9 Best Guard Dogs for Kids (2023) – Friendly but Protective Breeds!

Many times, kids and guard dogs don’t mix. The defensive nature of a guard dog could pose harm to the youngster. The key here is finding the best guard dogs for kids that are aloof of strangers but affectionate to their families.

Still, you should remember that it’s not safe to let an infant mingle with any dog unsupervised. If you’re planning to get a guard dog for the family, it’s best to wait until your child is older and can understand the limitations of interacting with a canine. Rigorous training is also crucial to ensure that your guard dog will not turn against your child.

Below, I listed 10 dog breeds that could be great guard dogs for your young family. Again, each dog is different and so are your family’s needs.

10 Best Guard Dogs For Kids

1. German Shepherd

best guard dogs for kids

When it comes to the best guard dogs for kids, your best pick would be a German Shepherd. This pooch is lauded for its intelligence, loyalty, and courage. They can be affectionate to their families but wary of strangers.

GSD, as they are sometimes called, are bred to be working dogs. They always need something to do or they will get bored and destructive. In this case, they will become an excellent guard dog for your kids and family.

However, you should know that German Shepherds don’t always get along with a multi-canine household. They are also suitable for homes with an open yard since GSDs are athletic and energetic canines that need lots of exercise. Also, this pooch is large and sheds a lot, which can be a downer for some aspiring owners.

Aside from that, German Shepherds are listed as herding dogs under the AKC classification. Herding dogs are tasked to gather and protect livestock. When domesticated, these dogs will often exhibit this behavior to their family members.

Lifespan: Up to 14 years
Weight: Up to 95 pounds
Height: Up to 2’2” tall

2. Bullmastiff

best guard dogs for kids

Bullmastiffs have an intimidating look that will surely make an intruder think twice. But despite their bulky size and scary look, these doggos are the sweetest. Just don’t let anyone know about it or your dog’s disguise will be revealed.

The Bullmastiff breed is a massive working dog. They are standoffish toward strangers but they always have a big heart for the people they love. Also, they are called the ‘silent watchdogs’ because they don’t bark crazily, but they will surely step in when their family is in danger.

However, Bullmastiffs aren’t for first-time dog owners. This breed is high-maintenance and can be a challenge to train due to their large size. Still, their ability to get along with other pets make them an attractive option for families looking for guard dogs.

In terms of energy level, Bullmastiffs are easy to handle. They are playful, which is something kids would enjoy. Despite that, training is still necessary because this stocky doggo can topple a child out of excitement.

 Lifespan: Up to 10 years
Weight: Up to 130 pounds
Height: Up to 27” tall

3. Doberman Pinscher

best guard dogs for kids

Doberman Pinschers have been portrayed as the antagonist in the canine world. Their stern appearance, alert ears, and serious look are enough to drive away a stranger. But behind their appearance, Dobies are affectionate to their masters. They also make great guard dogs for older children.

Moreover, Dobermans are originally bred as guard dogs. They join the ranks of Rottweilers and German Pinschers. With this, Dobies have athletic bodies, scary bark, and aloofness to strangers.

If you’re planning to get a Doberman Pinscher, make sure that you will raise them as a lone pet. They don’t like other dogs and their guarding instincts may become dangerous for small pets like hamsters and guinea pigs.

Also, Dobies will assume the alpha role if their handler isn’t consistent and weak. You shouldn’t leave them alone, too, because they can develop negative behavior. Rigorous training and socialization are also important for this doggo.

Due to the stereotypes about Doberman Pinschers, this breed is highly feared by many intruders. And why not, this pooch can give a good chase and bite to any burglar that may try to break in.

Lifespan: Up to 13 years
Weight: Up to 80 pounds
Height: Up to 28” tall

4. Rottweiler

best guard dogs for kids

Rottweilers are popular because of their scary appearance and excellent guarding abilities. This dog will not back down in the face of harm. They will chase, bark, and bite an intruder who will try to harm their families.

On the flipside, Rottweilers are affectionate canines. They are surprisingly fond of kids and will be their protector for life. However, Rotties are best raised in a household with no other canines because they are standoffish toward other pets.

In terms of maintenance, Rotties aren’t the easiest. They drool and shed a lot. Aside from that, you should practice portion control with this breed because they are prone to obesity.

The consolation here is that Rottweilers are easy to train and unlikely to wander off. However, you will have to deal with their barking habit and intense prey drive.

If you want a Rottie as a guard dog, I suggest raising a puppy with your kids. This way, the pooch will not be aggressive toward children. You should also remain firm with the rules so your Rottweiler won’t try to take the position as the alpha. 

Lifespan: Up to 11 years
Weight: Up to 100 pounds
Height: Up to 27” tall

5. Boxer

Boxers share similarities with Bullmastiffs but in a much smaller package. This is an energetic canine with a big heart for their families.

Don’t let the appearance fool you, though. Boxers are very affectionate canines that can be raised with kids. They are friendly so be careful not to unveil their disguise to strangers.

Moreover, Boxers are suitable for apartment living despite their high energy levels. They are also easy to groom despite drooling a lot.

