10 Best Apartment Guard Dog Breeds For Small Spaces

WorldAnimalFoundation.org is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More

Having a dog as a companion can truly transform any living space into a home! Dogs offer not only companionship but also a sense of security, making them excellent guard dogs in the right circumstances.

The mere sound of a barking dog can be a powerful deterrent to potential intruders. However, not all dog breeds are well-suited to the role of a guard dog, especially in an apartment setting.

If you’re considering getting a guard dog for your apartment or already share your living space with one, this guide will introduce you to the top 10 best apartment guard dogs to ensure both companionship and protection.

Best Guard dogs for Apartments

Discover the perfect guard dog breed for your apartment with our top picks.

1. Boxer

Boxers are a fantastic choice for apartment guard dogs due to a combination of their physical presence, friendly nature, and protective instincts. Boxers have a muscular build and a distinctive appearance that can be intimidating to potential intruders.

While Boxer dogs are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, they also have a natural protective instinct. They are loyal to their families and will naturally be watchful of their homes and loved ones.

Boxers are adaptable dogs, despite their high energy levels, they are not overly restless indoors. Boxers are generally great with other people, including children, and they tend to get along well with other animals. While Boxers can be a bit stubborn at times, they are highly intelligent and eager to please. With consistent and patient training, they make great guard dogs.

2. Beagle

best apartment guard dog

The Beagle, a small hound breed renowned for its worldwide popularity, boasts an endearing, friendly disposition coupled with an exceptional sense of smell. While they may not be the first breed that comes to mind for guarding, Beagles do exhibit some qualities that make them surprisingly suitable for apartment security.

These pack-oriented dogs have a natural protective instinct over their loved ones, which extends to their human family. Although they may not have an imposing stature, their alertness and keen senses make them excellent family guard dogs.

Beagles are well-suited to apartment living due to their compact size and easy-to-maintain short coats. While they may not demand extensive grooming, they do require regular exercise, mental stimulation, and owner interaction to stay content and well-behaved.

3. Chow Chow

best apartment guard dogs

Chow Chows may not strike fear at first glance with their fluffy fur and amiable personalities, but don’t be fooled – they possess a natural protective instinct that makes them excellent guard dogs.

Originating from China as hunting dogs, Chow Chows have a deep-rooted tenacity that enhances their guarding abilities. However, it’s essential to note that harnessing their protective nature requires proper training, socialization, and consistent efforts due to their independent disposition.

One of the advantages of Chow Chows as apartment guard dogs is their reserved and quiet demeanor. They don’t demand excessive exercise, making them well-suited for apartment living.

4. Bullmastiff

apartment guard dogs

Bullmastiffs may appear imposing due to their size, but these gentle giants are surprisingly well-suited for apartment living. They have a calm demeanor, don’t bark excessively, and are content with minimal exercise, preferring to lounge and cuddle.

Originally bred as guard dogs by English gamekeepers, Bullmastiffs possess the perfect combination of athleticism and bravery. Their protective instincts make them excellent guard dogs for families, ensuring the safety of both adults and children.

While Bullmastiffs are typically mild-mannered and affectionate with their owners, they can be wary of strangers, adding an extra layer of security to your home. However, it’s important to note that they can be aggressive with other male dogs and strangers when provoked, making early socialization and proper training essential.

5. Doberman Pinscher

best guard dog for apartment life

Doberman Pinschers may have a sleek appearance, but they possess remarkable strength, speed, and fearlessness, making them superb guard dogs for your home. Bred originally for guarding purposes in Germany, they retain their natural protective instincts.

Known for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature, Dobermans are natural guard dogs who will defend their pack and, if necessary, act aggressively or attack. Despite their protective instincts, these family dogs are also loving and gentle towards their families and enjoy playtime.

With proper training and affection, Doberman Pinschers can thrive as lovable and well-behaved pets in an apartment setting. While they adapt well to apartment living, it’s essential to take them on regular walks and engage in play to keep them happy and fulfilled.

6. American Staffordshire Terrier

guard dog for apartment

If you’re seeking a highly protective guard dog, the American Staffordshire Terrier is an excellent choice. While they possess aggression when necessary, it’s important to note that they remain in control. However, if there’s a threat or intrusion, they will steadfastly protect you.

American Staffordshire Terriers are exceptionally loyal to their families and typically get along well with children. Renowned for their intelligence, diligence, and composure, AmStaffs excel as guard dogs. Despite their good-natured disposition, they exhibit protective instincts when it comes to their families.

Their presence alone, along with their distinctive barking, serves as a powerful deterrent to potential intruders. It’s crucial to emphasize that proper training is essential for this breed to prevent any unruly behavior. With a mature weight of around 60 pounds, they are well-suited for most apartment complexes.

7. American Bulldog

good guard dogs for apartments

Bulldogs often face undeserved misconceptions due to their tenacity and muscular physique. While English and French Bulldogs can also serve as capable apartment guard dogs, American Bulldog is the superior choice. American Bulldogs are known for their affectionate and gentle nature, yet their robust build renders them ideal guard dogs.

They are deeply protective of their owners and loved ones. When encountering unfamiliar individuals, they instinctively attempt to deter them. Despite their intimidating appearance, American Bulldogs rely more on their bark than their bite, making them exceptional at monitoring and alerting you to potential threats.

These dogs possess keen listening and observation skills, ensuring your safety. As long as you provide them with engagement and activity, American Bulldogs will thrive in various living environments, whether it’s a family home with a spacious yard or a city apartment.

8. Shar Pei

low energy guard dogs

Despite their initially unassuming appearance, Shar Peis are highly capable of guarding you and your apartment. Originally bred for hunting, livestock chasing, and herding, these dogs retain some of those inherent traits.

Shar Peis exhibit a reserved and cautious demeanor around strangers, which enhances their effectiveness as guardians of their territory. While they are friendly with familiar individuals, they possess a protective instinct for their loved ones and home.

Their moderate energy level makes them well-suited for apartment living, as they are calmer and less inclined to engage in playful activities compared to other breeds. It’s important to note that owning a Shar Pei comes with the responsibility of providing substantial training, and they may not be the best choice for households with small children and other dogs.

9. Puli

small guard dog

Pulis, despite their shaggy appearance, are highly effective guard dogs for apartments. Their natural protective instincts, combined with their tendency to bark at unfamiliar faces, make them excellent deterrents to potential intruders.

Originally bred for herding and guarding, Pulis have a strong protective instinct and loyalty to their owners, making them vigilant guard dogs. Their sensitivity, courage, and determination make them well-suited for this role.

While training a Puli may require patience due to their stubbornness, their intelligence ensures they will remember and adapt to what they are taught. This breed’s love for their home and family makes them dedicated protectors of their territory.

10. Giant Schnauzer

best medium apartment dogs

Giant Schnauzers are a commanding presence that serves as an effective deterrent to potential intruders near your apartment. Their large size and protective nature make them excellent guardians for your home.

Bred for their strong build, trainability, and intelligence, Giant Schnauzers are versatile and make great family and personal protection dogs. However, they require experienced owners who can provide the necessary training and mental stimulation, especially in an apartment setting.

In a one-dog household, Giant Schnauzers are loyal and protective, forming a strong bond with their owners. While firm training is essential, showing them love and care will ensure they fulfill their role as protectors effectively.


Selecting the right guard dog for your apartment requires careful consideration of breed, disposition, and temperament. While not all guard dogs are suitable for apartment living, these 10 options can effectively protect your home with the right training and affectionate care.

Choose wisely, and you’ll have a loyal protector by your side in your apartment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *