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Is a Mastiff a Good Guard Dog? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Greg Iacono

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Bull mastiff puppy in a park being trained by his attractive blonde owner

Is a Mastiff a Good Guard Dog? Facts & FAQ

The magnificent Mastiff is a breed that can be traced back to ancient Rome and Greece and is one of the biggest dogs on earth. These powerful dogs look scary on the outside, but most are calm, affectionate dogs on the inside. One question many ask is whether Mastiffs make good guard dogs. Mastiffs do indeed make excellent guard dogs, and most would quickly and capably jump to their owner’s defense if the need arose.

If you’re interested in how your Mastiff would react in an alarming situation, or you’re considering adopting one of these powerful and regal canines for your own, read on! We have the massive Mastiff details coming up next!

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What Qualities Make a Mastiff a Good Guard Dog?

Aside from their size, several other factors make a Mastiff a good guard dog. First, just seeing a Mastiff is enough to scare even the toughest, biggest people. Second, Mastiffs are highly intelligent and controlled. They won’t mindlessly rush a criminal unless necessary but will watch them and await an opportunity to attack. This trait is found in very few dogs.

Mastiffs are also fearless. Many dogs will run away in a scary situation thanks to their fight-or-flight reflex. The average Mastiff doesn’t have a fearful bone in its body and won’t be intimidated easily. If a criminal or attacker were to challenge a Mastiff, they would almost surely lose since the typical Mastiff won’t back down.

Another quality that makes the Mastiff a good guard dog is that, although they’re usually gentle giants, Mastiffs have an innate aggressive streak. That’s bad news for anyone who might attack or try to harm a Mastiff’s family; they could easily be maimed or killed by one that’s enraged.

Lastly, Mastiffs have an intense, loud bark that would send a shiver down the back of any criminal. Mastiffs don’t bark often, and most owners don’t have issues with their pups barking at inappropriate times. However, they will bark to let you know something is wrong.

Blond boy with a large dog, English Mastiff
Image By: Vira Sivachuk, Shutterstock

Will a Mastiff Protect You if You’re Attacked?

Because of their massive size and strength, Mastiffs have been trained as guard dogs throughout their history. Today’s Mastiff, however, is mainly trained to be a pet and companion and is generally sweet and affectionate towards their family.

If someone were to attack you or another member of your close family, your Mastiff would undoubtedly spring into action. That would be unfortunate for the attacker, as you can imagine. Mastiffs have enormous jaws, massive heads, and powerful bodies.

Are Mastiffs Naturally Protective?

One of the traits that Mastiff fans like the most is the breed’s protective nature. They have been trained to be guard dogs to kings and queens, emperors, and other powerful people for thousands of years.

It is true that Mastiffs need plenty of training, but their protective nature comes naturally. Once they’ve bonded with you, your Mastiff will be your protector for life.

Is the Mastiff the Strongest Dog Breed?

By all accounts, the Mastiff is the strongest dog breed in the world; it’s stronger than the St. Bernard, Rottweiler, and the massive Newfoundland. When you consider the average Mastiff weighs in at around 200 pounds or more, their superior strength isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that such a massive dog could be so sweet and gentle-natured, especially when raised by a caring and dedicated owner.

bullmastiff outdoors in autumn
Image By: photosounds, Shutterstock

Is it Easy to Train a Mastiff to Be a Guard Dog?

Mastiffs have an innate protective instinct that makes them good guard dogs. A Mastiff would need top-notch, ongoing training to be an excellent guard dog. Many people leave their Mastiff’s training to a professional, but if you want to do it yourself, you’ll be glad to know they’re one of the easier breeds to train. That’s because Mastiffs are people-pleaser dogs who will do whatever they can to make their owners happy. Plus, they’re highly intelligent canines and quickly learn new skills and commands.

However, Mastiffs are very sensitive dogs and don’t respond well to negative training techniques. It’s better to use positive reinforcement techniques like patience, kind words, tasty treats, and a lot of praise when they get things right.

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As a massive beast with a gruff and tough exterior, the average Mastiff is actually a gentle, affectionate dog that bonds strongly with its adopted family. They have been bred as guard dogs for centuries, which shows in their innate protective nature. Although they need extensive training, a Mastiff will make an excellent guard dog as they were born for the role. Since they’re intelligent, fearless, devoted, and strong, if your family has a Mastiff, you should sleep very well at night.

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Featured Image Credit: Jackie Wernberg, Shutterstock

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