Can Poodles Make Good Guard Dogs? Find Out

Since they do well in different areas, including serving as service and therapy dogs, It’s tempting for one to wonder whether these dogs can make good guard dogs. And so, is it possible to get a great guard dog in your Poodle?

Read on to find out whether poodles can make good guard dogs or not…

It depends on the individual Poodle and the owner’s preferences. Many people feel that Poodles are generally poor guard dogs, lacking the aggressiveness needed for the role, but others say they’re great at it if trained well.

Qualities of A Good Guard Dog

Before we narrow down to talk about Poodles, let’s first ask what makes a good guard dog.

There is no specific breed that qualifies to be called the best guard dogs in the world, but there are some traits most of these animals share, including:

#1 Aggression:

A good guard dog should be highly aggressive towards strangers. It has to bark and act tough when someone approaches the house, and it needs to get even more aggressive when that person tries to come closer.

In other words, they have to sometimes go beyond barking and display threatening behavior. This shows that they are not afraid of the stranger, and if needed, can attack to defend their beloveds.

#2 Strong territorial instincts:

A dog with strong territorial instincts will bark whenever they see or hear someone coming into their territory. They will likely become aggressive if provoked further, but on the other hand, an animal with weak territorial instincts could be intimidated easily.

#3 Strong bark and bite:

This is perhaps the most important quality in a guard dog – they must have a good bark and bite to properly intimidate an intruder (or trespassers). If an intruding person doesn’t take a guard dog seriously, it will scare them away.

#4 Healthy and fit:

Being strong and healthy is important because they’ll need to have excellent stamina to fight with a potential intruder or run after one in case the intruder manages to get away from the first attack. If a guard dog is tired, it

#5 Confidence:

It’s vital for guard dogs to be confident with their role. This means they have to know their place in the pack (lower than humans but higher than other pets) and realize that they’re there to protect the family from strangers. So, dogs that are insecure and easily intimidated make poor guard dogs.

#6 Massive Size

Although not necessary, we must acknowledge that bigger guard dogs like the Doberman, German Shepherd, or Rottweilers are more intimidating. Their mere presence is enough to scare most intruders away.

Why Poodles Can Make Great Guard Dogs;

For any dog to be rendered as a perfect guard dog, it has to possess a few capabilities and attributes that make it suitable for the task. Looking at Poodle, there are a few things that favor them as guard dogs. They include;

Hunting Instincts

Keep in mind that Poodles were originally bred as hunting dogs, and they still have the instincts of such even though these days they only serve as show or performance dogs.

While they might have abandoned their initial role, they still have the tendency to chase anything that runs.


Poodles are extremely healthy animals that can live for 15 years or more. Therefore, if well-trained to be guard dogs, they can serve in the role longer than most of the larger dog breeds. Keep in mind that larger dogs tend to have a shorter lifespan than the smaller ones, contrary to the case of other animals!

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Keen Senses

Poodles’ senses of sight, smell, and hearing are extremely developed; they can see better than humans, have a sense of smell thousands of times more acute than humans’, and hear sounds at pitches higher or lower than what humans can perceive.

Sharp Memory

Poodles are very smart and can quickly learn to differentiate between friend and foe. They will bark at anything that they see or hear, but there’s a big difference between a Poodle that barks as his way of scaring an intruder away from your property and one that barks just because it sees another human being at the door.

Their smartness also means that they can be trained to become great guard dogs they would be a great asset to any security or law enforcement agency.

They Learn Things Easily

Poodles can be taught new tricks in a very short time, which means they can quickly adapt to the changes that come with guarding your property. This is usually because of their intelligence and eagerness to please their owners.

If you want a guard dog that’s intelligent enough to be trained for other things apart from guarding, like being employed as a service animal, then you can definitely look to Poodle for help.

They are Active

Another great thing about Poodles is that they never get tired of playing, which means they will be fine with long hours of standing guard.

Being small in size does not mean a Poodle cannot make a good guard dog. They usually bark when there’s an intruder to warn you and then give chase to the person away from your property.

Why Poodles may NOT make Good Guard Dogs:

There are yet other reasons why owning a Poodle may not be a good idea if you’re looking for the qualities of a guard dog. Below are a few of such reasons;

Not One of The Most Aggressive Types

Poodles are not inclined to attack or hold on to someone they see as a threat. This is because their bark is often worse than their bite and they may choose to retreat instead of fight if the intruder isn’t afraid of them.

This means that you cannot expect your Poodle to risk his life for yours. But as we began by saying, you can always train your Poodle to be more aggressive and protective.

Not The Best Breed For Outdoors

Poodles are not the best breeds for people who love being outdoors because they cannot stand hot weather, which means there’s a possibility that you may have to leave them indoors. There is also a large chance that these dogs will whine loudly when left alone in such weather.

However, it is also to be noted that many people have had success in leaving their Poodles outside and these dogs are not prone to running off or following strangers into unfamiliar surroundings.

Their Small Size

Poodles are small dogs. The largest Poodle type, the standard Poodle will grow to only 24 inches tall. Therefore, they may not have that intimidating size of large dog breeds like the German Shepherd or the Mastiff. That alone makes them look less threatening to smaller intruders, leave alone big ones!

