Having a guard dog in an apartment might seem unnecessary. After all, you live in such close proximity to your neighbors—it would be hard for people to break into your apartment!
Unfortunately, break-ins do still happen in apartments, and in these cases, guard dogs are helpful for warding off intruders. Depending on the dog, they might be intimidating enough to scare off any home intruders, or they’ll be loud enough to alert other residents in your complex to the fact that something is wrong.
There are several breeds that make for good guard dogs and several breeds that can live comfortably and happily in an apartment. Here are 10 breeds that can do both.
Weighing up to almost 200 pounds, these large behemoths are intimidating enough to ward off even the bravest burglar.
Although generally mild-mannered and loving animals with their owners, when it comes to intruders, these dogs won’t be afraid to defend their territory. Many people choose to adopt Great Danes because of their history of protecting their homes and families.
The downside with Great Danes is that because of their size, many complexes will not allow these dogs. If your building does allow dogs of this size, you can feel safe knowing your Great Dane’s imposing presence will be enough to ward off any trespasser.
Short and stocky, these 40 to 50-pound dogs were originally bred for dogfighting. With that sport now thankfully all but extinct, Bulldogs are generally companion animals, and despite their strength and original purpose, are incredibly loving animals.
They also adapt well to apartments and only need moderate exercise.
Despite their sweet natures, Bulldogs won’t be afraid to alert you and your neighbors if someone is trying to break into your apartment. The Bulldog’s known history as a fighting dog should hopefully be enough to deter any unwanted visitors trying to get into your unit.
When it comes to guard dogs, don’t discount small breeds! Although the Boston Terrier is a goofy, fun-loving breed, they can also be very territorial, and protective of their homes and families.
This is a good thing in a guard dog since they will alert you to any stranger entering your home.
With the right training, Boston Terriers can make excellent guard dogs despite their small stature.
These under 14-pound dogs may not look like much, but don’t be deceived—they’ll be the first to alert you to anyone entering your apartment. And when it comes to defending your home, alerting your neighbors and yourself to potential danger and stopping intruders from entering in the first place is the best way to protect yourself.
Keep in mind with these dogs that while their noisiness makes them great for deterring people from breaking in, it might also disturb your neighbors. You’ll want to make sure your Pekingese is properly trained as a guard or watchdog, so he only barks if someone is trying to come in.
These dogs may look like big, fluffy teddy bears, but they are anything but. These dogs are known for being very territorial and tend to become aggressive. If you’re looking for a dog that will ward off intruders, but won’t be afraid to fight if someone does break in, this is the breed for you.
Chow Chows will usually bond very closely with one person, and become very protective. For this reason, although they make good guard dogs, it’s still very important to train and socialize them properly so that they don’t perform their guard duties too well, and attack visitors or other residents in your building.
These big dogs weigh between 100 to 130 pounds, and earned the nickname the “Gamekeeper’s Night Dog” because of their history as guard dogs.
Bullmastiffs are very individualistic. There is a lot of deviation within the breed in terms of exercise needs, and it depends on the individual dog. For the most part, they are an extremely adaptable breed that shouldn’t have a problem adjusting to apartment life, provided you can give your pup enough exercise.
One thing to watch for with these dogs is that they’ll be quick to attack. On the one hand, this is good if you have an intruder in your home. It’s less good if you have a welcome visitor, or you’re just passing someone in your apartment’s hallway. Proper guard dog training and socialization are absolutely key for these dogs for this reason.
These medium-sized unique-looking dogs originate from China and were bred to be multi-purpose dogs. One of these purposes was to guard livestock against potential threats. Shar Peis have retained that protective nature, making them great guard dogs.
Shar Peis are fantastic dogs for apartments because they are extremely adaptable. Because of their natural instinct to be territorial, however, you’ll want to make sure they are properly trained and socialized from a young age. You’ll also want to give them proper guard dog training so they only exhibit their territorial tendencies if someone is trying to break into your apartment.
Although today these 50 to 80-pound dogs mostly enjoy life as goofy, loyal family companions, they have frequently been used as working dogs in a variety of capacities. This includes guard dogs, and rest assured these dogs won’t be afraid to fight off any intruders.
Boxers adapt well to apartments, but they are also very high energy. This means that you’ll have to make sure you have the time in your day to give him enough exercise.
Boxers are incredibly courageous and affectionate dogs that can be trained to make great guard dogs.
American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier or the AmStaff is probably one of the first breeds people think of when they picture a guard dog. Weighing between 40 to 70 pounds, they are by no means the largest dog on this list, but they do make formidable foes for anyone trying to break into your home.
AmStaffs were bred for dogfighting, and many AmStaffs today tend to be aggressive. This makes them good guard dogs, but you’ll want to make sure you train them properly. With the right training and socialization, these dogs will still be loving, good-natured companions.
It might seem strange to include these fluffy little toy breeds in a list of best guard dogs, but anyone who’s met a Pomeranian knows how fearsome these tiny dogs can be.
Pomeranians tend to be suspicious of people they first meet, and more importantly, they will let you know exactly how they feel about strangers. These are noisy, yappy dogs, and nobody gets under their radar. If someone tries to break into your apartment, you can trust your Pomeranian to alert your entire building.