Are Poodles Good Guard Dogs?

If you want a guard dog and have a Poodle, you might consider turning them into one. But are Poodles good guard dogs? Not usually, but with the right training, they have the potential to protect you

To help you decide if you can turn your Poodle into a guard dog, we’ll compare the qualities of an effective guard dog and standard guard dog breeds to the qualities Poodles have that can help with guard dog training.

are poodles good guard dogs
Are Poodles good guard dogs?

And we’ll discuss things Poodles need to know to be a guard dog and provide some information on things to think about before deciding if you need a guard dog. 

Guard Dog Qualities 

There are specific characteristics every good guard dog should have. Several breeds make good family dogs, but some are not natural guard dogs. It’s unnecessary to select a species with all these characteristics, but the more the dog has, the better the guard dog will be.

tan Poodle mini
A tan Mini Poodle is lying down on the carpet.

Good guard dogs possess the following features:

  • Trust – Your dog should know who its owners are and who is a stranger. That way, they can protect the right people when they need to. 
  • Strength – The best guard dogs are physically strong. In the event of an attack, the guard dog needs the strength to stop the attack. 
  • Courage and Confidence – A good guard dog knows when to step in and help its owner. 
  • Energy – You should also look for an active breed. Lazy dogs might be cute, but they cannot respond as quickly as active dogs. 
  • Aggression – Guard dogs should not always be aggressive but show their dominance by displaying an aggressive side. 

Although Poodles are loyal, active, and confident, they’re not good guard dogs. Their size and strength aren’t always intimidating to opponents, and they aren’t as aggressive as other breeds. Poodles can be trained to be guard dogs, but they might require more work than other guard dog breeds. 

Typical Guard Dog Breeds

Theoretically, any dog can be a guard dog. However, some breeds are better suited to guarding because of their protective instincts. Knowing some typical guard dog breeds and their characteristics may help you train your Poodle to be a guard dog.

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Australian Shepherds

Australian Shepherds are good at herding both humans and animals. They’re more alert than most dogs so they can protect you well. They’re protective of everyone in the household and need to be socialized so they accept strangers in their homes. 

merle Australian Shepherd
A Merle Australian Shepherd eyes the camera with an intense look


These dogs are very loyal, and they’re also brave and attentive. Their muscular stature makes them intimidating to intruders. It’s easy for them to learn, and they’re friendly, so they make good family guard dogs. 

A Boxer dog looks on his side.

German Shepherds

German Shepherds are brave, intelligent, and confident dogs. These qualities make them the perfect guard dog because they can take action. They are somewhat easy to train, and they love to please their owners.

leaping german shepherd in attack
A leaping German Shepherd in full attack mode. Look at that vertical!

Their masculine demeanor and tough reputation wards off many intruders from the get-go.

Guard Dog Qualities of Poodles

Poodles have several qualities that can help them become good guard dogs. They are loyal, athletic, and active. They’re usually medium or large-sized.

gray miniature poodle
A Mini Poodle (gray coat) standing in grass looking radiant

Some of their characteristics that make them good for guard dog instruction include:

  • Ability to focus: Poodles pay careful attention to their surroundings. They are one of the most attentive breeds of dogs. 
  • Interacts well with others: Poodles get along well with people they know or can become friendly once they get to know a person. At the same time, they can be aggressive towards people they perceive as threats.  
  • Intense: Poodles tend to bark and can be nervous in stressful situations when exposed to loud noises. 
  • Easy to train: Poodles are known for being easy to train. Whether you’re looking for a guard dog, this is beneficial. 

You can teach almost any skill to a Poodle with the proper training. It may take a little perseverance, but a Poodle can make a good guard dog. 

When To Train a Poodle To Be a Guard Dog?

Poodles are very easy to train, which can be good or bad. If you don’t teach them properly, they’ll latch on to bad habits and display common behavioral problems.

smiling cream poodle
A ludicrously happy Poodle puppy with a white coat

You should start training your Poodle as a guard dog as soon as possible. If you can teach it from a puppy, that’s great. Even if you get an older Poodle, you should start training it as soon as possible.

