Best Guard Dog For First Time Owner

Feeling safe and protected ranks among some primary reasons people may introduce a dog into their family. And though dogs are adorably loyal and loving creatures who become treasured family members, it’s important to understand their characteristics.

In our eyes, there’s no such thing as a “perfect” guard dog breed. Yes, some breeds are better at specific tasks than others, but there’s no rule book stating you must have just one specific breed of guard dog.

However, with so many breeds out there to choose from, it can be difficult trying to figure out which direction to turn in order to find the perfect addition to your household. Especially if you’re a first time dog owner. 

But have no fear! We’re here to lend a hand, and to help you find the perfect pooch to keep you and your loved ones safe.

The Characteristics Of A Good Guard Dog

There isn’t one specific dog breed that should be used for guard dog purposes. 

A good guard dog should be able to balance family life with his or her protective roles and responsibilities. Yes, we know that dogs aren’t actively aware of the fact they’re protecting their family, but they should be able to separate their neediness from their protective tendencies.

In this instance, you may believe that the best guard dogs are those that are physically intimidating (in terms of their size and build) – with the ability to eradicate potential threats as they arise. However, size isn’t everything! Though a larger dog will be more physically threatening to those putting you in danger, small dogs shouldn’t be ruled out.

Do Guard Dogs Have To Be Big? 

No, guard dogs don’t have to be big! Small dog breeds can be just as effective, especially if they have a loud (or very high pitched) bark. As long as your pooch is protective, wary of strangers and confident around others – you’re good to go!

Our Top Picks For First Time Owners

Training a dog can be nerve-wracking and intimidating at the best of times. However, it can be especially daunting if you’re a first time dog owner with little to no experience in training dogs. Thankfully, there are many reliable online resources available to help guide you through the process. Plus, you could even consult official dog training classes, so they can steer you in the right direction.

Below, we’ve ranked our top picks for the best guard dogs for first time owners. We’ve included a variety of breeds and sizes to show that being a good guard dog isn’t just about physicality.

Doberman Pinscher 

The Doberman is quite a popular choice of dog breed in general. That being said, they definitely make for one of the best guard dog breeds for first-time owners. Granted this is quite a bold statement to make, but this breed truly is something special. 

To begin with, the Doberman is a people-oriented dog breed, primarily because they are affectionate and sweet (as long as they have received the right kind of training, of course). In addition, they can be attentive, protective, and loyal to those that they love. And although these particular features are seen in many other dog breeds, Doberman pinschers are special because of their intelligence and obedience.

However, this breed requires lots of time, energy, and patience in order to achieve full training, and to unlock all guard dog capabilities. This may cause issues with first time owners who aren’t entirely sure how to train a dog, but the outcome is definitely worth it!

German Shepherd

You probably assumed that this breed would surface in a list for first time owner guard dogs. Well, here they are! (And for good reason, too!)

 When bred well, the German Shepherd is a super confident and loving family dog. It’s one of the breeds that is favored by families all around the world. They are also courageous, loyal, and have great instincts which bodes well if you find yourself in a spot of trouble. They love to be active and are easy to train, making them a great choice for first time owners everywhere! 

However, if you choose to add a German Shepherd to your life, you need to prepare for lots of training as well as being able to select a well-tempered dog that fits your lifestyle. This is important as German Shepherd’s have varied temperaments. Ensuring proper training and socialization is a must with this breed.


The quintessential guard dog, these pups may look scary but have hearts of absolute gold! With an imposing physical appearance – namely a weight averaging anywhere up to 100 pounds – and a highly demanding, loud bark, a Rottweiler will immediately frighten off anyone trying to invade your home or harm your person. 

Though they are one of the most physically intimidating dog breeds, Rottweiler’s are also one of the best and most loyal guard dog breeds you’ll ever find. They are fearless and strong to a fault, but can also be super loving if they are showered with the right kind of attention. In return for your love and training, this breed will protect you with all they have if there’s a need for it. 

Rottweilers can also be very impulsive. But if this arises, you must keep in mind that dogs cannot differentiate between situations, and they may often react negatively to a non-threatening event if they believe you’re being threatened. That’s why it’s really important to train your dog properly, especially one as large as the Rottweiler!

Again, you should consult a professional dog trainer if you have any questions or concerns to ensure your pet is getting the best possible care.


And now we move onto the smaller dog breeds!

Chihuahuas are actually the smallest on our guard dog list, weighing a measly six pounds on average. They don’t take to cold weather very well, so we’d recommend investing in a high-quality dog bed to soothe them when they require it most.

This breed is known for their ankle biting, steadfast loyalty, and their feisty yet highly animated nature. These small but mighty pets despise being put into unfamiliar situations and can become quite aggressive if the situation arises. And while these may be seen as negative qualities, the tiny warriors will always let you know when danger is near.

Chihuahuas are also known for being fearless; having the ability to face humans and other animals that are many times their actual size. 

With all things considered, this breed definitely has what it takes to be a great guard dog. Especially for the older generation who may not be able to physically cope with the demands of a larger dog. Overall, Chihuahua’s are actually a great choice for all first time owners as they’re easy to walk, constantly alert, and are small enough to clean up after without being inconvenienced.

Jack Russell

There are many reasons why Jack Russell’s make ideal guard dogs for first time owners. But don’t be fooled by their cute looks and small stature! Jack Russell’s are energetic by nature but can be as fierce and protective as any large dog breed. 

The Jack Russell is generally a proud breed that won’t go quietly. If they’re upset or feeling forced into a situation, they’ll let you know the second they’re unhappy, and will expect you to help them in return. What’s life without a little give and take?

Besides, they’re incredibly loyal and usually build unbreakable bonds with their owners, so they can enjoy life to the fullest. This small breed is much bigger than the Chihuahua, weighing around 13–17 pounds on average.

Although their bark may not be as intimidating as larger breeds, they’ll sound off if there’s any danger, no matter how small. Plus, they are witty and intelligent – so training a Jack Russell shouldn’t be too difficult!


A good guard dog shouldn’t be defined by its size. And while it is true that larger, more naturally aggressive dogs will require more training than others, the size of your guard dog may not be as big of a deal as you may think! Instead, the most important factors you need to consider are loyalty, fierceness, confidence, and the protective instincts of your pet – so you know you can depend upon them in particular situations. 

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