Every time you see a pit bull, you’re instantly taken aback by its muscular appearance, leading you to wonder: are pit bulls good guard dogs?
Pit bulls aren’t the best option for guard dogs because they’re too friendly and people-loving, surprisingly enough.
That said, pit bulls are so loyal that if there’s imminent danger to their owner, they’ll step in. Besides, they can scare away potential threats with their intimidating appearance and loud barking.
Although pit bulls aren’t the best guard dogs out there, they can still protect you in more than one way. Read on for more much-needed insights.
Pit bulls love humans to a fault, and this trait made them suboptimal guard dogs. That’s as their friendliness is often not limited to their owner; some of them show much affection with very little discrimination. Of course, such friendliness is what made the pit bull a great companion dog.
However, let’s set that aside for now and review the top traits that can enable pit bulls to defend their owners. After all, this breed of dogs once stood toe to toe with actual bulls!
In the 1800s, pit bulls took part in a sport called bull-baiting, where they collided with huge bulls to entertain the audience. Thankfully, the cruel sport was banned, but that didn’t put an end to the pit bull’s violent activity.
In the early 1900s, pit bulls became popular for being hunting dogs. By the way, they’re still used for hunting in the South to this day. In the late 1900s, however, people began seeing pit bulls in a new light, turning them into friendly companion dogs.
You probably know by now where the muscular look comes from. Add this to the reputation pit bulls have for being aggressive, and you get a dog that’ll definitely scare some unwanted people away!
However, this intimidation factor isn’t reliable at all times because a pit bull can slip and show affection to the wrong person. Alternatively, the person with ill will towards you could be acquainted with the pit bull’s ways, and therefore won’t fear it.
In conclusion, if you want yourself a scary yet friendly dog that can be a little protective, pit bulls will probably do the trick, especially if you go for a hunting pit bull.
When talking about a dog protecting its owner, most people envision the dog launching a full-blown attack on a threatening individual. However, protection can take other forms than that.
For example, the pit bull can serve as a security siren, as it’ll start barking and making a fuss if it senses danger. This loudness can also help deter the potential threat.
[Related Article: When Do Puppies Start Barking At Strangers Near Them]
Whenever I hear the word “loyal,” one of the first things that come to mind is war heroes; they’re the very example of loyalty, aren’t they? Well, what if I told you that pit bulls were once decorated as war heroes?
During WWI, the American army viewed pit bulls as a symbol of loyalty and bravery. They even gave them ranks, like the famous Sergeant Stubby. This breed of dog didn’t abandon its owners in war, so it’ll surely stick around when danger knocks on your door!
While the pit bull is generally non-violent, you can still teach it to attack when you command it to. That’s as pit bulls are fond of praise and affection, which will make them go to great lengths to receive them.
Moreover, they’re fast learners and can learn just about anything, as evidenced by the fact that they learned to give the military salute during World War!
Yes, you can. First, however, you must teach your pit bull basic obedience. This way, you’ll ensure that it won’t slip out of your control. Consistency is key in that regard, in the sense that training should be part of the dog’s lifestyle.
Ideally, teaching pit bulls to be guard dogs should start during puppyhood. When training starts that early, it’ll take much less time, lasting as short as one month. Training grown-up dogs is still possible, but it’ll take more time.
You can teach your dog to attack by using the well-known positive reinforcement training, where you entice the dog to train with a reward.
There’s one caveat, though. When training your dog to attack, it’s vitally important to balance that out with some socialization time. You don’t want your pit bull to be hostile even towards friendly people and animals.
[Related Article: Is Private Dog Training Worth It And What Are The Alternatives]
After exploring the potential of pit bulls as guard dogs, now it’s time to quickly review dogs that actually specialize in that area.
Suspicious at all times, the Akita dog is a natural-born guard dog that’ll sniff out danger from a mile away. While it’ll hardly need any protection training, it’ll need an abundance of training for obedience and socialization to keep its aggressiveness in check.
The excellent instincts this dog possesses make it a perfect guard dog. Not to mention its strong, scary build. Unlike the Akita, however, the Bullmastiff shows a great deal of love and affection towards its owner.
Preferred by the police and military, the German shepherd is one of the best protective dogs out there. It also has the added benefit of extreme loyalty to its owner, just like our friend the pit bull.
The most notable downside of the German shepherd is that it’s a bit demanding. That’s as it requires a lot of training time each day to stay in shape and to spend its surplus of energy. This breed of dog can also get nervous easily, so you’ll need to properly socialize it.
The pit bull looks like the bodybuilder of the animal kingdom, which compelled many people to think of it as a great guard dog. However, just as not every bodybuilder is necessarily a good bodyguard, not all muscular dogs are ideal for being guard dogs.
While the pit bull isn’t the perfect choice if you want a purely protective dog, it’s certainly an option to consider if you want to get the best out of both worlds: affection and protection.