6 min read


Are Dogs Good Security?



6 min read


Are Dogs Good Security?


Security or guard dogs have been part of the human landscape since the amazing kinship that developed between man and wolf. Survival in a world of mammoths and Saber-tooth tigers had its challenges, so the wolf was a handy weapon in protecting early human communities. A wild and woolly story it may be, but there’s no denying the protective instincts of a wolf - who gave birth to a nation of guard dogs that in modern times are still prowling the perimeter and keeping homes safe.

Security firms are a familiar sight in a crime-infested world, where canines are employed to protect people from harm. These guarding gods are legendary as they defend their families and homes. Does having a guard dog make you feel secure?


Signs a Guard Dog is on Duty

Anyone crazy enough to enter premises with a guard dog on duty may be in for a nasty surprise. The WARNING sign on the gate tells the intruder to enter at their own peril. Taking their life for granted, a risk-taking robber begins climbing up the fence. An eerie sound of low growling cuts through the cold night air.

Out of the darkness leaps a determined Doberman with pointy ears and barred white teeth - the hair standing on the back of her neck. She sneers and snaps at the robber, pacing back and forth. The dog then starts barking and lunging at the fence. Right about now, the robber is thinking he should have gone to college.

Guard dogs are on full alert when minding a specified space and will take out an intruder if they step into their domain. Crime is on the rise and dogs are still recognized as a cost-effective way to keep robbers from entering premises. This is an age-old profession for our diligent dogs, who have the guarding instincts of their ancestors and a mission to protect the pack.

If there’s a dog in your home, you already have an added sense of security, even when a Bichon or Chihuahua barks like crazy if someone is trying to break in. Crooks will tell you if they are casing a neighborhood, they’ll bypass the home with a dog whether it’s a little yapper or a fearless German Shepherd. It's not worth the hassle and they’d rather do battle with an alarm than have the seat of their pants ripped out by the family mutt.

A guard dog in the home has the job of alerting their family a person is trying to get in. These dogs are not trained to attack as they are family companions but there have been stories of pooches leaving their mark.

According to Red Deer Express, a couple in Springbrook had gone out for the evening, leaving their Rottweiler, named Demon, in charge. They returned to find blood on the dog’s paws and evidence of a break-in.  Turns out the person who climbed through the window left with a few scars, as Demon went into action defending his home turf.

The blood was the intruder's and word went out through the neighborhood to be on burglar alert. It seems this rookie robber forgot to walk past the home with a dog.

Body Language

Signs a dog is guarding include:<br/>

  • Growling
  • Barking
  • Jumping Up
  • Pacing
  • Snapping
  • Ears Up
  • Exposed Teeth

Other Signs

Signs a dog is defending their territory are:<br/>

  • Anxious Behavior
  • Attacking A Home Intruder
  • Defensive Behavior
  • Patrolling The Perimeter

History of Guard Dog Breeds


When wolves started hanging around human campfires, they gave us a better chance of survival. Mankind was quick to recognize the guarding talents of the wolf and went about breeding this skill into their offspring. The guard dog became a symbol of protection, as various breeds were perfected.

Life in ancient times was made easier by the guard dog, while the Romans used dogs like the Molossus to help them invade new lands.

The Cane Corso was another Roman dog of war, noted for its guarding and territorial instincts and for being naturally cautious around strangers.

German Shepherds are K9 favorites for their bold and confident character. They are suited to the role of “personal protection dog” like the Belgian Malinois employed by the secret service to guard the White House grounds.

The Doberman Pinscher was developed by a tax collector in the 1800’s. He designed the Doberman to guard him on his rounds. There are also urban myths about Adolf Hitler wanting to create a super-guarding dog, but instead of an evil beast, a loyal-til-death pooch now exists.

The sheer size of a Bull-Mastiff can knock an intruder to the ground. One paw could easily hold them until the police arrive

Some may be surprised that the Rambo Rottweiler was once a guardian to livestock. The intimidating look of this proud beast could see a burglar changing their line of work.

The Staffordshire Terrier was once forced to fight bears and bulls. A master thief confronted with a Staffi better hope they’ve been recently fed.

Robber versus Rhodesian Ridge-back is a knockout in the first round. This chap can take on a lion, so a burglar is no match for this hound. The same could be said for the Giant Schnauzer, who’s a K9 and a top protection dog.

Different Types of Guard Dogs


A guard dog is the police mutt patrolling the streets, while a protection pooch takes care of you and your family. Celebrities, politicians - anyone in the public eye can be seen with a security guard and a dog. Often the sight of a scary guard dog can stop a robber or crazed fan, in their tracks.

An alarm dog is generally a good sized pooch with a threatening bark. Their job is to warn the offender, but they do nothing more.

A sentry woofer protects a property or business. This dog is free to check out the area and detain an intruder at will. They’ll attack if you enter their territory.

The police and military have attack dogs that are trained to take a bad guy down. These mutts are invested in their work - and in keeping their handler safe

Then there’s the family watchdog that can bark till the neighbors wake you up. Many a Poodle, Boxer, or Maltese has sent a burglar screaming out the door.

Dogs that have been bred to guard were genetically prepped many moons ago. It was man's necessity that made mutts willing to protect their human pack.

The New York Times tells us it can cost a lot for an “executive protection pooch." Julia, a gilded German Shepherd is worth around $230,000 and flies with her owner on a private jet. Not a bad life for a canine whose natural skill is to guard and protect!

Training Guard Dogs


Training the right dog breed that has guarding in their genes takes time, but the instinct is already there. Border collies are born to herd and Great Pyrenees are designed to guard livestock. A German Shepherd will guard you night and day.

It all depends whether you want a watchdog for your home, or a top-of-the-range, guard dog trained to protect and attack. The best place to go and find out how to train a responsive, responsible guard dog is to ask the experts.

According to Experts Security Tips, it's advisable to begin training at a very early age. Things taught at this precious puppy time tend to sink in and stay. Puppies can’t hold information in for long, so keep training programs short and sweet. Around 30-40 minutes is recommended, depending on the dog’s threshold of boredom. Try to keep your cool as this junior guard dog is possibly doing their best.

When issuing a command, always use the same words. You want your dog to feel confident they are doing what is asked. Keep it simple with commands like "attack." and try not to confuse the pup by adding other words like, “it’s time to attack.” When you are in a real-life situation, you want your pooch to respond rapidly to the correct command.

Make sessions a good time with your dog and reward with treats and play. If force is used, a pup could try to avoid training. It’s also serious stuff you’re asking of them, so a bond of trust is essential.

This style of training could be used to teach your family pooch how to be a good watchdog. You won’t want them to attack an intruder, but instead, learn how to set off the alarm and maybe hold the robber until the police are called.

Basic obedience is a must for all types of security dogs. They have to come, sit, and stay when asked. You can’t learn geometry, until basic math is achieved.

Have questions or concerns about your pet?

Chat with a veterinary professional in the Wag! app 24/7.

Get Vet Chat

By a Japanese Chin lover Linda Cole

Published: 05/30/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

Wag! Specialist
Does your pet have a supplement plan?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.