18 August 2022
Dogs have always been used for protective and guarding purposes. The wolf’s formidable bite was harnessed from its first domestications, and has remained in use since. A number of breeds are used today for protection work, some of which are more suitable than others for different settings.
Perhaps the best, most common, and most versatile protection dog is the German Shepherd. It is highly intelligent, courageous, and loyal. Its remarkable trainability and work drive have established the German Shepherd as perhaps the world’s premier working dog breed. As such, it is found in military, police, and private security settings all over the world. Less common and similar but still respected is the Malinois Belgian Shepherd. Offering handlers much a German Shepherd’s intelligence but with a higher work drive, the Malinois Belgian Shepherd is best suited to military and police settings. While some Malinois Belgian Shepherds are able to adapt to home environments as family protection dogs, they are the exception rather than the rule and not a breed we routinely hold.
Dobermanns, Rottweilers, and Cane Corsos are excellent at protection work too. Their respective presences are as intimidating as they are legendary, yet they also combine this with intelligence, affection, and trainability. Poor breeding – especially in show lines – has made it harder to find individual dogs from these breeds suitable for high-level protection work, but our extensive pre-purchase screenings allows us to identify the best dogs possible where working lines have remained high-quality. The Giant Schnauzer also deserves honourable mentions. Despite being somewhat rarer in the United Kingdom and North America, we have developed strong protection capabilities when working with young Giant Schnauzers. We expect to see them become more popular in coming years as they are rightly recognised as a leading working breed.