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What is the most friendly but protective dog?


Guard Dog vs. Watchdog vs. Attack Dog: What’s the Difference?

  • December 27, 2022
  • No Comments
  • Dog Bites & Attacks

Approximately 40,000 years ago , humans domesticated wild wolves for the first time. From that point onwards, canines became our companions, our hunting partners, and our protectors. The fact that dogs were capable of offering early hunter-gatherers considerable protection against other animals was probably the main reason we decided to selectively breed these animals over such a long period, leaving us with breeds that are even bigger than their wolf ancestors. Today, mastiffs, rottweilers, and Pitbulls are a few of the most notable dogs that can provide security to residences in Chicago. Not only can dogs physically attack threats, but they can also bark – providing a sort of “biological alarm bell” that both frightens away trespassers and notifies homeowners.

You might think that phrases like “guard dog,” “watchdog,” and “attack dog” are interchangeable. However, these three types of dogs exhibit different behaviors and serve completely different functions. Understanding the differences may help you to avoid being attacked.

The Definition of a Guard Dog

A guard dog is probably the most common type of guardian canine used by property owners in Illinois. These animals are often quite intimidating in appearance, and they typically bark in a loud, threatening manner. Guard dogs are also well-rounded beasts, having good enough hearing and eyesight to detect danger from long distances. But as threatening as a guard dog may be, their primary function is not to inflict physical injuries on suspected trespassers. Instead, their first priority is to hold their ground and simply scare the trespasser away by barking, growling, and baring their teeth. Usually, this is more than enough to make someone think twice about setting foot on the property.

This is a good thing because dogs cannot easily distinguish between people who are meant to be on the property and people who are trespassing. Dogs are famous for barking and harassing mail carriers – even though all humans understand that these people are just trying to do their jobs. A guard dog will only become relaxed when it becomes familiar with the smell and sight of a new person. This means that even if someone invites a friend over, the guard dog will not necessarily pick up on your amicable body language and cease its aggressive behavior. Because of their ability to restrain themselves, guard dogs often make good family pets that are loving and friendly.

That being said, guard dogs are capable of becoming physically violent if necessary. If their scare tactics are having no effect and the suspected tresspasser continues to move into the property, a guard dog may burst forward, latching onto the victim with its teeth and causing serious damage. In the end, the ability of a guard dog to distinguish between friend and foe comes down to their training. Poorly-trained guard dogs can pose a real threat to innocent people – even if their first instinct is to scare rather than attack.

There are a number of dog breeds that are well-suited to this role, including:

  • Akita
  • Appenzeller Sennenhund
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Bulldog
  • Belgian sheepdog
  • Catahoula Leopard Dog
  • Caucasian Shepherd Dog
  • Collie
  • Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Estrela Mountain Dogs
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Puli
  • Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog

The Definition of a Watchdog

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The clue is right in the name: A watchdog’s primary role is to detect possible threats and notify its owner with a sharp, loud bark when they notice something out of the ordinary. Remember, dogs have much more acute senses than humans. They can hear and smell things that we could not possibly detect with our own ears and noses. Often, watchdogs perk their heads up when they hear distant footsteps at your front gate or back porch. Breeds with the best hearing include very small dogs that you wouldn’t normally associate with security, such as chihuahuas and French bulldogs.

But hearing is not quite enough to make for a good watchdog. In order for these animals to truly shine, they need to be capable of barking very loudly. Their role is not only to detect threats but also to notify their owners. After all, many watchdogs are too small to accomplish much in a physical sense. However, their owners may be able to react quickly after a bark. For example, they might get help from another family member or call 9-1-1 as soon as possible after hearing a bark from their watchdog.

Some of the best watchdog breeds include:

  • Chihuahuas
  • Terriers
  • Poodles
  • Shi Tzus
  • Miniature pinscher
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Cocker spaniel
  • Labrador retriever

The Definition of an Attack Dog

Again, the name here is a bit of a giveaway. Attack dogs fill one role: Physical aggression. Unlike guard dogs, their aggressive behavior is not just for show. In fact, an attack dog is usually trained to skip the aggressive posturing altogether and go straight for the kill. This means that when an attack dog spots a potential trespasser, it will often sprint straight toward the target and immediately bite them. That being said, attack dogs can also be incredibly well-trained – remaining passive until their owner gives the command to engage the target. The best attack dogs are used by law enforcement organizations and the military, and these animals are exceedingly loyal and obedient, with solid social skills.

