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22 Best Watch Dog Breeds

What makes some, better watch dog breeds than others?

A watch dog can be any size because their main job is to be mindful of what is going on in their environment and then relay their findings to you.

This means they must be alert, have a great sense of hearing, and sound the alarm if something just doesn't sound right to them.

The best watch dogs are those that know when to bark, usually when there is something novel in their range of sight and hearing. 

These dogs do not bark constantly, but have honed their discriminatory senses to alert you when they do sense something different.

Most all dogs will bark if excited at seeing something such as a squirrel or rabbit hoping across the grass.

Some breeds will alert you visitors some of the time.  The best watch dogs are those that are consistent in their efforts. 

Guard Dogs Vs. Watch Dogs

Are watch dog breeds protective?  It depends.  There are some great watch dogs that are also protective, but these are dogs that could do some serious damage if they did take matters into their own hands (err, I mean paws). 

Many protective breeds are also very independent and need extensive training to be a good protection or guard dog. Some of the natural characteristics you might see in a guard dog include:

Guard Dogs Are:

  • Territorial
  • Aggressive
  • Physical Strength
  • Courage
  • Ability to Work Independently
  • Loyalty to Family
  • Trainability
  • Wary of Strangers

Watch Dog Breeds Are:

  • Any size,  small breeds often make the best watch dogs
  • May or may not be wary of strangers
  • Good Sense of Hearing
  • Great Vocal Cords
  • Territorial

Good Watch Dog Breeds

There are many more dogs that could have been placed on this list.  If your great watch dog is not here, why not tell us why he should be listed. 

At the bottom of the page is a place where you can tell us what kind of dog you have and what his watch dog abilities are like.  Oh, and don't forget to upload a picture or two of your great watch dog.

AND, what if your breed is listed on this page?  We want to hear from you too.  Tell us all about you great watch dog and add a few photos too.

Loyal, Playful, Busy

Good-natured, Loyal, Protective

American Eskimo Dog

Loyal, Independent, Loving

Affectionate, Loyal, Playful

Sensitive, self-confident, bold

Cairn Terrier

Curious, Spirited, Cheerful


Graceful, Mischievous, Alert

Energetic, Clownish, Teritorial

Fox Terrier

High energy, Friendly, Smart


Friendly, Confident, Adaptable

Fast, Independent, Close Companion

Miniature Pinscher

Stubborn, Inquisitive, Spunky

Miniature Schnauzer

Friendly, Fearless, Energetic


Gentle, Devoted, Happy


Aloof, Determined, Loyal


Intelligent, Friendly, Happy

Scottish Terrier

Agile, Alert, Territorial

Shetland Sheepdog

Affectionate, Loyal, Obedient

Shiba Inu

Bold, Active, Determined

Friendly, Playful, Spunky

West Highland White Terrier

Tenacious, Happy, Friendly

Domineering, Stubborn, Lively

Watch Dogs that are Also Guard Dogs


American Staffordshire Terrier

Anatolian Shepherd


Belgium Sheepdog

Belgium Tervuren

Black Russian Terrier


Bouvier des Flandres


Cane Corso

Doberman Pinscher

Dogue de Bordeaux

German Shepherd

Giant Schnauzer



Neapolitan Mastiff


Standard Schnauzer

Tibetan Mastiff


Do You Have A Great Watch Dog?

Do share your great watch dog here. Not the dog, just their story. Don't forget to let us know what breed it is, and how long you have owned him or her. Be sure to tell us why he is a great watch dog.

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