Choosing the Best Watchdog; All dogs are somewhat territorial; however, certain canine breeds make particularly good watchdogs, and will alert you by barking when a stranger or intruder is within a close distance to your home or property. Guard dogs can be sociable and loving, as well as good protectors. If you are looking for an ideal watchdog, you may wish to consider the following breeds:
The German Shepherd is favored around the world as a watchdog. This breed is highly intelligent and has a strong protective instinct toward its owners. This is likely why such dogs are often used as part of a search and rescue team and in various law enforcement departments. They are perfect for families with children, as they are non-aggressive around youngsters, provided they are properly trained from a young age.
The Staffordshire Terrier, not to be confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier, was initially bred for bear and bull fighting. Although these dogs can be somewhat aggressive with regard to strangers, they are extremely protective of their owners. They will typically bark loudly when unfamiliar individuals approach your home and will continue to do so until they are assured they have your attention. For this reason, such a dog is an ideal choice to protect a property.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a dog that is lively, alert, and clever. Because they usually distrust strangers and are very territorial, they make fantastic watchdogs. Unlike numerous dog breeds that bark at random, when a Miniature Schnauzer is barking, there is usually a good reason. Such dogs enjoy playing with children, and are highly trainable. Therefore, they are a good choice if your goal is a watchdog as well as a companion for your family.
Although perhaps not the first breed that comes to mind when you are searching for a watchdog, the Chihuahua is a good choice for this purpose. Such dogs are aggressive, protective, and devoted. Do not let their size fool you, Chihuahuas make terrific watchdogs. Because they are lightweight and small in stature, they are also a great choice for handicapped or elderly owners who may have a difficult time caring for a heavier or larger pet. They are highly suspicious of strangers and will not hesitate to bark, growl, or exhibit other aggressive behavior if they sense trouble. They are quite happy living indoors, and therefore make wonderful pets for those who reside in apartments. They are a good choice for homes without small children as well, as they sometimes become too excited when in the company of youngsters.
The Bullmastiff is a cross between the traditional Matsiff and the English Bulldog. These dogs are courageous and intensely loyal to their owners. They will defend both you and your property, and have been known to defiantly stand in the path of an intruder, refusing to allow him or her to pass. They have a natural wariness of strangers, but are sociable dogs with their own families, and do not like to spend long periods of time alone. At the first sign of an intruder, they will do everything possible to let you know something is amiss. For this reason, such dogs are perfect companions as well as ideal watchdogs.
It is always wise to weigh the pros and cons of each breed before making a final decision. However, if you choose one of the aforementioned watchdogs, you will likely be very happy with the results.