Are Pugs Good Guard Dogs? And 9 Of The Best Ones

With the crime rate going up, you’re probably wondering “are Pugs good guard dogs?” It’s totally normal to want a dog that will protect you and your family if danger should arise. So I’ve researched which dog breeds make a great guard dog and where Pugs fall as a protector for families.

Are Pugs Good Guard Dogs?

No, Pugs are not good guard dogs, however, they do make a great watchdog aka “alarm dog.” Most of them will bark whenever they hear noises and will alarm their owner of an intruder or a trespasser.

You can’t expect the short stocky Pug to protect you and your family, however, they can be trained to become a great watchdog.

are pugs good guard dogs

Let’s take a look at the differences between a guard dog and watchdog, as well as some of the dog breeds that make great guard dogs as well as which breeds make great watchdogs.

Guard Dog vs Watchdog What’s The Difference?

Many new dog owners get confused as to what the difference is between a guard dog and watchdog. With over 300 dog breeds, every dog is different and it’s important to understand what type of protection they will provide for your family.

Guard Dogs

Like watchdogs, they will alert whenever any danger approaches. The biggest difference is they are ready to get physical and will defend their home or family from threats.

Whenever they see a trespasser or intruder, they will typically start barking to warn the intruder and alert you. If the intruder does not heed their warning, the dog will bite if necessary.

An example of a great guard dog is a Doberman Pinscher, which can be trained to protect their family from any threats and intruders.


These dogs will keep an eye out in their surroundings and will bark to alert you if a stranger approaches. Most watchdogs will not get physical with a perceived threat. It will be up to you to deal with the problem.

For example, Chihuhuahas make great watchdogs and some of them will even nip a stranger’s ankles.

Why Pugs Make Good Watch Dogs

Pugs are the largest dogs in the toy dog category They are very trainable, extremely loyal, good temperaments, and highly trainable which can make them a great watch dog.

Not every Pug is going to be a great watchdog. Some of them may require some training, but with consistency, you can train them to alarm you when someone enters your yard or knocks on your door.

How to Train Your Pug To Be A Watch Dog

how to train your pug to be a watchdog
You can train your Pug to alert you whenever a stranger approaches your house.

Even though Pugs love people, you can still teach them to become a guard dog so they can alarm you when they see someone doing something you should know about.

Remember, a watchdog’s role is NOT to attach people or chase people away.

The Goal

You want your dog to only bark whenever something unusual is happening on your property. If your dog barks at everything, you’ll never know if her vocal outbursts are a sign that a crisis is happening or they are just barking.

When Your Dog Barks

As soon as you bring your Pug home, answer his/her barks by rushing to their side. If they are barking at something they should be barking at, like a stranger at your door or entering your ard, give your Pug a snack.

On the other hand, if they are barking at kids playing out in the street or someone walking on the sidewalk, tell him “No” while shaking your finger at him/her. Teach them that you don’t appreciate them barking at everything.

If you continuously keep doing this and keep giving them a snack whenever they alert you to the things you want, they will eventually learn when to bark and when NOT to.

Just remember, you need to discipline yourself to respond to every bark at first and respond with the proper response.

Characteristics That Make A Good Guard Dog

Guard dogs will also have stable temperaments, loyalty to families, natural confidence, highly trainable and must have a willingness to engage a threat if necessary.

The guard dog characteristic is usually a genetic trait that is passed from the parents to the offspring.

Large Dog Breeds That Make Great Guard Dogs

Here are some dogs that make great guard dogs. Most of the guard dogs will be your medium and larger dog breeds. Which makes sense, because guard dogs will need to be stronger dogs that can attack people if necessary.

Dog Breed Group
Akita Working
Appenzeller Sennenhund Foundation Stock Service
German Shepherd Herding
Doberman Pinscher Working Group
Rottweiler Working
Saint Bernard Working
Bullmastiff Working
Boxer Working
Great Dane Working
Giant Schnauzer Working
Great Pyrenees Working
Bernese Mountain Dog Working
Rhodesian Ridgeback hound


Most of these dogs make great family dogs and should be good with kids. However, every dog is different, so you’ll want to do your due diligence before getting a dog.

If you do decide to get a guard dog to protect your family, then you should spend a lot of time training them properly. You don’t want your dog biting a member of the family or someone they shouldn’t.

Best Small Watchdogs For Your Family

Maybe you don’t want a guard dog because you have young children and other pets. These dogs are great alert breeds that will bark up a storm whenever a stranger enters their territory.

These are some of the best small watchdogs that will make a great family pet.

Breed Dog Group
Scottish Terrier Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier Terrier
Miniature Poodle Non-Sporting Group
Shih Tzu Toy Group
Miniature Schnauzer Terrier
Pug Toy
Chihuahua Toy
Cairn Terrier Terrier


These small breed dogs not only make great alarm dogs, but they will make a great family pet and should get along with children and other animals.

The important thing to remember is that not every member of the breeds above will bark like crazy when the doorbell rings. You may need to spend some time training them to let them know what you expect.

Related Questions

Can I Train A Pug A Pug To Be A Guard Dog?  A Pug’s personality is NOT built to become a guard dog. This breed is not aggressive and tends to love human attention too much.

Final Word On Pugs As Guard Dogs

While you can’t expect your Pug dog to protect you and your family. They still make great family pets and can be taught to become a great watchdog.

Just don’t expect them to jump in front of you if you’re being attacked in your home!

References and Further Reading

Canine Journal – Ryan Rauch – Best Guard Dogs for Families



Black Pug Site