Top Ten Best Watch Dogs for a Family

Qualities of a Good Family Watch Dog
Choosing a pet and watch dog for your family must be based on two major criteria.
Not only must the dog be child-friendly or not prone to attack, he must also
demonstrate the ability to ward off unwanted visitors.

Distinguishing Between a Watch Dog and Guard Dog
Sometimes people confuse a watch dog with a guard dog; however, there is a
distinction between the two. While a guard dog is typically strong and aggressive
and can be trained to attack and defend, a family watch dog is used for his ability
to alert his owner of an intruder or a strange noise.

Therefore, family watch dogs do not have to be powerful or large. They just need to possess a protective instinct and a strong warning bark.

The Top Ten Family Watch Dog Breeds

Most dogs will bark when something out of the ordinary occurs. However, some dogs are better suited to assuming the role of watchdog for a family. Below are the top ten watch dog breeds.

Number One: The Boston Terrier - This little dog is one of the few family watchdogs that can boast an American heritage. While this short-haired terrier loves children and is amiable to those who adopt him, he nevertheless knows how to make any intruder feel off-put by his presence.

Number Two: The Chihuahua - You wouldn't think there was so much watch dog is such a small package. However, the Chihuahua is not the friendliest of animals if he feels his home is being threatened by someone from the outside. This little bundle of energy will vigorously bark to defend his property. Apparently, he makes up for his puppy dog size by excelling as a watchdog for the family.

Number Three: The American Eskimo Dog - A descendent from the Spitz breed of dogs, the American Eskimo Dog has a history of guarding his property and owners. He makes an excellent watchdog as he likes to bond with those he trusts, and tends to be leery of anyone outside of his family.

Number Four: The French Bulldog - The French Bulldog is not only a devoted companion canine, he also is very protective of those he loves, especially children. While he is not given to barking, per se, he definitely will send a warning message to his family when he senses things are amiss.

Number Five: The Pekingese - This regal little dog energetically and responsibly assumes his role as watchdog for his family. Although he loves being pampered and spoiled, he certainly is no softie when it comes to protecting his turf or those close to him. Therefore, you can depend on him to be an excellent family pet as well as a family guardian.

Number Six: The Miniature Pinscher - While some people believe that the Miniature Pinscher originates from the Doberman Pinscher, actually the dog's history goes farther back when you compare the two. Because of his keen sense of curiosity, the Miniature Pinscher is always on the alert for suspicious activity, which also makes him a superior watch dog for a family.

Number Seven: The Schnauzer - The Schnauzer, whether the Standard or Miniature kind, is a very intelligent dog, and notably hypoallergenic. His watchdog skills are certainly nothing to sneeze at either as he's very good at alerting his owners whenever someone outside his family is in his midst.

Number Eight: The Norwegian Elkhound - You simply can't expect anything less than watchdog qualities from a dog whose ancestors were companions of the Vikings. This family-friendly pet is also bold enough to track moose and elk in the wild. An excellent watchdog, the intrepid Elkhound is athletic as well.

Number Nine: The Airedale Terrier - Imposing yet friendly, the Airedale Terrier is the largest member of the terrier breed of dogs. The dog, which is devoted and loving toward his family, tends to maintain an aloof air around strangers. Therefore, his presence can seem rather intimidating to people outside his family.

Number Ten: The Irish Setter - The Irish Setter will give you notice if he suspects someone is in the house. However, that's where his watchdog duty ends. It's up to you to protect and defend. Still, he has to take a spot on the top ten list as he is well-suited to family life and he does, after all, let your know when a possible intruder may be on your property.