Are Poodles Good Guard Dogs?

If you had to narrow down all the dog qualities that exist, what would you want in a dog? While you might fall into the categories of affection, loyalty, and playfulness, some people specifically look for guard dog tendencies in a dog. In addition to having lots of love displayed by a dog, some people want to feel protected against any potential strangers, burglars, and animals.

Is a Poodle a good guard, though? Keep on reading as today in this article I will cover this in further detail.

Do poodles make good guard dogs?

Even though Poodles used to be waterfowl dogs, they don’t have any guard dog traits. Due to their domestication over the decades, they’re better served as family dogs. Their intelligent nature makes them want to please family members and makes it difficult for them to show any aggression. 

They also have a pleasing personality which means no matter who you are, they will want to please you, which can be difficult if you want a dog that’s stubborn towards strangers. However, just because they’re naturally not great guard dogs does not mean you can’t train them. If you have a Poodle and want to train them as a guard dog, continue reading down below, as we will provide steps to do so. 

📢 Have you heard about Standard Poodle as a Service Dog

What qualities should they have?

Black Poodle BarkingPin

For a Poodle to be a good guard dog, they need to have the following qualities: 


For a Poodle to be a great guard dog, it must be loyal to its owner. It’s important that they understand the hierarchy and put you before other people or animals. If they know you’re at the top, they will go out of their way to protect and not disobey you.


Physical strength is essential for any guard dog, as you will want a dog to defend you from any attack or perceived threat. After all, guard Dogs are not supposed to be kind. They’re supposed to be able to rise to the challenge when you’re in danger. Plus, their strength stops them from getting hurt in a fight. 


You can’t own a guard dog that lacks confidence as it wouldn’t be able to face a potential threat. This is one of the main reasons why a Poodle is not a good guard dog, as they’re quite clingy towards their owners and quite shy. In addition to this, their loyalty makes them a dog that’s likely going to stay by your side. 

Energetic nature

Guard Dogs must be energetic and ready to jump in to defend at any time and have the stamina to stay upright in a fight. It’s important that a dog is athletic and have a good reaction rate to respond to any threats. 


Aggressiveness is one of the main defining qualities in any guard dog. Some of the aggressiveness can be trained or be innate in dogs. However, when it comes to a Poodle, they can’t be trained into becoming an aggressive breed. It’s more than likely Poodles will flinch or be startled through training. Plus, it can be difficult to show them to use their size and strength to intimidate others. 

How to train them to become guard dogs?

Poodle Barks On Passers-ByPin

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. 

Are poodles protective of their owners?

Most of the time, Poodles are incredibly loyal to their owners. So much that if left on their own for long periods, they can develop nuisance barking and separation anxiety. Similarly, smaller Poodle breeds like Toy and Miniature tend to have more aggressive tendencies towards strangers and other dogs. 

Poodle as a watchdog (what are the differences)

While Poodles aren’t the best guard dogs, they can be deemed a good watchdog. The main difference between the two is that watchdogs are not aggressive and more attentive. They also help notify you when danger is approaching and still serve as appropriate dogs with children in the home. Plus, they aren’t as destructive and generally are safer animals in the home. 

Final thoughts

Overall, Poodles are highly intelligent dogs with easy to please personalities. Unlike other breeds, they’re not the best to serve as a guard dog. For a Poodle to be a good guard dog, they should have strength, confidence, energetic nature, and be aggressive. While you can train a Poodle to be a guard dog, it’s more than likely they’re better suited to be a watchdog instead of a dog breed developed for protection.

What are your thoughts on a Poodle being a guard dog? Comment down below.

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