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Can an English bulldog make a good guard dog?

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

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One of the main things that a new dog owner will think about when purchasing a new dog is, will it make a good guard dog for my home? We are often asked, will an English Bulldog make a good guard dog for my home.

English Bulldogs certainly fit the bill for a good guard dog when it comes to their appearance. Their short stocky build can often be a scary sight and their loud, assertive bark is great to scare of would be intruders.

Bulldogs are often thought of as happy, lazy couch potatoes that don't keep to active and snooze for more hours in a day than they are awake. However this isn't completely true, and certainly doesn't mean that an English Bulldog wouldn't make a good guard dog and be able to keep your home safe.

Bulldogs were given their name as they were originally bred to bait bulls. Bulldogs were once prized fighting dogs, known for their strong bite, endurance and aggression. Fortunately, dog fighting has been outlawed for a number of decades now, and the bulldog breed has been bread into a fun-loving family pet.

What makes a good guard dog?

If your are looking into getting a guard dog, the first thing you should do is start to consider what makes a good guard dog. When purchasing a guard dog some of the things that you should consider are:

  • Intelligence: One of the main traits that you should look for in a guard dog is intelligence. Guard dogs need to be obedient and intelligent enough to understand the commands that you'll need to be teaching your guard dog. Ensuring your guard dog is intelligent will also mean that your dog can understand what is threatening behaviour and what is not a lot easier.

  • Loyalty: Loyalty is a key trait in a good guard dog. You need to ensure that your guard dog has complete loyalty to yourself and your family to ensure that it will protect you in your time of need.

  • Courage: Ensuring your guard dog is courages is extremely important. Your guard dog must be ready to face any danger that my present itself.

  • Territorial: A great guard dog should be territorial. You want your guard dog to be protective of your home territory.

  • Loving: This may sound counter intuitive to what your want your guard dog to be, but you want a guard dog that is loving towards yourself and your family. A loving guard dog will be willing to put it's life on the life to protect it's loved ones.

Personality traits of an English Bulldog

English Bulldogs have many fantastic personality traits that make them a brilliant family pet.

One of the main personality traits that English Bulldogs are known for is there stubbornness and their lack of intelligence compared to other dog breeds. One of the problems that this presents itself when thinking about whether an English Bulldog would make a good guard dog or not is that training a bulldog can prove difficult. Many dog breeds, that have been bred to work, seek enjoyment and happiness from following commands given by their owners - however English Bulldogs do not. Bulldogs have no real desire to follow their owners commands just to please their owners.

A trait that lends itself to English Bulldogs being a great guard dog is their loyalty. Bulldogs are fiercely loyal breeds, and once your bulldog has established a relationship with your family, it will become extremely protective over all of your family members, as well as it's home.

English Bulldogs are a powerful and strong breed. Their jaws are known for their bite strength and they are a dog breed that will stand their ground, a great trait for a guard dog to have.

English Bulldogs aren't known for their aggressive behaviour, which is what makes them great family pets. However with the right training, your English Bulldog can still be the lovable little character it is, and be able to protect you and your family.

Bulldogs are extremely protective and territorial when it comes to their food. They are a dog breed which is highly motivated by food.

English Bulldog Guard Dog

Are English Bulldogs protective of their owners?

English Bulldogs are protective of their owners, they are an extremely loyal breed. Bulldogs are dedicated to their family, when treat and raised right. They are extremely patient with children and will always protect their family members whenever they need too.

Bulldogs are also territorial animals, if they are poorly trained then this trait can manifest itself into your bulldog being aggressive and behaving poorly. In a well raised bulldog, this will lead to your bulldog becoming highly protective of yourself and your home, and they'll form life long loving bonds with your family.

Are English Bulldogs Aggressive?

By nature, English Bulldogs are not an aggressive dog breed. However, as with all dogs, it does mainly depend on how the dog is raised.

English Bulldogs are often considered as an aggressive dog breed due to their history of bull baiting and dog fighting, however they are extremely affectionate towards humans. They are also extremely relaxed, tolerant and compassionate towards children.

English Bulldogs are known to be slightly more aggressive towards other animals, including dogs and cats - however ensuring you socialise your English Bulldog as a puppy can help with this.

Discipline is a crucial aspect to helping ensure that an English Bulldog doesn't become aggressive. If you teach your bulldog proper discipline, they will also behave in a disciplined manner and will not have aggressive tendencies.

Should I pick an English Bulldog as my guard dog?

If you're looking to purchase a dog to just be a guard dog, then you may be best suited to picking another dog breed rather than an English Bulldog that have more personality traits that will lend them to being a great guard dog.

If you're looking for a family pet that can help protect your home and keep your loved ones safe, then an English Bulldog is a great choice.

The key to ensuring that your English Bulldog will make a good guard dog is ensuring that you maintain a brilliant and loving relationship once your bulldog. Once you've established this relationship, your bulldog will be forever loyal to yourself and your family.

How to train an English Bulldog to become a good guard dog

When thinking about training an English Bulldog to become a guard dog, we recommend training the dog as a puppy. Puppies are often a lot easier to train than adult dogs, and with adult dogs you'll often feel like you are breaking some behaviours the dog already has, whereas with a puppy you have a fresh start and you can teach them the behaviours they'll need as a guard dog to start out with.

If you haven't yet purchased your English Bulldog puppy then we recommend looking out for the following traits when purchasing a puppy to become a guard dog.

  1. Ensure the puppy is attentive. The dog should be very attentive as new people approach and they should be able to keep their attention on one thing for more than a moment to ensure it has fully assessed a situation.

  2. Ensure the puppy is one of the more dominant pups. You want a dog that is confident and courageous.

  3. Look for one of the more active bulldogs in the litter, you don't want to pick the coach potato

When training a guard dog, you want to ensure you are socialising your bulldog regularly. Ensuring your bulldog is socialised will help build its confidence and will ensure that your bulldogs don't suffer from separation anxiety - which you don't want for a guard dog. Socialising your English Bulldog will also help ensure that your bulldog can have a better judgement of body language and assess social situations better.

Another good way to help train your English Bulldog to become a guard dog is to help them to understand the boundaries of their home so that they know the territory that they need to protect.

The best behaviour that you want from your guard dog is that it alerts you to danger. Encouraging your English Bulldog to park as people approach your home is a great way to ensure that your bulldog keeps you alerted to people trying to enter your property.

Our top guard dog breeds


Rottweilers are an intelligent dog breed and extremely protective of their owners. They were originally bred to help protect cattle, and they are quick learners and great at following commands. They are brilliant guard dogs for families.

Rottweiler Guard dog

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers are the dog breed most associated with being guard dogs. They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds and they are extremely alert, courageous and loyal.


The Bullmastiff dog breed is physically strong, protective, loyal and courageous - all the traits you'd look for in a guard dog.


If you are looking for the best guard dog possible, then we don't recommend an English Bulldog as being your first choice. Although they can be great at keeping your home safe, many other dog breeds have other personality traits which lends them to being better guard dogs than an English Bulldog.

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