Top 10 GUARD DOG Breeds in the USA
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Number 10 – The Rhodesian Ridgeback
And right at number 10, we have the beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback. Now, this may come as a surprise to some of you, as the Ridgeback is not commonly regarded as a guardian breed. However, these large dogs were bred in Africa for the purpose of apprehending lions - until the hunters could get there to shoot them.
It goes without saying that such a role requires an absolutely fearless dog that is more than capable of defending its owner and its owner’s property. At the same time, the Ridgeback looks deceivingly mellow in its outer appearance - unlike the stereotypical “bully-breed”-looks of breeds like the Rottie or the Pitbull. This alone can make life easier for owners, as they will not attract negative comments on having a so-called dangerous dog on their leash.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a natural protector as well as a fun-loving, active family companion. Its short, wheaten coloured coat with its characteristic “ridge” on the dog’s back is as beautiful as it is easy to groom.
For all these reasons, it is no surprise that more and more Americans welcome this stunning African hunting dog into their homes, which is why it ranks among the TOP 10 most popular guard dog breeds in the US.
Number 9 – The Malinois
Not only is the Malinois the most popular of the Belgian Shepherd breeds – it also has become the preferred service-dog breed for the police and military. Elite forces like the Navy SEALS predominantly use “Malis”. Dog sports enthusiasts the world over have been following this trend in the recent years, and gradually gravitated towards the Malinois. These extremely agile, high-energy dogs are said to trump even the famous German Shepherd in terms of intelligence, trainability and agility. This makes them the perfect choice for dog handlers engaged in high-level obedience- and guard dog training, such as IPO and French Ring.
Evidently, these Belgian Shepherds are top-notch athletes and working dogs. But what makes so many standard-American dog owners choose a Malinois? Perhaps it is their reputation as “best of the best” when it comes to personal protection and guarding. Or maybe it is their ability to easily adapt to different living situations: A Mali is the perfect canine companion for people – and families – with an active lifestyle. Very keen, alert and always in a state of readiness, the Mali is not only an excellent guard dog, but also an amazing companion for all kinds of outdoor-activities, like cycling, jogging, hiking and swimming.
One thing is for certain: Americans love their Malis, which is why they have gained a spot on our list of the TOP 10 most popular guard dog breeds in the US.
Number 8 – The Cane Corso
The number 8 spot on our list goes to an Italian guard dog breed that has been gaining in popularity fast over the last few years. This breed is a descendent of the fearsome Mastiff-type battle dogs of the Roman Empire. These massive dogs’ willingness to protect their owners with their own lives is still very much prevalent in the breed today.
We are talking about one of my personal favourites when it comes to guard dog breeds – the Cane Corso. And while some of the other breeds on this list may catch you by surprise, the Cane Corso probably does not: Their natural guarding ability is legendary. Coupled with the sheer bulk of their bodies and their fearsome appearance, this makes them superb protectors.
But not only that: The Cane Corso is perhaps the most intelligent and trainable of all the Mastiff breeds in existence. They also make marvellous family guardians – in fact, they rank amongst the best suited family dogs amongst all the guard dog breeds. For example, Corsos are far more affectionate, devoted, and gentle towards their family than Rotties or German Shepherds. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that they are among America’s TOP 10 most popular guardian breeds. (The only surprise being that they do not rank higher on this list – but, then again, this breed only recently has gained wide-spread popularity, which is why many owners still stick with more familiar breeds.)
Number 7 – The Boston Terrier
And at number 7, we have the Boston Terrier – the first truly American breed in our list of today! Whilst term “guard dog” might not come to mind easily when picturing the middle-sized, snub-nosed terrier, they do actually make quite decent guardians. – Of course, this middle-sized breed would not necessarily be the best choice when it comes to actively fending off an attacker. BUT: In appearance, they still resemble their fierce ancestor, the battle-proven bulldogs of old England. This in itself makes for a decent intimidation factor that will discourage would-be burglars from trying to enter people’s home.
As well, the Boston Terrier combines the Bulldog-like tenacity with the Terrier’s high energy levels, intelligence and excellent watchdog-abilities. Combine these features with the practical medium-size of the Boston Terrier, and you have perfect dogs for the standard American apartment-dweller. But, also families love their Boston Terriers – hence, these affectionate companions have been able to hold their position amongst America’s most favourite breeds for decades.
Number 6 – The Doberman
At position number 6 on our list of most popular guard dog breeds in America, we have the Doberman. As one of the best guardian breeds on the planet, the Doberman is highly trainable and highly capable of protecting their family and their home from danger.
Originally, the Doberman was developed by a German tax collector. Due to his profession, Mr. Dobermann had good greason to want a strong and reliable guard dog by his side whenever he went out to collect taxes. His sustained efforts have gifted us with stunning and devoted guardian.
Evidently America’s dog-owners love the Doberman a lot – not only due to their protective nature, but also because they are so easy to live with: For being such high-energy dogs, Dobermans are surprisingly quiet indoors. They are so attached to their family that many of them love nothing more than a good cuddle on the couch – plus, they are easy to groom. Because of all this, Dobies can even be kept in apartments without much trouble.