However, the smaller size doesn’t mean they will be scared by the larger foes. As aforementioned, with proper training, Poodles can face just about any threat no matter the size!

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Very social

Poodles are very social dogs, even with strangers, not very good quality for guard dogs. That means they can’t be expected to act as good watchdogs. This is because the first time they meet a stranger, their initial reaction would likely be to smell or lick that person as a sign of friendship.

Training Your Poodle to be a Great Guard Dog

Poodles are easy to train, not just the basic obedience commands but also to serve as great guard dogs. If you know how to train them well, you might be surprised at the level of protection your Poodle can provide.

Your Poodle’s bark may not sound intimidating to an intruder but if it barks often and for a long time just because someone is around, then they will definitely put off many would-be intruders.

Like any other training session, be sure to use treats as motivation for your Poodle when it starts barking.


Never shout or hit the dog in an attempt to get them to stop barking if that’s what you’re planning to do. That will only confuse them!

You can, however, roll your Poodle over on his back and scratch their stomachs to stop their barking if the need arises.

Start training your Poodle as soon as they are ready to learn (usually around 6 months of age).

Their barking should be a deterrent for any intruder but you want them to only bark when necessary. If your Poodle starts barking when there are no intruders, that could be a problem. Make sure you train them to only bark at the sight of people who aren’t allowed in.

As with any other breed, it is best to start socializing your Poodle from an early age so they will not shy away from strangers and this can be done by having the Poodle meet as many people and other dogs as possible.

It is also important to keep in mind that a well-trained, socialized, and happy Poodle will be a great addition to your family!

A Guard Dog or Watchdog? Think Again…

A guard dog or watchdog? Think Again...

While you may think that you need a Guard dog, you may actually be in need of a watchdog.

A watchdog is different from a guard dog! You want a guard dog if you have lots of valuables that might be worth stealing and/or other people living in your house who could possibly be in danger.

Guard dogs are great, but they can be expensive, territorial, and VERY aggressive. In that case, they don’t make great pets for families with juniors or other pets!

A watchdog, however, is a dog that is just as good at protecting its loved ones but is also easily handled by children, other pets, and visitors.

They will alert you to any strangers that may be entering your property without permission so you will know when it’s time to call the police!

That means they won’t cause any harm to the stranger unless absolutely necessary which is different from a guard dog who will attack at first sight.

A watchdog is needed if you need protection when you’re not home or if there are children in the house who need protection from strangers.

So, it’s important to think about what you actually need a dog for before you go out and get one or train your dog to become one!

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Dog Breeds That Make Great Guard Dogs

Some dogs are more inclined to be good guard dogs than others. These breeds have been bred over hundreds of years to be superior watchdogs:

Mastiff – They may weigh up to 180 lbs. but they are very gentle giants that will protect your family fiercely as long as you treat them with respect and start training them from a young age!


Rottweiler – Sometimes known as “the nanny dog,” they are very protective of children. They can be a bit aggressive with strangers and usually weigh around 100 lbs.

Bullmastiff – Just like the Rottweiler, they are great with kids but more territorial than most other guard dogs. They make up for their lack of speed by being able to stay in the same spot for a long time.

Doberman Pinscher – They have been bred to protect their owners, but they need a lot of socialization and patience from the owner so they can grow up to be well-behaved adults!

German Shepherd – They are known as one of the best guard dogs because of their loyalty and territorial instincts. They’ll only bark at strangers but are very loving to their family when they’re not on duty.

Great Dane – One of the biggest breeds in existence, they can weigh up to 200 lbs., but they are affectionate and protective yet independent enough to let your children lead them around!

Large breed dogs aren’t for everyone, though! If you have smaller pets or children, you should probably go with a small breed dog.

Breeds That Make Great Watchdogs

There are many small breeds that make great watchdogs as well:

Pomeranian – These little guys are known for being excellent watchdogs who will bark at the sight of strangers. They are also fearless and independent, so they make great pets for families with kids and other dogs!

Yorkshire Terrier – They are very territorial and protective as long as you start socializing them from a young age. Some even grow up to be guard dogs rather than watchdogs so it’s important to train them while they’re still puppies!

Poodle – They may be small dogs, but they’ve been bred for hundreds of years to be excellent watchdogs.

Toy Poodle – Yes, even the smaller ones! Keep in mind that the goal is not to attack, but to make the stranger aware that you have a dog and they are not welcome.

Corgi – They’re very territorial but not as aggressive as some other breeds. Instead of attacking a stranger, a Corgi will bark and keep the stranger at bay until you or someone else comes home.

They might not look it, but even small dogs can make great watchdogs just as the bigger breeds.


Poodles do make good guard dogs, but you must understand that there are some qualities that may make it difficult for them to be very effective at protecting your property. It all boils down to the training they receive in their early lives and also on how well you bond with your dog.

If any breeds of dogs are known to be the best when it comes to guarding, it would have to be the German Shepherds but Poodles can also do a good job if they get the right training and attention.

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