9 Best Guard Dog Breeds that Love Children and Protect Them

Guard Dogs that Love Children

Choosing a guard dog is like welcoming a new protector into your family, especially when you have kids. It’s a big step that needs careful thought. Kids and dogs often form incredible friendships, with children in dog-loving homes growing up healthier, more outgoing, and even happier. Plus, studies suggest that having a dog around can help reduce anxiety in kids.

When picking the perfect guard dog for your family, consider the dog’s size, as it can influence everything from your daily routine to the amount of living space you have. The best dog breeds for families with children are usually energetic, eager to please, and loving.

These dogs love joining in on family adventures, learning new tricks, and spending time with their human pack. It’s best to steer clear of breeds that prefer a lot of independence or those that might not enjoy the bustling energy of kids.

Let’s look at 9 amazing guard dogs that will not only keep your kids safe but will also become their best buddies.

Guard Dogs That Love Children and Protect Them

1. German Shepherd

Guard Dogs that Love Children

Getting a German Shepherd means adding a loving, smart family member who’s great with kids when raised right. They’ve been chosen over time for their loyalty and protective nature. German Shepherds are naturally protective, always alert, and ready to guard their home and family.

They’re strong and capable, so it’s important to train them properly to channel their guarding instincts effectively. Early training is crucial to teach them commands, including when to relax, which is especially useful if your home frequently welcomes guests.

A well-trained German Shepherd fits well in a family, especially if the kids know how to treat the dog respectfully. According to Mogrescue, German Shepherds are naturally protective and form tight bonds with their family. They’re incredibly loyal, so think carefully before bringing one home.

Without the right training and socialization, they could become too timid or overly assertive. German Shepherds don’t like being alone for long and thrive on having tasks to do, needing as much mental exercise as physical to stay happy and healthy.

2. Boxer

Guard Dogs that can protect Children

Boxers are fantastic family guard dogs known for their patience, love, and protective nature towards children. They enjoy playing and can keep up with your kids’ energy, making them excellent playmates. Boxers are not just playful; they’re also smart and excel in physical activities like agility sports.

Petplan notes that Boxers, thanks to their loyalty, might be cautious around strangers, yet they seldom act aggressively. Proper socialization early on is key for them to comfortably meet new people and animals. Despite their muscular frame, Boxers often see themselves as lapdogs, seeking out cozy spots right next to you for cuddles.

However, their strength and spirited personality mean younger children might find them a bit too much to handle without adult supervision. It’s important to ensure your children are ready for a lively companion like a Boxer.

Caring for a Boxer is relatively simple with their short coat, though their facial wrinkles do require some extra attention to keep them clean.

3. Great Dane

Guard Dog

Great Danes, often referred to as the “Apollo of Dogs,” are a breed that truly stands out. With their origins in Germany, their large size and noble look draw attention wherever they go. Known for their calm demeanor, Great Danes rarely show aggression, making them a popular choice among families seeking protective dogs. Their mere presence can act as a deterrent to intruders, while their deep loyalty ensures they’ll do everything to protect their loved ones.

Despite their imposing size, Great Danes are gentle giants, known for their patience and suitability as large family dogs. They enjoy lounging on the couch with their human family members, though you might need bigger furniture to fit everyone comfortably!

Great Danes have a short, easy-to-care-for coat that requires grooming roughly every week to 10 days. Proper training is essential for these excellent guard dogs to ensure they are well-behaved and sociable members of the community.

4. Bernese Mountain Dog

Guard Dog thats Love Children

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a blend of power and beauty, known for its sweet and loving nature. These dogs are calm and love nothing more than spending time with their owners, making them excellent companions for families, even those with children or other pets.

Originally bred for guarding and working on farms, Bernese Mountain Dogs are effective watchdogs. They’re protective yet not aggressive, barking to alert their family of newcomers but warming up once they feel the newcomer is welcome.

Adaptable to cold climates, their intelligence and strength were invaluable in the Swiss farmlands. A non-threatening demeanor balances their impressive size, and they treat strangers with reserved dignity until they get to know them.

According to the AKC, Bernese Mountain Dogs are indoor pets that thrive on outdoor adventures, making them perfect for active families who enjoy hiking or camping. They also love to engage in activities like cart-pulling, especially with children. Berners do shed significantly, so regular grooming is essential to manage their coat and keep them looking their best.

5. Saint Bernard

best family guard dogs

Saint Bernards, hailing from the Swiss Alps, are celebrated for their intelligence, friendliness, and historical role as the original rescue dogs along the Italian-Swiss border. These dogs combine remarkable strength, brilliant minds, and gentle souls, making them the ideal guard dogs for families. Their loyalty, affection, and unwavering protective instincts, especially towards children, make them wonderful companions, as long as you don’t mind a little drool.

Their amiable, gentle, and tolerant nature makes Saint Bernards particularly well-suited for families with respectful children. They are known for their exceptional patience, and, as the ASPCA notes, many Saint Bernards naturally take on a “babysitting” role, showing a nurturing instinct towards kids. However, it’s important to monitor their interactions with young children, as their size can inadvertently lead to them knocking over little ones.

