11 Best Apartment Guard Dogs (with Photos)

There’s nothing like having a dog live with you. Whether you live in a big home, condo, or apartment, dogs can make any place feel like a home. Even though these loveable creatures are there to be man’s best friend, they also can make excellent guard dogs

Just the sound of a dog barking can be enough to ward off some unwanted visitors. Not all dogs make excellent guard dogs, though. If you’re moving into an apartment or already live in one and want a guard dog, read this article about the 11 best apartment guard dogs.

best apartment guard dogs
11 Best Apartment Guard Dogs

1. American Staffordshire Terrier

If you’re looking for a highly protective guard dog, then an American Staffordshire Terrier is an excellent option. While we say they are aggressive, we don’t mean that they’re out of control. But, if someone breaks in or harms you, they will protect you. 

American Staffordshire Terrier
Two American Staffordshire Terrier sit together.

American Staffordshire Terriers’ potentially aggressive and protective nature makes them effective guard dogs that will surely keep any unwanted visitors away. When you see these dogs or hear them bark, you’ll understand why someone who doesn’t know you or your dog will want to stay away.

Something to remember with this breed is that they can get out of hand without proper training. American Staffordshire Terriers grow to be about 60 pounds, making them perfect for most apartment complexes. 

2. Boxer

Boxers are great guard dogs that many think look intimidating, but they’re goofy and usually harmless. They tend to stand on their back legs; this can scare off strangers, especially those who don’t know Boxers. 

boxer dog looking at food
Boxer dogs have healthy appetites so appropriate food selection is key

This breed is an excellent choice if you live in an apartment and want a dog that is friendly but won’t need much training. Boxers are great with other animals, people, and children. However, they will need adequate training to keep them calm in an apartment. 

Training your Boxer will be easy once you get past its stubbornness. Even though they’re very friendly, they love their home and will naturally be protective of it and anyone inside your apartment. 

3. Doberman Pinscher 

Doberman Pinschers are intimidating dogs to look at; this is usually enough to get anyone to avoid you or your apartment. These dogs were bred to be guard dogs in Germany, so they still have that natural instinct. 

Black Doberman Pinscher
Black Doberman Pinscher on leash.

With proper training and love, Doberman Pinschers can be loveable and well-behaved pets that thrive in an apartment environment. While they can do well in an apartment, you’ll need to take them on plenty of walks and play with them often to keep them happy. 

Dobermans are intelligent and can quickly learn any tricks and training tactics you want to teach them. This quality makes them great guard dogs regardless of where you live.

4. Chow Chow

Chow Chows don’t look intimidating at all due to their fluffy fur coat and loveable personality once you get to know them. These dogs make excellent guard dogs because they’re more protective than you think. 

a chow chow with a curly tail
A Chow Chow with a curly tail. What a beautiful dog!

Chow Chows are originally from China, where they were bred to be hunting dogs. Their tenacity is something they still hold onto, even if they’re not legitimately hunting dogs now. This tenacity will make them excellent guard dogs. 

They are an ideal apartment guard dog because they’re short in stature and rarely exceed 70 pounds when fully grown. Intruders might think they’re friendly, but their protective nature will deter strangers. 

5. American Bulldog 

Bulldogs get a bad rap sometimes due to their tenacity and muscular build. While English and French Bulldogs can make good apartment guard dogs, we think the American Bulldog is the better choice.

white American Bulldog standing
A white American Bulldog standing on the ground.

American Bulldogs tend to be loveable and sweet, but their build makes them perfect guard dogs. Don’t let that fool you, though. They are very protective of their owners and loved ones, so if they see someone they don’t know, they’ll try to scare them away. 

Their bark is worse than their bite, but they’re perfect at listening and watching for danger. American Bulldogs will alert you when anything looks or sounds amiss. 

6. Shar Pei

Shar Peis aren’t the most intimidating dogs when you first look at them, but that doesn’t make them any less qualified to guard you and your apartment. These dogs were initially bred to hunt, chase livestock, and herd, so they still have some of those characteristics. 

