Perhaps you or a family member struggle with allergies but would still love a guard dog to watch over your home and family. In that case, you may be wondering about the best hypoallergenic guard dogs or watch dogs you can add to your home.
Whether it’s a powerful working breed for personal protection or a watchful guardian that can alert you of intruders without causing the sniffles, we have combined a list of the best breeds to protect your person and property without the pain of causing allergies. But first, we need to take a look at what a hypoallergenic dog really is.
In this article:
What is a hypoallergenic dog?
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog or a dog that can’t cause an allergic reaction.
If you’re a dog lover with pet allergies, that is probably not something you wanted to read. Don’t worry. Most people are actually allergic to a protein in a dog’s saliva or urine, not the fur itself.
But his protein sticks to a dog’s skin. Certain breeds shed more than others, and when they shed, their dander—dead, flaky skin—can cause an allergic reaction to occur. Therefore, breeds that are known for shedding less tend to provoke fewer allergies.
Tips for avoiding allergic reactions towards dogs
The following tips can further help lessen the risk of allergy symptoms developing:
- Try to keep your dogs out of your bedroom or any room you spend a considerable amount of time in.
- Bathe your pet often to remove dander from its coat and, if possible, choose carpet-free flooring. The less dander you are exposed to, the better.
- It is important to remember that you can experience allergy symptoms with one dog and not another, even within the same breed. The only way to know for sure if a dog is suitable for you is to spend time in its presence and monitor any symptoms.
So, no dog is completely ‘hypoallergenic’, but the following 13 breeds are worth considering bringing into your home. They will not only shed less than most other dogs but also have a tremendous guarding instinct.
If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic guard dog, you will be hard-pressed to find a breed better suited to the job at hand than a Schnauzer. This dog is between 1 foot, 5 inches, and 1 foot, 8 inches tall at the shoulder. It weighs between 30 to 50 pounds.
A German breed often used to guard farms; the Schnauzer has a natural protective instinct. It is a very intelligent dog with high energy levels and is best suited for experienced dog owners as it tends to be quite territorial and often very stubborn. It has a very affectionate nature and will be loyal to the members of its pack. Schnauzers also make good companions for seniors or families with children.
As a terrier originally bred to be a ratter, this dog has a very high prey drive. So, Schnauzers will have to be supervised around small family pets. Early socialization is important to prevent aggressive behavior towards children and around other animals. This breed has a wiry coat that requires little maintenance apart from periodic grooming.
The Standard Schnauzer may appear cute with its bushy eyebrows, bristly mustache, and beard, but it means business. It is agile, quick to alert its owners of any disturbance, and fearless when taking on danger. This dog rarely barks without reason.
The Giant Schnauzer
A Giant Schnauzer is between 23 and 27 inches tall. It can weigh between 77 and 104 pounds. This quiet dog, much like its smaller counterparts, is intelligent and fiercely protective of its owners.
Giant Schnauzers have a double coat. The undercoat is soft, whereas the outer coat is coarse. This dog needs to be brushed weekly and groomed periodically to keep looking its best.
Giant Schnauzers are working dogs. It is also an intelligent, high-energy dog that has a playful nature. This breed needs an experienced owner that can be firm but kind during training.
Any harsh treatment may cause this sensitive dog to become resentful. Like the Standard, Giant Schnauzers were bred to protect landowners’ properties, so they are naturally territorial and suspicious of strangers.
They may become aggressive towards strangers but will most often be guardedly accepting of people once correctly introduced. Though these dogs make frightful guard dogs, they are also gentle and affectionate with any young charges.
This outgoing dog breed is a great family companion. The Airedale Terrier is another high-energy breed that will need regular exercise, and it is alert, confident, and courageous.
They make excellent watchdogs and will guard members of their pack with steely determination. Although this dog was originally bred for hunting, it is commonly used as a guide dog and a police dog.
In the United States, Airedale Terriers are much loved as working dogs used to hunt big game or waterfowl. This dog has a high prey drive, common to all Terriers, but they can learn to accept them if raised around other small animals.
