Are Poodles Good Guard Dogs? Qualities You Need & How To Train Them

Are poodles good guard dogs? If you or someone in your family has a dog allergy, Poodles are a good breed to consider due to their hypoallergenic coats. However, if you have a family, you may want a dog that can also serve as a guard dog to protect you and your family. Before deciding on a Poodle, you may want to consider other hypoallergenic breeds that would make the perfect fit for your home.

Do Poodles make excellent watchdogs? Poodles aren’t known for being excellent security dogs. Poodles are sensitive to noises and other cues in their environment, but they typically lack the aggression required to be successful. Some poodles, though, can perform a good job with the right training and disposition. Poodles may be wonderful companions and family dogs, but they aren’t as adept at defending and safeguarding you and your property. That isn’t to say they won’t get along with you and your family. Poodles, like many dogs, may be quite devoted, and they get along well with other pets and small children.

How Do Poodles Behave?

Poodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They were first bred as hunting dogs, and they were designed to be clever and responsive to humans. This means they’re impressively easy to train.

They are also highly sociable, with being around their human companions being their favorite thing in the world. These dogs often bark, but not to keep away potential intruders.

If a Poodle barks a lot, it will probably be because it’s spending too much time alone. These dogs tend to have separation anxiety. As touched on earlier, Poodles don’t make good guard dogs.

Most people don’t have the right aggression level to guard dogs. This especially applies to standard Poodles. Oddly, smaller types of Poodles are a little bit more aggressive. However, their size and lack of strength mean they won’t be good guard dogs.

Will a Poodle Protect You?

Poodles have a protective instinct, and yes, they may try to protect you. However, this breed doesn’t have the aggression needed to attack.

That means that if an intruder tried to attack you, a Poodle probably wouldn’t know what to do (other than bark). The dog may even run away, making them an ineffective guard dog.

Qualities You Need In A Guard Dog

Wanting a guard dog to protect your home is natural. After all, it’s the foundation of the age-old alliance between man and dog. We had food, and they reciprocated by protecting us.

But just as not all people are alike, neither are all dogs guard dogs. Some qualities to consider as you search for a good guard dog are:

  • Loyalty
  • Strength
  • Confidence
  • High energy level
  • Aggressiveness


Understandably, when searching for a guard dog, you want a breed that discriminates between their humans and strangers. Obvious as it sounds, many dog breeds love all people all the time and will do anything to get attention from them.

That’s not what you want from a guard dog. Your guard dog needs a healthy sense of hierarchy and to put you and yours before all other people.  It happens that loyalty is a characteristic poodles have in spades. If that were all that went into the composition of a guard dog, then poodles would make excellent guard dogs. It is one of the reason that Poodle mixes are so popular for families.


But physical strength is another necessary attribute of a guard dog. If you’re attacked or under threat, you want a dog that can protect you. You don’t necessarily want the dog to attack in kind, but you expect a guard dog to intervene and keep you safe. What’s more, a guard dog that lacks the physical strength to hold its own risk hurting itself. That’s not something anyone wants to happen.


Confidence is a vital part of a guard dog’s personality. It takes a lot of pluck to confront a potential threat. One of the reasons poodles don’t make good guard dogs is because that isn’t a characteristic they possess.

Conversely, poodles can be clingy, and they can be shy. That, combined with their innate loyalty, means they would rather stick close to you than venture out to meet other dogs. That may sound like the ideal combination for a guard dog, but it risks the poodle seeking protection from you if the pair of you are confronted by someone or something threatening.

High Energy Levels 

This is another attribute poodles have in spades, especially young poodles. So much so, in fact, that they’re often called bouncy or springy.

We’re reliably informed this subsides with age, but the evidence presented by our aunt’s charming poodle, Jonesy, begs to differ. Ten years on, he’s still got springs for feet.

Doubtless, this owes to the poodle’s duck-retrieving origins since to do their job effectively; poodles needed to be remarkably athletic dogs. Let them have their way, and they’ll play for hours. But play is the operative word. A well-trained poodle makes an excellent retriever of balls, sticks, and everything else under the sun. But comparatively speaking, while exuberant, they aren’t good guard dogs.


Because, by nature, a guard dog protects you, a certain amount of instinctual aggressiveness is required. While you can train some dog types into aggressive behavior, poodles aren’t one of them.

They’re much more likely to flinch if you touch or startle them. This is yet another contributing factor when it comes to why poodles don’t make good guard dogs.

Of course, guard dogs don’t need to be constantly aggressive, but they need to display dominance. However, a well-trained poodle is much more likely to make himself submissive in the face of a threat.

How To Train Them To Become Guard Dogs?


Out of many different breeds, Poodles are quite easy to train; they pick up commands quickly. But, you don’t want to just put your Poodle through any type of training; it’s important the training you conduct provides them with the courage to protect you and others in your home. You must start guard dog training from a young age to become familiar with the commands.

Socialize Them

For a Poodle to become a guard dog, it’s crucial you socialize them from a young age to feel comfortable and familiar in the presence of other animals and humans. Doing this will allow a Poodle to feel more relaxed and less fearful of new people. However, it will still allow them to healthily develop some suspicious nature about their new surroundings. When socializing with them, you should do it before 12 weeks of age and use positive reinforcement to help them become familiar with new environments.

Teach Them Basic Commands

When you’re training a Poodle, it’s essential that they know and can follow basic commands such as stay, sit, and down. Once a Poodle has a baseline understanding of these obedience skills, they can easily learn defensive techniques to help make them a better guard dog. If you struggle to teach these commands, you might want to take them to an obedience class.

Alert Bark 

You must teach a Poodle how to bark when a stranger comes to your door or property. One of the best ways to do this is by using a trigger word to help them become familiar with the command. You might want to practice this also by ringing your doorbell and knocking at your door. Once a Poodle starts barking, give them a treat or a reward to associate it as good behavior.

Leave It

Another important part of training a Poodle to be a guard dog is teaching them to leave another person or dog. You must do this so your dog does not become too viscous, and it also helps you remain in control of your dog. It can also save the person or animal’s life by preventing your dog from becoming overaggressive when attacking.

Conclusion: Are Poodles Good Guard Dogs?

We’ve answered the question “are poodles good guard dogs”, and we have concluded that no, they are most likely not. However, that doesn’t mean that they will not make amazing pets that will be incredibly loyal and affectionate and unconditionally loving to you and your family. So if you want to get a dog for protection, poodles might not be your best bet – but for sure, they will be there to love you unconditionally for their entire lifetime. We hope that this guide to poodles has helped enlighten you on whether a poodle would be the right choice for you and your family. We also hope that if you do get a poodle, you find them just as lovely as most other poodle owners do. Good luck with your search for your new family addition!

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