If you'd like a dog that will be loyal and affectionate while protecting you and the people you love, read on. Today, our Boulder and Westminster vets discuss some dog breeds that are well-suited to be guard dogs for families.

There are several factors to consider when selecting a dog to protect you and your family, including whether they get along with children and other pets, their size, and their energy level. Our Boulder and Westminster team has selected our top picks to assist you in deciding on a new addition to your family.

German Shepard

This popular family pet is brave, gentle, and loving, and will do its best to guard and protect the ones they love. When properly trained, they are excellent at learning, listening, and obeying commands.

If you choose to get a dog from a breeder, make sure that they are reputable and if possible, meet the dog's parents to make sure they are coming from a healthy environment.


Rottweilers are excellent guard dogs, and if they are trained well can become loving family pets (even for small kids). They are among the smartest dog breeds in the world, and when properly trained they will be loyal and obey the commands you give them.

The key to adding a Rottweiler to your family (especially if you have young children) is to make sure they are properly trained because they can be aggressive if not properly trained. We also recommend socializing puppies on a regular basis because they are naturally wary of people and other animals they don't know.

Doberman Pinscher

This dog breed is extremely intelligent and appears intimidating in general. Because they are wary of new people, they make excellent guard dogs. They are also very loyal and, with proper obedience training, will obey your commands perfectly. They require a lot of exercise and activity every day because they are athletic dogs with a lot of energy.

If you want to bring a Doberman pinscher into a family with kids, you should raise them from a puppy in the family environment instead of bringing one home once it has grown. This dog can be very destructive, so it's very important to have this dog well trained from a young age.


This dog is a great choice for guarding because of its 'menacing' look and talent for sensing people's intentions. For families, this medium to large size dog is friendly, and fun-loving, and will use its athleticism to protect its owners. They don't have a violent streak and will often seek love and attention.

Although, boxers have a lot of energy from the beginning and require lots of exercise from their owners.

Bernese Mountain Dog

This breed makes an excellent watchdog, though it is unlikely to attack an intruder on purpose. They are excellent alert dogs who will bark if they notice anything suspicious and are wary of strangers. This large dog is also very playful and enjoys being around children, which makes them an ideal family pet. This dog, on the other hand, is very furry and will require regular brushing and grooming.

Giant Schnauzer

They are loyal and intelligent, and can grow to be quite large with an intimidating appearance that can deter strangers. If you raise this dog as a puppy alongside your children and family, they will be excellent with children. You must, however, brush and groom them on a daily basis.

Great Dane

Great Danes are large dogs with a loud bark that can keep intruders at bay. This dog, on the other hand, is very gentle and patient with children and easily makes friends. Because of their gentle nature, they make better watchdogs than protectors.

This breed requires lots of exercise through daily walks and lots of positive reinforcement obedience training from the beginning. They also need lots of attention and supervision until they are used to the rules and become accustomed to your home.

Great Pyrenees

With training and guidance, this large, furry breed can make a loyal and protective guard dog. They are gentle and can adapt to the dynamic of your family and home but will be cautious of guests and intruders making them the perfect companion and guard.

This dog did not rank first because they are difficult to train. They must be trained with love and attention from the time they are puppies because they have a habit of barking and growling when they are young and will not grow out of it unless they are trained. They also put their owners' leadership to the test, making them more difficult to train.

Saint Bernard

This huge dog is great with kids and families and is extremely friendly, which doesn't make them good attack dogs. That said, their large size and loud bark can help intimidate intruders and make them rethink entering your home. If you are looking for a mild-mannered dog, with a bark that is bigger than its bite, this is the breed for you.

Saint Bernards are clumsy dogs until they reach maturity and don't understand their size, so they may inadvertently knock down small children, so this dog is best suited for families with older children. They can also be more difficult to train and consume more food than other breeds, but they only require walking and brushing a few times per week.


It doesn't take them long to decide that their family is their 'pack,' and they will go to any length to protect you. They also appear intimidating and are constantly aware of what is going on around them, making them excellent guard dogs without endangering your children.

This dog shows great attacking qualities and can easily take down a full-grown man. If you raise this dog from a puppy with your kids and family and provide them with constant training they can make a great, loving, member of the family.

This dog does require stern training from a young age to obey your orders and get along with others, without it they will become aggressive. They also need strict orders and lots of exercise.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you curious about a new dog breed for you and your family? Contact our Boulder and Westminster vets today for more information about a breed you are considering.