The Airedale Terrier’s coat is hard and wiry. While the outer coat is stiff, the undercoat is softer. It necessary that this dog be groomed regularly to prevent it from looking straggly.
Since they don’t shed, their thick coat will need to be clipped and hand-stripped frequently. Thanks to their coat they are also one of the best hypoallergenic guard dogs.
The size of Airedales can vary quite significantly. The Oorang Airedale is the largest of the breed and typically weighs between 80 and 120 pounds. Smaller Airedale strains commonly weigh in at 50 pounds and are 22 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder.
This breed can sometimes be stubborn and difficult to train. It was bred to be an independent hunter and has developed the ability to think independently and be quite strong-willed. Although friendly to people it knows, this dog is not afraid to rush in to protect its owners when it suspects ill intent.
Kerry Blue Terrier
Kerry Blue Terriers are gentle with family members yet effective in neutralizing any threat. It is a no-nonsense breed that needs an experienced owner.
If you can provide this dog with the daily exercise, early socialization, and the firm leadership it needs, this may be the right dog for you.
The Kerry Blue is alert, loyal, and affectionate with its owners. It is a kid-friendly dog; however, it is not great with other animals. It can be strong-willed and stubborn, and if it isn’t socialized from an early age, it can grow up to become dog-aggressive and threaten the wellbeing of other, smaller pets.
Kerry Blue Terriers have a soft, curly coat that comes in various shades of ‘blue’. The coat should be regularly trimmed and brushed. Despite their long coats, this dog remains relatively odor-free and does not shed what makes him a great hypoallergenic guard dog.
Kerry Blue Terriers can range between 17 and 19 inches and weigh between 22 and 33 pounds, making it a great dog to ward off would-be intruders. This lively breed needs a lot of exercise and would benefit from having an active, patient caregiver.
Bouvier des Flandres
Bouviers des Flandres are fantastic hypoallergenic guard dogs.
They are slightly messy dogs as their long coats often collect debris and dirt that can then be dragged into the house, so daily brushing and grooming are advised.
This strong-willed dog, with its assertive personality, is not recommended for first-time owners. It is an easy dog to train when in the hands of an experienced, knowledgeable owner and has been known to excel at protection work and Schutzhund trials.
At 23 to 26 inches in height and weighing between 70 and 100 pounds, the Bouvier is powerfully built and distrusts strangers.
They should be supervised around small pets, as they like to herd and chase things.
Care should be taken with children as these dogs are large and excitable and may knock a child over by accident.
The Irish Terrier is a medium-sized dog that is fiercely loyal to its owners. This dog may be friendly towards strangers, but it is willing to take on anything, or anyone, once a threat is detected.
Most Irish Terriers grow to be between 18 and 20 inches tall and weigh up to 27 pounds. It has a tight, wiry double coat that needs to be brushed weekly. This dog is ideal for a single-pet family. It is a high-energy dog that will keep up with and protect the youngest members of the family as it adores children.
Spanish Water Dog
This intelligent, easy-to-train guard dog may share an ancestor with the poodle. It is neither shy nor aggressive but can become territorial if its owner lacks confidence and consistency during training.
This breed can grow to be 20 inches tall and often weighs in at 49 pounds. It has a wooly, curly coat that forms deadlock-like cords if left to grow out naturally. It is a low-maintenance breed that only requires an annual clipping. Due to its high prey drive, this dog will need to be supervised around smaller pets.
Portuguese Water Dog
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly, dog-friendly pet that doubles as a guard dog, this may be the breed for you. It often grows to be one foot, 11 inches tall, and can weigh 60 pounds.
Portuguese Water Dogs are highly intelligent and may become destructive when bored. This is also an ideal dog for seniors or anyone who works from home. Although they can be formidable guard dogs, they are gentle and devoted to the members of their household.
A Puli is a Hungarian breed that has a mop-like appearance.
View this post on Instagram
Although only 35 pounds and 17 inches tall, it looks much larger because of its long, corded coat. A regular bath and the separation of the cords is the only grooming this dog requires. The coat can also be trimmed if needed.
Pulis are alert, self-confident, and suspicious of strangers.
