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Answer by I love my Doberman Pinscher!
Any dog can be trained to be a ferocious guard dog. They really don't look it though. I imaged searched it, and there are tons of pictures with little kids climbing all over him. He IS big though, granted that may not mean a single thing. A lot of giant breeds are gentle.
But yes, they have a natural protective instinct, and can make good guard dogs.
Answer by Jano
There are several "guard dog" breeds; german shepherd dog, kuvaz, akbash, great pyranees, mastiff, and more. But, I think you need to define what you expect of a "guard dog." Will they be family dog or around kids? Do you want to really get them trained for personal protection by a professional or are you simply looking for a dog who is wary of strangers ands protective of family? If you have a large protective dog, he needs to mind perfectly- are you able to commit to training until he will stop whatever he is doing whenever to say so?
The most protective dog I have ever had was a 50 pound shar-pei. This was 20 years ago but she was the only dog I ever had who I felt would let herself be killed before she would have let anyone hurt me. I socialized her from the time she was a baby- took her everywhere, let her develop sense about what was bad and what was not (there is a myth that socialization will ruin a dogs guard instincts- it will not). We went to a street fair one day and kids were petting her and she was loving on them until a guy who had had too much to drink walked by mumbling to himself under his breath. She froze, growled low in her throat and then put herself between him and the kids. She would not have gone after him unless he had reached for one of the kids though.
She used to do the same thing at home. She would go to the door with me growling. If I let you in, she was fine and rolled over to have her bellly scratched. One day a friend who was seldom at our home came over and opened the screen door and yelled in- she went for his arm and almost got him before he got the door shut- you did not come into her house unless people invited you in. She was perfectly trained and would stop instantly if told to.
If you have a dog that could bite, it is your responsibility to have him trained to obey no matter what.
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