Top 35 Worst Guard Dog Breeds


If you are looking for the best dog for home security to scare away intruders, you can’t just get any breed. Some of them can actually be the worst guard dog breeds you'll ever get!

Oftentimes, people think that any large breed will do when it comes to finding the perfect watchdog.

The fact is, some large breeds don't have an intimidating bone in their body, while some medium-sized and even lapdogs will make the best small guard dogs.

Finding the right guard dog isn't just about getting scary dog breeds. You need a protective dog breed that is alert and will bark at the sound of intruders.

You also need a breed that isn't overly friendly. The last thing you want is for your big, scary watchdog to turn into a tail-wagging, licking, happy-go-lucky love machine the minute someone walks through your front door.

Some canines that are intimidating in appearance will only slow down an intruder by begging for love.

But don’t worry, we've got you covered! Keep reading to find out the worst guard dog breeds.

OPPOSITE: 14 Best Watch Dogs & Breeds That Are Good Guard Dogs

35 Worst Guard Dog Breeds

Worst Breeds for Guard Dogs

Worst Large Guard Dog Breeds

Don’t think that just because you have a large dog, you are all set for security.

Some breeds are just too friendly and playful to throw their weight around in an aggressive way.

Surely, the breeds in this section will come as a surprise to most people!

Great Dane (Harlequin, Blue, etc.)

Pictured above, the Great Dane is certainly an intimidating dog in appearance.

However, this breed is loving and loyal. These pooches will get along with anything. Great Danes are known to be patient and kind.

Active and playful, they fit right in with the active family that is always on the go. Just remember, the bigger the dog, the more planning has to go into traveling.

Also, everything is more expensive when you have one of these fur babies to provide for.

Great Pyrenees as Worst Breeds for Guard DogsGreat Pyrenees

These beautiful dogs are as strong and steadfast as the mountains they are named after. 

These dogs are just gorgeous, with a white fluffy coat and soulful brown eyes. 

Gentle and loving, this is one large breed that is great with children

The Great Pyrenees does well in warm and cold climates, preferring the cold. 

These energetic pups need an active family who will make them feel useful by teaching them some tricks.

Irish Wolfhound as Worst Breeds for Guard DogsIrish Wolfhound

Known as the “Greyhounds of Ireland”, these dogs are strong and fast.

Very friendly, Irish Wolfhounds get along with everything and everyone.

While someone may not want to risk a meeting with these large pooches, they are actually affectionate to even strangers.

To top off that glowing description, these canines are intelligent and easy to train as well.

Leonberger as the Worst Breeds for Guard DogsLeonberger

A breed created from several other breeds including Saint Bernard, this large dog is not very well known.

Affectionate and playful, this dog is great for kids.

These active fur babies enjoy being part of the family and want to do what you do.

Leonbergers are curious, bringing much entertainment to their owners.

While they were bred to be working animals, they are more social adventurers than cart pullers.

Newfoundland as Worst Breeds for Guard DogsNewfoundland

Powerful and muscular, these pets make any activity look effortless. 

The “Newfie” can be trimmed in the summer to help it bear the heat. 

Patient and kind, these furry family members actually prefer the company of children. A great family dog, these loving animals are very social and friendly. 

Easy to train, these pups want nothing more than to please their human.

Saint Bernard as Worst Breeds for Guard DogsSaint Bernard

These pups were made by the monks of Saint Bernard to rescue stranded travelers, so they have an outgoing personality to match up to the task.

An affectionate breed, Saint Bernard is great for homes with kids and other pets.

Saints are a tad lazy, and they don’t need a lot of exercises. Even still, they need playtime and room to stretch out a couple of times a day.

RECOMMENDED: How to Train an Apartment Guard Dog

Medium Breeds Worst for Guarding

Worst Medium Guard Dog Breeds

The compact, mid-size breeds are very popular – not too big, and not too small.

Many owners feel like they get the best of both worlds, but in guarding, that may not be true.

While these breeds may be big enough to scare away intruders, their personalities are friendly and welcoming.

Australian Shepherd

Like most breeds, this is one from the working dog class.

In recent times, their friendly, playful disposition has made them popular companion animals. Like most shepherds, they are intelligent and take to training easily.

