February 6


What is the best breed for personal protection?

By amy arthur

February 6, 2023

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Which is the best breed for personal protection that fits your specific needs as an individual or family? Pros and Cons of the Top 4

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Uniquely, when it comes to selecting the best breed for personal protection, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. To expound, what works for one individual or family, might not work for another. 

Important Note: Critically, despite the fact that I specialize with Doberman Pinschers, I've created this piece as completely unbiased as I possibly can. For while I love to promote my breed of choice, I also desire to find the homes that would make the happiest match possible. 

Accordingly, this article doubles as a time saver and headache prevention to help those whose needs best match another breed besides that of a Doberman Pinscher.

That is to say, different breeds offer different levels of protection, making it important to assess your needs and choose a breed that will provide the level of protection you desire. 

Consequently, in this blog post, we’ll discuss the top 4 breeds that are best suited for personal protection, as well as their individual characteristics and traits. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of which is the best personal protection dog breed for your specific needs.

Have we met?


Hello, my name is Amy Arthur. I breed, train, and sell, purebred Doberman Pinscher puppies for service or protection work and as excellent quality family pets. Our dogs are personality tested and certified under Tackleberry Solutions and recommended for specific tasks depending upon their individual score results.

The characteristics of the best personal protection dog breed

To begin with, an excellent personal protection dog should possess a few specific traits to ensure that they are an effective guard and companion. For this reason, the best personal protection dog breed should be:


Furthermore, a strong sense of territoriality is also essential in order for a dog to alert their owner of any potential danger. In conjunction, it is also vital that they have a good disposition and a willingness to please their owner. 

For this reason, the physical traits of the best breed for personal protection include size, strength, and endurance. Critically, the right breed should be able to handle stressful situations without panicking and be physically capable of responding to any threat.


Important note: First and foremost, on that list to be considered is the breed's intelligence level. While personality also plays a major role. I couldn't stress enough how critical it is for a dog's ability to differentiate between the subtle gradations of play, training, and real-life scenarios. Not to mention knowing when it should react aggressively and when it shouldn't.

the Top 4 personal protection dog breeds


As a whole, I conducted a poll in an effort to create my top 4 list of the best personal protection dog breeds. In the end, there were 412 participants who shared their input on the topic.

Side note: Straightaway, you will see that the participants clearly favored two different breeds specifically. Critically, I want to point out that this group is full of professional trainers that have vast experience working in the field.

As a result, their ideal breed may not be a match for your specific needs. With this in mind, I will go into further detail of each breed which will list their various pros and cons.

On the whole, there is an element of danger associated with choosing the best breed for personal protection for your needs. I strongly encourage you to focus closely on the pros and cons of each listed canine. Furthermore, I would caution you to read until the end of this article before making your final decision.

Side note: Notably, I wanted to mention there are several of the best personal protection dog breeds missing from my list. In summary, this was because of limited time and space allotted to go into the various pros and cons of every single one.

Belgian Malinois


To start, I wanted to list the Belgian Malinois first on my list because they're a favorite for a vast majority of personal protection trainers. And for good reason. 

What was the Belgian Malinois originally bred for?

"Mals have long been acknowledged as a peerless livestock herder in their native land. They were first bred by serious dog people who were primarily concerned with producing dogs of sterling working character and who spurned passing fads and fancies of pet owners. This emphasis on performance made the Mal the go-to dog for Belgian sheepherders and cattlemen." - Belgian Malinois Dog Breed

Article Topic: The Best Breed for Personal Protection Training

Why is the Belgian Malinois used as a protection dog?

"World War II introduced this breed to military use – mainly hired as border patrol, cart haulers and message runners.

This was just the beginning. Throughout the following decades, the Belgian Malinois gained further popularity in working fields. It was introduced to the United States around 1911, with five ‘Belgian herding dogs’ being employed as Police K9s by the New York City Police Department." - Tactical Police K9 Training


  • Very Intelligent
  • Hard Working
  • Hardy
  • High Prey Drive
  • Extremely Protective
  • Frequently Used by Professionals
  • Doesn't Drool


  • Not suited for first-time owners
  • Not recommended for families with small children
  • Likely to cause trouble if not given enough exercise and mental stimulation
  • Has been known to become over-Aggressive
  • Not Originally bred for personal protection
  • Heavy to Moderate Shedding


All things considered, despite these drawbacks, the Belgian Malinois is still widely considered to be the best personal protection dog breed due to its loyalty and intelligence. Furthermore, if you can handle their special requirements, this breed can make a wonderful and dedicated guardian.

The German Shepherd


What Was the German Shepherd Originally Bred for?

"At the turn of the 20th Century, when Von Stephanitz began trying to standardize Germany’s many “flavors” of herding dogs, the craze for identifiable breeds was cresting. But for centuries before, the prevailing philosophy had been, simply: Beauty is as beauty does. A good sheepdog was a good sheepdog, no matter how it looked. Still, local and regional styles of dogs did intrinsically develop, and Von Stephanitz harnessed them to fix the traits he wanted in what he considered the ultimate German herder." German Shepherd Dog History

Topic: The Best Breed for Personal Protection Training

What Caused People to Use the German Shepherd for Personal Protection?

