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Best guard breed under 50lbs.

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Best guard breed under 50lbs.
  • Just curious to see everyone's opinion on what breed they consider to be the most efficient guard dog under 50lbs. besides a APBT. I vote the standard schnauzer as a good contender. Big Smile

  • Well, I don't think an ABPT is worth much as a guard dog. They shouldn't be!

    An aussie might be a decent watch dog, and some small breeds are great as "alert dogs." Never underestimate the moxie of a smallish shepherd mix.

    I guess a lot depends on what the definition of guard dog is. Something that will protect its property with force? Something that will put up a scary display? Something that will let you know about strange sounds?  

  • I agree, how do you define guardian dog?  My livestock guardian's main task is to bond with the stock and ensure their safety, mainly by  warning off intruders without force, or simply territorial displays.

    English shepherds are selected for stock/territorial attentiveness and will act very much like an LGD if bred correctly.  I'd put them right up there if that's what you meant, maybe number one.  They have all the instincts of a literal barnyard and livestock guardian, in a relatively compact body.  They are also great "kid's dogs", being the direct descendants of the real Lassie-Come-Home of the book.

    Spanish Water Dogs are another breed that is bred in exactly the same way.  SWDs also add the fun of water retrieval to the lineup of multiple purposes.  They are a little less kid-friendly and have to be heavily socialized with strangers, and carefully trained to accept your authority on territorial matters, much like you'd do with a larger guardian breed that you didn't want tearing up every new person. 


  • I was wondering if you meant Guardian or Protection?  Usually a Guardian Breed is a livestock guarding breed...while protection dogs are for personal protection.

     Of all the Guardian breeds I have seen I have seen more farms use tyhe Pyranees down here...and thats certainly not under fifty pounds O.o  But they seem to be very popular in VA.

     For personal protection?  I tend to think alot of the dogs in the herding group would serve - Dutch Shepherds are typically small, Malinois...and actually...I've seen some interesting things done with an Australian Kelpie - which is a breed I would LOVE to play with in the future.


  • I've seen some damn scrappy ACDs that I wouldn't mess with! 

  • Sorry for not being specific, I was refering to a dog for protection. A dog that would physically defend its owner in a crisis situation. Although I can never imagine putting my boy in harm's way. I'll be protecting him instead! Super Angry and yes, I've seen some scrappy ACD's that looks as they can take on mastiffs!

  • I'd still say ACDs.  GSDs, Mals, Dutch Sheps, Dobes...all seem over your weight limit, but I've seen a good number of ACDs in Schutzhund so I would think that some possess the right courage and drives.  But also keep in mind, personal protection training is different than Schutzhund. 

  •  I think alot of the terrier breeds might fit the bill, but I don't  know how much serious protection a dog under 50 lbs would provide.  The protection competitions I've seen on tv seem to require a dog to bite and hold or at least provide a physical presence that could deter a large male person.  I think that would require some weight behind the bite.  Who knows. 

    My airedale was about 60 lbs once he was grown and he was an excellent "watch dog" if you will.  He'd patrol the house if he heard any noises and would bark but was still friendly with strangers and children.  I don't doubt if someone attacked me when we were out, he'd defend me.  

    I think with the right training, like schutzhund, any dog can be a good defender.  But, it's that training that is key, alot of training and alot of reinforcement and repetition would be necessary to keep the dog from becoming a menace in the wrong hands. 

  • I'd certainly watch my step around a Kerry Blue if I were a prowler. They are A LOT of dog! Ditto the Chow Chow. Adding...the Shar Pei.

  • I'd second the Shar-pei definitely.  They are generally in the 50lb range and can generally scare anyone away by just being present. My family had one when I was younger, and we took him with us everywhere.  He definitely made us feel safe.  He was a big sweetheart with us, but with people he didn't know he was very wary and always kept an eye on them.  If people came up to talk to us, he would always be inbetween them and us, just watching.  Excellent boy, and I miss him, though its hard to find a good shar-pei now...  Sad 

     Standard schnauzers....maybe...lol!  Depends on where they come from.  A lot of the schnauzers I see (that includes all sizes, even the giants!) seem to have lost their "driviness".  I see more and more schnauzers that are very insecure and have come to the point of fearbiting.  And that's just the ones that come in the clinic for treatment or boarding.  I'm sure there are dogs that are out there that could still do the job, though.  I know there are still giants that compete in schutzhund, though they aren't to prevalent. 

    I'd like a bull terrier if I were looking for something smaller that could provide some security.  They will definitely make someone think twice, even if they are smaller.  I know they can get over 50 lbs, but even the little mini guys would pack a punch!   

  •  Emma is super guardy. She's put "the force" behind it, before, and the results were rather ugly. I've actually done a lot of work to calm that down, but if it comes down to it, I know she'd do it, again. I actually had signed up for a Schutzhund class with her, but decided it was a bad idea (well, the vet decided.... her joints has issues). I thought it might be good for her to learn to control herself around all of that, but... it might have been a disaster. I think it's better that we didn't go.


    I'd wet my pants if I ran into a quiet, growling Kerry Blue in the dark! LOL Those dogs are TOUGH! 

  •  The Belgian breeds come to mind for sure and they come in four varities so you have options in looks. My Belgian girls are all between 40 - 50lbs and my male is about 55lbs, so it wouldn't be hard to find one in your size range. www.belgians.com

      I agree ACDs are another good option - tuff little dogs!

     Keep in mind though that physically protecting the owner is often something that is generally developed through training, even in dogs with the ability/temperament for it. Most untrained dogs won't physically protect you in a threatening situation.

  • eh, i don't think APBTs are good guard dogs. I think some female dobes can be a little less than 50 lbs, but usually more. Same thing with mals or dutchies. If i were an intruder i would be more intimidated by a lean, quick dog (like a mal or a dobe) rather than a bigger slower dog, like a mastiff.

  • My mali is 50 pounds.  And yes, I'd think twice about breaking into anything that had a mali in it.

  • A good ACD or mix thereof would be my pick for a good protection dog that's under 50lbs as a breed.  They have the natural suspicion, but unlike Chows and Shar Pei, I think they are pretty good about sizing up "good" vs. "bad" - the Chows and Sharpeis I've met that had any guarding personality were not all that friendly to people in general, whereas the guardy ACDs I know (and the ACD/BC mix I have) tend to be good character judges. :)