Dogs are known as man’s best friend, and while it’s certainly arguable, many historians believe that dogs may have been the first animals to be domesticated by humans. Dogs have long been used to protect us, herd other animals, hunt with us, and just to serve as loyal allies.
If you’re serious about security, having a good dog or two by your side will definitely be to your benefit. However, you can’t just select any breed you want, because not all dog breeds are the best choices to protect you.
The dog breed you select for your family should be:
- An excellent watch dog
- Intimidating to intruders
- Good with children
For example, while small dogs typically are excellent watch dogs and comforting pets, they lack the intimidation necessary to ward off intruders. In contrast, some big dogs, such as Golden Retrievers and Labs, are certainly loyal and good with kids, but they also lack intimidation due to their more docile nature and are known for being only average watch dogs.
If you have young children, do extra homework – and teach your children how to treat dogs properly. Children should never pull a dog’s ear or tail and never tease and be rough with a dog. Also, always supervise your children around dogs. Although this list includes dogs that are generally gentle with children, extra research is needed if you have young children.
Here are the top 10 dogs for security, in alphabetical order:
Akita. Originally bred for the upper class of Japan centuries ago, the bold and fearless Akita is a dog that deserves intense respect. Akitas are well-known for their fixed loyalty to their families and their intense suspicion of other people and animals, making them a worthy companion. They are also large and robust dogs able to withstand harsh environments, and when working in pairs (as they often do), will especially be a daunting threat to any trespasser. But be warned: They do not cohabitate well with other breeds, so if this is the dog you want, this is the only one you should have. Also, Akitas will only let their loyalty be earned through a firm and experienced owner, so avoid this breed if you have never had a dog before.
Belgian Malinois. The Belgian Malinois is easily the most energetic breed of herding dog you can get, with some individuals continuing to display puppy-like traits until they are well over three years old, so owning one of these dogs will require you to make a serious commitment to ensuring they stay active with something to do (if neglected, they can become destructive). Belgian Malinois are extremely vigorous, loyal and protective of their family. As a result of these qualities, Belgian Malinois actively serve as search-and-rescue dogs, working dogs for military and law enforcement, and guard dogs for protecting the White House.
Bullmastiff. Known as the “silent watchdog,” the lovable and protective Bullmastiff is a cross between an English Mastiff and an English Bulldog, but has been recognized as a purebred breed since the mid-1920s. Quiet, strong, and brave, the Bullmastiff has historically been used as a guard dog to keep poachers out of large properties. The Bullmastiff is also well-known for its affectionate love to its family members, and as a result is very defensive of them to strangers. If there’s a downside to owning a Bullmastiff, it’s that you’ll have to deal with constant drooling.
Doberman Pincher. Alert and intelligent, the infamous Doberman has been utilized as a police dog in Germany since the 1890s, and continues to serve to this day. As long as they are properly socialized with the family and receive plenty of exercise, the Doberman will become a loving pet always on the lookout for danger.
German Shepherd. You probably expected beforehand to see a German Shepherd on this list, and indeed, no list of best guard dogs would be complete without this reputable breed. There’s a reason why the German Shepherd is the second-most popular breed in the United States: They are obedient, intelligent, strong and can literally adapt to any task. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the German Shepherd (assuming you’re okay with them constantly shedding) is the best guard dog on this list.
Giant Schnauzer. A working dog from Bavaria, the Giant Schnauzer has historically been used for a large number of functions: herding cattle, hauling carts, guarding brewers and serving as a police dog. Giant Schnauzers will bond very quickly with their families and especially with children, but without enough activity, their destructive side could be revealed. If you have young children, you may want to avoid this breed.
Great Pyrenees. While calm and gentle with children, they are very protective and defensive over whatever they are instructed to guard, whether it’s a herd of animals, a family or a home. Don’t expect the Great Pyrenees to spend most of its time with you by the fireplace; rather, this breed will be constantly patrolling the outside perimeters and alert you to trouble with its heavy, distinctive bark. Because they are slow to learn new commands, owning a Pyrenees will require you to have great patience.
Pitbull. Pit Bulls have been condemned by the media for years, and while they are fierce with anything they perceive to be threatening, they are in reality gentle with their owners and can be an excellent family pet as long as they are trained right and treated well.
Rottweiler. One of the oldest breeds on this list (possibly in service ever since the Roman Empire), the Rottweiler strives to receive plenty of exercise and can perform heavy duty tasks, such as pulling heavy carts to trekking over large distances on search-and-rescue missions. The Rottweiler is also very affectionate and protective over its family.
Siberian Husky. Everyone knows about the resilience of the Siberian Husky due to its capability in pulling sleds over extended distances in harsh, winter environments. However, this isn’t the only task Huskies are capable of performing; they are able to adapt to nearly any task you want to put them through, as long as it is in the outdoors with plenty of open space. The word “quit” is simply non-existent to the Siberian Husky, but it will also become very demanding of its owners if left bored.
The Lost Ways is a far–reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread-like people did when there was no food-to building a traditional backyard smokehouse… and many, many, many more!
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