In short, German Shepherds make excellent personal protection dogs due to their natural protective instinct and courage. Furthermore, they are highly observant and will bark to alert their owners to any potential danger. Not to mention, they are incredibly loyal and form strong bonds with their owners.

When it comes to training, German Shepherds are very intelligent and excel at tasks that involve physical and mental stimulation. With proper obedience training, German Shepherds can be taught the commands needed for effective personal protection.


  • Highly Intelligent
  • Hard Working
  • Hardy/Weather Tolerance
  • Protective
  • Frequently Used By Professionals
  • Strong Bite Force
  • Large & Muscular
  • Great Family Pets
  • Doesn't Drool


  • Heavy Shedding
  • Not Originally Bred For Personal Protection
  • Have Been Known to Bark When Bored


To wrap it up, the German Shepherd has been known by many as the best breed for personal protection. That is of course, if you're prepared to handle an excess amount of fur. When it comes to training, German Shepherds are incredibly intelligent and excel at tasks that involve physical and mental stimulation. 

Giant Schnauzer


What Was the Giant Schnauzer Originally Bred for?

"The Giant Schnauzer was bred to be protective, starting with his very beginnings in Germany’s Bavarian Alps in the mid-10th century. In fact, all Schnauzers had their origin in the neighboring kingdoms of Württemberg and Bavaria. These are agricultural sections where the raising of sheep, cattle, and other livestock has been a major occupation for years. Although these dogs were developed to drive cattle from farm to market, German farmers also used them to guard the farms they lived on." - Giant Schnauzer History

Why The Giant Schnauzer is Used for Personal Protection

Guarding is in its genes. Historically it has been used for a variety of functions. Their ancestors herded cattle, guarded brewers, hauled carts, and also served as a police dog. They bond quickly with families but they can be destructive if they do not have enough activity. Their powerful and compact build makes them very intimidating but their extreme family loyalty makes them excellent guard dogs. - Why Are Giant Schnauzers Good Guard Dogs

Post Topic : The Best Breed for Personal Protection Training


  • Highly Intelligent
  • Loyal
  • Fast
  • Hard Working
  • Specifically Bred to Be Protective
  • Hypoallergenic Fur
  • Very Playful


  • Some Grooming Required
  • Makes a Mess when drinking water
  • Not recommended for homes with multiple pets
  • Needs Structure
  • Can become destructive if not given enough stimulation and exercise
  • Originally Bred to Protect Property, Not People


Altogether, anyone that I have ever spoken with who own a Giant Schnauzer have been irrevocably in love with the breed. There is a connection there and sense of friendship which is obviously very cherished. So, if you're willing to handle their stubborn nature and grooming needs, this very easily could be the best breed for personal protection for you.

The Doberman Pinscher


What Was the Doberman Pinscher Originally Bred for?

Not surprisingly, as they made their rounds, tax collectors worried about their personal safety: They were not only at risk of blows from angry constituents who disputed their assessments or just plain didn’t want to hand over any part of their income, but they were also tempting targets for criminals all too eager to separate them from their hard-won tithes...Surveying the dogs in his pound, Dobermann selected the strongest, steeliest, and most intelligent to help with his tax collecting. The importance of an unflappable temperament for this perilous work could not be overstated. - Doberman Pinscher History

Why is the Doberman Pinscher Used for Personal Protection?

As can be seen, the history of the Doberman clearly explains why it is used as a personal protection canine. As far as I'm aware, it is the only breed in the world that was specifically bred for personal protection. That is to say, the other guard dog breeds were designed to protect property. Not people.

Article Topic: The Best Breed For Personal Protection


  • Highly Intelligent
  • Extremely Loving
  • Loyal
  • Fast
  • Hard Working
  • Specifically Bred To Protect People
  • Easy Fur Maintenance
  • Very Playful
  • Doesn't Drool


  • Sensitive to weather conditions
  • Requires Lots of Love
  • Some experience needed With Training
  • Can become destructive if not given enough stimulation and exercise


Obviously, this is my favorite breed. So I've saved it for last so as not to diminish the value of any of the others. To be honest, I was torn between a Doberman and a German Shepherd when I was searching for the best breed for personal protection.

What really sold me with the Doberman was their easy fur care. I have owned a German Shepherd before, and I seriously could have made a blanket with all the fur that my wonderful canine left everywhere no matter how often I brushed her.

What are your thoughts?

All things considered, do you think my findings were an accurate portrayal of each breed?

If you think that I've missed something or over-stated a point, leave a comment below and share your thoughts. 

Disclaimer: This article is written as an opinion piece only and is not to be taken as fact, legal or medical advice. Your results are in no way guaranteed and will depend on several factors including your willingness to plan ahead, study and train.

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amy arthur

About the author

Amy is passionate about helping others. She is constantly looking for ways to teach others how to be more prepared. With a core belief that honesty and teamwork are key to success.

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