Are Pit bulls Good Guard Dogs?

Pit bulls are such a bundle of energy and joy. 

Though they can’t put their love into words, they will follow you around, snuggle and cuddle you, lick your face, wag their tail and jump on you. They can sense your sadness, will share their favorite toys with you, and do many other things to show their affection.

It’s surprising how this dog breed is misunderstood to be aggressive and dangerous when they have so much care, kindness, and love within them.

Some dog lovers opt for this breed to be their four-legged companion because they believe they are loyal and can protect them from danger. But can they, really?

Are pit bulls even good guard dogs? Or can you train them to become good guard dogs if they're not? Are they easy to train? 

We will answer all these questions below. But to better appreciate these answers, let’s first learn about pit bulls temperament.

Pit Bull Temperament: Is the Aggression Real or All Hype?

Chocolate brown adult pit bull


Most pit bulls are athletic dogs, meaning they need a lot of daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. An hour or two of daily walking or activity is usually sufficient.

Some pit bulls will get bored without enough exercise and display destructive behaviors like excessive barking, chewing, and digging.

But pit bulls are also known to be loving and loyal. They are affectionate with children and adults, especially with household members. This temperament drives many pit bulls to perform heroic acts, saving their family from danger.

While some American pit bull terriers are aggressive toward strangers and other animals, such behavior could result from their circumstances. For instance, they have been abused and poorly raised and bred.

Another reason why pit bulls earned a bad reputation is because of the number of dog attacks in the news. Research shows that pit bulls have been responsible for 68% of dog attacks since 1988 despite making up only 6% of the dog population. [1]

Nevertheless, pit bulls are incredibly misunderstood and their lineage is partially to blame. 

The reality is that only a small fraction of the total number of canines out there are involved in such attacks. A vast majority remain loving pets.

Pit bulls are absolute sweethearts despite what many people think. If given a chance to be in a loving home, they can be very gentle and loyal and will love you unconditionally. They can even become heroes by saving their guardians and other people from harm.

Additional reading: Dogs That Look Like Pit Bulls

So, Are Pit bulls Good Guard Dogs?

Muscular male pit bull


Yes, pit bulls can be good guard dogs. 

They may not be the best breed for the job because they love people and are friendly, but their loyalty to their owner will make them step in if there’s an imminent danger. 

Besides, their loud barking and intimidating appearance can also scare away potential threats.

Loyalty, bravery, obedience, and alertness are all personality traits you should look for when choosing a guard dog. And pit bulls’ deep love and loyalty for their human family will bring out their protective nature.

Just remember, however, that not all pit bulls react the same way. Protecting their owner doesn’t always mean attacking another individual. They may simply mean coming to their owner's side and alerting them of potential danger and threats by barking.

Are Pit bulls Easy to Train?

When done at an early age, pit bulls are easy to train. But adult pit bulls can be stubborn, making training difficult. It’s essential to be patient with your dog when training a pit bull puppy.

How to Train Pit bulls to Become Good Guard Dogs in 6 Easy Steps

1. Start Early

You will want to begin your guard dog training early. If you can teach your pit bull behavior and boundary training when a puppy, you’ll have a better chance of them following along.

Take them to group obedience classes where they will learn useful commands, which you can retain control of later. These classes help pit bulls socialize with other pets and people and not become aggressive.

If your pet loves the great outdoors, consider an adventure together. Invest in a dog jacket coat or knit dog sweater to keep your dog warm in colder temperatures.

2. Reward Your Dog With Positive Reinforcement

White and brown pit bull running in the fall leaves


If your pit bull is responding to certain situations the way you want them to and behaving well, reward them with positive reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement can include praise, petting, food treats, or a favorite game or toy. Most canines are highly food-motivated so treats often work.

Never use punishment.

Stick to positive reinforcement when training. Punishment or aggressive language often make many pit bulls or dogs incredibly difficult to control or overly aggressive. This is especially true as their breed grows up to be both strong and big.

3. Practice and Patience

Dogs mirror their owner's behavior. That’s why you should be patient with them. Do not get angry or frustrated if they don’t get the commands immediately. It may take some time to learn the obedience commands, but they will eventually get worked up knowing or seeing that you also are.

Morning walk

Secure your puppy to a leash or durable tactical collar and walk them around the perimeter of the property you want them to protect. This will reinforce where their territory starts and ends. Soon, they will learn to defend anything within that area.

4. Teach Your Dog To Differentiate Friends From Intruders

To train your pit bull to become the best guard dog, it’s necessary to let them know who is a friend and who is an intruder. After all, you don’t want your pet attacking or barking at family and friends.

Pit bulls love humans. So, teach him obedience commands so they’ll learn to bark at strangers in specific situations. This requires managing their environment so it’s easy to spot intruders and respond appropriately.

5. Barking on Command

Some dogs find it challenging to bark on command. Here’s how you can train your pit bull to do so:

  • Tell it to stay or stand. Do not let it sit.
  • Hold your pet’s favorite toy in front of them yet out of their reach. Then, command them to “speak.”
  • Your dog will likely bark as it gets frustrated at not having the toy. That’s the time you give them the toy and praise them.
  • Repeat this command using a different toy and reward your pit bull every time it responds appropriately.
  • Command your dog again to “speak.” If it barks in a quiet voice, say “whisper” to command that they should just bark quietly. If they follow, say, “good dog.” and give them a treat.
  • A properly trained pit bull can respond to “speak,” “whisper,” or “quiet” commands. If you don’t prefer the “speak” command, you can use “bark” instead.

6. Put your training to the test

After successfully achieving the bark-on-command instruction, have a family member or friend knock on the door or ring the doorbell. Then, command your dog to bark. Use positive reinforcement each time it responds.

Pit bulls are generally non-violent. However, you can still teach them to attack on your command if you want to. Pit bulls love affection and praise, which means they can go to great lengths to receive these.

Can Pit bulls Be Trusted Around Kids?

Pit bulls make good personal protection dogs who can be trusted around kids. Anyone with a pit bull at home will tell you how protective and gentle this breed can truly be.

Some parents may doubt getting a pit bull because of their high energy levels. However, these dogs understand that when there are kids at home, they are responsible for keeping them safe. 

Further reading: Are Pit Bulls Good With Kids?


Muscular chocolate brown pit bull


If you have loved ones you want to keep safe at night or you want to protect your valuable possessions from trespassers, pit bulls can be excellent guard dogs.

They may not be as watchful, strong, and fearless as other breeds like the German Shepherd, Akita, and the Airedale terrier. But pit bulls have the strength and size to protect their owners loyally.

Not only will pit bulls will make you and your family safer, but they also make wonderful pets too.

Despite their tough exterior, pit bulls are full of affection and love. If you already have one at home, they bring nothing but smiles and happiness to your life and your family.

With the right amount of patience, knowledge, and control from the dog trainer, you can shape a pit bull into a loyal protector.

Don’t forget to show your furry pal the same love they show you every day. 

Spoil them by spending quality time together. This matching human and dog apparel is the comfiest way to snuggle in style. 

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