Number 5 – The Great Dane
This brings us to the halfway mark of today’s list. Now, things are getting even more interesting! And at number 5, we have one of the largest dog breeds on the planet – a breed that ranks slightly higher in terms of intimidation factor than, for example, the Doberman or the Malinois. And yet, due to its low energy levels, these dogs are easy to keep inside the house or even inside an apartment. We are speaking about the glorious Great Dane. Who – contrary to their name – are a German breed.
Even though these tall, athletic dogs usually are very gentle giants, they do come with an innate instinct to guard their territory. And when they sound an alarm, they do so with a deep, booming voice. Combined with their imposing heads and the sheer size of their bodies, this usually discourages any unauthorised entry into the property of their owners. In the home and towards their loved ones, Great Danes are surprisingly gentle for their size. Together with their low grooming requirements, this makes this majestic Giant one of the most beloved guard dogs in the US.
Number 4 – The Rottweiler
The number 4 spot on our list belongs to the Rottweiler – yet another powerful German guardian breed that originated from the powerful Mastiff-like cattle dogs of the ancient Roman Empire. Even today, some Rotties are still worked as herding and guardian dogs for cattle. Others have become sports dogs or service dogs for the police force and the military. Their high levels of intelligence and trainability make the Rottweiler perfect for all these roles. But the vast majority of the modern Rotties lead more quiet lifestyles: Their job consists in protecting their owners and guarding their property. Numerous Rottweilers also happily fill the position of family guardian.
Evidently, guard dog-enthusiasts all over America have embraced the Rottweiler whole-heartedly, and there are not many breeds that can trump them in terms of popularity. As the Rottweiler can easily be classed one of THE best guard dog breeds on the planet, it seems slightly surprising that they do not rank higher on the list of America’s most popular guardians.
Perhaps this is due to the negative publicity that the breed unfortunately tends to get: Rottweilers have been known to bite not only strangers, but also their owners – as well as their owners’ children. Therefore, the community of American guard dog breed-enthusiasts appears to be favouring more forgiving and gentle breeds – such as the three amazing guardians that make up our TOP 3!
Number 3 – The Boxer
The ancestors of today’s Boxers’ were large, Mastiff-type hunting dogs whose job consisted in holding down large prey – such as bear and wild boar - until the hunters could arrive. This task required a fast, strong, and absolutely fearless dog, and the Boxer definitely fits that bill - even today. Later, the breed was used for bull-baiting and as cattle dog for butchers. During both World Wars, Boxers served German soldiers as guard dogs and couriers.
The Boxer we know, and love, today has retained a good part of its tenacity and skillset as a natural guardian. At the same time, the athletic, high energy dog performs beautifully in all sorts of canine sports and guarding work. A true allrounder, the Boxer also is a loving, devoted and playful family dog.
Combined with its extremely low grooming requirements and its natural cleanliness, this wonderful canine companion has more than earned his spot in the TOP 3 of America’s most popular guard dogs.
Number 2 – The English Bulldog
As we approach the very top of our list of most popular guard dogs in America, we see a breed that may come as a surprise to many of you: Right here, on the Silver Medal spot, we have the English Bulldog.
Again, you might be surprised to see this particular breed among America’s TOP 3 guard dogs. However, even though the English Bulldog maybe not the best choice when it comes to actively fending off potential attackers, they have so many outstanding pro’s in its favour that Americans cannot help but adore them.
One possible reason why the English Bulldog has gained the Silver Medal spot on our list might be its very low energy levels: This middle-sized breed only requires minimal exercise, and is perfectly suited for apartment-living.
In addition, their gentle and laid-back attitude make them perfect family companions. In fact, English Bulldogs adore children and are known to be extraordinarily patient with them - more so than the majority of other guard dog breeds.
But above all else, it is most likely their uniquely charming character that has made the English Bulldogs so very popular in the United States as to make it to the Silver Medal spot on our list: These affectionate companions love their humans dearly and have a sweet, mellow and yet adorably mischievous disposition.
Number 1 – The German Shepherd
And here we are, at the top of today’s list of the TOP 10 most popular guard dogs in the United States. According to the American Kennel Club, the Gold Medal spot goes to perhaps THE most famous guardian breed on the planet. We are talking about another breed from Germany. And, yes, it is no other than the amazing, one-and-only, German Shepherd!
This extremely versatile working dog was originally bred to herd and protect flocks of sheep in Southern Germany in the late 19th century. Since then, their popularity has exploded – and, today, extends far beyond the boundaries of its original role. The German Shepherd is part of various military and police forces all over the world – and is amongst the very best natural guardian breeds in existence. As well, these dogs are extremely intelligent, trainable and eager to please their owners.
The versatile German Shepherd excels not only as working dog, sports dog and personal protection dog, but also as family companion. You cannot possibly find a breed that trumps the German Shepherd in terms of adaptability to many different roles. Therefore, it should not really come as a surprise that American dog owners favour this powerful canine companion above all other guardian breeds.
All these amazing features – both on the guarding and on the family companion front - make the German Shepherd the top candidate on our list of the TOP 10 most popular guard dogs in America.