Best Medium to Large Size Family Protection Dog

A guard dog’s job is to protect people and properties from threats. Many dogs do a great job of protecting humans from dangers because of their strong sense of smell and their alertness.

Most of the time, what we need is a dog who is kind and sweet to the family, but also protective and alert enough to keep the home safe.

What is the best medium to large size family protection dog?

Find out what to look for in a good protection dog and learn about the best medium-sized family protection dogs, as well as the best large breed guard dogs!

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best family protection dog

What is a Protection Dog?

Many people think guard dogs and protection dogs are one and the same. But they are not.

If you don’t know the difference between the two, you might end up getting a dog that isn’t right for you.

In general, protection dogs are trained, raised, and ultimately act differently than guard dogs.

While a guard dog can be any breed, protection dogs are usually only a select few breeds that are intelligent enough to undergo training.

Protection dogs act upon command only. Their role isn’t just to stay in a single place to alert their owner of intruders. 

This means they are not trained to attack people or animals that trespass on your property, but they may do so if you command them. 

Aside from protecting your home, they are also great with children. You can consider them a member of the family.

To be clear, all protection dogs can be friendly companions, but not all guard dogs can be. This is because some guard dogs are more likely to bite and are more serious in their mission to guard.

Protection Dogs vs. Guard Dogs

There are a few key differences between protection dogs and attack dogs. Before getting a dog to protect your family, you should know the differences between the two.

Protection Dogs

  • Will protect and defend their family in a threatening situation.
  • Can socialize with children, pets, and other people.
  • Can be dominant.
  • Protection is their natural instinct.

Guard Dogs

  • Heavily trained to be working dogs.
  • Should not be considered as a pet.
  • Guard dogs cannot “turn off” their training, so they do not make great family pets.
  • Guard dogs can be trained as alarm dogs, sentry dogs, and attack dogs.

Best Medium-Sized Family Protection Dogs

Here are some of the best medium-sized protection dogs that are family-friendly.

Australian Cattle Dog

This dog is tall and muscular, but they are still considered medium-sized. The Australian Cattle Dog makes a great family protection dog because of their intelligence.

This breed lives a long, healthy life. It is also innate in them to create a strong bond with their owner.

However, you need to train them thoroughly to be safe and comfortable around kids. 

The Australian Cattle Dog may be medium-sized but they do not do well in apartments or the suburbs. 

If you cannot match their activity levels, then you might just end up with a dog who has behavioral issues.

Standard Schnauzer

The Standard Schnauzer is easy to train to become your family’s protection dog. This medium-sized dog is energetic, does not shed much, and is affectionate to their family!

The Schnauzer’s bark is also ferocious, which is ideal to scare away potential intruders. But they are also sociable companions.

They can be taught to be safe and calm with kids despite their high energy levels. This means they are the perfect mix of family dog and alert watchdogs!

Groom this square-built dog regularly and walk them every day to avoid any health and behavioral problems. Their athletic personality will need this!

Watch the video for some interesting facts about the Standard Schnauzer.


The Shar-Pei may look lazy and innocent, but they’re one of the most alert dogs out there. In fact, this breed was the common man’s fighting dog. 

What’s great about the Shar-Pei is, the intruder will probably think that your dog won’t keep him away because they don’t look like a watchdog at all! 

Shar-Peis are calm all the time, but they are always on the lookout. They are also willing to work all day with you!

It may look like Shar-Peis are guard dogs, but these working dogs are also very devoted to their family. This wrinkly breed can even adapt to apartment life as they love being close to you.

You can train your dog to be a guard dog or protective!

Most Shar-Peis, however, are prone to allergies and skin infections. So, be sure to keep up with regular grooming and vet checks.

Watch this adorable Shar-Pei on duty!

Best Large Family Protection Dogs

Want a larger furry friend to protect you and your family? Here are the best options.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a medium to large-sized breed that can stand as high as 26 inches at the shoulder.

Known as a military or police dog, the German Shepherd is extremely protective, loyal, and friendly. They are also flexible and intelligent!

