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Mike’s Top 5 Dog Breeds for Protection Work

When searching for a professionally trained, quality personal protection dog, it’s important to know what you’re looking for and what your needs are. Searching for the top dog breeds for protection work online isn’t easy, as there are an infinite number of lists available. 

You want to know from a professional dog trainer that’s been in the business for decades what the best dog breeds are, for protection. You want to know form someone like Mike Caporicci

Mike with trainee

So we asked him. 

And this is what he had to say. 

“Wow, that’s a tough one. There are so many good breeds for protection work, I can’t say that these ones are the absolute top, but I guess I would have to start with the Belgian Malinois.” – Mike Caporicci

  1. Belgian Malinois 

This beautifully coated dog comes in varieties of red, fawn, grey, and black hues. Often mistaken for German Shepherds by the untrained eye, Belgian Malinois are an active, playful breed that was bred for work. First bred to protect livestock, eager to work, and dedicated to their job, they’re great for family protection because of their boundless energy. 

A Belgian Malinois jumping

As puppies, Belgian Malinois can be quite small, but grown, a fully adult male can reach about 26” and a fully grown female can stand to about 24” tall. Females reach about 60 lbs as adults, and males anywhere between 50 and 80 lbs. 

To know if a Belgian Malinois is right for your protection needs, talk to your local protection dog training professional and find out. Temperament and size will be important factors. 

2. Cane Corso

An old Italian dog breed, Cane Corsos are purebreds that are often given up to shelters or rescues because of their intimidating size and weight. However, Cane Corsos are powerful working dogs that love being assigned a job. They were bred to be hunters of large game, like boars, and they perform best in challenging environments. If they’re not being challenged, and find themselves bored, they can turn to destructive behaviors. 

A Goldenstate K9 Cane Corso

As grown adults, Cane Corsos can grow large and tough. Males stand to about 27.5” and females up to 26”, but they can each weigh between 90 and 120 lbs!

Cane corsos need a lot of space and exercise to thrive. If assigned to protection work, they will flourish best in a challenging environment. Do you think you have what it takes to have a Cane Corso as your personal protection dog?

3. Doberman

Originating from Germany, the Doberman breed was developed in 1890 by a Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector from Germany. Bred to be guarding, Dobermans came from a mix of breeds including Rottweilers and German Pischers, both hunting and security breeds. More of a sensitive breed, Doberman Pinschers (as they’re often called in the USA) require a lot of exercise and attention. However, they don’t shed a lot, and they’re a very intelligent breed. They prefer the heat to the cold, and they’re extremely loyal, showing favoritism to their own family. 

A Goldenstate K9 Doberman

Measuring an adult at the shoulder, female Dobermans grow to stand at about 24-26” tall, and males at 26-28” tall. Their respective weights go up to 60 lbs and 80 lbs. 

Dobermans are proud-looking, strong dogs, with high leaps and extremely agile bodies. Getting a Doberman breed as a personal protection dog is a good idea if you have the space and time to give them what they need. 

4. Akita

The Akita’s Japanese lineage is idolized as the family protectors. Fiercely loyal, their cute round faces belie a dignified, courageous, and highly protective temperament. Double coated, these proud dogs are great for colder places, especially. Unfortunately, Akita dogs are banned in many cities around the United States, but if you live in a rural area (especially a cold one!), an Akita might be the perfect choice for you. 

An Akita dog with family

Heights and weights for adult Akitas vary by more than their sex. Small adult Akita males stand at about 26” and weigh up to 85lbs, while large adult Akita males stand at up to 28” and weigh up to 130 lbs. Small adult Akita females stand at about 24” with a low of 70 lbs, warge adult Akita females stand at about 26”, weighing up to 110 lbs.

While Akitas have a reputation for being aggressive, dogs in general are bred to be obedient. If an Akita is trained correctly and professionally, from an early age, their temperament can be anticipated and molded. 

5. German Shepherd

The German Shepherd has become one of America’s most popular dog breeds. They were bred to be working dogs, but with such a versatile temperament, many people have been happy keeping them as companion pets. Excelling at everything they’re trained to do, German Shepherds make great working dogs, whatever the detail is. Their hunting and protecting instincts have been honed over the centuries to create that versatility they’re relied upon for. They have thick coats and shed a lot, but they handle the heat pretty well.

A German Shepherd

Male German Shepherds grow to a height of up to 26” and females up to 24”. They grow to weigh between 88 and 71 lbs. If these numbers surprise you, it’s because German Shepherds are not quite as big as they’re often portrayed in media. The bigger, more wolf-looking dogs are other breeds that only look like German Shepherds. 

“Remember, though, there are overall breed characteristics, but ultimately, a person has to be matched to the right dog by a professional that knows both temperaments. A good trainer can also train the dog you chose to your specific needs, but you don’t want to force a dog entirely against its nature, and it would have to be done right when the dog is a pup. It’s best to simply decide your protection needs and trust a protection dog professional, a Master Trainer or a breeder, to help you with your choice.” – Mike Caporicci

Look out for the next top 5 on Mike’s list coming soon!