Adopting a dog is a wonderful experience on many levels. In addition to a cuddly companion, you get unconditional love and unwavering devotion. In most cases, you also get your own personal security detail. Canines are naturally protective of their families, happily putting themselves in harm's way if it means saving the life of a loved one. That is, assuming your pet is able to identify a potential threat and respond appropriately. It's a skill that some dogs are better at than others.
How do you know which breeds make the best family guard dogs? That depends a lot on the characteristics of your family and what you're looking for in terms of pooch-based protection. In some cases, "talkative" dogs are best at keeping away would-be evildoers. While you know that your dog's bark is much worse than its bite, criminals do not.
One important consideration in choosing a family guard dog is its tendency to be aggressive. An animal with a short fuse probably isn't suitable for a family with small children. And even though an aggressive dog may seem like the perfect people protector, such animals will often respond the same way to a trespasser and a trick-or-treater. That could cause serious trouble in the neighborhood.
The key to rearing a good family guard dog is to train early and often in order to build your dog's trust in you and himself. Confidence in an animal means the difference between reacting when it is important to do so and lashing out due to insecurity.
Now that you know some basics about people-protecting pooches, let's explore some of the more protective breeds in our list of the top 10 family guard dogs.