastiff with roots going straight back to the Roman Empire. They were used by the soldiers as war dogs and as entertainment in fights against gladiators at the Colosseum.

The Cane Corso is a loving, people dog that possesses a natural ability to protect those they love. The Corso is a sociable, loyal, powerful dog. The Corso is not for everyone though as he requires a strong leader to keep him in check.

Cane Corso Facts:
  • Tracy Morgan is a Cane Corso owner.
  • The Corso almost went extinct in the 70's before making a comeback in the 80's.

Doberman Pinscher - The DOBERMAN PINSCHER

The Doberman needs no introduction. Unless they have a death wish, intruders know to stay away from these guys. Thanks to the Doberman's intelligence, friendliness, loyalty, and bad press, he is a well know breed of guard dog. Despite the stereotype the bad press has given the Doberman, they can actually be a well tempered, self-controlled family dog. The amount of will power and self control these guys can have is evident in the videos below.

Doberman Facts:
  • Karl Dobermann developed the Doberman to protect himself from bandits while he served as a tax collector.
  • The Marines elected the Doberman as their official war dog during WWII.

Bullmastiff - The Poacher Hunter

This thick, intelligent dog from England was utilized by land owners to protect estates from trespassers and poachers. He has a massive head and intimidating, although infrequent, bark. The AKC standard sets the minimum (smaller) female weight at 100 lbs. Males can easily reach 150lbs. Although they are large, powerful, and intimidating, they are also very affectionate and make great family dogs.

Bullmastiff Facts:
  • When a bullmastiff barks, you better listen. They generally don't bark unless they think something is wrong.
  • Bullmastiffs were bred to hold down or pin trespassers without mauling them.
  • The AKC lists the Bullmastiff as a successful therapy dog.

English Mastiff - The Largest Dog

The Mastiff holds the record has the most massive dog. They can weight up to 250 lbs but the record holder is "Aicama Zorba" at 343 lbs. They are calm, sensative, loyal dogs that are not easily provoked. However, if they feel that someone is threatening their owner they will do everything to protect their loved ones. Mastiffs will generally try to pin down or corner the intruder until a trusted individual takes over the situation.

Mastiff Facts:
  • When Sir Peers Legh was wounded at the Battle of Agincourt, his Mastiff stood over and protected him for many hours through the battle.
  • Marlon Brando was a mastiff owner.
  • A Mastiff holds the record for giving birth to the largest litter ever, 24 puppies! However, only 20 survived.

Other dogs breeds that are just a worthy to be listed above:

  • Boerboel
  • Rottweiler

All dogs commonly used as attack and guard dogs: