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21 Best Guard Dog Breeds to Help Protect Your Family

Reader's Digest Logo By Laurie Budgar of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 22: Dogs have been protecting their humans at least since the days of Plato and Aristotle. Our needs for security, companionship, and loyalty haven't changed much since then, making dogs a popular choice for protection of our loved ones and our property. Watchdogs will bark or otherwise alert their people to perceived intruders but usually won't attack. Guard dogs have a protective instinct for their families, honed over hundreds of years, says Gina DiNardo, executive secretary at the American Kennel Club (AKC), and they will bite or otherwise defend against threats. The best guard dog breeds display fearlessness and also look the part, with an intimidating size and appearance, perhaps even belonging to one of the giant dog breeds. They may also rank among the smartest or most loyal breeds. If you're seeking a dog for protection, the same rules of dog ownership still apply. You'll want to give this dog the love and affection you would give any pet, and never, ever keep it chained up or locked in a basement or yard. Even the fiercest dog breeds are still vulnerable living beings who rely on humans for everything, including food, shelter, and trusted companionship. Here are some great examples of protective pooches who will be the loving, watchful eyes and ears in your home.

Guard dogs: Born to protect

Dogs have been protecting their humans at least since the days of Plato and Aristotle. Our needs for security, companionship, and loyalty haven't changed much since then, making dogs a popular choice for protection of our loved ones and our property.

Watchdogs will bark or otherwise alert their people to perceived intruders but usually won't attack. Guard dogs have a protective instinct for their families, honed over hundreds of years, says Gina DiNardo, executive secretary at the American Kennel Club (AKC), and they will bite or otherwise defend against threats. The best guard dog breeds display fearlessness and also look the part, with an intimidating size and appearance, perhaps even belonging to one of the giant dog breeds. They may also rank among the smartest or most loyal breeds.

If you're seeking a dog for protection, the same rules of dog ownership still apply. You'll want to give this dog the love and affection you would give any pet, and never, ever keep it chained up or locked in a basement or yard. Even the fiercest dog breeds are still vulnerable living beings who rely on humans for everything, including food, shelter, and trusted companionship. Here are some great examples of protective pooches who will be the loving, watchful eyes and ears in your home.

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