The Best Watchdog Breeds

by Victoria Lee Blackstone
    The Chihuahua: alert and quick to warn of danger.

    The Chihuahua: alert and quick to warn of danger.

    Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

    The term watchdog is often confused with guard dog. The role of a guard dog is protection. Guard dog breeds such as Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, bull mastiffs and German shepherds offer strength, courage and the ability to incapacitate an intruder. Watchdogs, on the other hand, serve as alarms. They're attentive, good listeners and not shy about barking. They alert you to strangers or events but do not offer physical protection.


    While many breeds may fall into the watchdog category, some breeds are better watchdogs than others. And there are always exceptions within a breed. A dog typically known for alertness and watchdog qualities may turn out to be a couch potato, unconcerned when strangers approach. Recommended watchdog breeds include terriers, poodles, miniature pinschers, Shih Tzus, dachshunds and Chihuahuas.

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    • Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist who propagates heirloom and native plants for her nursery. She has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, plant care sheets and magazine and newspaper articles. Blackstone studied botany and microbiology at Clemson University and is a former University of Georgia Extension Master Gardener Coordinator.

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