One of the reasons many people adopt dogs, besides the affection and companionship they provide, is to protect their homes from intruders. Having a dog in your home can be a great comfort at night, knowing that its very presence will discourage burglars.
However, picking the right dog for the job is not easy. Here are a few of the qualities you should look out for:
Affection and loyalty
One quality you definitely don't want in a guard dog is aggression. You might think this would be great if your pet is faced with an intruder, but for the vast majority of the time they will only have to deal with you, your friends and your family.
You don't want a violent dog in the hopes that you can direct its anger only towards intruders; instead, you want a loyal pet who will want to protect you because of the affection they have for your family.
This is vital in a guard dog. Your pet needs to understand when it should be alert and when there is nothing to worry about. You should have it highly trained, and if it is a very clever breed then this will be a lot easier.
Examples of intelligent breeds that are powerful enough to be guard dogs include Labradors, German Shepherds and Rottweilers. Make sure you choose one with an easygoing temperament though, as these dogs can cause harm if their training goes wrong and they become too aggressive.
It might seem strange to think of dogs as courageous, as this is a very human quality. However, everyone will have seen a cowardly canine at one point in their lives. A guard dog that is scared of intruders is not very useful, unfortunately.
One of the bravest breeds it the Bull Mastiff. A very large dog, this breed is known for its strength and loyalty. It is afraid of very little, so can be great for guarding your home. It is also very affectionate and docile when it is in a safe environment, so makes a great family pet as well.
Written by: Hannah Dyball