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Dog Pictures

Dog Pictures

This adorable Akita will grow up to be fine guard dog and family dog too.

Adopting a dog is a wonderful experience on many levels. In addition to a cuddly companion, you get unconditional love and unwavering devotion. In most cases, you also get your own personal security detail. Canines are naturally protective of their families, happily putting themselves in harm’s way if it means saving the life of a loved one. That is, assuming your pet is able to identify a potential threat and respond appropriately. It’s a skill that some dogs are better at than others.

How do you know which breeds make the best family guard dogs? That depends a lot on the characteristics of your family and what you’re looking for in terms of pooch-based protection. In some cases, “talkative” dogs are best at keeping away would-be evildoers. While you know that your dog’s bark is much worse than its bite, criminals do not.

One important consideration in choosing a family guard dog is its tendency to be aggressive. An animal with a short fuse probably isn’t suitable for a family with small children. And even though an aggressive dog may seem like the perfect people protector, such animals will often respond the same way to a trespasser and a trick-or-treater. That could cause serious trouble in the neighborhoodNow that you know some basics about people-protecting pooches, let’s explore some of the more protective breeds in our list of the top 10 family guard dogs.

10: Akita

If you’re looking for a guard dog that doubles as a nanny, an Akita may be the perfect pet for you. This large breed has strong protective instincts and will immediately investigate any hint of an intrusion into his family home. But unlike most other dogs, the Akita usually investigates quietly. If it barks, that probably means something is seriously wrong.

The potential downside of owning an Akita is that this breed tends to be quite independent, which isn’t always a good thing for a large dog with strong protective instincts. Akitas need to be trained and socialized early and continually throughout their lives. When considering an Akita or any potential guard dog, ask yourself how much you’re willing to work with the animal. Your canine companion will need to be under your control if it’s going to function as a guard dog. That will undoubtedly require a bit of skill and dedication on your part.

Assuming your family has time to devote positive reinforcement and encouragement to your Akita, this breed makes an excellent guard dog and loyal family friend. It would be virtually impossible to harm a member of an Akita’s family while this animal is around.

The article was written and supplied by Animal planet photos by Istock