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Is a Bloodhound a Good Guard Dog? Facts, History, & Alternative Options

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on April 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

bloodhound dog lying on the ground

Is a Bloodhound a Good Guard Dog? Facts, History, & Alternative Options

If you already know a little bit about the Bloodhound, you know that they have a fantastic sense of smell. It is one of their most famous qualities, so it’s no wonder that people rely on them in this regard. But do they have any other superpowers besides their sense of smell?

If you were to get a Bloodhound, could you rely on them to look out for your family, or would they happily wag their tail at an intruder? Despite their large size and tracking abilities, Bloodhounds are unlikely to make sufficient guard dogs. We’ll tell you why!

Bloodhounds Are Not Guard Dogs

Bloodhounds are not the best guard dogs. As much as they might want to see their family do well, they are much more likely to wag their tail at a stranger, even if they bark to announce their arrival.

Therefore, if a guard dog is one of your deciding factors when getting another breed of dog, you might need to look elsewhere for more efficiency in the category.

Bloodhound Breed

bloodhound on the porch
Image Credit: Anna Tronova, Shutterstock
AKC Classification: Hound
Weight: 80 – 100 pounds
Height: 24 – 26 inches
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Colors: Black and tan, liver and tan, red
Prevalence: Common

Bloodhound Origin

To understand the breed better, we should explore what a Bloodhound’s sole purpose was in the beginning. A Bloodhound is a large scenthound that was specifically bred for hunting wild boar, deer, rabbits, and larger game. They have been elected since the Middle Ages to track people as well.

This breed is a valuable scent hound, helping law enforcement for years. They have the ability to discern human scent over great distances, making them superior in their category. They have assisted police and task forces in tracking escaped prisoners, lost pets, thieves, poachers, and even missing people.

Even though they can help track down virtually any human, they don’t have the same inclination to be aggressive or suspicious of them. So, you might mistake the breed’s intention for a dog that would be exceptional at guarding the home.

Because of a Bloodhound’s docile, laid-back temperament, they would rather get a head scratch by a stranger instead.

Bloodhound Appearance

bloodhound puppy
Image By: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

When you look at a Bloodhound, you notice their drooping jowls, sagging eyelids, and long, floppy ears. They don’t look intimidating in the slightest because they are just so adorable.

Their size might indicate that you have something to worry about, as they are pretty substantial. But the reality is these dogs prefer a slow-paced, easy-going approach to life.

Bloodhound Personality

Bloodhounds have a little bit of a mixed bag regarding overall personality. These dogs are extremely loving, nurturing, patient, and affectionate towards their owners and other household members. But they can be very stubborn and independent, having a mind and will of their own. Because of their keen intelligence and willingness to do as they please, they might initially pose a few training difficulties.

However, they are also incredibly food-motivated and don’t like disappointing owners, which are two major upsides for molding their overall mannerisms.

Bloodhounds With Children

Bloodhounds make exceptional dogs to have around children. They are extremely patient and doting towards toddlers and other small kiddos. Even though they do not want to see the children get hurt, they have a hard time asserting themselves enough to take action if another person poses a threat.

If pushed enough, a Bloodhound might act to protect their family, but it will be out of necessity only and not out of basic instinct.

The 10 Best Guard Dog Breeds

Many families look for guard dogs to keep their households safe from harm. Whether you’re concerned with an intruder, violent association, or basic protection, having a guard dog can certainly come in handy.

Even though a Bloodhound isn’t the best dog for the job, there are several that fit the bill much better. With a guard dog comes intense responsibility. Dogs that are more inclined to guard can be aloof with strangers or even aggressive if they aren’t socialized correctly as young puppies.

It is always essential to take the responsibility of having a guard dog very seriously, as they will have to make pretty big judgment calls in their adult life. Many of these dogs are banned from living in apartments or community living because of their inclination toward aggression.

So, to get a guard dog, you must ensure you have the appropriate living circumstances, patience, experience, and training regimens to foster the best outcome possible.

We will give you a handful of breeds that make exquisite guard dogs, along with a few factors to consider about owning one.

1. Rottweiler

rottweiler dog outdoors with a red collar
Image Credit: Kevin Seibel, Unsplash

A Rottweiler is a large, protective breed that makes an exquisite watchdog. They are incredibly loyal to their family members and are generally very easy to train.

2. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher
Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock

A Doberman Pinscher is a lean, muscular dog breed that is highly efficient at guarding duties. These dogs are slightly stubborn, so they might be a little more challenging for experienced owners to train.

3. German Shepherd

a german shepherd lying on the table outdoor
Image Credit: lancegfx, Pixabay

German Shepherds are highly revered for their trainability and guarding potential. They are used for a variety of tasks and make amazing family companions.

4. Bullmastiff

Image Credit: BORINA OLGA, Shutterstock

The Bullmastiff is not overly aggressive but can make an exquisite guard dog. They are not right for inexperienced owners and will require a firm hand during training.

5. Cane Corso

brindle cane corso with uncropped ears sitting outdoors
Image Credit: Eudyptula, Shutterstock

The Cane Corso is a very muscular, highly athletic dog that means business. They are extremely possessive of their family members and might not like strangers much at all. It’s highly recommended to socialize them early to prevent any unwanted aggression as adults.

6. Great Dane

a mantle great dane by the beach
Image Credit: mkzdillon, Shutterstock

The Great Dane is one of the largest breeds of all and potentially one of the best guard dogs. What makes them so incredible is that they have very good discernment and are usually accepting of people unless they have a reason to be suspicious.

7. Boxer

male boxer dog standing on grass
Image Credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky, Shutterstock

Boxers are usually extremely accepting of people, though some of them can be a bit territorial. They might welcome strangers with open paws, but they won’t hesitate to act if an intruder threatens their family.

8. Akita

American Akita dog standing outside
Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

Akitas are notably aggressive dogs that require very experienced dog owners. Their loyalty is unmatched, but they can be very challenging to train, as they are incredibly intelligent, willful, and stubborn.

9. Chow Chow

chow chow walking through woods
Image Credit: Łukasz Rawa, Unsplash

A Chow Chow is another famously aggressive breed that tends to dislike strangers and unfamiliar animals. A well-socialized Chow Chow will be a bit more accepting of company, but they might take a while to warm up to new faces.

10. Belgian Malinois

belgian malinois standing outdoor
Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock

The Belgian Malinois means business. This breed is never satisfied unless they have a task to do and make much better workers than pets. They can make ideal candidates if you’re looking for a guard dog and plan to spend a lot of time training them.


So, Bloodhounds definitely don’t make the best guard dogs. However, they do have a lot to offer in terms of companionship. If you are interested in advanced training, remember that the Bloodhound has the best sense of smell of all of its canine counterparts.

If you are looking specifically for a guard dog, you can do a bit more research on some of the breeds that we’ve listed to see if one of them is a better fit.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Degtyaryov Andrey, Shutterstock

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