On the other hand, a poorly-trained attack dog can easily cause severe injury or even death to innocent people. Many attack dogs are left unattended in yards. Some might suddenly decide to attack without warning and without the appropriate command from their owner. Some attack dogs have a history of abusive training, making them psychologically traumatized and more likely to hurt others.

The most common attack dog breeds include:

  • Pitbulls
  • Bullmastiffs
  • Rottweilers
  • German shepherds
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Cane Corso
  • American Bulldog
  • Boxer
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Beauceron
  • Briard
  • Staffordshire Terrier
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Neapolitan Mastiff

But Wait — What is a “Protection Dog”?

You may have heard another term being thrown around when it comes to security dogs: “ Protection dog .” A protection dog is trained to be obedient to you – and only you. Guard dogs are like security guards – their role is to protect a specific area or property. On the other hand, protection dogs are like personal bodyguards. They become members of the family and exhibit incredible levels of loyalty. They are perfectly capable of playing with children and smaller pets and must have a specific temperament and personality. But when a threat arises, a protection dog reacts without a second thought – often putting their lives on the line to protect family members.

This type of animal goes through much more extensive training than a typical guard dog or watchdog. The training is so intense that only a few dogs have the necessary intelligence to complete it. Personality is also a factor, and only specific breeds are suited to this role. One of the few dogs that can fill this role is a Doberman. One of the biggest misconceptions is that guard dogs are the same as protection dogs. Although there are some similarities, the training behind these animals is completely different.

How to Stay Safe Around Watchdogs, Guard Dogs, and Attack Dogs

The number-one rule is never to assume that a particular dog is safe. The truth is that you probably cannot distinguish between an attack dog and a guard dog at a moment’s glance. Even though a specific breed might be more common for use as a guard dog, there is no guarantee that it has not been trained as an attack dog. Do not count out small dogs, either. Even though watchdogs might be trained to simply bark to raise the alarm, they probably have a decent set of teeth that can do some damage if you’re not careful.

If you feel like a dog is threatening you, the safest course of action is to leave the property. A well-trained guard dog will not follow you off the premises. If you are dealing with an attack dog and there is nowhere to run, you can try turning your body to the side and remaining still while avoiding eye contact. If possible, climb onto an elevated surface, such as a car or a low roof.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Dog Bite Attorney in Chicago?

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced dog bite attorney in Chicago , look no further than Palermo Law Group. Whether you have been attacked by a watchdog, an attack dog, or a guard dog, the end result is always the same: You need justice and compensation. The best way to pursue positive results is to get in touch with us at your earliest convenience and book a consultation. During your consultation, we can discuss the specifics of your situation and recommend the best course of action. A settlement can help you pay for medical costs, missed wages, and the emotional distress associated with disfiguring or traumatic injuries. Book your consultation today, as the statute of limitations may become an issue if you wait too long.



Mario Palermo is the Founder and Lead Attorney at Palermo Law Group in Oak Brook, Illinois. For the past 26 years, he has worked tirelessly to help injury victims and their families in their times of need. He is a seasoned authority on civil litigation, and also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a prestigious group of trial lawyers who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. Mr. Palermo has been named a “Leading Lawyer” by his peers in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

9 Best Dog Breeds for Women Living Alone

dog breeds for women

If you live alone, it’s wise to consider having a dog for protection and companionship. Late at night when we hear unexpected sounds or creaks, our minds tend to create a haunting image of the worst thing possible. Or if you live alone as a woman you worry you may be more targeted for home invasions.

The good news is that often thieves and those who wish to harm are simply deterred by the presence of a dog, especially if it’s a large one with a bite to match its bark. In this article, we look at the 9 best dog breeds for single women living alone and how to pick the best one for you.

Picking The Best Dog Breeds for Single Females

People are diverse in their personalities just like animals. So before you invest in a protection dog, it’s good to examine which personality traits best mesh with yours so you both have a rewarding experience.

Here are a few things to consider before searching for that perfect animal:

  • What kind of woman are you? Are you outgoing and energetic or more reserved?
  • How much time do you have to commit to caring for your animal?
  • What is your living situation? Do you own or rent a house with a fenced-in yard or are you in an apartment?
  • What kind of social life do you have? Active or are you a homebody?
  • Do you have an interest in continuing to train your dog?
  • What safety concerns do you have?

It’s important to think carefully about the answers to these questions and be honest with yourself because you don’t want a dog breed that clashes with you. Also, remember that not every purebred dog in a litter shares the same attributes as the others.

