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The 10 best guard dogs to protect your home

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

These lovable but loyal breeds make the best guard dogs

While lap dogs are adorable, they may not be the best choice when it comes to protection and safety. If you want a faithful and fearless companion by your side, who can also protect your family if necessary, these powerful breeds will deliver big-time.

In no particular order, these are some of the bravest breeds to guard your home:

1. German Shepherd

These lovable but loyal breeds make the best guard dogs
Image: Purple Collar Pet Photography/Getty Images

Respected and well known for their work as police and military dogs, the German Shepherd is a furry force to be reckoned with when it comes to its human pack. Originally bred to herd sheep, this large, intelligent dog breed is naturally protective and loyal. German Shepherds are best known for their easy grooming, love of activity and laid-back attitude, meaning that, contrary to popular belief, they are also good with kids.

More: Which large dog breed is right for you? (QUIZ)

2. Rottweiler

These lovable but loyal breeds make the best guard dogs
Image: Marcelle Guillen Prieto Ferreira/EyeEm/Getty Images

One look at the powerful, muscular build of a Rottie will easily send a burglar running and screaming into the night. The oldest of the herding breeds, the Rottweiler is inherently devoted to its family and is suspect of strangers until properly introduced. Like German Shepherds, Rottweilers are also active and easy to groom (short hair wins again!), with a territorial nature that makes them the natural guard dog of a home.

3. Doberman Pinscher

These lovable but loyal breeds make the best guard dogs
Image: Tessa de Jongh/Flickr

If you're looking for the ultimate guard dog, the smart, strong and athletic Dobie may be for you. Spend even a few moments with a Doberman, and you'll be able to tell that they are a highly intelligent and active breed. In fact, this intimidating pawed protector is considered one of the most dangerous canine breeds. Dobermans are also known for their long lifespans.

More: 10 Dog breeds that hate cold weather more than you do

4. Bullmastiff

These lovable but loyal breeds make the best guard dogs
Image: Stefan Jönsson/Flickr

A prized cross between a bulldog and a mastiff, the Bullmastiff was originally bred in England as a gamekeeper's dog to track and tackle poachers. If an intruder happens to make it into a home, he'll meet a powerful dog who will knock him down and hold him until help arrives. Bullmastiffs are known for being super-smart and fiercely loyal, and despite their size, the breed has also been called "high-spirited."

5. American Staffordshire Terrier

These lovable but loyal breeds make the best guard dogs
Image: Bea Stokowska/EyeEm/Getty Images

Stocky and strong for its size, the Staffy is a warm, trustworthy family dog who becomes a fearless and diligent fighter when his pack is in danger. Though the American Staffordshire Terrier looks like an American Pit Bull Terrier, they are recognized by the American Kennel Club as being two distinct breeds. Besides the guard dog factor, the American Staffordshire Terrier is as lovable as they come, receiving the highest Vet Street rating for their affection level.

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