Are Labrador Retrievers Good Guard Dogs? – All You Need To Know

Labrador retrievers – An extremely popular breed of dog that makes an excellent family member, lovable as well as a terrific working dog. Aside from their lovable nature, the most significant indirect benefit that comes with owning a large breed is an increased sense of security. Nevertheless, there is one thing that you must be aware of – labrador retrievers are regarded as good guard dogs on the same level as classic guard dogs.

The cuteness and lovability of these dogs confuse many people and may lead to questions: – Are labradors retrievers good guard dogs or not? – Are they likely to bite an intruder? Or are they more likely to lick him out of love? 

In today’s article, we explore the guarding instincts of labs to see if it is possible to develop them as effective guard dogs. Let’s find out.

Are Labrador Retrievers Good Guard Dogs?

are Labrador Retrievers Good Guard Dogs

To some extent, labrador retrievers are not good guards, but they do make good watchdogs. However, don’t let that discourage you. Labradors are well suited to be trained as guard dogs since they are clever and trainable dogs.            

But hold on, how do guard dogs differ from watchdogs? Plus, let’s explore their trainable nature in more detail.  

Guard Dog vs Watch Dog

Guard Dog

The Wikipedia definition of a guard dog says that they equipped with the ability to guard against or watch out for unknown or unwelcome visitors or maybe pets.

Based on the Merriam-Webster definition, a guard dog is one whose job is to guard one’s property.

A guard dog is not just a barking dog. Their training enables them to recognize danger, which makes them capable of protecting their homes and owners physically. Guard dogs are likely to bite or attack, depending on the situation.


Watchdogs act as alert dogs and warn their handlers of any danger they deem the need to watch out for. A watchdog is described by Merriam-Webster as one who watches out for a loss, criminal activity, or undesirable practices.

As defined by, watchdogs are vigilant guardians.

There is a misconception that watchdogs and guard dogs are the same things. In fact, they belong to different groups.

The definition of a watch according to is to keep an alert eye out, keep a close watch, look over, and find out what is happening. A watchdog does exactly that.

The question now arises as to whether labrador retrievers are guard dogs or watchdogs. So let me tell you where labrador retriever dogs stand.

Behavior’s Roots

The Labrador breed known for its loyalty. In many cases, he will follow whatever you decide regardless of what other people think.

Additionally, this breed is sometimes used by the police, and it is bred primarily for the use of guide dogs.

Their training begins as puppies and they learn to assist their owners from an early age. They are therefore loyal to their owners and do not hesitate to protect them from any potential danger, since this is innate to their nature as dogs.

The important thing to remember is that this breed will not show aggression toward its family members, as you have observed with Moses.

Are Labrador Retrievers Guard Dogs Or Watchdogs?

Well, it truly depends on how you train them. These dogs need proper training to serve as guard dogs.

Labrador Retrievers occur for their sweetness, affection, and love. Each time you come home, he sprints to greet you. Despite this, he continues to bark at anyone, including cars and animals, passing through your yard.

It is true that some labrador retrievers have good guarding abilities, although not all of them do.


Labradors, unlike other breeds of dogs, can have different temperaments due to their heritage.

There are a few traits specific to the Labrador, however, as well as some more common to the breed in general.

Some labradors make terrific guard dogs, however, the majority are rather sociable and outgoing, so they will not make good guard dogs.

Moreover, It’s very rare to come across a labrador retriever who is not only friendly toward kids and strangers but also flexible enough to act as a guard dog.

Labradors and Golden retrievers are at the bottom of the list when it comes to the most effective breeds to serve as guard or watchdogs.

Characteristics Of A Guard Dog

In a study, it was determined that guard dogs should exhibit the following characteristics.

  • An aggressive personality
  • Trustworthiness
  • Exceptional attentiveness
  • Intensive level of activity
  • Fast mobility
  • Intelligence

Can Labrador Retrievers Act As A Protector Of Their Owners?

Despite what you may think, labs were designed to act as guardians. Because of this, many people think labradors are not good candidates for a human protection position.

For instance, German Shepherds were always employed as police dogs, but can you recall the last time you saw a Labrador doing the same?

As a matter of fact, Labradors make excellent guard dogs around the house, which confirms by some evidence. The results of a Dutch study revealed that there was a higher likelihood of labs protecting their residence than the owner of the residence.  

Labradors are good guard dogs because they defend their territory in that way. Labradors are often portrayed as friendly and eager to make friends with anyone they meet, but in reality, they are very far from this. This type of labradors easily accustomed to meeting new people but may appear nervous and distrustful at first.

Performing as guard dogs is easy for labradors because of their protective instinct.

How To Train Labradors To Be A Guard Dog?

As of right now, your labrador retriever spends much of his time pacing around your house, following you from room to room.

Despite his young age, he is uncertain and extremely reliant on you. It is certainly a great benefit to train a labrador retriever to guard a house. 

So let’s figure out what steps can we take for Labrador retrievers to become a good guard dog.

  • Start with the guarding training as soon as possible.
  • Start socializing your lab puppy at a young age.
  • Make sure your dog follows basic obedience commands.
  • Teach your dog to bark to alert you of a situation.
  • Put the command into practice.
  • Create a mock scenario and make it as real as possible.
  • Have someone test your dog’s alert bark.  
  • Ensure that he knows the quiet command.

Wrapping Up

Labrador retrievers are undoubtedly one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States today. Labrador Retrievers have the right temperament to make good watchdogs but do they have the right temperament to be a good guard dog.

The answer is yes, they can prove to be reliable watchdogs and even guard dogs if you properly train them against an intruder.


Question 1: Do labrador retrievers protect their owners?

Answer: Labs not usually considered guard dogs in the same manner as traditional guard dogs. It’s not uncommon for them to protect their households from anything they perceive as a threat. Nevertheless, not all encounters end up being threatening to a labrador dog with an accepting heart.

Question 2: Are labradors prone to barking at strangers?

Answer: Sometimes, all that’s needed to scare off an intruder is an intimidating bark. As long as you’re okay with that, you’ll love a Labrador. They bark as a defense mechanism and make great family pets.

Question 3: Is it possible to train the labrador retriever to be a guard dog?

Answer: It’s no secret that labradors are friendly in nature, but they are also capable of becoming guard dogs with the right training, owing to their intelligence. Due to their hunting heritage, Labradors are easily trainable. Their viciousness may not deter attackers, however there attentiveness and barking might deter them.

Question 4: Are labradors capable of being aggressive?

Answer: Fortunately, labradors do not have a reputation for being aggressive. The truth is, these dogs tend to have a very laidback and friendly temperament, making them perfect for families. Although some labradors exhibit behavior problems.

Question 5: What is the strength of a labrador’s bite?

Answer: While labradors are friendly and have a sweet disposition, they bite at 230 PSI. In spite of the fact that Labrador retrievers very known for their strong bite, their mouths are notably soft. This is because they were used to fetching things that were unmarked.

Question 6: Can Labrador Retrievers be both guard dogs and watchdogs?

Answer: Well, it depends on what kind of training you give them.

Authored By

John Lab

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