It can sometimes be quite challenging to determine which dog breed will make a good guard dog due to the large variety of dog breeds to choose from.
However, some dogs tend to perform better than other dogs when it comes to being guards or watchdogs.
An example of such a dog is the Bernese Mountain dog (Berner).
So, if you are wondering, ‘Are Bernese Mountain dogs good guard dogs?’ then read on as I got you covered through this article.
I will provide you with a fact-based answer as to whether or not these dogs make good guard dogs.
I will also walk you through the qualities that make a dog a good guard dog.
And just in case you feel dissatisfied with having a Berner as your guard dog, then make sure you read to the end of the article as I have carefully selected for you 5 dog breeds that can also make excellent guard dogs.
So, let’s dive in!
Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good Guard Dogs?
Yes, a Bernese Mountain dog can make a good guard dog, but only when it’s effectively trained to be a guard dog at a younger age.
Their large size (22-27 inches height), which helps intimidate intruders, loyalty, alertness, easy to train, and prospective into being aggressive, makes them have the potential to make good guard dogs with well-structured training.
Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Protect Their Owners?
Despite their low potential of being aggressive, these dogs will not hesitate to bark, chase, bite and even pull down anything or anyone whom they deem as a threat to you, all in a bid to protect you.
Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good Watchdogs?
Yes, Bernese Mountain dogs make excellent watchdogs even without training.
This can be attributed to their innate herding skills.
Their tendency to bark a lot and non-aggressive behaviors make them good watchdogs to have around, especially if you have frequent new guests coming into your home.
What Is The Difference Between A Watch And A Guard Dog?
A watchdog is more of a passive guard.
It will let you know that something unusual is happening, or you have an invited guest around your property but will not get actively involved in keeping the intruder away from your property.
On the other hand, a guard dog is an active guard in that it will let you know that an intruder or something unusual is happening by barking.
And then, it will actively act to neutralize the threat, either by chasing an intruder, biting them, or pinning them down while waiting for you to decide on the intruder(s)’s fate.
What Makes A Good Guard Dog?
For a dog to make a good guard dog, it should be;
A good guard dog should be intelligent. Intelligent dogs make good guard dogs as they can quickly grasp their guarding training and react appropriately to different stimuli.
An intelligent dog will also have a good memory; this helps prevent unwanted attacks on people who rarely visit your compound.
It will also help your dog remember your property boundaries.
Pro-tip; You can boost your dog’s intelligence by giving it dog puzzles to solve, run errands with it, introduce it to new tricks and have it fully socialized with both people and other dogs around.
Through socialization, your dog’s intelligence is enhanced as it helps expose your dog to different people, animals, or other dogs around it.
This allows your hound to learn how to react intelligently when a problem or a test occurs.
Loyalty is a quality that any guard dog should have. A guard dog should always remain devoted to you.
It shouldn’t be lured with treats. It should be ready to defend your territory even when you are not around.
Obedience is key. Compliance in a dog makes it easy to train it basic commands.
It also prevents your hound from having unwanted behaviors.
Friendly And Affectionate
For a dog to guard you, it must first consider you to be its friend, then show affection to you or those around you.
An unfriendly dog is likely to attack you as it has no bond with you.
So ensure that you adopt a friendly and affectionate dog, build trust, and then let it guard you.
Pro-tip; things you can do to make your dog like and trust you more include;
Spend quality time with it, bringing it gifts (toys, new beddings), protecting it, grooming it, and providing it with enough food water, and a clean place to live.
Energetic And Agile
The agility of dogs determines how good of a guard dog they are.
A dog with agility makes it easy for it to move with speed and ease during its guarding tasks.
Energy is also essential as it determines for how long a dog can withstand putting up a fight with an intruder or an opponent.
Pro-tip; You can improve your dog’s agility by having it engage in swimming, power walks, and running.
Feeding your hound with the proper diet, and letting it have enough sleep and rest helps improve its energetic nature.
12 hours is enough time for your hound to be fully reenergized after a long day of work.
A Balanced, Aggressive Temperament
Good guards’ dogs should not be non-aggressive and shouldn’t be very aggressive. They should have a balanced aggression temperament.
That is, portray hostile behavior if they get intensely provoked.
Still, at the same time, they can remain calm and handle a threat without any form of physical aggression when slightly provoked.
A bold dog does make an excellent guard dog. It should be willing and not hesitant to take risks in a bid to protect you.
For a dog to make a good guard dog, it should be vigilant in its environment and any changes that its owner displays.
Your hound should note that you are in distress even without giving it any cue(s).
5 Of The Best Guard Dog Breeds
Independent, confident, bold, alert and steady, are the temperaments of the Anatolian Shepherd dog.
This hound is innately a guard dog as it was explicitly bred in Turkey to guard and defend its flock.
They can grow to a height of 27-31 inches long, making them more intimidating to intruders.
Despite its fierce guarding ‘resume’, these dogs are pretty friendly to those it considers family.
PS; this dog breed is not suitable for novice dog parents due to their ‘Alpha dominance mentality.’
Also known as the Mal(s). The Belgian Malinois ace at guarding due to its energetic, alert, bold, agile, and workaholic nature.
This hound was bred in Belgium to herd and protect its flock. Thus this makes it have a natural protective temperament.
NOTE! These dog breeds thrive in intense physical exercise and they don’t tire easily.
So please don’t adopt it if you cannot meet its physical stimulation demands.
#German Shepherd Dog (GSD)
Just saying ‘I have a German Shepherd dog’ is sure to bring any intruder to their knees. These dog breeds don’t joke around when performing their guarding roles.
Their large wedge-shaped head, long squarish muzzle, powerful jaw, and intimidating gaze make them a good guard dog to have around.
However, this dog has a tendency to nip and bite on those around them, especially when it’s a pup.
Ensure that you adequately train your GSD the ‘NO’ command to deter it from making nipping and biting behavior a habit.
The Australian Shepherd dog sure does know how to use its barking skills to alarm and protect you.
The good thing about this dog breed is that it tends to intimidate intruders rather than getting physical with them.
However, when provoked, this hound will not hesitate to nip or slightly bite an intruder or anything, they consider a threat.
Their size, coupled with their bold and confident nature, also works to their advantage when performing their guarding tasks.
#The Central Asian Shepherd Dog
Also known as Alabai or Alabay. Whether you choose to adopt a male or a female Central Asian Shepherd dog, consider your guarding needs fulfilled.
These dogs are gurus when it comes to guarding either you or your property.
They maximize on their boldness, independence, imperturbable (inability to get agitated), adaptable and robust nature to bring out their best-guarding skills.
NOTE! This dog will not be a good fit for you if you live in a small apartment or lack a large enough backyard space.
Go For It! Adopt Your Guard Dog With Confidence
Are Bernese Mountain dogs good guard dogs? Yes, they are.
The Bernese are intelligent, obedient, bold, loyal, friendly, and aggressive only when provoked.
All these qualities make this affectionate dog breed both good watch and guard dogs.
If you feel that a Berner will not fully satisfy your guarding want, then consider adopting one of the other five dog breeds i mentioned in this post.
All these dog breeds also make excellent watch and guard dogs as they are obedient, easy to train, loyal, affectionate, and engage in aggressive behaviors when necessary.
Make sure that you train your dog to be a guard dog when it’s still a pup.
This way, your hound will grow up knowing its purpose, which is to guard you and those around you.
Be sure to train your guard dog not to exhibit aggressive behaviors unless when necessary.
If you are unsure how to train your hound to become a diligent guard dog, please hire the services of a pro and let them help your hound achieve desirable and flawless guarding skills.