Are Pitbulls Good Guard Dogs?

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Are Pitbulls Good Guard DogsIf your family is looking for the best guard dog breeds, the ability of Pitbulls to thwart potential threats and become great family members often comes to mind. Their reputation for aggressive behavior combined with their muscular physique contributes to people’s assumption that they’re excellent guard dogs. But is there truth to this? Here, we answer the question, “Are Pitbulls good guard dogs?”    

Guard Dog or Protection Dog? 

Before we get into whether Pitbulls would make a good protection dog or a great guard dog, we first need to understand how they’re different from one another. A fantastic guard dog will keep a watchful eye and alert its owner to strange people. Most of the time, they won’t physically confront intruders; because of this, almost any breed of dog can undergo guard dog training. 

The primary requirements for successful guard dogs are an immediate back and sharp ears but a big build and physical strength can also intimidate strangers. On the other hand, the best protection dogs won’t just alert you when there are intruders, but will also physically stop and attack anyone they believe is a threat to their family. As such, big and muscular dogs are a must when you’re looking for personal protection dogs. 

About Pit Bull Breeds 

Unfortunately, Pit Bulls are among the most misunderstood dog breeds, and have a bad reputation with the general public and the media. But are they really the dangerous dogs that many would have us believe? According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), they’re not the aggressive dogs that they’re portrayed to be.  

However, it’s important that you’re clear about what “Pit Bull” means. Strictly speaking, the term refers to the American Pit Bull Terrier, which can include breeds such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. Unfortunately, these breeds have a long history of dog fighting, which contributes to their reputation as fearsome dogs. 

Luckily, with proper socialization and the right training, these dogs can be loving companions and gentle giants that are great family dogs. Just like any breed, the temperament of a typical Pitbull will depend mainly on the training and care that you give them. When you combine their muscular build, fierce appearance, and powerful bark with proper training and socialization, they can become loyal companions and affectionate dogs. 

However, you must remember that the Pitbull isn’t a natural guard dog because they weren’t bred for this purpose. This means that their protective instincts won’t be as strong as traditional guardian breeds such as Doberman Pinchers, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds. Even so, these dogs can be great family pets that can form strong bonds with their owners. 

Finally, you should also consider that every Pit Bull is an individual; some may have stronger protective or guarding instincts compared to others. As such, it’s vital that you raise a properly trained Pit Bull if you’re looking to get a good guard dog. If you fail to give them socialization and training at a young age, then you may not get the Pit Bull guard dog you’re after. 

Pros of Pit Bulls for Guard Work 

Below are a few reasons why you should consider a Pit Bull for your next guard dog. 

  • Many Pit Bulls have the natural instinct to guard their loved ones and will go to great lengths to keep them safe. 
  • They have loud barks that will let you know instantly when something may be wrong. 
  • While they aren’t the biggest watch dog you’ll see, the average Pitbull has an athletic build that is made of solid muscle.   
  • When their intimidating appearance is combined with their loud bark, they can be effective guard dogs. 
  • Pitbulls are quick and intelligent learners, which makes them great candidates for obedience training. 
  • They have great hearing and sight, which allows them to quickly detect threats. 
  • Their broad chests and sturdy legs are built for stamina, which means they can undertake activities for long periods of time. This means that they can pursue intruders and stand their ground protecting your home until you get there. 
  • They will always display a brave and fearless demeanor whether you need them for protecting or guarding, regardless of any threat. 
  • They can develop a strong love for their owners, especially young children. 
  • When they’re properly trained and socialized, they can become wonderful family dogs apart from excelling at protecting and guarding. 

Cons of Pit Bulls for Guard Work 

While they have many great qualities, Pitbulls aren’t always a good choice for guard work or for protecting the family. Here are a few reasons why. 

  • Because the Pitbull was originally bred as a fighting and hunting dog, they aren’t as good at guarding and protecting compared to better guard dogs.  
  • Despite their reputation as fierce dogs, Pitbulls absolutely love humans and will choose to be around them as much as possible. Unfortunately, this means that rather than attacking a stranger, their first instinct is to welcome them. 
  • On the other hand, they can be particularly aggressive with other dogs and animals which could result in risky situations when you’re in public environments. 
  • Their powerful jaws are incredibly strong and they can cause serious bites — this can be a great asset for a well-trained pit bull but can be a huge liability for those that didn’t learn even basic obedience. 
  • Some establishments actually prohibit the access of Pitbulls, including public transport and spaces due to their undeserved bad reputation. 
  • Because they weren’t bred to be protective guardians, they need extensive training to refine and develop these traits. 
  • While they can easily learn obedience training, Pitbulls will need protection training from a professional if you need them for this line of work. 

Why It’s Important to Train Pitbulls

If you expect your Pit Bull puppy to become a good protection or guard dog while maintaining good behavior as part of the family, you’ll need to give it proper training. This should come from a professional who is skilled in protection and guard dog training. These kinds of training are intense and advanced, which means they need to come from a professional.  

Just like with any breed, basic commands can be taught at an early age, and you can start at 8 weeks of age, depending on the breed. Obedience training can create the foundation for your dog’s guard training. When it comes to Pit Bulls, protection or guard training can start once it turns a year old. 

Socialization is also important; a well-socialized dog will be more likely to display the traits of a good guard dog, such as alertness, confidence, and loyalty without showing signs of aggression. Regularly exposing your pooch to new people, environments, and animals will help it balance being a friendly dog with their protectiveness. When you commit to giving your pup proper socialization, along with early, professional, and consistent training, you’ll find that your Pitbull can transform into a companion that can help protect you while serving as a great guard dog for your family.  

So, Are Pitbulls Good Guard Dogs? 

Despite stories of dog attacks and their history as bull-bait dogs, Pitbulls are loyal dogs that can learn to become great family dogs that will protect and guard their loved ones. While there are many other popular choices for this line of work, Pitbulls come with a muscular build and strong jaws that can be just as intimidating as bigger dogs. Despite the popular belief that they are aggressive dogs, Pitbulls are in fact, loving dogs that will do everything they can to keep everyone safe and secure.