9 Best Guard Dog Breeds for Apartment Life (2023)

Dogs are loyal and adorable pets. But aside from being cuddly, they can also be guard dogs that will protect your apartment against intruders. Still, not all dog breeds can be made watchdogs as each one differs in temperament, intelligence level, and personality. For this post, we listed the ideal breeds for the best guard dog for apartment life. Check which one suits your choice and your lifestyle:

How do you know if a dog is a great guard dog?

When it comes to guard dogs, you need a breed that’s alert and always careful around strangers. Since some dogs are friendlier than others, you have to consider their hard-wired tendencies.

For example, a Golden Retriever is known to be friendly to people, kids, and other dogs. Also, they are commonly trained to handle service dog tasks. As much as they are intelligent, it’s almost impossible to get them to be guard dogs.

On the other hand, breeds like German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers are known to be alert. They also have guarding traits, which makes an ideal choice for guarding tasks.

However, a crucial point here is if the dog breed will thrive in an apartment setting. Usually, guard dogs have a bold attitude and they also have a strong hunting instinct.

So when it comes to the best guard dog for apartment life, you have to consider not just the guarding ability, but also if they will thrive in a small household setting.

Best guard dog for apartment life – Top 10 Breeds

1.      Doberman Pinscher

Whenever we talk about guard dogs, the Doberman Pinscher breed is always at the top of our list. This dog is already intimidating by looks, which is enough for a stranger to take a step back.

True enough, Doberman Pinschers were bred to be guard dogs in Germany back in the 19th century. Although they may seem vicious, these dogs can be trained to be behaved, friendly, and affectionate pets.

best guard dog for apartment life

Doberman Pinschers can thrive in an apartment setting. However, you should take them to daily walks or give them enough playtime to be happy.

Moreover, Doberman Pinschers are smart and can be trained to do certain tasks. What’s amazing about Doberman Pinschers is they are intelligent enough to identify intruders from guests. It’s one of the qualities that make this breed an unrivaled guard dog and family pet.

However, you have to be cautious since Doberman Pinschers aren’t tolerant of pinchy kids. It’s best to have them when your kids are old enough to understand the responsibility of pet ownership.

2.      Bullmastiff

A strong and protective dog, Bullmastiffs make excellent guard dogs in an apartment setting. It may look like a sad dog, but it’s a total sweetheart when it comes to their owners.

In addition, Bullmastiffs have a large and intimidating look. They also give a threatening stance to strangers. However, their guarding prowess is more on the appearance side as this breed is extremely friendly.

Despite their size, they are really great with kids and they don’t mind being with other dogs. As for strangers, Bullmastiffs will always have a judging eye to protect their masters.

Moreover, this breed doesn’t have intense energy, which makes them a great candidate as the best guard dog for apartment life. However, their large size can be a challenge to manage and they also tend to vocalize if upset.

Take note that Bullmastiffs also tend to be mouthy so early training is necessary so they won’t eat your house down.

3.      Puli

Do you want an inconspicuous dog to guard your apartment? The one that can hide like a doormat? If so, you should get a Puli dog. This breed’s coat looks like a doormat, but it will bark and scare off an intruder if it tries to enter your apartment.

This breed can thrive in an apartment setting and they are not friendly with strangers. Although they are aloof of people they don’t know, they are very affectionate with their family and kids.

However, this breed isn’t for the faint of heart. They are not easy to train, but with enough patience, you can use Puli’s intelligence to be an excellent apartment guard dog.

Also, you should be aware that this dog has an intense energy and tendency to play. With that, you have to take them to daily walks and give enough playtime to be happy. Try not to scare other people around with your walking mop!

Although this dog has a lush and thick coat, it sheds very little and it doesn’t drool.

4.      Boxer

If you’re only looking for a guard dog that looks threatening but is harmless, the Boxer breed will not disappoint.

Boxers are called as such because of their habit to stand on their back legs. This behavior is effective in scaring off a stranger, but beware since Boxers will do the same even when it gets excited.

Although they look intimidating, Boxers are one of the most affectionate breeds to children and their masters. Even though they are energetic and playful, Boxers do well in an apartment setting, but they will need a knowledgeable owner.

Also, Boxers are easy to train, but they can be extremely stubborn at first. In addition, they don’t like being left alone for long and they can be whiny if you lock them for hours on their own.

Usually, Boxer dogs tend to become territorial on their home, so they will have a cautious eye against intruders and strangers.

5.      Giant Schnauzer

True to their name, Giant Schnauzers are powerful dogs with a strong personality. As guard dogs, they are always watchful of strangers and they also tend to dominate the household.

With their size and stature, Giant Schnauzers surely send the message to the stranger at the door.

best guard dog for apartment life

As a large and strong-willed dog, there’s no doubt that Giant Schnauzers are ideal as guard dogs. However, they aren’t advisable for inexperienced owners and those who have a very small apartment. Aside from their large size, Giant Schnauzers need a space where they can roam around.