Golden Retrievers are naturally friendly and playful, but sometimes you get one on each end of the spectrum. Some are aggressive and some are shy – just like siblings from the same household.

Be honest about your activity level too. Puppies are full of energy, but what happens when that dog grows up? If you’re not an overly active person, getting a dog that requires a lot of physical activity won’t be fun for either of you.

Pay close attention to the breed that will best adapt to your living situation. Some dogs do well in small apartments while others need plenty of room to stretch and run like a backyard. Regarding safety concerns, are there any immediate threats that are making your life difficult?

If so, maybe consider an adult dog that’s already trained to deal with such threats instead of a puppy. Most well-trained protection dogs aren’t even for sale until they are 2-3 years old.

dogs for women living alone

Best Dog Breeds For Single Women

Now that you’ve nailed down what dog traits best match up with yours, it’s time to think about which breed of dog to get. Fortunately, there are a variety of breeds that work both as companions and trained protection dogs, so picking the perfect pooch shouldn’t be too difficult.

1. Doberman

The Doberman pinscher is a dog that was originally bred to be a protection dog, so it’s a perfect choice for women living alone. One of the best traits of the Doberman is its appearance. Dobermans are big, imposing animals, and are certainly enough to make anyone think twice about breaking into your home or doing you harm.

Dobermans are often called ‘velcro dogs’ because they insist on clinging to their owner’s side. So, if you love having a dog that follows you around this would be a great breed for you.

2. German Shepherd

Another imposing animal, the German Shepherd is a dog bred to be guard dogs or service dogs , which makes them an ideal choice as personal protection dogs. German Shepherds have a deep, intimidating bark and are aggressive when they need to be.

However, they’re also very loving and loyal to their owners, which makes them great pets. This breed is often known as the jack-of-all-trades because they work well in a variety of situations that require specific tasks to complete and need to have a purpose.

3. Boxer

The Boxer doesn’t have the fierce, intimidating look of the Doberman or the German Shepherd, but don’t let that fool you. These animals are fantastic companions and are also very affectionate with those they love. Being smaller, they don’t require as much space as the dogs above, which is great for those who live in apartments. Boxers are great barkers and make good watchdogs for single women.

4. Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is another dog that has a menacing appearance and is a great deterrent to people up to no good. Like the German Shepherd, Rottweilers are extremely loyal to their owners and do very well as personal protection dogs. Consider them protection dogs with a heart of gold. Rottweilers are big dogs and can weigh up to 130 pounds, so take that into consideration if you live in a small space or are petite and may feel uncomfortable with a large dog.

5. Akita

The Akita is another big dog that is very loyal to their owners. Akitas are energetic dogs and need a lot of attention and stimulation to keep them happy. This breed is best for women who have a yard and can spend the time to play or exercise with their dog. Also, Akitas are quite willful and require a strong owner to keep them in line.

dogs single women should get6. Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier isn’t normally associated with personal protection because of its small size. However, these animals are very intense and can be aggressive with much larger animals. The Jack Russel is a great choice for someone who wants a lapdog, but also an animal that will stand up and fight for its owner.

This is a perfect breed if you live in an apartment and don’t want a large protection dog that requires space and continual training.

7. English Bulldog

English Bulldogs are ideal for women who want a good couch companion. These dogs are fine with short walks and don’t require a lot of exercise or room to run. While these animals aren’t bred to be protection dogs, they are great for people who want a furry friend to hang out with.

If you don’t feel any immediate threats then having a little companion that can warn you of unfamiliar guests is a great option for a single woman.

8. Great Dane

Yes, the Great Dane is a big animal and needs a lot of space to stretch out. While their commanding presence is enough to scare off many would-be attackers, the fact is these animals are very friendly and affectionate.

They are known for being one of the most patient breeds and behave well around other pets. Great Danes are also very laid-back dogs and will only get “aggressive” if need be.

9. Golden Retriever

Perhaps the most popular breed on this list, the Golden Retriever is a great dog for anyone who wants a loyal and fun companion that loves to play. These dogs are friendly with virtually anyone they encounter, and their bubbly personality makes them a great fit for almost everyone.

While Golden Retrievers are not your typical protection dog, studies have shown that simply having a dog (especially a larger dog) can deter thieves.

Just like there are no two people alike, the same is true for animals. The key to getting a good companion is to know exactly what you’re looking for before you go shopping. Do you need an animal to protect you from potential harm? Or are you looking for a dog to be your pal and have fun with?

While the two traits aren’t mutually exclusive, it’s important to know what you need so you get the right animal for the job.

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