As you can see from the photo above, Aussies have beautiful coats.

If you are thinking of bringing home one of these furry family members, it must be known that they shed quite a bit.

Also, due to their double coat, they cannot be clipped short.

Basset Hound

Basset Hound

Calm and low-key, the Basset Hound loves to just lie around and take it easy. 

These lazy dogs are great for first-time owners, and the ones who are lazy trainers. 

Extremely friendly, you will never have to worry about aggressiveness in this pooch. 

Just make sure you monitor snacks and meals. These babies can really pack on the pounds which makes them susceptible to joint problems.

Bernese Mountain DogBernese Mountain Dog

This Swiss breed is tough. They are very intelligent, which makes them easy to train.

These good-natured dogs are calm and won’t spook easily.

Hardy and healthy, the Bernese is a great choice for the outdoor adventurer. This canine is friendly and outgoing.

This mountain dog is bred for colder climes and should not live in hot climates.


While muscular and intimidating in appearance, this is actually a very friendly breed. 

Boxers do great with kids, company, and strangers. 

These happy pups are even good with other dogs; however, they may not like cats and other “prey” animals. 

Active and energetic, make sure you are up to this canine’s exercise needs. As with other breeds that love “prey”, you will need a sturdy fence and leash.

Collie as Worst Breeds for Guard DogsCollie

Also known as the Shetland Sheepdog, these pups are sensitive to their owner's needs and are very intelligent.

For these reasons, they are easy to train and remain calm in many situations.

These devoted pooches are gentle and loving to all they meet.

Collies are hunting dogs that still love to bark and howl. They will need the training to curb this desire.

English Bulldog as Worst Breeds for Guard Dogs

English Bulldog

These stout, large dogs want nothing more than to be your next lap dog. 

Friendly and lovable, English Bulldogs do well with kids and other animals. 

They are not very clingy, so they do better with alone time than some other breeds. 

Not very active, these pooches don’t need a lot of exercises. 

While these dogs don’t do well in the outdoors, that makes them great for apartment living.

English Foxhound as Worst Breeds for Guard DogsEnglish Foxhound

If you want a dog that loves to play and is great with other dogs and kids, then this is the breed for you.

The English Foxhound loves new experiences that satisfy his mental and social needs.

Like many hounds, this dog will chase a scent in a heartbeat. Make sure you keep your hound dog on a sturdy leash or in a kennel when traveling, and have a tall, sturdy fence.

Golden Retriever as Worst Breeds for Guard DogsGolden Retriever

One of the most popular breeds in America, these loving dogs are loyal and easy to train.

Social and friendly, they are a friend with everyone they meet.

Energetic pooches, Golden Retrievers are best suited for the active, outdoorsy family.

They especially love water and mud holes. While these dogs love to assist in hunting and other outdoor activities, they cannot assist in guarding your home.

Irish SetterIrish Setter

Sweet-natured and outgoing, you will be hard-pressed to find a friendlier dog than the Irish Setter – unless you are a furry animal. 

This furry family member still retains a high “prey” drive and will give chase to anything that runs. You will need a good fence if you own one of these pups. 

Another plus in their corner is that they are intelligent and easy to train.

Labrador Retrievers as Worst Breeds for Guard DogsLabrador Retrievers

Labs are one of the friendliest dog breeds you will ever meet. They are also highly intelligent and love to please. 

For this reason, they are easy to train. 

Not only do Labradors learn the basics, but they can also be taught to retrieve things, along with several other useful tricks. 

While the Lab does have short hair, they shed more than some other breeds.

Standard Poodle as Worst Breeds for Guard DogsStandard Poodle

This breed is friendly with other pets, strangers, and kids.

The intelligence of the poodle makes them very adaptable and easy to train.

These healthy dogs are also healthy for you. They shed very little and are considered to be hypoallergenic.

Just make sure you are up to the task of grooming it yourself or bringing it to a groomer.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsVizsla

Vizslas are active, family dogs. This hunting breed can keep up with those family hiking trips and trips to the beach. 

These canines are extremely friendly with people, other dogs, and other animal types. 

A clean breed, this dog will never smell like a dog. 