Take note that Boxers mature slowly and they will often act puppy-like for a few years. This behavior will suit playful kids, but make sure that you train the dog well to avoid accidents.

Some Boxer dogs may not exhibit any guarding instincts while others will be very serious about it. You can train this pooch to be more protective. The good thing is that Boxers are intelligent and very responsive to training, especially if rewarded with treats.

Lastly, Boxers aren’t outdoor dogs. This pooch can overheat easily during a hot day so it’s best to keep them in the comfort of your home for most of the day. 

Lifespan: Up to 12 years
Weight: Up to 70 pounds
Height: Up to 25” tall

6. Bernese Mountain Dog

As one of the breeds dubbed as the ‘Gentle Giants’, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a big but lovable canine. They were bred to be working dogs for farmlands, pulling carts of produce as well as herding cattle.

When domesticated, the size of a Bernese Mountain Dog will surely intimidate an intruder. They are very patient and friendly to children to the point that they let them sleep on their dense coats.

This is a very gentle canine that will not harm any stranger. With this, their guarding abilities are more visual than actually physical.

However, owning a Bernese Mountain Dog isn’t a walk in the park. This doggo is giant, and when I say giant, I mean 120 lbs. Also, they drool a lot and the shedding is just unimaginable. This is why most domesticated Bernese Mountain Dogs are raised as outdoor canines.

Berners, as they’re fondly called, can knock off small children so it’s important to train them well. You should also prepare for bigger vet bills because this breed has numerous health problems.

Lifespan: Up to 10 years
Weight: Up to 120 pounds
Height: Up to 28” tall

7. Great Pyrenees

At first glance, it’s easy to confuse the Great Pyrenees with a British Golden Retriever. They have similar facial expressions, lush coat, and size. Still, Great Pyrenees dogs are larger and their winter coat is much thicker than Goldies.

But just like a Goldie, Great Pyrenees are excellent with kids. They are affectionate but they tend to be aloof of strangers.

However, this doggo is a wanderer so it’s important to put a fence and train the canine well. They are pretty energetic, too, so don’t consider getting one if you live in an apartment.

Aside from that, the Great Pyrenees dog sheds a lot. They also love barking, howling, and chasing after a prey. If you want them to be eager guard dogs, training is very crucial. Prepare a lot of patience, though, because Pyrs aren’t easy to train because they are strong-willed.

Even though the Great Pyrenees is a large dog, they are best raised indoors. They can develop separation anxiety if kept away from their family, which will lead to destructive behavior.

Lifespan: Up to 12 years
Weight: Up to 160 pounds
Height: Up to 32” tall

8. Great Dane

Do you want a goofy guard dog for your child? A Great Dane will not disappoint. These giant clowns are a joy to have at home. They have a noble appearance, which many strangers find intimidating. But inside, Great Dane dogs are nothing but affectionate, loving, and caring pets.

Kids will love Great Danes because they are patient, playful, and always wear a funny facial expression. They are also dubbed as the ‘Apollo’ of the canine world because of their bright personality.

Due to their size and energy level, Great Danes are not apartment dogs. They can’t tolerate very hot and cold temperatures as well, so they are best kept in an indoor setting where the ventilation is controlled.

 However, you should note that Great Danes aren’t the most intelligent dogs. They are hard to train and they love barking and howling. Still, they are not much of a wanderer so that’s a consolation.

Lifespan: Up to 10 years
Weight: Up to 200 pounds
Height: Up to 34” tall

9. Saint Bernard

Another gentle giant to grace our list is Saint Bernard. This pooch might be large, but they are affectionate and easy with kids. Still, their massive size helps ward off intruders.

Most of the time, Saint Bernard dogs are raised outdoors. They require a large space where they can roam around. Saint Bernards aren’t very energetic but they are always up for some playtime. Overall, this dog’s size and gentle demeanor make them a safe choice for children.

However, Saint Bernards drool and shed a lot. They are also prone to obesity if fed freely. Also, they are not easy to train. But in terms of health, this canine is generally healthy and won’t require frequent vet visits.

Aside from that, Saint Bernard dogs don’t mature fast. They will have the puppy mentality even during their adulthood years. Also, this pooch doesn’t do well in hot places because they were bred for the temperature in the Swiss Alps.

 Lifespan: Up to 10 years
Weight: Up to 180 pounds
Height: Up to 30” tall

10. Puli

Lastly, you can consider the Puli dog. Many call this the ‘mop dog because of their coat that looks like wooly dreadlocks. Nothing scares an intruder than what looks like a rug that suddenly runs and chases!

Puli dogs are affectionate to kids and their families. They can also thrive in multi-pet households. However, they don’t like strangers and may become standoffish. Also, Puli dogs like barking, which is something you should curb during training.

Aside from that, Puli dogs thrive in apartment living, but know that they are not for first-time owners. But despite their unique coat, this pooch doesn’t shed and is very easy to maintain. Also, this pooch remains puppyish for several years so they would love to play with kids.

Lifespan: Up to 15 years
Weight: Up to 35 pounds
Height: Up to 17” tall

Final words

With the best guard dogs for kids, you will have peace of mind that your child is safe. Still, it’s important to train the canine well and to supervise your children whenever they are mingling with the dog.