Overall, Giant Schnauzers will be affectionate and loyal to their owners. As for kids, you should consider getting this breed when they are older. Also, Giant Schnauzers don’t always thrive with other dogs, so you have to be selective if you’re considering them in a multi-dog apartment.

If you are to own this breed, you need to be a firm master, so this doggo won’t take over your household.

6.      Great Dane

You probably saw them in cartoons, but in real life, these large dogs can make a great guard dog. Their size can intimidate a stranger, but they are surprisingly called a “Gentle Giant” due to their friendly disposition.

When trained as guard dogs, they will become dedicated to the job. However, if domesticated and pampered, they will be soft and cuddly dogs.

Take note that Great Danes have high energy levels and they also love playtime. If you are to house them in an apartment, you have to find ways to drain their extra energy. Also, due to their strong personality, they are not suitable for newbie dog owners.

Moreover, you have to deal with intense shedding and drooling with this breed. Also, you should be patient with training to raise a well-rounded Great Dane. Just like their name, they can be great pets with proper training and care.

7.      Rhodesian Ridgeback

A breed that was produced to hunt lions, there’s no doubt that Rhodesian Ridgebacks are fearless guard dogs. They are always alert and watchful for any intruder that may try to break into your apartment.

This large dog has a confident stature which will surely make someone think twice before walking through the door. And as a hunting dog, they have a refined prey drive, though they are not intense barkers.

Surprisingly, this breed is tolerant of kids, but they can be a little snappy to pinchy toddlers. Also, if you want to raise a Rhodesian Ridgeback with other dogs, you have to introduce them to the pack as early as possible.

If trained well, this breed will become loyal companions and fierce guards. Still, they require a firm and experienced owner to stay disciplined.

In addition, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are smart, but they can be challenging to train given their hard-wired hunting instincts. However, once you earn the loyalty of this breed, they will fight tooth and nail for your family.

8.      Shar-Pei

Shar-Pei dogs may look goofy at first glance, but this breed has a brave personality that makes an excellent guard dog. In fact, they spent their early years hunting, herding, and chasing livestock.

But even if they are hunting dogs, they don’t have an intense energy level. They are also serious type and are rarely interested in playing.

However, since they are used to the high-octane task of chasing, they aren’t advisable for households with small kids and other dogs. Also, they need an experienced owner that can train and raise them well.

Even if the Shar-Pei dog looks relaxed most of the time, they will be alert once a stranger steps into the door. You’ll surely know that someone’s at your door with this dog’s loud and incessant barking.

If you are to train a Shar-Pei, you need a strong will to defy their stubbornness and determination to do things their way.

9.      Rottweiler

As one of the BSL-considered “dangerous dog breeds”, Rottweilers have the personality and build of a guard dog. Their stance is enough for an intruder to reassess his or her pursuits. Together in the ranks of Doberman Pinschers, these dogs have a bellowing growl and a defensive attitude when it comes to suspicious people.

Even before German Shepherds became the quintessential police dogs, Rottweilers were the first breeds tapped for the job. Their history of working as herding dogs gave them a fearless attitude, but one that doesn’t cross the line.

Although Rottweilers are stereotyped as aggressive and vicious, they can be lovable pets if raised well. In fact, they can affectionate to kids and strangers if raised as such.

Moreover, Rottweilers are intelligent and easy to train. However, they can be distracted by their tendency to play.

Most of all, early and continuous socialization is needed for this breed to grow as a discipline canine.

10.  German Shepherd

Famous as a service dog, German Shepherds can do almost any task imaginable for working canines. They can sniff bombs, assist PWDs, and become reliable guard dogs.

German Shepherds has the friendliness of a Golden Retriever and the alertness of a Rottweiler. They are gentle, but suspicious of strangers and people they deem threatening to their families.

As one of the most intelligent dogs, it’s a joy to train German Shepherds. They can also thrive in apartment living if given enough physical and mental stimulation.

Also, note that this breed sheds a lot, but it doesn’t drool.

As a watchdog, German Shepherds shouldn’t be chained or tethered inside the house. They should be kept busy with mind-stimulating games and tasks. If not playing, they love being outdoors and bonding with their families.

Although German Shepherds are gentle dogs, they need a firm owner to unleash their full potential as a guard dog. If you get to train this breed as a guard dog, it will be dedicated and it will never leave its post.

Wrapping Up

If you’re looking for the best guard dog for apartment life, you should consider the dog’s temperament, traits, and predisposition. All of these factors will affect how effective they are for the job.

Also, not all guard dogs will thrive in an apartment setup. So when getting a canine to watch over your unit, make sure that they can thrive without a large yard to run to. Pair it with training and you should have a dedicated furry guard at your doorstep.

What do you think of these dog breeds? Do you own one? Share it with us in the comment section!

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