Like a lot of active breeds, they need something to keep them busy if they are left alone – like a puzzle treat box.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsWhippet

These dogs are fast and agile. A friendly and social breed, Whippets are great at meeting new people.

These pups are a smaller breed that can still keep up with an active family on the go.

While these dogs need lots of exercise, they are considered “barkless dogs”. It just may be the perfect trade-off for you.

With short, sleek hair, they are also easy to keep clean.

Worst Breeds for Guard Dogs

Worst Small Guard Dog Breeds

I know most people would never consider a small dog as a guard dog, but we don’t have the term “ankle biter” for no reason.

There are a few small breeds that can make excellent watchdogs, especially for homes with limited space and little outdoor access.

Unfortunately, these breeds don't fit into that category.


As pictured above, this breed is more tolerant of temperature changes than other smaller dogs.

They are healthy dogs. Their agility and obedience make them great for active travel like hiking or camping.

The Affenpinscher is also a “barkless” dog, so don’t count on them to scare off any intruders.

Their low-shed, short-haired coat is also hypoallergenic.

These little dogs are independent and need an experienced trainer.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsBeagle

The Beagle is a playful breed that loves discovering and exercising. These small dogs still pack a punch.

Bred to be hunting dogs, Beagles are up for almost anything.
These short hair dogs are easy to keep clean, too.

While they will bark and howl, they will not do anything else to deter a criminal.

In fact, these noisy pups will need the training to curb their desire to make noise.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsBoston Terrier

This breed is American-made. Boston Terriers are cute and lovable.

They do great with kids, strangers, neighbors, other dogs, and cats. They really just need a friend.

As with a lot of terriers, these “tuxedo” dogs are energetic.

They need plenty of exercise and things to do to be happy and healthy.

If leaving these fur babies alone, make sure they have an interesting toy to play with.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsBrussels Griffon

Clever and happy, the Brussels Griffon makes a great travel companion.

They are eager to please and train easily. Their friendliness with other pets, kids, and strangers will be prized when you take them on outings.

These fur babies love being the center of attention and will be happy to follow you anywhere you go.

While their cleverness is cute, they can be destructive when bored.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsCavalier King Charles Spaniel

These little pups just love people. In fact, they become depressed if left alone for too long.

Sensitive and intelligent, this breed is great for first-time dog owners.

They also have a slightly lower energy level than a lot of other small breeds.

These good-looking canines are also pretty easy to groom. Their long hair needs no more than an occasional combing to decrease shedding.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsCoton de Tulear

A happy, healthy breed, this dog hails from the royal family of Madagascar. 

These fur babies are friendly, charming, and happy, just as any good lap dog should be. 

Their name comes from their coat which is as soft as cotton. 

Dogs in this breed also do not shed, but they do need quite a bit of grooming as their white hair can become stained.

Glen of Imaal Terrier

Glen of Imaal Terrier

These gentle dogs are friendly and happy–a great combination that means they usually won’t hurt anyone.

The Glen is curious and intelligent making him easy to train.

Strong and energetic, these small dogs can keep up with an active owner.

While they love humans, these fur babies may not like other animals. They will need socialization training when young to prepare them for other pets.

Italian GreyhoundItalian Greyhound

If you are a runner, hiker, or sight-seer, this breed is for you. They are agile and athletic.

Quiet and polite, this pup is great for traveling.

The breed also needs very little maintenance and grooming. Italian Greyhounds are another friendly, low-shed breed.

These fur babies get very attached to their owners and do not like being left alone.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsMiniature Schnauzer

Anyone who owns one of these dogs can tell you that they are a lot of fun.

Personality abounds in these friendly dogs. Not only are they friendly and happy, but they are obedient and intelligent.

These pups also tolerate alone time extremely well. They are independent and self-entertaining.

While they will need regular grooming, they shed very little.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsPapillon

This lively animal is descended from one of the oldest toy breeds in the world. 

Seven hundred years of breeding has turned it into one happy lapdog – not a guard dog. 

Like all small dogs, this fur baby needs to be heavily supervised. One fall could seriously injure its fragile body. 