Shar Pei dog and cake
Shar Pei dog with a birthday cake.

They are protective of their humans and home but don’t have an intense energy level. This makes them excellent apartment guard dogs. Shar Peis are much more serious dogs and won’t play as much as other breeds. 

If you’re considering getting a Shar Pei, be warned that they need a lot of training and aren’t best to have around small kids and other dogs. Getting them trained well is a must.

7. German Shepherd 

German Shepherds are great dogs to guard your apartment. They often work as service dogs, so guarding an apartment won’t be difficult for them. They’re friendly but alert and can notify you when strangers are nearby. 

German Shepherd sweet
German Shepherd rests his head on the owner’s lap.

These dogs are gentle towards their loved ones but can be scary to those who don’t know the dog, keeping unwanted people away. Remember that German Shepherds shed quite a bit, but you don’t need to worry about them drooling.

Be sure to keep your German Shepherd entertained with toys and mind-stimulating activities, so it does not get bored in a small apartment. You’ll need to be firm when training them, but they make excellent guard dogs afterward.

8. Great Dane

Most people don’t think Great Danes can make a good apartment dog. While they’re great guard dogs, having these large dogs in an apartment can be challenging if you live in a small space. You’ll want to ensure they get plenty of walks and playtime when they live in an apartment. 

a big great dane dog stands in a yard
A large and attentive Great Dane standing on a manicured lawn

Great Danes’ size alone can intimidate people who don’t know you or your dog. Luckily, even though they’re huge dogs, they’re known as gentle giants and won’t do any harm to you and your other household members. 

If you’re interested in getting a Great Dane as a guard dog, you’ll need to train it. This process shouldn’t be too tricky, but if you don’t train the dog on how to guard the apartment, it won’t know what to do instinctively.

9. Puli

A Puli is one of the most exciting guard dogs you can get for your apartment. These shaggy dogs look like rugs when lying down, but don’t let that fool you. They’re likely to bark when anyone walks by, making them intimidating to strangers. 

Hungarian Puli
Hungarian Puli is a breed known to be used as herding dogs.

Pulis love their home and humans, so they naturally don’t like when strangers are around. This will keep people away from your apartment, as the dog will alert you when they are near. 

You’ll need a lot of patience to train a Puli. They’re stubborn and challenging to train, but they’re brilliant and will remember everything you teach them with a bit of practice and patience. 

10. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgebacks were bred to hunt lions, so, naturally, they would make great apartment guard dogs. These fearless dogs will do anything to keep an eye on your apartment, whether you are there or not. 

a Rhodesian Ridgeback standing
A Rhodesian Ridgeback standing on the grass.

These large dogs have a solid stature that can scare off most intruders. They have a strong prey drive and loud bark, so anyone who you don’t want coming into your apartment will stay away when they hear a Rhodesian Ridgeback barking. 

These dogs are intelligent and somewhat easy to train, but it will take work. They’re great with kids but need to meet smaller animals as soon as possible to ensure they’re tolerant of them. They can make excellent apartment guard dogs with plenty of training and playtime.

11. Giant Schnauzer 

Giant Schnauzers are an in-charge breed of dog that will protect your apartment as long as they’re around. Their size and stature will prevent strangers from approaching your apartment after they see or hear the dog.

Giant Schnauzer standing
A Giant Schnauzer standing in a city park.

These strong-willed dogs need experienced owners who can tolerate training and keep them entertained, especially when living in an apartment. 

Giant Schnauzers love their owners and are great when they’re in a one-dog household. Remember to be firm with these dogs but show them plenty of love, and they’ll keep you safe.

Final Thoughts

When getting a guard dog for your apartment, you’ll need to consider its breed, predisposition, and temperament. Not all guard dogs do well living in an apartment, but these 11 are great options that will help you guard your home if you give them proper training and show them plenty of love.