Affectionally referred to as “the babysitter,” this dog is gentle with children and other animals. Pulis can be sensitive to the needs of the elderly or sick and are often used as therapy dogs. Make no mistake, though loving towards the members of its pack, the Puli will not hesitate to take on anyone who tries to cause them harm.
A Komondor has a distinctive, white, corded coat that should never be brushed. Instead, owners separate the cords with their hands to prevent matting.
View this post on Instagram
It is a muscular breed that weighs between 80 and 100 pounds and is 25 to 27 inches tall. It requires a lot of room and regular walks to work off any excess energy. Though not friendly to strangers or other dogs, this calm and steady breed will remain eager to please its owner.
The Komondor’s suspicious nature and hefty weight make it a great option for anyone looking for a guard dog. They will remain vigilant at night and will patrol your property in search of intruders.
The Argentine Mastiff, or Dogo Argentino, is a large dog bred for big game hunting. It weighs between 80 and 100 pounds, is unusually powerful, and needs an experienced dog owner.
With proper training, the Dogo is an exceptional family pet with superb intelligence and drive to work. Because of this, they are often used as service dogs and guide dogs for the blind.
It can make a great companion and has an instinct to protect family members. Strangers should be wary of this dog’s strength.
This breed does require a great deal of physical exercise and mental stimulation. It is a top contender for anyone looking for an effective hypoallergenic guard dog that sheds little.
The Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog. It is 20 inches tall on average and weighs between 33 and 44 pounds. It is an excellent option for first-time pet owners or anyone living in an apartment building.
Wheaten Terriers are rarely aggressive towards strangers unless provoked. They are hyper-alert, intelligent dogs whose growl will likely frighten off anyone with harmful intent.
It is an easy-to-train dog breed and makes a wonderful pet for families with children or active seniors. As a Terrier, it does have a high prey drive, which can be controlled with consistent training and early socialization.
Regular trimming and a daily brush will keep the coat soft and silky. Although not renowned for being an aggressive breed, its tough Terrier attitude means it won’t take kindly to anyone wanting to mess with the members of its pack.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
For a medium-sized dog, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is remarkably strong. On average, this breed weighs between 45 and 70 pounds.
Its wiry, double coat does need to be brushed weekly and hand-stripped periodically.
It has a soft, eager-to-please temperament and, as such, makes a great companion for any family. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are people-oriented. They are devoted to the members of their household and are both kid and dog-friendly.
It is an excellent hypoallergenic guard dog that will remain aloof around strangers. If its bark doesn’t ward off intruders, then its bite certainly will.
A Final Note on Hypoallergenic Guard Dogs
Obedience training and early socialization are important when owning a guard dog. All dogs need to learn when to be friendly and how to get on with invited guests and other family pets.
They need to know what is acceptable behavior and what isn’t. Guard dogs have the added responsibility of protecting their families rather than simply being companions.
This is a task they are well suited for and take very seriously. With the right training, guard dogs will learn to protect you when necessary and can become beloved, playful family companions.
When looking for a hypoallergenic guard dog, it is essential to pick the right breed. This breed needs to protect you, your property, and alert you to any danger. A dog breed that barks excessively and without cause would not fit the brief.
A distinction should also be made between watchdogs and guard dogs. Many guard dogs make excellent watchdogs that will bark when there is danger. However, not every watchdog makes a good guard dog.
Guard dogs need to look formidable to help deter would-be intruders. They must also be able to neutralize a threat should one occur. On the other hand, a watchdog is more primed to alert you to intruders than dealing with them.
In some ways, this is preferable because a guard dog is essentially a dog with a low bite inhibition. This makes them potentially dangerous to any stranger, and that could result in tragedy. Keep in mind that even the best-trained protection dog should not be used or kept as a weapon.
In the end, it isn’t about owning the biggest, meanest-looking dog. A well-trained dog of a medium-to-large build can be fearless in protecting those it loves from harm.
Finding a dog that serves both as a guard dog and that is also hypoallergenic can be challenging. Still, the breeds listed above are known to both fearless protectors and devoted companions.