10 Best Family Guard Dogs for Kids

8 minute read By Lucy Hughes
Reviewed by: Pawrade Team
September 09, 2022

A boy in a plaid shirt hugs a Saint Bernard dog

When children live in your household, you want to protect them as best you can. Ensuring their safety means childproofing the home and keeping watch over them yourself and with trusted caregivers. What better way to add an extra layer of family protection than looking for guard dogs that are family friendly

Searching for a guard dog puppy for sale requires careful examination of different breeds to see if they are right for your family while also serving as dog security. If you want a dog guarding your house, it’s important to research the best guard dog for kids. 

Guard dogs can often get a bad reputation as depicted in popular culture. People may be wary of a loud, consistent bark and an imposing appearance. However, some of the fiercest-looking dogs upon first glance are actually absolute sweethearts who are loyal, loving members of the family with a strong sense of duty to protect their people. 

Personality Traits to Look for in the Best Guard Dogs for Kids

Your guard dog will be a family dog first and foremost. Primarily, they need to fit right in with your family’s dynamics, routines, and activity level. In addition to human interaction, they must know how to get along with other dogs, both with other animals and be well-socialized when out and about. 

Knowing the specific personality traits of overprotective dog breeds will help you narrow down a list of guard dogs that are family-friendly and keep intruders at bay. Ask yourself these questions when considering a guard dog breed to keep your kids safe: 

Patience: How does the guard dog breed react to both younger and older children? 

Children bring hustle and bustle to a household. They’re energetic, loud, and active. Is the dog gentle with babies who learn proper interaction as they grow, or does a breed do better with older children who can take responsibility to interact gently? Does the breed properly respond to added children in the household during play dates or extended family gatherings?

Intelligence: Is this guard dog breed easy to train? 

While any puppy will need to follow a consistent training routine, a good guard dog for kids needs to demonstrate a spirit of obedience and quick learning. Training in a firm, consistent manner will teach a guard dog exactly what to do when protecting their family while not exhibiting aggressive behavior when it is not needed or wanted. A good guard dog must tell the difference between a family friend and foe – and when to back off at the owner’s command. 

Alertness: Does this guard dog breed notice details? 

A dog guarding a house will understand the family routine and when to recognize when something’s off. They love to “tell” the family about the mail carrier or footsteps outside the door. Barking and whining are good indicators that something is amiss for you to investigate. A good guard dog for families needs to be alert enough to concentrate while paying attention to their surroundings. 

Courage: Will your guard dog have what it takes to be brave? 

The history of dogs protecting their owners is long, spanning back to when humans first domesticated wolves. Over time, we’ve bred canines to fulfill a specific job, and certain breeds were conditioned to be fearless protectors of our homes, families, and property. A courageous breed takes its role as a guard dog and family guardian seriously. You don’t want a breed nervous around strangers, nor do you want a friendly dog to show an intruder where the valuables are. A brave, steadfast disposition showing confidence and courage makes for the best family guard dogs for kids

Our List of 10 Guard Dogs That Are Family-Friendly

One misconception of breeds have protective traits is that a guard dog must be huge. That’s simply not true! Guard dogs for families come in all shapes and sizes. If you're looking for the best guard dog breed for your family, then you should definitely consider one of these 10 breeds.

Medium-sized guard dogs for kids

While there are small guard dogs with great protection instincts, you may want to consider a medium-sized breed. Medium-sized guard dogs are big enough to scare off intruders and are quick to alert family members of any suspicious activity.

1. Australian Shepherd 

Talk about energy! The Australian Shepherd is a beloved herding dog with a high-energy drive that loves to please. They are fiercely loyal to their families and play extremely well with children. They like to bark and alert you to any perceived threats. Violence is not in their temperament, so they make great guard dogs who keep careful watch over kids without being aggressive. 

2. Appenzeller Sennenhund

While not as well-known as other guard dog breeds that are great with kids, the Swiss breed Appenzeller Sennenhunds demonstrate loyalty and agility. They’re working dogs that are great at herding and protecting the land. A bold, athletic breed, Appenzeller Sennenhunds show strong family values. 


Large guard dogs best for families with children

For many, a big dog is a no-brainer when it comes to the best way to protect the family from threats. Many of the best guard dog breeds for families with children will fall within the guardian breed category. Large guard dogs may look intimidating, but most of them are just lovable giants — making them the perfect pet for families with kids. 

3. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are considered some of the best protection dogs in the world. They are loyal and protective and make great family pets. German Shepherds are large dogs, and they can be very intimidating to strangers. They will bark at anyone who comes near your home, and they will also try to defend you if they sense that you are in danger. 

However, German Shepherds are not aggressive dogs. They are actually very gentle and loving, which makes them the best guard dog breed for families with children. If you have small children, you will need to train your German Shepherd not to jump on them or knock them over. But overall, they are very good with kids.


4. St. Bernard 

This huge, iconic breed is known for its amazing rescue abilities in the Swiss Alps. A St. Bernard will not hesitate to embody a sense of duty and sacrifice. They are easy to train and absolutely love being around kids, making them excellent for families with young children. 


5. Cane Corso, English, and Bull Mastiffs

The Mastiff family of dogs are active family defenders with keen instincts. Originally bred to guard estates against poachers and intruders, they have an imposing stature, an impressive muscular build, and a deep bark. Mastiffs’ calm, reserved temperament makes them great guard dogs for families with children. Cane Corso Mastiffs, English Mastiffs, and Bullmastiffs are all popular examples.


6. Doberman Pinscher

Many people recognize Doberman Pinschers as police and security dogs who prowl properties for intruders. An intimidating bark and stature deter most people; however, they are exceedingly intelligent and should be firmly trained alongside children. Because they are extremely loyal, they will see kids as cherished members of the pack and be their fierce defenders.


7. Rottweiler

Rottweilers are one of the best guard dog breeds due to their instinctual nature to defend and protect. They’re also known for their powerful aggression, intelligence, and fearlessness. With proper training, a Rottweiler will show gentleness and tenderness toward children and be good playmates. Rottweilers are fantastic nanny dogs for a family looking for a good guard dog for children. 

Best hypoallergenic guard dogs for children

If your child or anyone in your household is prone to allergies, a hypoallergenic guard dog would be a great choice for you! An allergy to dogs happens when a person’s immune system reacts to proteins found in dog dander that are normally harmless. Breeds have different types of dander present in fur, saliva, and body fluids, so you or your kids can be more allergic to some guard dog breeds than others. 

A hypoallergenic guard dog good with kids offers all the protection without sneezing, wheezing, and itchy eyes due to dander in drool and hair getting everywhere. While no dog is completely free of allergens, these breeds are better suited for people with allergies. If you're looking for a guard dog that is both hypoallergenic and good with children, then you should definitely consider one of these breeds.

8. Standard Schnauzer

A Standard Schnauzer makes an excellent hypoallergenic family guard dog. Recognizable by their cute beards, they weigh 30-45 pounds and stand 18 inches tall. Their thick, wiry coat of hair doesn’t shed, and they don’t produce allergens because they hardly ever drool. A Standard Schnauzer is very territorial while being naturally protective of young children. 

9. Airedale Terrier

With their precious faces and furry coats, the Airedale Terrier is appealing to families with kids. Although their wiry coats do minimally shed, they do not produce as much dander or drool as other family-friendly guard dog breeds. As the largest of the Terrier family, an Airedale Terrier is a loud, tough, active dog with lots of energy to keep the family safe. 


10. Poodle

Most people might not think of a Poodle when they think of a typical guard dog that protects children, but they can make excellent overprotective dogs. A Poodle does not shed or drool at all, making them a great choice for kids with allergies. Poodles have an incredible sense of hearing and can alert their owners to the first sign of danger. Their calm disposition and sense of loyalty pair well with children. It’s no surprise that their intelligent, helpful nature makes this breed suitable for service work. 

Pawrade Has the Best Family Guard Dogs For Your Kids 

When looking for guard dogs that are family-friendly, our compilation of the 10 best family guard dogs for kids will help you choose the right one for you. Pawrade offers an excellent selection of guard dog puppies for sale. We facilitate a safe, fraud-free, and humane puppy-first adoption approach. We are committed to connecting families and individuals with pre-screened breeders that are loving, attentive, and compassionate. Let us help you find the best family guard dog!


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Lucy Hughes

Lucy Hughes has been teaching and writing professionally for half her life. She has a passion for helping people choose a puppy and lead an exciting life with their new furry companion. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and her beloved Golden Retriever, Bowie.

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