Saint Bernards require a significant amount of care and attention from their owners, marking them as high-maintenance pets. Yet, for those willing to invest the time and effort, a Saint Bernard can be an incredibly rewarding addition to the family.

6. Bullmastiff

Guard Dogs who Loves Children

Bullmastiffs are known as gentle dogs, blending their large size with a loyal heart. These dogs cherish family time and are equipped with a natural instinct to protect, making them natural guard dogs. While they adore their families, they might be a bit reserved around new faces, so introducing them to a variety of people and situations early on is crucial.

Their calm and easy-going demeanor suits family life well, especially if the kids are respectful. Bullmastiffs aren’t big barkers, and they can fit into apartment living as long as they have access to some green space for their energy needs.

Despite their laid-back attitude at home, Bullmastiffs are quite active and need about 2 hours of exercise each day. Regular walks and chances to explore off-leash in safe areas are great for keeping them both physically and mentally stimulated.

7. Rottweiler

Guard Dogs

The Rottweiler, a breed known for its protective instincts, large size, and gentle nature, excels as a guard dog. They have a strong inclination to safeguard their families, making them perfect protectors for children and homes. Contrary to some beliefs, Rotties are calm and not inherently aggressive, even around kids, displaying a tranquility that makes them compatible with family life.

Rotties have a loving gaze for children, often becoming their devoted companions and bringing laughter with their playful antics. Their intelligence and obedience lay a solid groundwork for effective training, and their devotion means they’re eager to please and be good family members.

Despite their size, Rottweilers are relatively low maintenance. They do require regular exercise to prevent obesity and have simple grooming needs—just a quick brush once a week. Note that some Rotties may drool, especially larger males with more pronounced lips.

8. Great Pyrenees

family guard dogs

The Great Pyrenees truly live up to its grand name with an impressive stature, but it’s their calm and steadfast nature that truly makes them stand out. This dog is deeply loyal, always ready to protect its family, children, and even small animals, showcasing a protective instinct without aggression.

With a loving and gentle approach to family members, the Great Pyrenees may take a moment to warm up to new faces. They thrive when given a task, whether that’s looking after kids, guarding livestock, or any activity that allows them to serve and protect, fulfilling their need for purpose.

Children find a patient friend in the Great Pyrenees who, with proper training, becomes an excellent companion for all ages. WebMD notes that as nocturnal guardians originally bred to watch over flocks at night, Great Pyrenees may bark more after dark, a trait that’s beneficial for home security during nighttime. However, they might misinterpret rough play among children as a threat, potentially leading to protective reactions.

Despite their heavy shedding, especially in warmer climates, their grooming needs are manageable with regular care. The Great Pyrenees embodies the spirit of a guardian: protective, devoted, and always dignified.

9. Giant Schnauzer

child friendly dogs

The Giant Schnauzer is a friendly and strong-willed breed, known for getting along well with other dogs and loving to be close to their human families and kids, making them fantastic family companions. Their loyalty, devotion, and protective instincts also qualify them as excellent guard dogs.

While Giant Schnauzers show patience with children from their own families, their size and lively nature may not make them the best match for families with very young children. It’s important to supervise interactions between the GS and children, particularly with those they’re not familiar with.

Brimming with energy and smarts, Giant Schnauzers require significant time, attention, and mental stimulation. Originally farm dogs, they fit best with families experienced in dog ownership, as their needs might overwhelm first-time owners.

Grooming a Giant Schnauzer is no small task, demanding special care to maintain their distinctive look. Moreover, their high energy levels mean they need plenty of exercise and training to stay happy and healthy.

Guidelines for Teaching Kids to Respect Guard Dogs

Guidelines for Teaching Kids to Respect Guard Dogs

Introducing children to the world of guard dogs requires patience, understanding, and clear guidelines. Teaching kids how to respect these loyal protectors is essential for creating a safe and harmonious environment. Here, we present a chart outlining key steps to ensure children learn to interact with guard dogs responsibly, fostering mutual respect and a lasting bond.

Breeds to Avoid

guard dog breeds to avoid kids


Choosing the best guard dogs for kids involves finding a breed that combines the protective instincts of a guardian with the gentle nature of a family pet. The Doberman Pinscher stands out among guard dog breeds for its loyalty and ability to be a gentle family pet when properly trained.

With the right socialization, these dogs can learn to be loving towards family members and cautious around other animals. Ultimately, the best guard dog for a family is one that is properly trained to balance its protective duties with the softness needed to be around children, making them ideal family pets.

Mahvash Kazmi
Mahvash Kazmi, with a rich academic background in English Literature and Journalism, is not just a master of words but also a passionate advocate for the voiceless. Her vast experience, from teaching to insightful content creation, is underpinned by a profound love for animals and an unwavering commitment to conservation. An ardent animal lover, she often finds solace in nature's tales and the gentle purrs of her beloved Persian cat, Gracie. Her dedication to the environment and the written word combine to create truly compelling writing. With a heart that beats for the wild and the written word, she crafts compelling stories on animal issues, urging readers to coalesce for a cause.

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