What Your Poodle Should Know To Be a Guard Dog?

There are several things a Poodle needs to know to be a good guard dog. 

Obedience Commands

Your dog should respond to the commands “come”, “sit” and “lie down” every time you call them. They should be able to heel with no leash and respond correctly when you ask them to bark or leave something alone.

These are the most basic dog training commands. Your Poodle needs to execute them correctly. If they demonstrate that they can learn new commands, you can move forward with guard dog training.

Getting Your Dog Socialized 

Your dog needs to be socialized, so he’s not afraid of unfamiliar situations. It’s best to do this during the first 16 weeks of their life, but that’s not always possible. 

When you walk your dog, socialize with him. It is best to take them closer to an unfamiliar object if they are nervous. Furthermore, they should be able to tell what a pedestrian looks like and not be intimidated by other pedestrians. 

Make Them Bark When Commanded

Have your dog bark when a stranger approaches. Barking at an unknown person is better than responding to an “attack” command without barking. Many dogs bark naturally, but you may need to teach them not to bark when you tell them not to. 

You can order him to stop barking after he has barked once or twice. Tell the dog, “down” if it doesn’t stop. A dog cannot bark nearly as loud while laying down. 

Train Your Dog To Protect Your Home

To train your dog to protect your home, don’t reprimand them from barking at noises outside. Of course, it’s okay to command them to stop excessively barking. However, if an intruder is outside of your door, and they hear a deep bark from inside, it may scare them off before anything happens.

Additionally, you can train your dog to guard the perimeter of your house or property. To do this familiarize your dog with their territory by walking them around the perimeter at least twice a day.

Train Your Dog To Protect You

Look for someone the dog doesn’t know. While walking, have the person approach the dog and challenge it. They can put some kind of protection on their arm, but it isn’t necessary.

The moment you give the command and your dog barks at his attacker, the attacker should act frightened and run away. These exercises will strengthen your dog’s confidence. 

Think Before You Train Your Dog To Attack

If you take things further, remember that a trained attack dog does not make a good pet. I have heard several stories about docile family attack dogs and dogs that have injured members of their family – usually a child. 

cavapoo dog in park grass
Cavapoo dog in the park, mixed -breed of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle.

There’s also a chance your dog may bite anyone who wants to chat with you. You could face a lawsuit and lose everything you own because you trained your dog to attack.

When training your dog, have the stranger approach them and make threatening gestures. The dog will probably start barking before you do anything. If you want to continue, loosen the leash, but do not let it go. 

Afterward, you can let them go up and grab their arm, but you may still need to shout “get him” for encouragement, though some dogs may approach a stranger without your motivation. To get your dog to approach them, they should put their protected arm near him, threaten them, and entice him to bite. 

You should train your dog to back away – Backing away is an essential part of training your dog as a protector. To protect you, the dog must always voluntarily walk away from the person. Immediately after your dog bites the stranger, tell him to “go away” and praise him. 

When they identify their territory, they can recognize the importance of protecting it. Hopefully, they’ll put their territorial instincts to work whenever you’re in danger. 

Watch Dog vs. Guard Dog 

Although you might think you need a guard dog, a watchdog might be better. Children and pets shouldn’t be around guard dogs since they can be aggressive. Watchdogs can alert you when something is wrong, but they won’t attack like guard dogs.  

Poodle looks on his side
A Poodle with straight white hair looks on his side.

Miniature and Standard Poodles are excellent watchdogs. Because they’re attentive and easy to train, you can teach them to alert you to problems. Because they aren’t aggressive, they won’t be as destructive as a guard dog would be. 

So, Are Poodles Good Guard Dogs?

Poodles have many benefits, such as hypoallergenic fur. Additionally, they have a lot of guard dog qualities and are capable of being trained as guard dogs, but it may take some work. It’s worth considering if you need a guard dog.

On the other hand, Poodles make good watchdogs. If you have children or other pets, that may be all you need. 

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