These pooches do not like to be alone. They need almost constant human companionship to be healthy and happy.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsPembroke Welsh Corgi

While it is true that the friendly Welsh Corgi would never be a guard dog, it is alert and may make a decent watchdog.

These sturdy beings do well in all sorts of weather, in all sorts of housing types, and in all sorts of living situations.

While they are friendly with people, they may not like other animals in the house.

With a high shed amount, it is best to have hard floors if you have one of these pooches.

Worst Breeds for Guard Dogs


The Pug is a mischievous breed that provides hours of entertainment to its companions.

Unfortunately, these affectionate dogs are susceptible to a lot of health problems.

Their facial structure can cause breathing problems, and they are prone to overheating and arthritis.

Make sure that the parents of the Pug you are considering for your home are healthy.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsScottish Terrier

A breed of many names, a Scottish Terrier is also known as a “Scottie” and an Aberdeen Terrier.

Just like its cartoon counterpart in “The Lady and the Tramp”, these pint-size fur babies are brave and confident.

They very much have the spirited good nature of the highlands.

So while they are friendly and intelligent, they are hard to train. These pups feel their way of doing things is always the right way.

RELATED: 17 Small Dog Breeds That Are Good with Kids

Worst Breeds for Guard Dogs

Shih Tzu

Most little dogs have the reputation for being hyper and loud, but nothing could be farther from the truth for the Shih Tzu.

These little dogs are calm, and they have little desire to bark.

While they are lapdogs, they are affectionate and kind to new people and animals.

This breed was bred to be a lap dog and they excel at it. These pups are not built for too much exercise and temperature changes.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsSkye Terrier

These little cuties are another breed that has lower energy amounts and exercise needs.

These courageous dogs are friendly and good-tempered. They are strong-minded but friendly with strangers, making them great for going to new places.

Skye Terriers also do extremely well in temperature extremes. A stubborn and self-willed dog, these pooches need a strong, experienced trainer.

Worst Breeds for Guard DogsToy Poodle

These little dogs have the size and the smarts to make them very coveted little pups. 

This breed is friendly with other pets, strangers, and kids. 

The intelligence of the poodle makes them very adaptable and easy to train. 

Toy poodles also shed very little, which will be a blessing to any allergy sufferers. Although, if the hair is not kept short, your furball will require extensive grooming.

FAQs on Worst Guard Dog Breeds

What is the number 1 best guard dog?

The most protective dog breed is the German Shepherd.

They are smart and intuitive and are quick to learn commands. German Shepherds are also fearless and confident, making them one of the best protection dogs out there.

No wonder they are a favorite companion dog breed in the police force.

Are female dogs more protective?

In truth, sex doesn't play that much role in determining a dog's protective behaviors.

A dog's protective nature has something to do more with its breed, personality, and temperament–not its size, sex, or appearance.

Also, whether a dog is spayed or neutered also plays a big role in its protectiveness. Unaltered dogs will display more aggression towards others than spayed or neutered ones.

How do you know if your dog would protect you?

Just by walking in a dog park where they will meet strangers, you would know if your dog will protect you or not.

If they start stressing out or growling at everyone who approaches you, especially those who display threatening behavior, then your dog is most likely ready to protect you.

However, the best way to test this is by bringing your dog to a certified animal behaviorist. You can also get additional insights on how best to manage your dog when he gets too scary.

Worst Guard Dog Breeds – Final Thoughts

As you may have realized by now, not all dogs can be good guard dogs for the family. In fact, even some of the large ones could be the worst guard dog breeds you can get!

This only means that guard dog breeds shouldn't be defined by their size and appearance but by their nature and temperament.

But if you already have the friendliest guard dogs mentioned above, it's still a win for you, don't worry. They may not be the most protective dog breeds, but their sweet and friendly nature is definitely a plus for you and your family.

Alternatively, if you want to know which breeds are the best guard dogs you can get, check out our article on the 14 Best Watch Dogs & Breeds That Are Good Guard Dogs.

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The 35 Worst Guard Dog Breeds

James has been a certified veterinary technician for the last 8 years in Birmingham, UK. After working with many dogs, he's changed his focus to writing, building businesses and researching subjects on canines and products created for dogs.