A dog’s devotion to his family is beyond question. When our family loves us, we will do anything for them. That said, not all dogs are guard dogs. Some of us naturally have more protective instincts than others… not to mention a fiercer bark, sharper fangs and the strength (or tenacity) to rip a man’s arm off at the shoulder.

Let’s face it; your toy poodle can bark all he wants at an intruder, but it won’t do much to deter him. And even I admit I wouldn’t be much help to Dave when push came to shove (sorry, Dave!). But these guys? Oh yeah… we’d want them protecting our turf. And they’re awesome pets to boot!

10. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman

The doberman benefits as much from his reputation as his bite. These elegant dogs have earned notoriety as vicious attack dogs, which means anyone who sees a doberman in your yard will probably think 10 times before trying anything. In truth, dobies are loyal, lovable and extremely intelligent. If you think they don’t know the difference between a stranger and a family member, watch this doberman handle the youngest member of her family.

Photo by ERAL / CC BY

9. Chow Chow

chowchow

You wouldn’t think this giant furball that kinda makes me think of an Ewok with fangs would be a top-notch guard dog, right? But did you know that these majestic creatures were once used to guard royal residences in China? Bred for home protection, they remain alert, watchful pets who are also extremely affectionate and ridiculously cute, especially when they’re puppies. Like this guy.

Photo by Charlie Qiu / CC BY

8. Bullmastiff

bullmastiff

The name alone is enough to inspire a little fear, right? And physically, these dogs live up to it. Muscular, imposing and powerful, they’re intimidating enough to stop any would-be intruder. But the mastiff also has a very gentle disposition when it comes to his or her family. And they bring the added bonus of not barking too much (when you’re that big, it’s like the whole speak softly and carry a big stick thing). Oh, and they’re usually not this lazy.

Photo by J Sainio / CC BY