Are Great Danes Good Guard Dogs?

Great Danes are known as friendly, gentle, and calm dogs that are good family dogs.

Many dog owners have them as companions and in addition to this can they offer protection to a family. But are they good guard dogs?

In this article, you will learn whether Great Danes are good guard dogs and qualities that dogs classified as guard dogs have over other dogs.

Are Great Danes Good Guard Dogs?

Great Danes are good guard dogs but only through training. They are protective dogs and more watchdogs than guard dogs, however, they have some personality characteristics of guard dogs and through training, they can be transformed to be good guard dogs. 


Guard dog vs a watchdog: What is the difference?

The difference between a guard dog and a watchdog is the training and natural breed characteristics of a dog. 

A guard dog is a dog that protects its owner, family, and property and they are conditioned to attack the potential threat. They will bark to alert their owners of a threat, whether a human or animal, and also act by attacking the threat.

In comparison, a watchdog is a dog that protects its owners by barking and alerting them of any approaching threat but they do not attack the threat.

All dogs are watchdogs but not all dogs are guard dogs. 

Some breeds of dogs are exceptional guard dogs because of their personalities that instinctively qualify them and with the training, they display these innate qualities. 

Dogs that have been bred as guard dogs include the German Shepherd, Doberman, Rottweiler, and the Cane Corso, just to mention a few.

These breeds were bred as working dogs that offer protection as guard dogs.

What qualities do guard dogs need?

The main aim of guard dogs is to protect and neutralize a potential threat.

For a dog to qualify as a guard dog, some personality characteristics distinctively enable them to be good at this job.

Guard dogs are bred as such and also through training, they are conditioned to become excellent choices for guard dogs compared to other dog breeds.

The following are qualities of guard dogs:


A guard dog has to be courageous and not intimidated by any potential threats.

They should not run away or be scared but be willing to approach and engage with the threat.


High intelligence means a dog is easily trainable and can learn new behaviors or training quickly.

This enables them to implement what they are taught. An intelligent dog also does not forget the new skills once they learn.


Alertness is an important trait to have as a guard dog. This means that the dog can quickly notice unusual activity or threats in their environment and can act on it. 


Guard dogs are also loyal dogs to their owners and families by being willing to protect them at any cost.

This loyalty does not apply to other people that they are not familiar with. They will only protect their own family.


Guard dogs are assertive and display dominance when they face a challenge. Dominance is seen in their body stature as fearless dogs.

Around other dogs, they innately have the desire to lead or be the leaders of a pack.


An easily trainable dog can learn new skills quickly and be able to have the desired behavior and learned skills.

Guard dogs have this quality and can be trained in new skills that make them better at their job. Intelligence also plays a huge part here which helps them learn quickly.

Aggressive and territorial

Guard dogs are also aggressive to a degree meaning they are defensive and will fight or attack to protect themselves or their family members.

High energy

Bred as working dogs, guard dogs typically are high-energy dogs that can use their energy to carry out their assigned activities, which also demand a lot of energy.

What makes Great Danes good guard dogs?

Great Danes are naturally friendly, social, and more calm compared to their counterpart dogs that are bred and trained as guard dogs.  

Despite this sweet nature and love for people, they have some guard dog qualities or personality traits similar to guard dogs which are an advantage to transforming them into good guard dogs. This makes training easy. 

They are more watchdogs and not aggressive guard dogs but will spring into action to protect their owners or property when required.

The below are the qualities of Great Danes that make them good guard dogs:


As an intelligent dog, a Great Dane can learn new tricks and skills quickly.

They are also able to scan the environment and be able to detect any threats. This quality makes them good guard dogs.


A guard dog is protective over its owners and property, protecting them from any harm. A Great Dane is also instinctively protective of its owners.

Recommended Reading: Do Great Danes attack?


Great Danes are giant dogs that are not intimidated by anything. They do not scare easily and this trait makes them face threats to themselves or family.

Easily trainable

The Great Dane is an intelligent dog that can easily be trained to learn new behaviors and skills. This is an important trait of a guard dog, that is, being able to be trained and use the skills.

The Dane can therefore be trained to be a good guard dog despite not having all qualities of a guard dog despite being more gentle and friendly compared to a guard dog 


Loyalty for a guard dog is a trait that enables them to protect the human families and be defensive.

The Great Dane is a loyal and devoted dog that loves to please its owners and will protect them against any danger when provoked.


Great Danes are not as aggressive or high-energy dogs compared to dogs bred and trained as guard dogs. They are more calm, laid back with moderate energy levels, and more sociable to people.

This however does not disqualify them as guard dogs. They have some similar qualities to guard dogs and can be trained to be good guard dogs that protect the family.

Their bark and huge frame alone are intimidating to an intruder or threat and can engage a threat if required.

If you are considering getting a Great Dane as a guard dog, they are a good choice but will require more training to make them good at it.

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