Just like the Shar-Pei, the German Shepherd can be a guard dog and a protection dog. Even though they love police work, they also love getting pats on the head and bonding with their owner.

The German Shepherd has a very strong sense of smell and a double coat where the outer one sheds every year. 

This breed can be aggressive when not properly trained. Although they will only act like this toward strangers, you want to teach them to be indifferent toward harmless strangers!

Train them, socialize them, and be their friend, and they can grow into the most loving family dog.

Great Dane

The Great Dane is clever, loyal, and energetic. This gentle giant originated in Denmark and Germany and runs fast and is obedient.

When trained well, they will be knowledgeable enough to recognize who they should fight and who to protect. This is why they are a popular choice for domestic pets among families!

They are patient, humble, and playful. The Great Dane does not bark toward any human, but they are still alert and protective. 

If you socialize them well, they won’t be aggressive toward other dogs. They have this tendency because they love being the center of attention!

Teach them to love fellow dogs as much as they love humans. Once they’ve attained this kind of training, you can trust them to fit in your household.

Unfortunately, the Great Dane has several health concerns when they age, such as bloating, cardiomyopathy, and osteosarcoma. So, keep up with regular check-ups.


Another large-sized family protection dog is the Bullmastiff. They are strong, sweet, and also a protector.

This furry companion is active and good in therapy work and agility. They are kind and gentle, but also fierce when it comes to other people. 

Even though they have ferocious tendencies, they can’t be guard dogs because their bubbly side always overshadows!

Their size and confidence may intimidate intruders. They are also good with children, although they might accidentally step on toddlers.

The Bullmastiff can weigh around 150 pounds and only survive for about 7 to 8 years. Make the most out of their life by training them, socializing them, and giving them lots of hugs!

Watch this for more on why the Bullmastiff makes a great family guard dog.

FAQ Family Dog Breeds

What is the Best Dog for a Scared Child?

The best dog for a scared child is one who is naturally sweet and easily adapts to the kid’s energy level.

Your kid may also want a furry friend that doesn’t look too big or scary. For example, Beagles may look friendlier than the Doberman Pinscher. 

But that does not mean that the Doberman Pinscher isn’t suitable for kids.

Any breed can be trained and socialized to be a good companion to a child, but the ease of training varies. 

Check out this list of ideal dog breeds for a scared child and how to train your dog to play safely with kids.

What is the Best Guard Dog for First Time Owners?

The best guard dog for first-time owners should be easy to groom, train, and socialize. These are important considerations when getting a guard dog when you have little knowledge of raising dogs.

Your guard dog should not be an attack dog. Otherwise, you can’t have them as pets in your house. They should have a friendly personality.
Some good choices for guard dogs include Great Dane and German Shepherd. 

Find out more about the best guard dogs for first-time owners.

What Should I Prepare When Getting a Puppy?

Once you have decided on what medium to large breed you should get, you have to start preparing for the responsibility.

If you’re planning to get a puppy, then make sure to puppy-proof your home first. Your puppy is still curious and active, so make sure your house is safe!

You should also have the right supplies, such as transport carriers, food, crate, bedding, and more.

Check out our checklist for when you’re getting a puppy

What is the Best Medium-Sized Dog for a Family?

There are plenty of medium-sized dogs that would make a good fit for any family.

We created a list of the best medium-sized family-friendly dog breeds.

Some of the qualities of a family-friendly dog include being easily trainable, getting along well with kids, and being affectionate with everyone.

Some medium-sized dog breeds for a family include the Beagle and Basset Hound.

Get a Protection Dog for Your Family!

A medium to large size dog doesn’t only make a great protection dog, but also a great companion for the whole family. 

A good watchdog can alert the family of suspicious activities around the house. 

It doesn’t really matter what the size of your dog is, but if you want one that can scare off intruders, look for a larger dog!

Some breeds to consider are the German Shepherd, Shar-Pei, and the Bullmastiff.

If you have a senior person in your house, find out the best guard dogs for elderly people!