Can a Pitbull Be a Guard Dog? 4 Traits That Make Pit Bulls Good Guard Dogs and

Pit Bulls are mostly kept as companion pets, as they tend to be friendly and affectionate. However, Pit Bulls can be fiercely protective of their owners, and they have various other traits that make them ideal as guard dogs.

So, can a Pitbull be a guard dog? It will all depend on how you train your dog.

A Pitbull can be a guard dog. Pitbulls have a natural instinct to protect their family and are physically capable with a strong, athletic build, so their appearance will be intimidating to intruders. However, you need to train your dog to be a good guard dog so it won’t become aggressive toward people.

Keep reading to learn more about what makes Pit Bulls good as guard dogs and how to train your Pit Bull to be a good guard dog.

Are Pit Bulls Aggressive?

Pit Bulls are not aggressive by nature, but they’re often assumed to be aggressive because they were originally bred and trained to fight with other animals. However, just like any other dog breed, their behavior will mainly depend on their training and living conditions.

They will be affectionate and loyal to their owners with proper socialization and training. They are highly unlikely to become aggressive unless they were provoked or trained to do so on command.

What Are the Signs of Aggression in Pit bulls?

There are some clear signs you can look out for to tell that your Pit Bull is becoming aggressive such as:

  • Your dog will start grinding and baring its teeth
  • Your dog will start barking and growling loudly
  • Your dog will lower its head and avoid direct eye contact
  • Your dog will begin pulling its ears back until they’re entirely flat against its head
  • Your dog will keep its tail raised upright in a rigid position
  • Your dog will start moving its tail back and forth rapidly

Are Pit Bulls Good as Guard Dogs?

a pitbull barking behind a fence to show how can a pitbull be a guard dog

Before answering whether Pit bulls are good as guard dogs, you need to understand the difference between watchdogs and guard dogs:

Watchdogs are trained to watch out for their territory, and they will only bark when strangers approach or anything unusual happens. Many dogs have the instinct to behave this way and do not need any training to do so. 

On the other hand, Guard dogs are trained to watch out for their territory, but they will aggressively attack when any strangers approach or anything unusual happens. 

Most dogs have the natural instinct to behave this way; however, they need special training to control their behavior.

When it comes to Pit Bulls, they have both instincts that make them good as watchdogs and other traits that make them good as guard dogs.

4 Traits That Make Pit Bulls Good as Guard Dogs

Now that you know the difference between watchdogs and guard dogs, let’s take a closer at the main traits that make Pitbulls good as guard dogs:

Their Size

Pit Bulls are relatively large-sized dogs with muscular buildswhich makes them appear more intimidating to any intruders.

At full growth, the average Pit Bull would weigh from 30 to 60 pounds and stand at 18 to 21 inches at the shoulders, with the females being smaller.

Their Strength

Pit Bulls are very strong, especially when it comes to their bites. They can easily hold on to their target even when running at great speed and will do significant damage upon attacking.

While their teeth are not very sharp, they have strong jaws, and their bite force can measure up to 235 PSI, which is relatively strong in the dog world, although it’s not the strongest as some people believe it to be. 

Their Intelligence

Pit Bulls are smart dogs, making them very easy to train to attack when commanded.

They can quickly learn and respond to commands with little practice. They are also wise enough to be able to sense any danger or threat coming toward their territory.

Their Loyalty

Pit Bulls are known to be loyal to their families, and they can also be very protective.

So, their instincts will drive them to become aggressive to protect their family against any danger. A Pitbull will not hesitate to attack an intruder if they feel its family is in danger. 

Are Pit Bull Guard Dogs Safe to Have Around Family?

Pit Bull guard dogs are safe to have around family as long as they are properly socialized and trained from a young age.

However, it’s not recommended to leave children with a Pitbull without supervision as they might play too roughly with the dog and accidentally provoke it to attack.

What Other Dog Breeds Make Good Guard Dogs?

There are several other dog breeds that would make good guard dogs, including:

  • Rottweiler
  • Bullmastiff
  • German Shepherd
  • Dutch Shepherd
  • American Bulldog
  • Boxer
  • Great Danes
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Giant Schnauzer

These dogs have all the traits and instincts needed to protect their family and territory from any threats or intruders. However, note that each breed has its own unique personality and temperaments, and it’s important to choose a breed that fits your lifestyle and needs.

How to Train Your Pit Bull to Be a Guard Dog?

Although Pit Bulls have natural instincts to protect their owners, they need to be properly trained to become guard dogs to prevent them from attacking innocent people or even turning on their owners.

Keep in mind that you should start your dog’s training early on in its life to make the process easier and ensure that your dog will grow up to be well-behaved.

Now, let’s break down how you can train your Pitbull to be a guard dog:


You need to start socializing your Pit Bull when it’s young, as this will teach it not to perceive most humans and dogs as a threat and prevent it from developing aggressive tendencies as it grows up.

To properly socialize your Pit Bull, you can take on daily walks in busy parks to expose it to different scents and sounds and get it to interact with other humans and dogs in a safe environment.

Obedience Training

You also need to start your dog’s obedience training early on in its life and make sure it can follow basic commands like “stay,” “sit,” “stop,” and “down” before teaching it to follow any defensive or offensive commands.

When training your Pit Bull, make sure to use proper discipline methods to encourage or punish certain behaviors.

  • If you want to encourage good behavior, you need to use the positive reinforcement method, which involves rewarding the dog with treats or praise whenever it displays good behavior.
  • However, if you want to punish bad behavior, you need to ignore the dog or withhold treats whenever it displays bad behavior.

 It’s highly recommended to avoid using aggression such as beating or yelling as a punishment method because this will make the dog feel threatened and cause it to turn on you in self-defense. You can learn more about how to discipline your Pit Bull here.

Teaching the Dog to Bark on Command

You need to teach your dog to bark on command or whenever there’s an intruder around.

To train your dog to bark, you need to establish a command word such as “speak” and repeat it whenever you notice your dog barking so that your dog will start associating the act of barking with the command word.

You can also create a mock scenario to train the Pit Bull to bark at intruders by asking a person whose face is not familiar to the dog to act as an intruder, then point to that person while repeating the command word.

You need to keep your voice firm and maintain eye contact when saying the command. You also need to reward the dog with treats and praise whenever it successfully follows the command to encourage it to continue doing so in the future.

Teaching the Dog to Attack on Command

You need to teach the dog to attack when commanded or whenever there’s an intruder around. Make sure to wear thick clothes and a glove that covers your entire hand when training the dog to attack to protect yourself and prevent any serious injuries.

To train your Pit Bull to attack, you need to establish a command word, such as “attack” or any other word that you want your dog to associate with the act.

  • Start by tapping your dog’s face with your gloved arm until it becomes irritated and attacks the glove. 
  • Once it strikes the glove, say the command word loudly and keep repeating it until your dog has a good understanding of what it means and what you want it to do.
  • Next, you can create a mock scenario by placing a human-sized doll at a distance to act as the intruder, then point at it while repeating the command word. 
  • You can also get someone whose face is not familiar to the dog to act as the intruder, but make sure they’re wearing protective clothing to avoid injury. You need to keep your voice firm and maintain eye contact when saying the command. 
  • You also need to reward the dog with treats and praise whenever it successfully follows the command to encourage it to continue doing so in the future.

To make sure your dog is always ready for serious situations, you should revise the commands with them every 6-12 months to make sure their recall and reactions are good. To do that, you simply work on it with your dog as if you’re training them for the first time. 

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